Solar Champion Felled by Would-Be Assassin
Like many others, I was riveted by the news over the weekend that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been shot at close range at a meeting with her constituents. My initial reaction was that this was news you would expect to come from Kabul, not Tucson. But as the news came in, it became clear that the senseless violence commonplace in war zones had invaded the quiet streets of one shopping center in Arizona.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, many communities mourned the loss of one of their own. Arizonans particularly suffered from the bloodshed, and possibly the death of one little 9-year old girl born on 9/11/2001–just elected to the student council—seemed to bring tears to the even most stoic. The judicial community, which has unbelievably suffered very few murders in the last 200 years, mourned the loss of one esteemed jurist. The tiny solar community, with few stalwart friends, was devastated by the senseless attack on solar champion Giffords.
Gabrielle Giffords has represented her community with aplomb and dignity. She is the rare breed in Congress who actively seeks common ground with others from the other party. She has let civility guide her discussions and thrived, as good politicians do, on contact with her constituents. There are a plethora of national issues facing each Congressman , but you know which one was the most important issue for Giffords? She claimed as her signature issue solar energy.
I glanced at her official website right afte the tragedy and there Rep. Giffords was on her home page beaming with members of a solar car team. A message from her husband asking for our prayers understandably replaced that picture the following day.
Gifford has made it her life’s work to promote solar energy and her work in Congress has been to provide the support to the solar industry—to create jobs and to wean us of our addiction to fossil fuels. It works both ways and Giffords has been a skilful legislator in crafting the right lelgislative landscape in which the solar industry can develop roots in the US. SolarTown joins the country in honoring the victims of the tragedy in Tucson and wishing a full and speedy recovery to Rep. Giffords and the others who were wounded in the tragedy.