What is your position on making healthcare more accessible to everyday Virginians?
We are giving away millions of dollars every day we don’t expand Medicaid. $10.4 billion to date. That money is going to other states so that their citizens get the healthcare that over 400,000 Virginians need. This is not fiscally responsible. At the same time, we need to be smart about expanding Medicaid and be ready for whatever form of TrumpCare arrives at our doorstep, assuming Republicans in congress can get their act together.
We need to rethink healthcare, especially for women. For the family to be healthy, women need to be healthy. In America, moms, grandmas, daughters, nieces, daughter-in-laws are the caregivers of the family. Women provide the lion’s share of support to children and the elderly. They are our silent army of unpaid caregivers. Whether it’s Medicaid, Medicare or TrumpCare, access to affordable healthcare is crucial for families and women of all ages.
Why should you vote for me, Tristan Shields, for Delegate?
I know how hard it is to be an entrepreneur in this area. Young people leave and rarely come back. We need to keep our talent here by expanding opportunity. I am one of the few younger people in this region who came back to run a business. It’s a primary reason why I decided to run for political office. I have been in the music business during the most tumultuous time ever for that industry. Technology and changing distribution systems have completely displaced a generation of creative professionals. Learning to pivot, bounce back, fail, try new things are all essential skills necessary to live and lead today. I know how to be a leader and make things happen. Today’s disruptive economy and uncertainties demands leaders who see opportunities among the fog and have the courage to act. Thinking and acting collaboratively, learning fast, and keeping the people of the Piedmont first is what makes me the best option for Delegate.
There are at least two major issues that need to be addressed for us to improve school funding in District 18:
Challenging the current tax loopholes that drive down Fauquier’s school funding, and
Finding new sources of revenue to support schools in less populated rural areas.
Loophole – Wealthy tax breaks directly impact school funding
Income inequality is huge problem in the 18th. Higher real estate values and retail sales hurt Fauquier’s Composite Index, which Virginia uses to determine local ability to pay for public education. In practical terms this means the state looks at our real estate value and says: “You have a lot of money so you should be able to pay a larger share for schools.” The problem is tax breaks for rich land owners undermine this system. It is especially tough in rural areas where income inequality is more pronounced. It also doesn’t help that our incumbent Delegate, Michael Webert’s family is in the rich land owner category making it unlikely for him to take this on. When I’m elected, I will work hard to get proper funding for our schools.
Dedicated Revenue specifically to rural schools
Many Virginians assume when they buy a lottery ticket the profit is going directly to schools. That is not the case. School districts in Virginia get less than 30 percent of the total sales. The money goes into Virginia’s General Fund which is used to plug holes in the budget. I propose a dedicated portion of the total lottery ticket sales guaranteed for rural schools that need it the most. The General Assembly is the body which determines how monies are distributed from the lottery. District 18’s Delegate should be advocating for better use of this money for rural needs.
Fear, confusion, and anger have taken hold of Virginia. Charlottesville is on our doorstep and it’s up close and personal for those of us in District 18. There are no more excuses. We cannot deny the fact that the political climate has fanned the flames of extremism. It’s not a coincidence that the largest gathering of white supremacists in twenty years is happening right now or that it led to an act of domestic terrorism. Trump’s leadership (or lack there of) has opened the door to incendiary extremist beliefs. As a result, a young woman has died. This is scary stuff.
So what do we do?
Change the political climate and stop this madness by electing new leaders. November 7th is our first opportunity to tell the world that Virginia is for Lovers and there is no place in our Commonwealth for hate.
So what can you do?
Mark your calendar, November 7th. Bring yourself and two others to the polls. Make your voice heard in your family, your community and let the people you care about know you want Virginia to be for Lovers, not haters. YOU have the power to unseat the Trump-ists in District 18. Vote Tristan Shields.