Ken Plum: What do I do now?

ken plumThe most frequent question I have gotten from friends and constituents in recent weeks has been, What do I do now that the election is over and the results were not as I had hoped for?

The outcome of the election for many was concerning and frightening as was the vitriolic tone of the campaign. With our country as divided as it is, all of us have some soul searching to do at this point. I certainly have. With the uncertainty brought on by the election outcome and the prospects for a new year, there is much to contemplate.

My answer to myself and to others is to keep doing what you have been doing. This is no time to throw in the towel and give up. Good government requires that we stay the course. If you have not been active, it is time to get with it. Learn all you can about what happened this year and why and store that information for future elections. Remember that Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote by the greatest margin ever at about three million votes.

We have important elections next year! In Virginia we will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and members of the House of Delegates. We can make a statement about the kind of government we want representing us by winning those elections. Certainly we do not want Virginia to go down the path of North Carolina. Get involved with your political party now. The election campaigns for 2017 are already underway.

Because I have many concerns about the direction of the new administration, I have joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for their work is more important than ever. I doubled my contribution to the Southern Poverty Law Center to support their work in exposing hate groups that have been emboldened by the tenor of the presidential campaign.

Depending on your issue, there are existing organizations that have been working on issues for many years. For example, one of my priorities is preventing gun violence. The Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety are just a few well-organized groups working on this issue. If immigration matters are of concern to you join the Centreville Immigration Forum. An organization like New Virginia Majority works on several issues of justice–for the environment, voting rights, and criminal justice reform.

Enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our community is carried out by volunteers and staff at Cornerstone, FISH, and other local groups. They always need volunteers and contributions.

I feel the concerns and fear expressed by many about the future direction of our country. I intend to be more active than ever in attempting to influence our goals and direction. Join me. If you need ideas on further ways to get involved, email me at I look forward to working with you. There is no time to waste!

Ken Plum is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.


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