Chamber Event -- New Elected Officicals

The Loudoun Chamber hosted its annual legislative reception in Ashburn on Tuesday. Pictured from left are Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D), Del.-elect Suhas Subramanyan (D), Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect Buta Biberaj (D), Leesburg Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D), Loudoun County Library Board of Trustees Chair-At-Large Priscilla Martinez and All Dulles Area Muslim Society Chairman Rizwan Jaka. 

Several new elected officials joined fellow lawmakers and constitutional officers at Belmont Country Club in Ashburn last week to meet with constituents and business leaders at the Loudoun Chamber’s annual legislative reception.

Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect Buta Biberaj (D) was joined by Del.-elect Suhas Subramanyan (D) and Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D). All three will start their first full terms in January. Also on hand were the re-elected Sheriff Mike Chapman (R), Leesburg Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D), Commissioner of Revenue Robert Wertz (R), state Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D), and Dels. David Reid (D) and Kathleen Murphy (D).

The new office-holders offered up some commentary and thoughts during the event.

Buta Biberaj

Following her narrow win over Republican Nicole Wittmann, Biberaj said she's moving quickly to get her office in order and shore up staff.

She said she's spending time reviewing data and in-progress cases and speaking with current commonwealth's attorney's office staff. She said her goal is to strengthen the criminal justice system.

“The first thing that we want to be able to do is to be able to get data as to what we do in that office," Biberaj said. “How we are prosecuting cases, where we are focusing our resources — that's evidence-based practice versus us just doing it anecdotally.”

Biberaj said she is open to joining some county supervisors' efforts to curb instances of stray gunfire hitting adjacent properties. Earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors stressed that it values input from the law enforcement and legal community before making any ordinance changes. A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11 to review proposals.

Under the weapons and explosives section of the county ordinance, the discharge of a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied building is prohibited unless the owner has been given permission. Discharge is also prohibited within 50 yards of primary and secondary roads.

Biberaj said the county ordinance needs to be reviewed. “... in Loudoun County we are caught between being rural and being much more densely populated. How do we meet the needs of our community? That's what going to take a community conversation," Biberaj said. “But at the end of the day, if you own a firearm or use a firearm, you better use it responsibly. It doesn't matter what the ordinance is, it doesn't matter what the law is – if you're responsible, then it's going to be consequences.”

Ibraheem Samirah

Whether voters agree or disagree with Del. Samirah’s actions, he has been a conversation starter since stepping into public view. Samirah won a special election in early 2019 to succeed Jennifer Boysko, who moved on from the House of Delegates to the state Senate.

Samirah, who ran uncontested for his first full term, represents the 86th District, which covers parts of eastern Loudoun and western Fairfax counties.

Samirah received national attention earlier this year after protesting and interrupting a speech from President Donald Trump (R) during an event in Jamestown for the 400th Anniversary of the America's First Representative Legislative Assembly.

Samirah said he's standing against hate and that his actions derive from the historical resistance shown by one of his heroes, former boxing champion and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali.

Samirah, who is Muslim, said he believes his actions are going to inspire others.

“I know my road ahead has a lot of obstacles, but I know what the end of the road is, and it’s going to be beautiful,” Samirah said. “It's going to help people in a major way, it's going to uplift them in ways that they never been uplifted … Just like Muhammed Ali was able to do that to me … I want to do that for everybody else. I want to be able to inspire every single person in America in that way, and I want to start it from right here in Fairfax, in Loudoun County, Herndon, Sterling—I want to help everybody I can in the process.”

On Wednesday, Samirah announced six bills in preparation for the January legislative session. The bills focus on discrimination and maternal and mental health.

“The through-line here is lifting the marginalized. In each of these policy areas, low-income people and people of color are affected the most,” Samirah said in a prepared statement. “While my proposals are certainly first steps to larger solutions, I’m confident as a medical professional that they can lead to a healthier Virginia. A healthier Virginia means more folks can go to work, stay in school or care for a child – contributing to a more productive and more prosperous economy for all.”

