EGACY Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
WEDNESDAYS • Jan. 17, 2018
The General Assembly Issue
Virginia’s General Assembly gaveled into session last week with Republicans holding on to power in both chambers by the slimmest majorities. Read all about the bills introduced and what happened inside.
Richmond & Hampton Roads
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Northam, now governor, pledges less toxic politics STAFF & WIRE
Ralph Shearer Northam took the oath of office Saturday as Virginia’s 73rd governor, invoking the state’s “complex” history of both slavery and patriotic leadership to call for a new “Virginia way” forward. “This unique heritage endows us with a responsibility to shape the future, to leave this place better than we found it,” said Northam, a 58-year-old Democrat. A former state senator and lieutenant governor, Northam succeeds his friend and benefactor, Terry McAuliffe, after leading a wave election last fall in which Democrats made dramatic gains in the state legislature. Although his win was powered by Democratic resistance to President Trump, Northam issued a call for civility before some 4,000 guests gathered in the cold outside the state’s historic capitol building. The audience included at least nine former governors — Republicans and Democrats — as well as Virginia’s congressional delegation and members of a legislature that, thanks to the recent elections, features a record number of women and greater diversity than ever. Invoking lessons learned from his parents while he was growing up among the isolated fishing villages and farms of the Eastern Shore, Northam nodded to his reputation as a less-than-flashy politician. “It taught me that you don’t have to be loud to lead,” he said in his thick waterman’s accent. He turned and exchanged laughter with the General Assembly’s Republican leaders, all wearing traditional gray morning suits. Perhaps no group was happier to
Gov. Ralph Northam, right, and his wife, Pam, smile after he took the oath of office in Richmond. WIRE see Northam take office than those Republicans, who mistrusted McAuliffe as overly partisan but view Northam as cut from more familiar cloth. In remarks that spanned about 20 minutes and opened, literally, with a ray of sunshine after a morning of sparse snow flurries, Northam appealed for Virginia to set a more generous political tone for the entire nation. “It can be hard to find our way in a time when there’s so much shouting,
when nasty, shallow tweets take the place of honest debate, and when scoring political points gets in the way of dealing with real problems,” Northam said. Calling on lawmakers to refer to their “moral compass,” Northam noted the disparities of Virginia’s past and present. Just across the city, he said, Patrick Henry — a Founding Father and former Virginia governor — had called for liberty or death atop a hill while human beings were sold as property at its
foot. Today, residents of low-income neighborhoods on one side of the Capitol might expect to live only 63 years, he said, while affluent people in the other direction enjoy life spans 20 years longer. It is time, he said, finally to do what McAuliffe had failed to accomplish: expand Medicaid to an estimated 400,000 low-income Virginians. Democrats on the platform stood and
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News (from page 1)
cheered, while Republicans remained seated and silent. He also called for protections for a woman’s right “to make her own decisions about her health,” stronger gun control and spreading economic prosperity more evenly around the state. But while his agenda drew heavily from Democratic priorities, Northam, who once was wooed by the Republican Party, conceded that “no one has a monopoly on good ideas.” He said working together with all parties would be “the guiding principle of this administration.” Northam takes over while Democratic fervor is at a modern high point in Virginia, after elections that remade the clubby General Assembly so that it features the first Latinas as well as its first openly transgender and lesbian members. While November’s blue wave decimated two decades of wide Republican majorities in the House of Delegates, the result is a closely divided chamber — 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats — that will have to work as one to get anything done. Northam’s reputation as a centrist with a deep well of friends on both sides of the aisle gives Virginia a fighting chance to avoid the partisan ills of Washington. His predecessor, McAuliffe, was hailed for his energy in wooing business to the state but rankled Republicans as the ultimate party operative with long-standing ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. GOP leaders were offended by McAuliffe’s final State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, which called for unity but featured a long list of McAuliffe’s accomplishments as he headed out the door as a possible 2020 presidential contender. “We know Ralph. I can trust Ralph when he gives me his word that he will stick to it,” said Republican state Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (Franklin). “I don’t that think we ever had that trust with [McAuliffe].
It is hard not to see Northam’s influence in the legislature’s fragile truce since it convened on Wednesday. Lawmakers quickly shed the rancor of recounts and challenges in close races that had nearly brought Democrats to parity with Republicans in the House. Democrats voted unanimously for Cox as speaker, and one of their number even seconded his nomination with a tribute to his character. Cox and the Republican leadership then approved operating rules that extended concessions to the newly numerous Democrats, giving them Then-Virginia Gov.-elect, Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, center, walks down proportional representation on the reviewing stand with Lt. Gov-elect, Justin Fairfax, right, and committees and subcommittees. In Attorney General Mark Herring, as they participate in a walk through many cases, Cox assigned Democrats for their Saturday Inauguration at the Capitol in Richmond. WIRE to the committees they wanted. New Democrats, many of them itching to defy the Richmond luring Republicans into plum state And so, it’s going to be a breath of establishment, say they are willing to agency or cabinet appointments, fresh air around here, even if Ralph give Northam’s moderate approach a which might have tipped the balance Northam is not of the same party of power. That drew cries of “political chance. and wearing the same color jersey Del. Lee Carter (D-Prince William), malpractice” by some progressive as us on the Republican side. He’s who identifies as a Democratic Democrats but won the goodwill of somebody that we know and trust.” socialist, is among the most liberal Republicans. Areas such as criminal justice Northam’s inaugural speech sought of the new arrivals. He says he is reform and education priorities offer picking his battles — on health care to cast such political gamesmanship common ground for the parties, if and the issue of money in politics. as beneath the lofty goals of his they can work together. Republicans He and other progressives have office. He issued a series of pledges, think Northam’s years in Richmond, as well as his even temperament, will including that he “will always tell the pledged to reject corporate campaign truth” and “will always put Virginia’s contributions, and Carter planned to help. skip Northam’s inaugural ball, which interests first.” In what seemed to be “He obviously knows that culture, is heavily funded by big corporations. he knows how the legislature works,” a gesture to President Trump, whom “It’s a personal choice. I’m not Northam dismissed as a “narcissistic said House Speaker M. Kirkland trying to make a big statement,” he maniac” during the campaign, he Cox (R-Colonial Heights), who said. “I don’t feel comfortable going said he “will work with anyone whose has been meeting regularly with to a Dominion party or Altria party, policies help Virginia. And when they Northam since the Nov. 7 election. and this is both. But I’m not asking do not, I will oppose them.” “He’s willing to do things behind the other people not to go.” scenes. . . . He’s just the guy we feel Northam also told an unflattering Still, there were grumblings like personality-wise matches up story about himself, that early in his Friday that Cox was assigning with us.” career as a pediatric neurologist he Democratic bills to a committee that Northam has also been meeting had told the parents of an autistic he controls. And Cox has taken pains with the new Democratic members of boy that there was nothing he could the House, urging them to learn the do to help. The mother saw him years to point out that his party still has a majority. “We also feel like we have a way the system operates and to seek later and said he had taken away mandate,” he said. good relationships on both sides of their sense of hope. The uneasy peace was evident the aisle. “I missed the opportunity to provide even in one of this week’s most It is hardly a progressive call to the one thing her family still needed heartfelt tributes to Northam, which arms, and Northam risks alienating the most,” Northam said. “From came Thursday from a sometimeshis own party if he seems too that moment on, I have recognized adversary: Senate Majority Leader accommodating of Republicans. He the incredible power of hope and my Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James refused to engineer a Democratic responsibility to preserve it in the majority in the House or Senate by people I serve.” (continued on page 4)
Jan. 17, 2018 • 3
Grocery Investment Fund seeks to end ‘food deserts’ JESSICA WETZLER CNS - A bipartisan group of public officials urged the General Assembly last week to create a Virginia Grocery Investment Fund to help attract supermarkets to food deserts in the state. Outgoing Virginia first lady Dorothy McAuliffe was joined by senators and delegates at a news conference in support of legislation to create the fund. Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe included $7.5 million in his proposed 2018-20 budget to establish the grocery fund within the Department of Housing and Community Development. Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, and Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, have joined to sponsor SB 37, which would provide funding to build or expand grocery stores in underserved communities. “I have carried many bills,” Stanley said, “but not as important as this one.” In the House, HB 85 is being sponsored by delegates Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, and Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond.
