From Iris Woodard on behalf of the Ethical Action Committee.
The Virginia General Assembly begins its annual meetings this week. Last Saturday, I attended a session at the Fairfax County Government Center. All the representatives from Fairfax County listened to citizen presentations about issues of interest. There was lots of the usual topics, such as teacher pay, minimum wages, gun control, funding for ESL and special needs classes. Representatives from ARC made impassioned pleas for increased funding for Priority 1 Housing Waivers. One young lady has been on the waiting list for 13 years. Other issues included Immigrant rights, stop Fairfax County Jails from reporting arrests to ICE, free community college for all state residents and many more.
You can access the full list of bills pending at this site: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604
The group OneVirginia2021 presented a plan for a judicial panel to draw voting lines to correct the current gerrymandered map.
Read about this initiative here: https://www.onevirginia2021.org/
The group VARatifyERA is advocating that Virginia should be the 38th state to ratify an amendment to the US Constitution mandating equal rights under the law. Read about this initiative here: https://varatifyera.org/
As Mechelle Hankerson reports today, an apparent major early issue will be tax conformity and a larger debate about tax policy. Battle lines between Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has a suite of budget increases that count in part on collecting more tax revenue as a result of federal tax reform, and Republicans in the General Assembly, who are pushing tax changes to allow Virginians to keep much of that money, appear to be drawn.
These and many other issues are very important to our daily life. It is imperative that each of us take the time to express our opinion about these and many other issues. I will be bringing the postcards to Platform meetings each week. It is up to each of you to identify your representative and communicate to them how you feel about issues = either by phone or in writing.
I ENCOURAGE YOU TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT ONE ISSUE EACH WEEK FOR THE 10 WEEKS OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. No citizen can afford to be silent.