I'd like to offer a response to Mr. Douglas's commentary comparing northern Virginia to New Jersey. I too grew up in New Jersey, left for college, found myself back there for a stint after my husband initially separated from active duty with the Army and eventually landed in northern Virginia over a decade ago.
I agree that there are comparisons between the two, but Mr. Douglas overlooks the singular reason for this, which has nothing to do with political party in control of the state or local government. The reason northern Virginia is becoming more like New Jersey has to do with population density – plain and simple.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, and this alone causes aggressive driving, a lack of common courtesy and impersonal behavior. Going to the grocery store on a weekend in New Jersey –where many towns and counties still observe “blue laws” limiting what can be purchased on a Sunday, making Saturday shopping even more of a nightmare – can feel like fighting in the Hunger Games.
Mr. Douglas failed to recognize the growing issue of exploding population growth in Loudoun. The pleas of the citizens in Loudoun to slow the growth and building seemed to be falling on deaf ears of the Republican-controlled Board of Supervisors, so it should not be a surprise that in response many felt that the only way to change course was to vote another party into power.
To some of his other points:
-Industry: According to the Times-Mirror's reporting, "Approximately $320 million in direct tax revenue has come from the data center industry in the current fiscal year, according to county staff. Recent estimates state that more than 13,000 jobs are currently associated with the Loudoun data center cluster." (Jan. 4, 2020).
Mr. Douglas attempts to compare abandoned infrastructure to growing industry. Regarding vacant commercial properties, especially in eastern Loudoun, perhaps with the changes in our Board of Supervisors we might see more incentives for builders who come in to revamp these spaces rather than always being approved to build new because they made campaign contributions to certain members.
-Drugs: If Virginia moves to decriminalize or even legalize marijuana, it would be in line with what has already happened in over half the states in the U.S. (11 fully legalized, 15 have decriminalized).
Mr. Douglas also attempted to draw a comparison between Supervisor Julie Briskman with Sen. Menendez, while failing to note that all charges against the senator were dropped in 2018. Suggesting that Ms. Briskman is likely to be corrupt just because she flipped the bird at Trump is outrageous. The fact that Mr. Douglas appears to be clutching his pearls over this while seemingly ignoring the behavior of the Mr. Trump, who has referred to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee with an expletive, bragged about grabbing women and often launches into profanity-laced tirades at his rallies.
And certainly, coming from New Jersey, Mr. Douglas knows Trump's mob-boss mentality and what his corruption looks like. Perhaps he should therefore focus his concerns on the behavior of the man sitting in the Oval Office if he truly does not want to see his current home state, and even our country, become more like New Jersey.