“It’s 2018, terms like ‘food desert’ should not be part of our vocabulary, but it is. We should not have hungry Virginians, but we do,” Bell said. More than 1.7 million Virginians, including 480,000 children, live in low-income areas with limited supermarket access. These areas are often called food deserts — communities where residents are unable to access fresh produce, lean meats and other nutritious food. “It’s not a political issue, it’s a human issue,” Stanley said. Through the fund, private-public partnerships leveraging state dollars with private money will be made to provide one-time, low-interest loans or small grants. The objective is to encourage such food retailers as grocery stores or innovative food retail projects to open or renovate markets in underserved communities. Supporters say that would also provide new jobs. The investment fund would have a goal of working with more than 15 healthy food retail projects, with an average of 40 new and retained jobs per grocery store. New and existing businesses in at least 18 localities have confirmed
Legislative Black Caucus details intent to help poor GEORGE COPELAND CNS — Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus pledged their commitment last to legislation that would help underprivileged Virginians by bringing improvements in education, health care, the economy and the criminal justice system. Outlining their agenda on the first day of the 2018 General Assembly session, caucus members said at a news conference that increased Democratic representation in the House of Delegates and the election of Justin Fairfax as lieutenant governor were a boon for the group’s goals. “We are in a great position to pass some legislation that will benefit all Virginians,” said Sen. Rosalyn R.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Dance, D-Petersburg, who presented the caucus policies for health care. “Not only is Medicaid expansion the right thing to do, but it will save Virginians money. Right now, we have the opportunity to be on the right side of history.” Newly elected Del. Jennifer D. Carroll Foy, D-Woodbridge, announced 10 criminal justice bills stemming from her experience as a
Virginia has more than 200 food deserts, and in some areas, 100 percent of the families don’t have easy access to nutritious food options, like nutritious food grown and obtained from the backyard. interest in seeking low-interest loans and grants to expand and create new healthy food retail operations, supporters said. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a similar program in October that would bring new grocery options through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund. The
$3 million investment is to begin in September. “We’ve worked for four years to expand food access across Virginia, and this legislation will move us forward,” Dorothy McAuliffe said on Twitter after the news conference. “It’s a right for all Virginians and Americans.”
public defender to ensure a state that was “smart on crime” rather than punitive. Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, emphasized the importance of healthy and affordable food for marginalized communities. She pledged the caucus’ support for the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund, which she said would also create jobs in the private sector. “We know that it works; it has worked across the country,” said McQuinn, “and we are pushing this as one of the ways of bringing economic prosperity and wellness to the various communities.” Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, summarized the caucus’ slate of education policies. She said caucus members “would fight any legislation that diverted public school funds to private schools.” Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, said caucus-backed voting rights bills would make voting a constitutional
right for non-violent felons and lower the voting age to 16 for local elections. The caucus is also supporting redistricting reform, and said that ballot confusion in the 28th District led to an “injustice” in the defeat of Democratic hopeful Joshua Cole. “We want to ensure something like that doesn’t happen again, said Del. Rasoul. “We firmly believe that voting is not a privilege, rather that it’s our due as Americans and Virginians.” Near the start of the conference, new Caucus Chair Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, introduced Lt. Gov.-elect Fairfax as the “21st member” of the caucus. Fairfax highlighted the role of the caucus in the November Democratic victories and described his future role in the Senate as “breaking ties in favor of progress.” Fairfax said he was looking forward “to working with every single one of these brave leaders.”
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Northam priorities include background checks TIA TABACKMAN CNS – As a priority for the legislative session that begins Wednesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Gov.-elect Ralph Northam are calling for universal background checks for gun sales. “These measures are crucial for the safety of our communities,” McAuliffe said, citing a 51 percent increase in gun homicides in Virginia over the past five years. Currently, only federally licensed firearms dealers must administer background checks. Under the proposed legislation, the background check requirement would be expanded to all dealers, including gun shows and private sales. The Democrats held a joint press conference Tuesday to outline their priorities for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, in which Republicans have a narrow majority in both chambers. Northam, who will be inaugurated as governor on Saturday, urged lawmakers to approve “no excuse” absentee voting. Under the proposed legislation, any registered voter could cast an absentee ballot, in-person, within 21 days of Election Day. “Why would we make it more difficult for people to vote on Election Day?” McAuliffe asked. He called the proposal non-partisan and said it would simplify the voting process and decrease lines and waiting times on Election Day.
(from page 2) City). With elaborate decorum, an erudite vocabulary and a fondness for pink neckties, Norment is known for sarcastic takedowns of colleagues who cross him or who defy Senate convention. But on Thursday, his voice cracked with emotion as he recalled that Northam helped two of Norment’s grandchildren get treatment for serious health problems. Citing their bonds as fellow alumni of Virginia Military Institute, Norment said solemnly that the new governor exemplifies the school’s
Northam and McAuliffe also advocated expanding access to Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians currently without health coverage. The two officials expressed support for language in the 2018-20 budget to provide Medicaid to Virginians who make too much to qualify under the program’s current income limits but can’t afford private health care. During the 60-day legislative session, Northam also plans to pursue proposals to: - Have Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a marketbased program to reduce carbon emissions. - Ensure that campaign contribution funds donated to candidates and elected officials cannot be spent for personal use. - Raise the threshold for felony larceny from $200 to $1,000. - Implement a Borrower’s Bill of Rights and create a state ombudsman for student loans. Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, called the RGGI proposal “historic.” “This announcement is likely the boldest single legislative commitment ever made by a Southern governor in the fight to reduce global warming pollution,” Tidwell said. “It marks a new era for Virginia and the nation. Even as federal efforts tragically shrink on climate change, state efforts are heroically growing – and Ralph Northam is now proof of that.” highest standards. “His friendship and the compassion and the professional concern . . . touched my family twice,” Norment said. “And for that I remain enormously appreciative.” Of course, last year, it was Norment who set Northam up to cast a tiebreaking vote — in his role as lieutenant governor presiding over the Senate — on the issue of sanctuary cities. Republicans then used that vote to hammer Northam mercilessly during the gubernatorial campaign as being soft on criminal immigrants. So the good feelings have their limits.
