Innovative Solutions

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Cheryl Buford

“I ask for your vote for the House of Delegates. With your support, I will thoughtfully work across party lines to solve the challenges that Northern Virginia families face – creating jobs, finding practical solutions to our traffic problems, making sure the education of our children is a top priority and supporting our social entrepreneurs who tirelessly lift up those in need.”

Plan to

1.) Secure funding to widen the American Legion Memorial Bridge, and a higher overall share of transportation dollars for the 34th. We currently only receive a tiny fraction of the funds we send to Richmond.  It is time to leverage our contributions for better, more efficient transportation infrastructure.

2.) Support the District’s localities as well as various transportation boards, authorities, and nonprofits who are coming up with innovative solutions to our transportation crisis without being properly engaged by the government.

3.) Strengthen our oversight of Metro. With multiple accidents over the last two decades due to deferred maintenance, they need to be held accountable for neglecting their duty to maintain facilities: these are tragedies that could have been avoided. Further, in Metro’s haste to expand they have failed to adequately provide for commonsense needs such as affordable parking that prevent greater use of the Silver Line.

4.) Eliminate onerous regulations that are constraints on the Commonwealth’s business sector. Small business creates more jobs than any other sector of the economy and must be allowed to thrive.

5.) Ensure any new regulations imposed on the business community by government agencies are accompanied by an economic impact statement.

6.) Embrace private businesses, innovators, and everyday Virginians who pursue their dreams: they are the economic engine of our Commonwealth, and those who have been most impacted by the downturn here over the last four years.  This will require expanding the collaborative efforts between local business leaders, chambers of commerce and legislators to promote economic growth.
7.) Redesign our state mandated curriculum and testing requirements. Today’s schools operate much as they did in the 1970’s. We need to be preparing our children for work and life in the 21st Century by taking steps like expanding computer science and other STEM instruction. Further, streamlining the Standards of Learning tests to focus on Freshmen and Sophomores while centering on core competencies like English, math, and the sciences would provide Juniors and Seniors more opportunities to pursue career-related coursework, apprenticeships, internships, or dual enrollment classes. These programs give students the opportunity for broader and more varied learning experiences and to learn more industry-specific skills in their chosen career path.

8.) Reinvest a larger percentage of the tax revenue generated by Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in our schools. This includes fighting for an increase in the Cost of Competing Adjustments in order to retain the experienced, high-performing faculty and staff that parents and students in the 34th deserve.  It also means supporting the District’s vibrant and diverse population by fighting for greater funding from Richmond specifically for English as a Second Language classes: every student in the District deserves the tools to succeed.

9.) Reduce red tape and bureaucracy in our schools mandated by Richmond politicians who have never taught in a classroom. More and more of our tax dollars are going to support bureaucrats in offices instead of pupils in the classroom.
10.) Vary the approach being taken to address this crisis by working with law enforcement, the judicial system, healthcare professionals, and the nonprofit sector to develop comprehensive solutions that address all facets of this epidemic, from prevention, to treatment, and recovery. We cannot arrest our way out of this crisis.

11.) Verify that funding mechanisms are optimized to ensure existing funds can be allocated as quickly as possible. This includes encouraging the use of navigators to help nonprofits and other charitable institutions on the front lines provide treatment to individuals suffering from addiction and mental health issues.  It is imperative that care is available to those seeking help, when they ask.  A week’s wait can make all the difference in treatment and recovery. However, it is only through proper funding that same day services can be expanded for those seeking help with addiction recovery and mental health disorders.

12.) Vocalize that this is very much a problem we in the 34th District are facing: this crisis is affecting our friends and neighbors right here in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. We must work to educate our middle and high school students, teachers, and parents about recovery from addiction and offer intervention at the earliest opportunity. Further, the empowerment of the recovery community with an emphasis on peer-to-peer counseling and mentoring, which are showing the most promising results in helping addicts get clean, will help address this epidemic.
13.) Eradicate MS-13: there are signs of considerably increased gang activity in the 34th District.  This group preys on the most vulnerable among us and we must make every effort to protect them.

14.) Educate our teachers and students with stronger gang prevention education programs.

15.) Engage nonprofit and faith based organizations to mentor susceptible teens. As well as further allowing for the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force to carry out its mission by providing it adequate funding.