As we are now entering the cooler months of the year, remember how important it is to get your flu shot. Influenza is a serious disease and every flu season brings a different strain of the virus. Each strain can have varied effects in different individuals, causing thousands of deaths each year particularly among children, seniors and those with chronic conditions.
Additionally, flu shots are free to eligible individuals—including those on Medicare—as most insurance plans cover flu shots as a preventive measure. You can read more important facts and answers to frequently asked questions from the CDC here.
Real ID Program at Pohick Library on October 12
I will be hosting a special REAL ID event with DMV 2 Go on Saturday, October 12th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Pohick Regional Library. This event will provide all who are interested an opportunity to apply for their REAL ID in preparation for the upcoming change in federal identification requirements.
Beginning October 1st, 2020, federal officials will require all state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs presented as identification for the purpose of boarding a domestic flight to be REAL ID compliant.
In order to apply for a REAL ID compliant credential, applicants must visit an authorized DMV location, such as DMV 2 Go in person and provide physical documentation of:
- Identity (e.g. unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate);
- Legal Presence (e.g. unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate);
- Social Security Number (e.g. Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full nine digits);
- Residency – two proofs required and must display name and current Virginia residential street address (e.g. utility bills, mortgage statements, Virginia driver’s license);
- Proof of any name changes (e.g. marriage certificates or divorce decrees).
Note: If the name on your identity document is different than your legal name, you must show proof of your name change. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once. DMV can issue certified copies of Virginia birth and marriage certificates for a fee.
If possible, please take a moment to consider sharing this important information with your friends and neighbors. I look forward to seeing you there!
PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council
I was back in Richmond two weeks ago for a meeting of the PANS/PANDAS Advisory Council. We also discussed updates and edits to our handouts that can be distributed to schools and medical professionals. During our final meeting of 2019, we will finalize the annual report we will send to the Governor and the General Assembly. I am grateful to my General Assembly colleagues and our impressive council of medical experts, professionals and parents for a productive meeting.
Port of Virginia Tour
A few weeks ago, I was pleased to jump on a pilot boat in Norfolk and travel down the Elizabeth River to see the Hampton Roads harbor. I was joined by representatives from the Port of Virginia to learn about one of the Commonwealth’s most important economic engines–our Port! Here are some interesting facts about a place that is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the 41st District and why Virginia is so fortunate to have it:
- 9.4% of Virginia’s workforce are employed in port-related jobs
- It is the largest natural deep-water harbor.
- It is the only East Coast Port with Congressional Authorization for 55-foot depth channels
- It is the third largest container port on the east coast
- It has direct service to more than 45 countries worldwide
- Its location is within a day’s drive to two-thirds of the US population.
- It is the first port in North America to introduce hybrid shuttle carriers into its operating fleet, funded through a grant from the EPA.
Northern Virginia Aging Network Breakfast
There was a full house at the 20th Annual Northern Virginia Aging Network Breakfast last week. We had a discussion on aging with an inspiring keynote address from Sandy Markwood, CEO of The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The speech included many statistics including the fact that the number of Americans living with dementia is growing. David Broder, longtime political director of SEIU Local 512, outlined many of NVAN’s proposals for the 2020 session. These included (but are not limited to):
- Requiring eviction notices to include contact information for legal assistance
- Bringing the Commonwealth’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program up to state and national standards
- An emphasis on gerontological training for workforce development.
American Federation for Suicide Prevention’s
Out of the Darkness Walk
This past Saturday, we had stunning, perfect weather, a large energetic crowd and lively music at the Fairfax Out of the Darkness Walk at the Veterans Amphitheater in Fairfax City. I enjoyed seeing my friend, Leigh Boswell, known for her impressive advocacy skills on behalf of suicide prevention, as well as many friends, colleagues and other elected officials walking to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Leigh got me involved in suicide prevention advocacy after we worked together on HB 2258 in 2017, which required the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services to send a report to the Governor and General Assembly about suicide prevention efforts.
White Oaks School Rededication
Later Saturday afternoon, I was pleased to join so many from our community at the grand opening of the newly renovated White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, VA. I am proud to represent this amazing school and am so appreciative of the job that Principal Ryan Richardson did to shepherd this two-and-a-half year renovation project for these youngsters to enjoy and grow into for years to come.
Additionally, I wanted to give a special shout out to the incredibly talented Susan Mosios, art teacher extraordinaire at White Oaks who designed the inspiring wall tile mosaic project. These wall mosaics adorn the hallways of this school. Each student designed a tile that was strategically placed into the mosaic. They are truly amazing.
It was also good to see Superintendent Scott Brabrand there, as usual, supporting Fairfax County Public Schools. Lastly, I enjoyed having the distinct pleasure of meeting the newly elected Student Council Association at White Oaks, which is an all-female board, I might add.