Race for the Future
Kenneth R. "Ken" Plum
The Democratic Party's National Convention had many excellent, inspiring speeches. As political party conventions go, it was one of the better ones that I can remember. Caroline Kennedy hit a responsive chord with me when she told the delegates assembled and the television audience that many had told her that Senator Barrack Obama inspired them much as her father President John F. Kennedy had inspired them decades ago. That is certainly the case with me. As I recall to others who are of my age the connection I feel between President Kennedy and Senator Obama in their leadership styles and personal qualities, I most often get a positive confirmation that they feel the same way.
Former Virginia Governor and now Senate candidate Mark Warner who is not know as an exceptional orator or fiercely partisan speaker set the right tone for the convention in his keynote address when he termed the election the "race for the future." That race, he said, "won't be won with yesterday's ideas and yesterday's divisions. And it won't be won with a president who's stuck in the past."
Warner told of his own failed business experiences before he hit big in the then newly emerging cellphone business. "I spent 20 years in business," he said. "If you ran a company whose only strategy was to tear down the competition, it wouldn't last long." Applying lessons learned from business, Warner said, "I know we are at a Democratic convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn't matter if it has a 'D' or an 'R' next to it. It's not about left versus right. It's about future versus past."
As any leader from the Commonwealth is expected to do, Governor Warner called on Thomas Jefferson to help make his case. "Jefferson got it right at the dawn of the 19th century, and it's our challenge to get it right at the dawn of the 21st. This race is all about the future. And that's why we must elect Barack Obama as our next president because the race for the future-the race for the future will be won when old partisanship gives way to new ideas, when we put solutions over stalemate, and when hope replaces fear."
How appropriate that the convention ended in the open air stadium in Denver just as the convention nominating Senator John F. Kennedy had concluded in a stadium in Los Angeles. And both conventions adjourned with a clear message that it is time for a new generation of leaders.
John F. Kennedy in his acceptance speech called for America to look to a new frontier. Barack Obama spoke of the American dream, "that American promise that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen-that better place around the bend." Recalling the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 45 years ago on the very same date, Obama ended his acceptance speech with the plea, "America we cannot turn back-not with so much work to be done; not with so many children to educate and so many veterans to care for; not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save; not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend."
I have not been as excited about a presidential election for many years as I am about this one. Governor Warner got it right: the race for the future is on.
The DC Hemophilia Open will be held on September 5 at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge. Shotgun start is scheduled for 12:00 noon with a Captain's Scramble format. The day will end with a dinner and silent and live auctions featuring vacation getaways, concert tickets, and sports packages. The Hemophilia Association Capital Area utilizes proceeds from the Open to provide funding for research, education programs, and financial assistance to families. More information about the Open is at www.hacacares.org.
The 2008 Reston Multicultural Festival "Discover the World in Reston!" will be held on Saturday, September 6, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza. The event is free. Get more information at www.restoncommunitycenter.com.
Attend Delegate Ken Plum's Family Picnic on Sunday, September 7, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Temporary Road Park in Reston (across Reston Parkway from Town Center). Obama for President volunteers attend free. To rsvp, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.kenplum.com.
The annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) takes place at the Williamsburg Marriott September 7-9. COVITS brings together a community of senior-level executives and technology decision makers from state and local government, business, and education to identify, discuss and propose solutions to Virginia's critical technology issues. Visit www.covits.org for event information.
A Public Forum will be held on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Washington Metropolitan Region on Thursday, September 11, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 777 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC.
Join the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council for a Conservation Landscaping Tour of sustainable landscapes in Fairfax and Prince William Counties on Friday, September 12, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is required by September 5. The $25 fee includes lunch and transportation. For details and registration, contact Carol Heiser, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, at 804.367.6989, TTY 711, or Christin Jolicoeur, Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District, at 703.324.1423, TTY 711.
Congressman Jim Moran's 17th Annual Women's Issues Conference will be held Saturday, September 13, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington. The Conference is free and open to the public and includes a pizza lunch. Keynote speaker will be Donna Brazile. Visit www.moran.house.gov or call 703.971.4700 for more information.
The 2008 International Children's Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (rain or shine) at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. This year's theme, "Connecting Cultures Through the Arts," will feature the Canadian percussionists ScrapArtsMusic, performers from China, Finland, Ghana, and Jordan, hands-on arts activities, and wonderful surprises throughout the park. Visit www.internationalchildrensfestival.org for more information.
