Arlington Well-Represented in New State Progressive Caucus

by ARLnow.com February 25, 2011 at 10:02 am 2,121 55 Comments

The newly-minted Progressive Caucus of the Virginia General Assembly includes the entire Arlington delegation to the House of Delegates.

Dels. Bob Brink, Adam Ebbin, David Englin and Patrick Hope are all listed as members of the group.

“Progressive values are Virginia values,” Hope said in a press release announcing the caucus’ formation. “The Progressive Caucus serves to fight for the interests of the average citizen and to educate the public on Progressive issues.”

“While Virginia can be slow to change, we have to keep pace with the times when it comes to issues like stem cell research, global warming and society’s attitudes towards gays and lesbians,” said Ebbin. “As progressives, it is important that we stand together as we work to move Virginia forward.”

“It’s time for progressive legislators to organize and work together to advance the progressive values that we share, so we can keep our Commonwealth moving toward that day when every person – including the poor, the elderly, the week, the dispossessed – has a fair shake and an equal shot at the American dream,” Englin said.

Conspicuously absent from the group is Arlington’s state senator, Mary Margaret Whipple.

  • Bill

    Progressive values go completely against the commonwealth of Virginia; Arlington is a reservation for the far left liberals. Thankfully, they have no power in the state business.

    • virginia dare

      Slavery, Jim Crow, massive resistance, forced sterilization of the intellectually disabled – you’re right, Bill, Virginia’s certainly been a leader against progress.

      • OX4

        Let’s not forget blatant discrimination against gay people. Virginia is for lovers, but only for lovers as defined by the state constitution.

    • V Dizzle

      We’re all about hugs up here. I think you need one.

  • Jan

    I’ve lived in Arlington for 14 years and love it – though recently I’ve felt more and more that the direction of Arlington conflicts with my values. Guess this explains why and confirms it’s even worse than I thought. Progressives have their own version of the American Dream and it’s not what most American’s think it is.

    • local

      I disagree.

      • Arlington

        So do I. As is so often the case, critics like Jan complain but offer no vision of their own, and no explanation of just what is in conflict. Perhaps Jan can elaborate.

    • Lou

      Yep. There’s a reason these people are in the minority. Even a subset of their own Democratic party.

      • ClarendonKing

        Exactly. Sadly most of us conservatives are moving farther away from DC all the time, leaving the extreme progressives in control.

        • local


        • t-cough

          Yes! To the boondocks!

          • local

            And then the bunker, with the guns and blankets and MREs.

    • AllenB

      Which of your values does Arlington conflict with?

    • t-cough

      Couldn’t disagree more. Proud progressive here, lived here for 12 years, and am living the American Dream. Don’t think it’s any differenct than anyone else’s “American Dream.” However, you may feel more comfortable farther South, where their “values” might match yours a bit more closely…just saying…

      • Greg

        “Don’t think it’s any differenct than anyone else’s “American Dream.””

        You don’t get out much. Arlington, and Northern Virginia in general, is like Mars to the rest of the State.

        • local

          Yes – perhaps the rest of Virginia, not Arlington, is out of touch with the rest of America.

          • Greg

            If it makes you feel more secure to believe that there is one “American” viewpoint and it echoes Arlington’s (i.e., yours) so be it.

          • local

            I’m not the one who came up with that idea. I agree with you.

          • Greg

            Yeah, I thought after I posted that you were probably just making a half joking comment.

          • local

            The idea that you have to be “in touch” with everyone else is silly, unless you’re running for office. Sometimes the majority is dead wrong. It’s often been wrong in Virginia, as my post above notes.

          • t-cough

            or vice-versa – right? Or do we need to define “the American Dream” since it must differ all over Virgina? (rolleyes)!

        • t-cough

          Well, to be honest, I was born in the boondocks and moved here later in life. So, yeah, I’ve been “getting out for a while now.” Think I’ll never go back(wards). Thanks for playing though! BTW – still go see the family in their conservative states – never will live there again.

  • Amber

    Proud to see my elected leaders representing our shared progressive values!

  • Aaron

    They are going to have the most fabulous Oscar watch party ever this weekend.

  • Arlington

    I think this story is only valuable if you attempt to contact Sen. Whipple and ask her why she is not a member. How about trying some actual reporting?

    • bennynojets

      I can’t stand people griping about this blog. Go start your own if you don’t like it. Keep up the good work, arlnow! It is greatly appreciated.

      • SoArlRes


    • Lou

      I’m guessing it’s passive ageism.

    • Aaron

      Isn’t she retiring after this term?

