Please join us at the LWV-VA Pre-Session on December 4 to prepare for advocacy and action in the 2020 General Assembly Session and network with Virginia advocacy groups! This is your opportunity to hear about our legislative priorities and those of our many partners around the Commonwealth. At this Roundtable, advocacy experts from many nonprofit organizations come to speak about their priority issues and legislation, and give their predictions on what may or may not happen during the 2020 General Assembly Session.
Each expert will Predict and Preview where Action will be needed. These experts, 15 to 20 each year, have experience lobbying on the Front Lines in our General Assembly so they provide specific, ready-to-use advocacy/action messages. Not only do advocacy experts preview legislation but one or two Cabinet Secretaries come to describe important issues for the upcoming General Assembly session. This annual meeting in December prepares us to visit our own legislators at home even before the General Assembly convenes in January.
Virginia Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne will be the first speaker to share his insights on the priorities and challenges of Governor Northam’s administration. After he speaks, about 20 speakers will each have about 5 to 7 minutes each to share their legislative priorities and concerns in the upcoming Session. Some areas that will be covered by the speakers are elections, voting rights, transparency in government, education, women’s rights, gun violence prevention & public safety, healthcare, juvenile justice, transportation, and environmental issues.
Other Speakers include: Brian Cannon One VA 2021 Chris Piper Commissioner of Elections Walt Latham VRAV Voter Registrars Association of Virginia Andy Goddard VACPS Virginia Center for Public Safety Megan Rhyne VCOG Virginia Center for Open Government Ashna Khana ACLU American Civil Liberties Union Kati Hornung VAratifyERA Campaign Tarina Keene NARAL – Naral Pro Choice Virginia Jill Hanken VPLC Virginia Poverty Law Center Kim Bobo VICPP Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Chris Duncombe TCI The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis Rhonda Thissen NAMI National Alliance of Mental Health of Virginia Corrina Beall Sierra Club / VA Chapter Danny Plaugher VTA Virginia Transit Association Sylvia Rogers AAUW American Association of University Women Brian Koziol Executive Director of Virginia Housing Alliance
Attend our breakfast and hear speakers from our partner organizations in the morning for $20.
A full day pass that includes breakfast, all day speakers and a plated lunch with a special presenter is $50. If you wish to pay by check, just select that option and either bring a check for the exact amount made out to League of Women Voters of Virginia Education Fund or mail to
Treasurer, 804 Ridge Place, Falls Church, VA 22046.
This event, in addition to providing a lot of good information, also provides opportunities to meet with and network with others who share similar interests and concerns.
James City County — Incumbents
touted accomplishments and argued their experience made them
well-suited to continue service, while challengers called for change and
said they’re the best to make it happen during a candidates
meet-and-greet event Thursday.
candidates’ shared public appearance at the James City County
government complex came as the second of two candidate meet-and-greets
this month ahead of the Nov. 5 elections.
event featured brief remarks by each of the candidates vying for
Williamsburg-area offices and an opportunity for handshakes and
one-on-one discussions with audience members afterward.
Tommy Norment, R-James City County, touted his years of experience,
accomplishments and seniority in the Senate in his argument on why he
should be reelected.
has been in the Senate since 1992. He said he’s been a driving force in
containing the cost of public education and making Virginia a top state
for business while in the Senate. He carried the legislation that
recently delivered tax relief checks for Virginians. He noted he’s been
able to work himself up to powerful positions — he’s the senate majority
leader and co-chairman of the chamber’s finance committee — and has
built relationships on both sides of the aisle.
have been able to lead, I have been able to deliver, and I would
welcome your support and opportunity to continue to do that,” he said.
