Farmville Resident Seeks 60th District Seat

   Written by on August 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

By Crystal Vandegrift

Jamaal_JohnstonFARMVILLE – Farmville resident Jamaal Johnston has thrown his hat into the ring seeking to represent the 60th district in the House of Delegates. Johnston, who has never sought public office until now is running against incumbent James Edmunds.

“I’ve never been in politics, short of voting and supporting candidates who supported our communities. I’m not a traditional politician,” said Johnston. “I’m here to support the 60th District, a community we all love.”

Job Creation, Healthcare, and Education are three issues that Johnston hopes to see a change in if elected.

“First we improve our education programs for critical thinking, problem-solving, and the new technology industries that will need our students, and then we have to attract the companies that will provide the tech jobs that our students are prepared for,” he said. “If we have the workforce, the companies will find us.”

Johnston also pointed out that he believes in giving tax incentives to regional manufacturers and other businesses that will commit to long-term local employment, rather than supporting corporations that send jobs offshore.

The candidate also stresses that there must be preparation beginning at the K-12 level to prepare our workforce. Johnston pointed out that he feels that elections needed to be focused on technology and training as well as looking at a STEM base curriculum.

“In today’s economy, a STEM based curriculum is a must. In the past schools relied heavily on preparing our students for the Standards of Learning Assessments (SOLs). This is no longer enough,” said Johnston. “Currently we’re not where we should be implementing STEM-based learning. And for those who want to practice a trade, we must have vocational programs. We still need electricians, plumbers, builders, mechanics, and masons. Community colleges can supply these programs at no cost to the student. Then, after a two-year program, the student can hit the ground running.”

When it comes to healthcare, Johnston said that is his biggest concern for the 60th district. We are getting to a point where people are dying because they are not getting the healthcare they need and it doesn’t have to be that way.”

A proponent of universal healthcare, Johnston added, “Medicaid has been shown to grow the economy, fuel the creation of new jobs in healthcare and social assistance. States with Medicaid expansion have experienced higher job growth in the healthcare sector than states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Because Virginia legislators did not historically support Medicaid expansion, each year billions of dollars in our federal taxes leave Virginia to support expanded Medicaid programs in other states. I believe that Virginians should benefit as well.”

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