Door Cards

New Campaign Lit! So exciting. I know that everything I do has a certain ‘look’ to it, so I got Grace to design these. Turns out, Grace and I have kind of the same ‘look’ to our stuff. These are called rack or palm cards, depending, and will be showing up on doors all over Gloucester, Essex, Mathews, Middlesex, King and Queen and King William starting today (8/3)! The amazing Grace made me a big fat list of everyone in the 98th not known to be voting for the other guy, so I will be running errands and knocking doors today! Also, we need $$ for a couple more cool things, so DONATE, please.

The Platform:

Wonderful Head shot by Sam Fatima

Healthcare: I’m tired of waiting for the federal Government to get its act together. With Medicaid expansion, Virginia has a small enough number of uninsured that we should be able to come up with a solution as a state.

Drug prices are nuts, I’m linking to a website run by a group of drug manufacturers, so keep that in mind as you read it. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) are only part of why medication costs to the CONSUMER are high and unpredictable. The Commonwealth can and should act. My proposal is a single formulary, administered by the Commonwealth. Possibly not something that would be needed permanently, but healthcare is not a free market and right now everyone except the insurance companies and the PBMs are getting hosed.

PBMs are running the independent pharmacies out of business. Part of the goal of a state formulary, would be protecting independent pharmacists from these predatory practices. Rural areas especially need independents. When we needed help at the free clinic, we didn’t go to CVS or RiteAid, we went to Gloucester Pharmacy. I want to keep my opponent in business, just not in the General Assembly.

  • The end goal should be healthcare free at the point of service. No deductibles, no co-pays. Ask the Canadians, the UK, Australia, NZ, they all think we’re insane.
  • Drugs aren’t included in that in some systems, they are in others.
  • Germany and/or Switzerland may have the system that is the best model for us, but they both involve more cost-sharing at the point of use than the others. (They also have much higher minimum wages, think about that before you jump this way.)

Education

Smaller classes, the best data there is shows that classes between 13 and 17 students per teacher can play a large role in closing the gaps in education disparity. It makes the biggest difference to the students who need it the most. We need to reform school funding statewide, but it is important to set out the goals. It’s not fancy schools (although those are nice) it’s enough teachers…

Higher teacher pay. In 2010 two Princeton scientists released a study that showed an increase in happiness with an increase in income up to the level of $75,000*. After that, more money didn’t buy more happiness. Teachers, who we entrust with the future of our nation, make an average of $65,300 with their masters.

Free Meals for all Students: The way people eat has changed, and whether or not I approve of it, I want children to be well nourished and unashamed at school. I support free, healthy, breakfast and lunch for all students, and teachers if they eat with the students.

Random School:

  • Get rid of the SoLs, NOW. Stop paying Pearson one red cent.
  • Let principals and teachers select their evaluation tools.
  • Evaluate students only to establish who needs help at the inflection points, third and ninth grades.
  • Give greater autonomy to principals, and less to districts.
  • Evidence based science education starting in kindergarten.
  • School gardens at every school that are part of the meals, small animal husbandry, and large where appropriate.

Infrastructure

  • Conversion of the public monies into private profit is the besetting governmental sin of our time.
  • Rural broadband is going to take public investment in publicly owned infrastructure. We need to put conduit in as we repair roads. We need public fiber to communities and then let small businesses take it the last mile. The cost of entry into the ISP business has risen so high we have defacto monopolies. Let’s lower that. Usage fees from the ISPs can recoup the cost and keep the program going.
  • Roads (and bridges), instead of frittering away that $551.9 million surplus on small tax refunds, we could have used it as a capital fund for the roads. Using years of plenty to buttress against lean years is economic management so old it’s biblical, but the GOP can’t manage it. We’ve gotten behind, we need to catch up and get ahead before the next lean time.

Democracy

  • Non-partisan redistricting – OneVirginia2020 has a reasonable plan. It isn’t the one I would have created, but it’s done, it will work well enough and it’s passed the GA once, I will vote for it if elected.
  • End routine disenfranchisement – I was born in Vermont and raised in Maine, the two states that practice NO disenfranchisement for felony convictions. I remain horrified that we count their bodies towards representation but deny them the vote. Here is a short explainer on the subject. It would be a start to have automatic restoration of the right to vote upon release from jail, AND enfranchising individuals who have moved here from more restrictive states. eople on pre-triaPl detention and jailed for misdemeanors have the legal right to vote. Lets have voter registration and civic education in jail. Might help with recidivism.
  • Accessible Voting – Vote by mail, early voting, automatic registration, repeal ID laws, ranked choice voting. I would pass a law allowing localities to use universal vote by mail if they wanted (with allowed in person at the office), and a law requiring ranked choice voting in any state run primary with 3 or more candidates. Ease into both.

