(The group also agreed to send a letter to Governor Northam, stating our opposition to the development of natural gas pipelines.)
The Charlottesville Democratic Committee believes in the development of clean energy and the protection of the environment. Therefore, we oppose the current and future building of natural gas pipelines in Virginia and ask our elected officials to do the same. Additionally, we oppose the proposed construction of the compressor station in Buckingham County. Pipeline construction and operation will have irreversible impacts on local landscapes and communities. Their completion will potentially hinder the necessary scaling-up of clean energy alternatives, such as wind and solar, in Virginia, adding unnecessarily to climate change and delaying the economic benefits of that transition. In addition, pipelines have significant potential to contaminate drinking water and may otherwise negatively affect public health, with low income residents and people of color likely to be disproportionately affected. Therefore, we believe that the use of eminent domain is inappropriate in this instance.
The Charlottesville Democratic Committee believes that access to affordable, high quality health care is a fundamental human right, and calls on all candidates and elected officials to make this a priority. We celebrate the recent Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth of Virginia and strongly support expansion efforts across the United States. Still, Charlottesville has the highest individual-market health insurance costs in the nation, a result of extraordinary efforts by some federal and state legislators to sabotage, rather than reform and strengthen, the Affordable Care Act. We must work to improve health care outcomes while reducing out-of-pocket expenses, lowering drug costs, and reducing insurance premiums.