Last night, as snow began to fall in Harrisonburg, the Valley Family Forum held their annual Unveiling ceremony. Although designed to showcase upcoming legislative measures by local members of the General Assembly, curiously a vast majority did not attend.
Matt Homer, staffer for Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke), began by leading with an invocation and the pledge of allegiance. From there, Dean Welty, Director of the Valley Family Forum, offered welcoming remarks and introduced the first two speakers, Travis Witt, the Chairman of the Tea Party Federation of Virginia and Chris Freund, the Vice President of the Family Foundation of Virginia. Mr. Freund spoke on the social issues facing the Commonwealth while Mr. Witt mentioned the tea party’s role in Virginia politics.
Next, Delegate Mark Berg (R-Winchester) talked about issues like Medicaid expansion that seek to enhance the power of government in the lives of ordinary citizens. Then, Rita Dunaway, the Deputy Director of the Valley Family Forum, brought up the issue of an Article V Convention as a means of curtailing the expansion of the federal government. Conservatives have been split on this issue. Although some favor a convention, others believe it will merely end up expanding the power of Washington.
Dan Moxley and Marshall Pattie were slated to address the crowd next, but due to illness, Mr. Pattie was unable to attend. Mr. Moxley spoke of his faith and his political principles which seemed to resonate well with the audience.
Finally, Dr. John Sloop, Chaplain of the Valley Family Forum, offered the commissioning to close the event. He planned to offer additional thoughts, but decided against it due to the continued precipitation.
Although I’ve never attended an Unveiling before due to prior commitments, it did draw a sizable number of activists; almost every seat in the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors room was filled. As far as I could tell, many, if not most of the audience seemed to be members of the Republican Party; both Harrisonburg Chairman Mac Nichols and Rockingham Chairman Donna Moser were there. All in all, I’d say it was a worthwhile evening, though I would have liked the opportunity to hear and speak with more elected officials and candidates as has been in the case in previous Unveilings.