The other side….

Great Logo by Kristen (Hansen) Copson, formerly my high school classmate in Smithtown on Long Island, NY. Now owner of go dog go! Design in Queensland, Australia.

Additions to the biography my mother was born in Richmond, mostly a librarian, my father was an Episcopal priest. I spent my junior year in Nepal (1989-90) doing Tibetan Language and Culture studies.

I was a Maternal Child Health Volunteer in the Central African Republic (1992-94). I went to Iran for 3 weeks in 1998 with a medical school classmate.

During the 2000-2001 academic year, I travelled around the world and was a medical student in hospitals in France, New Zealand, Nepal and Palau.

I work for the Health Departments in different cities when they are without a provider doing Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Infections diagnosis and treatment.

I just started part time with the South Eastern Virginia Health System and when the doctor I am covering for in Suffolk comes back from his heart operation, I will be staffing a clinic for the Homeless in Newport News 16 hours a week.

Waiting tables was the best preparation I ever had for life, and I recommend it to all future doctors. I just came off the Gloucester County Public Library Board after 10 years (term limits), and I am on the Three Rivers Healthy Families Community Advisory Board.

Henry

This is the dog in question, who needs to be walked. Henry was running loose on the streets of Hampton, when I opened the Health Department door, he came right in.

Jamestown, Immigrants, and Ancestors

I want to say some things about a recent statement by Tommy K. Norment that “thousands of immigrants travel hundreds of miles, risking live and liberty, to come to America, but Virginia Democrats refuse to travel to Jamestown, the site of this nation’s birth.”

First, many of the Democrats who are declining to attend next week’s ceremony celebrating the founding of the House of Burgess, precursor to our current General Assembly, are Black. They are not the descendants of immigrants, they are the descendants of people who were stolen from their homes, and deprived of their liberty. The same house of Burgesses that we commemorate in 1622 instituted inter-generational slavery by declaring that all children of slave mothers would be enslaved and in 1691, required that free blacks leave the colony or be re-enslaved. It would be meet and right to listen how Black people feel about this anniversary. I don’t assume every Black person feels the same; I sure know that all non-Black people don’t. Some people may have no thoughts about it, and some may not want to share those thoughts with you. Ask, but don’t push.

Second, the land wasn’t empty when we got here, uninvited. I’m not saying we’re going to give it back, but we should at least be honest about it and acknowledge that our gain in this case was somebody else’s loss. Their descendants still live among us. Consider saying thanks? Or at least being a little more understanding when they want to share in the nation’s bounty? And for goodness sake, don’t try to tell them about your Indian Grandmother.

Third, I’m descended from those early folks at Jamestown; as far as I understand they came with the goal of making a fortune. The fact that they did it a long time ago doesn’t make them better or worse than people arriving on our borders today. (See Second) We changed the asylum laws after WWII for good reason. Most of the people coming are legal asylum seekers.

My best friends at Dartmouth Medical School
Mirna and Toska, Sarajevo and Tehran

Fourth, and lastly, as the birthrate of US born women of all ethnicities continues to fall, are we going to be a nation of immigrants, or are we going to be a nation like Japan, so afraid of the ‘other’ that we slowly die out?

Mirna is a Pediatric Hospitalist she takes care of kids on the Neurology and Neurosurgical Services at an academic hospital in New York City.
Toska is Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist formerly at the preeminent Children’s Hospital in Southern California, now with Kaiser.
I’m the underachiever of the bunch, I’m a General Practitioner and I work for the Virginia Department of Health.

Why. the. hair?

I have been using a picture of myself from 2017 with brown hair, because it is the picture I had available. Now I have an excellent headshot thanks to Sam Fatima at http://samheadshots.com and it’s time to talk about the hair.

It’s blue. VERY blue. Why?

