(Sept 1 2017) Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam was the first gubernatorial candidate to speak at a forum hosted by The Northern Virginia Idea Exchange (NoVIE). This coalition is made up of non-profit leaders in the Northern Virginia area. This event was held on Friday, September 1st, as the first of two forums at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, VA. Ed Gillespie will address this group on Thursday, September 14th.
Karen Cleveland, President and CEO of Leadership Fairfax, is the moderator of these two forums. After opening remarks from Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, he was asked questions that had been submitted in advance via email. Following those questions posed by the moderator, audience members were invited to line up at a microphone placed near the front of the stage to ask other questions. Questions came from individuals representing a wide range of non-profit organizations in the Northern Virginia area on subjects ranging from affordable housing and education to medicaid waivers, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the Dillon Rule.
Dr. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, spoke of his long term commitment to public service through collaboration with non-profits such as the Edmarc Hospice for Children where he has served as medical director for 19 years. His wife, Pam Northam, is an elementary school teacher who also works on environmental issues through the non-profit Lynnhaven River NOW. He addressed the importance of the work non-profits do, Virginia’s reliance on those services and the advocacy needed for better public policy, and pledged to continue working with non-profit organizations across the Commonwealth.
This 30 minute video includes some of the remarks made by Lt. Gov. Northam in the hour long forum. While it does not include the questions, his responses indicate the nature of the question. Some of the participating non-profits include Britepaths, Cornerstones, BRAWS, The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Friends of Guest House, and many others.
Virginia is one of only two states in the United States with an “off year” Governor’s race that takes place the year following a presidential election. It is the last state to have a one term (4 year) governorship. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.