As a first-term Democrat from Northern Virginia and a veteran Republican from the Shenandoah Valley, we believe it’s time for a new caucus that can build a lasting culture of bipartisanship. As co-chairs, we are proud to announce the Commonwealth Caucus, a member-driven bipartisan group in the Virginia General Assembly that incorporates representatives from both chambers. One of our initial policy priorities will be structural electoral reform.
This newly created caucus will increase bipartisanship by facilitating conversations between legislators not only across party lines but across chambers. As of this writing, fourteen members of the Virginia General Assembly have committed to joining the caucus including seven Republicans and seven Democrats.
We look forward to building a caucus that adopts the best practices from both new and veteran members, facilitates difficult conversation and debate, and finds consensus on issues important to Virginians. In addition, we aim to provide a new mechanism for legislators to utilize in order to find bill copatrons, not only across the aisle, but across both chambers.
Virginia has an important role to play in today’s divisive political environment. The Commonwealth has always set the course for our nation’s democracy, and now it can be a leader in giving everyone a voice regardless of party and uniting our divided politics. It is easy to get caught up in the negative partisan rhetoric and dysfunction at the federal level. As elected representatives, we have a responsibility to show the country that through bipartisanship, political courage can shine.
Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D) and Sen. Emmett Hanger, Jr. (R)