Individual Virginians have Political Power If They Will Use It

by James C. Sherlock

We discuss here every day issues such as Virginia’s dangerous shortage of health facilities inspectors that have great consequence to the people of the Commonwealth regardless of their political affiliation.

The Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification in VDH was brave to provide an unvarnished reply to my FOIA request.  Every reader bemoaned this situation.  It screams for redress.

Yet the vast majority of Virginians have never contacted their Virginia Delegate or Senator, much less the Governor.  Most don’t do it either because they don’t know how or don’t think it will have an effect.

I know from my personal experience that it can have an effect.  Rules for effectiveness: Be respectful in your communications and clear on both the issue you are addressing and what you want from your elected officials.

If you know the name of your legislators;

  • for your senate member contact information go to ,
  • for your House member
  • and then click on the name.

If you don’t know your members,

If you don’t know the member personally, an email to his or her office works best because you can be more specific and the legislative assistant who reads it has a record.

To contact the Governor, use the email form at

A good site to use to contact executive department legislative liaisons is

If it is an issue raised in a story, provide the link.

I recommend not only that readers do this on issues on which they wish to be heard, but that they urge their friends and family to do so as well.