Major John Bell (ret.) is a moderate Democrat and...
A decorated Veteran who served as an Air Force Finance Officer.
A Pro-Business Democrat in the tradition of Mark Warner who will grow our tax base so we don't need to increase our tax rate.
A commuter who has a transportation plan to reduce our terrible commutes.
A volunteer tennis coach at Freedom High School who believes supporting education is crucial to Northern Virginia remaining a great place to start a business and raise a family.
Del. Bob Marshall has been in the House of Delegates for over 18-years, and he has consistently spent his time on issues like abortion, marriage amendments and other wedge issues.
Over 80% of 13th district residents are commuters, including (ret.) Major John Bell. They waste hundreds of hours in traffic every year that takes time away from their families. Despite this, Del. Marshall has consistently killed transportation initiatives without offering solutions of his own. Major John Bell (ret.) has a transportation plan that will ensure Virginia no longer faces a transportation funding death spiral.
John is married and lives in South Riding off Route 50 in Loudoun County with his wife Margaret (also retired Air Force). Margaret is a realtor and is an avid supporter of animal rescue. They have five children and have a proud tradition of military service with one child (John) having served six years in the Air Force and two in the Air National Guard (Danielle, Josh). Four of the five children are currently pursuing higher education: John (George Washington University), Josh (University of Texas-Austin), Saorise (NOVA), and Kyle (UVA).
Received Bachelors degree in Business Administration and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University in Denver.
Major John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served for almost 26 years before retiring in 2007 as a Major. During his Air Force career, Major Bell served as a Finance Officer all over the world, including tours in Southwest Asia in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His ability to build consensus among diverse participants produced savings and cost reductions throughout the world, including $200 million saved annually from his work in Iceland.
Bell enlisted in the Air Force in 1981 after graduating from high school. He was consistently recognized during his enlisted career as an outstanding performer and was named the #1 Non Commissioned Officer out of over 5,000 assigned to the Far East in 1992.
At Officer Training School Bell finished in the Top 10% of graduates and was named a Distinguished Graduate. John was also a Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer's School (a mid-level management program), was selected to participate in the elite Air Force Intern Program and was named the 2006 Outstanding Contributor in the Air Force to Financial Management and Comptrollership.
n 2008, Major Bell (ret.) served as the South Riding Canvassing Captain for the Obama-Biden campaign and was recently selected by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to serve as a Team Captain at the Opening Ceremony. He also volunteers as a tennis coach for the Freedom High School Varsity Boys program.
Source: www.johnbell2009.com (11/06/2007)
- Ensure our children receive a first-rate education
- Ensure our teachers are fairly paid
- Protect funding for high performing schools
- Take aggressive action to improve lower performing schools
- Fight for Alternative Energy funding that President Obama is proposing to implement clean energy measures in VA public school facilities & use the savings to offset current and projected school budget shortfalls
- Work to maximize corporate sponsorship and involvement in science and technology education
- Initiate a study of school bus usage and seek to use smaller & less costly vehicles if practical
- Work to reduce class sizes to provide an environment in which teachers and students can succeed.
- Work with the VEA to develop and implement programs that decrease dropout rates statewide
- Be an outspoken advocate for early childhood education
- Fight tirelessly to minimize the disastrous impacts of the so-called "No Child Left Behind"
Protect funding for high performing schools
Fight for Alternative Energy funding that President Obama is proposing to implement clean energy measures in VA public school facilities & use the savings to offset current and projected school budget shortfalls
Ensure our teachers are fairly paid
Fight tirelessly to minimize the disastrous impacts of the so-called "No Child Left Behind"
Be an outspoken advocate for early childhood education
Take aggressive action to improve lower performing schools
Work to reduce class sizes to provide an environment in which teachers and students can succeed.
As a commuter, Major John Bell (ret.) believes we need to:
- Pursue transportation solutions that ensure Virginia no longer faces a transportation funding death spiral.
- Institute a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on I-66 and I-395. BRT can be implemented at a fraction of the cost and time of rail extension.
- Ensure revenues collected for transportation actually go to funding transportation improvements.
- Increase transportation investment to get Virginia out of a "maintenance only" status.
- Propose VDOT adoption of the Practical Design Concept pioneered by the State of Missouri in order to maximize investment funding.
- Find solutions that require little to no funding, such as creating a "Slug West" program to export the popular practice of ridesharing used on the I-395 corridors to I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road.
- Pursue policies that provide incentives for companies that offer regular telecommuting and alternate shifts.
Virginia must immediately take a more pro-active stance on Economic Development by creating a highly supportive environment for new jobs and fostering a more competitive marketplace for small business owners to succeed and prosper. The times demand strong yet thoughtful action.
To develop and sustain a robust economy and increase a consistent revenue stream that will support Transportation and Educational improvements we must decide to:
- Make the support of small business owners a high state priority.
- Develop renewable energy industries and electronic medical records that will save money and enhance the lives of all Virginians. Currently, thousands of new job opportunities in these industries remain untapped and unexplored.
- Give small business owners a well deserved seat at the "opportunity table" through streamlining government contract bidding as well as promoting private sector performance capabilities.
- Develop and implement pro-active mentoring programs for all small business owners that provide real-time answers to real-time issues.
- Create enhanced and efficient programs through which small owners can access much needed capitalization at competitive rates.
- Promote state of the art on-line software programs that provide no cost, one-on-one accounting and financial planning support.
- Explore participation of small businesses in our current state healthcare insurance program so the risk of catastrophic illness/injuries will not overwhelm small businesses. This could drive down the cost of health insurance for the state and for small business owners.
- Encourage ALL elected officials to make sound Business Development progress and the support of Small Business a TOP priority of the state of Virginia for 2009 and beyond.
Develop renewable energy industries and electronic medical records that will save money and enhance the lives of all Virginians. Currently, thousands of new job opportunities in these industries remain untapped and unexplored.
Major John Bell (ret.) believes that illegal immigration is wrong and criminal.
To effectively combat illegal immigration, we need to go after the source--employers who provide jobs to illegal immigrants. If jobs are available only to people legally allowed to work in the United States, there will be little or no incentive for illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. without proper documentation. While section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act takes positive steps to streamline collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement agencies in regards to immigration law, it will be a losing battle to go after millions of scattered and "underground" illegal immigrants on an individual basis.
Instead, these agencies should work together and focus their efforts to crack down on much more visible, traceable, stationary targets: businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. These agencies already interact with business entities on a regular basis regarding other issues, so they should be able to track their hiring practices much more easily than they will be able to track millions of individual illegal immigrants.
Furthermore, Major John Bell (ret.) believes that we must ensure that 287(g) does not open the door to potential abuses. Racial profiling WILL NOT be tolerated. Local law enforcement officers need to be properly educated and trained about the rights of immigrants, legal and illegal. They must learn the proper way to investigate potential infractions of immigration law both in individual and employer cases. Local departments must also be regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure that individuals legally in the U.S. are not harassed or subjected to undue inspection.
As a Delegate in Richmond, Major John Bell (ret.) will support opening the State Employee insurance pool to small businesses. This will increase the size of the pool and further reduce risk, which will bring down the cost for state government to provide insurance to its employees and make health insurance affordable for small businesses in Virginia.