Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cabinet Secretaries Visit Southside

Yesterday, two of Pres. Obama's Cabinet Secretaries, Secretaries Chu (Energy) and Vilsack (Agriculture) visited Pittslyvania County as part of the White House's Rural Tour. About 250 people showed up to Buddy Mayhew's farm to listen to the Secretaries, along with Rep. Perriello. The purpose of the event:
The tour is an attempt by the Obama administration to tell local citizens how it’s revitalizing and rebuilding rural America. Another goal is to give those citizens a way to tell his administration their concerns.
The three officials stressed the importance, among other things, of "government support to rural communities," the positive long term affects of ACES, and the leadership this district could provide for the development of the next generation of energy. Money quote:
"I’ve been bragging about you an awful lot up in Washington,” he said. “Telling everyone that we are at the cutting edge of Southside Virginia.”

Perriello said he has learned a lot about the opportunities that are available. He said the community will survive the tough times and lead “the commonwealth and lead the country in areas that we’re frankly better at than anybody else.”
I was at the event yesterday and noticed that people from all over the state traveled to talk with the Secretaries to voice their concerns, and I also was pleased with the focus of the event, as during these difficult times, Southside rural and agricultural communities have suffered. To me, underlying the existence of the event is a continued interest by President Obama on Southside Virginia, a promise he made during his campaign stops within the area.

Interestingly, after protesting at Rep. Perriello's office on Friday, several TEA Party protesters attempted to protest during the event but were kicked off the private property by security.

(Photo by Jim White)

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