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].


Utility-scale solar is coming to a farm near you

By: - September 21, 2023

By Robert “Bobby” Whitescarver We are undergoing a wonderful, historic, frustrating and devastating transition to renewable energy. Solar panels will be on buildings and parking lots, and in highway medians, landfills, and brownfields. Utility-scale solar should be installed in those places before we put it on farmland. But that’s not what’s happening. Like it or […]


Be careful what information you post about children on social media

By: - September 20, 2023

By Neera Doss Burner The internet has become a part of our daily life. Whether you access it on a computer, or a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet, the internet has opened doors for us. Unfortunately, there can be scary surprises behind some of those doors. We pay a price to […]


Power of the disability vote

By: - September 14, 2023

By Helena Berger The seventh annual Disability Voting Rights Week is being celebrated throughout the United States this week. Across Virginia, organizations collaborating with REV UP Virginia — a non-partisan, statewide coalition of disabled individuals, disability organizations, and ally groups working collectively to increase the political power of disabled Virginians — are holding events to […]


Community health workers: behind-the-scenes heroes

By: - September 8, 2023

By Valerie McAllister  If your doctor said, “There are comorbidities that will affect your outcome,” many people would not understand what that means or what they need to do to change their outcome. Fortunately, Virginia has an important group of people making health care services more accessible and understandable: community health workers. Last week was […]


Why did Kiki Webb have to die?

By: - September 7, 2023

By Dale M. Brumfield Around 8:00 a.m. on March 7, 2023, Anitrel “Kiki” Webb, a 45-year-old inmate at the all-female Fluvanna Correctional Facility in Troy, Virginia, went to take a shower. Officers found her almost four hours later, hanging from the rod, dead. Webb had been sentenced in Roanoke the previous April to 15 years […]


A life derailed by long COVID

By: - September 6, 2023

By John Bolecek   At the height of the Omicron wave in January 2022, my entire family – me, my wife and two sons, then ages 3 and 6 – got COVID through my younger son’s daycare. I was 38 years old, fit, vaccinated and boosted; because I have asthma, I was worried about getting […]


VPLC’s invitation to Oliver Anthony: Join us!

By: - August 31, 2023

By Valerie L’Herrou and Cassie Edner   Odds are, by now you’ve heard about that song from a country singer in Farmville, Virginia, who performs under the stage name Oliver Anthony.   As he belts “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Mr. Anthony raises an important issue that we here at VPLC care about and work hard to change: working […]


Democrats need to embrace economic populism

By: - August 30, 2023

By Ben Litchfield A few weeks ago, Governor Glenn Youngkin was on Fox News talking about the state of the national economy. In his segment with Laura Ingraham, he described how a trip to the grocery store is still a “gut punch” for working families with more than 60% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. […]


The Torres family needs to stay together, protected and safe

By: - August 23, 2023

By Eduardo Zelaya For a parent, time can move fast and slow simultaneously.   A year ago, Frederick Torres and his wife were preparing to send their little boy to kindergarten. Now, he’s about to be a “big boy” first-grader. The baby boy they carried in their arms when they fled Nicaragua is now a […]


Virginia can help keep the global internet free, open and accessible

By: - August 17, 2023

By Asheesh Agarwal   As a national leader in cybersecurity, Virginia is setting the standards for data protection and critical infrastructure through its numerous data centers, cloud computing capacity, and skilled workforce. A recent report by the American Edge Project explains how Virginia’s expertise could help to keep the internet open and accessible for everyone. […]


Stolen Afghan child needs to be returned to her rightful family

By: - August 9, 2023

By Dr. Marsha Griffin, Dr. Susan Foster and Dr. Breeda McGrath It is a well-accepted fact in the world of child psychology: children thrive when they are cared for by their families and feel immersed in their culture, heritage and community. Deprived of these supports, children can feel lost and are at severe risk of […]


Project:HOMES marries compassion to innovation at Chesterfield, Va.’s Bermuda Estates

By: - August 8, 2023

By Christie Marra   Claudia Guerrero Barrera enjoys her role as community engagement specialist for Virginia-based housing nonprofit project:HOMES, spending afternoons sitting around a kitchen table, drinking coffee, and chatting with women in the Bermuda Estates neighborhood of Chesterfield.  They discuss their relief at having persuaded the county to place a school bus to stop in […]