Guest Column

Guest Column

Views of guest columnists are their own. To submit an op-ed for consideration, contact Commentary Editor Samantha Willis at [email protected]


How long is too long for the VEC?

By: - May 25, 2023

By Lisa D. Dance The pandemic is “officially” over. But, like thousands of other people in Virginia, I’m still waiting to receive my full unemployment benefits from the pandemic. I’m lucky; I can cover my bills. I worry about the people who can’t pay theirs and have waited over a year for the unemployment benefits […]


Justice system reform will improve police accountability

By: - May 24, 2023

By Alan Davis When a grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot Timothy Johnson last month, the decision was disappointing, but not necessarily surprising. As a retired senior law enforcement officer who’s spent the last decade exploring issues in policing, I know that more than individual bad actors, it is often the broader […]


Ranking candidates will improve Virginia’s primaries

By: - May 19, 2023

By Robert Melvin Few things bring out the worst in people like political campaigns, and Virginians are bracing themselves for harsh elections between now and November, when all 140 seats of the General Assembly will be on the ballot. Next year’s legislature is already shaping up to be drastically different, with approximately one-third of incumbents […]


How Medicare perpetuates privilege – not equity

By: - May 17, 2023

By Pamela Price   Thanks to Medicare’s top official dodging questions by members of Congress, the fight for equity in American healthcare just suffered a further setback.  In late April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, appeared before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to answer […]


Virginia’s growing statewide trail network needs more effective environmental oversight

By: - May 12, 2023

By Wally Smith Last month, Virginia’s State Trails Advisory Committee met in Harrisonburg. The Committee’s slate of business included the applicability of environmental laws to the Commonwealth’s recreational trails, with officials hosting discussions about how various water quality regulations apply to trail projects. That discussion has been a long time coming. Trails may not seem high […]


Virginia’s Langley-Eustis base shares toxic PFAS legacy similar to NC’s Camp Lejeune

By: - May 5, 2023

By Jonathan Sharp For nearly a century, countless service members have been inadvertently placed in harm’s way due to the U.S. military’s negligent use and disposal of chemical hazards on or near its installations. In instances such as North Carolina’s infamous Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, contamination occurred unabated for over three decades. Between 1953 […]


Ahead of D.C. Metro re-automation, WMATA must show greater transparency

By: - April 24, 2023

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s recent announcement of Automatic Train Operation (ATO)’s return represents a fresh start for metro automation. However, this news does not come without safety reservations from the D.C. Metro rider base, and WMATA will need to be more transparent about critical test data to prove the reliability of its […]


Restoration of rights should be automatic

By: - April 21, 2023

By Duane Edwards and Barbara Harris for Virginia Organizing We want Gov. Glenn Youngkin to bring back the Restoration of Rights process that previous governors of both parties developed over the 13 years before he took office. It was a simple, fluid process that resulted in tens of thousands of returning citizens getting their rights […]


Arlington’s Missing Middle: False promise of affordability

By: - April 19, 2023

By Anne Bodine for Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future In March 2023, Arlington County became the first jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C. area to abandon low density zoning, which enabled parts of Arlington to develop largely as single-family homes.   Arlington’s newly-adopted Missing Middle Housing Plan allows six-plexes to be built on all but the smallest […]


Fairfax must stop undervaluing its workforce

By: - April 7, 2023

By Norman Hall As Fairfax County continues its yearly budget ritual and holds public hearings on April 11-13, workers and citizens alike always look for clues about priorities and a shared vision for the future. For Fairfax County employees like myself, we are often left with a sense of disillusionment and this year is no […]


Another death in custody

By: - March 22, 2023

By Bruce N. Cruser Henrico resident Irvo Otieno died on March 6 while in the process of being admitted to Central State Hospital. Otieno’s family, their attorneys and the prosecutor who reviewed the video of his death all said deputies assaulted the 28-year-old as he endured a mental health crisis, even though Otieno was handcuffed, […]


Black lung is on the rise in Appalachia; deregulation of the coal mine industry is the main culprit

By: - March 21, 2023

By Jacob Stump The Virginia Mercury reported on new research by scientists at the University of Illinois Chicago who worked in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,  an agency within the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers discovered “the largest cluster of (progressive massive fibrosis) ever recorded”   – […]