Campaigning or not, Englin has support


Del. David Englin  (D-45) is not on any ballot, and likely wont be, until he is up for reelection in 2009. But that did not stop dozens of volunteers from stuffing several thousand envelopes at the delegates campaign headquarters his Del Ray home.

Such early support among Englins followers indicates a different kind of politician and a distinctive approach to constituents than a traditional delegate, according to volunteers who attended the casual envelope-stuffing event over a few beers last Friday.

Hes constantly seeking input from us about issues, said volunteer Wally Sinaiko, who began his political volunteer career working for Harry Trumans cause. He tells you what hes doing, and he keeps people informed.

Mailings were sent out to area constituents informing the Commonwealths citizens about the 2008 General Assembly session, at which 889 bills were passed. Volunteers said that Englins transparency and straightforwardness drew them to his causes and progressive demeanor.

A neighbor and Englin volunteer, Tania Blagrove said that lending some help was an easy decision because shed attended a mass-stuffing event before. But this time, she brought her 13 year-old daughter, Nadia. She did not have to drag her by the heels, either.

My daughter said to me, Oh, can I come? Blagrove said. Theyre just really progressive kids.

Nadia brought a group of friends, too. And though stuffing envelopes may not be the typical Friday night hangout for 13 year-olds, Englin doesnt seem to be the typical politician.

To have so many people sitting on blankets on my front lawn, its great, Englin said. I think that one of my goals in 2005 was to empower people to produce change, and these efforts have made great grassroots supporters from the community.

Its not only the politician himself that make Englin unique, but also the issues he deems important, volunteers said. Supporters repeatedly noted civil rights and the environment as pertinent issues for them, and said that Englin understands his community in a way that surges these issues to the forefront in Richmond.

During the 2008 General Assembly session, Englin was the major patron of a law that hindered discriminatory housing practices, and worked to maintain a study on the effect of high-carbon-emitting generation facilities. 

Being involved with progressive issues has been a life-long thing for me, Blagrove said. A long time activist, Blagrove added that civil rights and the environment are just two issues on her personal docket.

Sinaiko said that while he does not necessarily agree with all of Englins stances, his approach is well organized and locally oriented. The first time I met him, he walked by my home and knocked on my door, Sinaiko said. He just made a lot of sense. I was impressed.

This was one of our best turnouts ever, Englin said. Especially without campaigning.