In the weeks since the election, I’ve had an opportunity to talk to folks around the state to get a sense of what they would like to see from our leaders in Washington.
If this election has proven anything, it’s that Virginians and Americans want leaders who focus less on partisan ideology and more on finding solutions that produce results that will get this economy back on the right track.
In my conversations across the state, I’ve heard from community, academic and business leaders who are all focused on the economic downturn and who have all shared new ideas and insight that I am eager to bring to the U.S. Senate.
State and local officials have discussed the proposed economic stimulus package, which could improve our infrastructure and create jobs here in Virginia. Our university leaders are working on exciting research into alternative energy, which could create thousands of new “green” economy jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And several of Virginia’s largest employers are thinking of innovative ways we can work together so they remain competitive in the global economy.
I’ve also joined with Senators Jim Webb and John Warner and Governor Tim Kaine in opposing a preliminary U.S. Navy decision to relocate an aircraft carrier – and the 5,000 military men and women who serve aboard it – from Norfolk to Mayport, Florida. It could cost almost one billion dollars to upgrade Florida’s facilities to accommodate a nuclear-powered carrier at a time when the Navy has more important priorities. Such a move would be unnecessarily disruptive to thousands of military families and shipyard workers who live and work in Hampton Roads.
I’ve also spent some time learning how the Senate operates and meeting one-on-one with my future Senate colleagues and shared with them what I’ve heard on the campaign trail: that Americans want leaders in Washington to start working together to solve our nation’s enormous challenges.
I’d like to hear from you, too. Now is the time to put aside partisan differences and bring fresh thinking and new ideas to Washington, and that starts with full participation from everyone.
I hope you continue to share your thoughts and ideas in the months ahead, as we work to move our country forward together.
Thanks again for all your support,