In this week’s newsletter, I share an update for my reelection, discuss opportunities for community engagement in Richmond and Chesterfield, reflect on community events from this past week, and celebrate commemorations and holidays during the month of April. Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter and for staying informed.
Before we dive into this week’s newsletter, I am delighted to share that my office recently welcomed a new Legislative Assistant: Gerardo Aguilar Castillo. Hailing from Newport News and a graduate from Thomas Nelson Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University, Gerardo has strong ties to the Commonwealth. Gerardo has spent his career working within the Virginia political space, and he most recently worked for the late-Congressman Donald McEachin and served as a Session Aide for Delegate Betsy Carr. Along with my Chief of Staff, he will provide support for constituents who need assistance with state agencies, assist with all aspects of the legislative process, and expand our office’s services and communications strategies through Spanish translation. We are so excited to have him on our team.
Officially Launching My Re-election Campaign
On Monday evening, I held a gathering with friends and supporters as we officially launched my campaign for the Virginia Senate District 15 seat, which encompasses parts of the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County.
This November, all 140 seats in the General Assembly will be on the ballot, but it is clear that it is not just representation that is on the line. Funding for our public education, access to reproductive healthcare, the ability to live in a healthy environment, safer communities, and a livable future are all on the ballot. Like so many others, I am working diligently to help take back our majority in both chambers of the General Assembly and be a check on the Governor's extreme policies.
RBHA DIY Volunteer Projects
Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) is encouraging community members to participate in their Spring 2023 DIY Volunteer Project campaign, focused on helping bridge health and wellness gaps within our community. DIY projects include assembling nourishment, activity, and personal care kits for distribution by RBHA staff and volunteers. RBHA serves approximately 13,000 individuals per year, many of whom have limited resources but are in need of community support. Assembled kits can be dropped off at the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, located at 107 South 5th Street:
Prescription Medication Disposal in Chesterfield
Chesterfield County is offering free medication disposal pouches and locking bags to residents to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse among youth. When medications are used for their prescribed purpose, they can provide aid to individuals experiencing pain, illness, or other ailments, but when prescriptions are abused, they can cause unprecedented harm, even leading to death. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse under the National Institute of Health, an estimated 5% of 12th graders reported misusing any prescription drug in the past 12 months in 2022. By properly disposing of medications, community members can prevent drug abuse. A comprehensive list of dropoff locations can be found on the Chesterfield County website.
Arab American Heritage Month
April is designated as Arab American Heritage Month, when we celebrate the diversity, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. During the 2022 legislative session, I was honored to serve as the Senate's Chief Co-Patron of Delegate Sam Rasoul's HJ 82, designating April as Arab American Heritage Month in Virginia.
Community Events and Meetings
Last evening, Passover began at sundown, marking the beginning of a week-long holiday commemorated and celebrated by gathering with loved ones to share stories, songs, prayer, and food. My staff and I wish all who are celebrating a meaningful holiday season. Chag Pesach Sameach!
Sunday commemorates Easter–one of the holiest of days for Christian observants. My staff and I wish all who are celebrating a happy Easter, filled with peace, prayer, and joy.
Connecting With My Office