Kevin Wade • Democrat For Delegate

On The Issues

Workers Rights

Virginia workers are losing the battle against ever larger and more powerful corporations.   The past 40 years have seen low and middle-class wages stagnate as salaries of senior executives in big corporations have soared.  The  Virginia General Assembly, for decades captive to big-money interests,  has allowed inflation to erode its minimum wage to well below poverty levels while many other states have raised their minimum wages, often to levels more than twice Virginia’s paltry $7.25 per hour.  Further, the Assembly has fostered a legal environment hostile to workers, enshrining laws consistently ranked among the most anti-labor in the country.  Virginia must raise its minimum wage as soon as possible.  It also needs to repeal its “right to work”  law and start enacting legislation that assures workers have a fair chance in their struggle to receive a decent wage.

Tax Reform

For Virginia, the top income tax bracket starts at $17,000.  This means that for every dollar they earn over $17,000, a working family struggling to make ends meet has to pay the same 5.7 percent in Virginia income tax that a family earning $100 million pays.  Virginia needs to restructure its income tax brackets to make sure the rich are paying their fair share and the burden on middle and low-income workers can be lessened.  Further, Virginia’s total taxes collected per capita are among the lowest of all the states, often putting a strain on state budgets.  So, beyond restructuring the tax brackets, we need to consider adding a surcharge on very high incomes to ensure we maintain the quality of Virginia’s schools, social services, and infrastructure.

Illegal Drugs

The war on drugs has failed. Not only has it failed to stop the current opioid addiction epidemic, but it has also filled our prisons with low-risk drug offenders at great cost to taxpayers.  Beyond this, it has fueled discrimination in our criminal justice system.   We need a new approach. Virginia should follow the lead of the majority of other states and move to legalize marijuana use.  In general, we should follow an approach to illegal drug use that focuses on preventing addiction, not just throwing offenders in jail.  Taxes and fees on legal marijuana use and savings from reduced prison populations could be directed toward treatment and prevention programs.

Women’s Rights

Every Virginia Woman has a right to decide what reproductive choices are best for her and her family political interference. That means having the right to prevent unintended pregnancies and to have true unimpeded access to safe abortions.

Environmental Issues

The science is there, we need to be responsible and invest in a greener future. Preventing the natural shift into a renewable era is stifling progress and growth. We need to invest in a greener, more sustainable, future and do our part, the debate is over, it is time for action.