I have to say that I was surprised when the debate turned ugly, thanks to Mr. Guevara's comments (which I will address later). For most of the time things were relatively civil and Guevara came across as a polished candidate who seemed committed to a drama-free event. But I guess he couldn't resist throwing some red meat to his supporters so, as they say, the gloves came off.
Supervisor Frey remarked on the large crowd, which neared 100 people -- quite a feat for an obscure political debate taking place before Labor Day. I doubt that there were many undecided voters in attendance. This appeared to be an exercise in candidates and parties getting their supporters out. Us Democrats had a good crowd, with elected officials and many top party activists in attendance. The Republicans clearly had sounded the alarm for the Tea Party folks to come out.
Yesterday, a group of us Young Democrats went to make our voices heard before the Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Our intention was to draw attention to the bad processes they're using to limit public input, overturn laws the previous board took great care to craft and implement, and ram through an extreme, pro-development agenda. Our message was simple but resonated with those in attendance: slow down, listen to the people, get the right feedback.
By every measure imaginable, the action was a great success. We held signs inside and outside the board room which caught the attention of the supervisors and others in attendance, a few of us spoke before the board and implored that they begin listening to Loudoun residents, other attendees adopted our theme and likewise pleaded with the Republican Board to actually listen and consider before making decisions on the issues they brought before them, and we even got Scott York to respond to our charges and make some statements that will enable us to hold the board accountable in the future.
We also were able to get the Loudoun Times Mirror to come and cover the action, as you can see here - we're happy to get press on this issue so we can begin to push back against this reactionary Board, but we need your help! Right now in the comments, the usual suspects have shown up to tear down our efforts and engage in personal attacks. I'm used to this sort of thing, but we can't allow them to engage in these sorts of tactics against some of our youngest Democrats, who are wading into politics for the first time.
Please, click on this link and tell these bullies to stand down! We're starting to push their buttons, which is why they've sent out their attack dogs, repeating some of the talking points Scott York introduced just yesterday. We have to let them know that we won't just stand by as they ram through their agenda and attack fellow Democrats.
In these meetings, the Board has voted to revisit or overturn at least four landmark decisions of the last Board. One of these is a vote to limit public input by eliminating the senior e-comment program that allowed those seniors physically unable to attend meetings to visit their local senior center and record a message to the Board to be played during the next Public Input session. This decision was made with no consultation with the Commission on Aging, and no comparable solution has been put in place.