A time for unity
Thanks for inviting me to participate in the 2020 Virginia Business Political Roundtable. It was a very stimulating and thought-provoking discussion. One loud message came through following the Nov. 3 election — America is a nation divided. The results showed that the path forward must address that divide, or we will never achieve the unity required to become the world’s greatest democracy once again.
Virginia must establish bipartisan cooperation at the state and local level if the commonwealth is to remain the top state for business and education. There are not Democratic or Republican approaches to achieving our goals of a well-prepared workforce, solutions to climate change, reimagining our child care system, growing our economy, expanding broadband to every corner of Virginia, ending segregated housing and other critical issues. There are only Virginia answers.
We need political and governmental leaders who are willing to work across the aisle to solve our problems, not ones who hunker down in their partisan foxholes and launch rhetorical rockets.
The people best equipped to demand this bipartisan cooperation are the members of the business community who have a vested interest in reducing the divisiveness and seeking common ground for solutions. Leaders in the business community must demand that those seeking statewide and legislative positions in 2021 articulate how they will rise above partisan differences and work to achieve bipartisan solutions. The business community must only support candidates who make clear their commitment to bipartisan cooperation.
I and others stand ready to help make bipartisan cooperation Virginia’s top priority and its new, 21st century founding principle.
James W. Dyke Jr.
Former Virginia Secretary of Education
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