Senator Ebbin Visits NOVA Alexandria

State Senator Adam Ebbin came to the Alexandria campus to talk to Professor David Miller’s Cultural Geography (Geo 210) class on Thursday, March 19. Senator Ebbin represents the 30th district (parts of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax) as a Democratic member of the Virginia Senate. His district borders the Potomac River from National Airport to Mount Vernon and includes part of NOVA’s Alexandria campus. He spoke to students about gerrymandering, the Virginia Senate, and his bills in the recent legislative session.

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Senator Ebbin discussing his district.

Ebbin explained that gerrymandering is the drawing of voting district boundaries in awkward shapes to make the districts safe for the party in power. A senator can choose voters rather than voters electing a senator.

In 2011, when the districts were drawn, Republicans controlled the governor’s mansion, Virginia House of Delegates, and the Virginia Senate. Therefore, the process of drawing new districts, or redistricting, tended to favor Republicans.

Virginia is a purple state with roughly equal populations of Republicans and Democrats, but the power of gerrymandering gives an edge to Senate Republicans, who hold 21 seats versus 19 seats for Democrats. Democratic voters are packed into Senator Ebbin’s elongated district, making districts to the south and west safer for Republicans. Each state senator represents about 200,000 people, and all 40 senators will be up for election in November 2015.

In 2011, District 30 changed in shape and size due to gerrymandering.

In 2011, District 30 changed in shape and size due to gerrymandering.

Senator Ebbin also discussed a number of his bills, including ones for cleaner energy, mass transit funding, and protections against discrimination in state employment. He highlighted his sponsorship of Senate Joint Resolution 337 commending Dr. Robert Templin for his 13 years of service as President of Northern Virginia Community College.

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Senator Ebbin taking questions from students studying political geography.

After his presentation, Senator Ebbin met with Dr. Jimmie McClellan, Dean of Liberal Arts, and Marcus Henderson, Community Outreach Specialist.

David B. Miller, Assistant Professor, Geography, NVCC-Alexandria

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the view of the NOVA Institute for Public Service or Northern Virginia Community College as a whole. All materials may be reprinted with permission, for more information please contact the IPS Coordinator.

7 thoughts on “Senator Ebbin Visits NOVA Alexandria

  1. Looks like a good presentation. Senator Ebbin is a Democrat who sponsored the repeal of an unfair tax, specifically the hybrid-vehicle tax in 2014. Best wishes for the November elections.

  2. Senator Ebbin did well with connecting with the majority of the class, he had a more relaxed air about him than some politicians. This quality made him much more approachable and therefore the class was more engaged.

  3. I believe that Senator Ebbin did a good job explaining the process of gerrymandering to the class. He also discussed several of the bills that he was working on such as the hybrid-car tax and protection against employment state discrimination. Overall, I think he did a well and thorough job with his presentation.

  4. I really appreciated Senator Ebbin taking the time to come talk to our class. Throughout his presentation you could tell he is passionate about what he does. This was clear when he talked about all the bills he worked hard to pass. I wish him well in the next election.

  5. Senator Ebbin presented his ideas in an informative way, by guiding us through his goals and visions for Virginia, and discussing about the recent issues that he had worked out. When speaking to his audience, he expressed a very genuine and a respectable personality. I think his ambitious quality and his passion for politics was able to inspire the audience to vote in the next election.

  6. Senator Ebbin visited our class, and I learned a lot about what he does. He is a Democrat, and he represents Virginia. His section of Virginia is Arlington, Alexandria and Mount Vernon. He helped solve many issues like the taxes on hybrid vehicles which made these taxes equal to the ones with regular automobiles.

  7. Senator Ebbin was very informative and delivered most of his points clearly and effectively. Although I do not agree with some of his views, I found him very agreeable with leveled opinions and fair approaches to most topics. I applaud many of the issues he has worked on/is still working on and will keep an eye on him and follow his stances in the future. However, I found that he did not give me a very good reason for why he thinks showing photo ID when voting is “crazy”.

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