<bt>To the Editor:
Although I do not reside in the 34th District, I would like to offer an unsolicited word of support for that district's Democratic candidate for the state Senate, Ron Christian. I do so knowing that Ron is a uniquely gifted leader whose participation in the state legislature will clearly benefit all of the people of Virginia.
When Gov. Mark Warner (D) came to Fairfax this week to express his wholehearted support for Ron's campaign, I was impressed most of all by his evident respect for Ron Christian as a person. This respect is well-placed. It was hardly a surprise to me that Ron has spent so much time in these past months simply listening to the people — in their neighborhoods, coffee shops and places of work — asking them about their needs, hopes and concerns.
I have known Ron Christian personally and professionally for over 30 years. I can tell you what he has done to affirm the human and civil rights of people, especially those who have been disadvantaged. I refer to African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and immigrants from Central America, Korea, Ethiopia and many other countries.
Because he believes that the real test of our commitment to human rights is how we treat the marginalized in our society, he has initiated a major effort to build affordable housing for the elderly and the disabled in Northern Virginia. Because he believes that it is intolerable that children go to bed hungry at night, he has worked tirelessly to help eradicate hunger in this country and abroad.
As a former chaplain in the U.S. Army, I also appreciate the fact that Ron Christian has been such a strong supporter of the servicemen and women of our country and their families. I know individuals at all levels of the military command who will attest to this, including the honored veterans who have served our country in the past.
People should know that Ron Christian has pioneered efforts to bring the resources of the faith communities to bear on the problems of our society. This includes not only Roman Catholics and Evangelicals but members of the Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities as well. He is presently chair of the Inter-Faith Council of Northern Virginia, a board that includes representatives of many faiths.
My wife, Rene, and I give our complete support to Ron Christian — and to his wonderful family. If people in the 34th District are concerned about the family — about children and teens struggling with the daily pressures and with parents growing older and needing care — I can assure you that Ron Christian will be your advocate and your friend.
Dr. Paul A. Wee