Thursday, November 17, 2016

Keep On Rockin' In The Free World

There's colors on the street
Red, white and blue…
Keep on rockin' in the free world,
Keep on rockin' in the free world.

~Neil Young, “Keep on Rockin’ in The Free World”

Ready for some good news from the 2016 Elections?

President Elect Donald Trump received a mere 1,324 votes in the City of Falls Church, representing around seventeen percent of the total votes cast. While we may have political differences, and some of us are more conservative or more progressive than others, it’s apparent that the vast majority of us in the City and Greater Falls Church considered Mr. Trump’s words, actions, and positions unacceptable in a presidential candidate.

In other news, a substantial majority of Falls Churchers rejected the so-called “right to work” amendment to the Virginia Constitution. Overall, in what was a surprising result to many of us in the political establishment, 54% of Virginians voted against the proposal, causing the amendment to fail. You can rest assured I will remind my colleagues in the General Assembly - who passed the language on a party line vote two years in a row - that they are out of touch with their electorate on this issue.

And Virginia went bigger for Hillary than it did for President Obama in either 2008 or 2012, causing one conservative talk show host do declare Virginia to not be a swing state, but a blue state. Whether that’s true or not, it’s certainly getting bluer with each election.

Of course, in spite of all this good news, like many of you I was extremely disappointed in the outcome of the national election. For several days the outcome seemed surreal. In many ways I felt as though I was living in a dream like state - a nightmare really.

Before long, I decided to stop moping and look for ways to move forward and use this most unfortunate turn of events to my advantage. I reached out to a group of friends and neighbors on Facebook, some old political pros, and others newly engaged

About fifty of us sat around my home and talked about the future. We tried not to spend too much time thinking about specific things we wished the Clinton campaign had done differently, although we did spend time talking about what we need to get right the next time around.

Since Virginia has an election every year, next time around is already here.

While Virginia’s odd year elections can sometimes be exhausting, this year I view them as a silver lining. We’ve got something positive to work toward right away. In 2017, Virginians will elect a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.

In addition, all 100 House Delegates will be up for re-election in 2017. If we can work to motivate voters who’ve cast votes for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Tim Kaine in even year elections to show up in an odd year election, we could even see the bright red Virginia House of Delegates turn blue again.

If you’ve had enough political campaigning for the time being, or you’re worried about the immediate threats to our civil liberties a Trump presidency poses (and I know many of you are), there are other ways to take action that are even more cathartic than ranting on your Facebook page.

Contact my office and we can put you in touch with organizations that stand up for the priorities you believe in, like the ACLU, Campaign Zero, Planned Parenthood of Virginia, RAINN, NextGen Climate Action, Equality Virginia, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. There are so many options.

And if none of that cheers you up, come to my house on December 18th for Latkepalooza III, my annual holiday fundraiser. Rachel’s making latkes, we’ll have jelly donuts and other holiday fare, and a great time will be had by all. Check out for details.