Division is one of the main problems our community is facing. We are a city that is diverse in every sense. When I served in the United States Navy, I worked with people who came from all different backgrounds to get the job done. I think having people on City Council who can work with people from various backgrounds will be key to solving any and all issues we face as a community.
Far too many people in our city are familiar with the growing issue flooding has become. It is important that we as a community realize that while we as a city are dealing with flooding, we are not alone. Communities from across Hampton Roads are facing the same exact problem.
When elected, I will work not only with my colleagues on City Council, but also with leaders from across Hampton Roads, the General Assembly, and our federal partners to secure funding that will help us solve this issue. We have identified the issues, identified solutions, now we need to prioritize the funding.
Our youth are our greatest investment, our most valuable asset. It is our youth that will help ensure that the City of Virginia Beach continues to thrive. Today’s youth are vocal, loving, opinionated, intelligent, and open minded. As a city, we need to embrace our youth and work towards meeting their needs, the needs of the future.
We are falling behind with our public schools. Our list of schools that need major infrastructure updates is growing larger by the day, our teacher pay is not where it should be, and we aren’t prioritizing school funding like we should be. Our schools house the most important residents of Virginia Beach – our children.
I plan on aggressively fighting to fully fund our schools, quickly and efficiently upgrade where needed, and increase our teacher pay to attract and retain the best. We are the biggest city in the Commonwealth, we need to lead in every category including our public schools.
Our city needs to step up our presence in the Hampton Roads region. We are the largest city in the Commonwealth, we should be a leader across the board. We are at the cusp of a lot of positive change for our city, and our region. Partnering for offshore wind, improving our mass transit system, attracting industries, and solving our flooding issues is going to require effective regional collaboration and I am confident I have the skills to bring folks together at the table to get it done.
I look forward to being an active participant in organizations like the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission to ensure we are giving our fair share of participation and also to advocate effectively for the residents of Virginia Beach.
In order to attract and retain talent, we need to ensure Virginia Beach is competitive to other cities of our size. Mass Transit is something that we need to completely revamp, and quickly. We are losing out on deals with large employers, large scale events, and retaining our young folks who want to live somewhere where they can efficiently get from Point A to Point B without using a car.
As a start, I would like to see our region adopt the Bus Rapid Transit system, similar to what Richmond has put in place. I would propose dedicated bus lines on our bigger streets, bus platforms, and ticket kiosks at stations to make it a more efficient and enjoyable experience for our riders.