During his first six weeks in office, Congressman Denver Riggleman has made it one of his priorities to work for access to construct an alternate entrance/exit for the Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County. He has called attention to his efforts in the press, on social media, and on his official congressional website. On Jan. 17, he spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about the need for a second access to the resort.
He cites the possibility of a catastrophic fire; however, he never mentions that the risk of a catastrophic event is increased by the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline crossing directly under the only current entrance/exit.
Meanwhile, in Buckingham County (also in Riggleman’s district), the people of the Union Hill community, a historically African-American community, have been fighting to have a compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline relocated from the planned location in their community. Riggleman has shown no interest in, nor acknowledged, the concerns of the Union Hill residents.
On Feb. 19 a rally attended by over 1,000 people from across the 5th District in support of Union Hill, featuring two prominent national leaders, was held in Buckingham. Riggleman was not in attendance despite the fact that Congress is in recess during the week of the rally.
In a recent story in The Roanoke Times, Congressman Riggleman is quoted as saying: “People need to say, we’re sick of racism.” But it is exactly the sort of priority shown to the largely white and wealthy residents and visitors to Wintergreen while completely ignoring the similar concerns of the constituents of Union Hill that perpetuates racism. It is not enough to simply say that we’re sick of racism. We must do the real work of ending it, and I hope that Rep. Riggleman will demonstrate his commitment to ending racism by working for all of the constituents of the 5th District.
Craig DuBose, Albemarle County
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