2019 State Legislature Candidate Questionnaire

Creigh Deeds - Virginia Senate District 25

In three sentences or less, why are you running?
I am running because I want to make a difference in our community and improve the lives of the people I represent. It inspired me to run in the first place and inspires me still today. I want to continue the work I’ve begun, like reforming our statewide mental health system, ensuring fair redistricting, and reducing our reliance on standardized testing, because it’s important to our district and our state.

What would be your first priority in the General Assembly if elected?
The first priority is to elect Democratic majorities to the Senate and the House of Delegates so we can make progress on so many critical issues. Specifically, we will pass the Equal Rights Amendment and enforce equal pay for equal work. We will protect women’s health by incorporating the provisions of Roe v. Wade into state law. We will raise the minimum wage to $15, modeled after the legislation proposed by Representative Bobby Scott at the federal level. We will make the earned income tax credit refundable to lift low income people out of poverty. We will pass legislation to prohibit discrimination in housing and employment. We will adopt common sense gun safety legislation such as a universal background check and a red flag law. Personally, I look forward to continuing my work to build a public system of mental health that delivers care to people in need regardless of where they live. We have made strides in recent years, but we still have much work to do.

Other than that, what do you see as the three most important issues for this district in the General Assembly?
The 25th Senate District is diverse in terms of wealth, economic opportunity, and landscape. Despite those differences, the fundamental issues each locality - and the entire state - face share common threads. We need to continue investing in K-12 and higher education so that our young people have the tools they need to compete in the workforce. We need to improve the standard of living for our workers and create more opportunities in rural areas, so people can afford to live and work in their own communities. We need to emphasize a multi-modal approach to transportation so that people can get from place to place conveniently and maximize the use of public transit, rail and bicycles. We need to expand rural broadband to encourage telework and grow small businesses. We should strive for opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth.

Have you accepted any money from a corporation or a corporate PAC, or will you in the future?
Since 2016 I have neither solicited nor accepted money from Dominion Energy or Appalachian Power because of concerns over the negative environmental impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the perception of impropriety. I am proud that contributions have never clouded my judgment. My record shows that I have been consistently pro-consumer, and my votes have been independent of my contributions. With that said, Virginia has some of the laxest campaign finance laws in the country, and I support prohibiting contributions from public service corporations as a first step in reforming those laws.

According to the world’s leading scientists, we have 12 years to take action on climate change. Will you vote in support of legislation that requires a transition to 100% clean energy resources by 2035?
Yes.

UVA recently announced it would be paying every employee at least $15 per hour starting in January 2020. Do you support raising the minimum wage in VA to $15/hour?
Yes.

What will be your first legislative priority to address gun violence in Virginia?
I have introduced legislation the past two years to give localities the ability to restrict the open carry of firearms in public spaces and during public events. I intend to introduce that legislation again. However, we also need to adopt universal background checks, restrictions on the sale or possession of assault style weapons, and a red flag law.

Will you support legislation that allows a special driver’s privilege card to be issued by the DMV to undocumented immigrants in Virginia?
Yes.

Will you support legislation that allows localities in VA to decide whether to remove or modify Confederate monuments in their jurisdictions?
Yes.

What experience do you have in organizing in and supporting local communities?
Before I was in elected office, I was a member of the Southside Concerned Citizens in Pittsylvania County and knocked on doors to raise awareness about the potential development of a uranium mine in the area. During my service as a Commonwealth’s Attorney in Bath County, a member of the House of Delegates, and as a state Senator, I have worked with any number of groups from each of the localities I represent and from throughout Virginia to support a variety of causes. Some of the most important have been housing initiatives in Albemarle County and in the Alleghany Highlands, and environmental issues in Rockbridge and throughout the district. One of the first issues that I was involved in when I was elected to the House of Delegates was reclaiming the Kim-Stan Landfill in Alleghany County. I worked hand in hand with a community action group that grew organically in the Selma-Low Moor area of Alleghany County to clean up that landfill, which was eventually declared a SuperFund site. I’ve worked with local chapters of the Ruritan Club to start a medical clinic in my community, support little leagues, and clean up our streets. I have continued to work closely with local advocacy groups as a legislator to inform my decisions and learn how I can best serve my constituents.