By Paul Hirschbiel
I decided to run for Congress because I was frustrated by the inaction that I saw in Washington. In order to get our economy moving, we must guarantee we have a 21st century education system that runs from zero to career. We need a responsible solution to our deficit that helps America balance its checkbook, while at the same time making key investments in our future. We also need a comprehensive energy and transportation program that harnesses new technology and sets the stage for us to continue to lead the world in innovation. In order to make this a reality, we need a Congress that is willing to work together to tackle big issues.
However, when I see what is going on in Washington, all I see are people looking out for the best interests of themselves and their party. We must have leaders who will work together to develop common-sense solutions to our problems. Average Americans don’t care if Republicans get the credit or if Democrats get the credit, they care that their government is working for them to solve problems.
In my career, I have done more than just talk about working together; I have spent the last thirty years doing just that. I worked with companies across the country including right here in Hampton Roads to grow and create new jobs. One of the best known companies was Dell Computer. During my time at Dell we were able to grow the company from 700 employees and revenues of $80 million to over 36,000 employees and revenues in excess of $25 billion.
In our community, I pulled together Democrats and Republicans to create innovative educational programs to help our children succeed. The first is Horizons Hampton Roads, which provides summer enrichment to children from low income families. The second is Smart Beginnings. This program focuses on early childhood education, ensuring that all of our children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed. Smart Beginnings began as a small working group here in Hampton Roads and has grown to twenty-nine locations across Virginia covering over 80% of need. Both of these programs have succeeded in large part because everyone regardless of party, recognizes the importance of educating our children and preparing them to compete in a 21st century global economy.
As someone who grew up in Hampton Roads and helped build companies in our community, I know what it takes to end the childish bickering and start solving problems. Now is the time for real leadership in Washington, not blind loyalty to a party. We need to put down our partisan labels and start working for the people, so that we can continue to move our country forward.
Paul Hirschbiel is the Democratic Party candidate for the 2nd Congressional District that encompasses all of Accomack and Northampton Counties and the City of Virginia Beach and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.