Elizabeth's Priorities for the 45th District
A more effective voice to deliver needed policy change and resources to residents of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax
As Delegate, Elizabeth will work to ensure a high-quality education for all our children, starting at birth.
Early Childhood: The first three years of a child’s life are crucial for brain development and we must make sure every child has access to a quality and affordable early childhood education starting from birth. This is critical not only for the future success of our children, but to support working families given the unsustainable costs of infant care in Northern Virginia. On City Council, Elizabeth has expanded access to early childhood education through additional funding and supporting zoning changes to help increase supply. As your Delegate, she will work to expand early care and education in our communities.
Equity-Focused K-12 Education: All of our students deserve a quality public education. We need to set all students up equally for success, including students with disabilities. Elizabeth will work to ensure all of our schools have the resources necessary to educate our children, including safe buildings, new books, and small classroom sizes. Additionally, she will work with teachers, parents, and other education professionals to ensure our kids transition back to five-day-per-week classroom instruction as quickly as possible while following CDC guidance. Students must also have access to apprenticeships and vocational programs that provide alternative pathways to middle-class jobs.
Teacher Pay & Training: A quality education starts with our teachers. It is unacceptable that Virginia ranks last in average teacher pay compared to the average pay of citizens. We must invest in teacher training and ensure our teachers are paid good salaries.
Childhood Hunger: Children cannot learn if they are hungry. Elizabeth supports expanding universal school meal programs and increasing the nutritional quality of meals served. On City Council, Elizabeth has expanded outreach to residents regarding SNAP benefits and personally managed the preparation and distribution of free school meals during COVID.
Economic Opportunity for All
In Richmond, Elizabeth will work every day to ensure our economy is fair and works for small businesses, families, and individual workers.
Paid Leave: 55 percent of working adults in Virginia are not eligible for even unpaid leave to care for themselves or a loved one. These policies disproportionately affect people of color, especially women. Elizabeth believes every worker deserves paid family and medical leave to care for themselves, a loved one, or a new family member.
Tax reform: Our tax code is skewed towards the already wealthy and big corporations. As your delegate, Elizabeth will work to ensure our tax code helps our families and small businesses, and that big corporations pay their fair share.
Small Business: Small businesses are a crucial part of our economy, and Elizabeth knows we have to invest in small business owners, especially during times of crisis. As your delegate, she will work to ensure Virginia is a welcoming place to start and grow a small business, and she will work to ensure better outreach and opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
Racial and Social Justice
Our Commonwealth’s legacy of racial oppression and inequitable practices and policies have created unjust disparities for Black and Brown members of our community across all measures of well-being, including health and wealth.
Systemic racism has pervaded our institutions since Virginia’s founding and we have significant work to do to dismantle white supremacy. We need to make sure our government is providing equitable opportunities and access to healthcare, education, housing, transportation, and economic opportunity, and that our work to fight climate change is environmentally just.
On City Council, Elizabeth hired Alexandria’s first Racial and Social Equity Officer, established a behavioral health co-response program, supported the creation of a strong Citizen Police Review Board with subpoena power, increased the supply of affordable housing, and worked to expand public transit.
Elizabeth works directly with women returning from the criminal justice system and recognizes that while the General Assembly has made significant steps towards reform, much more is needed. As your Delegate, she will work to abolish mandatory minimums, end cash bail, reform pre-trial detention, increase funding for public defenders, limit citizen interactions with the police and the criminal justice system, and ensure voting rights.
Too many of us feel the impacts of outdated or insufficient infrastructure in our day-to-day lives. Elizabeth will work to modernize and expand our infrastructure, including transportation, sewers, and housing.
Transportation: Elizabeth knows we need to modernize our transportation infrastructure and invest in public transportation. As Chair of the Virginia Railway Express, she leads one of the largest commuter rail systems in the country, which effectively removes one lane of traffic from both 1-66 and 1-95/1-395 during rush hour. In Richmond, she will continue to work to improve transportation options and mobility for all Northern Virginians.
Housing: Northern Virginia has an affordable housing crisis. On City Council, Elizabeth has increased funding for affordable housing and expanded the number of affordable units created. However, Richmond limits local authority regarding what can be required of developers. As your Delegate, Elizabeth will work to provide localities additional authority, tools, and funding to preserve and expand affordable housing.
Flooding: The combination of outdated sewer infrastructure and climate change with increasingly more intense and frequent storms has had disastrous consequences for too many residents. As Vice Mayor, Elizabeth has accelerated stormwater capacity projects to reduce flooding and advocated for increased federal funding. As your Delegate, Elizabeth will partner with local governments to fix our flooding issues
Climate change is not only a national emergency, but is also a state and local emergency. Elizabeth will build on her significant progress to fight climate change at the local level as a member of the General Assembly.
On City Council, Elizabeth is one of the Co-Chairs of the Eco-City Steering Committee, sponsored a Council-passed resolution declaring a climate emergency, and amended the revised Green Building Policy to ensure that all new buildings built by the City will be net-zero in carbon emissions. She also supported the development of a local commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program, a tool that helps encourage commercial property owners to make energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on commercial property.
As your Delegate, Elizabeth will treat climate change like the emergency it is and work to ensure a just transition towards 100% renewable energy. She is not accepting campaign contributions from any public utility companies or their lobbyists.
Paid for and authorized by Elect Elizabeth Bennett-Parker
107 S. West Street #152, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
All photographs on this website were taken prior to the outbreak of COVID-19