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January 2018

Virginians Disagree on Prohibiting Protests

Senate Panel Rejects Bill Banning Utility Campaign Donations

January 16 & 17 Winter Storm Closings and Delays

Immigrant-Rights Supporters Protest at Inaugural Ball

Senate Panel Votes to Ban Bump Stocks

Dueling Gun Rallies Held at Virginia Capitol

Governor Northam Emphasizes Democratic Priorities, Diversity

Gender Equality Film Coming to the Byrd

KAINE, WARNER, MCEACHIN, CONNOLLY, BEYER, SCOTT ASK TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO LISTEN TO LOCAL VOICES AGAINST OFFSHORE DRILLING

Legislators: You said “’Local voice matters.’ We couldn’t agree more.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Representatives Donald McEachin, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, and Bobby Scott sent a letter to the Trump Administration requesting that Virginia be exempted from its offshore drilling proposal, citing local concerns over the risks to tourism, the watermen’s industry, and the country’s Naval operations.

The Virginia legislators cited Secretary Zinke’s announcement that drilling off the Florida coast was taken “off the table” after listening to “local and state” voices, and asked that the Trump Administration take similar concerns from Virginians just as seriously. Virginia’s coastal leaders -from the Democratic mayor of Norfolk to the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach and the current Governor and Governor-elect of Virginia - have all voiced opposition to drilling off of the Virginia coast.

“As Members of Congress from Virginia, we request you remove the Virginia offshore area from your proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. We note your willingness to listen to local voices in Florida with grave concerns over the risks of offshore drilling there. We ask that you likewise consider local opposition in Virginia’s coastal communities as well as opposition from its Governor, Senators, and House members to a new five-year plan at this point,” the group said.

The full text of the letter appears below.

Dear Secretary Zinke:

As Members of Congress from Virginia, we request you remove the Virginia offshore area from your proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. We note your willingness to listen to local voices in Florida with grave concerns over the risks of offshore drilling there. We ask that you likewise consider local opposition in Virginia’s coastal communities as well as opposition from its Governor, Senators, and House members to a new five-year plan at this point.

The statement from your office announcing the removal of the Florida offshore stated, “Local voice matters.” We couldn’t agree more.

While many states have long histories of energy production, states like Florida and Virginia have robust economies based on other sectors like tourism, aquaculture, outdoor recreation, deepwater port commerce, and especially Department of Defense infrastructure. Florida is home to some 20 DOD installations, while Virginia’s coastal area alone has more than a dozen across every service branch, including Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval installation. While it is within DOD’s mandate to work with Interior, any look at a map displays vast offshore areas in which drilling could conflict with military activities. In a time of relatively stable prices and booming oil and gas production elsewhere, the risks outweigh the benefits.

Opposition to offshore drilling is an opinion broadly shared by communities on the Virginia coast, including by the Democratic mayor of Norfolk and the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach. In fact, the city council of Virginia Beach (Virginia’s most populous city) actively voted to shift its prior support for offshore drilling from supportive to neutral, then from neutral to opposed.

We hope you will take opposition from Virginia coastal communities as seriously as you took the concerns from Florida residents and elected officials.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Hundreds Celebrate Legacies of Dr. King, VUU

Gov. Northam Delivers Message of Hope in Inaugural Address

Annual Point In Time Count to Assess Homeless Population in Crater Area Community support and volunteers needed to assist with the count in multiple locations

The Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH) will conduct a census of people experiencing homelessness throughout the Crater area on Thursday, January 25, 2018, from 4:00 a.m. until 2:00pm   The Point In Time (PIT) count covers the CACH localities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Emporia, Greensville, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Price George and Surry.  CACH will collaborate with local police, departments of social services, food pantries, libraries, schools, and numerous other service providers to identify count sites.

Since 2007, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has required Continuums of Care to conduct an annual count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals.  Results of the PIT directly impact federal funding awarded to regional service providers, and provide direction for future development of services.

The PIT will not only determine how many are homeless, but who is homeless and what factors led to their homelessness.  It will include and count homeless youth and young adults.

Volunteer support is needed during the PIT to collect information on the homeless population in the Crater region, using paper survey forms to ask people about their housing situation and what services they use.  If you are aware of unsheltered sleeping sites or encampments in the community, please describe exact location in an email to esingleton@impassoc.org so that we can try to count those people.

