November 7, 2018

Pleased last night to congratulate Congresswoman-Elect Jennifer Wexton.
 My analysis of the election results will be in next week's column.

In this Issue
  • Commentary: A Personal Responsibility for Climate Change
  • Virginia Report
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar 

A Personal Responsibility for Climate Change

If the 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies on climate change are to be believed, the dire consequences of climate change will be felt as soon as the next couple of decades, within the life span of most of the readers of this column. Do exaggerated weather conditions of hotter temperatures, excessive rains and winds with more hurricanes and tornadoes, droughts over many years for some regions, wildfires covering thousands of acres as well as the death of the coral reefs and some wildlife sound familiar along with recurrent flooding and disappearance of some beaches? All of these are signs of climate change.

The warning from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the second in as many decades. Will it be heeded? Many policy makers will not be around to feel the consequences of inaction, but what about the old-fashioned notion that we have a responsibility for future generations including our own progeny? Should we try to save the planet for them? Any one action by an individual will not change the course we are on with changes to our climate, but the serious and collective actions on the part of most citizens have the potential to make a difference.

I have heard arguments from those who take a religious view of the issue that they do not believe that the god they worship as the creator of the world would let humankind destroy it. Could it be that the same god who gave humankind dominion over the planet would have an expectation that we would be good stewards of the resources and protect them?

I support a total reversal of the insane policies on climate change of the current federal administration. I abhor this administration's policies and practices to ignore the clear warnings and to pursue environmental rules based on personal and corporate strategies to make a monetary profit or to gain votes from a constituency. As I discussed in this column in prior weeks, I plan to provide leadership on issues at the state level that will curtail and reverse actions furthering climate change.

Now it is up to us individually to live our lives in a way that shows our mindfulness of the effects of climate change and our willingness to make changes ourselves that will start to reverse the damage. As consumers we need to reward businesses that pursue climate awareness policies and actions and to not deal with those whose manufacturing processes and actions contribute to climate change. We need to buy energy from renewable sources even if may cost more. We need to live in such a way that enhances the health of the natural elements around us. We need to plant more trees that can have a great impact on greenhouse gases. We need to walk or bike more and drive internal combustion engine vehicles less.

Who's in with me? Let's prove the scientists wrong by changing the way we live in order to preserve our planet. If it is too late for you, what about your grandchildren and their children?

Virginia Report 
Tune in to Ken's weekly television program, Virginia Report, on YouTube, Reston Comcast Channel 28 for public service programming or Verizon Channel 1981. Ken interviews state and local leaders who are making news by making a difference.

TONIGHT: Wednesday, November 7 at 10:30 p.m.
Delegate  Plum talks with Jade Leedham of Second Story Youth Services and Safe Shelters

Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, November 14 at 10:30 p.m., Delegate Plum talks with Valerie B. Geiger about Elder Law 

Bulletin Board

Enrollment is Open for Virginia's New 
Health Coverage for Adults

Beginning January 1, 2019, more adults in Virginia will have access to quality, low-cost and no-cost health insurance. Virginians aged 19-64 can submit an application to get the health care they need so they don't have to worry about getting sick or having an accident. Learn more and determine your eligibility at

Blanket & Coat Drive for Syrian Refugees
November 10 - December 8, 2018
Organized by  NOVA Relief Center  this year, blankets and coats will be sent to refugees in three camps in Jordan through a partnership with Helping Hand for Development and Relief (HHRD). Anyone is welcome to donate to the blanket and coat drive. Those wishing to contribute can become involved in two ways:  

Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11

On Veterans Day, November 11, veterans, active duty military personnel and their families receive complimentary admission at the Park Authority's nine RECenters as well as participation in drop-in fitness classes, use of pools and spas, fitness rooms, gyms and racquetball courts at FCPA's nine recreational facilities. Download a flyer with details.

What can I do? Civic Involvement

Reflect on the Results of the Election

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Virginia's congressional races at  After Virginia Votes , a free public forum organized by the Virginia Public Access Project and hosted by George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. Learn more and reserve your seat at 

Calendar of Events

Wednesday, November 7, 7:00 p.m., Tree-mendous Tree Forum, on caring, protecting, and planning for our trees. Presenters and panelists will answer questions and address a variety of topics on trees. Download an information sheet. For additional information contact the Hunter Mill District Office, 703-478-0283, visit the Hunter Mill District website or email 
for program flyers. 

