Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Newsletter - May 27, 2019

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Watch my kickoff speech!

Video: Del. Mark Levine –
History Proves 2019 Virginia Elections Are the Key to American Democracy After 2020

Blue Virginia

Learn about the Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza.

Rainbow Fundraiser Reminds
Virginia That Elections Matter

Falls Church News-Press

Watch me on FOX & Friends!

Defending Joe Biden

Reminding Fox Viewers that Americans are Suffering Economically Under Trump

Listen to a snippet on the radio as I discuss local business.

A 30-second interview on Lost Boy Cider's arrival in Alexandria 

Read a Letter to the Editor from a constituent.

Your Views: Sewers were an unfunded mandate
Alexandria Times


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

Or by mail and phone:

Richmond Office:
Pocahontas Building
900 East Main Street, Suite E208
Richmond, VA 23219

Alexandria Office:
301 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

This Memorial Day, let us rededicate ourselves to increase our own devotion to honor the members of the military who, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "gave the last full measure of devotion" in service to our country. Let us reflect with gratitude on how they made the ultimate sacrifice and work toward doing the utmost to prevent lives from being unnecessarily lost in the present or in the future. 

I am honored to represent so many service members, veterans, and service families. Please join me this morning at 11 am at the Captain Rocky Versace and Vietnam Veterans Memorial outside the Mount Vernon Recreation Center at 2701 Commonwealth Avenue for a special Memorial Day service.

As we honor those who lost their lives, may we also cherish all those wounded warriors who gave our country everything they could and then some more. May we also celebrate those who remain abroad, separated from their families and wondering when they'll be able to return home. Let us give special thanks to those who, despite being banned by prejudice from serving openly (see below), still sacrifice themselves in putting service before self.

Wishing everyone a thoughtful and reflective Memorial Day. 

This THURSDAY, May 30
My Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza!

All Democrats and the entire Rainbow community are invited to my annual LGBT+ talent show,
an evening of humor and song, storytelling and karaoke, partying and politics.

With our Progressive Majority, we will finally pass the anti-discrimination bills that failed every Session I've served in the General Assembly.
All are welcome, straight and gay, young and old, whether you are cis, trans, non-binary, an ally, or any other color of the rainbow.
This is the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that began America's gay revolution.

So you'll hear from Don Davenport, who was in the Stonewall Inn on that fateful day 
police invaded to arrest the patrons and the patrons (many in drag) fought back.

And of course your standard mix of lesbian comediennes, trans rock and rollers,
gay singers, and personal coming out stories (including my own!) 

This is not your standard political fundraiser. 
We're putting on a fabulous show!
Reserve your ticket now to avoid surcharges on May 30.
Give more than the minimum to get special gifts, like pocket US and Virginia Constitutions.

Speaking Truth to Fox Viewers

Click videos to watch

Defending Joe Biden on Fox and Friends

Some of my liberal friends tell me that when progressives go on Fox News, it legitimizes the famously biased pro-Trump propaganda channel.

I disagree. While I do understand why the Democratic National Committee prefers unbiased channels for its primary debates, I don't think if I personally refused to go on Fox, it would change the nature or prejudice of Rupert Murdoch's notoriously conservative disinformation channel.

Instead, I prefer to use whatever limited time they give me to call out lies on their platform. It's a very large platform. And I believe there is at least some small percentage of Fox News viewers who actually do have the capacity to listen to what I say and respond to facts and reason.

I've attached two recent examples, the first in defense of Joe Biden and the second making clear that all is not rosy under Trumponomics. How do you think I did?

Click the videos to watch. 

Reminding Fox Viewers that Democrats Support Economic Policies that Benefit ALL Americans, even those who aren't Millionaires!

The 2019 Summer Alexandria
Metro Shutdown is Upon Us;
Station Platform Renovations Begin

There is no gentle way to say this, but the shutdown has already begun. As you probably know, Alexandria Metro stations will be shuttered all summer long for infrastructure improvements.
It's been almost 40 years since the platforms at Braddock Road and stations further south were constructed, and four decades of deferred maintenance have taken their toll. The entire platforms must be reconstructed. So from Saturday, May 25 through and including Sunday, September 8, 2019, rail service south of Washington National Airport will be replaced by free shuttle bus routes. 
SOUTH of Washington National Airport, most of us will have to use the Yellow Line Shuttle between our home metros and Crystal City, where we can then board trains as usual. (There is also Blue Shuttle service between King Street Metro and the Airport. See maps below.)
Rail service between Washington National Airport, Crystal City, and other points NORTH will operate as usual, with trains operating every four minutes during peak periods.
Unfortunately, if you want to go to the Airport from Braddock Road, there is no longer a direct route this summer. You would have to take the Yellow Shuttle South to King Street Metro and then the Blue Shuttle North to the Airport. And vice versa to go to Braddock from the Airport. (See maps below.)
Parking will be free at Van Dorn St, Franconia-Springfield and Huntington stations.

Free Yellow Shuttle (Note it does NOT stop at the Airport)

Free Blue Shuttle (Note it does NOT stop at Braddock Road.)

Enhanced Metrobus


Other Regional Transportation

More information at link:

Defending Transgender Americans
from the Executive Branch
of the Federal Government 

In 2018, Delegate Danica Roem and I stood together as my comprehensive non-discrimination bill on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity went down to a party-line defeat.

In 2019, I presented the only Rainbow-rights measure to get a floor vote in Virginia.
Every single one of the 49 Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against 
LGBT bigotry. But every single one of the 51 Republicans voted for bigotry.

