Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric physician, started off the discussion Wednesday morning with a chilling statistic – there have been 860 deaths so far this year due to opioid overdoses. Virginia is on par to reach 1000 deaths by year end he said.
Dr. Northam, met with leaders at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to discuss the opioid public health emergency and to highlight policy solutions he will push for in the 2017 General Assembly session and beyond.
Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Steve Arner, President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center, Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic, Dr. Willia
A light bright breezy afternoon brought Brian Moran supporters out for a rally in front of the Dumas Center on Henry Street. Peggy Frank Democratic candidate for the 7th District House of Delegates gave kudos to Moran for all his help as she runs against incumbent Republican, Dave Nutter a second time.
Montgomery Democratic Committee Chair, Steve Cochran was there to show his support for Moran. All Montgomery County officials have endorsed Moran – Treasurer Richard Shelton, Commission of Revenue Sharon Gilbert, Sheriff Tommy Whitt, Clerk of Court Erica Williams.
Cochran said, “whoever is the next Governor of the Commonwealth needs a Democratic House of Delegates with which to work … we’re still six seat shy.” Cochran named hopeful Democratic House of Delegate contenders, Gwen Mason for the 17th District, Carol Pratt for the 6th District, and Peggy Frank for the 7th District.
State Senator John Edwards introduced Moran saying, “we started our legislative careers together in 1995 … Brian was head of the Democratic caucus at a time when the Democratic Party was not doing so hot with only 33 Democrats in the House.”
Moran called it a “gradual progression” to his decision to run for Governor. “It comes with trying to make a difference in the lives of your community.”
Senator Edwards & Peggy Frank
Frank & Moran
Senator Edwards & Moran
Joseph Hancock & Moran
Dog, Joey with Moran Sticker
Moran Endorsed by Humane Society
Joan Washburn & Moran
He believes that health care “is a moral obligation as well as an economic necessity – healthy kids grow up to be healthy productive adults.” He is also pushing a small business creation tax credit to stimulate the economy and he plans to increase the minimum wage and provide a refundable earned-income tax credit. “No one working a 40-hour week should be living in poverty,” said Moran. He wants to build an economy from the ground up not the top down.
As the only candidate who has been overseas Moran promises to “aggressively market Virginia.” Moran contends that by “retrofitting existing buildings, insulating, and using solar panels” we can be good stewards of the environment. He strongly opposes offshore drilling advocating instead for windmills off the coast of Virginia Beach.
Moran is the only candidate who would work to repeal the Marshal-Newman Amendment to Virginia’s Constitution. This amendment defines marriage between one man and one woman. Virginia is one of only a few states that has written discrimination into its constitution. Moran was only one of three delegates who stood on the floor of the House saying, “this is not right to use our constitution for political purposes. The constitution has always been used to protect the rights of the minority.”
Later I talked with Blacksburg resident, Victoria Cochran who sees Moran as has very strong support in Montgomery County. She believes that Moran understands “you have to work with people” to get things done.
Cochran said that Moran, “not only offers a vision but tells you how to get there … that’s the difference between pie in the sky and pie that you can eat.”
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
I spoke with Moran about RAM (Remote Area Medical) Care. He described how Virginian’s line up at the Wise County fairgrounds one hot July weekend each year for medical and dental care.
As someone that has watched, listened and asked questions of most all candidates for Governor and the House of Delegates I can say with certainty that Moran spoke from the heart and not from an arsenal of talking points.
Moran has plans to substantially increase the number of rural health clinics to provide health care to the poor on a more frequent basis. “It really shows what a mess our health care system is in,” said Moran. He described a tent at the fairgrounds where there were three rows of dental chairs with people getting their entire teeth extracted. It is the only time they will have dental care all year. “I will include dental coverage for Medicaid,” said Moran. Virginia is only one of eight states that doesn’t cover dental care in Medicaid package.