Dr. Jeffrey Feld is the Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 81. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 2.

Candidate: Dr. Jeffery “Doc” Feld

Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 81

Party: Democratic

Website: feldfordelegate.com

Biography: Moving into the community nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Jeffrey “Doc” Feld has made his home and family in Virginia Beach, where he is a local podiatrist and his wife is a teacher in the public school system. As an active community member, he is dedicated to supporting local businesses, protecting the environment, and securing the 81st District’s future.

Why should Virginians elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?

Being a product of public education, married to a teacher, and having three children attending public school I have a vested interest in its success. Most people know that I’m outspoken and lead with my heart while having a calm and rational approach to problems and tasks. I am an independent-minded candidate who is not beholden to anyone or any group. I will not shift opinions just because the wind blows.

I have convictions and morals upon which I have built my family, reputation and my two podiatry offices. People appreciate my business experience, medical background, my values, and the platform upon which my campaign is based. I believe that we must make the best decisions for our community and the Commonwealth. Once elected, I will pursue equitable education, being good stewards of our environment, and promoting small business and not corporate greed.

What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?

When elected, I will focus on supporting children by ensuring equitable education, making healthcare more accessible, and creating new flooding prevention solutions to prevent property damage and potential loss of life.

Your zip code shouldn’t determine what type of education you receive. Students in rural and urban neighborhoods are left behind by the current school system, and I’ll fight to change that when elected. Teachers shouldn’t have to purchase supplies with their own money just to be able to do their job. Hiring more teachers and staff will help with smaller classroom sizes and would allow teachers to have more time to dedicate to each individual student and increase mental health and counselors positions, as well.

As a podiatrist, I’ve seen just how difficult it is to navigate our healthcare system. I’ll fight for transparent billing, protecting pre-existing conditions, and accessible healthcare.

Here in Hampton Roads we are well aware of flooding and the risks to property, livestock, and people. Not only are people’s investments in danger, but their homes as well. My opponent doesn’t fight to protect people’s homes, but instead buys up land and leases it back to the taxpayer to line his own pockets.

This election, vote for someone who will fight to protect you and your family, not someone who is interested in enriching themselves or big corporations. I will fight for you!

What is the most important issue facing your district, and what is your position on it?

The most important thing we can do is grow small businesses and create jobs. It’s not fair that Amazon gets massive tax breaks while the little guy gets left out. You and I drive on the roadways significantly less than Amazon does. Then how come Amazon pays almost nothing in taxes that would go toward fixing and repairing those same roads? I refuse to be beholden to special interests in Richmond. The incumbent, on the other hand, has received $9,500 in political campaign contributions from Amazon. We need someone who will fight for the people’s interests, not for the interests of their donors.

What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?

I think Virginia has responded well to the coronavirus pandemic, but I think we could have done more, sooner. As a podiatrist and keeping my office open throughout the pandemic, I have seen how bad things were during the height of the pandemic and hope it doesn’t get that bad again. If we had acted sooner and gotten more PPE, not just to healthcare workers but to the “average person,” we most likely could’ve saved many more lives.

For instance, I believe at one point the federal government was considering mailing every single household masks and hand sanitizer, and I would’ve liked to see that happen. I would’ve liked to see more support for small businesses to pay their bills and their employees. I don’t think it was fair that many large industries like commercial airlines received huge bailouts while local businesses and families struggled.

What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?

The top three areas affected by the pandemic are education, small businesses, and the hospitality industry.

When travel and tourism stopped, the hospitality industry was negatively affected disproportionately, along with the people and families which depended on those jobs. I would have liked to help them the assistance so they could reopen quickly and safely.

As for education, I have three sons in the public school system, and I saw how hard virtual learning was for so many students, especially those who did not have reliable bandwidth or internet and those with special needs. My goal is to make in-person learning as safe as possible.

Many small businesses also suffered during the pandemic, including my own. There are many local businesses that were a part of our communities that were forced to close down for good. I want to help those businesses and communities come back even stronger than they were before the pandemic. Together we can!