Here are some ideas for Democratic candidates. It's not a comprehensive plan. However, we wanted to highlight some ideas that have direct relevance to all Virginia voters.
The 2019 election is a history making event. Democrats are very close to taking over both houses of the state legislature.
Let's do it!
REPUBLICAN PARTY IS TRUMP
Donald Trump is the most popular president among Republicans in the modern era. Even more popular than Reagan. And only second to George W. Bush after 9/11. (Quartz) Think of all he is doing. Do we really want this in Virginia? Democrats need to make the connection.
REPUBLICAN PARTY: A PROVEN PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD IN VIRGINIA
200,000 VIRGINIANS WERE PLACED AT RISK IN 2017
MANY HAVE NEVER RECOVERED
In 2017, the Republican Party put the lives of 200,000 Virginians in danger. After the Republicans made repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health insurance market was shaken by uncertainty. What made things even worse was President Donald Trump's promise to end cost sharing subsidies, and shorten the health insurance enrollment period to a mere six weeks. Anthem's response to this uncertainty was to pull out of Virginia. Their exit was so hasty, many customers never even received an official notification of their departure. Originally Anthem also decided to leave some areas to no providers at all. They eventually rescinded that decision and offered care in some areas where they were the sole provider, with the contingency that they got to charge customers sky-high prices.
Charlottesville Virginia now has some of the most expensive premiums in the nation, with people experiencing a cost increase up to 300%. (News Leader)
The Trump Administration is a danger to life itself. This is the party that pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, made countless attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act (which would take away healthcare from 20 million Americans), made attempts to roll back protections for women and LGBT minorities, has emboldened the KKK, and is pushing for reprivatization of prisons and harsher drug sentences.
LIFE AND DEATH IN VIRGINIA
DEMOCRATIC PARTY CREATES HISTORIC VICTORY IN 2018
LET'S KEEP GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!
Things aren't all bad though for the state of health care in Virginia. In May 2018, the Virginia legislature voted to make government health insurance available to 400,000 low-income residents, overcoming 5 years of GOP resistance. Virginia has joined 32 other states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid coverage. (Washington Post)
So there is hope. While the Republicans took away health care from Virginians, the Democrats have provided it. The Democrats had a terrific achievement with passing Medicaid expansion. It is time to improve on that success.
It is time to make sure all Virginians have access to affordable health care.
It is time to make sure all Virginians have access to mandatory sick leave.
INTERNET FOR ALL - A RIGHT
The state of today's internet in America is a disaster. Due to a failure in national leadership, there are entire sections of the population with no access to broadband. The wiring of America has been done on the basis of wealth and profit, leaving out the rural areas and the poor.
Around 10% of Virginians do not have access to broadband internet. (Broadbandnow)
In 1995, even Newt Gingrich proposed getting laptops for every poor child. We need to do what we can to equip all Americans with the basic tools of the economic future, not just the rich.
Providing internet for all in Virginia is a vital goal for providing for the education and economic vitality of our state's residents. But it's also a safety issue. Several landline phone companies are shutting down, leaving rural folks and the elderly without any way to reach help in case of an emergency. It's also difficult for people in rural areas to sign up for health care if they can't call anyone or log onto the internet.
SENSIBLE GUN CONTROL REFORM
Owning a gun should be like owning a car. You should at least pass some kind of test to prove you are competent.
However, we oppose the recent proposal to "ban assault weapons." Some of our Democratic friends may not like our views here but we need to be factual. Real "assault weapons" have been illegal for years. The so-called "assault weapon" ban is actually a ban on all large capacity magazines. This did not work when it was last attempted. Between 1994 and 2004, the "assault weapons" ban did little to change the statistics on gun violence (New York Times). This is likely to antagonize rural voters and could cost Democrats the election.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE - RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE
We favor raising minimum wage.
Since the early 1970s, the hourly inflation-adjusted wages received by the typical worker have barely risen, growing only 0.2% per year. In other words, though the economy has been growing, the primary way most people benefit from that growth has stagnated, meaning minimum wage hasn't risen in 40 years. Thanks to the stagnation of wages, most things are now much more expensive for the average American than they used to be. The working class is bleeding itself white just to make ends meet. It's time for a change. (Harvard Business Review)