Herrin, the Republican candidate for the Roberts District seat on the
James City County Board of Supervisors, said the county had faltered in
business and job creation, affordable housing needs and oversight of
has spent a great deal of time and money developing a comprehensive plan
four years ago, and four years later we have failed to make much
progress on that plan,” Herrin said.
elected, Herrin would work to tackle those problems. He would work to
make the county more business friendly, and said job creation is a
priority. Herrin felt the county needs more affordable housing options
for residents and that more should be done to preserve rural and
Democratic incumbent, Supervisor John McGlennon, painted a different
picture of the county. He noted that in his tenure on the board, he’s
worked successfully to improve the county and would look to continue his
work if reelected.
”I’ve served on the Board of Supervisors for a while and I take great pride in what we’ve built,” he said.
noted the county earned AAA bond ratings from all three major national
rating agencies during his time in office. The county has also seen its
parks and recreational department thrive. McGlennon said the county
faces challenges related to population growth, but that he has a track
record of weighing rezoning requests and questions of development
He also cast
himself as an advocate for the community on the state level, too, saying
he worked to encourage the changes to the Historic Triangle sales tax
bill that excluded groceries from the tax.
Gormus, an Independent candidate for Williamsburg-James City County
sheriff, wants to emphasize community engagement if elected.
has a background in the community side of policing thanks to his time
as a school resource officer in James City County Police Department.
He said the sheriff’s office can do more than its current duties providing security in the courthouse and other tasks.
voiced an interest in community outreach such as a mentorship program,
and also felt the sheriff’s office should be more present at community
events and should make itself more available to support local police
departments in crisis situations.
“I feel like there’s so much more that our community deserves,” Gormus said.
David Hardin is also running for Williamsburg-James City County sheriff, and he said experience would be key to success.
He has that experience as the office’s chief deputy and already has some familiarity with the duties of the office’s top job.
a Republican, said law enforcement out in the community is handled well
enough already by local police departments. He cast himself as a
driving force behind the force’s accreditation and would work to
maintain that if elected.
“We will continue to serve the citizens in our community,” he said.
Mitchell, a Democratic contender for Williamsburg-James City County
sheriff, would work to do more community outreach and provide greater
transparency if elected.
military policeman noted his leadership experience, both in small units
and precincts. He said more training for deputies would be a focus if
“I’m certain that we can, and that we will, do better,” Mitchell said.
Danny Diggs wants to continue to serve as boss of York-Poquoson
Sheriff’s Office. He pointed to his years of experience in the job and
accomplishments in that time as to why he should continue to be sheriff.
Diggs, a Republican, was elected sheriff in 1999.
said that though York County’s population is up, crime is down, and
that the community seems happy with how things are going. He said he has
worked hard to maintain the agency’s accreditation and noted the
variety of community outreach programs the agency offers.
“I enjoy serving as your sheriff and my deputies want to me to continue serving as sheriff,” Diggs said.
Williams, who has experience in various roles as a Newport News police
officer, wants to bring what he described as a culture change to the
York-Poquoson sheriff’s office, one firmly rooted in community policing.
If elected, Williams would
work to make deputies more of a presence in the community beyond doing
the work of law enforcement. He said he would bring the public more
fully into conversations about the agency’s future.
“I want to change the culture to a proactive, community-policing law enforcement agency,” Williams said.
League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg Area and the Greater
Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance sponsored the event.
candidates participated in an informal meet-and-greet at Williamsburg
Regional Library before meeting attendees later on. (Madeline
By Madeline Monroe
WILLIAMSBURG — Local
candidates talked policy and cracked jokes at a meet-and-greet with
voters Wednesday evening at Williamsburg Regional Library.
candidates running for state and local offices spoke to a group of
about 100 people at the first of two events sponsored by the League of
Women Voters of the Williamsburg Area and Greater Williamsburg Tourism
and Chamber Alliance Business Council.
The night started with candidates introducing themselves before discussing policy.
