ON THE

Issues

Good government is about protecting the rights of every individual and seeking the good of our neighbors.  That’s what it’s all about.  

 

Mark is a husband, father, foster-parent, and attorney.  In his legal work and experience with the foster care system, he understands the on-the-ground struggles of everyday Virginians.  He wants to bring balance and principle to Richmond, so that our families, businesses, and communities can flourish.

Mark's "For the Kids" Agenda


As a foster parent and attorney who has served as a guardian ad litem for children in tough situations, Mark understands the real hardships facing Virginia's kids and is focused on tangible solutions. He has concrete plans to make sure every child in Virginia has a stable home, never goes hungry, and has a strong education. STABLE HOMES Reform Our Foster Care System 1. Expand Support for Kinship Families 2. Place more Kids with Families and Less in Group Homes 3. Work to End the Aging Out Phenomenon NO CHILD HUNGRY 1. End the Grocery Tax 2. Have Schools Create a Plan to get Excess/Wasted Food to Shelters and Food Banks STRONG EDUCATION 1. Keep Schools Open 2. Parental Involvement and Parental Choice 3. High Academic Standards and No Politics in the Classroom




No Casino


Richmond does not need a casino. Casinos very often lead to a variety of social costs — more addiction, increased crime, and wealth extracted from already vulnerable communities. The casino industry commonly over-promises and under-delivers. The promises of economic development and job growth made by casino proponents commonly go unfulfilled. I urge Richmonders to oppose the proposed casino. Delegate Dawn Adams took money from the gaming lobby and then voted to allow a casino in Richmond, leaving her constituents to clean up the mess. We need new representation.




Jobs and Economy


It is time to re-open our businesses and get our economy moving again. People should be allowed and encouraged to get back to work so they can provide for their families and enjoy the dignity of good work.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. We must do everything we can to create a pro-business climate, which includes resisting tax increases and burdensome regulations. Especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be lifting burdens on businesses, not adding them.

Both Mark and his wife Mary work in small businesses, so they understand the challenges and needs that need to be addressed.




Public Safety


Ensuring public safety is a core function of government. We must support and fund law enforcement, to ensure responsiveness and effectiveness. We owe our law enforcement better training, better funding, and better support — it makes everyone safer.

While we should always seek to improve and innovate our policing, we should never bend to the calls to defund the police. We can both support our law enforcement, while also insisting on accountability and transparency. We must re-build trust between police departments and communities.

Our criminal justice system should both keep the public safe, as well as provide a road to redemption for offenders. Mark works as a criminal defense attorney, both in private practice and has taken court-appointed cases. This has given him an up-close and personal look into our criminal justice system. He also worked on prisoner re-entry initiatives inside state government. These experiences have equipped Mark to tackle these issues going forward.




Healthcare


We need to focus on real solutions to healthcare. We need easier access, better quality, and far more transparency, achieved through a market driven approach that drives down cost. Giving choice to consumers should always be a top priority.

Mental health and addiction must also be top priorities. Sadly, many families know the tragedies that result when we fail to address these issues. As a criminal defense attorney and foster parent, Mark understands how these issues, if unchecked, can lead to untold damage to families and our communities. We must proactively address these issues.




Strong Families and Strong Communities


Without strong families, we cannot have a strong Commonwealth.

We need a renewed effort of partnerships between state government, non-profits, the faith community, and local governments to ensure the strength and stabilities of our families. Alleviating hunger, driving down the cost of healthcare and childcare, ensuring good family/maternal leave policies, lowering tax burdens, fighting human trafficking, expanding education choices, keeping our streets safe — all must be a part of a robust effort to support the bedrock of our society — working families.




COVID-19


Early in the pandemic, Mark volunteered to participate in an early-stage vaccine trial because he wanted to do his part to help get us through this crisis. He encourages people to get the vaccine. Together, we'll get through this.




Education


We need to support and improve our public schools. Better pay for teachers, smaller class sizes, and improving school infrastructure should be our top priorities. At the same time we’re strengthening our public schools, we should encourage a diversity of educational options. Parents know that children aren’t one-size-fits-all, so neither should our education system be a one-size-fits-all. Parents are in charge of their kids' education and should always have a say. The closure of schools and slow re-openings has hurt families and students. These have been particularly burdensome for many working mothers and students with special needs. We must keep all schools open, for the sake of our kids and families. We also must address the significant learning loss that has taken place during the pandemic.