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:
Virginia needs an economy that works for working families. Studies show that family-friendly economic policies are some of the best investments governments can make. Too many Virginians have to make impossible choices between keeping their jobs and caring for a new baby or a sick family member. Policies like paid family & medical leave and guaranteed sick days would make a profound difference in the lives of so many working families. That’s why Lily will always be a champion for policies that make it possible for folks to both stay in the workforce and take care of the people they love.
Our economy should allow everyone to build a sustainable future for their families, regardless of their background or zip code. As a person from a working-class family, Lily’s seen the challenges that working people face as they try to make ends meet despite stagnating wages, especially in rural communities. Part of building a family-friendly economy is making sure that people who work a full-time job can earn enough to provide a good quality of life for their families. Lily will work hard to ensure that Virginians’ wages keep up with the cost of living. She’ll also prioritize addressing the statewide crisis of affordable housing, which is keeping so many working people from achieving the American dream.
Lily knows how helpless it feels when a loved one can’t get the care they need. Mental health crises and substance abuse disorders skyrocketed during the pandemic. As more and more people sought treatment, it became clear that even in the best of times, Virginia’s systems for mental health care have been overloaded and under-resourced. And these are not the best of times. Seventy percent of Virginia’s localities don’t have enough mental health professionals to meet demand, and we have a chronic shortage of beds for people in crisis who need emergency services.
Lily was a driving force behind Del. Sam Rasoul’s initiative to revamp and reinvest in Catawba Hospital. Following a 2022 study, the facility is slated to become Virginia’s first-of-its-kind substance use disorder and addiction recovery center.
Lily will focus on the immediate, short-term solutions that will help make things better for folks who need services and mental healthcare providers. Those include modernizing the systems we use to connect people with services, reallocating assets to better serve children and adolescents in crisis, and eliminating bureaucracy and red tape that makes it hard for mental health care providers to be reimbursed would all help shore up our existing system. As a delegate, Lily will fight to strengthen and expand our mental health resources until no Virginian faces barriers to getting the help they need.
We know that when states invest in their public schools, everyone benefits: student achievement rates increase, the dropout rate goes down, the crime rate goes down, and students go on to earn higher wages over the course of their lifetime. Despite this evidence, Virginia has been systematically underfunding our public schools for decades, and we’re now ranked 41st in the nation for public school funding. In addition, when compared to other full-time workers, Virginia pays its teachers less than any other state in the nation.
As a former Teach for America teacher, Lily understands that if we want the next generation of Virginians to succeed, we’ve got to reverse these trends. As your delegate, she’ll fight to make sure that every kid in Virginia has access to a world-class public school. She’ll work to ensure our teachers are paid what they deserve, every school has basic resources like books and broadband, and our kids have the tools they need to thrive in a 21st century learning environment.
Lily’s views on healthcare are simple: She believes that sick people should be able to see a doctor without the fear of going bankrupt. She also believes that every Virginian should have access to affordable, quality healthcare regardless of where they live, the color of their skin, or how much is in their bank account. Lily believes women should have bodily autonomy when it comes to their reproductive rights. These shouldn’t be radical ideas, but in reality, they’re goals that our system has never truly achieved.
When Virginia expanded Medicaid in 2018, more people were able to see a doctor close to home, people’s health improved, and costs actually went down.
Our system is still far from perfect–we need to make sure medical professionals have incentives to practice in rural areas, we need to better integrate mental health care, and we need to shore up protections for reproductive rights. We have the tools we need to help more Virginians get affordable, accessible coverage, and Lily will be a strong voice for that work in the House.
Air & Water
Lily is one of the few candidates in Virginia who spearheaded climate legislation and has existing relationships with environmental stakeholders. She helped pass legislation directing the state Board of Health to measure and set maximum contaminate levels of cancer-causing “forever chemicals” in Roanoke’s drinking water.
Lily also understands the corrupt public utility conglomerates that rig the system against ratepayers at the expense of our environment. She’s an avid anti-pipeline advocate and pledged not to accept Dominion contributions.
For too long, leaders ignored reality and refused to take action when confronted with the mounting evidence of climate change. Lily will spend the rest of her life dealing with the consequences of their inaction. We no longer have time to bury our heads in the sand: climate change is real, the threat is growing, and we’re already feeling its effects. The good news is that with bold, visionary leadership, we can take real steps to help mitigate the impact of climate change and make sure we do everything we can to keep it from getting worse.
As your delegate, Lily will prioritize the preservation of our environment, whether that’s protecting our clean air and water, helping small farmers switch to regenerative farming techniques, helping keep deadly “forever chemicals” out of our ecosystem or helping the fossil fuel industry make a just transition to sources of green energy. Her generation led the way in raising awareness about our changing climate: it’s time to start putting people in positions of power so we can take action.