Senate District Democratic candidate Herb Jones said his opponent had
not taken care of resident’s healthcare needs, particularly for
firefighters and first responders with cancer. For 96th House of
Delegates District Democratic candidate Mark Downey, his experience as a
physician led him to believe that mental health care services should be
“When I first started my practice, about 10% of my practice was mental health care,” he said. “Now it’s about 30%.”
his record on Medicaid expansion, 93rd House of Delegates Democratic
incumbent Mike Mullin praised Medicaid’s new enrollment of 330,000
low-income Virginians as an accomplishment.
“It’s making sure that almost 3,000 people here in the 93rd district have access to a doctor,” he said.
talking with small business owners, 96th district Republican candidate
Amanda Batten said they have trouble finding affordable health care for
As she knocked
on doors to talk with constituents, Batten said she also learned that
taxes which did not provide a perceived return on investment, such as
the tourism tax, were viewed unfavorably.
“The widening of Interstate 64 is something where folks feel like they are receiving that return (from taxes),” she said.
93rd House of Delegates district Republican candidate Heather Cordasco,
she said her goal is to make Virginia more business friendly and less
taxing on constituents if elected.
must make sure that we keep our rainy day fund funded when times are
good so that we can meet our promises and our responsibilities without
immediately going to raise taxes,” she said.
On the topic of education, ensuring access to early childhood education should be a priority, Downey said.
people have a good foundation, then they’re less likely to drop out of
school and more likely to attain higher education levels and be more
successful adults,” he said.
Mullin’s statement, he focused on raising pay for teachers. While he
helped pass a 5% pay raise for teachers this year, he said legislators
need to keep going. “We need to continue to at least get to the national
average and hopefully exceed it.”
advocate of common-sense gun reform, Mullin mentioned his
co-sponsorship of universal background checks. Downey said addressing
the link between mental health and gun deaths from suicide should also
be a priority through red-flag laws. For Jones, nothing has been done to
reduce gun violence in Virginia.
“Nothing has happened since Virginia Tech, and we had another incident (in Virginia Beach) this year.”
County’s 1st District Board of Supervisors candidates discussed their
backgrounds and spoke on local issues relating to education, inclusion,
the economy, safety and York’s progress in those areas.
six-term Republican incumbent Walt Zaremba is Democratic candidate
Dalila Johnson. After graduating high school in Colombia, South America,
she came to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Navy before
working in banking.
“What we do here for the next couple of years, 10 years, is going to affect all of us,” she said.
another veteran, Zaremba thanked Johnson for her service and noted his
extensive service in the U.S. Army before he earned his law degree in
1992. Zaremba pointed to York’s achievements in education and safety and
the county’s low tax rate during his tenure as supervisor.
still have spirit and desire and love for York County citizens to be
their Board of Supervisor (representative) again,” he said.
Later in the evening, candidates mingled with citizens to discuss issues they cared about.
who voiced support for creating pathways for alternative education,
said that at the meet-and-greet she had some conversations about her
role in workforce development.
“I had someone come up to meet and didn’t know I was the one who brought Manufacturing Day to the county (schools),” she said.
asked by a retired college professor if there was any one thing that he
could fix, Jones responded that he would address issues in education.
“I think early childhood education is key.”
approached Johnson about an idea she had shared to help make her
district less isolated by creating a citizens’ council, she said, which
would gather community leaders to solve problems alongside supervisors
and make informing members of her district easier.
Every election, the League of Women Voters sends identical questions to candidates for office. See the responses of the Senate candidates for Virginia here. Go to vote411.org for more.
The following formatting is excerpted from The League of Women Voters of Fairfax Voters’ Guide. VOTE411.org’s content is duplicated in this publication.