Virginia Voices is joining Every Child Matters in a non-partisan, nationwide event, "Step Up for Kids Day" with a rally in Virginia on September 16, 2008, to draw public attention to issues affecting America's children such as poverty, health care, juvenile incarceration, early care and education, and foster care. Get more details by emailing email@example.com.
A Restoration Celebration will be held at Montpelier, home of James and Dolley Madison, on Constitution Day, September 17, 2008, beginning at 11:00 a.m. to observe the completion of the architectural restoration of Madison's lifelong home. Festivities will include appearances by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jim Lehrer of The News Hour, a "Living Flag" with 2,500 school children, the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, a special appearance by James and Dolley Madison, and more. Food vendors will be available; admission is free. Visit www.montpelier.org for more information about this and other events at Montpelier.
Attend the Commonwealth of Virginia Energy and Sustainability (COVES) Conference, "Meeting the Climate Challenge," on September 17-19 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, VA. For more information, go to www.vsbn.org/coves2008.
Fairfax County will host the 9th annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference on September 18-20 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean. For more information visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2008/166.htm.
The Third Annual Race into Autumn 5K and 1 Mile Run sponsored by the Therapeutic Recreation Department of Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC) will be held at NVTC on Saturday, September 27, at 8:00 a.m., 9901 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA. This Race will benefit the Northern Virginia Training Center, a state run residential facility for adults with intellectual disabilities. for details and registration go to www.active.com/page/Event_Details.htm?event_id=1602665&assetld=d5e316.
Ride in the Blood, Sweat & Gears Bike Ride, a 25k, 50k, or 50 mile loop through the Virginia countryside, on September 27, rain or shine. The ride starts and stops at the YMCA at 12196 Sunset Hills road, Reston. The Hemophilia Association Capital Area sponsors this event. Go to www.hacacares.org and click on Chapter Activities to view more information about the Ride.
The 8th Annual Greater Washington Arts Committee (GWAC) Youth Art Fest will be held Saturday, September 27, at the Pavilion at Reston Town Center, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. The GWAC Youth Art Fest is a celebration that brings together professional artists, artisans and performers to share their work and talent with children and their families. The goal of the GWAC Youth Art Festival is to expose children to a variety of artistic mediums and to work directly with professional artists in developing their artistic talents. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit Devotion to Children, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing high quality educational and childcare programs for children aged six and under from economically disadvantaged families. Visit www.YouthArtFest.com for more information about this year's theme, participants, judging, sponsorship opportunities, and more.
Attend the Fifth Annual 8k Run/Walk, "Kit's Miracle Mile Rejoicing in the Triumphs of Survivors with Brain Injuries," on Sunday, September 28. Register online at www.kitsmiraclemile.org.
The Youth for Tomorrow Country Fair & Auctions will be on Saturday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the YFT Campus, 2 miles south of Manassas, Route 28 & Linton Hall Road. This event will be hosted by Joe Gibbs, YFT's founder and chairman and former Washington Redskins coach. Visit www.youthfortomorrow.org for more event information.
The Virginia Recreation and Park Society's 54th Annual Conference with The Governor's Conference on Greenways, Blueways and Trails will be held October 4 through 7 at the Greater Richmond convention Center and the Richmond Marriott. Visit www.VRPS.com for information and online registration.
Oktoberfest is returning to the Reston Town Center Pavilion on October 10 and 11, 3:00 to 11:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the best in fall brews and delicious traditional Oktoberfest faire from area restaurants will be featured. Enjoy live entertainment at the main Pavilion throughout the event. Visit www.restonchamber.org for information about sponsorship and restaurant participation opportunities.
The 7th Annual Reston Home Tour will be on Saturday, October 18, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This year's tour, "A New Perspective," will feature five private homes and a special chef presentation at Linden Springs Manor House. Get tickets online at www.restonmuseum.org. Those interested in being a Reston Home Tour docent may contact Donna Shaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.437.1099. The Reston Home Tour is presented by Reston Historic Trust to benefit Reston Museum at Lake Anne Village Center.
The Virginia Council for Litter Prevention & Recycling will host a conference October 22-24 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fredericksburg. Save the date; more information on registration will be available soon.