Your Views: Sen. Ebbin’s critique was misguided

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Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Mayor Allison Silberberg, Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Vice Mayor Justin Wilson and Councilor Tim Lovain, among others, break ground at the future site of Carpenter's Shelter/The Bloom (Photo Credit: Missy Schrott)
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To the editor:

It is unusual for elected officials to criticize newspapers because the way our system works is that newspapers are supposed to criticize elected officials, not the other way around. As harsh as the Alexandria Times has been, for example, on city hall, city hall’s normal response has been a respectful silence.

President Donald Trump’s liberal application of the pejorative “fake news” to many of the country’s respected news sources is historically out of character for a president. Yet, Sen. Adam Ebbin’s My View op-ed on July 25 took a small step in this same direction when he concluded with this critique of your July 11 editorial, titled “Guns aren’t the whole problem”: “… by pivoting away from the pressing issue of gun violence, and attempt- ing to walk the tightrope between competing interests, the Times showed a deficiency of the ‘political courage’ you claim to seek.”

Last year I pointed out to Ebbin at a town hall how progressive public policies had been enacted by state-level referendum, e.g., minimum wage increases and Medicaid expansion in the most conservative states and marijuana legalization. I pressed him to support allowing Virginia voters to petition subjects to the ballot.

Ebbin opposes citizen-initiated ballot measures. He responded that Virginia voters had voted against allowing same-sex marriage, but gave no explanation of why the legislature in which he serves, awash with special interest money, which twice voted against same-sex marriage, is more trustworthy than the people.

Taken as an aggregate, Ebbin seems to have a condescending view toward the grassroots public and institutions such as your newspaper which advocate for its interests and views.

-Dino Drudi, Alexandria

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