Delegate Glenn R. Davis serves in the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 84th House District of Virginia Beach. Davis strongly believes in volunteerism and has consistently given back to the city he loves. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Davis considers it his duty to uphold the present needs of his hometown and diligently work together with his constituents to create its future. In 2013, when the Delegate representing the 84th District retired, Davis was encouraged to run for the House of Delegates where he won election. He serves on the Education and Transportation Committees and is a member of the Business Development Caucus.
Describe Your Personal and Professional Life in Your Own Words
I’m an entrepreneur. It’s one of those business lifestyles where I spend over 40 hours a week in business, but I have flexibility
I am able to represent Virginia Beach. I’ve started a couple of companies and I have a telecommunications company and other start up endeavors.
My wife is a native New Yorker. I met her when she was in Virginia Beach with some of her family and she’s had to stay ever since. She misses the big city and a couple of times a year I have to take her back up there.
The central part of my life is family and thankfully I have one of the most supportive spouses you can have. She’s been on the campaign trail with me and when I’m in session in Richmond, she comes up even if it’s just spending time with me in the office while I work.
Is Being a Delegate a Full-time or Part-time Duty?
We have a part-time legislature in Virginia. We are in session 45 or 60 days each year depending on if it’s a budget year. But there are a significant amount of responsibilities the rest of the year like meeting with constituents, coming to Richmond for meetings or traveling to other parts of the state to learn about other issues. They call it part-time, but it’s definitely like full-time plus.
What Inspired You to Go From Entrepreneur to Public Servant>
I’m a graduate of the Virginia Beach Public Schools system and I’ve had a lot of opportunities. I wanted to make sure that those after me have the same opportunities I had. You get a really good feeling when you’re able to help others. One of the best feelings I get is when someone calls me for an issue that you may not consider big in the scheme of things, but it’s important to that person. It’s a great feeling to know that you have the ability to help.
How is Serving Your Constituents like Working with Clients?
Customer service. It’s no different. When in office, it requires you to be responsive, to be timely and to follow up and to make sure things get done in an effective and efficient manner.
Tell me About Your Roles on the Education & Transportation Committees and the Business Development Caucus
The Education & Transportation Committees is where the bills for those two topics come before they make it to the floor of the House. I’ve always been passionate about education. We work on everything from SOL reform down to the safety of students in our schools. From a transportation perspective, it’s been quite active.
A lot of people don’t realize that the clashes (over transportation) are between rural and urban Virginians, not Democrats and Republicans. Even with the transportation bill a few years ago, it was a rural versus urban issue. You have places like Hampton Roads, where we have difficult roads against places in the western part of the state where the roads look almost new.
What are Some of the Biggest Issues Facing Virginia as we Close in on 2020?
ECONOMY One of the biggest challenges we’re going to have is sequestration and the decrease in defense spending by the federal government. Virginia is one of the largest recipients of defense funds in the U.S., particularly Hampton Roads. We are going to have to make sure we diversify our economy to make up for the loss of defense spending.
TECHNOLOGY One of the interesting challenges is keeping up with technology. We saw it with Uber this year; its what’s considered a disruptive technology. The Assembly wants to figure out how to use this technology that hasn’t been anticipated. Driverless vehicles is something we’re not prepared for either. DUI and traffic laws would have to be updated when that technology becomes commonplace. We have those kinds of vehicles in testing, from the Google cars
to others. It’s amazing how quickly technology is changing.
EDUCATION Just in the last couple of decades, we’ve seen our economy truly become a global economy and our are kids coming out of school competing with their peers from around the world for jobs.
We’re going to see more and more competition for our graduating students, so we’re making sure we continue to prepare them to compete nationally for opportunities. Right now, students come from all over the world to attend schools in Virginia because we
have one of the best higher education systems.
HEALTH CARE [In regards to] our seniors, as they become a larger part of our population, the biggest impact will be felt in health care. Every year, we’re trying to work with it. There is no silver bullet. It’s going to have to be a robust solution over time. One step at a time instead of one fell swoop.
How Can The People Work with Their Delegates to Create a Better Community?
Communication. Elected representatives live in the community, but different needs and challenges happen that we don’t see. Consistent communication is the best way for us to hear about things in the community.
When I was on city council, one of the most important things to the people I represented was traffic. So before a road was built, we got the people together because they were the best to tell us what was or wasn’t needed for the community.
I would also say to get involved in board and commissions. Virginia Beach has a lot of boards and commissions as does the rest of the state so that citizens who are passionate about issues can serve their neighbors. Elected officials aren’t the experts on everything,
so it’s good to have experts from within the community.
Serving Others is A Health Activity. What do You Love About Giving Back to the Community?
Being able to help people and the feeling you get when you’ve been able to help someone. Whether on the council fixing a pothole or helping someone understand a zoning concern they’ve had, it’s a great feeling. Anything anyone’s ever done in life, they didn’t accomplish their first time. I’ve always believed in the power of persistence. People get right on the edge of failure and quit.
Everything in life is all about persistence. If you’re willing to put the blood, the sweat and tears into something you can succeed.
I’m Sure Running a Business and Serving the Public is Stressful. What do you do to Relax and Recharge?
The most important thing for me is mental decompression. It can be something as simple as watching a comedy with my wife on Netflix. I don’t tend to read a lot of nonfiction, but I read to escape the day-to-day stresses.
I used to work out religiously a few years ago and that helped. I need to get back to that. That’s a matter of time commitment. One thing that I’ve found, when you’re looking for that little extra—that edge—is that it’s helpful to turn to the experiences of others, so I read business and health magazines. In some cases, it’s reading about the best way to handle task lists, the best way to handle email. I found that those little things give you the extra edge in your productivity.
Inside the Mind of Del. Glenn Davis
Favorite Magazines: Esquire, Inc, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health.
Favorite Book on Leadership: Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
Podcasts or Music: I’m usually the podcast guy, but more recently it’s been music. You can control your mood and you can control your energy level with it.
Favorite quote: “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle—victorious.” — Vince Lombardi