One of the things that I’ve been hearing from a lot of grassroots activists is that we need people in Congress who are willing to stand up for what’s right. It’s my belief that this isn’t just about wanting leaders who will promote policy that activists support, but it’s also a general desire to see leaders who are willing to put their necks on the line for things they believe in instead of caving on an issue that pollsters suggest might not be the best way to get re-elected.
As he has been moving forward in his first term in Congress, I’m hearing from more and more residents of Virginia’s 11th Congressional District who agree that Gerry Connolly is someone who will indeed stand up for what right. One issue that a lot of people believe Gerry’s been doing a lot of good work on is the environment and on Friday evening he was even awarded the Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award by the Fairfax County Park Authority Board during an annual awards ceremony.
Focusing on a lot of the work he did during his tenure on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, a statement from the Park Authority said that Rep. Connolly “is recognized for a multitude of accomplishments that protect our precious natural resources, allow residents of Fairfax County to enjoy open space and local trails, as well as his stature as a national leader as evidenced through endorsement of sound environmental policy, adoption of the Cool County’s program, commitment to green building policies and establishment of a robust environmental agenda.”
The statement continued by highlighting Gerry’s work on the Cross County Trail, which is “a 41-mile system of stream valleys and trail connections leading from the Potomac River to the Occoquan River,” and the fact that over 1,500 acres of parkland were added to the Park Authority’s holdings during his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
I’ve heard Gerry speak about the environment in many different public forums and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s truly deserving of this award. What’s perhaps more telling for me, however, is Gerry has often brought these issues up during private conversations I’ve had with him. It was during these times that it became very clear to me that he was working on these issues because he was extremely passionate about making a difference and protecting our environment. When you combine his passion for the issue with his skill as a legislator, I think it’s safe to say that the environment has a very good friend in Gerry Connolly and the Park Authority made the right decision in awarding him the Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award.