Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Newsletter - June 10, 2017

Ralph Northam for Governor

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and me

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. 

In the General Assembly, Northampton fought an invasive transvaginal ultrasound bill intended to shame Virginia women. He took on the tobacco industry by working with then-Governor Tim Kaine to pass a smoking ban in restaurants. And time and time again, I’ve seen him stand up to the NRA in favor of common-sense gun safety. It’s this kind of leadership that has earned Ralph the endorsement of key progressive groups like the Virginia Education Association, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and NARAL—not to mention the Washington Post. 

As governor, Ralph Northam will work hard to make progress every single day in Virginia, and that’s why we need to elect him as our next governor. Tom Perriello is a good, intelligent, well-spoken man who has accomplished a lot. And if he's the nominee, I'll be happy to support him and work hard to do so. But Ralph Northam has the most experience in Richmond and around Virginia. He has more direct experience with the critical issues in the Commonwealth, and importantly, he knows who to work with and how to work with them. If there's an issue we need help on, Ralph can call on his former colleagues, both Demoratic and Republican, to get the job done. In a state where our Governor is unfortunately unable to be re-elected, it's important to have a candidate who can hit the ground running. Ralph Northam is ready to be Governor on Day 1, and he could move this state forward quickly and effectively.

The Republican alternative is frightening. President Trump’s candidate of choice is Ed Gillespie, a Washington lobbyist with a Rolodex filled with big business clients like Enron. I've seen first-hand the kinds of terrible bills that would be signed into law if we had a Governor like Ed Gillespie. Virginia could turn into North Carolina faster than you think and, with further Republican gerrymandering, stay that way until 2031. This election will determine Virginia's future for the next fourteen years. If we want to keep a Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion and beat Gillespie in November, we need the strongest candidate possible. 

We need Ralph Northam.

Please make sure you make a plan to vote on Tuesday. Polls will be open from 6am-7pm. You can find your polling place at IWillVote.com. Don't forget to bring an accepted photo ID; you can find info on that HERE.

My Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights Signed into Law 

Yesterday (Friday, June 9), I was down in Richmond for a ceremonial signing of HB 2127, the bill I introduced this year to protect Virginia survivors of sexual assault.
 
This new law (H2127) signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe primarily does three things: first and most importantly, it guarantees that evidence of sexual assault will be preserved until at least age 28. This way, child survivors will have the time, maturity, and financial independence to press charges. Second, the new law gives survivors of sexual assault of any age the option of extending the storage of evidence by 10 years at a time (as many times as they want) if they are not ready to pursue charges at that time. And third, it requires law enforcement to take reasonable efforts to notify survivors 60 days prior to destroying this vital evidence.
 
Survivors are also notified of their rights and are never charged for the cost of collecting or preserving this criminal evidence.
 
It was an honor to celebrate this occasion with the Governor, as well as to have it documented by a wonderful crew from CNN as they follow the legal strides being made to protect survivors of sexual assault. 
 
As most perpetrators of this crime are repeat offenders, getting justice for survivors not only brings them peace of mine; the prosecution of their offenders actually diminishes the likelihood of future sexual assaults.
 

 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

 

One of my proudest accomplishments has been the $559,000 state and federal 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. With Attorney General Mark Herring, we presented this grant to the great, hardworking team at Inova last week. Particular thanks to Mary Hale at INOVA for administering this grant and for joining me in Richmond yesterday.

     

InfantSEE - FREE eye exams for infants

If you have a child under 12 months old, consider getting them an eye examination. That may not be the first thing on every parent's mind, but if a child does have serious eye problems, it's important to identify it as early as possible. That's why a new program called InfantSEE provides free eye examinations to any infant between 6 and 12 months old. Go to InfantSEE.org to find a participating optometrist in your area.

In the Community

Presenting Captain Rocky Versace's family with a memorial resolution honoring his life and legacy on Memorial Day

Speaking at Alexandria's public meeting about the combined sewer project

Hosting a fundraiser for Donte Tanner, the Democratic nominee for the 40th House district against Del. Tim Hugo

At Best of Arlington with Doorways domestic violence shelter

With former NOVA Labor President Dan Duncan at the Tribute to NOVA Labor Dinner

Speaking to the Alexandria Democratic Committee

The Arlington Civic Federation's Legislative Panel

Upcoming Events I Will Be Attending:
Please join me.

Events in which I play a role are in red.

Monday, June 12 7:30pm
Alexandria Interfaith Ramadan Dinner
Alexandria Renew, 1800 Limerick St, Alexandria

Tuesday, June 13
Primary Election Day

Tuesday, June 13 7:30pm
Ralph Northam Election Night Watch Party
Highline RxR Restaurant, 2010 Crystal Dr, Arlington

Wednesday-Friday, June 14-16
National Counsel of State Legislatures
Three-Day Seminar on Elections Technology

Williamsburg

Tuesday, June 27 1:30pm
Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence
State Capitol, Richmond

Sunday, July 2 2:00pm
Mark's Monthly Meetup
Los Tios, 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria


Saturday, July 8 7:00pm
Third Annual Fireworks Over the Potomac
805 Rivergate Place, Alexandria


Please stand with us.

We need to elect more Democrats this November. If you support the work I'm doing, could you please help me raise more funds for the House Democratic Caucus?
 
Simply put, the more funds we get, the more campaigns we can fund and the better chance we have to get a Democratic majority.
 
Can you chip in $50, $100, or $500?  Please donate whatever you can by clicking the big blue button.

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. :-)