Mark in the News
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Veto Session Today!
Although the session officially ended a month ago, the Virginia Constitution calls on all of us to return today at noon to vote on the Governor's 32 vetoes, 47 recommendations, and 30 budget amendments. As you read this, please know that I'm in Richmond right now working hard for you.
I was thrilled to see Governor McAuliffe veto some of the worst bills to come out of this session, including bills that would have defunded Planned Parenthood, blocked the Clean Power Plan, and made it easier for criminals to have access guns (and even reduce criminal penalties for pointing a gun at someone). He vetoed bills that vilified undocumented immigrants, extended tax breaks for coal companies, and made it harder to register to vote.
The Governor also vetoed a bill that would have given special benefits to those who practice religious prejudice against same-sex couples. This would have not only been a clear violation of the First Amendment's prohibition against "religious establishment by the Government"; it would also have put Virginia in the category of pariah states like North Carolina and Mississippi whose legislative bigotry has led to boycotts and economic losses. Altogether, the Governor vetoed 32 bills.
I applaud the Governor for taking strong stands on these issues. And I will have the Governor's back.
Today, I will join with my fellow Democrats to sustain the Governor's vetoes and defeat these terrible bills. And I expect today will be a very good day for Democrats and for Virginia. I shudder to think of what would happen to Virginia without a Democratic Governor. If we don't elect Ralph Northam in 2017, all of these horrible bills will be back. Only this time, they will become law. We must do everything in our power to help Democrats win in 2017.
Governor McAuliffe has also made a number of recommendations on bills we passed and several improvements to the budget, including support for solar energy, funding to develop the Clean Power Plan, making Government more transparent, removing restrictive language relating to women's reproductive health, and providing overtime to attendants who provide much needed care to those with disabilities. I will be fighting alongside my colleagues to get the House to approve these changes so that your taxpayer dollars are spent on the priorities we care about.
But I Can't Do it Alone
We worked hard this session, and I continue to fight every day for our progressive values and for the promotion of open and transparent Government. That's why I spend so much time meeting the public, going to functions two or three times a day, responding to constituents, and writing you these detailed newsletters.
But to keep this fight going, we also really need your support. Having donated many thousands of dollars to the Democratic House Caucus, to other Democratic races, to local Democratic Committees, and to various hard-working progressive non-profit organizations who seek my support, my campaign has very little remaining in its bank account. There's not even enough to pay for the many events I'm asked to attend, much less help the many Democratic candidates throughout the Commonwealth that need our help. Plus I will need your support to help the Democratic numbers grow in 2017.
I don't like our current campaign fundraising system. But more dollars means winning more elections. And in order to stop a lot of the bad things Republicans throw at us in the General Assembly, I need more Democratic colleagues in the General Assembly.
We could really use your help. Please donate $20.16, $45 or whatever you can by clicking here.
Mark's Monthly Meet-Up
Starting Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 pm and continuing the last Saturday of every month through the end of the year, I will host "Mark's Monthly Meet-Up" at Cafe Del Ray, 205 E. Howell Avenue.
Please join us upstairs at this lovely Del Ray French restaurant for my very first one. We will sit and talk and discuss and eat. I love to know what's on my mind of constituents and other supporters. And I'm looking forward to this becoming a monthly tradition.
Alexandria Route One Transitway Extends to Arlington
The new transitway along Route 1 now stretches all the way from Braddock Road Metro to Pentagon City! I was thrilled to be a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony along with other public officials. Improving our transit infrastructure is a huge priority for me, and projects like these will go a long way towards both relieving congestion and shortening commutes.
Cutting the ribbon for the new Transitway; talking with former Congressman Jim Moran; meeting with the public and public officials in charge of the Transitway
Social Action Linking Together
I was grateful to have the opportunity to participate in SALT’s annual legislative wrap up, along with many of my colleagues in the General Assembly. SALT has worked hard to support our most vulnerable residents, and we’ve had many successes this year, including an increase in TANF benefits, expanded workforce apprenticeships for the poorest Virginians, and extending foster care support to cover those between the ages of 18 and 21. There is much more that we can do, and I look forward to making more progress next year.
Senator Peterson, Delegate Plum, Mark, and Delegate Krizek.
Alexandria City Council
The Alexandria City Council invited me to come speak about how our work in Richmond this year will affect Alexandria. I spoke about how the funding increase I helped obtain for Children’s Advocacy Centers will enable The Center for Alexandria’s Children to better serve the victims of child sexual abuse, helping them to feel more comfortable as they go through the difficult process of helping law enforcement prosecute their abusers. I also talked about the General Assembly's greatest failure this session: throwing away the hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars Virginia taxpayers pay every year for Medicaid Expansion that now goes to other states.
Mark after addressing Alexandria City Council.
Fighting This Fall's Anti-Union Initiative
I participated in a robust discussion of how to fight the Anti-Union “Work for Nothing” Constitutional Amendment on the Ballot in November with the Labor Committee of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.
A lot of good ideas and great activists
I've been very busy but loving every minute. There's so much that needs to be done.
And it is always my honor and privilege to serve you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax in Virginia's 45th District