U.S. Senate for Virginia
The U.S. Senate term is six years. Each state is represented by two Senators who have staggered terms. There is no limit to the number of terms they may serve. Senators serve their constituents as they offer legislation, serve on committees, debate new bills and amendments to previous legislation. They also serve to advise and consent on matters such as ratification of treaties and confirmation of high-level positions, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Senators must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for the last nine years or longer, and inhabit the state they seek to represent. A Senator’s salary is $174,000. See the Virginia Department of Elections website for all the races and candidates: vote.virginia.gov
Biographical Info of the Candidates for US Senate:
Tim M. Kaine Party: Democratic Website: http://timkaine.com/ Education: University of Missouri – B.A. in Economics; Harvard Law School Experience: Civil Rights Lawyer; Richmond City Council; Mayor of Richmond; Virginia Lieutenant Governor; Virginia Governor; Democratic National Committee Chairman; and US Senator of Virginia on the Senate Armed Services; Foreign Relations; Budget; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees. Facebook: facebook.com/SenatorKaine/ Twitter: @timkaine
Corey Stewart Party: Republican Website: www.coreystewart.com Education: Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law; B.S., Foreign Service, Georgetown University Experience: Corey Stewart is the at-large elected Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Previously, he served as the Virginia Chairman for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He is an International Trade Attorney in private practice. Facebook: facebook.com/CoreyStewartVA Twitter: @CoreyStewartVA
Matt J. Waters Party: Libertarian Website: www.mattwaters.com Education: BA George Mason University MS Reformed Theological Seminary (2019) Experience: Business owner/entrepreneur, 10 years Vice President National Non-Profit Organization Senior Officer, Advertising Agency Facebook: facebook.com/WatersForUSSenate/ Twitter: @VASenate2018
Questions & Answers I. What policies and resources do you propose to ensure election integrity and security in the United States?
Tim M. Kaine: The recent Omnibus bill that passed earlier this year included an additional $307 million for the FBI’s work to secure the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and fight against future Russian cyberattacks. The bill also provided $380 million for the Election Assistance Commission to increase cybersecurity for state voting systems and protect elections against foreign interference. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our elections systems from cyberattacks. In addition, we need to ensure we are protecting all critical sensitive information from being hacked, such as: health, education, and banking infrastructure. States hold the majority of sensitive information. Virginia has been at the forefront of ensuring that we are taking all steps necessary to protect our infrastructure from any potential attack. I also strongly support states and localities taking the necessary steps to back up their elections with paper ballots.
Corey Stewart: I fully support voter ID laws, which serve to prevent various kinds of election fraud: impersonation fraud; registration under fictitious names; voting in more than one state; and non-citizen voting. States that have enacted this commonsense reform found no depressing effect on voter turnout.
Matt J. Waters: The Constitution is clear on the issue: 15th & 19th Amendments secure the right of citizens to vote. Congress has the power to enforce this via legislation.
II. What policies, e.g. tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?
Tim M. Kaine: We must invest in Virginians, value diversity, and grow the talented workforce that makes our economy thrive. I introduced bills to support families, by increasing tax credits to lift families out of poverty, and increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 over a 7-year period. We lost an opportunity to pass a tax reform bill that would put middle-class families and small businesses first. Instead, Republicans jammed through a bill that will raise taxes on millions of Americans. We must give more of the benefits to the middle class instead of big corporations. I introduced an amendment to this bill to provide long-term middle class tax relief and reduce the amount the bill adds to the deficit. Republicans blocked my amendment. I also have strong concerns with the President imposing tariffs on our major allies, resulting in steep tariffs being imposed on Virginia products. I have urged the President to reverse course and make it clear to our allies that we are honest brokers.
Corey Stewart: President Trump’s tax cuts have already done much to promote economic security for all Americans – with black, Hispanic, Asian and youth unemployment now at all-time lows. I would vote to make these tax cuts permanent. I additionally support President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate unfair trade agreements with other nations, in the best interests of American workers.
Matt J. Waters: One-hundred percent of US taxpayers’ income from January 1 to April 18 goes to local, state and federal government. The government takes 33% of our property on an annual basis–more than most Americans spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. The Libertarian Party believes taxation is theft; that the government’s role is to do three things and three things only: protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property). Personal federal income taxes were not allowed in the US until 1913 and the passage of the 16th Amendment. As Senator, I propose repealing the 16th Amendment, abolishing the IRS, and giving every American taxpayer a $12,000 pay raise. This ultimate measure will lead to major reforms in the contract between government and the people.
