This week, we touch on a few community events scheduled within the District, share some updates from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and also highlight an important vaccine update. This week also gives me the opportunity to share reflections about my experience with The Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) conference hosted by the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and staying informed about the current happenings around Virginia Senate District 10.
R-HOME Pilot Program
This Saturday, October 9, I will be participating in a community conversation about the Restorative Homeownership (R-HOME) pilot program sponsored by the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC). R-HOME seeks to redress the past injustices of redlining, disinvestment, and discriminatory lending practices that disproportionately impacted numerous communities in Virginia. The proposed R-HOME program will provide robust down payment assistance to those families who have been adversely and directly affected by these practices. This weekend, I will join VPLC to hear the needs and concerns of Richmond City residents who may be eligible to participate in the program. Saturday’s conversation (11am - 12:30pm) will be held at the Wesley United Methodist Church located at 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike. The event is free and open to any interested member of the public, but we do ask that you register here. If you can’t attend in person, you can join through the livestream on the Virginia Poverty Law Center Facebook page.
Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills
For the past five days, I participated in the Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) program hosted by the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments. The annual program brings together legislators from the Southern states that comprise the SLC for intense discussions and workshops focused on four targeted areas: communication, conflict resolution, consensus building, and critical decision making. Participants are selected on the basis of nomination from leadership and through a competitive application process. As defined by the program, “CALS embodies the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments' mission of championing excellence in state government and providing nonpartisan forums for state officials who might rarely cross paths to share ideas. In addition to developing and enhancing leadership skills, the program provides participants a unique opportunity to foster connections, engage in conversations and take part in sessions designed to explore individual boundaries and perceptions.” Over the course of these past few days, I had the opportunity to develop relationships with lawmakers in our Southern states who are working on issues and concerns similar to those that we face in the Commonwealth. This exchange of ideas has been invaluable, and I look forward to continuing to build on these relationships.
DMV Walk-In Services
On October 5, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began a new hybrid model to offer services to constituents across the state. Walk-in services are now available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Walk-in service will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis based on the type of transaction; customers should anticipate wait times. Appointment-only service will continue to be available to customers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The DMV has prepared this list of Frequently Asked Questions related to changes in service. As a reminder, over fifty DMV-related services can be processed online using dmvNOW.com.
Historic Vaccine Numbers & Flu Season
We reached a major milestone as a Commonwealth this week—81% of adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a great accomplishment, but we cannot stop this momentum now. You can find out where to get your COVID-19 vaccine here. If you are already vaccinated but know people who are not, please encourage them to get the vaccine by sharing your own experience. Additionally, certain individuals may also be eligible to now receive the Pfizer Vaccine Booster. You can use this Find Your Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Booster tool to check on your eligibility and to make an appointment for your booster.
Of course, the coronavirus is not the only virus we need to be concerned about this Fall and Winter. According to the CDC, influenza, more commonly known as the flu, activity begins to increase in October with flu season peaking around December. You can also get your flu vaccination at your primary care doctor's office, a pharmacy, an urgent care clinic, or by scheduling an appointment with your local health department.
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.