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Running to Win: Why Me, Not Moran (Part 1)

Most of the political air is being consumed by the Presidential race but the most important debates may not be on national TV.

Most of the political air is being consumed by the Presidential race but the most important debates may not be on national TV.

Jim Moran, myself and at times the other candidates for U.S. Congress have participated in multiple forums since the beginning of September.  During and in between these candidate forums each of us has respectfully made the case for why we want your vote.  Unlike what’s displayed on television, the organizations invite us to forums rather than true “debates.” We mostly state our positions in a limited round of questions and glide into closing remarks.  You deserve a clearer comparison and with each of my next few Patch postings you will get one.

I respect Mr. Moran’s passionate service to our congressional district, Virginia’s 8th.  For better or worse, his imprint will forever be etched into the history of Arlington, Alexandria the City of Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County.  In 2012 though, Northern Virginia is in a different place than when Mr. Moran was first elected in 1990.  And on too many federal issues our representative has not led.  We cannot solve 21st century problems with 20th century solutions.  With a trillion dollar budget deficit, we cannot merely spend our way out of big problems. 

Like his legislative colleagues who share in the all-time low approval rating, Mr. Moran has T.R.I.E.D. on - Traffic, Regulation, Immigration, Economy and Debt – critical issues but unfortunately failed.  Passionate partisanship has painted many politicians into a political corner.  As a country we are better when we embrace ideas rather than ideology, innovation rather than dogma.  I am running as an Independent to take responsibility for our biggest challenges.  Traffic is one issue I will tackle in my first term. 

TRAFFIC

We are number one in traffic.  Despite the millions of dollars spent on widening roads and expanding metro; and despite the recent release of $180 million credited to Mr. Moran, we still hold the dubious distinction of being number one.  Building more road was a 1956, Dwight D. Eisenhower solution.  In 2012 we will not build or spend our way out of our transit challenges. We must work smarter. 

There will always be opportunities to advocate for rail and widening roads but I will be the member of our Northern Virginia congressional delegation that stands out: I will emphasize and prioritize implementing telecommuting policy.  In the 21st century we have had the technology to make our jobs more efficient and effective for years; we have lacked the political will. 

The best example of well implemented telecommuting policy is the 10,000 person United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Between 2006 and 2012 The USPTO tripled the number of employees who telecommute leading to savings of $20 million per year.  First responders may not be able to telecommute but within many of our federal agencies, we can telecommute more. Doing so will improve our quality of life and reduce the costs associated with leasing, owning and managing federal office space.  It will also reduce the costs of the infrastructure projects – potential overruns due to inevitable rush hour related construction delays - we do have in place. 

With so many of our neighbors in the outer and inner suburbs performing government related work, championed telecommuting policy will have a tremendously positive local effect on our rush hour and our lives.  I want to save the number of hours wasted per day and per year commuting.  I want to increase your quality of life and decrease the negative effects commuting has on our environment.  I want you to eat dinner with your family more often.

Our commonwealth took a leadership position in telecommuting as the first state to institute a “Telework Day” in 2009.   We can continue to lead on this issue in the federal government.  We can do better. 

I will work during my first term so that we will do better. 

For more information about our campaign, please visit VoteJasonHowell.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Anonanova November 03, 2012 at 08:32 AM
Amen to increasing telecommuting! However, I do hope that telecommute becomes an option for most workers, not just management levels. It is possible to expand telecommute to more job positions, but companies do not provide this option fairly to all employees. I have been working a 100% telecommute job for almost 2 years that is mainly administrative, yet in my previous jobs, I was told that administrative positions simply wouldn't be able to participate in telecommute options since they are "inherently needed to be on-site if managers/supervisors telecommute." This telecommute job proves that it is possible. All of my work is time-stamped and I am given clear guidelines that define the quality expected, how it is measured, etc., whereas in a regular on-site job, it's like pulling teeth to get managers to be clear about how your performance is measured. By all means, I feel more efficient telecommuting since I can actively monitor and adjust my performance. Moreover, I feel like I finally have clear documentation of my work performance when it comes to performance reviews. In other past jobs, I'd work my butt off until the late hours (usually past midnight consistently) and none of my work was truly recognized nor appreciated when it came to performance reviews. With telecommuting, there is the benefit of instant analytical data on work performance. Why advance technology if we can't use it to its full potential? It's environmentally friendlier, too.
Jason Howell November 05, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Thanks for your note Anonanova, And especially for making the insightful points about telecommuting use. Your practical experience is quite enlightening because it shows how policy without a champion, can be ineffective. We have about 36 hours of campaigning left so let your neighbors know that there is a champion for equal opportunity telecommuting implementation.

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