Monday, more than 200 Family Foundation supporters descended on Richmond for Family Foundation Day at the Capitol to make their voices heard as the new session of the General Assembly hit full stride. Attendees heard from several legislators including Senator Steve Newman (R-23, Lynchburg), Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) and Delegate John O’Bannon (R-73, Richmond). Lt. Governor Bill Bolling delivered the headline speech. Afterward, these pro-family Virginians met with their elected officials, taking with them The Family Foundation’s Legislative Priority list, reminding legislators that people back home are watching their votes. While legislators are primarily focused on their self-created $4 billion spending surplus and the continued impact of the recession, we must make sure that they also act on the values issues that are important to many Virginians — such as those we've outlined on this site over the past week. Our grassroots activists brought these issues and principles to their legislators' attention.

While economic issues are critical, we cannot ignore the values issues that underpin our economic strength. While many try to dismiss values issues as irrelevant or "divisive," the fact is that our economy and culture are crumbling around us because of a lack of values. Values  such as honesty, integrity and character that clearly have been missing in recent years from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

America has the greatest economic system in the world. Our free market system is the most efficient way to prosper. But a free market cannot survive without morality. Our culture cannot survive without the values we work to protect.

As the General Assembly begins, we face a serious uphill battle to make sure the issues we care about receive a fair hearing. As many elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, seek to hide from values issues, we need to make sure that they know these issues matter. That’s why it is vital those who believe in traditional values commit to action during the 2010 General Assembly. We have to make sure that the voice of those Virginians who care about values is heard loud and clear in the halls of the General Assembly. Lawmakers must know on a day-to-day basis that they are being watched and that they will be held accountable for their votes.

This is how you can make a difference during this year's General Assembly:

1. Read! Read this blog and the action alerts we send during the session (sign up for our alerts here).

2. Respond! Write and e-mail your representatives to show support or disapproval of legislation that TFF has informed you about. Our e-mail alerts make it easy to educate your specific delegate and senator. In fact, you don’t even need to know who they are — the system will tell you! You just need to be ready to respond when we ask.

3. Recruit! Find 5 more people to do the same by forwarding this link to friends and family and encouraging them to join you in this effort.

4. Rejoice! Together, we can celebrate our victories!

We need your voice to echo in the halls of the General Assembly. Please commit today by e-mailing familyfoundation@familyfoundation.org with "I commit" in the subject line. Together, we can build a better, more family friendly Virginia.