1. Big Win for Transparency!
Committee Hearings to be Recorded
in both House and Senate
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.
When I entered the House of Delegates last year in 2016, they did not even archive Floor Debates. But as our small group -- which now includes 10% of the General Assembly -- grew, we began to record hearings ourselves. Eventually, we and our allies recorded 75% of committee meetings.
On the last day of session, the VTC circulated a letter in both chambers calling for video equipment to be installed and for sessions and votes in committees and subcommittees to be recorded. 85 of 140 Senators and Delegates signed the letter.
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.
Who says Freshman Legislators can't dramatically change the way Richmond works?
2. Vote in Primary on Tuesday, June 13!
Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam
Former Congressman Tom Periello
The 2017 Primary is just a little over two weeks away, with contested races for both Governor and Lieutenant Governor. We've got great candidates in both seats. So please make sure to get out to vote.
The deadline to register to vote before the primary has passed. But if you are a registered voter, you can request a mail-in absentee ballot by applying HERE, or at your Registrar's office, by June 6.
In-person absentee voting is an even easier process and has already begun. Just vote at your Registrar's office between now and Saturday June 10:
City of Alexandria: 132 Royal St #100, Alexandria
In-person Absentee Voting Hours: Monday-Saturday: 8 am - 5 pm;
Special late-night voting hours: Wed., May 31, Thurs. June 1, and Tues. June 6: 8 am - 8 pm
Arlington County: 2100 Clarendon Blvd #320, Arlington
In-person Absentee Voting Hours: Monday-Friday 8 am - 5 pm; Sat. June 10: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Fairfax County: 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, Fairfax
In-person Absentee Voting Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri 8am-4:30pm; Thur 8am-7pm; Sat 6/3 and 6/10 9am-5pm (Voting on June 10 from 9am-5pm also at 6121 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310 and at 2511 Parkers Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306)
3. Memorial Day Ceremony (tomorrow on Monday)
While some have come to associate Memorial Day with barbecues and the beginning of summer, we should always remember the real meaning of the day is to honor those who gave their lives in the service of our great nation. Alexandria will be having a Memorial Day ceremony at 11am tomorrow (Monday) just outside the Mt. Vernon Community Center in Del Ray (2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, 22305). The plaza that will host this event is known as the Captain Rocky Versace Plaza and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and it will be my distinct honor and privilege to present a memorial resolution that I passed through the General Assembly this session honoring the life and legacy of Captain Versace, a Vietnam War hero who grew up right here in Alexandria.
4. Combined Sewer Townhall (this Tuesday)
As you probably know, the issues surrounding Alexandria's combined sewer system have been among the most contentious that we've faced, both in Richmond and around here. There have been a lot of questions that deserve answers, and I think it's important for you to hear from your local officials and your representatives in Richmond about this.
That's why, at my encouragement, the City is having a joint town hall meeting this Tuesday at 7pm at Lee Center (1108 Jefferson St, Alexandria, 22314). Get all the details on this complex problem from your City's staff. I'll be there to answer questions as well.
5. Reception for Donte Tanner (this Wednesday)
I've talked a lot about Mission 51, my objective of winning back the majority in the House of Delegates. That's why I'll be hosting a fundraiser at my house (805 Rivergate Place, Alexandria) this Wednesday at 7pm to support Donte Tanner, our candidate in the 40th district (western Fairfax and a small part of Prince William) to take on Republican Del. Tim Hugo. The 40th was one of 17 districts that are currently held by Republicans but were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. If we just get our voters back out there this year, we can win each of those districts and take the 51 seats we need to control the House.
6. 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (this Thursday)
One of my proudest accomplishments has been the Federal Victims of Crime Act grant that I worked to obtain with Sen. Barbara Favola and Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol to ensure that at least one sexual assault nurse examiner would be available in Northern Virginia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Fairfax INOVA hospital. Now victims of sexual assault won't have to wait several hours after a traumatic experience to get the care they need and deserve. On Thursday morning at 9 am, we'll be making this announcement at a joint press conference at Fairfax INOVA Hospital. (8110 Gatehouse Rd, Falls Church, 22042).
First Annual Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza
A Big Success!
We had a great event at Freddie's Beach Bar this Thursday, the first ever LGBT-focused fundraiser for Democratic Delegate candidates in Northern Virginia. I want to thank the diverse group of performers, everyone who came out or contributed, and Freddie Lutz for being such a great host. If you weren't able to make it out, don't miss out next year, for the second installment of our new annual tradition.
In the Community
Speaking at the 8th Congressional District Democratic Convention
Upcoming Events I Will Be Attending:
Events in which I play a role are in red.
Memorial Day Ceremony
Mt. Vernon Community Center
2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria
Tuesday, May 30 at 7:00 pm
Public Meeting on Alexandria's Combined Sewer System
Alexandria City Hall
301 King Street
Sister Cities' Room 1101
Wednesday, May 31 at 7:00 pm
Reception for Dante Tanner
Candidate for 40th Delegate District
My home, 805 Rivergate Place, Alexandria
Thursday, June 1 at 9:00 am
Press Conference on
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
INOVA, 8110 Gatehouse Rd, Falls Church
Thursday, June 1 at 6:00 pm
Best of Arlington
Mercedes-Benz, 484 N Glebe Rd, Arlington
Friday, June 2 at 6:00 pm
NOVA Labor Federation Tribute to Labor Dinner
Sheraton Tysons Hotel, 8661 Leesburg Pk, Tysons
Saturday, June 3 at 2:30 pm
Market Square, Old Town Alexandria
Sunday, June 4 at 1:00 pm
Taste of Del Ray
Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria
Monday, June 5 at 7:30 pm
Alexandria Democratic Committee Meeting
Minnie Howard School, 3801 Braddock Rd, Alexandria
Tuesday, June 6 at 7:00 pm
Arlington County Civic Federation Legislative Panel
Hazel Auditorium, Virginia Hospital Center, 1701 N George Mason Dr, Arlington
Friday, June 9 at 2:00 pm
Bill Signing Ceremony for My Legislation
HB 2127 (Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights)
State Capitol, Richmond
Tuesday, June 13
Primary Election Day
Please stand with us.
It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax in Virginia's 45th District
P.S. If you've read all the way through and appreciate the hard work I've done, please consider a small donation. :-)