E-Newsletter January 29, 2018
Greetings From Richmond: Week 3
This year’s session is in full swing, and I am glad to be able to share with you highlights of our third week. I am honored to be included on the cover of TIME Magazine along with many of my fellow freshmen women colleagues who were elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017. As our government better reflects our the diversity of communities, we are able to push for laws that provide opportunity for all Virginians to thrive. Please reach out to my office if you have any questions or concerns about legislative matters or need assistance with a state agency. You can email me at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov or call me at 804-698-1042.
Two of my bills were fully heard this week. I presented HB 1329 to ensure that state and local entities are prohibited from sharing religious identity data with the federal government for the purpose of creating a registry based on religion, national origin, or ethnicity. I strongly believe that all Virginians should be able to freely worship without fear of persecution, and I appreciated the powerful testimony provided by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington in support of this bill. The bill received a 4-4 vote in subcommittee, and I am proud that we had bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the bill did not report out of subcommittee.
I presented HB 1059 to require the Department of Environmental Quality or the State Water Control Board to notify local communities by newspaper, television and radio of instances when harmful substances are spilled into public waters and the Department of Health assessed there is a risk to the public or the Board determined the spill affects the public’s ability to use the water. Currently, the Board is required to notify the public of these instances only by newspaper. However, in some areas of Virginia, the local newspaper is published weekly, and there is overall decline in newspaper readership. It is important local communities have timely notice of instances that affect public health and water quality so that people and businesses are aware and able to plan accordingly. I appreciated the testimony of the League of Conservation Voters and the James River Association in support of this bill. Unfortunately, the bill received a 6-4 vote along partisan lines, and did not report out of subcommittee. I will continue to work hard to achieve bipartisan solutions to the issues that are affecting Virginians.
Standing for Women's Rights
At a press conference with my Democratic House colleagues about our legislation to protect and advance women’s rights in Virginia, I spoke about my bill, HB 1462. This legislation would address sexual harassment in the workplace by requiring state contractors to inform and train their employees about their sexual harassment policy. The #MeToo movement has served as a strong reminder that women continue to face sexual harassment in the workplace, public space, and their private lives. We must take action now to combat this scourge, and HB 1462 is a necessary first step in the right direction.
I was grateful for the opportunity to speak to constituents and members of the Equal Rights Coalition, who were in Richmond to advocate for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. We are long overdue in Virginia to recognize that women are equal to men.
Fighting for Working Families
I spoke with Democratic House Colleagues at a press conference on our bills to support working families and to grow the middle class. I spoke about HB 1109. It is critical that Virginians are compensated fairly for their work, especially when they work overtime. This bill puts overtime protections into the Virginia Code
Visits from Constituents
I’m thankful many more constituents came to Richmond to have their voices heard on various issues they care about. This week, my staff and I met with retired educators, disability advocates, medical professionals, trial lawyers, distillery operators, and others. We spoke about a variety of issues, including strengthening our public schools, providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities, fighting climate change, reforming our criminal justice system, and ensuring a fair tax system for distilled spirits. I appreciate the time constituents have taken to meet with my staff and me to help inform my work in the House of Delegates.
Share Your Input and Upcoming Events
Thanks to all who have completed our 2018 Session survey! If you have not had a chance to do so, please complete the online survey here.
This weekend, I was joined by my eldest when I went door knocking in Hunt Valley to hear from our neighbors about their priorities for our community. I look forward to seeing you and hope you will join me at upcoming in-district Town Halls:
Saturday, February 10 at 9:30 am - 11:00 am, Town Hall with Senator George Barker, West Springfield Elementary School, 6802 Deland Drive, Springfield, VA 22152
Saturday, February 17 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, Braddock District Town Hall with elected officials, Braddock District Town Hall, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, February 17 at 2:00pm - 3:30 pm, Town Hall with Senator Scott Surovell, location to be announced soon.