FAIRFAX’S STATE REPRESENTATIVE ON WORKING WITH MASON AND COLLEGE COSTS
By Alexander Shedd, News Assistant Editor
Democratic Delegate David Bulova, who represents Fairfax City, parts of the county, and the Mason area as the state delegate for the 37th district, sat down with Fourth Estate to discuss his policies and how they influence Mason.
“One of the things I treasure about being a delegate is having Mason as the centerpiece of the area,” Bulova said of his involvement with the school. “George Mason is great for the community and the economy, but the thing I cherish the most is working with student groups.”
On the issue of student debt and tuition prices, Bulova feels strongly that more effort should be directed to funding public higher education. He mentioned his own two children in Virginia colleges, adding that he and his family are also “going through the struggle of how to pay for college.”
Bulova is a member of the Virginia House of Representative’s Education Reform subcommittee, and co-sponsored a bill to create the House’s Standards of Learning Committee, which works towards equalizing public education across the state and creating standard curricula for students. Bulova also co-sponsored legislation to “enhance efforts to fight bullying in our schools” as well as strengthen “the process for dealing with teachers accused of sexually assaulting a student,” according to the delegate’s official website.
Similarly, Bulova stated his belief in more investment in on-campus housing, citing the need for students to have affordable living situations in an area with no rent control.
“Virginia has really underfunded public education,” he alleged. “We need to step back and recommit funding to universities.”
He informed constituents that “when [the state government] cuts funding, higher education is really easy to cut, and it’s gotten us into a bad situation.” Mason received approximately $9 million in operating funds and financial aid from the state in fiscal year 2017, according to the state’s education budget chart. This only accounts for approximately 0.9 percent of Mason’s $1 billion total budget according to the school’s budget document.
He also brought up the work he has done to provide Virginia students with alternatives to an expensive college education, such as requiring high schools to give students information on trade schools.
Bulova emphasized his openness to the members of the Mason community.
“There is a misconception [among students] that there are barriers to meeting with your local representatives. Don’t be afraid to approach your legislator.” He added that he is “always happy to meet with clubs, groups, and individuals” from Mason.
Bulova ran unopposed for reelection on Nov. 7, and hosts a recurring informal meeting open to the public in Main Street Bagel Deli on Saturday mornings, which he calls “coffee with constituents.” At his Dec. 2 meeting, he discussed legislation he was currently working on and addressed issues that the attendees brought up, including northern Virginia’s infamously slow traffic, the legalization of medical marijuana, and his day-to-day dealings with Mason.
Delegate Bulova offers his constituents a number of services including help in mediating issues with state agencies such as the DMV and special recognition for important events such as birthdays and retirements. His office can be reached through his website, davidbulova.com.
Photo Courtesy of Alexander Shedd