Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marshall for us, and the House

As a member of Danville City Council, Danny Marshall supported a then-revolutionary plan to get Danville and Pittsylvania County to work together on economic development projects. As a member of the House of Delegates, Marshall applauded as Yorktowne Cabinetry announced its intentions to open a new factory here, building in the city-county industrial park that Marshall and others worked to make a reality.

The recession has battered companies around the country, including Yorktowne Cabinetry. But some laid off Yorktowne workers learned that their unemployment benefit checks were reduced because of a mistake made by a Virginia Employment Commission bureaucrat.

Marshall knew that was wrong. He knew working people don’t know how much they’re supposed to receive in jobless benefits, and they certainly couldn’t afford to have those benefits cut because of a bureaucratic error. Thanks to Marshall’s efforts, the “overpaid” jobless benefits have been turned into a loan.

It’s a short-term fix to a problem that may be more widespread than anyone knows. But it’s also an example of the kind of solutions-focused delegate the residents of the 14th District are lucky to have representing them in Richmond.

That’s one reason we strongly endorse Danny Marshall for re-election this year.

Marshall not only went to bat for his constituents on the unemployment benefits issue, he also went against the wishes of his party when he fought for expanded jobless benefits paid with federal stimulus dollars. It wasn’t the first time Marshall defied the party bosses — and stood with the people of the 14th District.

As a member of the Tobacco Commission, Marshall supported a grant-funded early childhood education initiative. If that program produces results, it’s a good bet that Marshall — who is the retired owner of a local business — will fight to expand it and similar programs statewide. Marshall knows all too well the importance of increasing the level of educational attainment in this community.

Marshall has also worked to educate himself on an issue that may reach a boiling point in the next two years — uranium mining and milling. He echoes many of the same concerns that others in this community share about the project. But in typical Marshall fashion, he brings fresh perspective — who else has mentioned that the need for a uranium mine in Pittsylvania County could be mitigated by the uranium derived from decommissioned nuclear weapons? (emphasis mine...SB)

Marshall’s easygoing manner and ready smile makes it easy for his critics to dismiss this man of accomplishment and passion, but make no mistake about it — Marshall has worked hard for this community at a time when hard work was all that prevented economic disaster from turning into calamity.

On Tuesday, the voters of the 14th District should send Marshall a message that they are willing to work as hard for him as he has been working for them.

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