Issues: Working Families
Lily wants to make the 41st District a place for folks to thrive in all stages of life. That includes students, working families, parents, and our seniors. Here’s her vision for working families:
Paid Family & Sick Leave
Right now, 1 in 4 private sector workers (1.2 million Virginians) have no access to even a single paid sick day. Too often, this means they are forced to go to work sick because they can’t lose the income, which puts everyone’s health in jeopardy. These workers also risk losing their jobs if they take time off to care for a sick family member or have a baby. This is plainly wrong. Many states have passed their own laws to ensure that workers are guaranteed paid sick leave; Virginia isn’t one of them. When Lily is in the House, she'll will work hard to change that.
Universal Childcare &
Virginia faces two parallel crises in childcare: we have an affordability problem and we have an accessibility problem. It’s not uncommon for local families to spend more than 40% of their income on childcare. When you factor in the rising cost of housing, you can see precisely why working families with kids are hurting. At the same time, 2 in 5 Virginia families live in a childcare desert; even if they could afford care for their kids, there’s none available in the area.
Excitingly, the General Assembly has taken some important steps to help kids and their parents get the care they need. In 2016, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation launched the mixed delivery preschool pilot program to address issues of both affordability and accessibility. It has had great success connecting more families with affordable care in their area. Every kid deserves high-quality care, and as your delegate, Lily will work to protect and expand this important program.
Over the past several years we’ve seen housing prices spiral out of control to the point where many Virginians can no longer afford to live in the communities where they work. This is especially detrimental for people who work in professions that benefit from strong community ties: teachers, police officers, health care workers, social workers, etc. We work hard to build our communities, and we should be able to enjoy the communities that we’ve built when we’re not at work. That’s why Lily supports policies to help reduce the initial costs of buying a home for first-time and low-income buyers.
Lily wants to clear out the red tape that makes it hard for affordable housing to be built, and she'll look closer at innovative strategies for converting vacant commercial properties (like malls) into homes. The costs of homeownership should be more affordable by consolidating existing programs to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and resilient, to repair and improve their houses and to make it easier for seniors to age with dignity in their own homes, if they choose.