This week’s newsletter discusses the upcoming General Assembly session, shares a recent op-ed I wrote with Delegate Carrie Coyner (Chesterfield), spotlights our most recent “Shadowing the Senator” program participant, and highlights select community engagements and events from this past week. Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and for staying informed.
The Upcoming General Assembly Session
The 2024 General Assembly session begins on Wednesday, January 10. Sessions during even-numbered years are held for 60 days in Richmond’s Capitol Square. This session will be the first held in the new General Assembly Building, which was completed earlier this year after a nearly six year-long renovation.
Virginians have numerous opportunities to stay engaged both before and throughout the General Assembly. Session activities are accessible through the Legislative Information System (LIS). As we get closer to the start of the session, more information will become available, including legislation that has been introduced by all elected officials, information on committees and subcommittees, and daily schedules of meetings.
In January, my staff and I will host a “General Assembly 101” information session, followed by a town hall in which I will discuss my legislative priorities and the expected focal areas of the session. Further details and registration information will be highlighted in upcoming newsletters and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Our K-12 Funding Formula
In a recent op-ed in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Delegate Carrie Coyner and I emphasized the urgent need to update the Commonwealth's funding formula which grossly underestimates the costs and needs of our education system. During this upcoming session, my colleagues and I are focused on the priority of addressing the issues of the funding formula as well as the other recommendations shared in the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report.
Shadowing the Senator
Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, my office hosted our third “Shadowing the Senator” program participant: Tracie. A student at Brightpoint Community College, Tracie has pursued leadership opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Recently elected as the President of the Student Council and planning to attend law school, Tracie sought out the shadowing opportunity in order to witness her state government in action.
During her day in my office, Tracie had a one-on-one discussion with me, held a Q&A with my staff, attended a legislative meeting with the advocacy organization Compassion and Choices, and observed the Virginia Disability Commission. Tracie shared her thoughts about her experiences:
Shadowing Senator Hashmi was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget! I learned so many new things about the Virginia Senate, House of Delegates, and Richmond as a whole. Senator Hashmi also gave me great advice that I will carry with me as I pursue my future career in law. I will definitely share this shadowing opportunity with friends and family!
Highlights from Community Events & Meetings
This past Wednesday morning, I joined current and future members of the Virginian Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus (VAAPIC) for a policy retreat in Fredericksburg. We discussed the recent elections that saw the largest number of AAPI candidates running for both local and state offices in Virginia’s history and that also resulted in the election of more AAPI members to a variety of offices. During the retreat, we also coordinated our legislative agenda for the upcoming General Assembly.
Wednesday evening, my staff joined members of the Huguenot High School community for the dedication of the Coach Leroy Bo Jones, Sr. Gymnasium. Surrounded by current and former students, Superintendent Jason Kamras, and members of the RPS School Board, Coach Jones’ family members also received a token of appreciation for his lasting impact on students and the lessons he shared, which often transcended athletics.
Later on Wednesday evening, I joined the Virginia Young Democrats for their 2024 Policy Summit. The Young Democrats are prepared to support policies that will make Virginia the best state for this new generation. Their political engagement, passion, and personal experiences are vital for our continued progress. I look forward to collaborating with the Young Dems on priorities that impact our collective future: access to education opportunities, child care, affordable housing, transportation, social justice, climate concerns, and much more.
On Thursday morning, I toured Elk Hill Farm in Goochland which serves children with emotional and/or behavioral challenges with the dedicated support, personal attention, and resources needed to ensure that they thrive and succeed. The natural beauty of Elk Hill Farm provides a unique and healing space for learning and growing.
Connecting With My Office