Mary's efforts with Reston Strong's Neighbors In Tents campaign drew attention to the pressing issue of tent communities in Reston and Fairfax County. The campaign garnered media coverage from major news outlets like WJLA, FFX Now, and Patch. As part of the campaign, a proposal was made to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to implement zoning changes that would facilitate the use of existing and empty commercial buildings as transitional housing.
Mary is committed to ensuring that every family, whether a young family looking to buy their first home or a retiree wanting to age in place, has a safe and secure place to call home. She will use data collected on housing needs and collaborate with local advocates to ensure community input in planning, staying ahead of changing needs.
Mary will establish a mobile mental health unit in Reston to improve the response time of emergency mental health services, which are currently operating out of Merrifield. Mary's work on this effort began in 2021 when a young woman went missing in Reston while awaiting a psych evaluation for three days. Mary and Reston Strong located the woman in Montgomery County, where she was able to receive mental health assistance within an hour from the county's mobile unit.
Technology and Innovation
Mary's systems engineering background has equipped her with the essential skills and knowledge to effectively address a diverse range of policy issues related to technology. She is trained to communicate effectively between people with different skills to determine ideal solutions to problems. Her primary focus is on advancing STEAM education, transitioning to sustainable energy, and ensuring information integrity.
Mary is a strong advocate for sustainable energy and supports the Virginia Clean Economy Act and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), both program Governor Youngkin wants to eliminate. She understands the urgent need to transition to a more sustainable energy system in order to address the challenges of climate change and protect our environment for future generations.
Mary is committed to promoting the use of renewable energy sources, increasing access to distributed energy sources like rooftop solar, investing in clean energy technologies, and promoting energy efficiency measures such as EV charging stations. She believes that these actions are essential for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and creating a more sustainable energy future.
By prioritizing sustainable energy, Mary aims to create new opportunities for job creation, improve public health, and protect the planet for future generations. She recognizes that this transition will require collaboration and cooperation across communities and sectors, and is committed to working together to achieve a more sustainable and equitable future that protects communities from being disproportionately and negatively burdened by energy infrastructure.
Mary is strongly committed to supporting initiatives that prepare students for the workforce. She will create more opportunities for Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) education by implementing policies that promote and fund STEAM programs in schools, encouraging partnerships between schools and local businesses, and supporting extracurricular activities that encourage STEAM learning. By taking these steps, Virginia can help to create a pipeline of highly skilled STEAM professionals who can drive innovation and economic growth.
Advancements in technology and the widespread availability of information has exacerbated the spread of false and misleading information, especially through social media. To combat this problem, Mary proposes a series of policies that can promote information integrity while protecting the free exchange of ideas.
Encouraging closer coordination between subject matter experts and government through studies and committees to support data-driven decision making
Supporting educational initiatives that teach responsible digital citizenship
Restricting malicious and misleading use of deepfakes, particularly in politics
Limiting collection, storage, and use of behavioral data collected on social media
Virginia ranks among the strictest in the country for workers to enter some fields, disqualifying personnel from the work force even if they have experience in another state they move from. Mary will create more job opportunities for those with essential skill sets, such as social work, by improving reciprocity with other states to prevent the exclusion of qualified trained workers.
Campaign Finance Reforms
Mary does not accept corporate donations. She will champion comprehensive campaign finance reforms to ensure that elected officials are accountable to the voters they were elected to represent, including:
Personal contribution limits
Restrictions on use of campaign funds for personal use
Increased oversight and transparency
Mary believes that women today should not have fewer rights than their parents’ generation and recognizes that the decision of when to become a mother is one of the most impactful decisions a woman can make in her lifetime. She supports protecting women’s access to reproductive care by codifying Roe into law in Virginia and passing measures that would safeguard menstrual data to prevent its misuse. She will also protect clinics and medical workers who provide abortion services in Virginia.
HB 1567, which was passed last year, requires a study of maternal and infant mortality rates by the Virginia Department of Health. Mary will make sure the recommendations of the study are implemented.
Mary is a firm supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. She will defend the Virginia Human Rights Act, which protects individuals in public settings from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and other traits.
Mary will also repeal the ban on same sex marriage, known as the Marshall-Newman Amendment, and codify marriage equality in Virginia in order to protect same-sex couples in the event the US Supreme Court overturns Obergefell vs. Hodges.
Gun Violence Prevention
Mary believes in comprehensive gun violence prevention policies, and will initially put an emphasis on championing policies to reduce gun violence against women and children as well as suicides.
Mary will strengthen restrictions on domestic abusers purchasing or owning firearms, including expanding existing laws to include non-married perpetrators and create a mechanism to ensure law enforcement confiscates guns from abusers who are disqualified from owning them.
Mary will support legislation requiring safe storage of weapons to prevent children from gaining access and to prevent them from being stolen and ensure that gun owners are held liable if someone is injured or killed by an improperly stored weapon.
Data shows that 54% of gun deaths are suicides. To reduce suicides, Mary will support adding mandatory waiting periods for firearm sales as is done in both DC and Maryland and protect the Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO) law also known as our red flag, which passed in 2020. This temporary crisis gun removal law has created a civil court order based upon an investigation by law enforcement and proof presented to a judge. It empowers law enforcement to intervene at a critical time before a gun tragedy has occurred. Mary will also investment into suicide prevention and mental health programs.
Mary will support investing in communities and demographics with high gun violence rates to intervene and provide support before gun violence occurs. Access to jobs, healthcare, and affordable housing, along with funding for local violence prevention groups can ensure at-risk individuals do not commit gun violence.
AR-15 military-style semiautomatic rifles are the firearm of choice by many of the mass shooters. Mary will support an assault-weapons ban in the Commonwealth of Virginia.