Val’s Priorities

Criminal Justice Reform

Creating a fairer justice system. 

It’s unacceptable that our criminal justice system continues to treat Black and Brown Americans differently, and that so many people of color live in fear of our law enforcement. Everyone deserves to feel safe. Washington has more work to do to achieve additional reforms at the federal level to create a fairer system, and address the persistent, institutionalized racism in this country that is costing lives. 

Val supports efforts to better train our police in de-escalation techniques, racial and implicit bias, and interacting with people in need of mental health care or substance use care, not jail time. We need to improve relationships between communities and the police by increasing diversity among our police and building forces that know the communities they serve, and we need more mental health counselors attached to our police forces. 

While the First Step Act in the U.S. Senate was a tremendous step forward, Val believes we must take additional steps to continue making progress on sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses, decriminalize marijuana, reinstate voting rights for those who have served their time, and do more to help give returning citizens a second chance.