|RICHMOND, Va. – House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring on Labor Day issued the following joint statement re-committing to the fight in the face of Republican attacks on working people:
“Our relentless commitment to fight for working people is the core defining value of our party, a message that can become diluted amid the cacophony of many other things that matter. Yet nearly everything we stand for, from respecting reproductive rights to building an inclusive Virginia, connects directly to economic security and opportunity for all people.
“Republicans in the House of Delegates have repeatedly blocked legislation that would improve the quality of life for working people. No one who works forty hours per week should live in poverty, yet Republicans killed our bills to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. No one should have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a sick child, yet they killed our legislation to establish a paid family leave program. No woman should be paid less than a man for doing the same job, yet they killed our effort to help ensure equal pay for equal work. No person should miss out on a job opportunity because of who they love, but they killed our bill to ban workplace discrimination against the LGBT community. They killed legislation that would make it easier for people to go to college without taking on crushing debt, and they killed legislation that would make it easier for working people with student loans to get out from under them.
“Meanwhile, House Republicans passed bills that would drive down wages for contractors and bills that would effectively limit women’s reproductive autonomy and access to health care. They have repeatedly blocked our efforts to extend affordable health care to 400,000 Virginians through Medicaid expansion, many of whom are working people who have slipped through the cracks and just can’t seem to get ahead. We tell them today, we tell all working people today, that we see you, we hear you, and we are fighting for you. That is what we stand for as Democrats, and on this Labor Day we re-commit ourselves to that fight.”