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]


A warning siren on Virginia students’ mental health

By: - November 14, 2022

By Keith Perrigan Recently, a tremendous amount of attention has been paid to the decline in student achievement in Virginia since 2019. Simply enter any combination of “Virginia,” “NAEP,” “SOL,” “cut scores,” “higher expectations” and so on, and a plethora of news articles, op-eds and reports will fill your screen. Rightly so. Ensuring our current […]


How gender, race, age and voter ID laws affect whether a voter actually casts a ballot

By: - November 4, 2022

By Jane Junn, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; John Holbein, University of Virginia; and Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University Who shows up to cast a ballot and who is allowed to mark a ballot and have it counted will determine which candidates take office and what issues they focus on. The Conversation […]


EPA: Enlightened despots or experts?

By: - October 14, 2022

By Bobby Whitescarver  Here we go again. In the first U.S. Supreme Court case this fall, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, the justices and lawyers wrestled with the definition of “waters of the United States”— those waters that the federal government has jurisdiction to protect from pollution and alteration. The definition has been changing ever […]


Despite “periods of hysteria,” Truman found cause for hope in the national character

By: - September 15, 2022

By William Walker Historians have an unfortunate reputation for delivering bad news. That indictment was recently bolstered by a group of the nation’s leading scholars who warned President Joe Biden that they foresaw unrest, violence and perhaps even civil war approaching the United States. To counter those grim prospects, I am pleased to report the […]


A bipartisan educational policy agenda for Virginia 

By: - September 14, 2022

By Jonathan Becker As summer recedes and we head into fall, a new school year begins. Students, faculty and staff head back into schools and classrooms with hope and an understandable bit of trepidation. Fall is also a time when Virginia legislators craft their agendas and plan to pre-file bills for the next legislative session. […]


Now isn’t the time to reduce environmental review of energy permits

By: - September 9, 2022

By Chelsea Barnes On August 22, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) made a trip to Twin Valley High School in Whitewood, Virginia, where just weeks prior, the community was ravaged by flooding, with more than 100 homes destroyed. During the meeting, residents described ruined homes and several areas still cut off from vehicle traffic because […]


America is in the middle of a labor mobilization moment

By: - September 5, 2022

By John Logan Labor Day 2022 comes smack bang in the middle of what is increasingly looking like a pivotal year in the history of American unions. The summer has seen a steady stream of workforce mobilizations. Employees at Trader Joe’s locations in Massachusetts and Minneapolis both voted to unionize. Meanwhile, restaurant chain Chipotle saw […]


There has never been a better time to fence cattle out of streams

By: - September 1, 2022

By Bobby Whitescarver My wife and I are beef cattle farmers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Two years ago, we enrolled in Virginia’s Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost-Share Program. We used this state funding to fence our cattle out of the streams and develop a rotational grazing system. The program opened a huge door […]


RGGI funds have been a game-changer for many low-income homes

By: - August 25, 2022

By Chelsea Harnish As Congress passes historic climate legislation for the first time in decades, Virginia has already been combating climate change via the commonwealth’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based carbon-reduction program. RGGI auctions provide vital funds for flood resiliency and low-income energy efficiency programs, improving the health and safety […]


Young people should be more than an afterthought in crisis mental health conversations

By: - August 19, 2022

By Kristin Lennox and Emily Moore  Historically, Virginia’s response to mental health has been more reactive than preventative. According to rankings by nonprofit Mental Health America, Virginia is 21st in youth mental health and 37th in access to mental health care. Moreover, young people’s needs and experiences have consistently been considered last in policy changes […]


Bipartisanship and cooperation make Virginia opioid settlement distribution a national model

By: - July 28, 2022

By Michelle Gowdy In the coming weeks, Virginia and each of its cities and counties will begin to receive the first of several payments from recent legal settlements with the country’s three largest wholesale drug distributors and a major opioid manufacturer that helped fuel the devastating opioid crisis. Virginia and its numerous localities will receive […]


While the Supreme Court creates confusion over climate regulations, Virginia can still do its part

By: - July 21, 2022

I’m shocked at what the Supreme Court has been doing recently. The court overturned the State of New York’s right to restrict who can carry concealed, loaded guns in public and then struck down women’s constitutional right to abortion. On June 30, they limited the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions—when the world needs […]