As a computer engineer, Ben is a professional problem solver. He learns about the needs of his community and then crafts practical solutions to those problems. The 17th District is large, covering six counties/municipalities and creating a diverse set of needs to improve the community. Ben knows that the needs of Louisa County do not perfectly match the needs of Fredericksburg City and his plans match those differences.
Ben has spent the last two years learning from voters in the district, and his policies reflect those conversations. He is proposing simple, practical solutions to help better the lives of everyone in the 17th District. During his first term in office, Ben’s three key focuses will be on:
- Education: Education is the foundation of our society and Ben believe we need to expand access and opportunities to everyone in the district. To achieve this, he will:
- Invest in trade schools to provide more opportunities for recent graduates and those pursuing a career change.
- Support Universal Pre-K
- Raise teacher pay to make sure that Virginia retains and recruits the best teachers.
- Fund special education opportunities to make sure that every student has a quality education.
- Make college more affordable to make sure that students are not buried in debt for seeking a higher education.
- Trust our teachers and get rid of the SOLs.
- Healthcare: In 2018, Virginia was able to expand Medicaid, helping thousands in our district gain access to critical care. Ben believes that it is crucial that we build on that victory to provide better.. Ben will work to:
- Get rid of work requirements for access to Medicaid and expand Medicaid to include dental, vision, and mental health.
- Combat the opioid crisis by funding harm reduction, needle exchanges, providing first responders with NARCAN, and by treating addicts instead of locking them up.
- Expand mental health coverage for Virginians by increasing school counselors and psychologists, better funding our Community Service Boards, and combating the stigma against mental healthcare.
- Support rural healthcare through more funding for free clinics, exploring license reciprocity, advancing telemedicine, and reforming our Certificate of Public Needs laws.
- Lower drug prices by reforming our drug patent system.
- Infrastructure: To foster a strong economy and help expand access to everyone, we must repair and expand our infrastructure. Ben will:
- Expand broadband by providing grants to communities to lay fiber, build cell towers, establish municipal services, or undertake public-private partnerships.
- Fix our roads and bridges through more investment in VDOT.
- Relieve traffic congestion using smart driving technology.
- Invest in public Transportation through expanding the VRE.
- Provide more affordable housing through funding the public housing trust, expanding zones of opportunity, and cutting back zoning restrictions.
These are just the start to Ben’s proposals. You can learn more by exploring his issue pages, which provide more detail on his plan. If you have any other questions please reach out to our campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org!