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Del. Ken Plum: Doing the Heavy Lifting

by Del. Ken Plum — April 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm 14 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoI announced my first bid for elective office in 1973 while standing on the steps of the historic Fairfax County Courthouse. Only my immediate family and my secretary and her husband were there to hear me harken back to the Fairfax Resolves of 1774 when the citizens of Fairfax County enumerated their complaints against the Crown.

I suggested that our contemporary problems were not much different except that they were directed at the government in Richmond, and I promised to go to the state Capitol and do something about our grievances.

Last week, I announced my candidacy for re-election. While the basics of government have remained the same since my first announcement, attacks on the functions of government have become increasingly shrill. Ideological differences in the legislature have seldom been more intense.

With the retirement last year of a legislator who had served as a member of the House of Delegates for 50 years, I became currently the longest-serving member of the House of Delegates. As a member of the minority party in the House, my length of service does not provide me any special privileges or considerations, but it does require me to examine my role as a legislator.

As I told the constituents and friends who assembled to kick off my current campaign, I consider my role in the House of Delegates to do the heavy lifting. Above all, I will serve my constituents as best I can with their individual and community needs and interests before the legislature. I will be leaving the introduction of routine and housekeeping bills to junior members to get their practice in law making.

When I say “heavy lifting,” I mean taking on the difficult and challenging issues that, while divisive, need resolution. I need to be clear to voters and to my fellow legislators my positions on issues that have evolved over many years of dealing with them. For issues to be resolved, all sides need to be clearly articulated, something I am generally able to do.

I will continue to speak out on the need to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to the working poor. Not only will it bring about $5 million dollars a day of Virginia taxpayer monies back to the state, but it will free up about $200 million of state monies that are spent on items that would be covered by Medicaid. I want those extra millions spent on education, including the expansion of preschool programs — one of the best investments in the future a government can make.

I will work for greater public safety by supporting measures to keep guns out of the hands of violent individuals and criminals while respecting the Second Amendment. My work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation will continue as will my efforts to establish a nonpartisan, independent redistricting commission.

The state needs to take action to protect our shorelines and respond to the challenges of sea level rise. I am prepared to do this kind of heavy lifting in the legislature if voters return me for another term. I am honored to serve and enthusiastic to represent the residents of the 36th District.

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. His opinion does not represent Reston Now.   

  • Cluster Tycoon

    Let’s not forget about potential water shortages and increased demands on the electrical grid, Frederick cty will have depleted water tables by 2018. New developments more runoff unless better incentives and technologies are in place. Hybrid vehicles will increase demand on the grid. Good job in securing budget for these and other events, pls keep going. Thanks

  • Ming the Merciless

    I suggested that our contemporary problems were not much different except that they were directed at the government in Richmond, and I promised to go to the state Capitol and do something about our grievances.

    Yeah Ken, except in 1774 the colonists did not want to go to the capitol and demand more taxes, more spending, and more government like you do. In fact, they were pretty much the opposite of you in every way.

    For issues to be resolved, all sides need to be clearly articulated, something I am generally able to do.

    Yes we have noted the way you always clearly articulate your opponents views as crazed extremism, which no doubt encourages them to work with you towards resolution.

    I consider my role in the House of Delegates to do the heavy lifting.

    Stick to the “light lifting” of sponsoring resolutions praising local residents and businesses, since that’s the only thing you have ever succeeded in doing.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Keep up the good work, Ken.

    • Meh

      Not my fault all the sensible people got driven out of the Democrat party long ago.

    • Rational Reston

      “ninnies” ….. this is exactly the kind of language which leads to the harsh divisions we have in society. (And I’ve voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents)

  • novatom

    Funny, I thought he was talking about Fairfax County, Virginia.

  • Rational Reston

    Here it is people. Delegate Plum would rather keep on his Quixotic joust with windmills than advocate for Reston, or Fairfax County, or Virginia. He’s in this for his own reasons, the rest of us and be damned.

    We need a representative that can take action alright, but not an extremist who would belittle and alienate opposing views who in turn alienates himself from others. He’s not a voice in the body of the Virginia legislature, he’s a voice that is tuned out.

  • Adrian Havill

    And the state of Mississippi has been run by Republicans for the same time. Result: 50th among all states in income. education, healthcare, and just about any standard of living you can name. Republican/red states are taker states that depend on the federal government and send less to Washington than they receive.

    • Ming the Merciless

      Mississippi has been run by Republicans since 2004, not quite the same as the past 40 years.

      • Adrian Havill

        Mississippi has only voted for a Democrat for President once since 1964. The GOP has won three of the last four governor races and control seven of the eight statewide offices. Both U.S. Senators are Republican. Many legislators who claim to be Dem are in name only. Conservative governance has ruined the state, not that there was much to destroy.

        • Ming the Merciless

          Presidential elections are irrelevant. They do not determine who controls or runs the state. The Senators don’t have much to do with state governance either.

          The state has had THREE Republican governors since 1876. In the past forty years it has been run by Republicans for 18 years. So, nice try on blaming Republicans but no sale. Put the blame where it belongs – on the party responsible for centuries of organized racism, the Democrats.

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    Word vomit. Blah blah Medicaid expansion, gun control, rising sea level, BELCH, GAG, blah blah, universal preschool. Ken Plum is a joke.

  • ItsNotMyMoney

    Ken,

    What’s your view on the Tetra purchase?

    Should we borrow $2.7 million dollars today (which RA dues-payers will need to pay back), or should we free up the $650,000 of RA dues-payers monies to spend on other items.

    I want those extra dollars spent elsewhere.

  • east297

    Why do we need more social programs? You have been at the helm for 40 years….you should have solved all the social ills by now!

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