CACH will host volunteer training on January 18, 2018 from 11:30am to 12:30pm at the Hopewell Public Library.  Refreshments will be provided. To register, please contact Erica Singleton at esingleton@impassoc.org or call 434-637-3038.  Volunteers interested in helping with this count must attend the training.

More than 400 Continuums of Care across the nation will call on volunteers to cover 3,000 cities and counties, and will report their findings to HUD.  The 2017 Point In Time Count revealed that, on a single night, 6,067 individuals in Virginia were experiencing homelessness.

Jackson-Feild Re-Accredited by the Council on Accreditation

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services received a three=year re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Founded in 1977, its mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

Reaccreditation is a noteworthy achievement that demonstrates that Jackson-Feild is recognized as a residential treatment provider who successfully implements high performance standards and delivers high quality services to its children. 

Accreditation provides an objective and reliable verification that instills confidence and provides credibility to Jackson-Feild’s parents, donors, board members, community partners and stakeholders. 

The accreditation process involves a detailed self-study that analyses both administrative operations and service delivery practices.  You are “measured” against national standards of best practice. The standards examine Jackson-Feild’s operations and practices to ensure they are accessible, appropriate, responsive, evidence-based and outcomes-oriented.  It confirms that services are provided by a skilled and supportive workforce and that children are treated with dignity and respect.  Accreditation is conferred on the entire organization and not just one specific program or service with the intent to inspire confidence, credibility, integrity and achievement in Jackson-Feild Homes.

Jackson-Feild submitted a comprehensive self-study in which it addressed every standard. A site team of two reviewers spent three days on campus in September interviewing board members, staff and children. They submitted their report which was reviewed by COA and granted re-accreditation.

Tricia Delano, President & CEO, noted that “This is a wonderful milestone.  A great deal of time and hard work went into this process but it is well worth the investment of time, energy and effort. I salute our dedicated staff members who made re-accreditation happen especially Tanyah Jones who coordinated accreditation efforts.

Virginia Lewis Buckner Wrenn

Virginia Lewis Buckner Wrenn, widow of Arthur W. Buckner, Sr. died on January 10, 2018. She was a native of Greensville County, Virginia and the eldest daughter of the late Thomas Edward and Lillian Anderton Lewis of Emporia. She was preceded in death by; her daughter, Carolyn Taylor, son Glen Thomas Buckner, Sr.; and two sisters, Dorothy Taylor and Phyllis Beasley.

She is survived by; two daughters, Lois B. Rook and husband James of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., Kay B. Lynch and husband R.B. of Emporia; son, Arthur W. Buckner, Jr. and wife Susan of Emporia; three sisters, Frances Leonard of Midlothian, VA, Mabel Gillam of Jarratt, VA, and Nancy Castellow of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Ten grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; aunt, Mary Moore of Emporia; and a number of nieces and nephews.

She was former member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church and current member of Independence United Methodist Church. She also attended Main Street Baptist Church in the later years with her second husband, Thomas H. Wrenn, Sr.

She was a life member of “The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary” and “The National Americans Ex-Prisoners of War”. She was also a member of “The American Ex-Prisoners of War of The Commonwealth of Virginia”, American Legion Auxiliary, Bella Unit 46 of Emporia, The Woodmen of The World, Lodge 287 of Emporia.

Services will be held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Jeaux Simmons officiating. Burial will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 7:00 P.M.-8:30 P.M.

Contributions may be made to the Greensville County Volunteer Rescue Squad or the Emporia Fire Department.

Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

Albert F. “Hammer” Justice

Albert F. “Hammer” Justice, 84, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sally J. Justice and a brother, Joseph Justice. Hammer is survived by three sons, Albert F. Justice, Jr. “Phil” and wife, Rose, Kenneth C. “Kenny” Justice and wife, Brenda and Clayton Justice and wife, Renee’; six grandchildren, Carson Justice (Becky), Philip Justice (Elizabeth), Kendra Floyd (Brent), Justin Justice, Hunter Justice (Katelyn) and Blake Justice three great-grandchildren, Cameron Justice, Caleb Justice, Bensen Floyd; two brothers, George “Doc” Justice and wife, Faye and Bernie Justice; three sisters, Polly Wyatt and husband, Walter, Annie Justice and Betty Phillips and husband, Buck and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, January 13 at Fountain Creek Baptist Church where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Jean Lambert

