What, You Weren’t Invited to France? (Well, There is an Alternative…)


    So you weren’t among the 100+ Virginia state legislators invited by Virginia Uranium on an all-expense-paid trip to France? To, you know, be educated about uranium mining, while perhaps sipping a 1990 vintage red Bordeaux accompanied by a fine plate of charcuterie?

    Well, I’m sorry to hear that.  I’m quite sure your invite got lost in the mail, just like mine.  

    So, here’s the good news – there is an alternative.  Granted, it ain’t France, but it’s an even better opportunity to find out the truth about the pending proposal to mine uranium in Virginia, and all the risks to our health and environment that such mining could pose.  

    I’m talking about the series of free workshops now being conducted by the Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia League of Conservation Voters-Education Fund, the Sierra Club and Keep the Ban.  The one in Richmond has passed, but there are five more coming up soon:

    – June 21 – Charlottesville (Community Design Center – City Space)

    – June 23 – Virginia Beach (Croc’s Eco-Bistro)

    – June 30 – Arlington (Central Library Auditorium)

    – July 19 – Roanoke (Higher Education Center Room #408)

    – July 21 – Harrisonburg (Clementine’s Café Lounge)

    Granted, the Arlington Central Library and Roanoke Higher Education Center can’t quite compare with the Louvre and Notre Dame.  But maybe they’ll provide a few croissants. (Dinner is included!)

    More importantly, you’ll learn what you can do to keep our beautiful state, its streams, farms, wildlife and population centers free of harmful radiation.  And that’ll be worth the trip.

    • NOVA expat

      This question speaks to something I’ve complained about for years with respect to progressive groups who lobby.

      Why on EARTH would you have an event like this in Arlington, where virtually the entire delegation is a lock to vote against uranium mining, rather than in Fairfax, where a number of legislators’ votes could be in play?  

      From the invite, “We will be inviting State Senators and Delegates in your area. Please make sure to invite your local elected officials to join us!”

      Given that the goal is to get legislators to attend, having the event in Arlington makes absolutely no sense to me and speaks to a lack of strategic thinking that absolutely kills progressive causes, particularly the ones who lobby in Richmond, and have such an uphill climb to begin with.  

      Moreover, because the Arlington delegation is virtually a lock to oppose ending the ban, even the citizens who attend (and are likely to, duh, live in Arlington) won’t have anyone to pressure.  You have this event in Fairfax, where Dave Albo’s, Tom Rust’s and (a few) of Jim Lemunyon’s constituents live, since those guys are votes that you NEED to stop this (but aren’t organically likely to get).  

      Just don’t get it…

      Now, if the event is all about making progressives and opponents of uranium mining feel better about losing on the issue, well, more power to ’em.  But I’d like to think they actually have “Keeping the Ban” as the goal.  

      If we’re actually going to pass progressive legislation in Virginia, we have to be SMARTER than the other guys – they have far deeper pockets and the advantage of a House of Delegates with an overwhelming R advantage.  

      This, is not it.