Saturday, July 19, 2008

Environmentalist Joe Gartlan Dies

Virginia, and the whole Chesapeake Region was greatly enhanced by the wisdom and activism of the late State Senator Joe Gartlan. Joe passed away yesterday after a long and productive life of serving the public and making the world a better place.

I have had a number of mentors over he years and I count Joe Gartlan as one of them. I met Joe in the 1980's when he was the most senior member of the Northern Virginia General Assembly delegation. He served in the Virginia State Senate for 28 years. Around 2000 Joe joined the Board of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust when I was the President of that land conservation organization. In 2002 Joe served as one of my advisers for my Masters Degree project, which related to building environmental coalitions, something Joe was great at.

Joe was a giant in the environmental field. He Chaired the first multi-state commission on the Chesapeake Bay that led directly to the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Joe had the unique ability to be tenacious about the causes he was pushing, and at the same time so kind and gentlemanly that even his opponents liked and respected him.

Joe Gartlan lived a life of contribution. I feel very fortunate to have known him, and the Chesapeake Bay and all the life it supports including the millions of people that live in the region are better off because off Joe Gartlan. What a great way to have lived a life!

~ On the death of Senator Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr. ~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement on the death of former Virginia State Senator Joseph V. Gartlan, Jr., who represented the 36th senatorial district from 1972 to 2000. He has also ordered the state’s flags flown at half staff to honor Senator Gartlan.

“Senator Gartlan was a true statesman. He wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to issues of social and economic justice,” said Governor Kaine. “He was a tireless and effective advocate for the environment, the mentally and physically disabled, and for abused and neglected children. He spearheaded efforts for funding natural resources and human service programs during his almost three decades of public service. His role was critical in galvanizing the regional efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

“He earned the respect of both parties for his intellect, integrity, and force of will. Over the years, he served as chairman of three Senate committees – Courts of Justice, Privileges and Elections, and Rehabilitation and Social Services. He also was a bold and active member of the Senate Finance committee, where he chaired the human services subcommittee.

“This is a sad day for Virginia, and our hearts are with Senator Gartlan’s family and many friends.”

No comments: