Oct 112017
 

Candidates for contested Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and School Board seats shared their views and responded to questions from the audience at this Senior Statesmen of Virginia sponsored forum.

Candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Candidates For Albemarle County Board Of Supervisors Samuel Miller District
John Lowry (R) lives in North Garden. His background is in financial management. He is also a former chair of the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority. John is a runner and a member of the Albemarle Pipes and Drums Corps.
Liz Palmer (D), the incumbent supervisor seeking a second term, lives in Ivy. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Auburn University Veterinary School. She served as chair of the Board in 2016. She operates a veterinary hospice for companion animals.
Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Rio District
Katrina Callsen is a graduate of Yale, the Boston University School of Education and U.Va. Law. She is a former teacher with Teach for America. She volunteers with Kids Give Back.
Mary McIntyre is an alumna of UNC — Greensboro who holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii — Manoa. She has taught in North Carolina, Virginia and Hawaii and volunteered at a school in Tanzania.
Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Samuel Miller District
Graham Paige, the incumbent seeking his first full term, resides in Esmont. He is a graduate of Hampton University with a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He is a retired Albemarle County teacher. He is a trustee, adult Sunday-School teacher and organist at New Green Mountain Baptist Church.
Julian Waters is a 2017 graduate of Western Albemarle making his first run for elective office. He is active in education-policy issues and a regular blood donor who founded the Model Aviations and Drone Club at Western Albemarle.

 
The event took place at the Wednesday October 11, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. SSV Board Member Terry Cooper moderated the Board of Supervisors forum. SSV Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the School Board forum.

Sep 132017
 

Candidates for the contested House of Delegates seats representing Albemarle and Charlottesville shared their positions and responded to questions from the audience.

Candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Steve Landes (R): Serving his eleventh term, Steve has been an able steward of taxpayer resources in the House of Delegates. During his tenure, he has focused on promoting economic development, fostering education innovations, and increasing healthcare choice, access and affordability. He has been a steady voice of reason heard above the noise that all too often clouds our political discourse. Steve serves as a House Budget Conferee. He is a Member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, representing the House of Delegates, serves on the Education Commission of the States; and serves on the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. He is also Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education; and on the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia.
Angela Lynn (D): This is a decisive moment in our Commonwealth. We need assertive leadership with the courage to stand up to entrenched interests in Richmond and do what is right for Virginia. I’m running for the General Assembly because I believe I can provide that leadership. As our government today gerrymanders the state to ensure their own power, and education and health care are at risk for our most vulnerable, we need representatives in government who understand our needs and will fight for the interests of the community. My family have been proud Virginians since the 1700s. After my husband’s career in the military, he and I moved here 25 years ago to raise our five children. I’ve worked as a higher education administrator and led efforts to improve our community. I’m running for the General Assembly to support and protect my home state.
Rob Bell (R): grew up in a Navy family.  He attended the University of Virginia on scholarship, and graduated with honors from both the college and law school.  Rob served as a state prosecutor in Orange County for five years, where he prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice. Since his election as a Republican to the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on repeat-offense drunk driving and keep sex offenders off school property. He has also worked to close loopholes in Virginia’s mental health laws after the shooting at Virginia Tech.  More recently, he wrote laws to expand Virginia’s protective orders and to require life in prison for those convicted of raping children. In 2015 he wrote the law to address sexual assaults on on college campuses, and in 2016 expanded Virginia’s stalking laws.
Kellen Squire (D): I’m a husband and a father to three beautiful children.  I’m an emergency room nurse and a proud graduate of the University of Virginia.  I’m a Christian, an avid outdoorsman, and a hard-working, middle-class American who’s fed up with the political system today. We’ve almost killed the working class in this country.  Wages have been stagnant for more than three decades.  Our government seems to work more for lobbyists and special interests than for ordinary people.  The worst kind of toxicity in our politics, pitting some groups of Americans against others, is a disease that threatens the future of our country. That disease is spread by political operatives and career politicians, some of whom have spent decades in office by gerrymandering themselves into comfortable little districts so that they never have to run against a serious opponent.

 

The event took place at the Wednesday September 13, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Aug 092017
 

Candidates for Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) and Jill Holtzman (R) discuss issues facing Virginians in the 2017 election.

