Half a million miles down, and more to go!
When I elected to serve the people of Delaware in the U.S. Senate back in 2001, I purchased a Town & Country Chrysler minivan to get me around the state and down to D.C. Over the past 17 years, my trusty minivan has taken me all across Delaware and to Washington and back. It’s never let me down. Even during those moments when my engine overheated, or that time I had flat tire on Route 1, I was always fortunate to find help from Delawareans to get to my next stop, or to the nearest repair shop—and my minivan has always bounced back like it’s brand new. Just last week, the odometer crossed the half a million mile mark, and I was reminded of all of the Delawareans I’ve been able to connect with along the way.
During my travels around our great state, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to meet Delawareans of all ages and backgrounds and to find out what I, as their elected representative, can do to be helpful. Here are just a few of the countless places I’ve been across the First State that my minivan has taken me over the past year alone:
- In October, I visited with residents in Ellendale and the Millsboro area where drinking water faced high levels of contamination. I went back to Washington and worked to write and pass America’s Water Infrastructure Act – a bill to ensure these communities, and communities across the nation, have access to clean drinking water for their families.
- I’ve taken my van to visit workers at the Port of Wilmington to discuss how the America’s Water Infrastructure Act makes much-needed changes to support clean drinking water systems, waterways, beaches, and port projects – such as the expansion of the Port of Wilmington.
- In May, I drove my van to Bethany Beach, where we announced that we successfully secured the funding needed to replenish our dunes, widen our beaches from Fenwick Island up, and protect the homes and businesses that support Delaware’s $3.3 billion tourism economy.
- My van brought me to Harrington, where I heard from new poultry farmers who were not able to apply for an important federal conservation program. I’m proud that, in June, Senator Coons and I were able to reverse that in the Farm Bill and ensure Delaware poultry farmers have access to these important funds.
- I’ve taken my van to New Castle where I listened to people of all ages talk about gun violence in their community and discussed common sense solutions to this epidemic plaguing our nation.
My minivan has allowed me to connect and keep in touch with so many Delawareans – from New Castle County to Sussex County – and the over 500,000 miles on my odometer is representative of that. On Monday, I had some fun with this mileage milestone. I took the minivan down to the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway for a spin around the track and celebrated with the folks who have helped me put so many miles on it over the past 17 years. It was one of those beautiful days in Delaware – where the Delaware-blue sky was contrasted by the horizon. I’ve considered retiring the minivan, but as I reflect back on all of the important trips the van has taken me on, I think that there’s still a lot more to do.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you, and opening your doors – and your driveways – to me and the minivan when I come by.