We believe that every Virginian deserves the chance to thrive and prosper--and liberty affords the best opportunity to achieve those goals. Constrained government, free markets, personal responsibility, and the freedom to make one's own decisions will create the necessary environment for Virginian flourishing.
The Commonwealth of Virginia holds a unique place in America's history: Whether we are talking about Virginians such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison giving us the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, respectively, or whether we are referencing Surrender Field at Yorktown, Virginia truly is the Cradle of Liberty and is worth being remembered as such. This rich identity and history should be taught to every Virginian student and appreciated by every Virginian citizen.
For far too long, state government has had too much control over education, and Virginia's students have suffered. At Yorktown Foundation for Public Policy, we envision a menu of educational choices that allow parents to pick the educational model for their children that is tailored to the child and marked by excellence. After all, teaching staff and faculty should serve the child--not the other way around.
The first colony in the New World was established in Virginia. Merchant Marines in Mathews, Virginia--called the "Mathews Men"--helped fight off Nazi submarines during World War Two. The "Father of Texas" and the first president of the Republic of Texas were both born in Virginia. The Commonwealth's General Assembly is the oldest lawmaking body in North America. Eight U.S. presidents were natives of the Old Dominion. Civics and history aren't taught clearly and objectively, but Virginia has a rich, and sometimes difficult, past that is worth commending to every citizen.
With Washington, D.C. fundamentally part of Northern Virginia, the Commonwealth has the opportunity to make a significant impact on the nation's trajectory. As the Mother of Presidents and the Cradle of Liberty, it only makes sense that Virginia should lead the way to a prosperous and free America.
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C. Todd Hester: President and Founder
Mr. Hester is an ordained Presbyterian minister with over twenty years of service to the church. Originally from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, he received a BA in English from Furman University and an MDiv from Beeson Divinity School, where he served as a teaching assistant in theology, history, and liturgics. Mr. Hester has provided leadership to the PCUSA at multiple levels of governance, and he has served on manifold Boards of Directors.
Michael Lucci: Director
Mr. Lucci is a Senior Fellow at the Cicero Institute and a Senior Policy Advisor at the State Policy Network. He lives outside Austin, Texas, where he runs a real estate investment company. Mr. Lucci previously served as a presidential appointee on the Federal Services Impasse Panel and as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to the Governor of Illinois; in addition, he served as the Vice President of State Projects at Tax Foundation and the Vice President of Policy at Illinois Policy Institute. Mr. Lucci is from Youngstown, Ohio, and received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.
Christopher Renner: Director, Treasurer
Mr. Renner is a CPA in Virginia, where he serves as controller at DonorsTrust. Prior to joining DonorsTrust, he was a project accountant for a large construction company and was the sole proprietor of a small car electronics business. Mr. Renner received his BS in Economics and Business from the University of Pittsburgh and Certificate in Accounting from the University of Virginia. He served in the United States Marine Corps reserve for seven years, deploying to Iraq twice.
Patrick Tuohey: Visiting Fellow
Patrick Tuohey is co-founder and policy director of the Better Cities Project which aims to deliver the best in public policy research from around the country to local leaders, communities, and voters. Prior to founding BCP, Patrick served as the director of municipal policy at the Missouri-based Show-Me Institute. Patrick is widely published, with his essays on economic development, education funding and police reform appearing in the Greater Kansas City Urban League’s 2015, 2019 and 2023 “State of Black Kansas City." Patrick has operated his own corporate market research company, served as an aide to U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) in Washington, DC, and worked as director of communications for Frank Luntz's polling shop. Patrick received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 1993.
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