15 Suggestions for Arlington's General Assembly Representatives

- January 7, 2009

Social Justice

  • Raise the minimum wage in Virginia to level of a living wage ($11 per hour) set by the Federal Government and revise each year based on inflation.
  • Institute a universal health care plan based on the State of Massachusetts model
  • Allow Northern Virginia localities to provide domestic partners’ benefits on health and life insurance, and other benefits.
  • Reform the Virginia income tax system from its flat tax of about 5% currently to a progressive, graduated income tax with higher taxes on those earning more money and lower rates on those earning less income.

Environment

  • Halt the building of any new power plants in Virginia, including the $3 billion coal fired plant in Wise and a new nuclear $6 billion plant at Lake Anna. Require Virginia Dominion Power Company to begin a statewide conservation program through peak load pricing, technical assistance to business, commerce, local government, and individual consumers, to reduce their electricity demand.
  • Authorize $2 billion of bonds to be issued by the State of Virginia (to be repaid by a new modest tax natural gas, diesel and gasoline sales) on that will finance energy conservation and weatherization programs for public buildings and for individual residences.
  • Create with these funds 100,000 direct Green jobs in Virginia to install and retrofit public buildings and residences (plus 46,000 indirect jobs).
  • Halt the construction of new highways in the State of Virginia and shift these funds to urban bus, passenger train and subway systems, and fund a rail-line through the Shenandoah Valley for long haul freight passing through Virginia.
  • Require the State of Virginia DEQ to halt agricultural and industrial runoff that impairs the water quality of all rivers and streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Allow localities to ban or tax free plastic bags in retail establishments
  • Keep the ban on mining uranium in Virginia in place
  • Continue ban on oil drilling off the coast of Virginia

Housing

  • Authorize Northern Virginia jurisdictions to establish their own green building standards, and regulate more closely any new development including moratoria on residential tear downs, condo conversions, and requirements for inclusive zoning to retain affordable housing in areas of new development.
  • Fund $1 billion for affordable housing projects throughout Virginia.
  • Support homestead exemption –allow localities to permit local income homeowners to deduct up to 20% of the value of their personal residence from local/ and state real estate taxes