A holistic approach to business, education, & public policy.
The fourth district is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family, but there are major issues that jeopardize the quality of life and future growth for everyone. As a millennial, it is disappointing to balance the repayment of school loans, daily expenses, and endeavoring to grow a business in an environment that is not small business friendly. Many millennials now have a degree they can not use because the crash in the economy has demanded they get a higher degree. Daunted by adding more school debt, we have opted to start a small business and look to financial institutions or government entities for help - but we run into a brick wall.
Existing small businesses are also struggling in multiple capacities because our government has other priorities. This makes no sense!
EDUCATION and WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
A strong K-12 education is vital for the success of every student.Sadly, hundreds of students in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District are stuck in failing schools, putting them at a disadvantage when they begin applying for jobs or college. Of the 88 schools that were denied accreditation this year by the Virginia State Board of Education, 30 of them are located in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District and of those 30 unaccredited schools, 19 are in the City of Richmond. We must do better.
No two children are the same. Each child learns and grows in their own unique way, which is why decisions regarding their education should be made by the people closest to them, those who know them best. The U.S. Department of Education has done our K-12 schools a major injustice with its “one-size-fits-all” approach. Initiatives such as “No-Child Left Behind” and Common Core standards have been disastrous, causing our education system to fall behind internationally. Rather than providing one and only school option based on a child’s zip code, we can liberate our children, our teachers, and our families by finally allowing those with a vested interest make the decisions that are best for themselves. We must return the decision-making power over our children’s education back to their families and local governments by supporting school choice.
The current state of higher education in this country is frightening. America is facing $1.5 trillion worth of student loan debt, a figure that outpaces credit card debt and cripples the economic future of America’s youngest generations.
Despite being created with good intentions, the U.S. Department of Education’s involvement in student loan financing has backfired. Because colleges and universities are paid upfront by the federal government, college tuition has become more expensive than ever before. Without holding school administrations accountable for their tuition hikes, they have received a blank check to increase tuition and create massive debt on the backs of some of our most vulnerable students. To reverse the trend of skyrocketing tuition and student debt, we desperately need Congress to reform our approach to student loan financing and modernize our system with a focus on the jobs of the future.
small business growth and job creation
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our community. Out of the 24,000+ employers in the 4th District, 98% of them are small businesses with less than 100 employees. These small businesses employ more than half of the 4th District’s entire workforce. A competitive free-market drives innovation, keeps prices low for families, and creates jobs for our communities. But for our companies and small businesses to grow and thrive, Washington must stop putting roadblocks in their way. Harmful regulations and our broken tax code give big businesses and corporations an inherent advantage over new or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Growing up, I watched my mother chase the American Dream, working hard to build a life for our family as a small business owner. I followed in her footsteps and became a small business owner myself, quickly learning how government can stymie opportunities for small business growth and success. This is why I support regulatory and tax reform that will empower our local and aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace innovation and start their own businesses. Without reform, our economy will only continue to fall behind.
At its very core, America is and has always been a nation of immigrants, some of us blessed to have been here longer than others. As the daughter of immigrants from British Guyana, I have a profound appreciation for the opportunities we have in our country. America’s foundation presents been a beacon of freedom and hope that inspires billions throughout the world. In the America I know and love, anybody, regardless of their background or present circumstance can create a better life for themselves and their family. Our nation has a beautifully diverse society and economy, thanks to our individual liberties and free markets, but if America is to continue inspiring future generations of immigrants, it is essential that Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform to address our immediate needs with an eye toward our future.