Monthly Archives: September 2012

Important meeting 10/7 City of Fairfax Public Library


The Northern Virginia Green Party suffered a loss recently. Party Chairman Paul Hughes died suddenly on September 15th (click Paul’s name for a link to the obituary). His energy and dedication for social justice, sustainable development, and creating a truly citizen-oriented political party are the hallmarks of his legacy.

The Northern Virginia Green Party is part of that tradition. To that end, we are holding a meeting to elect temporary officers to preside over the party until a full election can be held in January or February. Also, we will be discussing ways to support the Jill Stein for President campaign, and the Joe Galdo for Congress campaign here in the area.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday, October 7th from 2:30pm to 5pm
Location: 10360 North Street Fairfax, VA Room 214

Officer positions open:****(see note below for more information)

Co-Chair: two positions open. The Co-Chairs are responsible for organizing meetings, setting general policy based on input from the membership, formulating strategy, recruiting members, recruiting and assisting local, state, and federal candidates for elected office, maintaining party financial accounts, and maintaining contact/coordination with the Green Party of Virginia and the Green Party of the United States. Co-Chairs are the public face of the Northern Virginia Green Party and will be expected to interface with the press and other media outlets if needed. Daryl Northrop, Northern Virginia Green Party member since 2009, and strategy advisor/technology volunteer has thrown his hat into the ring for one of the openings. Daryl has been active with the Green Party since 2000. Serving as a county organizer and later co-chair of the Iowa Green Party, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2004 (Iowa), delegate to the national party. In 2010, Daryl completed his Masters in Political Management from The George Washington University. Daryl and his wife April live in Annandale.

Secretary: In charge of administering membership lists, email list, and merging membership updates from the Nova Greens website, the state Green Party, and the Green Party of the United States

Technology Coordinator: produce content and help administer the website, along with associated Twitter account (@NovaGreens) and Facebook group.

****IMPORTANT: If you are interested in assisting in one of these elected positions, please send a short bio about yourself to NO LATER than 11:59pm 10-01-12, telling us why you are running, and what you experience and capabilities are. Candidate bio’s will be forwarded to the membership via email on 10-02-12.

Remembering Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes, Former Chair of the Northern Virginia Greens and Founder of the Rebuild Warehouse

1943 – 2012

The Green Party of Virginia joins environmentalist activists across the Commonwealth in mourning the passing of Northern Virginia Green Party chairperson Paul Hughes, who died this past weekend from a heart attack. “Paul was a “gentle warrior” who had a clear understanding of how the American promise of a democratic Republic was being thwarted by a small ruling elite,” said David Cobb, former 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate and current organizer. ”He will be sorely missed.”
A long time resident of Fairfax County and retired government consultant, Hughes chaired the Northern Virginia local of the Green Party of Virginia. He also owned several environmentally friendly businesses that specialized in salvaging construction materials from demolition sites (Deconstruction Services) and selling them from his Springfield warehouse (Rebuild Warehouse). His business legacy includes the hiring and training of ex-prison convicts and former drug addicts and channeling them into productive careers.
As an activist, Hughes was well regarded as a Sierra Club volunteer and an early supporter of the work of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy POCLAD). He was one of the first organizers for the Move coalition in Virginia. Throughout his life, Hughes worked tirelessly for Virginians and all Americans, and served as a mentor and inspiration to many.
The Green Party of Virginia wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the Hughes family for the loss of this great Virginian.
Green Party of Virginia

Paul along with Arlington Greens Don Rouse and John Reeder just recently appeared in an hour long interview on Reston public tv program, Reston Impact, that was hosted by Reston activist John Lovass who along with Paul started an environmental group Sustainable Reston that worked to preserve Reston’s water, trees and natural environment. the direct link to the show is
Paul mentored other Arlington Greens including Miriam Gennari in understanding how better technology, recycling, and energy conservation can improve our world and local community.

Rest in peace, our friend Paul.

