Saturday afternoon, around 100 people showed up in beautiful Bon Air Park in Arlington for Rep. Don Beyer’s reelection campaign kickoff. The first video is of State Sen. Adam Ebbin introducing Beyer. According to Ebbin, Rep. Beyer is a “charismatic Lt. Governor, successful businessman, dedicated hiker, presidential scholar, national park ranger and champion speller” (“I’m not kidding; Don won the Congressional spelling bee”). More seriously, Ebbin emphasized that Beyer is a “compassionate bridge builder,” “an effective legislature” and a “thoughtful innovator.” Ebbin noted that Beyer takes a diametrically different approach than the Republican nominee for president, who “vilifies our Muslim neighbors and Latino immigrants.” To the contrary, Beyer “brings congressional colleagues and local officials to the Dar Al-Hijra mosque in Falls Church, he has the press come with him when he has dinner at the home of undocumented immigrants.” Beyer also gets things done, even in a Congress where it’s “easier to pass a kidney stone” than to get legislation enacted. Ebbin concluded that someone who hiked 1,400 miles of the Appalachian Trail, as Beyer has done, is not going to give up on the important things he cares about – gun safety, climate action, etc.
Rep. Beyer then spoke, thanking his wife Megan and everyone else – including elected officials (e.g., Sen. Ebbin, Del. Mark Sickles, Del. Mark Levine, Alexandria School Board member Chris Lewis, former Del. Bob Brink, former County Board Chair John Milliken, former State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple) – for coming to his kickoff. Beyer said that 2016 “will be the year that we elect the first woman president of the United States and the first Virginian Vice President since John Tyler” in 1841. According to Beyer, we’re Democrats “because we believe that discrimination has no place in this nation”; “because we want to protect the environment…and this includes animal protection…and accelerating the path to renewable energies and stopping climate change”; “because we want people to vote…Democrats want more people to vote and Republicans want fewer people to vote”; “because we believe that civil society has a fundamental duty to protect its most vulnerable and those living in poverty…we are the party of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid”; “because we fight for women…economic opportunity…their right to make their own healthcare decisions”; etc.
Beyer said he wakes up “every morning excited to go to work…I’ve loved these past two years.” He noted his “small victories,” like getting a new visitor’s center at the Iwo Jima memorial “rather than porta-potties,” new flight plans for airplanes coming out of National airport, minimizing helicopter noise over Arlington, “moving away from lowest-priced technically acceptable for government contractors,” “allowing local governments to regulate predatory…tow truck companies,” “making sure federal employees get paid if the Tea Party ever shuts down the government again,” $5 million for dyslexia research, banning cosmetic testing on animals, etc. He touted his constituent service work, including responding to 1,000 constituent cases and 100,000 emails.
He vowed to enact “fair, sensible carbon pricing, which is the best way to combat climate change”; to “take millions of Americans without papers out of the shadows with comprehensive immigration reform”; to pass “universal background checks and no gun sales to terrorists”; to “fund the national infrastructure program our country so badly needs”; to “change the way we budget, tax and spend so we can create a discretionary budget that we need to overcome Alzheimer’s, make public education pre-K through 14, and keep America at the forefront of science and innovation.” He concluded that he hoped history has a direction and that “our job is to push it as far along as we possibly can…move America and the world forward.”
With that, I wish Don Beyer the best of luck on the campaign trail, and thank him for being a super representative for our district!