After much thought, I want to announce that I will run for re-election to the State Senate this fall. I am proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish, working together, to protect the most vulnerable, Virginia’s children, to conserve Virginia’s open space, to rebuild Virginia’s economy, and recently to reform our system of mental health care. I will be humbled to ask the voters in the 25th Senatorial District for their votes on November 3rd so that I may continue my work.
One of my primary goals is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. The past 12 years I have been working to reform the redistricting process, to follow the lead of other states and ensure that voters pick their legislators rather than the elected picking their electorate. I remain dedicated to the idea that we can organically change the way government works by fixing the way district lines are drawn.
Virginia’s economy is changing in fundamental ways. Sequestration at the federal level has laid bare our dependence on federal spending and increased our necessity to rebuild, diversify and expand our economy. More than ever, we must invest in infrastructure. We have to build our intellectual infrastructure and continue to prioritize K-12 and higher education so that we develop a workforce to meet the needs of 21st Century businesses and give our citizens the opportunity to live the American dream. In the same vein, we have to continue to improve our transportation network so that people and goods can move from place to place and from farm to market. We have one of the largest state maintained systems of highways in the country. The system must work well throughout Virginia, and we need to continue to explore the expansion of passenger rail.
Finally, I am dedicated to building a system of public mental healthcare that meets the needs of all Virginians. This is an issue that drives me. I am proud of the work that we have accomplished thus far. The changes we have made will result in real change for families who are struggling. However we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. We have so much work to do, and I am committed to achieving meaningful reform. The system has failed too many people.
I look forward to a discussion of the issues and how we move Virginia forward.