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Governor-elect Youngkin talks unifying Virginia ahead of inauguration

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 11:20 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is working to spread a message of unity ahead of his inauguration. He stands firm on controversial issues, but he remains convinced Virginia can put politics aside to move forward.

“We’re going to do this together. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat moment. This is a together moment,” Youngkin said.

It’s just a matter of weeks before he makes his new home in the governor’s mansion.

“Virginians have hired us to come work for them in Richmond and to move forward with it,” Youngkin said.

He spoke Tuesday about several issues - improving access to mental health, more resources for law enforcement and schools.

Youngkin made it clear though he’s not in favor of what Richmond Public Schools just voted on this week, allowing collective bargaining with school employees and the administration.

“Of course, this is fully within Richmond Public Schools ability to do so, but I don’t think that striking should be available...Employees should be given a choice whether they’re going to join a union or not, number one,” Youngkin said.

This week, officials began removing the pedestal that held the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond. In Charlottesville, the statue of Lee that stood there will go to a Black-led nonprofit group that now plans to melt down the monument and transform the bronze into art.

“These monuments need to be stored in a museum or battlefield, not destroyed...It’s part of our history. I’ve said many times, we can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’re from,” Youngkin said.

The governor-elect remains convinced that even though Virginians may have a difference of opinion, they can still come together to move the Commonwealth forward.

“I think this is our chance to actually demonstrate that these ideals of an affordable Virginia, with lower taxes and great schools, great jobs, and safe communities, are not political issues. They are Virginia issues,” Youngkin said.

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