Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29, an election will be held throughout every part of Fairfax County. Yet only a tiny percentage of voters are expected to vote in the Special Election for Fairfax County School Board scheduled for that day. On the last day of May, a Republican Member of the Fairfax School Board resigned. But rather than wait a few days longer so as to put the election of her successor on the November general ballot when a wide swath of Fairfax voters could make the choice, this Board Member purposely decided to force Fairfax County to spend a quarter of a million dollars so as to hold an election when she hopes very few people will vote and her designated Republican successor can sneak in. Don't let these machinations succeed! If you live in Fairfax County -- or know people who do -- make sure to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29. Don't forget. It's in small-turnout elections like these where your vote can really make a difference.
As most of you know, the Honorable Patsy Ticer, Former Mayor and City Council Member of Alexandria and our former State Senator for four terms, died Monday at the age of 82, after living in Alexandria for 70 years and serving us for nearly 30. Patsy, who was State Senator when I moved to Alexandria in 2001, was known throughout the City and the Commonwealth for her kindness, her strength, her wisdom, and her heart. She was a trailblazer and out-spoken but always tempering her views by listening carefully to others. And she was a strong advocate for children and families. Even after retirement, she continued to be quite active in our community affairs.
You are cordially invited to my home for my annual riverfront bash. Have a drink and enjoy the fireworks' dazzling display. We will meet at my home at 805 Rivergate Place on Saturday, July 8 from 7:30-10:30 pm, and watch the fireworks from my back porch and the hillside which borders Rivergate Park on the Potomac River in North Old Town Alexandria. Note the date: it's July 8. Not July 4.
With the primary behind us now, we have a fantastic statewide ticket with Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring, along with a slate of at least 88 House candidates that I'm proud to run alongside. I don't have an opponent this year, so I'll be able to devote my time to helping these great Democrats win their races. And we'll need you out there helping us if we're going to stop Ed Gillespie from bringing Trump's disastrous policies to Virginia. So get out and make phone calls, knock doors, and give money. You can donate to my campaign here, and I can then contribute more to competitive Democratic House candidates around the state.
Today is a sad day for the City of Alexandria and the wonderful community of Del Ray.
No doubt you are aware that this morning, a gunman with powerful weaponry shot several Members of Congress at a public ballfield in the heart of our city.
We are grateful none of the gun victims were killed, and we pray for their speedy recovery and for the recovery of those brave injured first responders that rushed to save them.
If you have any questions or run into any issues at the polls, you can call the Virginia Democratic Party's Voter Hotline at 844-482-8683 or tweet them at @dpvavote. I'll be out visiting every polling place in my district, so hopefully I'll see you tomorrow! Virginia law does not require that the address on your ID match the address on your voter registration. If you don't have a valid photo ID, you can get one at your local registrar's office; they'll be open all day on Election Day.
The 2017 Primary is coming up on Tuesday. We'll be voting for Democratic nominees for both Governor and Lt. Governor. I spoke about these races more generally in my last newsletter, but today I want to talk more about why I support Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam is no stranger to Virginia fights. He’s been here fighting to build a Commonwealth that works for everyone—no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from—for the past decade. And before that, he was serving our Commonwealth as a pediatrician and an Army doctor.
Virginia Delegate Mark Levine, Senator Barbara Favola, and Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol jointly shepherded an effort by local and state elected leaders, community leaders, and law enforcement to obtain a nearly $560,000 grant of state and federal funds to support five full-time and two part-time forensic nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANEs) at Inova Hospital in Fairfax County. SANEs specialize in treating adults and children who are victims of sexual assault.
I'm proud to announce that the Virginia Transparency Caucus (VTC), the bipartisan, bicameral group that I co-founded with Republican Sen. Amanda Chase, has achieved our greatest victory to date. Both the House of Delegates and the Senate has announced their intention to live stream and archive committee hearings next year. There's still more work to be done, of course. It's critical that the House record its subcommittee hearings as well. But this is an important first step, showing the tremendous progress made since Amanda and I first decided to record the hearings on our bills with our iPhones last year and to push others to do the same.
Virginia General Assembly Adopts Recommendations of the Virginia Transparency Caucus To Stream and Archive Committee Hearings
Leaders of Virginia’s Senate and House of Delegates have heeded the call by the Virginia Transparency Caucus to record Committee meetings of the General Assembly, just two months after the Virginia Transparency Caucus (VTC) submitted a letter signed by 85 Senators and Delegates demanding “full audio and visual recording capability, as well as transparent vote recording machines for all Committee and Subcommittee hearings rooms in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.” Both Senate Rules Committee Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) and House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) have announced live streaming and archiving of committee meetings to be held in the Pocahontas Building during the 2018 General Assembly session.
Please join me for the April Mark's Monthly Meetup this afternoon at Los Tios Mexican restaurant in Del Ray (2615 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria). With the Veto Session wrapping up this month, we'll have plenty to talk about. Come join us to eat, relax, and discuss policy and politics. This month, a special treat: my cousin singer-songwriter Stacy Beyer will come all the way from Nashville, Tennessee to debut her new song Good Trouble which I hope may soon become a Theme Song of the Resistance. You won't want to miss it!