- Name: A. Donald McEachin
- Age: 58
- Years in public service: 20 years of public service including 8 years, Virginia House of Delegates; 8 years, Senate of Virginia; 4 years, United States Congress.
- City/County of residence: Richmond City
- Virginia congressional district: 4th
- Party affiliation: Democrat
- Online: Website | Facebook
Tell us about your top three legislative priorities and why they are important to you and your constituents.
FROM A. DONALD MCEACHIN
My top priority is ensuring affordable quality healthcare for every American. Access to health care and to needed medications should be a right. No one should have to choose between a doctor visit, a necessary procedure, a prescription medication or food on the table. Access to affordable quality care should not be dependent on where you live – lack of services in rural areas – or on the color of your skin. Twice as many African-American women die from childbirth as white women. This pandemic has only further demonstrated the deficiencies in our health care system. As the pandemic spread, our hospitals were at risk of being overrun and healthcare professionals struggled to handle the sudden large influx of patients. We need a healthcare system that is prepared to serve everyone. While it may be unusual to have a pandemic, hospitals need to be ready. There is no excuse for not having basic supplies such as personal protective equipment to limit the spread of infection.
- The unnecessary deaths of three African Americans in the last three months (Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd) have placed a long overdue spotlight on the systemic racism and inequities in this country. The shocking video of Mr. Floyd’s death has focused us on the particular problems of the police department where, in too many places around this country, African Americans die at the hands of police twice as frequently as white Americans.
These inequities are much deeper and wider than simply law enforcement. African Americans and other minorities struggle with housing, with poorer educational opportunities, with a preschool to prison pipeline, with employment prospects and with environmental ills. These inequities are true in my district where all too many struggle to get a quality education to be prepared for college or a good paying job. Rural areas still lack high speed broadband, putting them at a disadvantage for schoolwork, job searching or tele-commuting. Moreover, in the district, I have been active and vocal about the unacceptably dilapidated and unsafe state of public housing.
- Climate change is a crisis facing the world. Scientists overwhelmingly agree we have less than a decade to address this crisis or we will experience unrecoverable damage that will impact homes, livelihoods and our children’s future. Just in my district, in Tidewater, sea-level rise will flood communities, drown homes and businesses and destroy critical military bases and ports. By working together now, we can find solutions to address the problems while growing our economy and creating green jobs. We can retrain workers out of mines and oil wells to be working for renewable energy and helping to install and manage wind turbines and solar fields.
As part of my commitment to addressing climate change and keeping my constituents safe, I oppose offshore drilling. Not only do we need to cease dependence on fossil fuels, but offshore drilling is associated with too many severe accidents, the most famous of which is Deepwater Horizon. Not only can these accidents be fatal and dangerous for workers, but the ensuing oil spills can be fatal to ocean flora and fauna and damaging to coastal communities. Tourism is destroyed, watermen are unable to earn a living and coastlines are drowned in a sea of oil.