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Victory for VOICE: Nearly 1,600 VOICE Leaders Pack Election Forum with Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Mr. Gillespie (R) and Lt. Gov. Northam (D)

Sounding the Call for "We the People" 

On Sunday night, nearly 1,600 Metro IAF Virginians from 58 VOICE congregations and schools throughout northern Virginia secured commitments from Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Mr. Ed Gillespie (R) and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D) to raise Virginia's felony larceny level, increase support for public schools and the Housing Trust Fund, fix Washington's crumbling public transit, support DREAMers and convene law enforcement and educators to end hate crimes and bullying. Leaders and Clergy from all different faiths and ethnicities packed a Prince William County high school auditorium and reignited the call for "We the People," a building of the citizen power required to demand action on its statewide Election Agenda, to forge alliances across the political and economic spectrum to move on these issues, and to compromise where necessary to create change.

Gubernatorial Candidates Gillespie and Northam committed, if elected, to meet with VOICE at least twice a year, including before the state budget is formulated. Both candidates also pledged to attend listening sessions to hear issues faced by WMATA metro workers, teachers, DREAMers and others in the community. VOICE will have 400+ volunteer leaders on the ground doing non-partisan Get out The Vote (GOTV) work in four low-voting districts in Fairfax and Prince William Counties between now and Election Day to increase voter turnout by 5-10% in targeted precincts. All eyes are on Virginia. As a bellwether state, the outcome of this election will be pivotal for what is to come nationwide.

VOICE’S ISSUE AGENDA
 
Issue #1: Leading the Nation in Reducing Discrimination, Hate Acts & Bullying
1). Zero tolerance for discrimination, hate and bullying; 2). Strengthen reporting and increase training; 3). Implement the best of the 2018 recommendations from Governor's Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
 
Issue #2: Restorative Criminal Justice
1). Increase the felony larceny level from $200 to at least $1,500 and change misdemeanor law for 1/2 ounce of marijuana; 2). Dismantle school to prison pipeline and invest in young people.
 
Issue #3: Public Education
1). Tackle achievement gap by creating a pilot specialized grant program for Title 1 schools; 2). Address teacher shortage crisis; 3). Increase access to Pre-K for low-income 4-year-olds.
 
Issue #4: Reliable Transit
1). Ensure our Washington Metropolitan Area Transit is an affordable, reliable, and equitable transit system; 2). Uphold Metro's middle-class jobs. We need more good jobs in our region, not fewer.
 
Issue #5: Housing That is Affordable for Workers & Families
1). Support building affordable housing on publicly owned land (local, state, and federal) and increase the VA Housing Trust Fund from the current two-year $8 million allocation.
 
Issue #6: Immigration
1). Support keeping families together! There are 74,000 kids who are US citizens in VA that have a parent who is undocumented; 2). Support DREAMers by convening Virginia US Delegates, Senators, VA CEO's who employ DREAMers, NOVA Superintendents, Educators, VA denominational leaders & DREAMers to hear first-hand why DACA is critical.
 
 
 
Content Date: 
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 14:33