Posted by Brandon Jarvis
Ed’s Loud Silence On Trump’s Budget Cuts To Key Programs In Northern Virginia
Richmond, Va. — Today, Ed Gillespie once again ducked all mention of his biggest supporter, Donald Trump, in a press conference. During the event, Gillespie was silent on Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminating funding to the Northern Virginia anti-gang task force that provides after-school programming as a form of gang prevention. Rather than stand up to the president on the importance of preserving this funding source, Ed Gillespie would rather stand down.
Questioned by reporters about when he will join President Trump on the campaign trail, Ed Gillespie shut down discussion there too.
Ed Gillespie: “Well you know, as I know President Trump does not disclose military strategy, he’s made a point of that, for not telling enemies what to expect and I think that’s a good approach to our campaign strategy as well. And so the Democrats are just going to have to wait to find out what our campaign strategy is in the last 12 days.
Reporter: How hopeful are you for that?
Ed Gillespie: “Thank you, I’ve answered this question many, many times and I’m going to give you that answer again today.”
Northam for Governor press secretary, Ofirah Yheskel, issued the following statement on Ed Gillespie’s rocky relationship with President Trump:
“Ed Gillespie claims he’ll get his phone calls answered by the White House, but he avoids questions about the President as if they were the plague. If he’s afraid to say the President’s name, is he really going to pick up the phone?
“However, the real shame here is that Ed refuses to stand up to Donald Trump – even when he’s hurting Virginia’s ability to combat gang violence. Trump’s budget eliminates funding to a key anti-gang program the Northern Virginia anti-gang task force uses to provide our kids with after-school activities. Yet, Ed, who prides himself on being an effective lobbyist, won’t lobby the White House on behalf of Virginians. It seems like Virginia is a client he doesn’t care to serve.
“Virginians don’t need a doormat, they need a leader with the backbone to fight for our priorities, and Dr. Ralph Northam has shown he is the only candidate that fits the bill. Dr. Northam has been vocal about this administration’s threats to our healthcare, economy, and environment where Ed has been silent. He’ll continue using his voice for Virginians as their next governor.”
Trump’s Budget Proposed Eliminating Funding For After-School Programs That Helped Keep Kids Out Of Gangs. “If the budget passes, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will only be funded through the end of the federal government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ends September 30. But supporters of the programs say they reduce the amount of time each day when students living in the toughest neighborhoods are hanging around outside — limiting their exposure to stray bullets — and that having structured after-school activities keeps them out of gangs.” [CNN, 5/24/17]
The Arlington County Police Department Gang Unit Suggested Getting Children Involved In After-School Activities As A Form Of Gang Prevention. “Don’t allow your children to have large amounts of unobligated time. Have them participate in organized activities (“hanging out” is not an organized activity). […] Develop positive alternatives. What activities currently exist for after-school involvement? What can you do to support them? What recreational facilities exist for your people? Support positive youth-related activities such as sports, scouting, social clubs, church groups and after-school programs.” [Arlington County Police Department, Accessed 9/20/17]
Gang Prevention Leaders In Northern Virginia Say Congress Has Fallen Down On The Job Of Funding Gang Prevention, Which Has Led To The Increase In Gangs. “Law enforcement officials describe the ideal anti-gang method as a three-pronged approach: education, intervention/prevention and enforcement. But that costs money. Lanham and Capt. Paul Cleveland of Fairfax County police’s anti-gang unit have said Congress has fallen down on the job. The Northern Virginia Gang Task Force used to have a budget of $3 million a year. Now, it runs on $325,000. The difference? Lanham said the elimination of earmarks by Congress in 2012 decimated the task force’s budget. Where the money came from the federal government, particularly through the efforts of then-Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, it now comes from individual departments who chip in what they can. At the Northern Virginia roundtable last month, Cleveland also cited the loss of earmark money, adding, ‘It really is just a budgeting thing, in my mind.’” [WTOP, 6/19/17]