Gov. Ralph Northam and outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe discussed their legislative priorities last week. PHOTO: Lia Tabackman
New immigrant rights legislation aims to protect undocumented Virginians CAITLIN BARBIERI & ADAM HAMZA CNS – The Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights called on the General Assembly Tuesday to pass legislation to provide driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition to certain undocumented immigrants. Coalition members and student supporters spoke at a news conference advocating for legislation that would improve the lives of undocumented immigrants. Del. Jennifer Boysko, D-Herndon, attended to show her support. “While Virginia cannot create a path to citizenship for undocumented students, Virginia does have the power to create opportunities for them,” Boysco said. Boysco plans to propose legislation that will give undocumented immigrants access to a state driver’s
license. Virginia resident Gustavo Angels spoke at the meeting to express his support for such a bill. “Drivers will be more likely to stay at the scene of an accident, aid police or other emergency workers and exchange insurance information with other drivers,” he said. “It would allow many community members to feel more comfortable reporting a crime or involving the police when they need help.” Jung Bin Cho is a recent Virginia Tech graduate and registered as an undocumented immigrant through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2012. Because of DACA, he was able to work and go to school as an undocumented immigrant. Cho said his own access to a driver’s license allowed him greater access to jobs. “It’s important [to have a driver’s
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Jan. 17, 2018 • 5
Proposed bill grants tax credits for hiring ex- offenders KAYLA SOLSBACK CNS - Chesterfield County Del. Delores McQuinn says people who have been released from prison deserve a second chance and one of her proposed bills offers tax credits for anyone who hires people who have served felony sentences. The bill, HB 65, pre-filed for the 2018 General Assembly, grants individual and corporate income tax credits amounting to $500 per employee until 2022. The new employees must have been released from incarceration for felony convictions within five years of their hiring. The qualifying jobs must also
pay an annual salary of $50,000 or greater. “The ability to be gainfully employed is the base foundation for being a productive, law-abiding, taxpaying citizen,” McQuinn said. “This legislation provides an incentive to employers to provide that second chance that people deserve.” The federal government currently grants tax incentives to employers who hire formerly incarcerated people within one year of their release date, but McQuinn hopes to sweeten the deal for Virginia companies. McQuinn, a Democrat, represents the 70th district, comprising parts of Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond. But she said the bill will financially
Petersburg School Board retains chair and vice chair The Petersburg School Board recently elected its chair and vice chair for 2018: Kenneth L. Pritchett, Ward 3, was re-elected chair and Steven L. Pierce Sr., Ward 1, was re-elected vice chair. A resident of Petersburg for more than 30 years, Pritchett was first elected to the School Board in 2006 and has served as chair for a decade. Additionally, he chairs the Virginia School Boards Association’s Southside Region, which covers almost 20 localities. Pritchett graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Norfolk State University and magna cum laude with an associate degree in applied science from John Tyler Community College. Currently, he is working on a master’s degree in pre-elementary education at Norfolk State University. Pierce, a native of Petersburg educated in Petersburg City Public Schools, was first elected to the School Board in 2006. His professional career spans more than 40 years: 23 years in the U.S. Army where he achieved the rank of master sergeant (retired), 16 years with Delhaize America aka Food Lion (retired) and currently with the Department of Corrections where he has spent the past five
Steven L. Pierce Sr.
Kenneth L. Pritchett years teaching job skills to offenders. Pierce earned a bachelor’s degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix and an associate degree from Cornell University. Other Petersburg School Board members include Atiba H. Muse, Ward 2; Dr. Wayne D. Scott, Ward 4; Lois A. Long, Ward 5; Bernard J. Lundy Jr., Ward 6; and Adrian T. Dance Sr., Ward 7.
benefit the entire state. “It makes good business sense to employ rather than to incarcerate,” she said. “When individuals are kept out of prison or jail there are actual monetary savings.” A Virginia Department of Corrections report estimated that the state spends more than $27,000 per inmate annually. Multiple studies show that employment after release reduces the risk of repeat offenses. After researching recidivism, McQuinn studied tax credit programs in other states to write comparable legislation for Virginia. Del. Lamont Bagby D-Henrico, a copatron of the bill, expects it will pass
with minimal challenges. “There is a savings to the commonwealth.” Bagby said. Like McQuinn, he sees the bill as a chance to relieve the heavy burden on judicial and correctional facilities. Virginians will benefit from "having the assurance that the individual is going to be employed as opposed to doing something to send him or her back in the judicial system or in custody,” Bagby said. This is one of 14 bills McQuinn has proposed this session, which began Jan. 10. Her other bills address issues ranging from food deserts to workplace discrimination based on pregnancy.
Va. Federation of Republican Women “storm the hill” Nearly 100 members of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women (VFRW) from across Virginia, converged upon the Virginia Capitol and General Assembly Building (GAB) last week to advocate for policies and legislation reflective of their shared conservative principles. VFRW, which notes that its vision is to help build and maintain a nation and a Virginia governed by the principles of the Republican Party, is described as a diverse group of ‘patriotic women’ that was chartered in 1953. It is a member of the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), a political volunteer organizations in the country. Similarly, the VFRW is the largest such organization in the commonwealth of Virginia. With nearly 2,000 members and 62 active clubs the VFRW exerts an influence on local, state, and federal policy including what it notes includes a “productive, free enterprise economic system; equal rights, justice, and opportunity for all citizens; fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraint at all levels; the preservation of individual liberty; peace through strength; and a recognition that faith is essential to the moral fiber of the nation.”
Attendees visited the General Assembly offices of their elected officials and expressed their position on policies related to school choice, strengthening families, increased services to veterans and support for law enforcement, protection of life at all stages, homeland security, women in business, opioid intervention and prevention, and many more. “Our members are committed to communicating our shared conservative principles with their state elected officials that represent them in both the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate,” said Ellen Nau, VFRW president. “Our VFRW women have strong voices, are community leaders, are mothers and grandmothers that lead by example. It is important for us to continue to be active and engaged not only in the election of our Republican candidates, but to also aid in the promotion of common sense conservation legislation that will continue to improve the quality of life of women and families across our great Commonwealth.” Membership in the Virginia federation is available to all Republican women in Virginia through clubs located in all Congressional Districts.
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Op/Ed & Letters
You’re your child’s advocate DONNA FLETCHER As a parent, I recognize that I am my children’s biggest advocate and I work hard to make sure that they have the best learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. When I relocated from Washington, D.C. to Florida, I struggled to find schools that were rigorous in their instruction, included strong community and parental involvement, provided a diverse selection of extra-curricular activities, and offered the support services my children needed. Eventually, I found a school that met the majority of my expectations, but that school was located in a different county. As a result, I relocated to an address within that area. With a background in education and familiarity with the District of Columbia Public Schools system (DCPS) through my older children, I constantly found myself comparing the materials being taught at my children’s elementary school to the lessons that were taught in DCPS over 15 years earlier. To my chagrin, my younger children were lagging far behind, academically. Therefore, my search to find a more rigorous academic program led me to placing my younger children in a private, Christianbased school. However, I have found that while private schools promote a superior academic experience, in actuality, they lack more than they The LEGACY NEWSPAPER Vol. 4 No. 3 Mailing Address 409 E. Main Street 4 Office Address 105 1/2 E. Clay St. Richmond, VA 23219 Call 804-644-1550 Online www.legacynewspaper.com
deliver. Academic rigor, community and parental involvement, extracurricular activities, and the passion needed to encourage the love of learning were all missing from the private school my children attended. Thus, my search continues. The new national education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), gives more power back to states to determine their own academic standards, but provides several grant opportunities to ensure school districts are implementing evidenced-based interventions to improve academic achievement. Student Support and Enrichment Grants combine several programs from No Child Left Behind to improve academic achievement by providing all students with funding for improved school conditions, wellrounded learning, and efficient use of technology. Title IV, Part B of ESSA also provides opportunities for communities to expand or establish community learning centers, which provide a broad array of resources; including meaningful parent engagement. Florida has updated its academic standards in an attempt to align them with college-and-career-ready expectations twice, since 2011; the most recent update occurred in 2015. However, Florida’s ESSA plan does not explain the process through which updates have occurred. Florida does attempt to emphasize a well-rounded education by including The LEGACY welcomes all signed letters and all respectful opinions. Letter writers and columnists opinions are their own and endorsements of their views by The LEGACY should be inferred. The LEGACY assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Annual Subscription Rates Virginia - $50 U.S. states - $75 Outside U.S.- $100 The Virginia Legacy © 2016
progress in science and social studies as an indicator of school success. However, Florida fails to include progress in English Language Proficiency (ELP) as an indicator of school success and will only provide assessment instructions in English; despite a diverse student population. Furthermore, Florida does not incorporate student subgroup (race/ ethnicity) data in its school grading system. Student subgroup data will only be reported on school report cards. This process does not guarantee struggling subgroups will be identified and supported. Florida proposes to use a simple A-F grading system to identify underperforming schools. For schools that do not earn a “C” grade after two years, the plan calls for the schools to close or turn over operations to a charter or an external operator. While schools are held accountable for continued failure, as a parent, I am concerned about the impact on students who are enrolled during the two-year improvement period. Lastly, Florida does not explain how it will use the set-aside Title I dollars for school improvement or how the state will encourage the equitable distribution of funds. Overall, while the plan clearly articulates its intentions, it provides little explanation for how the stated goals will be achieved. How can I, as a parent, get more involved and
engaged to help advocate for my children? For my children, who are in the middle of the pack, how can they receive resources to accelerate their abilities to the next level? How does Florida’s ESSA Plan empower parents to choose higher-performing schools with very few available spots for students zoned to under performing schools? Florida’s ESSA plan is not an all-encompassing document; specifically as it relates to the lack of information regarding explanations for funding, school accountability, and amended academic standards. The consolidated state plan should be viewed as one additional resource in the search to find answers and be empowered to impact our children’s education. As a parent, I recognize, I am my child’s biggest advocate. The ESSA resource website created by the National Newspaper Publishers Association is a great tool for parents looking to increase their engagement within the school system. Visiting the site frequently has provided me with information, research, and the inspiration to keep pursuing my children’s best academic interest. Fletcher is a mother to eight children, conference coordinator for the National Science Teachers Association, and a fierce parent advocate.
