The Virginia Democratic majority in the General Assembly, fortunately, is significantly changing the landscape of our commonwealth. You will note that I used the word "our" commonwealth and not New England's.

Republican control prevented previous Democratic governors from getting too much accomplished. Del. Todd Gilbert and fellow Republicans saw to that.

For the first time in many years, the Democrats have some control. I'm not sure that this should be called a takeover as it was pretty clear what the voters wanted. Now those voters didn't just come out of the air. They were, like me, pretty desperate for some changes after decades of Republican control. I did use the word "decades." Keep that in mind.

How many crossings of the aisle were there when our legislature, led by Todd Gilbert, blocked the passing of the ERA amendment, and Medicaid expansion, and gun control, and on, and on, and on . . . No, I don't think there is any plan to charge legal gun owners as felons or confiscate their guns, but I would suggest that one should not throw bricks while living in a glasshouse.

I believe the minimum wage issue will take maybe five years before $15 an hour is reached and becomes law. By then, I suspect it would still be underpayment for folks trying to live on that wage. While obviously none of these items are on many Republicans to-do lists, they are on most Democrats wish lists. They certainly are on mine.

I have to add here that, with the election of Donald Trump, I see no wavering of decisive action within the Republican Party, in that the president has managed to wipe out most of Obama's achievements – i.e. the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and how are those talks going with the "Dear Leader" of North Korea? I note that the "closed-door" meetings with Putin are going just fine. Albeit, we should keep our eyes open wide on health care. While Trump has never had a replacement plan, he is determined to rid our country and its people of this benefit.

I do agree that all politics are cyclical. Changes happen – politicians come and go, some staying way longer than they should. Democrats dominate in Virginia politics today. Next election year, that could change. It will depend on how Virginians vote. That is how it is, and, hopefully, it will always be.

Barbara Billings is a graduate of George Mason University and lives in Woodstock.