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Candidate Essay: Alfonso Lopez

by ARLnow.com — August 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm 2,480 25 Comments

Earlier this week, we asked the two Democratic candidates for the 49th District House of Delegates seat to write a sub-750 word essay on why the district’s residents should vote for them on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Here is the unedited response from Alfonso Lopez:

My name is Alfonso Lopez, and I’m running for Delegate to uphold our community’s values in Richmond.

Over the last several months, I’ve talked with voters across the 49th District, listening to their concerns and their hopes for Virginia’s future. I’ve been inspired by my conversations with residents along Columbia Pike, where I live with my wife and young son, in Nauck and from Pentagon City and Arlington Ridge to Skyline and Bailey’s Crossroads.

Most Northern Virginians want the same common-sense policies from Richmond – more investment in transportation infrastructure and transit, greater support for education and teachers, a sustainable approach to our environment and our economy, and a progressive, socially-responsible commitment to protect the health, well-being and civil rights of everyone in Virginia.

My mom devoted her life to Arlington public schools, helping immigrant children continue their education after high school. My dad came to America at the age of 19 with just $260. He attended Northern Virginia Community College and then took one course a semester until he graduated from George Mason University.

My parents each worked hard to provide for us. And with the help of government programs they got an education, bought a home, and achieved the American dream.

I am running for Delegate today because Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli are destroying the social safety net upon which my parents and so many others have relied.

Our next delegate must be a champion for our Northern Virginia values. They must lead on the issues that others cannot, or will not, take a stand on.

I will work to pass a mandatory Renewable Energy Standard and increase investment in green jobs, because we must protect the environment for future generations. I’m dedicated to protect the environment and to bring a clean energy economy to Virginia, and to work with leaders like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, who have endorsed my campaign.

As a former State Board Member of the Commonwealth Coalition, I fought against the Marshall-Newman Amendment, which denies civil rights to LGBT Virginians. I will work to repeal the Marshall-Newman and ensure full marriage equality in Virginia, because all of us should be equal under the law. And I will work pass a law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, because this basic protection should not be at the whim of the Governor. For these reasons, the Virginia Partisans have endorsed my campaign.

I will stand up for a woman’s right to choose and make sure that common-sense family planning and birth control options remain available to everyone who wants them. For these reasons, Virginia NOW and NARAL Pro Choice Virginia have endorsed my campaign.

I will introduce the DREAM Act – because every student should be able to achieve the American Dream. For my commitment to this issue and the immigrant community, I am proud to be endorsed by Virginia New Majority.

Based on my 20-year progressive record and professional accomplishments, I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Governor Tim Kaine, Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, former Delegate Karen Darner, County Board members Chris Zimmerman and Jay Fisette, Sheriff Beth Arthur and the Arlington Firefighters.

I am also proud to be endorsed by the Washington Post.

I have the passion and the practical experience to make the strongest possible case for our values and needs in Richmond.

I spent my life working in public service at the Federal, state, and local level. From my service in the Clinton White House working on environmental justice issues to my work as a member of the Arlington Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, I have worked to improve our community.

I served four years as the head of Congressional and Federal Affairs for Governor Kaine where I was involved with every issue and project where Virginia worked with the Federal Government.

When President George W. Bush twice attempted to cut funding for Rail-to-Dulles, I worked across the aisle to keep the project funded. I helped lead the effort to bring together a broad coalition including Democratic Congressman Jim Moran and Republican Congressman Frank Wolf.

When President Bush proposed drilling off of Virginia Beach, I was sent to negotiate with the White House and we were able to stop the proposal.

I’ve built my career fighting for issues of critical importance to the people of the 49th District. With your support, we will bring effective, progressive leadership to Richmond.

  • Am I the only one

    “are destroying the social safety net upon which my parents and so many others have relied”

    And therein lies the problem. Your grandparents and great-grandparents would have been appalled that your folks relied so much on OTHER people for a safety net. Families should take care of their own, not rely upon the rest of society. Yeah, it’s hard and takes time and money, but it’s part of the responsibility of being in a family.

    • Quan

      Lol, guarantee you that you’ve had to rely on some sort of government service from OTHER PEOPLE, too. Or was your family fabulously wealthy? Or do you think you’re such a badass hard worker your family will never ever need help? Come on now. Not every family has some benefactor. But hey, we can’t all be as cool as you, I’m sure.

      • Am I the only one

        No, not rich by any stretch – just fortunate that our family chose to support each other. My paternal grandparents moved in with my parents after we kids moved out until they passed on. My parents were self-sufficient and both died at 64. My mother’s sister moved in with me until she passed away at 68. I never knew any different, but these days people are quick to throw granny into the nursing home and let medicare/medicaid pick up the tab.

        • Dick Perry

          Did she return her Social Security checks for those three years she lived with you?

          • Am I the only one

            No – why should she? She only received back about 30% of what she paid in during her career. And maybe 10% of the medicaid money she donated. And my folks didn’t get a dime.

    • AllenB

      Thank heavens you know what his grandparents and great-grandparents would think better than he does.

  • Quan

    The dude’s parents were immigrants. If your family is poor, it’s not likely you’ve got some other family members that are rich enough to take care of you. Did you even read the article or just scan for some stuff you can insult as being liberal crap? I’m sure you’ve never had to rely on government for anything.

  • KalashniKEV

    The entitlement mentality is strong with this one, along with big government and a contempt for those in power. Thumbs down.

    • Quan

      Contempt for those in power is a bad thing?

      • KalashniKEV

        His contempt for McDonnell is so seething that I doubt he could get anything done effectively.

        (not that he could do so otherwise as he does seem to be a bit of a dummy)

  • Northarlingtonian

    I wouldn’t be proud to have Gov. Kaine’s endorsement; has he forgotten the ‘above ground’ metro to Dulles? It sucks, it’s costly and the procurement process was far from transparent. And let’s not forget Kaine’s environmental record! Lastly, are mom and dad running for office? BTW, as a teacher myself, I too, along with many other educators, helped immigrant children continue their education!

  • Burger

    So the race is between someone that lacks any experience and a guy that either lacks a strong control of the English language or his computer is missing a spell check/grammar button or he doesn’t like to check his work.

    How many grammatical errors could you have in one essay that is intended for public review.

    • 1234

      Agreed. If you’re going to be preachy, at least be grammatically correct.

    • Flying Spaghetti Monster

      I do not see any word that is not spelled correctly. Can you point to one for me?

      • 1234

        We said grammar, not spelling.

  • Nation of Immigrants

    There’s no question that families and communities take care of each other, and should. But are you really saying that government should have no role in helping when help is needed? My grandparents waited in breadlines in the great depression. Government has always had a role to play and in some ways it seems to me recent immigrants face more hostility and get less assistance that my great-grandparents did when they came here in the earlier part of the 20th century. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

  • FedUp

    Blah, blah, blah! I’ve had it with immigrant sob stories. Oh wait, he is not an immigrant. His father is. And his father is not running for delegate. Enough already. I want someone who represents me, too.

  • Chris M.

    Typical political GRAND STATEMENTS without details or substance.

    “are destroying the social safety net upon which my parents and so many others have relied”

    Comments like these are utterly divisive and lacking of substance. Are the people who are motivated to vote by statements like this proud of themselves at the end of the day?

    • Motivated by such statements

      Why yes. Yes we are.

      • Nation of Immigrants

        Agreed. This is exactly why I will never vote GOP. And if you don’t think that many in the current GOP want to eliminate everything from head start to pensions to collective bargaining to social security and Medicare itself, you aren’t paying attention.

        • Bender

          Demonization, divisiveness, and promoting resentment is so much better. But that is what we’ve all come to expect from the Party of Slavery, Secession, and Segregation.

          And that is why I will never vote Democrat.

          Enough with the hate already.

          • Nation of Immigrants

            I couldn’t agree more, which is why the GOP’s constant focus on immigrants is so disheartening. All I have done, is describe, accurately, the current GOP platform. I mean, have you listened to Rick Perry?

            You do understand, of course, that the heirs of the party of slavery, secession, and segregation is the GOP, right? Again, I give you Rick Perry, who not that long ago was advocating secession for Texas and more recently suggested lynching the Federal Reserve chair.

            Enough indeed.

          • Frank

            Um, the GOP’s focus on immigration is on ILLEGAL immigrants. And there are LOTS of Democrats who also focus on this issue.

            Immigration and ILLEGAL immigration are not the same thing. Not that I agree with most things Rick Perry says; but Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico have tremendous problems that we can’t possibly understand as we don’t have the burden of paying for millions of illegal immigrants and their healthcare, education, etc.

            Immigration is fine, but quite frankly, one particular nationality, one ethnic group, whatever you want to call it shouldn’t get a free pass while many millions more who want to come to the US try to do all the right things to get here; and some don’t make it. We just can’t take everyone who wants to come and support them while they try to make a living – and we aren’t the only country with this problem.

            Making this GOP vs. Democrats and “that’s why I’ll only vote” one way or the other doesn’t help anyone.

    • Bender

      I would dispute how “grand” such statements are. But they are typical, wholly lacking in substance, and by design divisive.

      Lopez has absolutely no intention of representing the interests of ALL of the people of this district. He intends only to represent some of the people and anyone who supports McDonnell, etc., can go to hell.

      This “essay” is an utter waste of time. This plagerized, cut-and-paste job from the liberal-progressive playbook contains nothing that we’ve not heard and read ten thousand times already.

  • Chris M.

    I love how Ds and Rs see life as a game with two sides. And the other side is blind, dumb, and stupid. The only thing worse than 99% of politicians, are the people that buy this BS. How about Rs get the hell out of our bedrooms, and the Ds stop acting like entitlements don’t ever need to be reformed! But I guess it’s all ok, because you get to be in your little corner acting all F’n proud.

    Good for you!

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