We are very close to the election, and many people have already cast their ballots. Many more will do so as early in-person voting and they have until Saturday at 5 p.m. to do so. In our part of Virginia, the main item on the ballot this year are elections of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In October, the Chambers of Commerce in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Danville areas invited the two people seeking election to the Fifth District Congressional to have a virtual conversation. Republican Bob Good and Democrat Josh Throneburg sat down in two separate chats, but this newsletter and podcast puts them together.
However, legislation has been filed in the past to end Virginia’s participation in the practice, which began in 1918 with the federal Standard Time Act as a wartime cost-savings measure. The practice dropped in 1919 but became permanent again with the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Delegate Nicholas Freitas (R-30) filed a bill earlier this year (HB303) that would have disconnected Virginia from the federal requirement but it died in a General Laws subcommittee on February 3.
On Friday afternoon, the administration of Governor Glenn Youngkin announced it would seek to overturn a Virginia Department of Education policy put in place last year to protect the rights of transgendered students. Bills passed the 2020 General Assembly directing the department to create such model policies for all localities to follow.
“The key guiding principle of the model policies is that all children have a right to learn, free from discrimination and harassment,” reads page eight of the 2021 policy that resulted. (download the 2021 policy)
Now, Youngkin is proposed replacing that document with one called “Model Policies for Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools”
“The 2021 Model Policies promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools,” reads the purpose section of the new policy .”The 2021 Model Policies also disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students.”
In March 2021, former Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning state agencies from buying, selling, or distributing single-use plastics.
His successor, Governor Glenn Youngkin, has called that directive “burdensome” and yesterday replaced it with a new one that directs state agencies to recognize the value of recycling.
“It is the policy of the Commonwealth, and all executive branch state agencies, including state institutions of higher education, and their concessioners (Agency or Agencies) to increase awareness of the importance of recycling and better capture recyclable material, as well as encourage the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) products and biodegradable materials,” reads Executive Order 17.
There’s new leadership in the Charlottesville Democratic Committee. At a reorganizational meeting on Monday, about a hundred participants selected John McLaren and Dashad Cooper to serve as the co-chairs of the committee.
McLaren is a resident of the Martha Jefferson neighborhood and Cooper is a student at Piedmont Virginia Community College who worked on the City Council campaigns of Brian Pinkston and Juandiego Wade.
The vice chair is Nancy Damon, a Fry’s Spring resident and former member of the Charlottesville Planning Commission. The secretary will continue to be Mary Ann Harris. Jason Vandever is the party’s treasurer. Vandever was elected as the city’s treasurer in a special election in 2013 and has held the position ever since.
The Republican Party of Charlottesville has not fielded a City Council candidate since 2015 when Anson Parker was their candidate. The chair of the party in Charlottesville is Dan Moy and the treasurer is Buddy Weber. Weber ran for Council in 2013 along with former Planning Commissioner Mike Farruggio.