Robert Marro, Executive Director, AIA 2020
On Friday Jul 7, 2017, members of AIA, ADAMS and Dar al Noor, and many hundreds of others from across Northern Virginia attended funeral services in Manassas for Suzanne Miller, wife of VA Delegate Jackson Miller. Jackson has represented the 50th District, encompassing Manassas and surrounding area, in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2006, and is currently the Majority Whip. Suzanne, 45, succumbed after a long battle with cancer. Jackson is well respected on both sides of the aisle, and his House and Senate colleagues came out in force to support him at the funeral services.
His fellow GOP leaders, including House Speaker William Howell, Speaker-designee Kirk Cox, Majority Leader-designee Todd Gilbert and Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo, issued a statement: “We are devastated by the loss of Suzanne and heartbroken for Jackson and his two boys. Suzanne was the light of their life. For all of us, she was a sweet friend we were fortunate to know. She carried herself with poise and grace through a difficult fight against cancer, serving as an example to all that God can and will sustain each of us through life’s trials. The House of Delegates, including our spouses and children, is a family, and we mourn the loss of one of our own. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with the Millers.”
But even more important for the AIA community, Jackson Miller has been a steadfast friend of not only Dar al Noor and its members, but of ADAMS and the entire VA Muslim community. Jackson once told me his mother worked with students from the Middle East studying at US Colleges and Universities. As a result, he had lots of contact with young Muslims, and was proud to call many his friends. He renewed those ties in all dealings with the Muslim Community in both PWC and Fairfax, and was a frequent visitor and guest at mosques in the region. We were all proud to have Jackson as our friend and supporter.
This was particularly key in 2012, when the House was considering a bill to prohibit application of any foreign Law for any citizens (individual or corporate) of Virginia. ADAMS and Dar al Noor had developed a coalition of support from the American Jewish Committee, B’nai Brith, the Interfaith Council of Virginia, other Christian churches and faith groups, and from the Northern VA Technology Council, the VA Chamber of Commerce, Smithfield Ham Corporation, and others who realize this Bill would impose undue burdens on many Virginians with any commercial or personal ties overseas.
In the Subcommittee Hearing, Delegate Miller took the lead, posing insightful and forceful questions to the Bill’s sponsor to ascertain the point of this proposed Bill. When the Sponsor was unable to offer convincing answers, Jackson pressed home, noting that any proposed legislation is usually to deal with specific problems or problematic issues; however, he could see no problem whatsoever that this Bill would resolve. If fact, he pointed out this entire effort seemed like “a solution in search of a problem”.
Jackson’s questioning was a tipping point, and other Delegates also saw the obvious lack of benefits and potentially negative consequences. The Committee chair was even inspired to note the overseas adoption of his own children would become illegal in Virginia under the terms of this new Bill. The opposition of the various groups in the Coalition was powerful, but Jackson’s brave opposition was critical in sowing doubt among his House colleagues, to therefore require another hearing, where Jackson’s opposition was instrumental in the vote to return the Bill to its author for re-consideration.
Many other state legislatures have passed similar laws without the questioning or spirited opposition of individual legislators like Jackson. His very courageous public stance encouraged many other Delegates in his own Party to not only oppose that Bill in 2012, but to ensure it would not be raised in subsequent General Assembly sessions. Prior to that 2012 Session, Jackson had had very little contact with the Muslim Community in PWC, or any personal relationship with our leaders. Yet, he did what was right, and became a key leader in the fight to ensure against such discrimination. For all this, as well as his continued support and open friendship since then, AIA 2020 wants to show our appreciation and gratitude, and most important, our sincere condolence on the passing of his wife.
We therefore ask you not only to Thank Delegate Miller by LIKING this page, but to send your own message of condolence to Jackson’s family on the passing of his beloved wife and their beloved mother.