Current Position: Founder, ParaLobby, LLC
Candidate: 2019 State Senator
Source: Campaign page
Your Friend, Waylin Ross, is running for State Senate. After graduating from PHS in Petersburg, VA, where he was proudly born and raised, Ross went off to Old Dominion University – where he majored in Political Science with a history minor. He later received his Master of Public Policy degree from George Mason University, with a concentration in Economics.
In addition to serving as the Governor’s Fellow in the Executive Office of Governor Bob McDonnell, he sharpened his legislative skills working for two State Senators and a delegate, including Yvonne B. Miller – the first black woman elected to the General Assembly. Equally important, Ross recalls his very first position of public trust – Lieutenant of Robert E. Lee Elementary Safety Patrol.
At the young age of 25, Waylin accepted a position at Northern Virginia Community College teaching macroeconomics and microeconomics the following three years. At the same age, Ross opened his first company—ParaLobby, LLC— a firm that provides government support services to businesses.
Despite his youth, Waylin has over ten years of unquestionable leadership experience. As a freshman at ODU, he graduated from Sorensen Institute, College Leaders Program in 2009. After organizing student lobby days at the General Assembly and successful letter writing campaigns that helped to secure more than 20 million dollars in additional funds, Waylin was elected as Chairman of Virginia21 Student Leadership Committee – grassroots arm of the largest student advocacy group across the state. He is the founding member, and first president of ODU’s political honor society, Phi Sigma Alpha. After joining the National Urban League Young Professionals Richmond chapter, Ross served as Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs on NULYP’s national board. In 2015, the governor appointed Waylin to the state’s Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation.
- Founder and Chief Executive Officer
2015 to present
- Adjunct Instructor of Economics
Northern Virginia Community College
2015 to present
- Masters, Public Policy and Economics
George Mason University
- Bachelors, Political Science and History
Old Dominion University
- Campaign – email@example.com
39 Bollingbrook Street #110
Petersburg, VA 23803
Citizen Review Board
A Citizen Review Board should approve agendas and review minutes of the closed-session Petersburg council meetings. According to current law, council members can go into closed sessions under certain specific circumstances. The Review board should approve closed-session agendas to concur that business intended is lawful and ethical, then review the minutes and decisions taken during the closed-session to ensure consistency with the approved agenda. The Citizen Review Board should review city-government and police department complaints, and deliver periodic summary reports recommending (by unanimous vote) non-binding alternatives that might solve the issues that need to be addressed, including administrative changes.
Re-charter and Re-district Petersburg council should have at-large elections to properly represent the city and so that residents can hold their leader accountable city-wide. There is not much difference among the seven wards; it doesn’t make sense for divided representation. If not all council, at least the Mayor should be elected at-large, even still with the same powers and responsibilities as before, citizens would be allowed to cast a vote of confidence for the head of city government.
The Equal Right Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of a divorce, property, employment, and other matters.
Automatic voter registration (AVR) is an innovative policy that streamlines the way Americans register to vote. AVR makes two simple, yet transformative, changes to the way our country has traditionally registered voters. First, AVR makes voter registration “opt-out” instead of “opt-in”—eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote or have their existing registration information updated unless they affirmatively decline. Again, the voter can opt-out; it is not compulsory registration. Second, those agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials instead of using paper registration forms. These common-sense reforms increase registration rates, clean up the voter rolls, and save states money.
Election Day Registration enables individuals to register to vote or update their registration on Election Day, either at the polls or at another location designated by election officials. This reform helps boost turnout by ensuring that all eligible voters are able to cast ballots, and it is no surprise that all six states with the highest turnout in 2016 had implemented the policy
Restoration of Rights Automatically restores voting rights upon release from prison. Re-entry reform should ensure that restoration is not contingent upon payment of fees, fines, restitution, or other legal financial obligations. Citizens released from prison may not be released from liability for payment, but the debt will not preclude exercise of the franchise.
The travel industry is the fifth largest employer in Virginia. The economic impact of travel in the Commonwealth has grown from $1.3 billion ($8.6 billion in 2018 dollars) in 1969 to $26 billion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%. Virginia ranks 8th in domestic traveler spending among 50 states and Washington D.C. The 16th senatorial district is home to popular locations for TV and movies, such as historic downtown Petersburg. State and local government should increase public-private partnerships which connect local businesses and organizations with visitors.
Vocational Training and Dropout Prevention: Technical education programs provide students with practical learning opportunities and hands-on experiences to prepare graduates for a career following high school. Contrary to popular belief, not all prominent, high-demand careers require a college degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 10 out of the 28 top fastest-growing careers could be pursued with vocational training available through public schools. Upon completing all vocational requirements, not only can students embark upon a professional or academic career, but many high school graduates even continue to immediately pursue apprenticeships, specialized college programs, or other professional routes. Vocational training programs would help our high school students, as well as adults who are still looking for a career path or may wish to switch industries. Furthermore, vocational training and licensure would allow more citizens to be entrepreneurs, which would lead to small business job creation.
Micro-enterprise Funding: The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program encourages new or increased investment in low-income areas by permitting institutions or individuals to receive federal income tax credits for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions known as Community Development Entities (CDEs). CDEs, in turn, make debt or equity investments in primarily nonresidential operating businesses and real estate projects carried out by new or existing for-profit or nonprofit entities—referred to as Qualified Active Low-Income Community Businesses (QALICBs). The program was authorized by the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-554) and is jointly administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The likelihood of spillover from project sites to surrounding areas resulting in neighborhood- or community-level change depends on factors such as project characteristics, scale, or visibility. More than one-third of early-year NMTC projects were undertaken in conjunction with, or integrated into, larger-scale development initiatives within their communities
Microbusiness Development Programs helps low- and moderate-income individuals start a microbusiness or improve an existing one. The Microbusiness Program includes training, technical assistance and an opportunity to apply for a loan. A microbusiness employs five or fewer people, including the owner. In addition to financial assistance, microbusinesses can benefit from such programs by attending free business/economic courses and taking advantage of other valuable business resources. Those receiving unemployment benefits should be able to claim self-employment work, without realizing a decrease in unemployment benefits. You should be able to prove the establishment or expansion of a small business venture as a requirement replacing current job-seeking requirements.
You can think of a public option as something of a compromise between a single-payer system and our current system, in which only certain Americans now qualify for government-run programs. More people could get government insurance. But only if they wanted it. Public-option plans would allow middle-income, working-age adults to choose a public insurance plan — like Medicare or Medicaid — instead of a private insurance plan. There are various ways this could work. Some proposals would allow individuals to pay a premium to buy a Medicare or Medicaid plan that would be the same as the insurance now available to older people, the disabled or the poor.
Mental Health Parity
Mental Health Parity describes the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders in insurance plans. When a plan has parity, it means that if you are provided unlimited doctor visits for a chronic condition like diabetes then they must offer unlimited visits for a mental health condition such as depression or schizophrenia. Federal parity replaces state law only in cases where the state law “prevents the application” of federal parity requirements. For example, if state law requires some coverage for mental health conditions, then the federal requirement of equal coverage will trump the “weaker” state law. Health plans that do not have to follow federal parity include:
- Medicare (except for Medicare’s cost-sharing for outpatient mental health services do comply with parity).
- Medicaid fee-for-service plans.
- “Grandfathered” individual and group health plans that were created and purchased before March 23, 2010.
- Plans who received an exemption based on the increase of costs related to parity.
Protect constitutional rights of all, including the 2nd amendment – right to bear arms. Generally, I do not believe in banning firearms. However, I would support universal background checks to confirm that there are no red flags such as domestic violence convictions or severe mental health issues. Also, streamlined restoration of rights should include the necessary paperwork to petition the Circuit Court to restore that individual’s gun rights. Even if ex-felons do not wish to purchase or own a gun, fully restoring his/her rights would decrease the risk of recidivism. Unless rights have been fully restored, an ex-felon cannot lawfully be near someone with a gun – even if they’re riding in a vehicle.
War on Drugs
Ten states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana and/or decriminalized a small amount of drug possession. The War on Drugs has had a devastating impact on our community and has been largely ineffective. The acceptability of marijuana legalization is gradually shifting towards a pro-liberty direction and it is time Virginia join the right side of history. With our state history in relation to the tobacco industry, we should be allowing Virginia companies, like Altria, to lead the cannabis industry.
Notably, harm reduction strategies have found support among law enforcement officers through programs such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). Through LEAD, law enforcement officers are empowered to redirect individuals with substance use disorders to social services, rather than making low-level arrests. The program is founded on the understanding that incarceration can lead to unnecessary harm—or even death—for people with substance use disorders. Overdoses are the leading cause of death among individuals recently released from prison, who are 129 percent more likely to die from an overdose during that period than the general public.