This year, “June,” as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s song from the Broadway classic “Carousel” exclaims, indeed “is busting out all over.”
We celebrate how, as the nation emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic with over 50 percent of its adult population vaccinated, June 2021 represents a turning point. Hopefully it will not be a reversion, but a fresh new opportunity to put a new shine on all the good things people do and used to take for granted. The damage caused by this virus will not be gone, especially in poorer countries, but the means and, hopefully, the determination to rid the planet of its worst effects are at hand. As we say in the newspaper business, “Press on!”
We celebrate the George Mason High School Class of 2021 and its seminal in-person graduation ceremony yesterday on its football field, serenaded by a chorus of cicadas and graced by remarks from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who indeed, kept his comments “brief, brilliant, and be gone!” Almost outnumbering the cicadas are the yard signs all around town thanking the City School System’s teachers and staff for negotiating a very difficult year with commitment, compassion and fortitude.
We celebrate the introduction of Pride Month, the newly-minted collective national acknowledgment of the positive contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary, transgender, non-conforming and generally queer (in the good sense) folks in our midst (including our chief, whose latest book, “Education of a Gay Soul,” is out this month). It encompasses the redoubled push to remove from Virginia’s Constitution the regrettable remnant from two decades ago when discrimination was enshrined by an amendment asserting marriage to be between a “man and a woman only.” How far we’ve come in such a short time, not to diminish the battles yet to come.
We celebrate the upcoming June 6 Democratic primary in Virginia, where next Tuesday a plethora of talented and committed candidates are on the ballot. We remind our readers of the News-Press’ hearty endorsements: McAuliffe for governor, Herring for attorney general, Levine for lieutenant governor, and regional incumbents where state delegate races are contested (though not in Falls Church, where Del. Marcus Simon is uncontested this month).
We celebrate the push in Congress to eliminate the pro-segregationist filibuster rule. Democrats in the majority now need not fear a “backlash” by discredited Trumpians. They need to look to Virginia as the example, where after gaining 19 seats in the legislature in 2019, the first election after Trump got into the White House, Democrats took even more seats in 2021.
June has been greeted by new evidence of this, a Democratic victory in a special election in New Mexico. Melanie Stansbury ran on issues mattering most to working families, food and housing insecurity, protecting and expanding access to health care, building and diversifying the economy, and tackling climate change.