Dr. Dawn M. Adams holds a life-long passion for helping people achieve what each of us most desire from life: secure and healthy lives for ourselves and our families. Over her years as a resident of District 68 and as a nurse in Virginia’s healthcare system, Dawn has witnessed first-hand the struggles and heartbreak caused by poverty, inadequate living conditions, and limited healthcare access and coverage. As your Delegate, Dawn will work tirelessly to ensure that members of this community and that all Virginians achieve these basic and important goals.
Healthcare coverage for all just makes sense. We can provide lower cost care to more people, addressing the opioid crisis, providing more comprehensive mental healthcare, and ensuring that all citizens receive the preventative medical and dental care that will keep them healthy while reducing the costs associated with chronic illness, and Emergency Department utilization for minor illnesses. The issues we face in Virginia are not unique to our state, but we can improve how we care for one another. No one wants to see people sick, hurting, or dying. The fact is health is our most important asset. It is plain common sense to do what we can to keep people well. In Virginia, we are fortunate to have so many resources at our disposal. Did you know that Virginia is the 8th richest state in the nation but ranks 47-49th in how we provide health related services? We can do better!
All children deserve a good education. Education is the foundation from which children can dream and young people can aspire to be the person they were meant to become. Strong public school education creates strong adults. Teachers are critical to the success or failure of our students. We need to ensure that they have freedom in the class to teach their students in ways that make sense for their students. We need to pay teachers fairly and provide them resources and supports to keep students engaged and in the classroom. We need to re-assess the funding formula for schools so that the burden of financing our schools falls not to the locality but is provided by the Commonwealth in accordance with our Constitution. We also need to work toward creating ways to eliminate the crippling burden of student debt that will allow young adults to leave home and start a life of their own.
In Virginia we are fortunate to have a relatively low unemployment rate. But there is much work to be done to create good paying jobs and ensure that second career Virginians have the opportunity to use their skills in new ways. By creating healthy communities, funding our public school system, and ensuring our graduates aren’t strangled by debt, we can ensure that our community continues to thrive. Those who have seen their jobs move or disappear must be re-trained, and Virginia must lead the way in the type of job growth that will sustain our future and not wait for a forced hand. We can create jobs to support the projected workforce shortage in healthcare, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, install state-wide broadband and develop more jobs to meet our energy needs such as solar and wind power installation.
2016 has ushered in a new concern for civil liberties. We cannot let fear and misunderstanding drive backward the protections and security of marginalized communities. Whether members of the LGBTQ community or members of the immigrant community we must remember that this is America. This is the country that made our ancestors long for the freedom of life liberty and pursuit of happiness that would afford them opportunity and a shot at the American Dream. There can be no freedom for any of us, if there is not freedom for all of us.
Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful country in the world. We are surrounded by the pristine splendor of our mountains, green forests, expansive ocean and beautiful array of lakes streams and rivers. We must keep the protections that afford our kids and families the opportunity to drink clean water, breathe fresh air, and play in green spaces free from debris and contamination. We are fortunate in our district to have the James River run through our backyards, we must continue to keep this scenic resource open for recreation and clean for use.
Virginia’s 68th District lines have often been described by a former candidate as resembling a “sleeping moose.” Our district, like many districts in Virginia, suffers from a self-selection problem. This means politicians, from both parties, have deliberately defined district lines in order to help them become, and remain, elected. This practice of gerrymandering corrupts the ideal that state districts must be representative of equal populations. As advocated by Virginia 2021, I support the creation of an independent and impartial commission tasked with drawing district lines that capture the true makeup of our communities. Additionally, I believe that for this commission to be effective, it must complete its work in a wholly transparent and honest manner.
When our federal agencies implement strong public policy to ensure its citizens are protected from the greed or short cutting of big businesses, it is called regulation. Appropriate corporate regulation can positively influence our economy, our environment, our health care and more. However, over regulation can stifle innovation and hurt our community. As delegate, I aim to find the right balance between maximum impact and minimum waste when applying regulations on local and large-scale corporations. By establishing the proper balance on corporate regulations, we are able to protect both ourselves and our community while enabling businesses to thrive.
Growing up there were two mantras in my head, one from my father,” Common sense ain’t too common” and one from my mom, “We get more done by 9am than most people do all day.” My father was a Coast Guard Officer, his Scottish parents worked until they were near 90 at labor jobs and public service. My mom was a registered nurse, raised by an Irish-American Naval officer and an Italian immigrant who loved America so much she refused to speak Italian, much to the chagrin of her proud father.
Though we differ politically, we share many of the same values, and I grew up with the work ethic of my parents and grandparents. Common sense in my mind was a mandate, and it is why I do my best to think through situations thoroughly. Spending money you don’t have, or don’t have a path to attaining, makes no sense, and when you do spend money, buy the best you can afford so that it will last.
As a Democrat, I have often heard the term “tax and spend liberal.” This is NOT me. I believe in working hard and getting paid fairly for the work. I believe that everyone should have “skin in the game” even for things like healthcare, because outcomes are better when people are invested in something. I believe we can change spending priorities and reduce costs rather than raise taxes in order to fund education and affordable accessible healthcare. I believe in campaign finance reform. I also believe “people should put their money where their mouth is.”
If you look at the information from our Democratic primary in June, you will see that I have done just that.
My team was made of 100% volunteers, most of us working full-time jobs. We knocked on 7,000 doors and left literature at all of them, sent out four mailers, and used multiple methods for ensuring that our message got out to the Democrats in District 68. All of this costs money, and when you divide the total cost of your campaign by the number of votes you receive, you get cost/vote. For the Dems, the average cost per vote was $12.96. The highest cost was $26.42, but our cost was $3.51, making it the second lowest cost per voter, and at the same time we the highest number of individual votes of any candidate in the primary facing a Republican opponent in November 2017.
When you hear anyone try to go toward this characterization of me, look at the facts. Then look at how they are spending money and ask yourself, do you want someone who throws money at a problem, or someone who works hard and utilizes their resources to the fullest extent to solve a problem?