Small Business and Economic Growth
While growing up, D.J.’s father was a information technology engineer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. For him, small business wasn’t just a concept, it was something that put food on the table for the family. D.J. believes that our state government must create policies that make Virginia one of the best states to start, grow, and innovate through small business. As America experiences economic disruption due to technology in the digital age, D.J. will fight to make sure Virginia is not only prepared for the future of work, but leading the way in agri-business, entrepreneurship, innovation, vocational trades, and job creation.
Virginians are taxed at nearly every stage of life, from birth until death. D.J. believes that our state government should adequately fund basic core functions, especially public safety and transportation, but should keep taxes as low as possible to allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money and build wealth that lasts generations. D.J. will advocate for a tax code that is simple and consistent, and not full of special tax breaks and preferences for favored corporations and special interest organizations.
Virginia is one of the states with the highest per capita veteran populations in America, and the 31st District is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the state. Although D.J. never served in the military, he grew up in Tidewater, Virginia with a family of more than a dozen individuals who served in uniform, mostly in the Navy. D.J. is grateful and proud of our military, and is committed to honoring the promises this nation has made to our veterans and their families, such as health benefits and educational opportunities. D.J. is committed to ensuring that Virginia is one of the best states for taking care of those who have worn the uniform and their families, throughout their life.
D.J. believes education is one of the most important factors that leads to upward mobility and opportunity for families across Virginia. There are no Republican schools, or Democrats schools; there are only schools. To help the next generation compete on a global stage, every child in Virginia deserves to have access to a high-quality public school, no matter their family income or zip code. Virginia must ensure that taxpayer money is spent on the classroom and paying our hardworking teachers, and less on bureaucracy. State government must also realize that our children and families are diverse and may have uniquely different educational needs, and therefore deserve to have access to diverse ways of learning that work best for them, including homeschooling and other options.
Human Dignity & Life
D.J. believes that all human life has dignity and worth, no matter the age, size, race, or socioeconomic status. D.J. is committed to a state government and community that encourages charities and nonprofits to assist people in need of assistance at every stage of life, from the elderly to those facing unplanned pregnancies. A society that does not protect its most vulnerable members is a society that believes that some lives matter more than others; in Virginia, we must avoid this type of culture.
Foster Care & Human Trafficking
Virginia ranks high in the nation for supporting biological families with children who are at risk of being placed in foster care. However, Virginia ranks very poorly for foster youth who age out of foster care without a permanent family situation. Children in foster care are among the worst for falling prey to human trafficking – nearly 60 percent of child sex trafficking victims have a history in the child welfare system. As a foster and adoptive parent, D.J. has a great passion for child protective services and improving the lives of children in foster care. For four years, D.J. served on the State Board of Social Services, which oversees the Virginia foster care system. He believes that Virginia should ensure that law enforcement, public schools, social services, charities, and the business community must work together to serve foster kids, and also prevent vulnerable children from being trafficked.
The cost of healthcare delivery and complexity of payment is a major problem for many Virginians. But rather than pursue government-run healthcare, Virginia should work to address the root issue: the massive growth of healthcare costs. To make healthcare more affordable, D.J. supports a number of reforms that improve physician and facility connectivity, streamlines care delivery, incentivizes wellness and prevention, and reforms drug pricing regulations. D.J. also believes that Virginia should be at the forefront of breakthrough research and innovation to find cures for disease and illness.
D.J. has commuted to work inside-the-beltway nearly his entire adult life (since 2002 to be specific). He has experienced first-hand the stress of traffic congestion, and the unnecessary amount of time away from family. D.J. believes government should be limited in its core functions, but what it performs, it must be done well. Transportation is one of those core functions of government that must improve in Virginia. D.J. believes we should be forward-thinking and comprehensive in how we address our traffic congestion. We must move beyond partisan finger-pointing and work together on solutions that involve enhanced bus transit, rail, road construction, more tele-working options, and even the relocation of federal offices.