One of my favorite social-work professors once defined power as “the ability to articulate what goes unsaid.” And two of the best articulators for social justice in Richmond are state Sen. Donald McEachin and Delegate Jennifer McClellan. Disappointingly, the senator was left off of your Power List (Cover Story, July 29).
Both people of deep and committed faith, McEachin and McClellan work tirelessly to help give voices to the otherwise voiceless. When a victim of predatory lending can't get off work to testify at the General Assembly, or when a Housing Choice Voucher holder isn't sure how to track legislation that would increase their family's access to communities of opportunity, McEachin and McClellan are there to selflessly represent those constituents' best interests. Their ultimate power is derived from their impressive ability to empower others.
McClellan and McEachin both deserve acclaim for passing a new law that benefits all Virginia homeowners or those looking to buy. The Trust in Lending Act went into effect on July 1 — it requires all state-licensed mortgage brokers to represent their clients' best interest. Both legislators should also be commended for their 100 percent score on the Virginia League of Conservation Voters 2009 scorecard. And both dramatically increased their scores on the Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education 2009 scorecard.
As a registered lobbyist, I enjoy working with these two extraordinary legislators. But as a constituent, I'm even more proud to have Sen. McEachin and Delegate McClellan exerting their power as a force for good for my neighbors in Richmond and beyond.
I'm hoping Jon Lugbill declined to be recognized on your Power List. For you guys to miss him for any other reason would be an awfully big embarrassment. Then again, it does seem like your list accentuates “Just Have It” as opposed to “Just Do It.”
Mr. Lugbill's power comes from his position as executive director of the Sports Backers and recognition as a former Olympian and five-time world champion. We might add America's Best Sports Commission for two of the last four years. As an Olympic hopeful myself in 1972, please recognize that the control of resources and ability to act are not near as important as the successful execution of acts.
Unfortunately, it cannot be disputed that the preponderance of Richmond's “power brokers” never made enough of a leap to the execution stage to get the results other cities have enjoyed.
In my opinion, showcasing our urban rapids and nearby vicinity is the single most important step our city can take for a host of reasons. Lugbill has done that on a national if not international scale. Top athletes don't talk, they perform.