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.
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