This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Virginia’s Senator Barbara A. Favola:
What is unique about protecting Virginia’s resources?
Virginia’s resources are unique because we seem to have to bend over backwards to prove that protecting the environment is good for the economy. It is hard to convince the population that protecting the environment is good for the economy whether you are working with a farmer or a builder; people have a hard time adjusting to change. We have to work hard to emphasize that the environment is a moral, economic, and tourism issue in Virginia.
Are you worried about the effects of climate change the children of Virginia?
Climate change is real, the deniers are foolish! We will have ramifications if we do not do something about climate change in Virginia. I sit on the Governors Climate Change Commission and we are working on solutions. The Sea level rise in the Hampton Roads area is a primary example of how real climate change is for all of us in Virginia. Each individual can make a difference and we have to work together to make these positive changes. If we do not address the environmental issues, we will see an increase in the occurrence of illnesses and diseases in our population.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
The bipartisan effort is very important in Virginia because the House of Delegates is a 2:1 ratio of Republicans to Democrats and we have a Democratic Governor. We must put forth an effort to educate our communities and make sure everyone knows that the economic and business sides are affected by the environment. We are a purple state so progress on the environment is doable. There must be incentives for both sides to work together, so we also realize that making these positive changes requires funding. We must carve out solutions to create a public benefit and job creation with this funding.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I love MCAF and really respect your energy and enthusiasm. I hope you will try to forge partnerships with the unlikely suspects in the business sector. It would also be advantageous to work with the local governments, and municipal groups.
Senator Barbara A. Favola represents Virginia’s 31st district, which includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, and a portion of Loudoun County. Throughout her public life she has been a vigorous supporter of universal human rights. For three years in a row, Senator Favola was given a 100% rating from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for her efforts during the legislative session to support the environment and women’s rights, respectively. Senator Favola and her husband Douglas Weik have been residents of Arlington and the 31st district since 1982. Their son, Donald P. Weik, is a graduate of George Mason University.