Last week, recognizing that people needed a forum to get answers to tough questions from local law enforcement leaders, I hosted a town hall with local law enforcement leaders from Arlington and Alexandria. "Panelists" included:
- Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown
- Arlington Police Chief Jay Farr
- Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter; and
- Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti
I want to thank everyone who participated and apologize profusely for not having been aware prior to the meeting of zoom's 100-person limit on attendees.
You can watch the town hall recording by clicking the image below.
The first 10 minutes featuring comments from Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring and myself were not recorded. I started the recording as soon as I realized that I would not be able to allow more than 100 to attend on my Zoom Account. Again, I do apologize profusely for that.
I thought the discussion went well and many of your questions were answered.
But I'm also aware that you didn't get a chance to speak.
So let's have another conversation this Sunday.
Let's listen to one another.
Let's share our outrage, our pain, our sorrows, our hopes, and our plans to move forward from here.
Listening Session on Racism, Policing, and a Path Forward
TOMORROW (Sunday, June 7) at 1 - 3 pm
PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, there will be a 100 person limit on this conversation as well. I apologize, but I don't get any state funds to pay for this, in my opinion, essential public service. You still need to be able to talk with me even if we can't meet in person because of the pandemic. Based on my research, virtual conference formats that allow more than 100 attendees to speak are cost prohibitive. They're meant for big for-profit businesses, not state elected officials with paltry budgets. That being said, if the level of interest in taking part in this conversation again exceeds 100, I'll likely be sending you another email soon asking for a donation so I can fund a subscription to a digital meeting platform that allows for greater participation.
Just as last week, I will be recording the session (in its entirety, this time), and sharing with you all and on my social media pages. So all of you will be able to see this. Frankly, we don't have time in two hours to hear 100 people speak, but I hope we can hear from dozens.
If you just want to listen, you don't have to listen live tomorrow. The archive should be posted no later than tomorrow by 4:30 pm on my website, my Facebook page, and Twitter.
But if you do think you may have something to say, please try to arrive early. I will open the zoom room by 12:55 pm and begin promptly at 1 pm. If the room fills to 100, the program will automatically turn you away. But if that happens, please don't fret. You can always try again later, and as I said, the archive will be available. I intend to keep hosting these listening sessions as long as interest in these topics remains high.
And of course, you don't need to attend a listening session for me to hear from you. My contact information is in the upper left of this email. I encourage you to contact me about any issue of importance to you.
March on Washington Today
Later today (Saturday), I'll be back once again to join the demonstrators in Washington, DC protesting police brutality and systemic racism.
The police violence against peaceful protesters particularly concerns me, and I feel it is my patriotic duty as an American to let our nation's leaders know how I feel. I hope many of you will join me across the river. The size of the march will likely show our leaders how many people care.
I will be wearing a double mask and doing my best, under difficult circumstances, to keep a social distance from others. If you come, please do the same. There is still a virus out there, and we must do our best to protect ourselves and others from it. Please do not come if you are particularly susceptible to the virus. (And that's OK. I know that many more of you would be there if it were not for the virus.) Please watch and show your support from home. I'll be posting some of the protest on Facebook live.
Black Lives Matter.
I thank you again for the honor and privilege of serving you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Proudly serving Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax
in the Virginia House of Delegates