The past four years under Democratic leadership have resulted in positive results for Virginians. Just to name a few:
Economy: The Center Square, compiling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis and taking COVID pandemic contraction into consideration, ranked Virginia 11th in the United States on economic growth in recent years. (“How Virginia’s Economy Compares to Other States,” May 20)
Voting: Voting options to include early absentee and early in-person voting have expanded accessibility to the ballot box for everyone, especially senior citizens with limited transportation options, people with disabilities, people incapacitated or hospitalized on Election Day, workers whose schedules make it difficult to get to the polls and voters who can’t set aside hours to stand in line to vote on a particular date.
ID safeguards continue to be in place, including federal voter ID laws (The Help America Vote Act of 2002 -- https://www.justice.gov/crt/help-america-vote-act-2002.) Virginia Driver Privilege Cards are not an acceptable form of voter ID. (www.elections.virginia.gov/registration and www.elections.virginia.gov/voterID
Expanded access to healthcare: More citizens have access to affordable healthcare as well as access to virtual healthcare. Virtual access to healthcare is particularly important in rural areas where local hospitals and walk-in clinics have closed and doctors have moved away. (www.healthinsurance.org and search for Medicaid/Virginia; www.ruralhealthinfo.org/resoures/topics/broadband)
Minimum wage: Minimum wage increased to $9.50 an hour with phased-in increases to $15 an hour possible beginning in January of 2026. (law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/40.1-28.10)
Protections for children and victims of domestic violence: Sensible changes to firearms laws provide protections for children from unsecured firearms and help protect victims of domestic violence from perpetrators with guns. Gun owners’ due process rights are preserved. Public places and voting locations are safer. (www.vsp.virginia.gov and select Firearms/concealed handguns
Womens’ rights: Women can seek reproductive health care without overreaching big government barriers and controls. The Equal Rights Amendment passed. Expanded childcare support helps women return to the workforce. Attorney General Mark Herring closed out the 2,665 rape kit backlog. (www.Herringforag.com/attorney-general-herring-eliminates-virginias-rape-kit-backlog), (www.law.lis.virginia.vog/vacode/title53.1), (www.equalrightsamendment.org/era-ratification-map), (www.doe.virginia.gov/cc/whatsnew/index.html)
Death penalty abolished: This long-awaited change responds to the pro-life community as well as those who oppose the death penalty on moral grounds. (law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title53.1/chapter13)
State income taxes: Virginians are no longer penalized under the federal $10,000 deduction cap on the sum of real estate taxes, state and local income taxes and other deductible taxes. (www.tax.virginia.gov and search 2019 instructions for Form 760 - What’s New)
Citizens, regardless of political affiliation, race or ethnicity, have the Democratic legislature and administration to thank for these positive changes and strong state economy. Positive momentum and rejection of big lies can be achieved by voting a straight Democratic ticket - Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, Mark Herring and, depending on your House of Delegates district in Fauquier County, Dr. Doug Ward (18th), Elizabeth Guzman (31st) or Kecia Evans (88th).