Jan. 17, 2018 • 7
P.T. Hoffsteader, Esq.
Choosing better presidents If Oprah Winfrey runs for president in 2020, she will be at least as qualified for the office as the incumbent, Donald Trump, was when he announced his 2016 campaign. They’re both billionaires of similar net worth -- her self-made, him not so much. They’re both former television personalities -- her the long-time host of a top talk show and builder of an attached media empire, him a “reality TV” shock jock. And so on and so forth. The feedback I’ve received runs from the “no way” of Trump supporters to the “yes way” of Trump haters, with a healthy portion of people who consider neither of the two even remotely qualified for the job and wonder if the world is going crazy. So, let’s talk about qualifications for the presidency. The US Constitution lists three: A prospective president must be at least 35 years old, be a “natural born citizen” of the United States, and have resided within the U.S. for 14 years. But, of course, many people want more than just those three things in a president, and I guess I can’t blame them. Unfortunately, what people -- at least the people who pick major party presidential nominees
-- usually seem to want is a sitting or former governor or U.S. Senator (or, occasionally, a victorious general). They want “political experience.” I disagree. America’s 50 governors and 535 members of Congress seem to constitute the worst possible pool from which to select a president. Their collective record of corruption, incompetence, scandal, etc. is probably an order of magnitude worse than the record of any 585 randomly selected regular Americans. Seldom a day goes by without some politician getting caught with his hand in the till, or texting photos of his junk to random women, while passing monumentally stupid laws and running up $20 trillion in debt. Secondly, if you think American government is moving in the wrong direction, well, guess who’s been moving it that way? These are the people trying to run our lives, and doing a terrible job of it. Political power attracts narcissists, sociopaths and megalomaniacs. So, why not change the way we pick the president? I have two ideas, either one or both of which would improve the situation. First, I suggest a constitutional amendment disqualifying any man or woman who has previously held elected office from running for president. A candidate could run for Congress or governor now or for president later, but not both. That should get rid of a lot of the scheming and opportunism associated with a political “career ladder” leading to the Oval Office. Secondly -- and, yes more severely -- why not select the president by lottery? Just draw a random Social Security number, make sure the person meets the other qualifications,
and inaugurate him or her. Short of eliminating the office, random selection of the president seems like the best way to safeguard our liberties from people who want the job ... and who therefore should never be allowed within a mile of it. *****
Market’s got this “Why are we having all these people from shi*hole countries come here?” US president Donald Trump allegedly asked during an Oval Office meeting, further musing that the US should try to strike a new balance with fewer immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean and more from, say, Norway. Well, of course, he shouldn’t have put it THAT way, if he did (he denies it). Between the language and the demographics in his supposed example, he’s handed his opponents the opportunity for a doubly delicious round of public moral preening -- look how vulgar, and how racist, Donald Trump is! Maybe they’re right. But they’re missing much bigger points. Whatever his phraseology, and regardless of any racial differences between the populations of the countries he chooses as examples, he got the whole matter backward in two important ways. First and foremost, neither Donald Trump nor Congress should be choosing who comes to America. That’s the market’s job, not the government’s job, and certainly not the federal government’s job. Prospective employers and
prospective employees don’t need politicians to tell them whether or not they can get together. They can figure that out for themselves. If it’s government largess that’s the problem, well, end the welfare state already instead of complaining endlessly about who uses it (besides which, immigrants pay more per capita in taxes and consume less per capita in welfare benefits than native-born Americans ). Secondly, as sociologist and essayist Jacques Delacroix points out, the incentives for immigration run in the opposite direction from that Trump’s comment assumes: Immigrants from wealthy states like Norway (which has a higher per capita GDP and a more robust welfare state than the US) are more likely to be from the bottom of the barrel -- the people who can’t or won’t make out well for themselves in an economy even better than ours, but have enough money to get on a plane and take their laziness and complaining elsewhere. Immigrants from poor states like Haiti, Somalia, and -- Delacroix’s example -- India are more likely to be the cream of the crop, those ambitious enough to leave everything they know behind and start over in search of success, in some cases, even risking starvation in the desert or shark-infested waters on inner tubes for a minimum wage opportunity. Again: The market’s got this, if the politicians will just butt out and knock off their disgusting, antiAmerican, authoritarian control freakery. Thomas L. Knapp
8 • Jan. 17, 2018
Faith & Religion Pastor preaches forgiveness ALEXANDRA SOSIK CNS – Eric Manning, pastor of the Charleston, S.C., church where white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine parishioners in 2015, delivered a message of reconciliation and unity last week at the 52nd annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. Republican and Democratic legislators were joined by their families, lobbyists and constituents at the Greater Richmond Convention Center for a time of community and devotion to kick off the opening day of the 2018 General Assembly session. Outgoing Gov. Terry McAullife provided opening remarks and a prayer for incoming Gov. Ralph Northam, who was sworn in Saturday. “Thank you for the honor, privilege and support over the past four years,” McAullife said, adding that serving as governor was the “privilege of my life.” Northam encouraged legislators to work together during the 2018 legislative season. “We all have good intentions, and those are to serve our constituents and to serve this great commonwealth,” Northam said. “My prayer to all of you today is that we could root for each other, that we could work together and make Virginia a little bit better today than it was yesterday.” Among public officials and community members who spoke were Attorney General Mark Herring, who said a prayer for the armed forces and safety personnel, and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who gave tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Local music group Urban Doxology also performed a rendition of “Be Thou My Vision.” It was the Rev. Manning, however, who delivered the main message in which he emphasized forgiveness,
repentance and reconciliation as the recipe for a successful General Assembly session. “When you forgive, something happens,” Manning said. “No longer do you have animosity, no longer do you strive against that person, but you do the best you possibly can do to help that person along the way. Because when you begin to help someone, then you are making a difference.” Manning urged the legislators to practice forgiveness with each other the same way parishioners of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were able to forgive Roof after he murdered nine people at a Bible study session on June 17, 2015. The church, often called Mother Emanuel, was founded in 1816 and is one of the oldest black congregations in the South. During a court hearing shortly after the slayings, relatives of the murder victims told Roof they were praying for his soul. “I forgive you,” said Nadine Collier, whose mother was killed by Roof. “You took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again. I will never, ever hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.” Manning challenged the legislators to turn toward what binds them together rather than turning attention to their differences. “My prayer would be that when they are discussing or debating, or whatever bills they’re working for, just pause for a moment,” Manning said. “In that most high point of the debate, let us learn how to walk together. “Let us remember to walk together, to help someone along the way. Because when that happens I believe that the commonwealth becomes that place where God would have them walk together.”
Eric Manning delivered a message of hope and reconciliation.
(from page 4) our neighbors, our friends, our license] in Virginia because, I think, you need that to be successful,” Cho said. Boysco has proposed HB 343, which expands eligibility for in-state tuition to students who have applied for legal residence or intend to apply. “All Virginians benefit when each of our young people fulfill their greatest potential,” Boysko said. “There are thousands of unfilled jobs in Virginia that require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. We need an educated workforce to continue to build a new Virginia economy. These students are
coworkers, and family. I believe in building a more just and inclusive commonwealth.” When asked about the obstacles to the bill, Boysko said, “Some members of the House of Delegates believe that undocumented immigrants should not benefit from in-state tuition. Clearly there are those at the federal level of government who hold those views. “I hope that in Virginia we can do better. The economic benefits of an educated workforce and the moral imperative of treating all of our young people fairly is the right choice for Virginia.”
Jan. 17, 2018 • 9
BORN TO BE GREAT By the time she’s ready to attend college, the majority of all jobs will require education and training beyond high school. Jobs in healthcare, community services, and STEM will grow the fastest among occupational clusters. To be ready for these jobs of the future, students in grades K-12 need learning experiences that meet them where they are, engage them deeply, let them progress at a pace that meets their individual needs, and helps them master the skills for today and tomorrow. The Every Student Succeeds Act empowers parents like you to make sure that the opportunity for a great education is the standard for every student. To get involved, visit www.nnpa.org/essa.
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10 • Jan. 17, 2018
Gov. McAuliffe’s official portrait features alligator SCOTT MALONE CNS - Look closely at Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s official portrait and you’ll spot an alligator. The new painting that will hang in the state Capitol carries a subtle reference to a part of the governor’s colorful political history. “As far as I know, Gov. McAuliffe is the only American governor who has ever wrestled an alligator,” said Gavin Glakas, who painted the portrait, when it was unveiled last week at the Executive Mansion. “So you have to be looking for it, but there's a little alligator.” The portrait will be displayed among those of McAuliffe’s predecessors on the third floor of the state Capitol. Glakas, who paints and teaches at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, Maryland, spoke before a crowd that included now-Gov.-Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. Glakas said he began painting the portrait in April, working off and on
until he finished a week and a half ago. As to the alligator, it’s a reference to a fund-raising stunt by the governor when he worked for President Jimmy Carter’s unsuccessful re-election campaign in 1980. When it came to the overall setting of the portrait, however, McAuliffe went traditional — he wanted the painting to show him at work, Glakas said. “We could’ve set (the portrait) at Monticello, with the setting sun in the background,” said Glakas, whose paintings also hang in the U.S. Capitol and other prestigious locations. “But the governor wanted to talk about work — he wanted to be at work. So I knew we had to set it in his office.” In the portrait, McAuliffe stands behind his desk with his right hand over documents on “the restoration of rights,” Glakas said. During his term as governor, McAuliffe restored the voting rights of about 170,000 felons who had served their prison time “I did get sued twice by the Virginia General Assembly for my restoration of rights,” McAuliffe joked, turning
Gov. Terry McAuliffe unveils his official portrait that will hang in the Virginia State Capitol. He is accompanied by Gavin Glakas (left), the artist of the portrait, and then- Gov.-elect RalphNortham (right). to Northam. “I’m the first governor to get sued for contempt of court. I’m not sure, but I’m hopeful you will, because
you’re leaning in on those issues.” Glakas described the governor’s expression as “relaxed and in charge.”
THIS BUS IS HEADED TO THE FUTURE. Streamlined routes are on the way. Get ready for faster, more consistent transit service. Because GRTC will soon have new routes. Many buses will come more frequently. Connections will be easier. Bus route names will be simplified. And at the same time, we’re launching the new Pulse route. Go to ridegrtc.com to explore the changes, or call 804-358-GRTC. You can even schedule up to three free “practice runs” of your route with a GRTC Travel Buddy.
Jan. 17, 2018 • 11
Jenifer Lewis shares secrets to Hollywood success in memoir LAUREN POTEAT Jenifer Lewis, affectionately nicknamed “Auntie” in black Hollywood, recently made a special appearance at the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. where she shared the trials, tribulations and triumphs of her journey to superstardom, while sending a strong message to millennials to stand up and find a purpose. “There’s no foolproof way to live this thing called ‘life.’ I can’t save the world, I can’t save you and ain’t nobody coming to rescue you,” said Lewis. “Do the work, look in the mirror and know this ain’t no rehearsal. This is life. “Live, pursue happiness— sometimes it’s easier said than done—but we have to strive for that. You’ve laid down in front of these police barricades, now get up, stay up and keep it moving, but don’t miss the beat of feeling…don’t just go willy nilly into the world.” Detailing traumatic and heroic moments from her past throughout her special performance, Lewis talked about being molested as a teenager, her first encounter with illegal substances and growing to understand and cope with a bipolar disorder diagnosis. “Feel your feelings. If you’re disappointed you feel, if you’re hurt you feel,” said Lewis. “Don’t you stay in a dark room and be quiet and if somebody inappropriately touches you or abuses you, you tell somebody.” Compelled by the actress’s gripping, yet comedic words, audience members gushed over the opportunity to engage with the Hollywood legend and to share their own personal stories. “Ms. Jenifer, I just wanted to say my daughter—she would of been
27—she was bipolar,” one district resident said. “We discovered it when she was 13. When she was about 16 or 17 she heard you talking about being bipolar and it made her feel a little bit more comfortable with her treatment. She didn’t get all the way better, she passed away, but I’ve always wanted to meet you just to tell you, ‘Thank you,’ for giving my daughter that little extra amount of time on Earth to feel better.” The always amusing co-star of the hit ABC sitcom “black-ish,” recently published a deeply personal memoir titled “The Mother of Black Hollywood.” Filled with comedy, sex, glamour, sorrow, pain, and good advice, Lewis’ latest over the top production—the story of her life—is a terrific read for anyone who has ever felt like they were ignored, but longed to have a voice. Lewis said that she recently completed work on a new Disney animated TV series based on the movie “Big Hero 6” and plans to reprise her role as Jackie Washington in the mockumentary “Jackie’s Back! 2,” that will pick up where the original 1999 Lifetime channel movie left off.
Engagement drama Dear Alma, I am going to a wedding away next weekend between two of my crazy friends. They’re great people, but the engagement has been full of drama and I’m not sure they’re actually going to stay together. I waited too long to get a gift, and everything on the registry’s out of
my price range at the moment. Is it out of question for me to wait, like 6 months to see if the marriage sticks before splurging on some china from Crate & Barrel or whatever? What should I do? G.M. Washington D.C. G.M., I know you aren’t supposed to answer a question with a question, but, what does the couple staying together have to do with your gift giving? The predicament I see is the fact that you’ve waited too long and now you can’t afford a reasonably priced gift option. Well, slow your roll, you’ve got time to get your coins together. That’s because technically, traditional wedding etiquette allows you up to a year following the wedding to send a gift. With that said, we’re not done yet. As a wise old woman once said, don’t ever make gift giving an action on your part, performed with rules and regulations attached. When giving a gift for a birthday, wedding or otherwise, give from the heart, with love, affection and gratitude.
12 • Jan. 17, 2018
‘It was a choice to pay those high tolls on I-66’ RYAN PERSAUD & YASMINE JUMAA CNS – A month after the fury over what many drivers considered excessive tolls on Interstate 66, Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne defended the tolls, saying they are necessary for increasing the flow of traffic on the highway in Northern Virginia. The tolls, which vary based on demand and amount of traffic, have reached as high as $44 for a 10-mile drive since they were implemented on Dec. 4. “I would’ve anticipated that happening a lot lower than the $44, but it did not,” Layne said. “People chose to pay it, but it was a choice. Our other option is we could just limit the road when it reaches a certain level [to] HOV users. The issue with that is that we’re taking away that choice for the people who want to pay it.” Layne spoke last week to the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability. His report came a month after Del. Tim Hugo of
Aubrey Layne and Ralph Northam Fairfax, who chairs the House Republican Caucus, called the I-66 tolls “exorbitant” and “unacceptable.” The tolling is in effect weekdays only, during rush hours and in the peak direction, on about 10 miles of I-66, from Route 29 in Rosslyn to Interstate 495. Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, said the high tolls are a result of a lack of state funding for road projects. “This is all symptomatic of not
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having enough money to begin with to build the highways,” Wagner said. “We’re having to do these unique types of programs to build these highways.” Del. Danica Roem, a Democrat from Manassas, told Layne about constituents hit hard by the tolls. They included a combat veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who must drive by himself as a part of his treatment. The constituent said that avoiding the tolls added 45 minutes to his commute. Layne insisted that commuters can take alternate routes such as Route 50 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. But another constituent Roem spoke to said he commutes from Manassas Park to Georgetown and cannot take any alternate pathways. The driver stated that he does not know how to budget his money due to the varying tolls. “That’s the beast of the dynamic
tolling process: You don’t know what it’s going to be each day until the time you get there because it’s basically volume control,” Roem said. “He [the constituent from Manassas Park] had a number of concerns with this.” Layne said the revenue from the tolls goes toward funding other transportation projects. “They will help pay for the road construction; they will help pay for multi-modal transportation and operation of the road,” Layne said. After monitoring the corridors surrounding I-66 and alternative routes, Layne said that so far the data indicated no significant change in travel time on those routes. “We need to continue to monitor this, and it may require that we do adjustments, but as of right now we do not see any significant impact to these parallel corridors,” Layne said. Last month, Hugo released a statement criticizing Layne and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who left office Saturday, on the toll rates. “Governor McAuliffe has gone on TV several times this week saying $40 toll prices are the way ‘it’s supposed to work.’ I could not disagree more,” Hugo said. “The hard-working people of Northern Virginia should not be forced to get a part-time job to be able to afford to drive to their full-time job.” These were Layne’s final days as the commonwealth’s secretary of transportation. New Gov. Ralph Northam appointed former Lynchburg lawmaker Shannon Valentine to the position.
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Jan. 17, 2018 • 13
Intense advising shifts the college choices of low-income students, study finds Conventional wisdom holds that intensive college counseling will lead to better choices and higher college-going rates for low-income students. But according to a new study, authored by Benjamin Castleman of the University of Virginia and Joshua Goodman of Harvard University, in the journal Education Finance and Policy, there are relatively few studies that show, quantitatively, that the conventional wisdom is accurate. The new study does so -- driving home just how important college counseling is to students from low-income families and in poorly resourced high schools. The study tracks the impact of Bottom Line, a nonprofit in Boston that assigns counselors to provide intensive college counseling to selected high school seniors in the area. The students get one hour of personal counseling every two to three weeks, much more than school counselors are able to provide. To be eligible, students must have a grade point average of at least 2.5 and come from families that earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The researchers used the grade requirement to create a control group, comparing program participants with those whose grades just missed the cutoff and who thus did not receive the counseling. Bottom Line maintains
recommending colleges, the students were more likely to enroll at colleges where they would not face significant debt burdens. The study said its results suggest
Benjamin Castleman a list of “encouraged colleges” that it promotes, based both on cost (after financial aid is provided) and the odds of students succeeding. The study found that those students who received the counseling were more likely -- by 52 percentage points -- to enroll in one of the program’s recommended colleges. Further, they were less likely to enroll at community colleges and at four-year colleges that were not recommended by the program. The counseling didn’t appear to shift the odds that the students would attend college, but it had an impact on where the students enrolled. And because cost to students and families is one of the criteria used by Bottom Line in
NCAA report: women still underrepresented JEREMY BAUER-WOLF A new National Collegiate Athletic Association report reveals that women are still underrepresented in athletics programs. About 25 percent of NCAA Division I institutions employ only one female administrator (an assistant or associate athletics director or an athletics director) -- or none at all. About 70 percent of Division II and III institutions also only have a single female administrator or none on staff. These results come from the NCAA’s study of female senior administrators, which it defines as the highest-ranking woman involved in managing an athletics program. The survey was completed by about 61 percent of these women. About 20 percent of athletics directors are women, the survey indicates.
that federal efforts such as the College Scorecard aren’t enough to truly help low-income students with college choices. Actual advising is needed, the study found.
14 • Jan. 17, 2018
House and Senate Democrats announce Medicaid expansion as their top Joint Legislative Priority
Virginia House and Senate Democrats said last week that extending access to affordable health care to nearly 400,000 hardworking Virginians through Medicaid expansion is their top joint legislative goal during this year’s General Assembly session. House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano, House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring, Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke, Sen. George Barker and Del. Wendy Gooditis spoke at a press conference last week at the State Capitol, on the effects that the lack of expansion has had on Virginia families and the Virginia economy. Toscano introduced his colleagues from the House and Senate as they made passionate remarks on the
Del. Wendy Gooditis much needed reform as well as the bipartisan support needed to make a reality. “Senate Democrats remain committed to working with our colleagues -- both across the aisle in our own chamber and across the hall -- to find solutions to our ongoing health care crisis,” said Locke (Hampton). “We currently have one
PSA As a person who is passionate about Alzheimer’s disease, and, as an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer, I have started a campaign for an revenue sharing ALZHEIMER’S LICENSE PLATE through DMV. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, anyone with a brain should be concerned about Alzheimer’s and, the license plate is a great way to raise funding for awareness and support. Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 89 percent. Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death in the top 10 that cannot be prevented or treated and has no cure. This must change. Today, 130,000 Virginians are living with Alzheimer’s, and 400,000 are caregiving for someone who has it. We must effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease soon and support those impacted by it until researchers achieve this goal. We need your help! Together all Virginians can help us get the required 450 prepaid applications needed to be able to get DMV to produce the ALZHEIMER'S LICENSE PLATE. Amanda Chase, Senator, has agreed to present this license plate bill to General Assembly in January 2018 once 450 applications are collected. Once 1000 license plates are in circulation in the state of Virginia, $15 of the annual $25 cost for the ALZHEIMER’S LICENSE PLATE will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association. *REGISTER TODAY* Online registration available at www.vaendalz.com! Email: email@example.com for information about the license plate. Katy Reed, Louisa, VA - 540-967-7098
of the best Medicaid programs in the country in terms of the quality of care and the fiscal oversight -- and yet nearly 400,000 Virginians remain uninsured.” Herring said that health care is a right and not a privilege. “The ACA is here to stay and Medicaid expansion is needed now more than ever,” she said. “It is not about Democrats or Republicans, it is about taking care of our neighbors. I have seen members of the General Assembly on both sides of the aisle work hard to improve our behavioral health system and fight to keep their local hospitals and healthcare systems running. We all want Virginia to be the best place to do business, raise a family, and live.” Newly-elected Gooditis shared that she lost her brother to PTSD and alcoholism just two weeks after she announced her candidacy, which she said was declared in a bid to help him and those like him who struggled. “There are 140 beautiful beating hearts in this state assembly, I am very hopeful that all of them believe people like my brother deserve care,” said Gooditis. Virginia has forfeited $10 billion in federal tax dollars allocated to
Medicaid expansion to other states. Medicaid expansion would also create 30,000 jobs, save our state budget $73 million annually, and ensure that nearly 400,000 people have access to health care. “If you look at it from an economic perspective or from a health care perspective there is no question whatsoever that Medicaid expansion benefits Virginia, it benefits the government of Virginia, it benefits the businesses of Virginia, and most important of all, it benefits the people of Virginia,” said Barker. Virginia is among 18 holdout states that have taken advantage of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision to allow states to opt out of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have been opposed to Medicaid expansion but in recent months, some have been open to expansion as long as it is a part of reforming the entire Medicaid program. Virginia voters in November elected Democrat Ralph Northam as governor. He was sworn in Saturday, and supports expanding Medicaid. While Democrats picked up at several House of Delegates seats last Novermber, Republicans still hold a 21-19 majority in the state Senate.
Jan. 17, 2018 • 15
Women hit a record high in Va. legislature. Can they break the boys’ club?
