Mark on the Issues

Expand Affordable Health Care

Mark believes it is right to expand Medicaid, require mental health parity, and institute paid family leave (click here to learn about Mark's Paid Family Leave Bill). Every Virginian deserves affordable health care.

 

Protect Women’s Rights

Mark has a record of taking on right-wing extremists to protect women’s reproductive freedom, and will champion legislation to guarantee equal pay for equal work. He supports the Equal Rights Amendment. Mark has written bills to protect survivors of domestic violence and their children (click here for details) and he will continue his work to end the scourge of violence against women.

​As Legislative Counsel to Congressman Barney Frank, Mark fought to make Plan B (the “morning-after” pill) available over the counter, and to challenged Republican attempts to outlaw late-term abortions – even when the mother’s life or health was in jeopardy.

 

Improve Education

As the son of a first-grade public school teacher, Mark believes that universal Pre-K is the foundation for all education. He believes in reforming Standards of Learning tests to emphasize critical thinking instead of teaching to the test. Mark thinks college must be more affordable by incentivizing institutions of higher education to stop runaway tuition increases.  Mark also thinks it is important to expand broadband internet access in rural Virginia, click here for the details.

 

Help Struggling Families

No full-time worker should be living in poverty. Mark believes it is time to raise Virginia’s $7.25 minimum wage and increase the $2.13 minimum wage for tipped workers. He wants to expand access to affordable housing, and fight to shut down predatory pay-day lenders, click here for his bill details.

 

Take Action Against Climate Change

Mark supports investment in clean energy and green jobs. He knows our dependence on fossil fuels is bad for both the environment and, ultimately, our economy, and supports off-shore wind farms. He demands transparency and accountability from Dominion Power to protect the public interest.

 

Support Unions

Mark knows that union jobs pay better and are safer and can be counted on to stand in solidarity with workers trying to organize. Mark will always defend the right of workers to organize for better pay and working conditions.

 

Fund Transportation

Mark advocates for Northern Virginia transportation dollars remain here to improve our roads, bridges, and mass transit.  Click here to learn more about Mark's bill to protect transportation funding.

 

Take on the NRA

Mark wants to require universal criminal and mental-health background checks and to ban high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. He supports re-instituting the limit of private gun purchases to one per month.

 

Advance Civil Liberties for All Virginians

Mark wrote the law that brought marriage equality to Washington, D.C. in 2010, and then defended that law in court to stop a referendum on the civil rights of same-sex partners. Mark is a long-standing champion for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to make sure that LGBT Virginians are not discriminated against for whom they love.  Click here for information about Mark's bill, the Virginia Human Rights Act.

He fights to reverse GOP voter suppression that disproportionately effects poor, young, elderly, and minority voters. Mark believes we should make it as easy to vote as possible, with same-day registration, extended, no-fault absentee voting, and automatic registration when citizens sign up for driver’s licenses.

 

Body Cameras for Police

Mark supports requiring Virginia police to wear body cameras to assist in gathering evidence, protect the public interest, and ensure the safety of citizens.  Mark's body camera bill was supported by the Sheriff's Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and the NAACP (click here for details).

 

Reforming our Criminal Justice System

Considering our underfunded school system and the disastrous futility of the drug war (especially in minority communities) Mark strongly believes it is time for a re-thinking of our priorities. Mark supports the legalization, commercialization, and taxation of marijuana, so Virginia will stop spending millions of dollars locking up non-violent adults for smoking marijuana.  Mark sought to compromise this year and introduced a bill legalizing medical marijuana, click here for more information

 

Ethics Reform

While the recent ethics reform in Richmond was a start, there is much more work to be done to mitigate the influence of corporate and special interests in our Commonwealth. Mark is on the record as saying our current system, in which campaign contributions are unlimited, allows for “legal bribery.”

Mark also supports public financing for campaigns, so candidates and elected officials can focus on talking to constituents, not donors.