This week, I discuss the updated telework policy for Virginia state employees, events happening around the district, share application information for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program and the Sorensen Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program, and also reflect on the community events and celebrations I attended this past week. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and for staying informed.
Updated State Employees Telework Policy
The Governor recently announced a revision to Virginia’s telework options for state employees. Because of this Senate District’s close proximity to state agency offices, many state employees are also my constituents. Over the past few days, several of these constituents have reached out to my office and have shared many concerns about the new policy guidelines. I share their concerns for the following reasons:
I am reaching out to the Governor’s Office on behalf of these constituents, and I hope that some modifications to the new policy may be forthcoming.
News Around the District
City of Richmond
Virginia Museum of History and Culture Grand Re-Opening
I’m delighted to share that this Saturday and Sunday, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture is welcoming community members back with a two-day Grand Re-Opening Celebration, an event that will include food trucks, music performances, and kid-friendly activities. During the festivities, visitors are encouraged to tour the facilities, which recently went under a $30+ million renovation and expansion, the most extensive transformation in the museum’s nearly 200-year history. Details about the expansion and the Grand Re-Opening Celebration are available here.
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program Auditions
The Richmond Symphony is holding auditions for their Youth Orchestra Program in the coming weeks, with auditions beginning on May 16. From beginner to advanced musicians, the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program offers something for every student, elementary through high school. This wonderful program inspires young musicians in so many ways, and I encourage interested students to apply.
Sorensen Institute Emerging Leaders Program
The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, sponsored by the University of Virginia, is now accepting applications for the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). With the goal of shaping young professionals' collaborative abilities and critical thinking skills, the curriculum focuses on ethics, effective leadership strategies, bipartisanship, public policy exercises, and more. For questions, contact Sorensen Community Relations and Program Recruiting Assistant, JaVori Warren at email@example.com. The deadline to apply is June 13.
Community Events This Week
Last Thursday, I joined a few other members of the General Assembly to visit with the Virginia Maritime Association. Association members provided impressive details about the breadth and scope of efforts at the Port of Virginia and the Port of Richmond. As a vital part of the international supply chain, the ports are a critical gateway for export/import industries. The VMA is also focused on the efforts to expand clean energy options through offshore wind, workforce development to help sustain new economic growth, logistics and supply chain management, and much more.
On Saturday, I joined the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation at their annual Cap2Cap event in which cyclists get the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful network of trails that our region has to offer. The work of the Foundation and the entire cycling community has greatly contributed to the wellbeing of the Richmond area, and I’m so appreciative of their efforts.
On Saturday, I also had the pleasure of delivering the resolution I sponsored commending the Islamic Center of North America (ICNA) Relief for its incredible humanitarian work in the Richmond area. From the beginning of the pandemic, the ICNA Relief Center in Henrico County mobilized to provide food, hygienic products, vaccines, and school supplies to thousands of families in need. Organizations such as ICNA Relief serve as the model for community stewardship.
Saturday continued to be a busy day as, after two long years, I was finally able to deliver the Senate Joint resolution I sponsored in 2020 commending the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society on their 100-year anniversary. The Xi Pi Chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University was recently reorganized and has done incredible work in the last few years, including raising over $1,000 for Fox Elementary School this year. Congratulations to the graduating class and to all the new inductees!
On Sunday, I celebrated the end of Ramadan with the Muslim community at the Islamic Center of Virginia (ICVA) Eid Festival. Delegate VanValkenburg and Delegate Willett joined me as we wished Eid Mubarak to the community. Although the winds were brisk and chilly, community members still had a wonderful time with cookouts, face painting, bounce houses, and other activities for children.
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: