ROD HALL ON THE ISSUES
A TRUSTED VOICE IN OUR COMMUNITY
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
Most of Rod’s professional life has been immersed in transportation policy and funding. He has a great appreciation for how smart and equitable transportation investment can transform communities, improve quality of life, and jumpstart economic development.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation exists as the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of federal leadership, Rod feels strongly that states must lead the way in providing forward leaning transportation solutions that are sustainable, equitable, and expand transportation choice within communities with the greatest need.
As Delegate, Rod will be an unwavering champion for:
- Increased investment in mass transit
- Efficient passenger and high-speed rail service
- Ensuring our roads and bridges are upgraded to the highest safety standards
Rod will be also be a strong champion for:
- Smart, transparent public private partnerships
- Strengthening and expanding project eligibility within the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank’s revolving loan fund and line of credit programs
- Better support projects that have a clear, demonstrated impact on congestion mitigation and air quality improvement
As your Delegate, Rod will ensure we are leveraging every dollar we can and prioritizing innovative investments in places that need new infrastructure the most, including low-income areas and communities of color, and would be designed to invest in projects that create good jobs with fair wages.
Rod is the son of a teacher’s aide and a father to two Prince William County public school students. He believes that all children deserve an opportunity to benefit from a great public education regardless of zip code or socioeconomic background. Rod will fight to ensure every student has access to an education that will put them on the path to success—from early childhood through higher education.
As Delegate, Rod will always fight to ensure Virginia’s students, teachers, and support staff have a voice. He will
- Work to improve our education system by expanding Universal Pre-K
- Establish a comprehensive early childhood system that provides access to affordable, high-quality child care for all children, which will have significant benefits for children and provide economic security for working families
- Introduce policy solutions to better integrate apprenticeship programs into curricula to promote equity of opportunity for all and ensure that all students have the skills they need to access good paying jobs.
Lastly, Rod understands that a foundational pillar of educational excellence is the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff.
He will be an unwavering advocate for increased teacher pay, career pathways, and collective bargaining rights.
Rod feels strongly that health care is a fundamental right. As Delegate, Rod will work to ensure that every resident of the district has access to quality, affordable care, no matter their means or the zip code in which they reside.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Virginia has reported close to 9,000 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19. As the Commonwealth continues to dig its way out of this public health crisis and associated economic downturn, ensuring our state’s healthcare system is affordable and accessible to all, now and into the future, has to be a top priority.
Since Medicaid expansion took effect across the Commonwealth in 2019 more than 494,000 people have gained access to this vital health coverage.
As Delegate, Rod will fight to:
- Preserve and strengthen Medicaid to provide health care security for individuals and families.
- Offer policy solutions to ensure equitable and responsive preventive, early intervention, and mental health services are more readily available, especially for our community’s most vulnerable populations
- Enact strong consumer protections against high out of pocket costs
- Prevent “surprise billings” for COVID treatments
Expanding workers’ compensation coverage for essential workers who risk their lives every day on the job will also be policy areas of focus.
UNIVERSAL BROADBAND ACCESS
The COVID 19 pandemic has underscored the need of affordable internet access as a vital precondition to participation in the learning and workforce process. Yet, while 70% of internet traffic data traverses through Northern Virginia’s vast data center hubs, many of our communities still lack access to affordable and reliable broadband services. With respect to closing the digital divide and ensuring all households have access to the internet, the goal has to be “No Household Left Off-Line”.
Rod feels strongly that we should change the paradigm in how we look at broadband service and call it what it is – an essential service. This is another area where government absolutely has a role with respect to affordability and innovative infrastructure.
As Delegate, Rod will
- Avance policy and funding solutions to expedite broadband deployment across the Commonwealth more efficiently
- Call for increased funding to the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative to reach more localities
- Increase funding for greater utilization of space-based broadband for rural communities
- Streamline processes involved in broadband policy/deployment that stifle efficiencies and innovation
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Rod is the father of two young sons. Following the clarion calls last summer for criminal justice reform in the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery— Rod was forced to have some tough conversations with his sons on the issues of race, justice, fairness, and trust with respect to our criminal justice system.
Systemic problems surrounding sentencing, bias, and socioeconomic factors have led to staggering disparities at every level of the criminal justice system that must be addressed.
Rod understands that if our country is to ever relinquish its title of world leader in incarcerations, it will take a sustained effort by state policymakers committed to transformative change in extreme sentencing policies and practices aligned with the scaling back of collateral consequences of conviction, and challenging racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
As Delegate, Rod will be a strong advocate for
- Increased funding for programs that promote strong youth development
- Community-based prevention and treatment for substance abuse and mental health needs
- Eliminating mandatory minimum sentences
- Address policies and practices that contribute to inequities within the criminal justice system
- Remove barriers that make it more difficult for individuals with criminal records to embark on a substantive second chance and reduce chances of recidivism
- Legislation authorizing the attorney general explicit authority to seek equitable relief for more effective criminal justice reforms
Housing insecurity is a real problem as the pandemic has made it more difficult for working families to cover housing expenses. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on any given night across the Commonwealth there are approximately 6,000 people homeless—400 across Prince William County. Recent federal COVID recovery legislation has acknowledged housing insecurity as a serious public policy challenge and has responded with funding for rental assistance and funding for states and localities to provide relief for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
Rod feels strongly that policymakers of all stripes should be committed to helping people keep a roof over their heads.
As Delegate Rod will
- Champion policy solutions that give localities the ability to create affordable housing programs with the help of state aided programming and funding given that housing trust funds have become a go-to tool for states and localities as they can exercise greater control, leverage other funding streams and do not have to be burdened by federal restrictions that may cause undue delay.
ENSURING A STRONG POST-COVID ECONOMY
Pre-Covid, the Commonwealth was ranked the #1 state for business by CNBC and had a 2.4% unemployment rate. Covid has changed all of this, resulting in significant declines in employment across every region of Virginia (-8.4% here in Northern Virginia). Leisure and hospitality have been especially hard hit. We’re down approximately 240,000 jobs and the impacts have not been equal. Not in geography or demography, with disproportionate impact on minority communities, women, and low wage earners.
Moody’s Analytics suggests a K-shaped recovery with pre-covid unemployment levels by mid to late-2023. Moody’s also suggest that the post covid employment mix will be different with more positions in business services, technology, infrastructure construction, and few in hospitality and certain subsectors.
Many of the sectors whose prospects that have been lifted by the pandemic are those the Commonwealth already has a leadership position: cloud computing, data centers, autonomous systems, e-commerce, broadband investments, etc.—so how we aid the workforce in transition will be key.
As Delegate, Rod will support several programs to better prepare folks for high-wage jobs like:
- Recommitting to the VCCS FastForward, VA Ready Initiative
- The G3 initiative
- One of the best community college initiatives in the country
- Talent Accelerator Program
- Labor Apprenticeships
- VA Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which will play a key a role in positioning people for high-wage positions.
Rod will also:
- Support the expansion of the Virginia business ready sites program to aid regional economic development.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is on record as stating one of the most common reasons we lose manufacturing/distribution projects is because we can’t offer prepared sites as quickly as other states.
BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH
The arrival of a newborn should be a joyful moment for a family. However, studies show that our country’s maternal mortality and morbidity rates amongst Black women remain alarmingly high.
Two years ago, on the afternoon of August 3rd as I anxiously awaited the arrival of my newborn daughter, complications arose during delivery that resulted in both my wife being admitted to an intensive care unit and my newborn daughter being admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.
Over the course of the next four days, I paced diligently from one wing of the hospital to the other as dedicated health professionals worked around the clock to save both of their lives. I will be forever grateful to the teams that helped save their lives.
I am also thankful that I had health insurance that afforded us access to quality care, but I often think about what may have happened if we did not have coverage. Could the outcomes have turned out differently?
That is why I am committed to tackling this crisis head on to ensure equitable access to quality healthcare for all women across the Commonwealth. We have to ensure the health and wellness of women before, during, and after pregnancy. Currently, women who qualify for Medicaid are afforded coverage during pregnancy and for only two months after the birth. Lack of comprehensive health care is cited as the number one cause of death amongst women post pregnancy.
As Delegate I will:
- Ensure Medicaid coverage is extended from two to twelve months to help minimize maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women
- Preserve and strengthen Medicaid at large, ensuring our community’s most vulnerable have access to quality health care
- Enact strong consumer protections against high out-of-pocket costs and “surprise billings”
- Work to ensure coverage is extended from two to twelve months to help minimize maternal mortality and morbidity.
- Ensure equitable access to quality healthcare for all women across the Commonwealth