My promise to District 13
focusing on what really matters to virginians.
When I was a kid, my grandfather told me, "The basis of my knowledge comes from reading the newspaper every day."
After a while, mine did too. In fact, I ended up majoring in journalism and spent the last 10.5 years reporting the news, including nine years in Prince William County.
I started working for the Gainesville Times a month after graduating college and reported for the Prince William Times too once our paper expanded to the eastern side of the county.
If you're from here, you might have seen me at high school sports games, debates, hearings or events, or at least recognized my hideous car in the parking lot.
I covered games at every public high school in the county. I saw the best in people tackling poverty and homelessness and the worst in people killing each other.
I wrote stories about schools, business, development, and, of course, transportation.
Lots and lots and lots of transportation.
Bi-County Parkway. Tri-County Parkway. Sudley Manor. Vint Hill. Linton Hall. That little bridge in Nokesville (Aden Road). VRE. 15. 28. 29. 55. 66. 234.
If you ran for office in western Prince William, we talked transportation. My job was to know enough about the issues to hold elected officials accountable for what they did, or didn't do, about them.
As a reporter, I had to listen to what people were saying and understand their reasoning, regardless of my own opinions. It's a lot easier to judge people than understand them.
What makes journalism special is you have to actually pay attention, vet your facts, receive an earful from your editor and improve your work while reporting the news as a neutral, disinterested, third-party observer.
Likewise, I'm bringing a reporter's sensibility to Mr. Jefferson's Capitol. I'm running for office to help improve our quality of life by working on the issues I spent nine years reporting about for the newspaper.
My number one job as your elected representative isn't to speak. It's to listen to the residents, write down their concerns, ideas and questions, follow-up with them, and work what they tell me into my policy platform. That's how I took notes and wrote news stories and that's how I'll craft public policy: Research. Question. Listen. Report.
When I was growing up, my legislative role models were Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-29) and Del. Harry Parrish (R-50), the independent-minded "dynamic duo" who represented Manassas in the General Assembly.
You didn't have to agree with them on every issue to see that they worked hard to build consensus, govern with a results-oriented approach and reach across the aisle to build a better Manassas, all while being among the most genial, well-respected and powerful members of the General Assembly. They weren't bomb-throwers or ideologues; they were effective committee chairmen who secured the money to develop our local infrastructure.
I will strive to be a consensus builder and a changemaker just like those great lawmakers in order to best serve you, the people who elected me, my consitituents in District 13.
Virginia Delegate, District 13