Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

I am excited about what this session and year will hold for all of us. This Sunday -- in what will become weekly newsletters all during session -- I will share the legislation I am introducing this year. My 2019 legislative slate will, as always, be focused on protecting the most vulnerable among us. And of course, I will be introducing my comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to make sure that people aren't discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Click the photo below to view my two-minute announcement of this legislation at Monday's press conference with Equality Virginia.

 Congratulations to my friend, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, on her election as the new Democratic Leader. Eileen will play a critical role in leading us to a Democratic majority in 2019. Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn is the first woman to ever lead a political caucus in the 400-year history of the Virginia House of Delegates and the almost 250 years of the Virginia Senate. Frankly, it's about time.

After a number of you reached out to me about issues with Metro closures, I spoke at length with Greg Potts, Virginia Government Relations Officer for Metro.

I wanted to make sure Metro has learned the lessons of what happened over the Veterans' Day Weekend so that in the two weeks after Thanksgiving (when the Yellow Line Bridge across the Potomac is shut down) and in the summer of 2019 when all stations south of the Airport will be shut down), the process will be much smoother for everyone.

We discussed making sure 1) sufficient buses were available; 2) sufficient signage was available; and 3) sufficient personnel were there to tell people what to do and where to go. I also made clear that the airport could have better handled the process by which it transferred folks from the airport shuttle to the Metro shuttle.

In just a few hours, the vast majority of us will sit down with extended family, friends, and acquaintances to enjoy Thanksgiving. We all will be surrounded by good food and great cheer in this uniquely American tradition. And probably, if your family is anything like mine, y'all won't agree on all things political. There will be a tendency by many not to want to talk about the state of our nation in these troubled times. Some will just want to be festive. And that's an understandable thing to do. But most of us have an uncle or a cousin, an acquaintance, or a friend... I've been thinking about whether there is an antidote to Trump-Talk. In only eight or nine words. That is enthralled by the personality cult that is Trumpism.

As everyone in Northern Virginia with a pulse knows by now, Amazon has announced it will be splitting its new headquarters between Arlington/Alexandria and New York City. As the only Virginia Delegate to represent both Alexandria and Arlington, I've been watching developments closely. About two-thirds of the area that will soon be called National Landing will be located in the 45th district I'm honored to represent in the House of Delegates.

The same day Amazon announced its intention to build its headquarters in Crystal City (Arlington), Alexandria announced the creation of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in the city’s Oakville Triangle between Del Ray and Potomac Yard.

Lots of congratulations are in order:
Congratulations to Democrats winning the House of Representatives last night.
Congratulations to Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Don Beyer.
Congratulations to Virginia's New Members-Elect of Congress Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, and Elaine Luria.

Have you made your plan to vote? Do you know your polling location? Do you know how you're getting to the polls? I am walking to my polling location, Ladrey Senior Center, at 10:30 am tomorrow, and I am bringing my driver's license as ID. 

My usual newsletter will come out as a separate post. But sometimes, I'm moved to poetry. And that seems to work better in a separate email.

As I write this newsletter, I'm watching CNN. I'm simultaneously horrified, depressed, and enraged. It is reported that a well-armed gun enthusiast, with a long history of posting hateful comments about Jews, took his licensed AR-15 assault weapon and gunned down worshippers at a baby-naming ceremony at a Shabbat service while shouting, "All Jews must die!" 11 are dead. 6 are injured, including the brave law enforcement who confronted him.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You may already know how domestic violence has affected my family. If you don't, you can learn more by reading this 2015 article in the Washington Post about my fight for justice for my sister and my family. Because of how personal this issue is for me, fighting for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence has been one of my top priorities since long before I was first elected. This month, I participated in numerous public awareness events and behind-the-scenes strategizing with women's advocates to make sure we do everything in our power to stop the scourge of domestic and sexual violence.

I will send my ordinary newsletter soon. But for now, I send this plea from the heart. This confirmation process has made it clear that we need more women in power. At the local, state, and federal levels. We Democrats have almost achieved parity but not quite. Republicans are a long way off.