Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Rosh Hashanah is about so much more than marking the passage of time.

It is a celebration of new beginnings, renewal, and family.

I am finding these themes especially potent this year, with elections right around the corner here in Virginia.

400 years after the founding of the Commonwealth, this year's elections offer us an opportunity to start a new chapter in Virginia's history, to re-create a Virginia where all families thrive.



When it was discovered that the President of the United States had bribed Ukraine — promising them $400 million in desperately-needed military aid if they did him “a favor” by manufacturing dirt on his political opponent to help him win the 2020 elections (just as Russia had done for him in 2016) — Virginia Democrats led the fight to preserve American democracy and the integrity of our elections against Trump’s abuse of power and the massive White House cover up.
 
But Virginia Republicans, like most Republicans nationwide (with the honorable exceptions of Senators Romney and Sasse), did not. Virginia Republicans uniformly opposed any investigation into the lawlessness and corruption of the President and the Attorney General of the United States. Nor did they say a word about the White House scheme to hide all evidence of Trump’s abuses of power in special servers designed for highly classified material — servers designed for national security, not to cover up Presidential felonies.


Two months ago on July 25 -- the day after Robert Mueller testified about how much Donald Trump and his team welcomed the Russian espionage/interference in our 2016 election that made Trump President -- Donald Trump asked a "favor" of the new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: conduct a bogus investigation into false allegations against Joe Biden to help Trump win in 2020.



Last Sunday, a candidate for City Council in Hopewell, Virginia
(a town south of Richmond), and five of his assault-weapon toting buddies
pranced around Farmer's Market in Old Town 
exhibiting their military-style assault weapons
He did it, he said, to teach us a lesson.

His lesson was clear:

as long as Republicans maintain a majority in the Virginia House of Delegates,
this jerk and his sadistic buddies are free to march down our streets and terrorize us
by bringing weapons of war—used on an almost daily basis to commit mass murder—
into our churches, schools, playgrounds, streets, and workplaces,
triggering people with post-traumatic stress
and doing whatever they can to promote fear and panic.



It is official. Goodbye, Jefferson Davis Highway. Hello, 21st Century.

Thursday morning, Arlington County employees Jacque Hull and Terrance Funchess (pictured below) rose above Route One on a crane, and took down the street sign bearing "Jefferson Davis Highway." They replaced it with "Richmond Highway," its former name, a very ordinary name that is identical to its name in Alexandria and Fairfax and one no longer offensive to Arlington values.

I mention Terrance and Jacque because the sign change was a good reminder that, as important as it is for elected officials to advocate for the values of the communities they represent, it is our public employees who truly put those values into action. 



Labor Day is about thanking unions and all the workers who organized and came together to advocate for themselves because they knew they deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. In doing so, organized labor achieved reforms that have helped all Americans.



As you know, Virginia Republicans have consistently voted to do nothing to reduce gun violence.

That's why every single Republican in the Virginia legislature voted to adjourn the July 9 Special Session.
That's why they killed every single one of the dozens of pending bills on gun safety until after Virginia has new elections.

In a fig leaf effort to pretend they care -- or as one of their members said, to "neutralize the conversation" and "make it go away" -- 
Republicans set up a Commission and ordered it not to make any recommendation to stop gun violence until after Virginians go to the polls on November 5.

And, in order to pretend it was a legitimate legislative hearing rather than a farce, they gave bill proponents 3 minutes (just 180 seconds!) to present our detailed proposals.

I used my 3 minutes to point out the hearing was a sham. But I only got about a minute or two, because they interrupted me several times.

Watch my remarks by clicking here