IssuesPolicy Platform

Strengthening Education

As a longtime teacher and educational leader with a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy, I have a rare combination of policy expertise *and* practical classroom experience. I will work to make our public education system stronger and more equitable for everyone. Investments in our educational institutions are investments in our students and investments in our future. 

I support:

  • Making sure the Commonwealth fully meets its educational funding obligations.
  • Raising the salaries of teachers and ALL other K-12 public school staffers. Virginia is the 12th wealthiest state but ranks 32nd in teacher pay.
  • Bringing the SOQs (Standards of Quality in line with what it takes to properly educate our kids and fully funding any state-issued mandates. 
  • A state grant program for funding school infrastructure and facilities to modernize Virginia’s crumbling school buildings. 
  • Reversing disinvestment in our institutions of higher and continuing education and taking the financial burden of Virginia’s students and their families.

Protecting our Environment and Preserving our Natural Legacy

We must live within our energy means and preserve our environment for our children and grandchildren and take meaningful action before it’s too late. As a legislator, I will uphold my commitment to environmental justice, to passing legislation to conserve land and resources, and to connect protecting the environment to a focus on making renewable energy sources affordable and viable industries. I support:

  • Transitioning to renewable energy sources while making renewable energy sources affordable and viable industries.
  • Stopping new pipelines and gold mines.
  • Building our public transportation infrastructure.
  • Protecting vulnerable communities such as Brown Grove here in the 55th.
  • Exploring possibilities for establishing protective trusts for rural land.
  • Connecting the agriculture possibilities in the 55th with creating jobs that feature bio-friendly products.

Expanding Access to Healthcare

I believe that healthcare is a human right. I will work to ensure that we all have access to healthcare and that healthcare, treatments, and medications are affordable. As a mother of children with Type 1 diabetes and other disabilities, I know how important it is that ALL Virginians have access to the medications they need and access to medical health providers when they need them. I support: 

  • Lowering or capping prescription drug prices.

  • Expanding access to Medicaid.

  • Adequate funding and resources for mental health services including for substance abuse disorders.

  • Parity of mental health benefits and services with medical and surgical benefits and services

  • Instituting a medical debt relief program.

  • Decoupling healthcare from employment.

  • Building capacity for the provision of behavioral and mental health and medical disability services.

Connecting Broadband Access

In largely rural districts like the 55th District, it’s not enough to subsidize internet bills; we must establish full infrastructure for high speed internet. Without it, our students, families, and small businesses are really struggling and are at a disadvantage. I will do whatever it takes to help them and all residents of the 55th District to get broadband access. To start, I support increasing funding to the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative to help defray costs of broadband access. I will also push the electric utility companies in the 55th to do their part to provide broadband access.

Working for Community Justice

The people of the 55th District want to be treated fairly and want a public safety network that serves and protects them and that is representative of the communities it serves. I will work to remove current burdens on law enforcement agencies and shift them, with funding, to where they belong: mental health and social services. I support: 

  • Raising the felony larceny threshold.
  • Providing the option for civilian oversight of sheriff’s offices *and* city police departments.
  • Automatic expungement.
  • Ending or minimizing jail time for non-violent offenses.
  • Funding mental health services and interventions when appropriate in place of police involvement.
  • Treating drug use as a substance abuse & mental health (and not criminal) matter.
  • Promoting use of non-lethal force.
  • Ending the practice of trying children as adults. 
  • Shifting the burden of enforcing parking and traffic violation to a non-armed civilian agency.

Promoting Economic Fairness

ALL Virginians deserve to have access to meaningful employment that pays a living wage. ALL Virginians deserve to be compensated fairly for their labor and to have safe and humane working conditions. Furthermore, our tax dollars should not be subsidizing corporations that don’t pay a living wage and benefits and then rely on the taxpayers to support their employees. I support:

  • A $15 minimum wage.
  • Paid sick and family leave for all workers.
  • The right to collective bargaining for employees.
  • Repealing anti-worker laws.

Supporting All Families

I will enact policies that support families—a strong public education system, access to healthcare, fair compensation, including paid sick and family leave. Furthermore, I know, celebrate, and honor all kinds and types of families. Just because someone’s marriage or family is not exactly like mine doesn’t mean it should be invisible or be banned. I will value and represent ALL of my constituents of the 55th District, from all types of families.

Ensuring Gun Safety

We must support responsible gun owners while keeping ALL Virginians safe and fighting back against gun violence. Gun violence, deaths from gun accidents, and deaths by suicide with guns are a public health crisis. I support:

  • Funding programs and initiatives to educate and train people about safe gun use and to prevent gun violence.

  • Expanding background checks.

  • Giving families and law enforcement tools to intervene when there is evidence that someone poses a risk to themselves or others with a firearm while protecting due process.

  • Keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

  • Restricting dangerous assault weapons (semi-automatics and high capacity magazines) and ghost guns.

  • Restricting guns in sensitive places.

Enacting Equality for Women

Equal educational and employment opportunities for women are paramount as are

Access to healthcare and family planning resources. I support:

  • Women’s reproductive rights and their right to choose. 
  • Increasing resources and programs to prevent sexual, dating, and domestic abuse and violence, and to protect victims thereof.
  • Banning sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination.
  • Easy and affordable (or free) access to birth control and family planning, including high quality, affordable and accessible prenatal and childcare.

Fighting for Racial Justice

Racism is a public health crisis *and* a moral crisis. Racism is toxic and harmful to ALL of us. If some of us don’t have justice, none of us have justice. I will enact data-informed policies based on evidence with an eye on equitable outcomes. With racial justice, educational outcomes will improve, and our schools’ jobs will be easier. With racial justice, improved access to healthcare and better healthcare outcomes will come. With racial justice comes greater protection of our environment. With racial justice, Virginia will have a stronger economy.

Protecting Voting Rights

COVID-era voting policies that have made it easier for people to participate in the democratic process have been overwhelmingly popular in the 55th District. They have helped working people, immuno-compromised people, and older people, among many others, to participate in the democratic process, fulfill their civic duty and right to vote. I was raised in a home where civic engagement is expected, where voting is not just a right but a duty. I’ve never missed an election. I will ensure that my constituents never miss one, either, and will work to stop current disenfranchisement efforts. I also support:

  • Public financing of elections.
  • Ranked-choice voting. 
  • A full time legislature.

PoliciesSimplifying Tax Reform

I am a proponent of tax reforms, so that the Commonwealth is accessing every viable and reasonable source of revenue possible, while removing some of the burden on the working and middle classes.

Rachel Levy for Delegate
Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Rachel Levy 2021
PO Box 869, Ashland, VA 23005
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Paid for and authorized by Friends of Rachel Levy 2021