Justin Fairfax (D) (Left) and Jill Holtzman (R) speaking at The V. Earl Dickinson Building.
Justin Fairfax (D) was raised by a single mother and her parents. He is a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, Duke University and Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review. He later served as a federal prosecutor in Virginia. He currently practices with the Tysons Corner office of the law firm Venable LLP where he focuses on white-collar criminal-defense matters and complex civil litigation.
Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) is serving her third term in the Virginia Senate. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and DePaul University School of Law. She is a senior partner in Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC, a firm that specializes in election and ethics laws. In the Virginia Senate she chairs the Privileges & Elections Committee and is a member of numerous other committees and subcommittees, including the Senate’s “money” (taxation and spending) committee, Senate Finance.
The forum was moderated by Bob Gibson. Mr. Gibson is a long-time political writer, columnist and editor at The Charlottesville Daily Progress. He is now with the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 9, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the V. Earl Dickinson Building and in conjunction with  Piedmont Virginia Community College. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience.

Jul 042017
 

CPN contributor Jordy Yager filed this audio from this morning’s 55th annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. Seventy-four candidates received their United States citizenship at the event. David N. Saperstein, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom and prominent Reform rabbi, addressed the crowd. The event took place on the back portico of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jun 142017
 

Albemarle County Supervisors Brad Sheffield and Diantha McKeel speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Albemarle County is actively working to transform the Route 29/Rio Road area, work that started with the new grade separated interchange project and is continuing with a small area plan that will re-imagine how people live, work, shop and play in this critical area of the County. In this podcast, the County solicits the thoughts and ideas of seniors as it begins to finalize the plans for this vital area of the county. Topics include: Current Rio+29 Small Area Plan, the Economic Development in the Rio+29 area and the development of transportation facilities for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and cars.

In addition to leading the discussion about the transformation of Rio and 29, Supervisors Diantha McKeel, Chair of the Board and Supervisor for the Jack Jouett District, and Brad Sheffield, Supervisor for the Rio District, also answered questions from the audience.

The event took place at the Wednesday June 14, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

May 102017
 

Area legislators reported on the 2017 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This was the biennial “short” session when the focus is normally on amending Virginia’s two-year budget. Because revenues were greater than expected, the budget amendments were adopted with little strife. The record on other issues was mixed. For example, bills to reform the redistricting process and end gerrymandering, which passed the Senate overwhelmingly, were killed in an early-morning House subcommittee meeting.

SSV Board Member Terry Cooper (left), State Senator Creigh Deeds, Delegate Steve Landes and Delegate David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

Senator Creigh Deeds (D) represents the 25th Senate District which includes the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington and Lexington, and the counties of Albemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson and Rockbridge.
Delegate Steve Landes (R) represents the 25th House of Delegates District which includes portions of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties.
Delegate David Toscano (D) represents the 57th House of Delegates District which includes Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County.

 

The three spoke at the Wednesday May 10, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Apr 122017
 

Luke Juday speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

After decades of attracting migrants from across the country, Virginia has suddenly experienced three consecutive years of net loss to other parts of the country. The effects of that change will start to ripple across the Commonwealth. With cities getting younger and rural areas getting older, population growth is becoming more and more polarized. The economic climate is becoming increasingly competitive for cities and towns, forcing local leaders to find new niches in a global economy.

Luke Juday is director of planning for the City of Waynesboro, VA. Before coming to Waynesboro, he was a transportation planner at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and a demographer at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center, where most of this presentation was prepared. He has a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Grove City College, a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Botswana. He is originally from Chesapeake, VA, where he was home schooled through high school.

Mr. Juday spoke at the Wednesday April 12, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Mar 132017
 

Full audio from the February 26, 2017 Indivisible Charlottesville town hall meeting held at Charlottesville High School. Approximately 1200 people attended the meeting. Republican Congressman Tom Garrett declined to attend.

Audio courtsey University Visual.

Mar 082017
 

Carolyn Engelhard speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

This podcast looks at the  promises and pitfalls of ObamaCare and the winners and losers over the last six years. Engelhard looks as some of the post 2016 election polls and the “you break it you own it” politics of the current debate over repeal, replace, repair and delay.

Carolyn Engelhard

Carolyn Engelhard directs the Health Policy Program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Professor Engelhard’s academic activities include analyzing and monitoring changes in health policy at the federal and state governmental levels and teaching in both the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine. Ms. Engelhard received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, and her M.P.A., Public Administration, from the University of Virginia.