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Lambert, 75, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018. She is survived by her husband, Roy Lambert; two sons, George C. Holloway, III “Skeeter” and wife, Stacy, and James Keith Holloway and wife, Karla; daughter, Randi Fajna; three grandchildren, Kaitlin Holloway, Kelsey Joyner and James Fajna; and a brother, Floyd Hobbs, Jr. . The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, January 14 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Grace Anglican Church. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

WARNER & KAINE SECURE FINAL PASSAGE OF BILL GRANTING RECOGNITION OF VIRGINIA INDIAN TRIBES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner secured final passage of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017. Once signed by the President, the legislation will grant federal recognition of six Virginia tribes: the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond. Many of these include descendants of Pocahontas’ Virginia Powhatan tribe. Kaine and Warner worked with Democratic and Republican colleagues to ensure that the bill made it through to final passage. These tribes had received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia, but had not received federal recognition, which will grant the tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government.

U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives from Virginia have pushed for federal recognition since the 1990s, with Senators George Allen and John Warner first introducing this legislation in the Senate in 2002. Kaine and Warner introduced this legislation in the Senate in the 113th and 114th Congresses, and Warner had introduced it in prior Congresses.

“This is about Virginia tribes that were here and encountered the English when they arrived in [Jamestown] in 1607, the tribes of Pocahontas and other wonderful Virginians. They are living tribes, never recognized by the federal government for a series of reasons. . . . It's a fundamental issue of respect, and fairly acknowledging a historical record, and a wonderful story of tribes that are living, thriving and surviving and are a rich part of our heritage. This is a happy day to stand up on their behalf,” Senator Kaine said on the Senate floor ahead of passage.

“We and some of the folks who are in the gallery today were not sure this day would ever come, but even here in the United States Congress and the United States Senate, occasionally we get things right. And boy, oh, boy, this is a day where we get things right on a civil rights basis, on a moral basis, on a fairness basis, and to our friends who are representatives of some of the six tribes who are finally going to be granted federal recognition, we want to say thank you for their patience, their perseverance, their willingness to work with us and others,” Senator Warner said on the Senate floor ahead of passage.

This version, which originated in the House of Representatives and was introduced by Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, passed in the House unanimously in May.

Congressman Wittman said, “Today we have taken a critical step forward in correcting the Federal Government’s failure to recognize the ‘first contact' tribes of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Decades in the making, federal recognition will acknowledge and protect historical and cultural identities of these tribes for the benefit of all Americans. It will also affirm the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Virginia tribes, and help create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members. I want to thank Senators Kaine and Warner for their support to give these tribes the recognition they have long deserved.”

Once signed by the President, federal recognition will allow Virginia’s tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government. Further, it would allow tribes to:

  • Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes;
  • Repatriate the remains of their ancestors in a respectful manner. Many of these remains reside in the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains; and
  • Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access care.

These tribal leaders were in attendance in the Senate Gallery for the vote:

  • W. Frank Adams, Chief, Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
  • Stephen R. Adkins, Chief, Chickahominy Indian Tribe
  • Wayne B. Adkins, Chair of VITAL
  • Dean Branham, Chief, Monacan Nation
  • Lee Lockamy, Chief Nansemond Indian Tribe
  • Frank Richardson, representing Chief Anne Richardson, Rappahannock Tribe
  • Gerald A. Stewart, Assistant Chief, Eastern Chickahominy Indian Tribe

3 Legislators Call for Stricter Pipeline Standards

Religious Leaders Call for Expanding Health Care

Higher Ed Advocates Lobby Legislators

Virginia Grocery Investment Fund Seeks to End ‘Food Deserts’

Like Florida, Virginia Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption

Outgoing Governor Urges Lawmakers to ‘Work Together’

A Last-Minute Guide to Governor’s Inauguration

Pastor Preaches Forgiveness at Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Black Caucus aims to help disadvantaged

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Official Portrait Unveiled

WARNER, WARREN INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO HOLD CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES LIKE EQUIFAX ACCOUNTABLE FOR DATA BREACHES

~ Bill would establish cybersecurity inspections, impose mandatory penalties, and compensate consumers for stolen data ~

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced today the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs)—including Equifax—accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs, impose mandatory penalties on CRAs to incentivize adequate protection of consumer data, and provide robust compensation to consumers for stolen data.

