(Note: Will primary vs. Mansimran Singh Kahlon)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/danicafordelegate/
My platform consists of three key issues: transportation, economic development and education, all while working to make Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth.
The top issue we face in the 13th district is fixing Route 28 so morning rush hour isn't unbearable. It was awful in 1992 and it's awful today. It's time to change it.
My proposal calls for the NVTA reallocating the $300 million it's set for improving the I-66/Route 28 intersection so the money moves further south for other improvements -- like widening 28 to six lanes just south of U.S. 29, removing stop lights where appropriate (and the residents find useful) and coming up with multi-modal transportation options so people aren't stuck having to only choose vehicles -- if the private conglomerate likely to install tolls on I-66 follows through on its pledge to put $300 million into the I-66/28 intersection. That means we can fix the roadway without raising taxes; it just takes political leadership to accomplish it.
I've also called for extending Godwin Drive to Centreville through public right-of-way easements as long as it is constructed in an environmentally sensitive way near Bull Run and does more good than harm for the residents who live near there.
While we can make a ton of improvements to Route 28, the road will remain clogged every work day morning if we don't bring high-paying jobs to Prince William County, specifically in the Innovation Technology Park area of Manassas.
To do that, we need to find a cost-effective way of extending the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) westward from Broad Run (near Manassas Airport) to Innovation, which will allow the county's Economic Development department officials to better marker Innovation and will give commuters an alternative to driving to the area.
That's why I'm calling for a first-of-its-kind study, which I think should be conducted by Virginia Tech and funded in part by the state government, to examine best practices for rail engineering, design, construction, implementation and maintenance in Europe and Asia so we can identify inefficiencies and bring down rail costs in a safe way. For example, labor unions are much stronger in Europe than here yet our project costs are more expensive. We need to determine why that's the case with a conclusive, data-driven study and implement what we learn from it.
With mass transit running to Innovation, we'll have the ability to be more competitive in the recruiting process for defense and tech jobs that we're currently losing to Tysons Corner, the Research Triangle in North Carolina and so many other places.
By bringing in more businesses, we can expand our commercial tax base so we can get closer to a 75-25 real estate tax to commercial tax split in the county instead of the roughly 85-15 split it is now. That will allow the county government to not rely so much on the residents for tax revenue, which means we'll have more money to fund capital improvement projects at our schools and raise teacher pay so their salaries aren't the lowest in Northern Virginia.
By redirecting our focus away from exclusionary and discriminatory social issues and toward the three core issues in the county, we can deliver results for our district residents and improve their quality of life.
To do that, we need to be a more welcoming commonwealth, one where our residents are valued for who they are, not singled out because of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other inherent identifier.
I'm campaigning as a practical consensus-builder whose legislative role models growing up were Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-29) and Del. Harry Parrish (R-50). You didn't have to agree with them on every issue to respect them and acknowledge the results they delivered for their communities.