Current Position: Teacher
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate
My mission is to speak up for Rural Virginia where there hasn’t been a strong voice in the past. Living in Charlotte County has shown me the specific needs of a rural area such as Southern Virginia.
Source: Campaign page
I’m Janie Zimmerman, and I am running for House of Delegates District 60. If you live in Charlotte, Prince Edward, Halifax, or the SE part of Campbell County, I’m your candidate!
I was born at Andrews Air Force Base while my dad was serving in the Vietnam War, so I wholly support and understand veterans, their families, and the challenges they face. My mom grew up in a rural part of the Texas panhandle, and now I return to my Southern roots by living in rural Virginia.
I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and have been a teacher for almost 30 years. My favorite kids to teach are the alternative students that other schools have most likely forgotten. I am currently a teacher at a juvenile detention center in Prince Edward County. I am excited to work with these students because it is so rewarding to watch them blossom with just a little care and attention. When these troubled students succeed, they really succeed. When rural Virginia gets the attention it deserves, it can really succeed as well. Just as I speak up for my students, a vote for me will be a vote to speak up for the unique needs of Rural Virginia.
Source: Campaign page
Janie is a Special Education Teacher at the Juvenile Detention Center in Farmville, Virginia. She believes that all of her students are amazing and deserve a childhood just like their peers, but they have made mistakes because they have been given opportunities to make poor choices. These have resulted in them being involved in the juvenile justice system. With after school programs available, many students could discover their passions instead of the “school to prison pipeline”, where students who struggle with managing their behavior are sent for punishment (and often incarceration) rather than having their needs assessed and addressed. These children need education, not prison.
Many will remember a time when kids could play a sport for free, spend time after school in Drama, Band, and Choir, stay after school to participate in any number of clubs, or work in a vocational class. Most of that doesn’t happen in present day schools. Some of that doesn’t happen in any school, especially in rural areas. When students don’t have activities to keep them busy after school, they are left with too much time to fill. That alone may increase the likelihood they will make poor choices. Every school needs money in all counties to provide fair and equal education and benefits for all students and teachers in the Commonwealth.
Rural Virginia cannot thrive without access to the rest of the world through high-speed internet. Students, job seekers, businesses, and families deserve the ability to do homework, apply for jobs, run their businesses, and enjoy simple connections with friends and family across the globe just like the rest of Virginia. Broadband access is essential for educational and economic growth. Relocating established businesses to our district can not happen without addressing the issue of internet access. There are rural broadband plans being developed across the country. There is no reason why the implementation of rural broadband access can’t be approached in the same way the Rural Electrification Programs were in the 1930s. Help Janie make broadband a reality for all Virginians no matter where they live.
Equal Rights Amendment:
Janie knows we need to make sure the the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is finally ratified. We cannot give up on women’s rights to be seen as EQUAL to men. When Virginia ratifies the ERA, it will become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, pushing the amendment over the three-fourths requirement to become part of the U.S. Constitution. Turning Virginia Blue will help all women across the nation, not just in Virginia.
Janie believes healthcare is a basic human right. We need to work to increase access to all healthcare providers in rural areas. This is especially urgent in the area of mental health and women’s reproductive services. Everyone has a right to choose the services they need for their helthcare and to have it close to home. Funding for Community Health Centers can make this happen. With health centers closer to small towns and rural areas, it will be easier for people to take care of medical needs when they happen instead of waiting until problems get much worse and they are forced to drive a distance to reach the nearest emergency room.
Virginia’s Climate Crisis:
Janie fully endorses the plan for a Green New Deal Virginia. The plan will work to create thousands of jobs while simultaneously addressing the issue of the climate crisis and restoring Virginia’s environment. The plan also outlines investments in local-scale agriculture in communities across Virginia ensuring that rural areas will benefit from economic growth as well as being ensured access to clean air and water.