Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-36)

Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-36)

AGE: 63

FAMILY: Wife, Jane; children, Timothy R., David W., Helen Meacham, and Augusta Meacham

CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 2073 Cobblestone Lane, Reston, Va., 20190,

CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-758-9733.



Occupation: Retired

Employment: Director, Adult and Community Education, Fairfax County public schools.

Education: B.A., Old Dominion University; M.Ed., University of Virginia

Qualifications: Over 25 years of service in the Virginia House of Delegates

1. What is your top public service accomplishment?

In recent years, I am proud of establishing and chairing the Dulles Corridor Rail Association.

2. What sets you apart from the other candidate(s) in the race?

I have over a quarter of a century of public service experience and have lived in this community for decades. I have not lost any enthusiasm or willingness to fight for the people of the 36th district in the General Assembly. I have demonstrated that I can work in a bipartisan way to get legislation passed.

3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?

I promise not to support proposals that give special interest groups advantage over the individual consumer. I will not support legislation that I believe does not reflect the values of this community.

4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?

Virginia’s schools are lagging behind and need increased funding and attention from the General Assembly. We need to pay our teachers a fair salary and prepare our students adequately to compete in the global marketplace. Additionally, we need to make investment in smart and environmentally-friendly transportation projects, such as commuter rail, that reduce traffic and air pollution.

5. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?

I firmly support a woman’s right to choice regarding her reproductive health. I will not support any legislation that restricts access to safe and legal abortion.

6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?

Local governments must make decisions that reflect the specific needs of their communities. In a state as diverse as Virginia, more flexibility must be given to local governments.

7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?

High property taxes are making it difficult to afford housing in Northern Virginia, but citizens demand high quality services, such as public education. At the present, the state does not contribute its required share, forcing localities to make up the difference with property taxes; the General Assembly must fund core services at a higher rate to take the burden off localities, and in turn, homeowners. The state can help also with a Homestead Exemption as proposed by Tim Kaine.

8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?

The state of Virginia has already passed the Affirmation of Marriage Act that defines marriage in Virginia. There is no need for a constitutional amendment.

9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia's highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?

Public-private partnerships offer great potential for saving time and money on government projects. The government must make sure it has the expertise to negotiate contracts that will protect taxpayers without excessive profits to the private sector. Each proposal partnership must be weighed against an open-bid procurement process.

10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?

Immigration policy is the jurisdiction of the federal government. Proposals from state officials thus far have been feeble attacks that do nothing to address the overall problem but serve as chances for some politicians to exploit a hot-button issue. Immigrants are an integral and important part of our workforce and have made significant contributions to the local economy. They should receive the benefits of all tax-paying citizens. The President and Congress must address the legislative issues.