      • Aaron

        Scratch that, it’s probably because members of the state senate don’t belong to Assembly caucuses.

        • Aaron

          Or maybe it’s to retain some leverage. If all of our elected reps go in whole hog to antagonize the rest of the state, it would be good to have one representative seen to be above the fray.

          • local

            No, I doubt that. How does joining a caucus antagonize? Everyone already knows you’re a progressive, and what you’ve said and how you’ve voted. Whipple’s not a member simply because she’s not that progressive.

          • Lou

            You can look at it from the simplest explanation, which would be that she does not agree with their platform. Unless your point about Senators not participating is valid, and that’s entirely possible.

            But their platform is pretty clearly laid out in the article. It’s illustrative of the split in their party that the rest of the Democratic legislators do not agree with their policy goals. Really, what Democrat would disagree with any of their positions, and for what reasons? Very odd.

          • local

            Not all Democrats are progressives, especially in Virginia.

            To be fair, someone should actually ask Whipple why she didn’t join.

        • There’s at least one state senator (Sen. McEachin) in the caucus.

    • V Dizzle

      It’s a blog. Chill sucka.

  • The legislature has no business trying to perform “attitude adjustments” on peoples views on things like homosexuality.

    They should be more concerend about homosexuals being treated equally under the law.

  • Bender

    Streetcars from the 19th century — Progress!
    Living, working, and playing all within walking distance in your village, just like people did before cars — Progress!
    Keeping all the Hispanics down around Columbia Pike, where they belong — Progress!
    Keeping all the blacks in Green Valley, where they belong — Progress!
    Ensuring that North Arlington, especially Rosslyn to Ballston, is affluent and white — Progress!
    Constantly trying to divide people with fights about race, culture, and sexuality — Progress!
    Taking money from hardworking citizens and giving it to rich government to spend — Progress!
    County government doing whatever the hell it wants, whenever it wants, public opinion be damned — Progress!
    You don’t like Arlington? Get the hell out! — Progress!

    • local

      So are you saying we’re not so progressive after all? Then why are you complaining?

  • Bender

    Why am I complaining? Because I’m not a racist progressive, that’s why.
    Here’s some news, sure to warm every race-obsessed progressive — just checked the 2010 census data and, yep, all this “smart growth” is making Arlington more white!
    From 60.4 percent white in 2000 to 64.0 percent white in 2010
    From 9.1 percent black in 2000 to 8.2 percent black in 2010
    From 18.6 percent Latino in 2000 to 15.1 percent Latino in 2010


    • local

      I don’t think anyone here is a “racist progressive.” I don’t think anyone in the progressive caucus is either. Your wild accusations about “keeping blacks in Green Valley” etc. are just that.

      As for smart growth making Arlington more white, I don’t think so. It was going to be more white either way. But you’re the one who seems to be obsessed with race today.

    • V Dizzle

      For what it’s worth, I live in N Arlington in between Courthouse and Rosslyn, and my part of the neighborhood is primarliy hispanic and asian. Have the racists failed then? Also, are the demographics shifting due to minorities leaving Arlington, or population growth?

    • V Dizzle

      Also, isn’t the normal attack rhetoric against progressives that they are socialists? Isn’t the “progressive agenda” to give poor minorities equal status and redistribute the wealth from rich to poor? I don’t see how racism is even a possible motivation. Enlighten me.

  • Lalaland

    I, for one, am happy my elected leaders represent the beliefs that most of their constituents foster.

    • Lou

      That’s how elections work.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    21 members of this new caucus are listed on Del. Hope’s website – 15% of the entire General Assembly.

    I find it odd that this new group gets formed just as the Richmond session is about to end. Why now?

    Given the balances of power in Richmond these days – will the formation of this group further “progressive values”, or simply serve to further marginalize the Arlington delegation?

    Some other Dem notables absent from the list, besides Whipple – Dick Saslaw; Chap Petersen.

  • local

    Well, now we know why Whipple didn’t join.

  • Noco

    I can comfortably say that I am the very essence of the American dream and there’s more to come. I love Arlington, I feel this area is more class conscious rather than being segregated.

    • Eau de Dusty Rhodes

      I’m pretty sure I am the true essence of the American Dream.

  • MC

    How many “progressive” members are there in the entire Richmond legislature? What areas do they represent — any outside northern Virginia?

  • Deb

    There is a progressive voice? I thought we were going back to Dixie times! That seems to be how progressive Virginians’ want to be…back with the 1860s…………:(

  • John Andre

    Heard here that Del. Ebbin may contend for the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Ticer.

    What happens in the 49th District if he gets the nod? A contested Democratic primary?


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