In this current political climate, the midterm elections are a pivotal part of how the government will run for the next couple of years. While the next presidential election doesn’t happen until 2020, the midterm elections will decide how the Senate and the House of Representatives will run and whether or not Democrats or Republicans will take charge of the house majority.
Virginia is one place where the midterms are kicking in high gear. On Oct. 4, Congressional candidate Elaine Luria came to campus to speak on her goals as a congresswoman. As a part of her visit to campus, she also wanted to get a student view on important issues that college students may have concerns about. Luria is running for Congress in the 2nd District. She is a former Navy veteran who served 20 years as a Surface Warfare Officer, and the owner of the Mermaid Factory in downtown Norfolk. During her years in the Navy, she commanded units of sailors in various guided missions. Throughout that time, she never let politics or anything else get in the way of doing her job well. When she decided to retire from the Navy in June 2017, she was determined to find a way to help the community that she lived in.
Through her visit to campus and other public experiences, she has clearly set goals that she hopes to accomplish in congress. She has three core values: security, equality and prosperity. For Luria, security means making sure children are safe in their schools, healthcare for all and preserving Medicare and Social Security. She hopes to do this by enforcing universal background checks for all gun sales and making sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare plans. Equality means equal pay for equal work and making sure that all people are treated fairly regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. The third value, prosperity, means having access to jobs with living wages, access to medical care and the preservation of the planet.
Luria also talked about the importance of protecting the environment and Coastal Virginia. Off shore drilling is one problem that she noted. With our area’s main form of revenue being tourism, an oil spill could be detrimental to the area’s economy. “We’re not going to move to solar or wind energy overnight. But it’s important that we make progress,” Luria said.
Another focus of Luria’s visit was to hear from students on what topics were most important to them. Some students brought up issues such as health care and student loans. Senior Brianna Brown asked Luria about her motto, “Be Good, Do Good Work,” which is something that is important to Luria and is clearly stated on her website. “That philosophy goes back to my time in the Navy,” Luria said. “It’s important to follow that motto to help people in our communities as well as in Washington.” Luria then went on to say that if you can’t put whatever you are doing into those two categories, you probably shouldn’t be doing them.
While election day is only a few weeks away it is clear that Luria sees herself as a strong candidate and has plenty of goals to achieve as the second District’s representative.