Top Priorities for Henrico
Improve Henrico Schools
Henrico County schools are one of our region’s greatest resources, and our state universities are consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Mary Margaret is committed to working with local schools, colleges and businesses so students graduate from high school and either enter the workforce skills-ready or continue their education without accumulating crippling student debt.
To keep our schools strong, we need to invest in recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. Our assessments of students, teachers, and schools should be relevant and measure progress against appropriate benchmarks. Mary Margaret will look at opportunities for schools to partner with non-profit organizations to support students in a variety of areas including mentoring and reading.
A cookie-cutter approach to education does not work. Mary Margaret recognizes that different students have different needs and having an array of educational options enhances our ability to meet those needs.
In addition, Mary Margaret feels we must avoid adding more burdensome mandates, which often result in unintended and undesirable consequences. Trusting local school districts with greater discretion in scheduling and staffing, with appropriate oversight, can relieve budget pressures while maintaining adherence to approved and uniform standards.
Mary Margaret believes that by bringing educators, families, businesses and community groups together, we can create the best outcomes for students.
Increase Access to Quality Healthcare
For many Henrico families, having access to affordable and top-quality healthcare is difficult or unattainable. Other Henrico families may have coverage, but they face rising costs each year.
Mary Margaret believes we need to preserve what is working in our healthcare system, while also pushing for policies that expand access and reduce costs without requiring a complete government takeover of our health insurance system.
We can do this, and Mary Margaret's guiding principles on healthcare are:
1. Protect patients with preexisting conditions.
2. Support measures to increase access to care, while working to reduce costs to patients and taxpayers. Medicaid is the fastest growing item in the Virginia Budget, and for individuals, the cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing. Mary Margaret is focused on finding innovative ways to address these and other cost issues.
3. Oppose "Single Payer,” "Medicare for All," or any other complete government takeover of healthcare proposals for Virginia as it will result in the inevitable elimination of private insurance coverage, restrict access to the doctor of your choice, and weaken the top-quality healthcare available in Henrico.
Improve Quality of Life
Henrico is one of the best places to live in Virginia, and Mary Margaret believes there are opportunities to continue improving the quality of life for our citizens. To accomplish this, Mary Margaret believes:
1. Henrico must remain “open for business” and sustain an environment that is welcoming to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. This business-friendly environment will spur job opportunities across all fields.
2. State and local leaders must work together to manage growth and ensure proper planning continues in Henrico. Mary Margaret will work with leaders across the aisle to manage growth and ensure common concerns such as school overcrowding and transportation safety are addressed as we continue to grow.
3. Our children should never feel unsafe in our community whether on the playground or online. As a mother of two, Mary Margaret is committed to ensuring our law enforcement agencies are given all of the tools that they need to protect families.