Tuesday, June 12, is primary election day in Virginia. Long-time 8th District Congressman Jim Moran is being challenged in the Democratic primary by a heretofore unknown candidate who calls himself a “Progressive Warrior.” Nice slogan, but the real progressive warrior in this race is Jim Moran. Jim has dedicated his life to improving our schools, enhancing our public transportation systems, protecting the environment, and fighting for active and retired federal employees.
Jim is a strong advocate for Northern Virginia, and his 11 terms of service on the Hill have made him a leader on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Jim is ranking member of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, and a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Both panels should be of special interest to local voters since they oversee agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Smithsonian Institution, Arts and Humanities endowments, and all aspects of the Defense budget. Federal employees know of Jim’s fight to preserve and improve retirement benefits, and as an outspoken champion for pay parity between federal employees and military personnel.
On the local front, Jim secured $180 million in federal funding to widen Route 1 through Fort Belvoir, and reduce traffic caused by BRAC relocations. Jim was successful in capping parking at the Mark Center in the City of Alexandria, preventing a nightmare stemming from the relocation of 6400 Washington Headquarters Service employees due to a flawed BRAC decision. Jim led a personal crusade the reopen National Airport following its closure on 9/11, recognizing that the airport is a vital cog in maintaining a vibrant economy for Northern Virginia. The value of Jim’s positive and progressive achievements may never be measured completely, but imagine what might have happened without Jim’s valiant actions.
Overall, Jim Moran has secured more than $2 billion in federal funding for projects in Northern Virginia that have contributed to our region’s strong economy and low unemployment rate. Housing, public safety, AIDS prevention, emergency preparedness, environmental restoration, and Rail to Dulles funding are just a few examples of the benefits that flow to our region as a result of Jim’s leadership on the Appropriations Committee. A member of Congress doesn’t do that overnight. Congressional seniority should be important to 8th District voters in this election. It takes years of heavy lifting, networking, personal relationships, and a keen understanding of the esoteric nature of congressional rules, to get the work done that benefits Northern Virginia and 8th District constituents.
At a time when national polls suggest deep dissatisfaction with Congress as a whole, 8th District constituents can point with pride to their Congressman, Jim Moran, who keeps the needs of the 8th District always in mind, and fights to keep Virginia and the country moving forward. Let’s keep Jim in Congress, fighting for us. Vote at your regular polling place on Tuesday, from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at [email protected]