This week, we reflect on our insightful town hall, discuss getting out the vote, celebrate “Read Aloud to a Child” week, and more.
Last Night’s Town Hall
Yesterday evening, Senator Jennifer McClellan (SD-09), Delegate Betsy Carr (HD-69), and I hosted a joint town hall to discuss the redistricting process and legislation for the 2022 session. We were joined by our featured speaker, Professor Henry L. Chambers, Jr. from the University of Richmond School of Law. Professor Chambers gave a thorough explanation of the history and current status of redistricting efforts in the state of Virginia and did a tremendous job answering all the questions we received from the audience. If you missed the town hall, you can find a link to the recording here.
Jack-o-lanterns, treats, and costumes—oh my! October has flown by and Halloween is coming up this weekend. We want all families in District 10 to have a delightful—not frightful—Halloween and that means keeping everyone safe from COVID-19.
Although we are seeing increases in vaccinations and decreases in COVID cases, it's still important to help keep trick-or-treating and other Halloween traditions safe—especially if the children in your life aren't eligible for vaccines yet. The American Academy of Pediatrics has excellent tips on how to have fun and stay safe. From everyone in my office, we hope you and your family have a happy Halloween.
It’s Time to Get Out the Vote
Election Day is less than a week away! Early in-person voting will continue until this Saturday, October 30, at 5:00PM. To learn more about early voting locations in Chesterfield County, Powhatan County, and the City of Richmond, please visit these government websites.
If you requested an absentee ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 12:00PM on November 5 in order for it to be counted. If you requested an absentee ballot, but you would like to vote in person (either early in person through October 30 or on Election Day), you can surrender your absentee ballot, at your polling location. Do not mail a ballot and also vote in person.
As always, you are able to vote in-person on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, between the hours of 6:00AM and 7:00PM. Remember: as long as you are in line by 7:00PM, you will be able to vote. You can learn more about the upcoming election by visiting the Virginia Department of Elections. Don’t let your chance to shape the future of our Commonwealth pass you by—vote!
Read Aloud to a Child Week
Schools across the Commonwealth and across our nation are celebrating Read Aloud to a Child week this week, where family members and loved ones take time to read a book with the children in their lives. Reading books at bedtime to both of my girls was an honored ritual in my home, and they remain passionate readers today.
The theme this year is gratitude. Despite the incredible hardships we have collectively faced, it is important to reflect on what we are grateful for—our fantastic teachers, our neighbors, members of our faith communities, our beautiful outdoor spaces, the incredible local businesses that kept us fed, clothed, and taken care of during the pandemic and beyond. You can find recommended books on gratitude at The Children’s Book Council.. This is a great time to buy a book from a local bookstore or visit our public libraries in Powhatan County, Chesterfield County, and the City of Richmond.
“Onward and Upward” Virginia Grants
The Virginia Department of Education recently announced more than $107 million in federal pandemic relief funds are available for Virginia’s 132 school divisions. The “Onward and Upward VA” grants, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, will place an emphasis on literacy and mathematics support for students with targeted support for students with disabilities, English learners, students who are economically disadvantaged, early learners, and those who are underperforming. You can read the full announcement here. School divisions have until November 23 to apply.
Historic Broadband Investment
Last week, Governor Northam announced historic investments in broadband, putting Virginia on track to become one of the first states in the nation to achieve universal broadband access by 2024. Local and private sector matching will create over $2 billion worth of funding for broadband-related projects.
Broadband is critical infrastructure in the 21st century—in our schools, in our homes, in our businesses, in our healthcare sector and throughout our communities. I am grateful for Governor Northam’s bold leadership in addressing this need that affects so many, including the residents of Senate District 10.
Transit Recovery Marketing Initiative
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is accepting applications for their Transit Recovery Marketing Initiative Program. This is a one-time only opportunity for agencies to partner together, utilize the DRPT toolkit, and increase the public’s confidence in public transportation, which was drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can find more information, such as application guidelines and points of contact by visiting the Transit Recovery Marketing Initiative Program page on the DRPT website. Applications close on November 1.
Contacting My Office
I continue to have one-on-one meetings with constituents and organizations. If you want to schedule a meeting, on Zoom or in person, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office. As a reminder, email is the best way to contact us. We can be reached at email@example.com. You can also schedule a meeting through our easy scheduling app.