Tilly Blanding believes every Virginian should have access to high quality, comprehensive, and affordable healthcare. As a society, we should look out for the health and welfare of people with disabilities, veterans, the elderly, children, and under-served populations.
Tilly fully supports expanding Medicaid in Virginia to cover roughly 400,000 Virginians currently without affordable healthcare options. Medicaid expansion would also create roughly 30,000 jobs across the state.
Standing up for Women
Tilly will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose. She applauds the Virginia Board of Health’s decision to scrap regulations that would have required abortion clinics to adhere to the same regulations as surgical centers. These oppressive and unnecessary regulations would have forced many clinics to shut down.
She will be a tireless advocate for equal pay for women and for more effective protections for victims of domestic violence. As a social worker for Fairfax County, Tilly understands that creating safe havens for families and their children is a priority, and will work to protect the most vulnerable in our state.
The Economy and Worker’s Rights
As a Fairfax County employee, Tilly was an active member of her union SEIU Local 512, and continues to be active to this day. Last year she lobbied and marched in Richmond with her union to raise the minimum wage to $15 in Virginia. Tilly also will fight for paid sick days for home care providers – a right they currently do not have.
As a social worker, Tilly knows how important it is to keep families in their homes when they are facing tough financial times. She will support legislation that helps working families by ensuring that relief is provided to those facing hardship or foreclosure.
Tilly also understands the need to ease the burden on working families so that they have the opportunity to move into the middle class, an opportunity many across Virginia do not have.
Since Tilly was 13 years old, she has been fighting to expand access to the ballot box and make it easier for all citizens to vote. While in Richmond, Tilly will work to remove Virginia’s voter suppression laws, like photo ID, and push for voter reforms. Legislation allowing early voting and online voter registration are essential to increasing access to the ballot box and improving overall voter turnout.
Justice and Equality
Virginia should join the twenty states and the District of Columbia that enacted statutes that protect against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment in the public and private sector.
Tilly is committed to replacing the school-to-prison pipeline with fair and insightful policies geared toward correction of behavior rather than rote punishment. Virginia’s juvenile justice system currently incarcerates our kids at a 75% higher rate than the rest of the nation. Tilly supports and will build upon community-based rehabilitation reforms begun under the McAuliffe administration.
She will fight for reforms to the criminal justice system that reduce racial disparities. The cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration destroys future for too many Virginians and deprives our communities of hopeful, productive citizens.
Early Childhood Education and Family Services
Children who do not have access to early childhood education start off behind their peers when they enter Kindergarten. All kids should have access to the same educational opportunities across Virginia.
As a social worker, Tilly was instrumental in founding the first three Family Resource Centers in Fairfax County. These centers provide low-income families and children with free computer access, something many do not have at home but a resource that is critical to ensuring our children succeed in school. Tilly will advocate for and support legislation that increases the availability of such services so that no child falls behind because they lack the resources to succeed.
Protecting the Environment
Virginians want clean water, clean air, and a healthy climate. In Northern Virginia, protecting our water, our air and climate should start right in our communities. We should be investing in our existing communities first to improve pedestrian and bike access, to provide safe routes to school and address storm water problems.
“Think globally, act locally” is more than a slogan. Tilly will support legislation that addresses environmental concerns in our communities; laws can improve the quality of water running off into the Chesapeake Bay, the air we breathe and reduce climate change.
Whether it is supporting more transportation choices in how we get around or fighting utility monopolies to provide expanded solar energy, Tilly’s objective as your Delegate is to protect and enhance our quality of life right where we live.
Military and Veterans
As a former military spouse who has a son currently serving in the military who has been deployed three times, Tilly understands and strongly supports military families living in Virginia. The Active Duty military and their families are the unsung heroes in our society. They make sacrifices that others do not experience; for example, military personnel sometimes experience frequent long and short separations from their families. That means that the remaining spouse has to manage the family affairs alone with support from friends and the community.
Tilly has volunteered with the Wounded Warrior Program and she believes that as a society, we owe it to the men and women of the armed forces to honor them for their service. Our state should provide as much support services as we can to ease the burden of servicemen and women and their families during and after their service to our nation.
When a service member’s active duty obligation is over and they return to civilian life, sometimes the physical and emotional wounds of their active service remains. Because these dedicated patriots sacrificed so much to protect and maintain our freedoms and way of life, Tilly believes that Virginia communities should do all it can to aid these veterans who need help. Virginia should:
- Support efforts to improve and expand veterans access to healthcare.
- Support research and rehabilitation services for our disabled veterans.
- Encourage and support Hire a Vet Programs.
- Support programs to train veterans for the jobs for the new economy.