Below are questions about Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy’s (VICPP) likely 2020 priority issues. If two or more candidates in a district complete the questionnaire during either the primary or the general election season, VICPP will make the results available to people in the community via email, VICPP’s website, social media and in hard copies distributed at events in the district when able.

Economic Justice

1) Virginia has a crisis of wage theft – employers breaking the law and not paying workers all their legally owed wages. Do you support VICPP’s wage theft reform provisions:

  • Workers paid by the piece they produce (e.g. garment workers) are currently exempted from minimum wage in Virginia. Do you support piece workers being paid at least minimum wage?
  • Farmworkers are currently exempted from minimum wage in Virginia. Do you support farm workers being paid at least minimum wage?
  • Businesses with fewer than four employees are currently exempted from minimum wage in Virginia. Do you support workers at these businesses being paid at least minimum wage?
  • Workers can be fired for filing a complaint with the State when they do not get paid. Do you support protecting these employees against retaliation?
  • When workers do not get paid their legally owed wages, they are unable to have their employer cover reasonable attorney’s fees in court which drastically reduces their ability to recover lost wages. Do you support creating a “Private Cause of Action” so victims of wage theft can recoup lost wages in court?

2) Do you support Virginia requiring employers to provide full-time workers with five Paid Sick Days? Sick leave would be accrued each pay period, totaling 40 hours annually for full-time workers or a pro-rated total for part-time workers.

3) Virginia’s minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage, which has not been raised in 10 years – the last was July 2009. If the federal minimum wage is not raised by May 2019, which is unlikely, the minimum wage will have stayed the same for the longest period since the federal minimum wage began in 1938. How to you propose to raise wages for workers across the Commonwealth?

Welcoming All

4) Do you support creating a Driver’s Privilege Card for immigrants so everyone can be allowed to take the driving and vision test and be qualified to drive on Virginia’s roads?

5) Do you support passing legislation granting In-state Tuition for Immigrant Students who meet the same Virginia residency requirements as other in-state students?

Environmental Justice

6) What would you do to help Virginia address environmental injustice including disproportionate impacts caused by climate change and dependency on fossil fuels?

7) Low-income Virginians have a high energy burden, meaning they pay a disproportionate share of their income on gas and electricity. What would you do to reduce this energy burden?

Health Equity

8) Disease can easily spread from the mouth to the rest of the body, causing serious health complications for Virginians. Do you support adding dental coverage to the Medicaid benefit package?

9) One in seven Americans in households with children face food insecurity, which means they don’t know where their next meals are coming from. How could Virginia address food insecurity in the Commonwealth?

Racial Justice

10) Virginia’s history of racism and slavery has created enormous inequities in the state. What would you do to address racial inequities in Virginia?

11) People of color are disproportionately affected by mass incarceration. How would you reduce mass incarceration in Virginia?