Virginia Legislators Announce Formation of Progressive Caucus

Friday, February 25, 2011

The following press release is from Del. Patrick Hope's office. Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of this exactly. First of all, I'm not sure I understand why certain members are on this list and why many others aren't (e.g., where's Chap Petersen, who's been one of the most progressive members of the Senate over the past few years?). I presume there will be additions in the future, but how about subtractions, let's say if a particular member does something particularly anti-progressive (e.g., votes for Bob Marshall's "Health Care Freedom Act," appears at a Tea Party convention on an Americans for Prosperity-sponsored panel, etc.)? Is there any discipline to this caucus, any criteria, or are members just anyone who says "sign me up?" If so, then I'm dubious. I guess my question is, what exactly is the intended objective of this caucus, what does it hope to accomplish exactly? We'll see how it unfolds, and overall I believe that Patrick Hope deserves credit for organizing it. But...color me skeptical, especially in light of the numerous legislative debacles we saw unfold this past General Assembly session.
Legislators Announce Formation of Progressive CaucusRichmond - This morning, a group of legislators gathered to announce the formation of a Progressive Caucus in the Virginia General Assembly. At the announcement, Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) said, "Progressive values are Virginia values. Families across the Commonwealth want their legislature to focus on issues that matter to them." Delegate Hope continued, "The Progressive Caucus serves to fight for the interests of the average citizen and to educate the public on Progressive issues. "
His colleague, Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) added, "While Virginia can be slow to change, we have to keep pace with the times when it comes to issues like stem cell research, global warming and society's attitudes towards gays and lesbians. As progressives, it is important that we stand together as we work to move Virginia forward."
Delegate David Englin (D-Alexandria) stated, "It's time for progressive legislators to organize and work together to advance the progressive values that we share, so we can keep our Commonwealth moving toward that day when every person - including the poor, the elderly, the week, the dispossessed - has a fair shake and an equal shot at the American dream."
Senator McEachin (D-Henrico) concluded the press conference. "We standing here today believe that Virginians are fair and open-minded and want a Commonwealth that reflects those values. We will work together to improve the environment, support a strong, vibrant, quality, twenty-first century, public education system for all our children, devise and implement a long-term transportation program including a critical component of mass transit and of updated  infrastructure, create good-paying jobs and provide all Virginians equal opportunity, justice and fairness."