This letter has been sent on e-mail to my Senator, William Wampler, and my Delegate, Joseph P. Johnson:
Dear (Virginia legislators)
I am writing to encourage you to vote against amendments to the budget bill that cut services in health, support of families and children, and education. I know that these are rough financial times. Rough financial times require us to hold our breath and trust one another, to share our resources so that everyone can come out okay in recovery. This is not the Democrat way or the Republican way. It is not the Christian way. It is not the way of the right or the left. It is in fact the only way to recovery. Nothing else works for hard times.
As a student of history, which I know you are as well, I know that governments are instituted to serve people, to make a good life a possible goal, and to even out the good times and the bad times. Virginia has done well with that, and has maintained a good environment for business and workers. If we cut health, family support, and education now because of hard times, we won’t all come out okay in the recovery. We will in fact all come out worse, because we will downgrade the educational level of our workforce, lower the standard of health for the Commonwealth, and leave families — upon whom society rests — to fend for themselves.
I don’t think people are as mean and greedy as they have been represented in the press, and I don’t think they would be as angry if our leaders, like yourself, would stand up and give them the truth instead of letting them receive their news and views from FOX. Most of us wouldn’t mind a small tax increase if it meant that we could go to bed each night knowing that Virginia’s mothers and children were not hungry or cold or ill and unable to afford medicine. Every Virginian is either a mother or a child of a mother, so every Virginian knows what I am talking about on a very personal level.
I know that you can’t spend money you don’t have, but I also know that people of a democracy or a commonwealth count on government to create and run programs and projects for the benefit of citizens. When a government loses or gives up the ability to raise revenues for essential programs, it can no longer serve its purpose. It changes from being a servant and conservator of the Commonwealth to being an expensive parasite, absorbing resources for its own existence when it can do us no good.
Please vote “no” on additional cuts, and give us a budget that will let us sleep better in the Commonwealth. There will be a great health benefit to that good night’s sleep we get after making sure we have done all we can for the people we serve.