Thursday, November 8, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 
Healthy School Advocacy Training, at Gatehouse Cafe, Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church. This highly interactive training is for parents, educators, staff members or engaged school community members interested in elevating the culture of health in their schools. Learn more and purchase tickets at  Healthy School Advocacy Training

Thursday, November 8, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., The History of Reston Sports, Pioneers, Players, Playing Fields, at Reston Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza N, Reston. Learn more at  History of Reston Sports

Friday, November 9, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., ERA Symposium A Place in History: Should Virginia Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment?, William & Mary Law School, 613 S Henry St, Williamsburg. Hosted by  Virginia Equal Rights Coalition and  American Constitution Society at William & Mary. Purchase tickets at  ERA Symposium

Saturday, November 10, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., SALT (Social Action Linking Together) Fall Conference, at
Virginia International University, Conference Room (VD-102), 4401 Village Drive, Fairfax (near Fair Oaks Mall). 
Conference Theme: "Call to solidarity with Virginia's Vulnerable Citizens: A Conference on Public Social Policy." Speakers include John "Jack" Calhoun and Delegate Ken Plum.  Download a flyer

Saturday, November 10, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., Let Her Learn: A Forum to Stop School Pushout in Virginia, in
House Room 1 of the State Capitol in Richmond. Too many girls are "pushed out" of the classroom because of stereotypes, bias, and unnecessarily harsh discipline policies. Join a panel with girls, policymakers, and organizers on how to stop this trend and push for change. Sponsored by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and the National Women's Law Center. More is at  Let Her Learn

Saturday, November 10, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., VDOT's Incident Management Open House, at the District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax. Join VDOT and local, state, federal and private partners to see how they work as a team to quickly clear incidents. Download a flyer. Learn more and register at  Open House

Sunday, November 11, FREE Entry to Shenandoah National Park for Veteran's Day. Shenandoah National Park's entrance fee of $25 per car will be waived. More details are at  Free Entry Days

Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 p.m., Public Hearing of the Fairfax County Consolidated Community Funding Advisory Committee (CCFAC), in Conference Rooms 9 & 10 of the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. This public hearing is being held to receive comments on the performance of the Fairfax County Consolidated Plan and to receive comprehensive community input on the county's housing and community development needs for the development of the Consolidated Plan One-Year Action Plan for FY 2020. Further details are at  Public Hearing.

Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., About 19: A Musical About Women's Right to Vote, at Twinpanzee Brewing Co, 101 Executive Dr, Suite D, Sterling. "19" is the dynamic and little-known story of Alice Paul, the suffragists and their fight to get women the right to vote--the 19th Amendment.

Wednesday, November 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided.

Wednesday, November 14, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., 
Pocahontas: Her Life, Legend and Legacy, at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 N Boulevard, Richmond. In this groundbreaking half-day symposium, distinguished national and international speakers will explore the 400-year legacy behind the life of the young Powhatan woman we know as "Pocahontas." See a detailed agenda and purchase tickets at Pocahontas

Thursday, November 15, America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Every year event organizers educate neighbors, friends and colleagues through thousands of events. Resources and information are at

Thursday, November 15, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 9th Virginia Immigrant Advocates Summit, at Annandale United Methodist Church, 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale. Learn, discuss, strategize on issues impacting the immigrant community residing in the Commonwealth. Learn more and purchase tickets at  Immigrant Advocates Summit.

Tuesday, November 20, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Nature's Thanksgiving, at Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Dr, Reston. Ages 18-35 months, discover what animals like to eat and what they would serve if they had a Thanksgiving feast. Set the tables for different animal friends and make a fall wreath for your home. $7/RA Members, $9/Non-members. Register by Nov. 16 at or email

5:00 p.m., Dr. Richard Rothstein Reading "The Color of Law" at RCC Hunters Woods - The CenterStage, 2254 Hunters Woods Plaza, Reston. Dr. Richard Rothstein, author of Color of Law: The Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, will discuss how housing policy affects the ability of Northern Virginia communities to become equitable and inclusive for all of our citizens. An interactive panel discussion with local community experts will follow. To register, visit For more information, email or call 571.323.9556.