Congresswoman Elaine Luria Speaks in Williamsburg at 400th Anniversary Ceremony

July 31, 2019
Press Release

WILLIAMSBURG – To celebrate the birth of representative democracy in America, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) on Tuesday spoke at the Forum on the Future of Representative Democracy. Text of Congresswoman Luria’s remarks are below, and photos from the evening are attached to this email.

Good evening! It’s my pleasure to join in welcoming you to the Forum on the Future of Representative Democracy. My name is Elaine Luria and I have the pleasure of representing Williamsburg in the U.S. Congress.

Whether you’re from here or elsewhere in America or from outside our nation, we’re glad you’re here with us to celebrate representative democracy and our long tradition of a government “for the people.”

I want to thank American Evolution, the College of William and Mary, and the many renowned speakers that we’ll hear from over the next few days for making this conference possible. Learning from our history ensures a better future for America.

Virginia has played a key role in the development of America. Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown were some of the sites of many of the events that led to the creation of our United States. The very ground that we are standing on is indeed the cradle of our nation.

Four hundred years ago, on a hot and humid day, much like today, our first elected legislative assembly convened here in Jamestown. Today this is the oldest continuous lawmaking body in the New World, and it effectively established democracy in America.

This first legislative assembly created the foundation from which our democracy could build. As our nation has grown, our democracy has evolved, and today we have a sacred responsibility to keep working toward a “more perfect union.”

Four hundred years later, I’m proud to be part of a Virginia congressional delegation that meets regularly across party lines and works together to find common ground.

But representative democracy should never be taken for granted. Today, let us all reflect on how we can protect it for future generations.

I challenge you to be active participants in our democratic system. We must talk to and respect our fellow Americans with whom we disagree because democracy requires compromise.

Let’s honor the first legislative assembly by renewing our commitment toward promoting and securing representative democracy. Our past can inform our future for a better tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your time, enjoy this evening and the opportunity to visit Williamsburg, and to participate in this forum to reflect on the foundations of our democracy.

Congresswoman Luria addresses the audience at the Forum on the Future of Representative Democracy.

Congresswoman Luria stands for a photograph with (from left) Congressman Bobby Scott, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, Congressman Rob Wittman, and the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Kirk Cox.


Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.