February 12, 2020
The results of just one of the votes on legislation to protect citizens of the Commonwealth from discrimination.
In this Issue
  • Commentary: New Deal for Virginia
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar 
Commentary

New Deal for Virginia
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president when the entire country was in the midst of what historians term the Great Depression. His solution to the widespread economic and social challenges that existed at the time was the establishment of programs and services that became known as the New Deal.

Virginia had fallen behind in responding to many economic and social challenges until the voters in 2019 signaled with their votes that they were ready for changes. Those changes are coming in what I described in my column last week as “dazzling” speed. This week I will give many more examples. I am highlighting bills that have been passed by the House of Delegates but still must be passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor. I feel certain that there will not be major differences between the actions of the House and Senate.

Virginians supported candidates in the election that wanted to end discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation. The House responded last week by passing a bill that ends discrimination in housing, accommodations, employment, and others forms of discrimination. It is the first such bill to pass in a southern state and is one of the most comprehensive of any in the country. I was honored to be a co-patron of the bill and pleased that my bill to extend protections of the hate crime law to all persons regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity also passed.

A bill to raise the minimum wage is making its way through the House with multi-year steps to get to $15 per hour. My minimum wage bill that I have been introducing for many years was incorporated into the bill that is headed for passage. Immigrant workers that need a driver’s permit to get to work will be able to get one under a bill before the House. For the last several decades there have been a series of laws designed to make it more difficult for a woman to have access to an abortion when necessary, but those laws are being repealed. Likewise, a number of laws that have made it more cumbersome and difficult to register and vote have been repealed.

Bills to clean up our environment are passing this year including a bill I introduced to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The Governor’s goal for the state to become carbon neutral by 2050 is being incorporated into energy legislation that makes way for more solar and wind power. Some advocates called their efforts the “Green New Deal.” While the omnibus bill that incorporated their goals into a single piece of legislation did not pass as it was found impossible to determine its fiscal impact, I believe that most if not all of their goals will have been met when the many other bills with a narrower focus that have passed are considered. The advocacy of the Green New Deal members was very important in getting the many other single-purpose bills passed.

I have not exhausted the list of good bills that are passing. What is happening in Richmond this session is a really good new deal for people in the Commonwealth!
Delegate Plum Seeks Your Input into Priorities for the
2020 General Assembly Session
Two New Donation Stations in Fairfax County
 The new stations each have a donation box, provided through a partnership with TVI/Savers, that accepts used clothing and household goods. One donation station is at the I-95 landfill complex in Lorton. A second donation station is available at the I-66 transfer station in Fairfax. Both locations are open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More details are at: Donation Drop Spot
Flu in Virginia
Seasonal influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. There are two main types of influenza viruses: A and B. Each type includes many different strains that tend to change from year to year. The flu spreads mainly from person to person by droplets from the nose or throat that are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. Learn more at Flu in Virginia.
Sign Up for a Spot at Reston's Community Yard Sale
Saturday, May 2
Eighty families will be selling a variety of items. Sign up to have a booth--booth space is two parking spaces. Tables are not provided. Space is limited. All sales are final. No refunds unless canceled due to rain. Rain date: 5/3
Location: 1900 Campus Commons Drive (in the parking lot behind this address). This event is sponsored by Reston Association. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or call 703-435-6577 for more information.
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Show Your Support for the Gun Safety Laws
Being Passed in Richmond
Friday, February 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil
at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided.

Calendar of Events
February 1 to 29, Diva Central Dress Drive, at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. We need the following for Diva Central, RCC’s annual prom and middle school formal dress giveaway: formal dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves, shawls, and accessories. More information is at Diva Central.

Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Reston, a Photographer’s Muse: Why Reston Is Uniquely Captivating Through the Lens. The Reston Historic Trust & Museum will host an evening with Reston photographer Charlotte Geary. Geary will present a slideshow and discussion of Reston photographs at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne. What makes Reston particularly appealing to a photographer? Charlotte will discuss the influence of Reston’s unique aesthetics, opportunities, and people. More is at www.restonmuseum.org/programs.

Friday, February 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided.

Monday, February 17, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Free Admission to Mount Vernon on President’s Day. George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Details are at Mount Vernon.

Thursday, February 20, 1:00 p.m., “Media Bias and the Impact of Technology,” an Adventures in Learning program at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Program Building, 2709 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton. $45 per semester. To Register/Questions: Call 703-281-0538. Feel free to bring a brown bag lunch. View the schedule of classes and registration form at www.scov.org/ail

Tuesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m., Civil Rights in Alexandria, at the Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Avenue East, Vienna. Audrey Davis, Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, will discuss the contributions and history of Alexandria’s black residents. Details and more about our Branch are at Vienna Area Branch.

February 28, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Retro Game Night, at Reston Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza, Lake Anne. Choose from over a dozen games provided by Staring Player Pop-up. Feel free to bring your own games and grab some of the provided snacks. The event is free and open to the public but space is limited so come early to grab a spot. Everyone who attends will receive a poster of “The Game of Reston.” Intended audience: adults. More is at www.restonmuseum.org/programs.

Sunday March 1, 7:30 p.m., ReelAbilities Film Festival – Gurrumul, Free--all ages, at the CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and celebrated voices to come out of Australia. ​ReelAbilities is the only film festival of its kind in the nation, dedicated to representing the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The festival will feature domestic and international award-winning films, and engaging programming and art and performance that inspire the community to explore and celebrate our shared human experience. ​In partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. ​For more information, contact Paul Michnewicz, RCC Arts and Events Director, at 703-390-6167. Learn more at ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Tuesday, March 3, 8:00 p.m., Professional Touring Artist Series:  Boys Don't Cry, at the CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Cost: $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston. In partnership with Dance Place, Boys Don’t Cry is inspired by text from Chantal Thomas and is a funny and tender reflection on what it means to dance when you are a boy from North Africa and the Arab world. For more information, contact Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC Arts and Events Director, at 703-390-6167. Ticket link 

Sunday, March 15, 3:30 to 6:00 p.m., The Shepherd’s Center presents the Capitol Steps, at Fairfax High School Auditorium, 3502 Rebel Run, Fairfax. The Washington D.C.-based comedy troupe presents The Lyin’ Kings. What could be more fun than seeing this show during an election year as they make comedy great again? Individual Tickets: $35  Day of: $40 cash/credit only. Student Tickets: $15/Day of: $20 cash/credit only. To purchase tickets visit www.scov.org or call our Ticket Hotline at 703-281-0601. Hotline cutoff date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 5:00 p.m.