Del. Ken Plum: Remembering a Political Role Model as 2016 Nears

Del. Ken Plum/File photoMost of us have mentors or authority figures whose example in the way they lived affected our own lives.

In my political life one such person was the late Senator Clive DuVal, who represented parts of Fairfax County in the Virginia Senate from 1971 to 1991. In 1969, when President Richard Nixon announced on the eve of state elections in Virginia that he had a plan to end the hated war in Vietnam, a grateful electorate went to the polls and defeated all Democratic incumbents and voted in all Republicans in Northern Virginia with one exception: Democratic Senator Clive DuVal of McLean.

How did he survive? He was an effective progressive legislator and was the only one that I knew who sent out periodic newsletters. As a member of the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission, I was also pleased with his progressive focus on consumer protection issues.

When I was elected to the House of Delegates, I followed Senator DuVal’s example and continue today to send newsletters. The technology has changed considerably from the 1970s when offset printing was essentially a printing plate created from a photograph of a document created on the typewriter and some black and white photographs.

My most recent newsletter that was digitally produced should have arrived in your mail boxes last week. If you did not receive a copy and would like a printed version, send your address to me at [email protected], or you can view or download it.

Just like Senator DuVal, I ask for your opinion on issues before the 2016 General Assembly session. You can pull out the survey page and mail it to me or complete the survey online at (on the right side of the home page below the “Keep in Touch” box). Either way, there are open-ended questions for you to address issues of specific concern to you. I do review the results of the survey as important information from my constituents. The results are not necessarily the same as a public opinion poll.

While I attempt to summarize the issues before the upcoming legislative session, my campaign account that pays for the expense to the newsletter would not be able to afford to publish a newsletter with enough pages to fully cover all the issues. I invite persons who are interested in more issues on a continuing basis to subscribe to my weekly e-newsletter at or read my weekly column in the Connection newspaper or online on Reston Now.

Following the example of Senator DuVal and other legislators I admire, I also schedule periodic public meetings. Senator Janet Howell and I will hold our annual pre-session public hearing on Thursday, January 7, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne Plaza. No registration is needed; just show up and share your views with us.

Recent Stories

A planned renovation of Armstrong Elementary School in Reston will include a new main entrance vestibule (via FCPS) The renovation of Reston’s Armstrong Elementary School is expected to begin in…

Morning Notes

Kids explore the Red Caboose in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Vienna Featured Live on TV Right Now — “Lights. Camera. Action! Tune into the @fox5dc Zip Trip LIVE from…

The American Legion Bridge into Maryland (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) If you find trips on the Capital Beltway into Maryland nightmarish now, imagine what they would be like without…

The redevelopment of the Herndon Taco Bell is proposed (via Google Maps) A Taco Bell in Herndon could soon be temporarily out of commission. A proposal before Fairfax County seeks…


Subscribe to our mailing list