Local Commentary

From the Front Row: Kaye Kory’s Richmond Report

I believe that there is an adage along the lines of “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” If there isn’t such an adage, there should be. This is borne out by an article in the June 17, 2009 Fairfax County Times titled, “Kory, Smith braced for 38th District race,” describing the June 2009 primary election results.

“Kory…said that her top concerns are transportation, the environment and education. On both transportation and the environment, Kory supports funneling available dollars to smaller, localized projects that can have a big impact on the community. She agrees with other state Democrats, who say it will be impossible to accomplish many of the things Northern Virginians want to see so long as Republicans remain in control of the House of Delegates. “When and if the General Assembly has a majority of Democrats, a lot more can be accomplished than has been accomplished in the past . But I am sure there are results to be gained if Republicans remain in the majority.”

Things that have stayed the same: my top priorities remain transportation, the environment and education. While gaining seats in the past ten years, Democrats are still in the minority in the General Assembly; and, yes, I am proud of the results of my successful legislation over that time. But we know that major changes are desperately needed and are still waiting for approval. We did pass Medicaid Expansion and finally ended the cruel denial of healthcare to so many working Virginians — an accomplishment that was deservedly applauded and largely due to the newly “woke” electorate. But we also know that during the last two years the Republican majority has effectively suppressed any Democratic legislative initiatives and refused to allow Democratic voices to be heard in the most blatant display of political power seen here in many, many years.

The lesson is that we should have “woke” years ago and that our Commonwealth has suffered because of our lack of political activism.

We also have learned that we haven’t been “woke” quite enough — even with Trump’s election to kick us awake — that a majority of one or two can cause the same damage as a much greater majority. We cannot let “things stay the same” any longer; our democracy truly hangs in the balance. Your vote does count. Your voice does make a difference. But only if you use them.

Vote early! Vote now! Vote on Nov. 5!

Take your relatives, neighbors and friends with you to the polls. Remember that the majority in the House of Delegates was decided by drawing a name from a fishbowl. Resolve to have no more fishbowl elections!