|Luray, VA - July 21, 2009 - John Lesinski, Democratic candidate for Virginia's 15th District House of Delegates, is coordinating an effort to fight Allegheny Power Company's latest round of proposed rate increases for Valley residents. A local group of Page County residents has circulated the "Power to the People" petition and has collected more than 3,300 signatures in an effort to prevent higher electricity bills. The group has asked Lesinski to spearhead the fight and to deliver the petition to the Virginia State Corporate Commission (SCC) on July 30. Lesinski will present the details of this action today at a 4pm press conference, located in front of the Page County Courthouse (116 S. Court St, Luray, VA 22835). |
In January, electricity rates were raised by 30% as part of a deal struck between Allegheny Power, the SCC, and the Virginia Attorney General's office. Allegheny returned to the SCC in April to seek another rate hike, which was temporarily granted until a hearing is conducted in September. On July 30, Allegheny will return to the SCC for a hearing to request yet another increase.
"All over the Valley, folks with fixed incomes are getting their power turned off because they can't afford these rate increases," said Lesinski. "We, as a community, have the power to stand up for those who are in financial distress."
Lesinski is particularly concerned about the impact the higher electricity rates will have on Page County residents. In February, Page County's unemployment rate reached nearly 20%. While seasonal employment has temporarily brought the unemployment rate down to 12%, it is widely expected to rise again after the summer tourism months are over. Not only do the higher rates hurt residents, but small businesses are also suffering. As these businesses try to make ends meet, they are forced to make tough decisions on employment.
According to Lesinski, "we cannot allow a situation where small business owners have to choose between keeping an employee or keeping the power on."
As part of his effort to fight the power rate increases, Lesinski and other concerned residents will be working to gather more signatures on the petition between now and July 30. A "Power to the People" rally will be held in Elkton this Saturday, July 25 at 19457 Huckleberry Drive. Information will be provided at the rally regarding the rising cost of electricity and specific actions that residents can take to stop the increases and reduce power consumption. Lesinski is also inviting concerned residents to join him on July 30 as he presents the petition to the SCC. Limited transportation will be provided from Page County to and from the SCC meeting, which is located at 1300 E. Main Street, in Richmond.
For more information, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Power to the People in Page
Lesinski Vows to Fight Power Rate Increases
John Lesinski is a retired colonel in the United States Marine Corps and a successful commercial real estate broker. He worked for 16 years in one of the nation's largest commercial real estate brokerage firms. More recently, he established the Leland Group, LLC, which is a small business that focuses on bringing businesses into the Shenandoah Valley. Issues of job creation and economic development are central themes in his campaign.