Candidate for WV House of Delegates District 51
Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP 2020 Questionnaire
A. How do you plan to improve access to health care and public health information for minority communities in West Virginia?
West Virginia has one of the highest rates of comorbidity in the nation, with many suffering from diabetes, COPD, hypertension, heart disease and more. Prevention and early intervention are key to addressing health concerns. I plan to improve access to healthcare by advocating for more primary care physicians and funding in widely visited locations to help West Virginians figure out where to go for help.
B. In what ways should police departments and bystanding police officers be held accountable for their officers’ violent acts and misconduct?
The movement around reforming and restructuring police departments is growing, and there are a great many ideas to consider, including: forming citizen review committees; mandating additional police academy trainings, and ongoing professional developments to address how to respond to mental health crises; policies that require public notice and approval from a citizen review committee before an officer convicted of misconduct can apply to another police department; suspension without pay while allegations are investigated; write-ups and repercussions for officers who participate in hate speech; and potential loss of retirement and pension for those who commit egregious acts of misconduct.
C. In what ways have you fought discrimination that targeted people of color either in the workplace or in the community?
As a woman of color, I have faced discrimination in my workplace and community more times than I can count. I have fought discrimination that targeted people of color by attending court hearings, assisting with complaint letters to the Human Rights Commission, attending the Law Enforcement Professional Standards subcommittee meetings, introducing the Crown Act during legislative session, introducing the Law Enforcement Transparency Board, and supporting legislation to “ban the box” on job applications related to past felony convictions. I will continue efforts to introduce legislation that create equity among all West Virginians.
D. What actions will you take against voter suppression?
In order to combat voter suppression, we must first improve voter education. A voter must understand their rights in order to exercise them, and they must be educated on various elected officials—from the national down to the local levels—in order to better understand you their vote can create change within their community. Increased efforts to register people to vote must be encouraged at every opportunity—at the DMV, high school events, upon release from a correctional facility, etc. More work should also be done to increase voter options—providing election day off, expanding mail-in voting, same day registration/voting, increased polling locations, etc.