In September 2017, Equifax announced that hackers had stolen sensitive personal information – including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and passport numbers – of over 145 million Americans. The attack highlighted that CRAs hold vast amounts of data on millions of Americans but lack adequate safeguards against hackers. Since 2013, Equifax has disclosed at least four separate hacks in which sensitive personal data was compromised.

“In today’s information economy, data is an enormous asset. But if companies like Equifax can’t properly safeguard the enormous amounts of highly sensitive data they are collecting and centralizing, then they shouldn’t be collecting it in the first place,” said Sen. Warner. “This bill will ensure that companies like Equifax – which gather vast amounts of information on American consumers, often without their knowledge – are taking appropriate steps to secure data that’s central to Americans’ identity management and access to credit.”

“The financial incentives here are all out of whack – Equifax allowed personal data on more than half the adults in the country to get stolen, and its legal liability is so limited that it may end up making money off the breach,” said Sen. Warren. “Our bill imposes massive and mandatory penalties for data breaches at companies like Equifax – and provides robust compensation for affected consumers – which will put money back into peoples’ pockets and help stop these kinds of breaches from happening again.”

The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would establish an Office of Cybersecurity at the FTC tasked with annual inspections and supervision of cybersecurity at CRAs. It would impose mandatory, strict liability penalties for breaches of consumer data beginning with a base penalty of $100 for each consumer who had one piece of personal identifying information (PII) compromised and another $50 for each additional PII compromised per consumer. To ensure robust recovery for affected consumers, the bill would also require the FTC to use 50% of its penalty to compensate consumers and would increase penalties in cases of woefully inadequate cybersecurity or if a CRA fails to timely notify the FTC of a breach.

The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act is supported by cybersecurity experts and consumer groups:

“U.S. PIRG commends Senators Warren and Warner for the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act. It will ensure that credit bureaus protect your information as if you actually mattered to them and it will both punish them and compensate you when they fail to do so,” said U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director, Ed Mierzwinski.

"This bill establishes much-needed protections for data security for the credit bureaus. It also imposes real and meaningful penalties when credit bureaus, entrusted with our most sensitive financial information, break that trust," said National Consumer Law Center staff attorney, Chi Chi Wu.

"Senator Warner and Senator Warren have proposed a concrete response to a serious problem facing American consumers,” said Electronic Privacy Information Center President, Marc Rotenberg.

"This bill creates greater incentive for these companies to handle our data with care and gives the Federal Trade Commission the tools that it needs to hold them accountable,” said Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at Consumer Federation of America, Susan Grant.

Sen. Warner has been a leader in calling for better consumer protections from data theft. Following the Equifax data breach, Sen. Warner asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine whether credit reporting agencies such as Equifax have adequate cybersecurity safeguards in place for “the enormous amounts of sensitive data they gather and commercialize.” He slammed the credit bureau for its cybersecurity failures and weak response at a Banking Committee hearing with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton last year. Similarly, in the aftermath of the 2013 Target breach that exposed the debit and credit card information of 40 million customers, Sen. Warner chaired the first congressional hearing on protecting consumer data from the threat posed by hackers targeting retailers’ online systems. Sen. Warner has also partnered with the National Retail Federation to establish an information sharing platform that allows the industry to better protect consumer financial information from data breaches.

To view a fact sheet about the legislation, click here. The bill text can be found here

Celebrating Our Nation’s Diversity

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality.

Diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective is what you want when putting together a strong team. In a way, America is a super team of diverse members, all of whom dream of prosperity and success. Many people honor Martin Luther King, Jr. for dedicating his life to showing us that diversity is a strength.

Social Security’s “People Like Me” website has custom information for preparing for your future. Our diverse country is made up of countless backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities, yet we all want the same thing — a secure future. You can see the many diverse people we serve at www.socialsecurity.gov/people.

Younger people need to know that the earlier you start saving, the more your money can grow. Our website for young workers at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/youngpeople/saving.html has many resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

Veterans and wounded warriors, as well as their families, sometimes face unique obstacles when saving for their future. Our website has great resources and information at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans.

Social Security values your diverse skillset and knowledge. That’s what makes our country a world leader. Now you can take the lead and show your friends and family what Social Security has to offer.

Incoming and Outgoing Governors Outline Priorities

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