Delegate Ken Plum was first elected to the House of Delegates back in 1978 and hasn’t faced an opponent in the last few elections, but he’s still out listening to what folks have to say and giving them an update on the work taking place in the General Assembly. This includes making it out to the League of Women Voters forum that was held at the Reston Community Center on October 13.
It might not sound like much, but several of the Republican candidates who are actually in contested races couldn’t even be bothered to show up for the various forums here in Fairfax County. In my opinion, this goes to show who’s genuinely more interested in interacting with the public.
With that in mind, Del. Plum said this will be a “watershed election year” and encouraged folks to make sure their neighbors get out to vote. Among the issues he highlighted were doing away with gerrymandering (he introduced legislation back in 1982 to get non-partisan redistricting and has been working on it ever since) and working to end discrimination in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Ken also spoke about how Virginia should ratify the ERA and become the state that sends it over the threshold required to be written into the Constitution. “We’re way past time to get that done,” he said, “and I have a confidence that we’ll be able to do it this session.”
Of course, the epidemic of gun violence facing this country has also been one of the major issues in this year’s elections. It’s become especially noticeable how even after we saw a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, the Republicans have refused to even consider any reasonable reforms to help end gun violence. Speaker Kirk Cox even let the NRA set up a war room in his conference room at the Capitol, for instance, and went on to adjorn a special session on gun violence after 90 minutes. The Republicans made sure there was a vote to pay themselves, but refused to even have a discussion on gun violence.
These tactics have frustrated members of the general public and Ken highlighted how this has been going on for years in the General Assembly.
“The notion that somehow the 2nd amendment stands in the way of us having gun safety laws, that’s not the case,” Del. Plum told the audience. “I’ve been putting in the bills for universal background checks for the last six years and that bill has still to get a vote out of committee. That’s because the committee is stacked against it so that we won’t be able move forward on that.”