Why I Am Running for the Virginia House of Delegates
by Terry Modglin
I am thankful that we live in a great country that gives to us many freedoms, economic opportunities, and avenues to improve institutions and conditions peacefully. I am also thankful to live in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in Northern Virginia, where we have enjoyed economic growth and prosperity, competent governance, and a strong social fabric. Like many Northern Virginians, I see economic, social, and governance challenges, including reduced federal resources in our area, strong competition from other US and even international sources, and environmental pressures that could diminish our quality of life. There is no doubt that we can do even better to build a strong future. We can overcome the economic, educational, and environmental challenges that we face – but we will not do so clinging to the answers of the past.
We need new ideas and solutions for our region, changes that are unlikely to emerge looking only to the orthodoxy of the two political parties that have in effect divided up the state. Virginia is not a Red or Blue State, but a Purple State in which our ideas are not chained to partisan divides. That is why I have chosen to run as a candidate of the Independent Green Party for the Delegate seat from the 49th House of Delegates District. Our District presents a rich mosaic of peoples and a meaningful history, but it is at a crossroads of development and growth. It needs political leaders who offer maximum room for fresh ideas while always focusing on accountability.
As an Independent Green Party Member in the House of Delegates, I will be bound by loyalty to the Commonwealth and all the people of 49th District first and foremost. I will stand up for what is right and necessary, and I will strive to make the House of Delegates (and General Assembly as a whole) a pragmatic place for bettering our Commonwealth and its conditions. Doctrinaire confrontations will not solve our problems. Only thoughtful and realistic approaches that offer both a stable base for the long term and compassion for those who truly need our help now will build the kind of future that we want for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. Our history of building progress out of compromise and combining our visions needs to be renewed and restored to its rightful place as part of what makes this state work well.
To those who say that the massive money and organization of the Democratic Party leave me no chance to be elected, my response is “Mr. Smith can still go to Richmond.” I am capable of representing the 49th District well because of the diversity of my experience and expertise and my life-long commitment to serving people and our country and society. I proudly served in the United States Army for more than four years, including twenty months in Vietnam. I served as a House of Representatives Committee Staff Member for eight years and been associated in some way with issues on Capitol Hill for thirty years, so I enter the legislative arena with experience and a grounded, sophisticated game plan. For instance, over a quarter of a century I worked to make our society safer and better through local crime prevention programs and policies, and I worked especially with youth and with local governments.
I have studied the issues. I have a broad education in history, government, economics, and public administration, with my master’s degree focusing on urban politics and urban finance. I have worked with more than half the states in this country. I have spent time on every continent except Antarctica. From an early age I experienced poverty and threats against my safety. /I have worked hourly wage jobs and held senior policy positions including CEO. In short, I bring a unique perspective — understanding this country at all levels and serving in a wide range of roles. Most importantly, I understand the system but I am not a captive of it.
I will conduct my campaign and serve our District in ways that keep me independent of special interests and thus able to serve the general interests of the people of our District while remaining dedicated to the welfare and progress of every citizen and resident.
The most important outcome of this campaign and my election will be what the voters of the 49th District decide to do for themselves and through me as we work together. We can and must make progress – but this is possible only through an informed and involved electorate. Let us dedicate this year to improving this Commonwealth and our contributions to it.
Independent Green Party of Virginia
49th District, Virginia House of Delegates