Newly minted Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) sat in the House of Delegates, nursing her 1-year-old daughter in the storied chamber long dominated by men. In the row ahead of her, fellow newcomer Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) sported a purse-shaped American flag lapel pin and a bracelet honoring the Equal Rights Amendment. And the next day, female lawmakers outnumbered men at a Democratic news conference urging the expansion of Medicaid. Women have reached a high mark in the Virginia General Assembly this year, taking 38 out of 140 seats and starting to reshape the culture of a Southern capital often seen as an old boys’ club. The surge was part of November’s Democratic sweep in the House of Delegates that flipped 15 seats, replacing 11 men with women. Women now hold a record 28 of 100 seats in the chamber, up from 17 last year. They make up nearly half of the Democratic caucus. Among them are the first Latinas, the first transgender woman, the first lesbian and the first Asian American women to be elected to the chamber. Republicans seated their youngest-ever woman, 33-year-old Emily Brewer. “We didn’t crack the ceiling; we shattered it,” Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax), the longestserving woman in the House, said in a Thursday floor speech commemorating the history of women in the legislature. The achievement in Virginia may be the start of something greater, as a record number of women around the country run for governor and Congress this year. Many are Democrats invigorated by Hillary Clinton, who would have been the first female president, and her loss to President Trump despite his history of lewd and disparaging comments about women, among others. “We know that Virginia will be the first of many states to elect a record number of women this cycle,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, which supports Democratic women. “While 28
Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) holds her daughter Elise during her swearing-in ceremony at the Virginia General Assembly last week. Tran is among the 28 women now serving in the chamber, a record high. PHOTO: Timothy C. Wright/WP percent is not nearly a high enough percentage of women, this is how true institutional change begins.” Advocates are hoping this new crop of women in Richmond can change the discussion on an array of issues, including paid family leave, abortion rights and taxes on tampons. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) has named eight women to his 15-member Cabinet, which his office says would be the first time in Virginia history that the governor’s inner circle is majority female. But men still dominate positions of power. In addition to Northam, the other two statewide elected officials are male, as are the state’s two U.S. senators and its legislative leaders. Just two of 25 committees in both chambers are chaired by women. “Women are the majority of the population in Virginia. At some point, I’m hopeful we will be majority in this room,” said Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), whom Democratic freshmen chose as their
representative to leadership. “This is just the start.” Watts, 77, said the legislature’s culture has changed since she was one of four women elected to the House in 1982 — then a record. She recalled times when women were barred from a legislative lounge, needed permission to wear pants on the floor and missed votes because of the long trek to the women’s bathroom. Even now, Watts said, women will find their ideas gaining more traction when repeated by a man or be shut out of after-hours socializing where male lawmakers bond and build relationships. One of the ways newly elected women are trying to change the culture is by forming a “parents caucus” to make the legislature more friendly to parents. Incoming first lady Pam Northam reached out to new delegates Tran and Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Prince William Democrat who
prematurely gave birth to twins during her campaign, about the lack of dedicated spaces where they could pump breast milk and nurse. Together, they worked with House Clerk G. Paul Nardo to establish two lactation rooms. The parents caucus also secured a child-care room where they could leave their babies during Saturday’s gubernatorial inauguration. The ultimate goal is for the legislature to provide child care during the session. “Our whole purpose is to make the General Assembly more family friendly to hopefully attract and more easily recruit women to run for office,” Foy said. “We just want to improve the lives of all parents, and especially working and nursing mothers, as well.” Tran, who canvassed for votes with her daughter Elise strapped to her chest, has turned heads in the Capitol by bringing the child
(continued on page 17)
16 • Jan. 17, 2018
Calendar 1.19, 7 p.m.
The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances. They will be the honored guests at a program featuring well-loved children’s songs, traditional spirituals and Gospel favorites. The concerts, free and open to all, will take place at Calvary’s Love Ministries, 118 S 11th Ave. in Hopewell. A free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development programs. Music for Life (the parent organization for The African Children’s Choir) works in seven African countries such as, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history. MFL purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education. The African Children's Choir has performed before presidents, heads of state and most recently the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. For more information, visit the website africanchildrenschoir.com or call 804-541-8300.
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Grow Your Sales Conference If, as a business owner you’re always looking for ways to grow your business, this conference is for you!. The logistics of the conference, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity, are: Date: Jan. 24 Time: 8 – 2:30 p.m. (Lunch will be provided) Place: Virginia State University / Gateway Dining Hall / 2804 Martin Luther King Drive, Chesterfield Cost: FREE, but you must register Topics to be presented include: - eVa (Virginia’s online procurement portal) - The Value of SWaM Certification - Responding to Solicitations - Developing a Strong Relationship with Your Bank - Accessing Capital - Nine Pillars of Business Success - Building a Strong Brand for Your Business - Optimizing Software to Improve Sales - Effective Selling - Buyers Roundtable - Buyers from government agencies will answer your questions To register for this FREE conference: 1. Go to www.sbsd.virginia.gov/about-us/events/ 2. Scroll down to “Central / South” 3. Scroll to January 24 “Grow Your Sales Conference” 4. Access the page 5. Scroll down to RSVP to register If you have questions concerning this event or difficulty registering, you should contact Randy Brown at 804-371-8258 or via email – randy.brown@ sbsd.virginia.gov .
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1.23, 6 p.m.
Participants can learn about the process of purchasing a home and obtaining a mortgage at a free seminar offered by Virginia Credit Union. The Home Buyers Seminar will be held at Virginia Credit Union in the Boulders Office Park, 7500 Boulder View Dr., Richmond,. Mortgage experts will be on hand to answer specific questions. To register to attend, call 804323-6800 or visit www.vacu.org/ seminars
1.23, 6:30 p.m.
VCU Health is holding its inaugural series of educational sessions on current health care topics in January at the Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Wellness Center at Short Pump Town Center, 11958 W. Broad St., Richmond. The seminar “Sweet New Year: Eating Healthy and Sugar” Should people use artificial will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The session is free and open to the public. and will tackle several questions, including: Should people use artificial sweeteners? What’s an added sugar? Is there a difference between honey, agave and cane sugar? Erin Taylor, a VCU Health clinical dietitian, will discuss the variations of sugar and why reducing the amount consumed daily can improve overall health. For more information, call 804628-0041. Space is limited so online registration is encouraged. All dates and times are subject to change or cancellations. Any session that is filled to capacity can be livestreamed through VCU Health’s Facebook page.