So long as Republicans retain their bare majority, bigotry will continue to prevail in Virginia.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new policy that would allow housing shelters to refuse to admit homeless gay and trans Americans and to prevent trans folk from using the appropriate public restrooms. 
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also announced a new rule: to prevent transgender individuals from accessing healthcare.
And last month, Trump’s policy of banning transgender Americans from serving in the military went into effect and was also applied to the Virginia National Guard.
This is rank bigotry. And Delegate Danica Roem and I spoke up loudly in protest. 
Read our statements condemning these attacks on America's trans community.

Representation matters. I'm proud to serve as an openly gay man. Danica is proud to serve as an openly trans woman. 

This is why I hold fundraisers showing pride in who we are. 
We must continue to come out unafraid, even in the face of rank prejudice. 
We will not hide who we are any longer.
We shouldn't have to hide at all in the land of the free and the home of the brave. 


Monthly Meetup Next Sunday

Mark your calendars for next weekend, Sunday, June 2, at 2 pm for my monthly meetup at Los Tios in Del Ray. Let's talk about what matters to you. 

Tuesday, June 11 is Primary Day

Early voting has already begun!

As you know, unlike most other states, Virginia has elections in June and November every single year. Primary day -- Tuesday, June 11 -- is right around the corner.

And early voting has already begun. In-person absentee voting for the June 11, 2019 Democratic Primary Election continues through Saturday, June 8. 

Click links below to learn more about how to vote early in your jurisdiction:

Alexandria early voting information

Arlington County early voting information

Fairfax County early voting information

These primary elections may very well decide who becomes the next general election winner in each of these jurisdictions. So please get out and vote!

I have made endorsements in some of the races in the three jurisdictions I'm proud to represent. 

In Alexandria, I support Greg Parks for Clerk of Court.

In Arlington, I support Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth's Attorney and 
Barbara Favola for State Senator.

In Fairfax County, I support Steve Descano for Commonwealth Attorney
Jennifer Boysko for State Senate, and Kelly Hebron for Lee District Supervisor. 

Read my next newsletter to find out why.

Making a Difference...

Starting with this newsletter, we are introducing a new segment which will feature constituents and other Virginians we have helped on a specific issue.

Folks who attended my Campaign Kickoff heard stories from three different families about my work to prevent elder abuse and reform our guardianship laws to make sure people deemed mentally incapacitated can still spend time with their loved ones. If you attended, you surely remember my constituent Mike Jacobs' emotional story of being prevented from seeing his life partner Jane for years as she fell into the depths of Alzheimer's.

If you missed the Kickoff, you can watch their testimonials by clicking below

Click above to watch testimony about my work to prevent elder abuse by guardians.

I will continue to fight for legislation to rein in guardian abuse and protect the right of  people with dementia to see their loved ones.

But, in the meantime, I am happy to report one major success for my constituent Mike Jacobs. This week, after almost two years of being separated from Jane Lopez, his life partner of fourteen years who suffers from dementia, Mike was finally able to see his long-lost love. We will continue to push Jane's guardian to give Mike regular visitation with the woman who called him "the only man I've ever loved."

Mike and Jane, together for the first time in nearly two years!

In the Community

Speaking at the Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting in support of allowing Arlington County to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway. 

United Way's Senior Walk took place on a beautiful day for a beautiful cause: fighting homelessness.

At the Arlington County Democratic Committee's Blue Arlington dinner. 

At the announcement of Lost Boy Cider coming to Alexandria.

Supporting Greg Parks for Alexandria Clerk of Court.

At the NOVA Labor dinner with fellow Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy.

Proud of my constituents and friends, Russ Wiley and Russ Davis, who were honored at the NOVA Labor dinner for their grassroots political activism in support of working people. 

Strategizing with Ben Hoyne of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy about how to build support for my legislation that gives localities the authority to raise their minimum wages.

Meeting with a group of folks at last month's Mark's Monthly Meetup.

At the Shirlington Spring Artisans Market. Great works on display and for sale!

At the Fairfax Labor lunch with union organizers and fellow pro-labor elected officials.

Teaching effective civic action with TC Williams students who asked me about the best way to fight conversion therapy.

Meeting with officials from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
and Arlington County to discuss monitoring wells installed at Fairlington Glen
and the next steps to be taken to protect the community's environmental health. 

Upcoming Events

Please Join Me!

(I personally participate in the events in red)
Monday, May 27
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Memorial Day Ceremony
Captain Rocky Versace Plaza and Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Mount Vernon Recreation Center
2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria
Thursday, May 30
7:00 - 10:00 pm
Mark's 3rd Annual Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza
Freddie's Beach Bar
555 23rd St. S., Arlington
Friday, May 31
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Fundraiser for Delegate Kathy Tran
Home of Anh Phan
218 E. Howell St., Alexandria
Saturday, June 1
9:00 - 12:00 pm
Chesapeake Bay Clean Up with Delegate Karrie Delaney
Oronoco Bay Park
100 Madison Ave., Alexandria

Sunday, June 2

2:00 - 4:00 pm
Mark's Monthly Meetup
Los Tios
2615 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Sunday, June 2
8:30 - 10:00 pm
Close Up (High School) Debate with a Conservative
Key Bridge Marriott
1401 Lee Highway, Arlington
Monday, June 3
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Alexandria Democratic Committee Meeting
Minnie Howard School
3801 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria
Thursday, June 6
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Blue Alexandria Dinner
The Westin Alexandria Old Town
400 Courthouse Square
Tuesday, June 11
Polls open from 6:00 am - 7:00 pm
As usual, I will be visiting
every one of the 23 polling locations
in every one of the 23 precincts
of the 45th District I'm so proud to represent.
I hope to see you there. 

It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.

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