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Posted In: James River

How to Vote for the James River on Nov. 6th

Andy Thompson

November 5, 2018 11:18am


Just this morning our friends at the James River Association sent out an email blast that I thought worthy of passing along. It’s completely non-partisan, but I think lays out well how we Virginians should think about issues that impact the health of the James River as we head to the polls tomorrow:

On November 6th, your vote is your voice. You can use your voice to be a champion for the James River by knowing how your ballot impacts your water.

As you reflect on the Virginians who represent us in our Nation’s Capitol, we at the James River Association invite you to consider some of the major environmental issues facing Congress in the coming year, and how these decisions will shape the future of the James.

The tidal James River near Jamestown.

We’ve reached the midpoint in the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup effort. Right now, Bay states are drafting the watershed implementation plans that will see us through to the finish line. But to put these plans in action, states and localities are going to need strong federal protections and funding.

If clean water is a priority for you this election season, think about where your Congressional candidates stand on the health of the Bay, the James, and your community. Some questions to consider:

· How will they fight for the resources Virginia needs to make an impact on our water quality here at home?

· Do they support critical clean water needs like agricultural conservation programs, water infrastructure improvements, and climate resilience planning?

· Are they ready to stand up against attempts to weaken our bedrock conservation laws like the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act?

Virginia voters are also being asked to weigh the merits of a constitutional amendment on flooding. As recent storms have shown, heavy rain and flooding affect communities across the Commonwealth. It’s important that the decisions we make now consider future flood projections, cut the costs of flood damage, and set us up for success in terms of public safety and environmental protection.

A “yes” vote on this amendment would allow counties, cities, and towns to use partial tax exemptions to offset the cost of improvements on properties prone to recurrent flooding. A “no” vote opposes the use of tax exemptions. You can find more information on the amendment here and here.

Polls open tomorrow at 6am and remain open until 7pm. For more information about your polling place, your candidates, and Virginia’s photo I.D. requirements, visit the State Board of Elections at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?