Commentary

COMMENTARY

Why the Transportation Climate Initiative makes sense

BY: - September 22, 2021

By Andrew Savage If you thought the vibrant, blood orange sunsets over Virginia in July were striking, you weren’t alone. Unfortunately, those sunsets were caused by wildfire smoke out of the West that engulfed the state in a hazy smog and triggered a public health alert. Now, constant natural disasters are clear evidence of an […]

COMMENTARY

In attack on abortion rights, new Texas law could turn state courts into litigation Thunderdomes

BY: - September 20, 2021

Forty-eight years have passed since a Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade established a legal right to have an abortion in the United States. It created a passionate rift that has never been (and never will be) resolved. Those who oppose abortion say that terminating a pregnancy is murder. It’s an article of faith […]

COMMENTARY

What’s the law on vaccine exemptions? A religious liberty expert explains.

BY: - September 17, 2021

By Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia For Americans wary of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, like the sweeping requirements President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9, it seems there are plenty of leaders offering ways to get exemptions — especially religious ones. No major organized religious group has officially discouraged the vaccine, and many, like the Catholic Church, […]

COMMENTARY

It’s time for Virginia to invest in services and programs that will support all communities

BY: - September 17, 2021

By Breanne Armbrust The Commonwealth of Virginia finds itself in a unique position — in the middle of a historic pandemic with a budget surplus of $2.6 billion at the start of the new fiscal year. Like many community activists around Virginia, I immediately thought of how those funds could be used to directly benefit […]

COMMENTARY

Roll up your sleeves and get the shot

BY: - September 16, 2021

TO: All unvaccinated Virginians FROM: A beleaguered, vaccinated neighbor I get it. You’re anti-authoritarian. You’re independent, and unreceptive to dictates from the government. Maybe you’re fearful still today – in spite of all the evidence to the contrary – about unlikely risks associated with the shots to fight COVID-19.  You’re essential in this ongoing battle. […]

COMMENTARY

Why a Virginia judge got it wrong on student COVID-19 data

BY: - September 15, 2021

Last week a Rockingham County Circuit Judge ruled in favor of James Madison University in a case brought by the editor of JMU’s student newspaper, The Breeze, over access to the per-day number of COVID-positive cases per on-campus residence. Armchair-quarterback that I am, I’ve read the ruling, and probably unsurprisingly, I disagree. The ruling says […]

COMMENTARY

Tired of subsidies?

BY: - September 14, 2021

Some while back I was engaged in an online discussion with other solar advocates about renewable energy — specifically, how to get more of it built. Some of the participants I knew, others I did not. The conversation was lively, ranging from the need for better education to public policy and incentives. But then one […]

COMMENTARY

In a nationalized race, McAuliffe exploits the abortion furor while Youngkin hypes crime rates

BY: - September 13, 2021

Are Virginia elections really referendums on national concerns? Better yet, can candidates still compete on state-level issues? Both major-party gubernatorial candidates are nationalizing their campaigns to one degree or another, a phenomenon once rare in the drowsy, off-year Virginia elections that traditionally focused on parochial, almost arcane issues. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is staking his chances […]

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, […]