III. What is your position on using a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey?
Tim M. Kaine: I am opposed to asking individuals whether or not they are citizens on the 2020 Census survey because it will result in fewer people being counted or participating in the process. The rhetoric coming from this administration is sending fear into communities of color and this could lead to a distortion of who is residing in the U.S. Data collected by the Census is essential in bringing federal dollars and determining the political representation of our communities. The federal funds are distributed to state and local government to support schools, health care, housing, and other vital public benefits. There are about 300 federal programs that use Census data to determine how and where the money is spent. The Census occurs once every ten years and it is critical that we get a complete and accurate count. For these reasons, I oppose including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey.
Corey Stewart: I support reinstating the citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey. Electoral seats should be determined according to the population of actual citizens, not total population size.
Matt J. Waters: This is entirely in the purview of the Congress according to Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution.
IV. What are your proposals for an immigration policy?
Tim M. Kaine: In 2013, the first major bill that I voted on was an immigration reform bill that was bipartisan and included a pathway to citizenship for many individuals living in the U.S. I supported the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would reform our visa system, protect Dreamers and TPS recipients, and protect our borders. This country is a nation of immigrants who have played an integral role in our society, have brought the skills and talents to make the U.S. globally competitive. Our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. I have been a strong and loud critic of this administration’s treatment of Dreamers, proposals to limit legal immigration, travel bans, and all attempts to separate families. Earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues in the Senate to find a solution to protect Dreamers, create a pathway to citizenship, while protecting our borders.
Corey Stewart: Immigration should be managed in a way that benefits our nation. I would end the Visa lottery in favor of a merit-based system. We should have zero tolerance for illegal alien crime. I favor the prosecution of state and local officials who brazenly flout our nation’s immigration laws by declaring “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens. Finally, I would vote to fund construction and maintenance of a true wall, to stem the flow of migrants and contraband across our southern border.
Matt J. Waters: I support reforming the current Immigration system/laws and review the three major agencies responsible for Immigration: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”). I support DACA. I do not support the Wall for financial and results oriented reasons (It won’t solve the problem). I believe we need to change the laws on chain migration. 70% of all immigration to US are relatives coming to live here. I would advocate moving to a merit based system based on skills and America’s labor needs. I support E-verify, and tighter border security. I also support renewable work permits for non-US citizens working in the US, as this will raise salaries of non-US citizens such that they would not undercut current worker salaries.
V. What do you propose to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care?
Tim M. Kaine: I believe that access to health care is a right for all Virginians and I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid Expansion in Virginia. I have fought against “repeal and replace” of the ACA, and threats to Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (Virginia’s “FAMIS” program). The ACA prevents individuals from being denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition, and provides access to preventive care that will help reduce the cost and incidence of chronic diseases. Since passage of the ACA, more than 300,000 Virginians have gained access to quality affordable health care through its federally-run exchange. I have supported legislation to continue to expand health care coverage and make important fixes to the ACA. I also introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act which would create an affordable public option, so Americans could choose whether to purchase one of the existing private plans on the exchange or a Medicare-X public plan.
Corey Stewart: Obamacare has failed to deliver on its promises, as too many individuals and families have learned the hard way. I strongly favor health savings accounts, as well as the restoration of short-term and low cost “no-frills” plans. We should allow insurance plans to be sold across state lines (more competition is healthy). Ultimately, we need a free market, consumer-driven health care system that puts the needs of patients first.
Matt J. Waters: 1. Since Obamacare was passed in 2014, the cost of insurance for self-employed has skyrocketed. I would join with the dozen governors who have sued the Labor Dept to allow small businesses and the self-employed to form association health plans (AHPs). 2. Promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that put consumers in the drivers seat for current and future healthcare costs. HSAs eliminate the gatekeeper that tells the consumer what is allowed or not under their plan. These plans have shown to reduce overall health costs. Generally, I would advocate for the government to get out of the healthcare business. The government track record on health care is easily seen in the VA Hospital and impending bankruptcy of Medicare and Medicaid. I favor allow companies to compete for consumer business not unlike other businesses, and for customers to choose between multiple health care offerings, or none at all.
