How Much Have We Lost?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Weekly Column: Voting Law Changes Approved by DOJ

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, the Mt. Vernon Voice and Patch in the week of August 20, 2012.

Voting Law Changes Approved by DOJ

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved Virginia’s voting law changes for use in the November 6 election. Many are questioning why DOJ approved the changes.

Virginia has a long history of voter suppression. When the colonies declared independence from England, only land-owning, male citizens were allowed to vote. In 1851, the Constitution was amended to allow all white men to vote.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Weekly Column: Improving U.S. 1 North of Fort Belvoir

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, the Mt. Vernon Voice and Patch in the week of July 31, 2012.

Improving U.S. 1 North of Fort Belvoir
The other day, I came across and article about the widening of Route 1 in Woodbridge. Between that and the coming federally-funded widening through Fort Belvoir, I often get queries from constituents who want to know why Route 1 is being improved there, but not between Woodlawn and the Beltway. There are two reasons – planning and money.
Before a road can be widened there are a series of required studies that lay the groundwork for construction. In our community, that process was started back in 1991 by Senator Toddy Puller who passed multiple resolutions through the General Assembly to initiate the planning process. That process was called the Route 1 Centerline Study - an effort to set the general configuration of Route 1 from Fredericksburg to Alexandria. That process chugged along until it bogged down on our stretch about 12 years ago over two problems.
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