Patch Q&A: Derek Hyra, Candidate, 8th Congressional District Democratic Primary

The Democratic primary is June 10.

Derek Hyra; campaign photo
Derek Hyra; campaign photo

Patch recently sent questions to each of the candidates running in the Democratic primary for the 8th congressional District. The primary election is June 10. There are currently seven candidates in the Democratic primary race. This is the sixth of the Q&As, with candidate Derek Hyra.

1. Patch: What one thing would you hope to accomplish, more than anything, if elected?

Derek Hyra: Stabilizing the housing market is my main Congressional priority. Nearly 20 percent of our nation’s economy is wrapped up in the housing market. In NoVa we have survived the Great Recession but many areas of the country are still suffering from foreclosures and depressed home values. In fact, several economists argue that our national recovery from the Great Recession has been held back due to unfinished Congressional housing reforms. In particular, we must decide the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, our key housing finance companies. As your next Congressional representative, I will help foster sensible, bi-partisan bills to reform and strengthen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Without sensible action related to these firms, it is unlikely that we will witness balanced and widespread housing market stabilization and robust economic growth.


2. Patch: What makes your platform unique from the other candidates?

Derek Hyra: I have a comprehensive “4E” platform (economy, education, environment and equity) and am the only candidate advocating for equitable economic growth. By equitable, I mean growth that lifts all boats and reduces social inequality. This can be achieved through strategic housing, community development, and small business reforms. To achieve equitable growth in NoVa and across the country, we need to reform existing government programs including the Treasury Department’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, the Small Business Administration’s 7a and 504 lending programs as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program. By refining these existing programs, and others, we could improve the lives of millions of Americans. I have spent nearly two decades, including time as a federal government employee at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Treasury Department, and look forward to advocating for this agenda as your next Congressman.


3. Patch: What is the biggest struggle you've ever overcome?

Derek Hyra: When my wife, Allison, was pregnant with my son, she developed preeclampsia. I still remember the day I received the phone call from Allison and she anxiously explained that her doctor, on a routine prenatal visit, advised her to immediately head to the hospital. Within three days of her hospitalization, Allison was ordered to have an emergency C-section because her health and Avery’s was failing. Avery was born two months early. On the day of his birth, the doctors informed me that there was a high probability that Avery, my three-pound angel, might suffer a severe stroke. Additionally, my wife’s blood pressure was extremely high after the birth and she was in critical condition. This was the most difficult day of my life. I thought I might lose my entire world in one day. I sat with my mother-in-law, Denise, and we prayed. We all survived that day and I am happy to report that Allison and Avery are both healthy and vibrant thanks to divine intervention and the wonderful care they received at INOVA Alexandria hospital. Allison and Avery’s remarkable recoveries and the subsequent healthy birth of my daughter, Barrett, proved to me that miracles happen.


4. Patch: What has been your biggest achievement?

Derek Hyra: The mark of great leaders is not their accomplishments but the achievements of those they have touched and supported. I am so proud of my family, friends and particularly my students. Many of my former Virginia Tech students are helping to shape the DC metropolitan landscape and I feel very confident in its economic and political future.

In my career I have been involved with extraordinary efforts to revitalize some of the most impoverished areas in the country. I have worked with great people in historic African American communities including Bronzeville in Chicago, Harlem in New York, Shaw/U Street in Washington, DC, and in the Parker Gray neighborhood in Alexandria. In these communities my role has centered on understanding how to bringing sustainable economic development while minimizing and/or preventing displacement. My scholarship and actions, as a professor, federal government employee, housing authority board chair, and planning commissioner, have influenced students, community leaders, policy makers, and national policies, in particular the Dodd-Frank Act, and shaped numerous real estate development projects in Alexandria. I am extremely proud of these efforts and believe my unique academic, federal and local government, and community experiences can be brought to bear to craft effective policies that can improve our country.


5. Patch: Who is your hero (political or otherwise)?

Derek Hyra: My greatest heros are my mom and dad. They provided me with so many opportunities and taught me the values of hard work, public service, and caring for others. In public life and politics, my US heros are Ida B. Wells, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Professor Manning Marable. In their own ways, these exceptional Americans fought tirelessly for civil rights, peace, and social justice.


6. Patch: What, to you, is one of the most unique qualities about the community of the 8th congressional district?

Derek Hyra: Virginia’s 8th Congressional District is one of the most affluent, educated and racial diverse areas in the country. While I want this district to continue to cultivate innovations that drive our economy, I also hope it continues to provide housing and educational opportunities for upper-, middle- and low-income families. As a unique, suburban melting pot, this area truly represents the best of the American Democracy and its democratic principles.


