Arlington, VA

This week we asked the two candidates for the 31st District state Senate seat to write a sub-750 word essay on why the district’s residents should vote for them on Tuesday, Nov. 8. We did not receive a response from Caren Merrick (R).

Here is the unedited response from Barbara Favola (D):

I am running for the State Senate because I want to create a Virginia that is forward thinking and focused on our future.  Moreover, I believe I am best able to represent the values of the 31st District.  I am 100% pro-choice and 100% pro-equality.  Most importantly, I have the experience necessary to deliver for the region.  The Washington Post recently noted: “Barbara will be an effective Senator from Day 1.”

My first priority will be to invest in K-12 education and to make higher education more affordable and accessible.  I am particularly interested in ensuring that the Community College System has the necessary resources to accept every eligible student.  A well-trained workforce is the key to attracting high-paying jobs.  Our families, our communities and our businesses are worth the investment.

I am also intent on fixing Northern Virginia’s transportation problems.  I will work in a bipartisan way to find a new and dedicated source of revenue to fund our roads, bridges and transit systems.  Good transportation infrastructure is the backbone of a growing economy and a growing region.  I know that traffic congestion detracts from time with loved ones and community building.  We must work to maintain the region’s high quality of life.

Protecting the environment and encouraging the development of renewable energy options are critical components in creating a more desirable and a more competitive Virginia.  I want Virginia to do its part in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.  I have been a regional leader in this area and will use my expertise in Richmond.  I will also work to ensure that incentives are available for the creation of renewable energy sources.

As an Arlington County Board member, I balanced 14 consecutive budgets.  Arlington has the lowest unemployment rate in the State and the lowest real-estate rate of any major jurisdiction in Northern Virginia.  Moreover, the County still enjoys a triple- AAA bond rating.  I know how to get the best value for our tax dollar and how to make key investments in critical areas such as education.

My Republican opponent is listed on the VA Tea Party Alliance Web Site as a possible candidate to create a conservative majority in the State Senate.  I submit to you that it is in the interest of the 31st District and the Commonwealth as a whole to keep the State Senate in Democratic hands.

My opponent supports her party’s extremist agenda.  She defended a recent McDonnell initiative to restrict a women’s access to abortions by requiring women’s health centers to meet costly and unnecessary regulations, thereby, forcing the closure of 17 out of 21 clinics around the State.  My opponent received an A- from the NRA.  Yet, most Virginians are looking for reasonable gun control measures.  Moreover, my opponent will not be voting with the Democrats to defeat the usual onslaught of harsh anti-immigrant legislation that will certainly come out of the House Delegates in this next session.  Caren Merrick is out of step with Northern Virginia and the voters of the 31st District.

I ask for your vote on November 8 because our children deserve a brighter future.  Please join your friends and neighbors at the polls anytime between 6:00am to 7:00pm.  Thank You.

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