VI. What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence?
Tim M. Kaine: I was Governor of Virginia during the shooting that took place at Virginia Tech, killing 32 individuals, and injuring 17. I issued an executive order and signed a law requiring courts to report all involuntary mental health commitments to the database used to check the criminal records of gun buyers. I also signed other mental health reforms and vetoed bills that would have increased the presence of firearms in the public sphere. As a U.S. Senator, I support requiring a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer. I am a cosponsor of legislation to close the gun show and private sale loopholes, require private sales go through a federal firearms licensee, and penalize states that fail to make data available to the national background check system. I am also a co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Corey Stewart: Firearms themselves are not the problem, as John Lott has thoroughly documented in his book, More Guns, Less Crime. We can – and we must – do more to reduce gun violence, without trampling on the 2nd Amendment rights of lawful Americans. I strongly favor attacking the root causes of violence, through education, smarter policing, and improved mental health care. In addition, we should hire armed security personnel – perhaps retired police officers – to protect our nation’s schools.
Matt J. Waters: For voters concerned about gun violence, I too share this concern. Of the 38,000 gun related deaths in 2016, 25,000+ are suicides by mostly white men, age 25-65. Black on black violence contributes to an additional 8,000 gun related deaths annually. Combined, these statistics represent over 87% of the gun related deaths in America. If we desire to reduce gun violence in America, we must address medical depression and we review the War on Drugs policy (DEA) that may be a leading cause of violence in urban areas. As Senator, I will call for an end to the War on Drugs, and the elimination of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This will help drive down black on black violence, and ultimately save lives. Regarding depression and other causes of suicide, this is an area that is best left to families, specialized non-profit organizations and the medical profession to treat.
VII. What are your legislative priorities?
Tim M. Kaine: My campaign is focused on access to good paying jobs, education, health care, and true equality for all. Virginia has a strong military presence and as the father of a marine, my priorities in the Senate are to ensure that the U.S. stays out of unnecessary wars and if we engage that we are successful. I along with Senator Corker are leading an effort to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorization for use of military force with an updated AUMF against al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I have fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and believe that we need to continue to improve access to affordable quality health care. I introduced legislation, Medicare-X, a public plan that would provide another option for low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace. Finally, career and technical education (CTE) has always been a passion of mine and I believe CTE can strengthen the links between the classroom and the workplace.
Corey Stewart: In the United States Senate, I will fight tirelessly to:
• Lower taxes, grow the economy, and bring back jobs
• Build the wall, end sanctuary cities, and crack down on criminal illegal aliens
• Defend 2nd Amendment rights, while attacking the root causes of violent crime
• Fully repeal and replace Obamacare
•Rebuild our military and support our veterans
Matt J. Waters: We must stop out of control government spending. The $22 trillion debt is the single greatest threat facing this country. We are adding $1 million a minute to the debt. To eliminate it, we must enact 1.Reform Entitlements, 2. Cut Government Spending (military/domestic and foreign programs/agencies) and 3.Eliminate the personal federal income tax (this will force cuts in spending, and return property to the American taxpayer).
Disclaimer: The contact information provided in “Voters’ Guide” was furnished by the campaigns to the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA), obtained from the Fairfax County Office of Elections, or official websites. The LWVFA is not responsible for any changes or inaccuracies in the listings; the information was current as of October 21, 2018. This is not an official publication for any campaign or candidate, but information only. The LWVFA can be reached at 703-658-9150, on the web at www.LWV-Fairfax.org, on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lwvfairfax, twitter.com/LWVfairfax, or at LWVUS www.vote411.org.