Community Perspective: Newly-Formed Governor’s Council on Environmental Justice Proposes Moratorium on all Pipeline Construction
A contributed Perspectives piece by Amelia Morrison.
The latest news in the development plans for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines proposed to cross through the Shenandoah Valley presents a daring challenge to our state’s conventional approach to pipeline projects. The Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, a citizen body of academics, legal professionals, and community organizers, has boldly urged Governor Northam to issue a complete halt to all pipeline projects in Virginia on the grounds of justice, safety, and due process.
Independent council candidate Carolyn Frank, who served as Harrisonburg’s first female mayor, is running again on a platform highlighting her concerns about rising taxes and costs, which she says could force people and businesses out of the city.
Democrat Chris Jones is seeking re-election with a core platform of prioritizing school development, environmental sustainability, community justice, and helping the 60 percent of people in Harrisonburg considered “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed,” or ALICE, as outlined in a 2017 report from the United Way.
Frank McMillan says he wants to be an independent voice in city government. While his top campaign donors include Republicans office holders as well as local Republican groups, he said he’s not loyal to any party. For instance, he says he believes in promoting environmental sustainability and disagrees with many positions that the Trump administration has taken on immigration.
Sal Romero, a Democrat in the five-candidate field for city council, is hoping the second time’s the charm as he focuses on education and inclusion in this year’s race—eight years after running unsuccessfully for council.
Paloma Saucedo’s platform is based on her experiences as a mother, immigrant, educator, and healthcare provider.
As Republican Ben Cline heads into Election Night as the favorite to succeed U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte in the 6th District, Cline is going on offense with an ad criticizing Democratic opponent Jennifer Lewis’s position on health care.
The five city council candidates spent much of Tuesday night’s forum agreeing with one another on issues like completing the Northend Greenway and police recruitment and retention, while still seeking to distinguish themselves through nuances in their answers.