Posted by Beth on 10/07/2012 08:38:00 AM
In Memory of Paul Hughes 
Environmental Activist and Visionary
Founder and President, DeConstruction Services, LLC
and ReBuild Warehouse
by Beth Herman
At 7 p.m. on the bone-chilling evening of December 23, 2010, when Washington had long since gone for the holidays, and though he had a persistent cough, fever and raging bronchitis, Paul Hughes gave me an hour of his time. It was a phone interview and try as I might to postpone it to another day, when some semblance of his strained, raspy voice would have returned, Hughes was intent upon keeping the appointment. Though I pictured the then 67-year-old environmental activist huddled over eucalyptus-infused steam, swaddled in a polar fleece wrap on the sofa of a dimly lit room, in reality I learned he was sitting upright at his desk, multitasking, computer humming, lights blazing, as though it was just another day (or night) at the office.
True to his deep sense of humanity and character, something revealed to me not so much by his robust bio and hard-won list of achievements but rather by the unrelenting credit and opportunity he gave to everyone else, Hughes was a quiet revolutionary. Cuirassed in earth-friendly prose and practices, he soldiered on, in fact early on, long before concepts like “renewable” and “sustainable” became as commonplace and easy to swallow as butter and toast.
In addition to harvesting old materials and making them available at supremely reduced rates to the public through his 501(c)(3) organization ReBuild Warehouse, the former nonprofit grant and environmental services consultant gave dozens of nonviolent ex-offenders a chance to turn their lives around. With valuable training and full-time employment offered through his businesses, Hughes invested in human dignity as much as anything else.
“Most contractors are trying to get away from employing a lot of people…so they can offload liability costs, worker’s comp and matching social security. They contract everything out to subcontractors and let them worry about where to get laborers—often just day laborers to whom fewer laws apply, and who have little hope of pulling themselves up.”
His life
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and marrying his University of Toledo sweetheart, Linda, Paul Hughes “…had his fingers in so many pies—he just had so many different interests,” according to his wife. Following their 1967 marriage, Hughes was instrumental in setting up Hospice of Northern Virginia in a former school building—the region’s first hospice. With an eye to environmental issues, he also vehemently resisted the Lorton incinerator project, though sadly lost the battle.
When ReBuild Warehouse, established in Springfield, Virginia 2008, suddenly lost its lease three years later, in typical fashion and wasting no time, Hughes diligently acquired a smaller space as an interim measure to continue to serve and educate the community. Staff (largely volunteer), hours and convenience were cut back, but he kept moving forward.
Hughes’ good friend Hank Blakely called him “a force of nature.” A lay minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in which Hughes was also active, Blakely is also on the board of directors of the Reston Citizen’s Association, vice president of Sustainability Reston and also of parent company the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth—an organization started by  the visionary Hughes.
In his spare time, Hughes spent weekends canvassing flea markets and farmer’s markets, handing out brochures about the environment. “He was so far ahead of everyone else in his environmental thinking—particularly in the beginning— it could be frustrating when people couldn’t comprehend his vision and sense of urgency,” Linda Hughes said.
According to Blakely, Hughes was the “Johnny Appleseed of nonprofit organizations in Northern Virginia. He put his heart and his money where his voice was on these issues. He absolutely backed the things that he believed in,” he said about his friend, who was also Northern Virginia Green Party chairperson.
Toward the end of our phone interview on that pre-holiday evening, I recall making a note to myself to meet Paul Hughes, but like many of us I simply put it off, content to keep myself updated through ReBuild Warehouse’s e-newsletters about their many challenges and achievements. He died on September 15 from cardiac arrest following a bicycle ride with his wife.
With all he had accomplished, Linda said there were many more things he wanted to do. He could still see ahead. The economy was changing and things were opening up again.
Said Blakely, “It never struck us that Paul would go away. It just felt like he would always be here.”

Deconstruction services still available
We would like to announce that our sister for-profit business, DeConstruction Services, LLC is open and fully operational. If you are planning on renovating or know of someone who is, please call Daryl at 703-280-1719 for more information. Although you pay for this service, the items donated are considered a tax deduction and often times the donation greatly will help to offset the cost of the deconstruction project. ReBuild receives most of its donated items in this fashion. Please pass the word to keep this environmentally sustainable method of disassembly of homes viable.

