March has come in roaring like a lion, but like you, I am looking forward to warmer temperatures soon. For those looking forward to Cherry Blossom season, we are only a few weeks away. The National Park Service announced last week that peak bloom will take place between April 3rd and 6th this year.
Additionally, I am excited to spend more time in the 41st District, now that the 2019 session has ended. Please let me know if you are interested in having me speak to a group you are associated with to discuss all that transpired throughout the 2019 session.
George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government Panel on Women in Politics
I was pleased to participate on a panel alongside Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, former Secretary of Education Anne Holton, and my colleagues, Delegate Charniele Herring, and Delegate Ken Plum. The panel was titled, “Can Women Save Democracy?”. (The answer is a resounding yes!) It was particularly special for me to be seated next to a woman who encouraged me to run for the House in the first place, Anne Holton. Most importantly, we had an active discussion as to how we can overcome the barriers to entry women face in the political sphere. I think I speak for so many of my colleagues when I say that we cannot wait for the newest group of women leaders to step up and run in 2019!
Equal Rights Amendment
I was pleased to join colleagues and friends at the Virginia Equal Rights Coalition awards reception thanking many for their work on the Equal Rights Amendment this past session. I appreciated receiving an award myself but was even more thrilled to present an award and gift to the Virginia Equal Rights Coalition leaders: Julia Tanner and Kathy Stewart Shupe. While we were unsuccessful in passing the ERA this session, I am confident that Virginia will ratify this amendment next year when we capture the majority. Equality under the law should be a right, not a privilege.
Disabled Veterans Constitutional Amendment Featured in the Connection
I am pleased that last week’s Connection featured the passage of my resolution HJ 676, which would create an amendment to Virginia’s constitution, providing that one motor vehicle of a veteran who has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability shall be exempt from state and local taxes. The amendment would also clarify that only automobiles and pickup trucks qualify for the exemption. This legislation is a major priority of Virginia’s Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Services Organizations and was a bipartisan effort, with Senator Bryce Reeves carrying a companion resolution in the Senate. I look forward to reintroducing this legislation next year (constitutional amendments require passage in the General Assembly two consecutive years) and hope that it will be on our ballot in the November 2020 election. Click here to read more about the prospective amendment.
Our Amazing FCPS Schools
Frost Middle School
Earlier this morning, I was proud to join the students of Frost Middle School to celebrate their Unified Champion School banner presentation! Frost is one of only six schools in the Commonwealth, Robinson Secondary School being another, to be named a Unified Champion School by Special Olympics for making its community more inclusive of individuals with intellectual disabilities. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I am so pleased to see this inclusion in our schools. It was especially meaningful to have Rick Jeffrey, President of Special Olympics Virginia in the 41st District.
Woodson High School
Congratulations to Woodson High School’s Academic Bowl Team for qualifying for the National Academic Bowl Competition in April at Gallaudet University (which hosts the Academic Bowl for deaf and hard of hearing high school students). Woodson students competed against 20 teams at Mississippi School for the Deaf and came in second to Maryland School for the Deaf, last year’s national champions. This is not the first time that Woodson’s Team has had this kind of success. In fact, in 2016, I was proud to present them with a commendingresolution for efforts in 2016. Wishing them all the best for the national competition in DC!
Upcoming Paving and Restriping Meetings
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding streets in our district that need to be repaved. I am in touch with VDOT on a regularbasis and am hopeful that we can get these streets repaired. Please know in the event we cannot get these roads repaved this year, I will push to get them patched in the interim. You can also submit your concerns by visiting: https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/.
Below are two meetings about the upcoming paving in and around the 41st District:
On March 13th, at 6:30 p.m. VDOT will be hosting a public meeting at the Providence Community Center on proposed paving and restriping changes in the Providence District. Community members are invited to join the discussion and provide feedback.Click here for more information.On March 18th, at 6:30 p.m., VDOT will be host a public meeting in Braddock Hall (part of the King Parks Library) on proposed paving and restriping changes in the Braddock District. Community members are invited to join the discussion and provide feedback. Click here for more information.