The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Last fall, Virginia voters gave Democrats total control of all levers of power in Richmond.
Delegate Alfonso Lopez had bragged that they could complete the work of a lifetime in “two afternoons.” It turns out that it took the new majority a little longer than that to tackle their agenda. In fact they had to take the unusual step of extending their session by a day to get their work done.
So the questions is, did they fulfill their work of a lifetime?
Redistricting was a top platform issue for the party. While some of us still hold the opinion that the redistricting reform measure will not take politics out of the every 10-year line-drawing process, it finally passed the Virginia General Assembly at the last minute and heads to voters in the fall. It should be noted that it passed despite overwhelming opposition from Democrats in the House of Delegates. Only nine of the 55 Democrats in the body voted for it despite running on the issue over the past several election cycles.
Two questions remain. First, will the Democrats who tried to stop redistricting reform, presumably in order to draw districts they like more, actively oppose it when it reaches the ballot in November? The likely answer here is no.
The other question is whether this is one of those issues voters say they care about when responding to public pollsters but does not actually move their votes when choosing a candidate? I suspect that while the voters are likely to approve the change this November, that this issue moves very few votes when it comes to candidates. But, we will find out in 2021 when the Democrats flip-floppers in the House face re-election.
House Democrats did unite around other items on their agenda. They removed the requirement to provide identification in order to vote while also voting to provide driving cards to undocumented immigrants. They approved casino and sports betting in order to raise revenue for new spending priorities. They increased the gas tax and the minimum wage. They removed restrictions on abortion procedures including requirements that doctors provide the procedures. They passed new restrictions on buying firearms.
They also passed a bill that is the first step toward unraveling Virginia’s status as a right to work state. The new collective bargaining law will allow local governments to engage in the practice with their employees. According to the blog, Blue Virginia, Katie Cristol and Matt de Ferranti support the effort. So, it will be interesting to see if, or when, the County Board votes to do so here.
Ultimately, the voters decide these questions. And, Virginia Democrats now have a record to defend.
Mark Kelly is a 19-year Arlington resident, former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
Everyone has flat screen TVs already so how about a more interesting Black Friday special? The ARLnow Press Club for free, to try out the daily Early Morning Notes email…
There’s not a whole lot going on in Arlington today, save for activity at local shopping centers, so we’re going to fast forward right to the top story countdown. Here…
Statues of Liberty gives thanks this holiday season and grateful for a few things this year.
It’s turkey time. Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and extra revelry can be expected at some local bars tonight, ahead of the holiday. Please be careful on the roads and…
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 76th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 25th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to huge 14 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garlands, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.
Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.
Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.
Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist