Current Position: Attorney, and Small Business Owner
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate
Source: Campaign page
I’m a mom, an attorney, and co-owner of a busy law firm. I live in southern Fauquier County with my husband, two children, two dogs, and four donkeys. My father is a Vietnam veteran, my mother is a naturalized American, and my brother is an active duty soldier in the Army. As a child I lived in Virginia, then lived in Belgium for nine years before moving back to Virginia in 2002.
My parents instilled the importance of hard work. I held multiple jobs throughout high school and college while living on my own, far away from my family. I earned my law degree and have been practicing law in Virginia for ten years. I co-own Foster McCollam, a small law firm, and concentrate my practice on the representation of juveniles in our court system. My firm handles domestic relations matters too and we assist the local domestic violence shelter by providing free representation to disadvantaged women who are seeking protective orders against their abusers.
In my day-to-day job, if I didn’t deliver on my promises, I’d be out of business. The same should be true for politicians: work hard and keep your promises or move out of the way. It’s time to send a new voice to Richmond, and I’m ready to bring my advocacy skills to Richmond for YOU. With your support, we can #FosterChange here in the 88th House District!
Source: Campaign page
Every parent wants the opportunity for his/ her child to have a good education, get a job that is satisfying and pays well, have a family, and live the American Dream. Education is the foundation for all of that. That is why I support early socialization and education with universal pre-K, sturdy funding for schools and educators. Our teachers are our very first responders – they are the building blocks of our communities; we should treat them and pay them accordingly. In addition to vouching for teacher pay raises, I will support all efforts to reduce classroom sizes by modernizing and expanding infrastructure where needed and increase the student-to-staff and student-to-counselor ratios.
Investing in education does not stop at K-12. Our high schools must offer vocational training programs for students who wish to pursue careers in tech and specialty trades so that young adults fresh out of high school can begin apprenticeships to launch their careers. Upon completion of these programs, these young adults will enter the marketplace making good wages without the burden of student debt. They will open up their own business, buy real estate, pay taxes, and contribute to the economy.
For those with an interest in academia or jobs that require college, we can do better in this Commonwealth to reduce the cost of attending our state universities and community colleges.
Access to healthcare is a human right. We must take care of the sick and elderly by ensuring that every person has access to the health services he/ she needs regardless of financial ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender identification. No diabetic should ever have to ration insulin. No parent should ever be concerned about the price of an epi-pen. No family should ever be one broken leg away from bankruptcy.
In Virginia, we can protect our residents from bad federal policies. I support state efforts to protect pre-existing conditions, expansion of coverage for low-income Virginians, and price regulations for life saving medications. I am a strong proponent of billing transparency and timeliness – requiring providers to provide detailed bills to their patients in a timely fashion. I support any congressional efforts at moving toward a universal healthcare system.
Women’s Health – I am pro-choice and will always work and fight to protect reproductive freedom and choice for all people. I’ll fight not only to protect Roe v. Wade, but also for reproductive choice and reproductive justice as well, ensuring that all people have access to quality affordable healthcare, contraception, and reproductive services.
It is well settled that attempts to make abortion illegal do not reduce abortion rates, and instead leave women to use unsafe methods to end their pregnancies. In order to reduce abortions rates we must offer comprehensive sex education to reduce unintended pregnancies, increase access to reliable birth control, and the eliminate socio-econoimic barriers.
Responsible Gun Ownership
Gun violence is a public health crisis that must be addressed. We must implement legislation that makes our communities safer. As a candidate that has received the Moms Demand Action distinction, I support the following gun safety prevention measures:
→ Universal background checks – guns should not be sold on Facebook or in parking lots. All private sales, with the exception of immediate family member transfers, should require a background check by a federally licensed firearm dealer.
→ Extreme Risk Protective Orders – these allow police officers to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who represent a danger to themselves or the community.
→ Live safety courses and evidence of safe-handling training required to obtain a concealed carry permit.
In communities across the country, and particularly in Virginia, home prices and rents have continued to climb and are becoming more and more out of reach for many households. New construction disproportionately serves the affluent. Market pressures and gentrification are pushing many lower income people out of their communities. If everyone could afford quality housing, and every neighborhood offered a diversity of housing options, people up and down the income ladder could enjoy housing security and build wealth through home ownership.
Our leadership must make bold, innovative changes at all levels in our government and in the private and non-profit sectors. I am committed to implementing affordable housing reform and protecting vulnerable communities from evictions and discrimination while enabling and incentivizing builders to supply homes to a broader range of incomes.
Race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation should not be a barrier to any opportunity. The ability to lead our best lives cannot be achieved unless every person is treated equally and fairly. Women should receive equal pay for equal work, everyone should be able to have access to affordable healthcare, and a good education.
As your delegate, I will support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), so that everyone has the opportunity to be successful. I will co-sponsor and champion legislation against discrimination in the workplace and in public housing.
Equality is also measured in the voice that is given to the people. In Virginia, we have the opportunity to allow voters to choose their politicians and not the other way around by ending political gerrymandering. I support the creation of an independent redistricting committee to reduce, if not eliminate, the conflict of interest a legislator has in drawing his or her own district boundaries.
Greenhouse gas pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is causing changes to our global climate. Virginia is already feeling the negative effects of climate change with the increased severity of weather events and the steady erosion of our coastline.
→ Reduce our net carbon pollution and participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
→ Prioritize energy efficiency programs
→ Increase our ability to adapt to climate change and minimize the impacts on public infrastructure
→ Get public utility money out of politics so that companies who profit from our dependence on fossil fuels cannot continue to block green energy alternatives
→ Remove barriers to customer owned or third-party owned solar and fund grants/rebates for installations on low-income housing
Jess Foster – Ratify the ERA in VA
Published on January 23, 2019
By: Kyle Shivers
Join Jess Foster in sending Delegate Mark Cole a message: end the roadblock to protecting our equal rights, and better represent the people of Virginia. Learn more at bit.ly/ERApetition, and sign your name to demand that Delegate Cole bring the ERA up for a vote! The Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, was passed by Congress in 1972. Since then, 37 states have ratified it. A ratification of the Constitution requires that three-fourths, or 38 of the 50 states, agree to the amendment. Virginia has an opportunity this year to be the 38th state. The ERA has a majority of support with Virginia lawmakers. Just last week, it passed the Virginia Senate by a huge 26-to-14 margin. Now, all that is standing between women and history is the Virginia House of Delegates. Unfortunately, one person is blocking equal rights for women across the country. Delegate Mark Cole is the Chairman of the Privileges and Elections Committee in the House of Delegates, and the ERA is currently sitting bottled up in his committee. One man has successfully blocked constitutional equality 11 times in 8 years for 166 million American women and girls! The ERA has the votes on the floor of the House, but we need to get it to the floor first. Jess Foster is running against Mark Cole to end this roadblock, to protect our equal rights and to better represent the people of Virginia. Now, she needs your help. Please sign the petition we have started to demand that Delegate Cole bring the ERA up for a vote. In Virginia, the legislature will adjourn for the year in February, so please stand with us now. We want to have signatures from all 50 states to present to his committee. Together, we can make history. Join us – and let’s send Mark Cole a message that if he won’t support equal rights for all, we will replace him with someone who will.