Death of Paul Hughes, original member of Sustainable Reston and founder of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth

posted Sep 19, 2012, 5:57 PM by Diane B



September 19, 2012


It is with great sadness that we at Sustainable Reston share with you the news of the sudden and unexpected death of Paul Hughes, one of the original members of Sustainable Reston.  In addition to helping to found Sustainable Reston, Paul was the founder of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth, parent of Sustainable Reston.

Paul was a tireless champion of sustainability in all areas of our lives.  He promoted renewable energy, green jobs, recycling and reuse of building materials, and sustainability education through workshops at ReBuild Warehouse, which he founded to keep used but reusable building materials out of our landfills and trash incinerators.  These were just a few of Paul’s passionate activities in our region.  Now that we face the impacts of climate change in our daily lives, external economic disruptions to our local economy, and the impacts of resource depletion, we will have to forge ahead with our mission without Paul’s leadership and vision. He will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.

Paul’s death leaves a hole that cannot be filled, but it leads us to redouble our efforts to find solutions to the problems we face.  We hope you will join us as we carry on Paul’s life mission of creating a sustainable world.


Diane Blust

President, Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth

Sustainable Reston™


On Sept. 15, our region lost a longtime leader of the green movement and a dynamic activist in many progressive causes.  Paul S. Hughes died of a sudden heart attack after returning from a bike with his wife of 44 years, Linda. Mr. Hughes was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but his family soon moved to Toledo, OH,  where he attended elementary school, high school, and college.  In fact, he and Linda went to the same school, before finally getting together and marrying while attending the University of Toledo.  Political science and public
policy were his principal areas of study as an undergraduate.

Once he graduated, he focused his life on the environment, and making the planet a better place to live.  For a while, he had his own environmental consulting business and he worked for a company seeking to convert homes and business to CNG, compressed natural gas, and away from oil.  But, he soon discovered that work in the corporate world was not only limiting, but all too often conflicted with
his goal of environmental improvement rather than continued deterioration.

He dedicated himself to businesses and non-profits to further that goal. He was active in organizations such as the Sierra Club at the forefront of the
environmental movement. Paul also branched into political action for the same
reason.  He dived into Green Party activism, where he found a far deeper commitment to the environment than he’d experienced with the Democratic Party. Paul became the Green Party leader in Northern Virginia and recently played a major role in the successful effort to get Green Party candidate Jill Stein on Virginia’s 2012 presidential ballot.

His first green business enterprise, DeConstruction Services, LLC, was a for-profit demolition and salvage firm designed to keep building supplies out of landfills.  About 40 percent of U.S. municipal landfills are loaded with such building materials according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  DeConstruction did
well and Paul used it to hire and train people from the difficult to employ category—e.g., people who’d served time in jail or in drug rehab and could few
opportunities to put their lives back together.

The materials from older houses — such as granite surfaces, windows, electrical fixtures, appliances of all kinds — that his crews removed were well received by nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, but there was far more coming out than these modest users could absorb. Paul then created the non-profit ReBuild Warehouse, a place to which homeowners could contribute their gently-used materials from their de-constructed homes and get a tax deduction, and could go to buy used, sometimes vintage, materials for construction along with the general public.

Perhaps the most satisfying impact of DeConstruction and ReBuild is that the proceeds from ReBuild go to train hard-to-place workers in the hopefully growing field of “green collar” jobs as Paul liked to call them.

One of the more recent accomplishments of this amazing man was closer to home in Reston.  Paul worked with creative Reston folks like Diane Blust, Hank Blakely and Diane Lewis merge to the Sustainable Reston Committee of the Reston Citizens Association with the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth.  Thanks in part, to the resources from the coalition, Sustainable Reston is already having an impact through educational programs and the community garden at Cedar Ridge, in cooperation with other Reston community organizations.

Paul’s family asks that anyone wishing to remember Paul’s work make a contribution to ReBuild Warehouse. Donations can  be made online at