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Jan. 17, 2018 • 17
www.LEGACYnewspaper.com agree,” said Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield), a co-sponsor of the House Equal Rights Amendment bill. Some new female lawmakers are looking to make their mark with symbolic gestures. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe waves to the gallery next to Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) as he arrived to address a joint session of the the 2018 General Assembly in Richmond, last week. PHOTO: Steve Helber Del. Kelly Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) ran in part because she was
(from page 15) along to orientation events and the first day of the session. She breastfed her daughter, with a cover, during outgoing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s final State of the Commonwealth address. During most days of the legislative session, Tran, who also has three school-age children, plans to drop her baby at a Richmond day care. But she wanted to make sure she could spend her mornings and evenings with her. “Occasionally, I get people saying, ‘Well, how are you going to do this with all these kids?’ ” Tran said in an interview at her legislative office, where she had a playpen next to her desk and a pile of bibs and blankets on a chair. “I try to always say, it’s hard for any mom or dad trying to give their all to their kids and careers.” Advocates are hoping the women in Virginia’s legislature will help the state pass the long dormant Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The movement for an amendment, which would bar government discrimination on the basis of gender, stalled in the early 1980s. Under one disputed theory, it could still pass if Virginia and another state legislature approve it. Although ratification measures have passed the Virginia Senate, they have died in committee in the House. With Republican majorities thinned and female ranks boosted, advocates hope the House will finally act. That includes some Republican women. “It’s exciting to have a whole new perspective on things, and women and men don’t always
angry when her then-representative voted for a resolution establishing a “Day of Tears” on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion. She ran against him and won. And one of her first pieces of legislation, with new Del. Debra Rodman (D-Henrico), is a resolution that would replace the “Day of Tears” with the “Day of Women in Virginia.” It would celebrate the record number of women serving in the House and resolve “That all Virginians be encourage to celebrate women in leadership.” Every Democratic freshman woman has signed on. - WP
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF AN APPLICATION BY VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY FOR APPROVAL OF 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY TARIFFS FOR RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS PURSUANT TO §§ 56-577 A 5 AND 56-234 OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA CASE NO. PUR-2017-00157 •Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Dominion”) has applied for approval of two voluntary 100% renewable energy tariffs for residential and non-residential customers with peak demand of less than one megawatt. •A Hearing Examiner appointed by the Commission will hear the case on April 17, 2018, at 10 a.m. •Further information about this case is available on the SCC website at: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case. On November 17, 2017, Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Dominion” or “Company”) filed with the State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) an application (“Application”) pursuant to §§ 56-577 A 5 and 56-234 of the Code of Virginia (“Code”) for approval of two renewable energy tariffs, collectively designated Continuous Renewable Generation (Subscription) Rate Schedules (“Rate Schedules CRG-S”), whereby new and existing residential and non-residential customers with peak demand of less than one megawatt can voluntarily elect to purchase 100 percent (“100%”) of their energy needs from renewable energy resources. Dominion requests the Commission to approve the Rate Schedules CRG-S as 100% renewable energy tariffs under Code § 56-577 A 5. If the Commission approves the Rate Schedules CRG-S as 100% renewable energy tariffs under Code § 56-577 A 5, such approval will impact the Company’s obligation to allow retail choice to certain customers seeking to purchase renewable energy. The Company states that it will develop a portfolio of renewable energy resources (“CRG-S Portfolio”) to serve Rate Schedule CRG-S customers. The Application states that all resources included in the CRG-S Portfolio will meet the definition of “renewable energy” under Code § 56-576 and that the Company intends the initial CRG-S Portfolio to consist of a combination of hydroelectric, wind, and new solar (i.e., constructed after 2017) resources. A customer electing to take the generation component of electricity supply service under the applicable Rate Schedule CRG-S would no longer receive such generation component of electricity supply service under its existing rate schedule and would have all of its energy and capacity supply needs met by the selected renewable energy resources. The Company proposes a fixed rate of 9.627 cents per kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) for residential customers, and 8.608 cents per kWh for non-residential customers, to be the price (“CRG-S Rate”) for the retail generation component of electricity supply service for participating Rate Schedules CRG-S customers; this price will be in lieu of the customers’ generation component of electricity supply service billed under their standard tariffs. The Company further proposes the CRG-S Rate to be fixed for a period of three years after receiving Commission approval but states that the rates may be subject to change thereafter in order to reflect any changes in market conditions, such as market prices, and subject to subsequent Commission approval. According to the Application, subscribing customers of Rate Schedules CRG-S will be subject to a minimum one-year term. The Company states that in addition to the CRG-S Rate, participating customers would continue to be subject to distribution service charges and transmission demand or energy charges, consistent with the distribution and transmission charges in the corresponding standard rate schedules for non-participating customers. Rate Schedule CRG-S customers would also be subject to any existing and future distribution and transmission riders, unless otherwise exempt. Because participating customers will not receive any of the generation components of their energy or capacity needs from the Company’s existing fleet of generation resources, they will not be subject to the Company’s existing or future fuel or generation riders. According to the Company, if Rate Schedules CRG-S are approved, a residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month who voluntarily switches from the standard residential tariff to Rate Schedule CRG-S would experience a monthly bill increase of approximately $20.68. The Company indicates that it will retire the renewable energy certificates associated with the renewable energy generated and used to serve participating customers on their behalf. The Company states that it will expand the CRG-S Portfolio as needed to meet customer enrollment in Rate Schedules CRG-S up to an initial participation cap of 25 megawatts of customer peak load. Should Rate Schedules CRG-S become fully subscribed, the Company states it will evaluate raising the participation cap, expanding the CRG-S Portfolio, changing the CRG-S Rate, or taking other actions, and will address any changes with the Commission at the appropriate time. The Commission entered an Order for Notice and Hearing that, among other things, scheduled a public hearing to be held at 10 a.m. on April 17, 2018, in the Commission’s second floor courtroom located in the Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, to receive testimony of public witnesses and the evidence of the Company, any respondents, and the Commission’s Staff. Any person desiring to testify as a public witness should appear at the hearing location fifteen (15) minutes before the starting time of the hearing and contact the Commission’s Bailiff. Copies of the public version of all documents filed in this case are available for interested persons to review in the Commission’s Document Control Center located on the first floor of the Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Interested persons also may download unofficial copies from the Commission’s website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Copies of the Company’s Application and the Commission’s Order for Notice and Hearing also may be inspected during regular business hours at each of the Company’s business offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Copies of these documents also may be obtained, at no charge, by submitting a written request to counsel for the Company: Elaine S. Ryan, Esquire, McGuireWoods LLP, Gateway Plaza, 800 East Canal Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219. If acceptable to the requesting party, the Company may provide the documents by electronic means. On or before April 10, 2018, any interested person may file written comments on the Company’s Application with Joel H. Peck, Clerk, State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. Interested persons desiring to file comments electronically may do so on or before April 10, 2018, by following the instructions found on the Commission’s website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Compact discs or any other form of electronic storage medium may not be filed with the comments. All such comments shall refer to Case No. PUR-2017-00157. Any person or entity may participate as a respondent in this proceeding by filing a notice of participation on or before February 13, 2017. If not filed electronically, an original and fifteen (15) copies of the notice of participation shall be filed with the Clerk of the Commission at the address set forth above. A copy of the notice of participation as a respondent also shall be sent to counsel for the Company at the address set forth above. Pursuant to Rule 5 VAC 5-20-80 B, Participation as a respondent, of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (“Rules of Practice”), any notice of participation shall set forth: (i) a precise statement of the interest of the respondent; (ii) a statement of the specific action sought to the extent then known; and (iii) the factual and legal basis for the action. Any organization, corporation, or government body participating as a respondent shall be represented by counsel as required by Rule 5 VAC 5-20-30, Counsel, of the Rules of Practice. All filings shall refer to Case No. PUR-2017-00157. For additional information about participation as a respondent, any person or entity should obtain a copy of the Commission’s Order for Notice and Hearing. The Commission’s Rules of Practice may be viewed at the Commission’s website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case. A printed copy of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and an official copy of the Commission’s Order for Notice and Hearing in this proceeding may be obtained from the Clerk of the Commission at the address set forth above. VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY
18 • Jan. 17, 2018
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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY NOTICE We are pledged to the letter and spirit of Virginia's policy for achieving equal housing opportunity throughout the commonwealth. We encourage and support advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap. For more information or to file a housing complaint, call the Virginia Housing Office (804) 367-8530 or (888) 551-3247. For the hearing-impaired, call (804) 367-9753 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thank you for your interest in applying for opportunities with The City of Richmond. To see what opportunities are available, please refer to our website at www.richmondgov.com. EOE M/F/D/V
The LEGACY is looking for a reliable, highly-motivated, goal-driven sales professional to join our team selling print and digital advertising in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas. Duties include: Building and maintaining relationships with new/existing clients Meeting and exceeding monthly sales goals Cold calling new prospects over the phone to promote print and online advertising space
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Jan. 17, 2018 • 19
PROC 01-156-002-03600/0112 HAMPTON SOLICITATION
EDUCATION / HELP WANTED TEACHER RECRUITMENT FAIR to fill 2018-19 Vacancies ~ did you know over 650 teaching positions were filled by the following Virginia school divisions in the 2017-18 school year: Counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Culpeper, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke and Wythe; and the Cities of Covington, Lexington, Martinsville, Radford, Roanoke and Salem. Join these divisions on Sat, Jan 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. @ Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA. See www.wvpec.org (Job Fair) for details. NO FEES. Sponsor: Western Virginia Public Education Consortium
The Director of Finance or his designated representative will accept written responses in the Procurement Office, 1 Franklin Street, 3rd floor, Suite 345, Hampton, VA on behalf of the Entity listed below until the date and local time specified. HAMPTON CITY Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET – ITB 18-38TM Blackbeard Festival
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A withdrawal of bid due to error shall be in accordance with Section 2.24330 of the Code of Virginia. All forms relating to these solicitations may be obtained from the above listed address or for further information call (757) 727-2200. The City of Hampton reserves the right to reject any and all responses, to make awards in whole or in part, and to waive any informality in submittals.
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