7. Patch: How would you describe yourself in just three words?

Derek Hyra: Passionate, Pragmatic and Determined


8. Patch: What is your definition of success?

Derek Hyra: Knowing that my life’s work, done in collaboration with others, helped to make the country a more prosperous, just and equitable society.

Also read:

Hawa Coulibaly June 05, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Having so many great candidates makes it difficult to choose, but I think I know who's getting my vote...
JW Grenadier June 05, 2014 at 10:43 PM
What are your thoughts on the Corruption we have in the City of Alexandria Court house? The Fraud on the Court - The Treason on the Court in Virginia should not be swept under the carpet any longer. If you don't believe this can happen to you - I wish the best for you - Because I believed that also. I never believed the corruption could go this deep. That even the FBI at this point is supporting it. http://valaw2010.blogspot.com/2014/05/motion-to-re-open-due-to-fraud-on-cou.html Letter: Mary Grace O’Brien Treason / Fraud on the Court - She plays with the Old Boy Network! http://www.scribd.com/doc/223316040/PWC-Letter-Judge-O-Brien-May-2-2014-in-Regard-to-Recusing-Herself-3 http://valaw2010.blogspot.com/2013/05/virginia-corruption-in-judiciary-its.html Victims of Virginia Corruption and Criminal Actions in the Judiciary - It's not the Crime - it is the Cover up - Virginia a State rated 47th & 49th in corruption This page is dedicated to all of those whose stories are yet ended Due to the Corruption in the Judicial System Ruling in Favoritism and Cronyism instead of the Laws and the Rules of the United States Constitution the Virginia State Constitution and the Supreme Court Virginia Rated 47th and 49th in Corruption Daily Beast rated Virginia second most Corrupt State -http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/region_survey_finds_virginia_second_most_corrupt_state987/ - State Integrety Gave them an F - 47th most corrupt States -http://www.stateintegrity.org/virginia FBI cautions residents of public corruption in Va. http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/2014/02/18/fbi-cautions-residents-of-public-corruption-in-northern-virginia/5585877/ WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington Field Office is looking to identify any public corruption occurring in Northern Virginia. The FBI says public corruption can occur "when a public official, at any level of government – local, state or federal – does any official act in exchange for money, or other free goods or services, for private gain. Public corruption could also include public employees who take something of value for their own personal gain, thereby violating the public's trust." The FBI says many of their investigations into public corruption start once they receive a tip from someone. If you want to help identify potential criminal activity, the Washington Field Office has set up a Northern Virginia Public Corruption Hotline at 703-686-6225 and you can also e-mail them at NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov. Some of the examples of corruption include: • Government officials such as DMV employees, city inspectors, taxing or zoning assessors or other regulatory agency employees, or even town councils or mayors; • Contracting officials at all levels, including those who manage government contracts or regulatory permits; or, school resource officers who manage school accounts; • Local officials colluding with real estate investors to rig the bidding process at foreclosure auctions; • A person representing the judicial branch - a judge, member of the jury or court personnel; or, • A person representing law enforcement, who steals drugs from criminals, embezzles government funds, falsifies records or smuggles contraband Tell the Judges – They do not have Absolute Judicial Immunity – Judge’s should and by law are held accountable – But, we need to be sure they understand that. The Black rope has gone to their heads to believe that they don’t https://www.causes.com/campaigns/5241-remove-absolute-judicial-immunity-hold-the-judicial-community-responsible-for-their-actions
Hawa Coulibaly June 05, 2014 at 11:18 PM
I know first hand that the court system is corrupt. I currently have a case against Arlington County Department of Human Services and Virginia Department of Social Services. I'm suing them because they sabotaged and abused me while volunteering there. My case is in the court of appeals. The circuit court of Arlington is just as corrupt if not worst than Alexandria. The Chief Judge, Judge T. Newman, is a former Arlington County Board Member. During my hearing in which the Lawyer for the County, Christine Sanders and the lawyer for the state, Michelle L'hommedieu requested for a dismissal of my case, the judge showed that he had no intention in being objective. He didn't give me a chance to state my case, he quickly ruled in their favor. That was after he stated that he was once a board member. The interesting thing about that is that, I've been very outspoken against our current corrupt and arrogant board members and it was clear that the judge was aware of that. The reason I've been outspoken against them is because I contacted them several times at the beginning of my case, before it went to court, and they never responded. I wish you luck with your case.
JW Grenadier June 05, 2014 at 11:26 PM
I am now in Federal Court - The Judges there are no different - Please add all your documents and what is happening to you to my Blog or Scribd account - Know you are not alone - I am sorry you have also had to go through that - The internet has opened up the opportunity for us to advice others about the corruption - Also above is the information on the FBI's investigation to the corruption - Please contact them and let it me known - Just maybe someone with integrity will do something -


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