Education, Public Safety, Parks and Social Services

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Virginia Beach is a great place to call home. As the wife of a Seatack Elementary teacher and mother of two, I understand the importance of having excellent schools and safe neighborhoods. We are privileged to have such outstanding people who comprise the fabric of our community and provide quality services such as First Responders, libraries, rec centers. parks and fully-accredited schools.

Virginia Beach is a great place to call home for many reasons, but the easiest to point to would be the people who comprise the fabric of our community. The quality City services provided by hardworking people, from public works employees to firefighters, are what makes our unique “Community for a Lifetime” run as smoothly as possible.

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Councilwoman Jessica Abbott cutting the ribbon for the new 4th Precinct Police Station

I am proud to have supported funding a solution to address the pay compression issue for our First Responders – Fire, Police, Sheriffs, and EMS – and a workforce development program to improve recruitment and retention of police officers. Our City is grateful for how our First Responders go above and beyond their call of duty every day to keep our residents out of harm’s way. The work of our First Responders keeps Virginia Beach as one of the safest large cities in the USFairly paying the outstanding people who sacrifice so much for us should be a top priority for City Council.

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Councilwoman Jessica Abbott at the Solution to Ocean Pollution Summit

Investing in the children of this city will significantly benefit our future. As the wife of a Virginia Beach teacher, I understand the challenges teachers and staff members overcome to provide an excellent education for our 67,000 students. When our schools were facing a budget shortfall due to the impacts of COVID-19, I supported a flexible City Budget that restored $7.7 million in previously cut funding for our schools. I have supported funding the expansion of full-day kindergarten and I will continue to push for investing in our school employees, funding small class sizes, enhancing learning resources, and modernizing schools. Not only must we provide a world-class education for our students while they are in school, but it’s vital to our city’s future to prepare our students for the globally-competitive workforce.

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Councilwoman Jessica Abbott representing the City of Virginia Beach at the Hampton Roads Morning of Hope

Mental health is an issue that deserves our attention. I co-sponsored an ordinance that formally requested the Commonwealth of Virginia to increase funding to mental health services, which was unanimously supported by City Council. I also believe that when it comes to policies that affect our homeless population, as a community, we can do better. I spoke out and voted against an ordinance that would have essentially criminalized homelessness. The solution is not to overburden our jails. I will continue to be a voice for the voiceless, and I will advocate for policies that address the root causes of homelessness.

Connecting our residents with community parks exemplifies the natural beauty of our city. Parks allow us to be happy and healthy. Improving the connectivity of neighborhoods, trails, and parks while conserving our natural open spaces will enhance our community’s environmental stewardship. I secured funding for two new City parks – one being Ferry Point Park, 9 acres of permanently conserved wetlands and forests on the Elizabeth River.

I will continue to support our excellent schools, First Responders, libraries, parks, rec centers, and social services. Please consider donating or volunteering to show your support.

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Councilwoman Jessica Abbott at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-renovated wing of the Kempsville Library