Video, Photos: Big Crowd Turns Out for Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe in Arlington

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    Thanks to Aneesh Chopra for this photo of the scene a few minutes ago at the George Mason University Law School, where Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe held a standing-room-only rally in front of around 250 people. I’ll have a lot more – video, photos, thoughts on the event – later, but for now I’ll just say I thought it was an excellent event, with strong speeches by both Warner and McAuliffe on how to move Virginia forward. It was also good seeing (and talking to) Senator Mark Herring, Aneesh Chopra, DPVA Chair Charniele Herring, Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur, Delegates Alfonso Lopez, Bob Brink, Rob Krupicka, David Bulova, and Mark Keam, etc. Note that two of the biggest applause lines for Terry’s speech came at his mentions of: 1) his commitment to expanding Medicaid in Virginia; 2) his support for women’s reproductive freedom; and 3) his pledge to reform the testing requirements currently imposed on Virginia schools. One subject I would have liked to have heard a LOT more talk about was energy; in 2009, Terry talked a great deal about clean, renewable energy, but this time around he’s been a lot quieter on that subject, even as the urgency of moving ahead on that front has only increased over the past four years!  

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      From the McAuliffe for Governor campaign:

      Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe held the final event of his statewide campaign launch tour with Senator Mark Warner in front of a crowd of about 300 on Thursday at George Mason University in Arlington. During the event, Senator Warner and McAuliffe highlighted the need to invest in K-12 and STEM education in order to grow the Commonwealth’s economy and prepare its students for the jobs of tomorrow.

      Visit Terry’s website to see his “Putting Jobs First” agenda.

      “K-12 Education is the single most important tool we have to build a stronger Virginia, and we need to ensure that we are Preparing Virginia’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs,” McAuliffe said. “We’ve got to be more innovative in Pre-K through 12.  We can Increase Public/Private Workforce Training and STEM Education.  For instance, when high school students train in IT, mechanics, or as EMTs, we need to work with industry to make sure they’re getting credit and actual work-ready certificates for those accomplishments,” he continued.

      McAuliffe also discussed his plan to reform Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL). He noted, “We must ensure that a 3rd grade education confers a 3rd grade body of knowledge. But the current once-a-year, high stakes, multiple choice testing isn’t working for students, parents, or teachers,” which was met with rousing applaud by the Northern Virginia crowd.

      Senator Warner stressed the need for Virginia’s next governor to strengthen early childhood education during his introduction of McAuliffe, commenting, “There’s one candidate who has laid out already a plan to make sure that Virginia stays competitive in a global economy, that we work and produce good quality jobs for not only our young people, but for all Virginians who want to work. There’s one candidate who understands that if Virginia’s going to maintain its national and international recognition, we’ve got to have the best education system from preschool all the way through graduate school. The man with the plan is Terry McAuliffe.”

      The event in Arlington concluded McAuliffe’s five-day campaign launch tour where he visited eight cities across the state of Virginia. On each day, McAuliffe rolled out a different policy platform, and was joined by Senator Kaine in Richmond on Monday, where they highlighted the importance of strengthening community colleges across the Commonwealth.

       

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