Ms. Engelhard co-authored a book looking at the myths surrounding the U.S. health care system, completed a national project in conjunction with the nonpartisan Urban Institute examining the use of public policies to reduce obesity, and contributed a textbook chapter examining the effect of the new law on health care organizations.

Professor Engelhard co-directs a national webinar featuring health policy experts and students across four universities each spring, and she is a contributing health policy expert for the webbased news journal, TheHill.com.

Ms. Engelhard spoke at the Wednesday March 8, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Feb 082017
 

Kristen Suokko speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food. They provide the support services, infrastructure, and market opportunities that connect people with food grown close to home.

Local Food Hub grew out of a community-supported discussion that identified a need for greater linkages between small family farms and institutions seeking local food. Farmers were being locked out of the institutional market due to missing infrastructure, delivery minimums, insurance requirements, and time. Institutions and businesses found it challenging to access a consistent supply of local produce, and were looking for one number to call to source locally.

Since its founding eight years ago, Local Food Hub has made strides in its mission to make fresh, farm sourced food available to everyone. Locally sourced food is now accessible to school kids and seniors, hospitals and universities, and restaurants and retailers. Community partnerships and programs ensure that we not only feed but also educate a new generation about the value of eating fresh and local. Family farms, the environment, public health, and the local economy all benefit as a result.

Kristen Suokko

Kristen Suokko served as chairwoman of the Local Food Hub Board of Directors in 2012, and in 2013 became executive director. Kristen maintains a wealth of experience in environmental philanthropy and nonprofit excellence, as well as environmental planning and sustainability. She began her career in Washington, D.C., working for the Natural Resources Defense Council and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Kristen has lived in Charlottesville for over 15 years and previously held positions with the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Blue Moon Fund. Kristen received a degree in Russian from Middlebury College and is from New England.

Ms. Suokko spoke at the Wednesday February 8, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Madison Cummings.

Jan 112017
 

Marshie Agee speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, the Senior Statesmen of Virginia present the issues surrounding traffic safety.

  • Crash testing and consumer ratings programs have made vehicles safer than ever.
  • Autonomous vehicles get lots of attention, and they do have the potential to make automobile travel even safer. However, none of us can buy one now, and there are many issues to be resolved before they can become mainstream.
  • Crash avoidance technologies like auto-braking are the building blocks for autonomous cars, and these systems are already on the market and reducing crashes.
  • Despite the promise of technology, it’s important not to forget about things we can do right now to improve safety, no matter what kind of vehicles people are driving. Lowering speed limits, using automated enforcement to deter both speeders and red light runners, and improving enforcement of safety belt use and impaired driving laws are proven ways to bring down the death toll.
Marshie Agee

Marshie Agee is the communication liaison for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In her position Marshie speaks to groups visiting the IIHS Vehicle Research Center about the Institute’s work and represents the Institute at conferences and community events. She also fields consumer inquiries about the Institute’s research and presents research findings on the web for both the media and general public. Marshie has been with the Institute since 2004. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Before joining the Institute, she worked as web designer and a teacher.

Ms. Agee spoke at the Wednesday January 11, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Dec 142016
 

Jim Hobart and Terry Cooper speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The results of the 2016 presidential election pleased some, disappointed others and surprised just about everyone. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was supposed to have a lock on the presidency but Republican nominee Donald Trump, who faced not only Democratic opposition but a “Never Trump” movement among Republicans, prevailed by winning a majority of Electoral College votes.

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia hosted two political consultants who fielded questions about the elections, such as:

  • How was a political novice (Trump) able to dispatch more than a dozen seemingly far more qualified Republicans and secure the nomination?
  • Why did Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders perform so well in the Democratic primaries and caucuses yet lose the Democratic nomination to Clinton?
  • Why were voters left with a choice that many described as between the lesser of two evils?
  • How was Trump able to carry states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that were supposedly part of a “blue wall” guaranteeing a Clinton victory?
  • Why didn’t the pollsters and the media see what was coming?
  • And what do the 2016 election results portend for the nation and for the futures of the Republican and Democratic parties?
Jim Hobart is a vice president at the leading Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.  Jim is a veteran of numerous important campaigns, including four victorious U.S. Senate campaigns and 11 winning U.S. House campaigns in 2014.  He was named Campaigns & Elections magazine’s Rising Star in 2013.
Terry Cooper is a native of Charlottesville and a veteran opposition researcher for Republican campaigns.

Hobart and Cooper spoke at the Wednesday December 14, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.