This week, I’ll give an update on my legislation, highlight some incredible constituents from Chesterfield, talk about opportunities to get involved in local government, discuss community events from this week, and share information about the Sorensen Institute’s High School Leaders Program. Thank you all for staying updated on current happenings in this Senate District.
Honoring the Work of Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Ph.D.
Yesterday, I was privileged to present a commending resolution for Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community College System (VCCS), honoring his extraordinary career and legacy at the helm of the VCCS.
As the longest-serving Chancellor in the history of the VCCS, Dr. DuBois has led our system of 23 community colleges for well over two decades. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians have been educated through the work of VCCS institutions and have obtained transfer degrees or workforce credentials. Under Chancellor DuBois’ tenure, the VCCS has developed and expanded its range of online degree programs, implemented innovative programs such as Fast Forward and G3, and ensured seamless transfer agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions. These efforts have also focused on keeping college costs affordable. Chancellor DuBois has had an impactful and successful career, and I wish him and his family a well-deserved retirement.
The General Assembly is expected to adjourn Sine Die on Saturday, March 12. This week, we have been debating proposed amendments on the Floors of both the Senate and the House of Delegates. We’ve also been working out policy differences between both Chambers in Conference Committees, and casting our final votes on bills. Here’s the most recent update on a few of my bills:
SB 241 creates the Renal Disease Council and Fund to develop education programs, fund support services, and pursue research opportunities. The bill will be going into Conference Committee to work out differences between the House and the Senate.
SB 667 expands paid or credit-bearing student internship and other work-based learning opportunities in collaboration with Virginia employers through the Innovative Internship Fund and Program. The bill passed the full House on a vote of 100-0 on Wednesday. Once it is signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, it will go to the Governor for his signature and become law.
Three of my 2022 Session Bills that were incorporated into the legislation of two of my colleagues—SB201, addressing medical debt for the uninsured, and SB271, protecting living organ donors from insurance and workplace discrimination—are currently in Conference Committees as some differences between both Chambers are being addressed and negotiated.
Excellence in Chesterfield
These past few weeks have been an exciting time for some of our neighbors in Chesterfield County. Midlothian resident Joshua Davis gained national attention after attending the State of the Union Address as a guest of First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Joshua is 13 years old, and he has long been an outspoken advocate for individuals and families living with Type 1 Diabetes. His work has shone a spotlight on the high costs of live-saving, prescription medications and the devastating impacts such high costs can have on families.
A number of Chesterfield educators were recently been honored for their hard work and commitment:
Congratulations to each of them; we sincerely appreciate all of their many contributions to our community.
Getting Involved in Local Government
Our local governments within the Senate District have a number of opportunities to get involved in the upcoming weeks:
City of Richmond
African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act Press Conference
This past Saturday, I had the honor of speaking at Congressman Donald McEachin’s press conference on his recently introduced African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act. This legislation would establish a program at the National Park Service to provide grant opportunities and technical assistance to local partners to research, identify, survey, and preserve African American burying grounds and other burial sites. Preserving the sites and artifacts of historically marginalized communities is essential for a full and comprehensive understanding of our country’s and our Commonwealth’s history. I was honored also to serve as patron of similar legislation at the state-level. SB 158—which passed both the House of Delegates and the Senate— creates the first fund for the preservation of places and artifacts of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Virginia.
Commemorating International Women’s Day
On Tuesday, members of the Senate commemorated International Women’s Day; all of the women in the Senate honored the work of the Suffragists whose efforts helped to establish voting and other civil rights for women. For too long, the General Assembly and other halls of power were not open to women. Now, we are making history every day by advancing the educational, political, economic, and social prospects for women and families across the Commonwealth.
VAAPI Caucus Town Hall
On Tuesday evening, members of the Virginia Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus (VAAPIC) held our second town hall of the 2022 session. In addition to giving a legislative update, we introduced the VAAPIC’s new Executive Director, Sarah Ahn. She is a second-generation Korean American, born and raised in Virginia. Her family's journey inspired her to pursue a role by which she can advocate for the AAPI community. In the coming weeks, the Caucus will launch a dedicated website which will include information about our members, legislative updates, videos from session, and community events.
Rosedale Community Association Meeting
Members of the Rosedale Community Association held their first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 began in March of 2020. I had the opportunity to give a legislative update and take questions from community members.
Sorensen Institute’s High School Leaders Program
The University of Virginia is now accepting applications for its Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program (HSLP). Participants learn about how Virginia government—both local and state—functions, how public policy is shaped and debated, and how to develop professional skills, pitch stories to the media, effectively address audiences, collaborate with others, and lobby legislators.
The 2022 HSLP will be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from Saturday, July 9, through Saturday, July 23. Additional information about the program and the application process is here. The deadline to apply is March 22.
Connecting With My Office
My staff continue to hold meetings with constituents via Zoom or by phone. You can sign up for a meeting with either of my staff members with our easy scheduling app:
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.