First, I turned 50. My grandmother lived to be 100, but I’m realistically about half way done with my life. it’s a good time for thinking about what I have done and what I have left undone. My skin isn’t going to get any younger and someday my hair will turn grey, so if not now, when?

Second, my give-a-damn is busted. Some people will be surprised to find out I ever had one. But I did, and it’s busted. We have a President I wouldn’t have in my house as a dinner guest. We are abusing children who come to our borders and raising the next generation of terrorists. There are people have decided that their desire to own military style weapons is more important than the lives of children. There are people trying to take us back to the bad old days before Roe v Wade when rich women went to Puerto Rico and poor women died for abortions. And I cannot do anything about it.

Third, well, I can be petty. I was told I had to dye it back to a “normal” color to be taken seriously. I served in the United States Peace Corps and graduated from an Ivy League medical school, heck with ’em.

Last, my high school friend who now lives in Australia put it in the logo, and the logo is GREAT.

Why don’t people vote?

As we were putting the finishing touches on our non-partisan Third Party Voter Registration Training and Project ID orientation when I “discovered” a different problem.

Grace, my campaign manager, told me that there were 13,000 people in the district who had voted only once in the past ten years. I found that there are another 6,000 people who are registered, who have not voted once in the past 22 years. Some of these non-voters are young and haven’t had the chance to vote yet, but some are long term non-voters.

So I grabbed a bunch of names, and went to knock their doors.

It was a street I’d been down before and some of the people I’d knocked on their doors before. And I went to ask them why they don’t vote.

  • One didn’t vote because “I’m lazy, I guess”.  
  • Two were grandchildren who use their grandmother’s address for mail.
  • One was a woman who told me that it doesn’t matter.  Politicians never do what they say they are going to, and it never gets better for her.

I have some ideas for the first two, but overcoming the last one is going to take time with her one on one, and I don’t know how to scale that.

We’ll be doing personalized post cards, but I’m not sure that we will overcome that. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Candidate Announces

GLOUCESTER, VA- The Democratic Committees of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, Mathews, Middlesex, and the West Point and Sweet Hall  precincts of King William County met this past Saturday June 8, to select Dr. Elizabeth “Ella” Webster as their 2019 candidate for the 98th district of Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Dr. Webster is a 50 year-old physician and resident of Gloucester.  Dr. Webster is a 13th generation of her family to live in Virginia, despite being born in Vermont and raised in Maine.  She graduated from Dartmouth Medical School; she holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Drew University; and served in the United States Peace Corps in Central African Republic as a Child Survival Volunteer. She moved to Gloucester in 2006 and worked at the Gloucester Mathews Free Clinic. Since 2010 Dr. Webster has provided clinical services for the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Webster believes that government should look out for the individual, as corporations are capable of looking after themselves; and if they aren’t, they should be allowed to fail, which means uncoupling health care and pensions from employment.  

DR. WEBSTER’S POSITIONS- Universal health care is a possibility in Virginia without waiting for the Federal Government.  Choices about health care should be left to a woman and her doctor, Dr. Webster has professional experience with these times of difficult choices and thinks that the state needs to stay out of it.  Vaccinations should be free to the patient. Long Acting Reversible Contraception should be free to everybody with a uterus whether insured, or uninsured.

The best thing for the economy is a safe, well housed, well paid, well connected and well educated population: Create affordable rural housing, Raise the minimum wage, Facilitate collective bargaining, Make high speed reliable internet available throughout the commonwealth, End the school to prison pipeline, Implement police policies that have been shown to reduce officer involved shootings, and pass gun laws that have shown evidence of reducing gun related injury and mortality.

Democracy is the foundation, without it all else is meaningless.  Therefore, make voting easy: Automatic registration, Election Day as a Holiday, prepaid return for absentee ballots; and effective: Abolishing gerrymandering,  Ranked Choice Voting for state run primaries, and Rational districting (this starts with non-partisan re-districting.)

Dr. Webster supports the Stevens’ dissent on Heller v. District of Columbia.  

Please see https://www.facebook.com/Ella4the98th/ for her positions and policy proposals as they are published.  Dr. Webster will be campaigning as part of a regional group including Herb Jones who is running in the Virginia 3rd Senate; Stan Scott who is running for the Virginia 4th Senate; and Kevin Washington who is running for Delegate 97th District.

Gloucester County Democratic Committee

Annual Seafood Dinner

October 12, 2019