Voters in at least 15 House of Delegates districts around have a viable independent alternative to select on Election Day. Many voters who have seen these qualified and capable independent candidates at public forums or at their front door are impressed with their courage to run and their willingness to listen.
According to a just released Gallop Poll, 60% of Americans say the two larger political parties "do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two [larger] parties adequately represent Americans."
Voters like Brenda Gonsalves from Fairfax have higher expectation of candidates and are often turned off by the negative messages from the two larger political parties. “Give me a positive message and I may consider voting this year.” Similar sentiment has been heard by all these candidates as they canvass neighborhoods offering just that, a more positive, disciplined demeanor, an independent and open-mind to the voters’ concerns.
The most active of the growing parties was on display this past week as members of the Independent Green Party of Virginia converged in a number of candidate events. On October 9 at the Annual Nurses Legislative Reception, Jim Leslie of Annandale shared his personal affection for nurse practitioners as he assisted his wife with 300 medical visits in one year while she fought an aggressive cancer.
Jim thanked the Virginia Nurses Association and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners for participating in the electoral process. He made a pitch for candidates stating “By running or standing for office you get a chance to spread your message to the public and advocate for positive solutions that you hold dear.”
At other events in Northern Virginia the Indy Greens remind voters that their main issue is an important one and does produce positive results. For instance, it was announced last week that there will be new Metro stops added at the Potomac Yards development that is underway in Alexandria.
“These are victories!” Gail “for Rail” Parker running in House District 43 declares, “Our participation with others in a statewide rail coalition has yielded the addition of regional Amtrak lines from Lynchburg to Boston three years ago, Norfolk to Richmond last December. And Metro Rail to Tysons which is under budget and may finish ahead of schedule.
“We are the electoral arm of the coalition. By running candidates we recruit new rail enthusiasts who understand the connection that rail has to not only cleaning our environment, but also contributing to our national security and boosting our economy.”
Gail answered voters’ concerns about improving mental health funding by reminding them that the economic boost achieved by rail transit will provide the tax revenues needed to fund mental health services.
Terry Modglin from Seven Corners (49th District candidate) insists, “To stay competitive we must invest in renewable energy. Constructing solar, wind, geothermal, and rail industries in Virginia will generate thousands of new jobs and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We can do it with private industry using the government only to spur public-private investment and easing the impediments to starting new technology businesses.” Terry emphasizes expanding rail to Baileys Crossroads and Seven Corners.
Many of the Independent Green candidates are veterans like Annandale’s Col. Jim Leslie, (USMC ret.) running in District 38. “We believe in running candidates for public office to take Action Against Apathy. We support our troops by advocating for peace.”
The Independent Greens provide a logical alternative for voters concerned with negative environmental news. They recall the disaster in Arkansas where a pipeline broke and dumped thousands of gallons of oil. They don’t appreciate the fracking industry that covers up the damages to a pristine forest and worse as the recent floods in Colorado showed how the polluted tanks and reservoirs became a toxic mix in those rushing waters.
Indy Greens have a hard time understanding how people still think nuclear power is safe when no safe disposal of radioactive fuel has been perfected and even worse yet to come as the Fukushima disaster is still wreaking havoc in the Pacific waters.
IG’s have faith that voters will adopt green candidates. Indy Green co-founder Carey Campbell states, “With voters agreeing in polls that more independent and third parties are needed, we recruit, support, train and empower those who run with us. Together we can advocate for more earth-friendly solutions like using public transit to reduce congestion and pollution. Our nominated and endorsed coalition of capable and qualified independent greens on the ballot in 2013 is one of the strongest slates of candidates we have ever had. Plus we attract more talent every year.”
Now that solid citizen candidates have stepped up and are willing to serve in the General Assembly, all the Independent Greens need are enough votes to get elected. With a projected low turnout in this year’s election, this could be their time.