Suhas Subramanyan

Lines of supporters – many from the Indian community – smiled and waited patiently to take a photo with Subramanyan after he became the first Indian American to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly. He succeeded state Sen.-elect John Bell (D).

“When I first started running, I never thought of myself as ‘the Indian American candidate,’" Subramanyan said. “I thought of myself as someone with a lot of experience who embraces being an Indian American ... but I learned very quickly that Loudoun has a very vibrant and very strong and close-knit Indian American community and south Asian community ... basically, they see my victory as their victory, and I'm proud of that.”

Subramanyan will represent the 87th District, which covers parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties.

After a nearly 30-point win over Republican Bill Drennan, Subramanyan said it's been a whirlwind preparing for the upcoming session. He has attended an orientation and is preparing legislation to introduce.

Subramanyan said he is supportive of the new majority’s push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and calls to address gun violence, voter rights and equality.

“I'm going … to make sure that we're not discriminating against people, regardless of where they come from, their race or who they love,” Subramanyan said.

The new 87th District delegate said his top priorities include combating traffic congestion and making sure the schools are meeting or exceeding expectations.

(27) comments

Jeanne T

What do they have to say about SB 16?

Loudoun4Trump

not interested in what they have to say, but will be watching to see what they actually do for the people they were elected to serve....

amerigirl

Fair enough

Let me remind my MAGA loving friends, elections have consequences. Get used to it.

Loudoun4Trump

tell your democrat friends that....Trump won in 2016 and will repeat in 2020....get use to it and do some work for the people like USMCA, Infrastructure, Rx, immigration, budgets, etc....instead of these laughable impeachment stunts....

amerigirl

We don't lie to our friends. How do you do work on the things you mentioned when trump flat out said he will not work with the Democrats? Isn't he the one that has to sign the bills?

amerigirl

what a bunch of sore losers.

Jeanne T

Who??

workhardgetahead

Again, La La Land , the Sequel. Starring the one and only AG

amerigirl

Once again, you can't stick to the point. What does the AG have to do with this article? You have a real obsession with him, you're always bringing him up in and out of context. You should give it a rest, you'll sleep better.

workhardgetahead

A vast majority of Anti Semitism. If I was Jewish in Loudoun County I'd be wanting to move

amerigirl

You are looking for a problem that doesn't exist.

LetSanityPrevail

You are so wrong...anti semitism does exist and is growing within the Democrat party. Where is the leadership denunciation of remarks by their party members. Not one Democrat leader denounced the remarks by Samirah. If he had posted the remarks he made about Jews in regards to African Americans, Hispanics or gays he would have been drummed out of the party.

Jeanne T

Anti-semitism doesn't exist? Seriously? Wow.

ace10

That is some next-level crazy, right there..

Jeanne T

"Jeanne, Why would I do that work for you?"

You're right, why would you? You're lazy. You made the assertion, so back up your comments.

workhardgetahead

La La Land, the Sequel

LetSanityPrevail

True, but they are from the party that refuses to condemn antisemitism, or America’s version of the Labour Party. Has anyone in the Democrat party condemned Samirah’s antisemitism. Not one word from Boysko, Wexton, Herring, Kaine, or Warner. Love the Democrat posters...home has no hate here, unless of course you are Jewish, then it is ok.

workhardgetahead

Correctomundo!!

amerigirl

Can you give examples of of antisemitism? What are you talking about?

amerigirl

Example?

jke

Just like Ali Ibraheim will go down.

d

Let's hope so. The discrimination he speaks of does not exist in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties.

RoundHillGuy

Best candidates George Soros' money could buy.

amerigirl

Like republicans didn't use PAC's

Jeanne T

What PACs did the Republicans use in this election? How much did they pull in compared to the Democrats? Who got more money? What PACs did the Democrats use (i.e., sources of money)? Can you provide the links for that information?

amerigirl

Jeanne, Why would I do that work for you? You can easily look it up yourself. Trump and Pence also made trips here to try to support the republicans running. A lot of good that did.

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