Open Forum: Antidote to gridlock

Posted: October 22, 2013

I have been spending a lot of time lately traveling throughout the 33rd District, meeting new people and sharing my message of moderation and fiscal responsibility. I have made a lot of new friends and have seen so much that is good about our region. The 33rd is a great place to live, work, visit, and raise a family.

This election is all about whether Virginia will face gridlock or be able to get its work done. We need a legislature that works for the residents and rises above politics to get the job done. Like most everyone, I am dismayed by the gridlock we see in Congress and the negative effect it has on everyday life in this region. I can’t help but wonder: What we would do if that was happening in Richmond with our General Assembly?

If there are members of our state legislature who focus more on ideology than on our residents, this could happen. That is why I am running for the House of Delegates.

In Virginia, we have a strong history of creating solutions through bipartisan efforts. Our government works best when we value different perspectives and listen to each other, then cooperatively come to agreement. The outcome of compromise is not usually perfect, but it helps us move forward.

As a member of the House of Delegates, I will work for effective government that prevents gridlock. I know how to balance a public budget, and how to provide services without raising taxes. I know how to effectively respond to public-safety concerns and how to create effective criminal justice system response. I know how to promote economic development and support the interests of business, including agribusiness, while protecting our environment.

I know that we need a strong public education system, pre-K to gray, to provide a 21st century workforce. I know that a safe transportation infrastructure is necessary for a strong economy and our quality of life.

What I said when I announced my candidacy in June is the same things I said last month, last week, yesterday, and today. I have not changed my stand on issues to appear to be someone I am not. I haven’t changed my message in an attempt to fool the voters.

There is enough to do in Richmond without wasting legislative time and taxpayer money on a social issues agenda. I will work to make sure that the state supports our district and meets our needs.

My moderate approach will help get the job done in a fiscally responsible manner, without unfunded mandates passed on to local government, and without increasing the tax burden on our residents. Together, we can help keep the 33rd District and Virginia the place we love.

Mary Daniel, a resident of Berryville, is the Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates in the 33rd District.