Commentary

COMMENTARY

Hey incumbents, the General Assembly will survive without you

BY: - September 10, 2021

George Barker may have thought he was in the clear. The state senator from Northern Virginia was the chief sponsor of his chamber’s bill to hold a voter referendum last year to start a redistricting commission. Citizens approved the plan by a large margin. Surely the Fairfax County Democrat, in the Senate since 2008, would find smooth […]

COMMENTARY

What young kids say worked – and didn’t work – for them during virtual learning

BY: - September 9, 2021

By Mari Altshuler, Northwestern University On Aug. 30, 2021, my kid joined millions of children in walking through school doors as he began first grade. Despite the ongoing pandemic, school buildings are almost universally open. While there are many voices expressing health and safety concerns, policymakers have decided that the best choice for children’s well-being […]

COMMENTARY

‘The employee is in the catbird seat.’ It’s about time.

BY: - September 8, 2021

School divisions around the commonwealth, including the Richmond area and Hampton Roads, are worried about a lack of bus drivers as the new school year starts. Norfolk, for example, has 91 openings, nearly twice the number than at the same time in 2019.  Restaurants and other service industries have resorted to offering higher wages to […]

COMMENTARY

A Virginia the Martinsville Seven could not have imagined

BY: - September 7, 2021

It took Virginia 70 years to clear the names of seven young Black men who were put to death for a Jim Crow-era rape conviction in which their skin color put a fair trial and a measured sentence out of their reach. It was done by a governor born eight years after Francis DeSales Grayson, […]

COMMENTARY

Everything we know about work is wrong. The pandemic proved it.

BY: - September 6, 2021

So what can the plight of a little café tell you about the state of the American economy and the changing face of work? A lot, as it turns out. The other week, the bistro where my family and I have been grabbing brunch every Sunday since the start of the pandemic announced that it […]

COMMENTARY

Reforms needed at Virginia electric co-ops

BY: - September 3, 2021

By Seth Heald Summer is annual-meeting time at Virginia’s 13 electric cooperatives. Like all consumer cooperatives, electric co-ops are owned by their customers (called “member-owners”) and are supposed to be democratically governed. The key to genuine democratic control is board-of-director elections, which happen at each co-op’s annual meeting, where member-owners can vote for board candidates. […]

A world burning up and under water must finally act on climate change

BY: - September 2, 2021

By Rose Hendricks and Mark Reynolds Two recent Mercury articles send an incredibly clear message: the effects of climate change are here in Virginia right now, and they’re only going to intensify. First, Sarah Vogelsong’s article “Report says climate change will have ‘increasingly disruptive effect’ on coastal Va.” details the statewide repercussions of rising sea […]

COMMENTARY

Congress: Turn your attention to Americans like me

BY: - September 2, 2021

By John Livesay I am a 64-year-old, life-long Virginian, and I’m proud of my work ethic. In fact, I remember receiving my first work permit in 1970 at age 13. I worked as a grocery store stock boy after school. And I’ve been working ever since, until my disabilities caught up with me. Today, I […]

COMMENTARY

Cleaning up ‘forever chemicals’ must be a federal priority

BY: - September 1, 2021

The U.S. Senate faces a long to-do list when it reconvenes next month. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax,  wants to be sure an important but fairly obscure environmental health bill makes the list.  It passed the House in July, thanks in part to Democratic members of our congressional delegation, and now awaits action in the […]

COMMENTARY

Racialized comments on vaccination rates are dangerous and irresponsible

BY: - August 31, 2021

Most prevarications uttered by Republican politicos can be dismissed, fact-checked or denounced. Remember “Jewish space lasers” setting California lands ablaze? Or the former president suggesting an injection of Lysol could cure coronavirus? However, a Texas GOP official’s steaming pile of excrement about African-Americans and COVID-19 seep into a truly dangerous sphere. It can’t be ignored because this nation has […]

COMMENTARY

Electrify Virginia homes now

BY: - August 30, 2021

By Chris Meyer and Ross Wood Recent extreme weather events such as the heat domes in the Western United States directly or indirectly impacted millions of people. Unfortunately, these events will likely become more frequent, eventually impacting Virginia as well, despite our traditionally more moderate climate. So, what can we do now to make our […]

COMMENTARY

Fed up, the vaccinated find their voice

BY: - August 30, 2021

A nurse breaks down in a TV interview after she’s held the hand of a third ICU patient to die of COVID-19 during just one grueling shift. Tick … tick … tick … Children are masked in their classrooms, yet they’re the lucky ones who are at school, not those forced for a third school […]