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Opinion – Democratic policies have made Virginia less safe

Last week’s news was filled with violence and bloodshed all too close to home.

Central Virginia saw a rash of murders unlike anything in recent memory over the Independence Day holiday weekend. Nine people were killed in 8 separate shootings in 48 hours. The killings were not related, but reflect the frightening trend of rising murder numbers in Virginia. This is a sign that the low-crime period we’ve been used to has come to an end.
In 2020, Virginia reported 537 killings — a rate of 6 per 100,000 residents. That number was last seen in 1998, at the peak of the violent crime wave. Police say they expect the trend to continue over the summer.
For those of us old enough to remember that bad old days when Richmond was the murder capital of the nation, it’s a terrifying reminder.
The common thread isn’t the pandemic or skyrocketing gun purchases. Rather, it’s the combination of anti-police rhetoric causing police to pull back on proactive policing, and the release of thousands of criminals from jail due to COVID.
Democratic policies have made Virginians less safe. I will work with other Republicans to change this course and make our streets safe again.

Educational Standards

From the school board in Loudoun County to the Department of Education, Democrats aren’t listening to parents. Whether it’s the adoption of Critical Race Theory, “antiracist” curricula, or detracking math, parents don’t want their children held back in search of “equity.”
Parents want their kids to get the best possible education — and that means tracked, advanced math course for grades 8 through 12. It means keeping advanced diplomas as an option for high-achieving students.
Democrats in the Department of Education say these programs won’t be ended, but “changed’ in an effort to advance “equity.” Democrats are angry that not every student achieves to the same level, and want to have different standards for every student.
In the end, this pursuit of “equity” doesn’t ask students to live up to high expectations — it lowers the bar until they can clear it. Students who aren’t doing as well for one reason or another should be aided. Higher achieving students should be celebrated, and standards held high.

Voter ID

In recent weeks, Democrats at the national level have flipped on voter ID. Democrats in Virginia continue to be proud that they repealed it, and now anyone can vote with no ID whatsoever.
Del. Hala Ayala, the Democrats choice to be our next Lieutenant Governor, tweeted this week that she was proud to abolish voter ID in Virginia.
A recent poll found that 80 percent of Americans support photo ID — including large majorities of the minority groups Democrats say are oppressed by ID requirements. Other Democrats argue that they did not repeal voter ID, only photo ID. Yet anyone can cast a regular ballot by simply filling out the Statement of Identity form.
Virginians should be able to cast a ballot knowing that someone else hasn’t cast one in their name. I will continue fight to have this law repealed in Virginia so that every voter is required to show a photo ID to vote.

I appreciate those who contact my office and hope you will continue to reach out when we can be of assistance.  The best way to contact me is via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or by calling 434.696.3061.  You can also send mail to PO Box 1323, Victoria, Virginia 23974.