With the General Assembly session beginning in a few weeks, I am continuing to finalize my legislative agenda for 2018, meeting with constituents, committees, homeowners’ associations and other interested parties throughout the area. I look forward to addressing those issues of greatest concern to the residents of the 41st District. If you would like to speak with me about any issues that are important to you or if you have any ideas for legislation, please feel free to contact me through email or by phone.
Attorney General’s Roundtable on Combating Hate Crimes
I was pleased to join Attorney General Mark Herring, several of my General Assembly colleagues and community leaders for a roundtable discussion about the rise in hate crimes and white supremacist violence this morning. Today’s roundtable was the second of six events the Attorney General is holding around Virginia. The first event was held in Leesburg and subsequent events will be held in Richmond, Charlottesville, Norfolk and Roanoke. Several pieces of legislation to be proposed by AG Herring were distributed to the participants. You can read more about the legislation by clicking here.
Fairfax County School Board Legislative Briefing
I appreciated the opportunity to join my colleagues at the Fairfax County School Board’s annual Legislative briefing last Thursday evening. The Board shared its newly adopted 2019 Legislative Program, the Board’s priority positions, as well as the opportunities and challenges facing the school division in the coming year. We are so fortunate that our county is home to such world-class schools. I look forward to continuing to support Fairfax County Public Schools as well as continuing to improve education throughout the Commonwealth during the legislative session in Richmond.
Arc of Northern Virginia Panel
I was pleased to participate in a legislative panel about the history and future of developmental disability advocacy at the 2018 General Meeting of the Arc of Northern Virginia Thursday night. I was joined by Senator Barbara Favola and Delegates Patrick Hope and Marcus Simon. I discussed my work in creating and chairing the PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council, my advocacy for the Autism community, and my ongoing efforts to protect ABLE savings accounts in Virginia to help disabled individuals plan for their financial futures. The Arc of Northern Virginia and its parent organization, the Arc of Virginia have provided invaluable counsel on disability issues. I am grateful for the impact they have on our community as a whole.
Take Your Legislator to School Day at Lake Braddock Secondary School
I had a wonderful time at Lake Braddock Secondary School on Tuesday, November 23rd speaking to over 100 government students for Take Your Legislator to School Day. I answered questions regarding my past and future legislation and my experiences as a legislator. Engaging with students is one of my favorite parts of serving as a Delegate, as it encourages me to look at issues from a different perspective. Thank you to the participating Lake Braddock Secondary School students for your insightful, intelligent questions! I am impressed by these leaders of tomorrow from the 41st District.
PANS/ PANDAS Advisory Council
I was in Richmond last week to chair a meeting of the PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council. We had an engaging and substantive discussion on documents created by the Council. These documents will help parents and medical professionals identify the condition in children. Additionally, the council discussed its end of year report to the Governor and General Assembly and approved governance documents to wrap up the year. I am proud of what the PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council has accomplished over the past year and it is my hope that our work can continue to raise awareness about these insidious diseases.
“I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper” Day
The day following Thanksgiving, I traveled to Richmond to participate in “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper” Day, created with the passage of HJ 38 earlier this year. My friend and colleague, Delegate Delores McQuinn was the resolution’s Chief Patron and hosted the event commemorating the day. I was honored to be a part of a moving and inspirational program at the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue followed by a walk to the Virginia Holocaust Museum along with a substantive conversation and discussion with community and faith leaders. Events like this are important reminders that the bonds we share as one human family are greater than the differences that divide us.
Remembering President George H.W. Bush
Former President George H.W. Bush once urged us to “make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.” I am saddened to hear of his passing and so appreciative of his tremendous service to our country. For those who are interested in paying respects to the late President, his casket will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol from 7:30 pm tonight until 7:00 am on Wednesday.
Additionally, the federal government will be closed on Wednesday to honor former President Bush’s passing.
Please note that the VRE will run an “S” schedule on this day (trains marked with an “S” on our schedule will be only trains that will operate). Full service will resume on Thursday, December 6th.