Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Newsletter - June 22,2016

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Mark in the News

"The More You Know Trump, the More You Dislike Him"
FOX News (Video)

Celebrating Del Ray
Channel 5 (Video)

Inside AlexRenew
Alexandria Gazette

Remembering D-Day
Connection Newspapers


On the website,
via email,
on Facebook,
or on Twitter.

301 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The Orlando Massacre 

What can still be said about Orlando?

The deadliest shooting in America ... a hate crime in a gay bar ... conducted by a man with a history of domestic violence ... who should have been on the FBI terrorist-watch list...

It leaves me numb, simultaneously enraged and depressed.

I have worked for decades to increase tolerance for LGBT Americans and to sound the alarm about the scourge of domestic violence. Just a few months ago, my bill (HB 1001) to make it illegal for terrorists to buy guns in Virginia was killed by the Republican Majority in the General Assembly.

And then...this.

No wonder this atrocity cuts me to the core.

You too, huh? I know I'm not alone.

And yet, as angry as I am, the kindness of my fellow Americans still moves me to tears. People in the bar risking their own lives to save others. Our police and first responders risking their lives to save others, as they do every day across the country.

Perhaps most moving were the long lines around the blood banks. Complete strangers, with no connection to the fallen but their compassion, waiting hours until they were turned away because the blood banks were full. Selflessly giving blood to a community that poignantly cannot give it back. (Gay men like me cannot legally donate blood.)

Thank you to everyone who attended the Alexandria Vigil for Orlando sponsored by Moms Demand Action: faith leaders, my fellow Members of the General Assembly, local officials, and LGBT activists.

Most of all, thank you to the many hundreds who heard my cry from the heart in the youtube video below. Thank you to the very large number of you who did what I asked you to do. You called your Virginia Senators and demanded they join the filibuster and keep fighting until we have common-sense gun safety reform. Senator Mark Warner told me personally of the impact of your many calls.

And that's why, despite all the odds against us, I have hope. When 90% of Americans (including 90% of Republicans) support universal background checks and oppose terrorists easily buying AR-15s, I know we can win, against even the stringent opposition of the NRA leadership. Even if we have to vote out of office every one of the NRA's Delegates, Senators, and Congressman...

I know we will lose at first. Every great cause loses at first. But I also know, with your help, we will eventually win. Keep calling your elected representatives. Urge your friends and neighbors to do the same. Vote out the ones who won't listen. The victims of Orlando cry out to us. We hear their voices in our hearts. 

Fireworks on the Potomac 

Please excuse the awkward segue from the tragic to the joyous. But life does go on. And we in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax have good cause to celebrate.

On Saturday July 9 from 7-10 pm, please join me at my home, 805 Rivergate Place in Alexandria, for my annual riverfront fundraiser.

Every year, we shamelessly co-opt Alexandria’s annual fireworks celebration that occurs on the Saturday night after July 4. While some celebrate in neighboring Oronoco Park, I'm told the better social gathering occurs at The Levine Home next door in Rivergate Park, because we sit among our finest fellow Democrats as we eat, sip wine, drink beer, and ooh and ahh at the great views of the fireworks over the Potomac. Come early to get a good lawn seat or come later after the festivities at Oronoco. 

All proceeds from "Fireworks on the Potomac" go to help elect Democrats (including me) to the General Assembly. Tickets: $50 for General Admission, $35 for Young Democrats under 35, $100 for Supporters, and $250 for Team Levine Donors. You can buy tickets here.

Street parking is sparse that evening. But parking garages at 44 Canal Street and 700 North Fairfax Drive are just a block or two away. (Last year, parking was just $5.) Or you can take Dash Buses 2 or 5 from Braddock Metro to the corner of Fairfax and Madison and walk a block to the river. Last year, more than hundred people attended. This year, we’re hoping for more. Let's make the hill come alive with the sounds of patriotic happy Democrats.

Mark's Monthly Meetup

Please join me on Saturday June 25th at Del Ray Cafe, 205 E. Howell Ave in Alexandria at 1:30 pm, for my monthly meetup that occurs the last Saturday of every month. No donation required. Just a place to sit and talk and (for most of us) eat. I love to know what's on my mind of constituents and supporters.

Governor Signs My EMS Compact Into Law

Last week in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe signed my first bill into law. The bill makes it easier for Emergency Medical Services to cross state lines in an emergency. If we had a terrible emergency in Alexandria (God forbid), I would want the very best from DC to cross the 14th Street Bridge and from Maryland to cross the Wilson Bridge to come to our aid. And I know our fine first responders in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax would jump at the chance to aid their fellow Americans in the District or in Maryland, if they were in emergency need.

I was a chief co-patron of this bipartisan bill, which I introduced as HB 1007. My version was folded into HB 222 with the support of Republican Delegate Chris Stolle, Republican Senator Bill DeSteph, Democratic Delegate Mark Keam, and Republican Delegate Robert Orrock. It becomes law on July 1, 2016.

And Lots More...

Wearing orange with constituents in Del Ray to raise awareness of gun violence,
this picture was taken just a week or two before the tragic events in Orlando.

Supporting workers in their fight for fair wages

Greeting voters on Election Day in Arlington,
I visited every one of my five Arlington precincts.

Cutting the ribbon at a new business (Four Direction Wellness) in Del Ray

Celebrating Del Ray on Channel 5 with the Alexandria Fire Department.
See the video in the News Section in the Left-Hand Column.

Commemorating D-Day at Market Square

Honoring first responders at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center

Don't forget to come to my Monthly Meet-Up, this Saturday June 25 at 1:30 pm!

It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.

Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfaxin Virginia's 45th District