Greetings from the 42nd District
It has been a busy spring as I wrapped up the regular legislative session, participated in subsequent special sessions, and engaged with our community in the 42nd District. I’ve hosted Town Halls to share legislative updates, met one-on-one with constituents, and attended a variety of events to celebrate our neighbors and get an update on the good work that organizations are doing to support our community.
I’m excited to share with you this update. While Virginia is a “part-time” legislature, I work year-round to serve our community. As always, feel free to contact me if you need assistance with matters related to our state government. You can reach me by phone at 804-698-1042 or email at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov and also keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter as well.
On May 30, the Virginia General Assembly passed a balanced budget for 2018-2020. The budget includes Medicaid expansion to provide nearly 400,000 Virginians access to much-need healthcare. The budget does not include any new general fund taxes, and it replenishes Virginia’s reserve funds. With the savings that come from Medicaid expansion, we are able to invest more in the Commonwealth’s prosperity by increasing pay for teachers and some law enforcement personnel; financial aid for students in higher education; workforce initiatives; mental health services; and hiring of judges to meet our needs. Healthcare access was the number 1 priority for voters in my election in 2017, and I am proud to have voted for Medicaid expansion and this budget. It passed with bipartisan support, and the Governor is expected to sign the budget into law.
In May, I presented House Bill 1329 to a subcommittee of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Council. This bill aims to protect Virginians’ religious identity by prohibiting the sharing of religious identity data with the federal government for the creation of a registry or database. I introduced this bill during the regular session; it received bipartisan support then and was referred to the FOIA Advisory Council for further consideration. I’m glad to share that my bill passed the Council subcommittee unanimously, and I will be presenting to the full Council in August. Many thanks to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center and Family Foundation for speaking in support of my bill.
I attended a meeting of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to discuss House Bill 1279, which I introduced during the regular session to ensure active duty service members and veterans are able to get academic credit, as appropriate, for military training from our public colleges and universities. We had a robust conversation, and I will continue to work with SCHEV and others to help our veterans reach their full career potential in the civilian workforce.
Many of you have reached out to me about your concerns regarding gun violence. At my May office hours just last week, middle school students told me they felt overwhelmed by school shootings. This past legislative session, about 70 gun violence prevention bills were introduced, and all but one of them failed on a partisan basis. I am committed to fighting for common sense gun safety policies, and I have met with the Moms Demand Action Burke/Springfield Chapter as well as the Students Demand Action - Northern Virginia Chapter. I am also participating in the Safe Virginia Initiative to lift up voices from across the Commonwealth supporting common sense policies and to hear about Virginians’ priorities on addressing this epidemic.
Town Halls and Legislative Debriefs
I provided in-person legislative updates to discuss how actions taken by the General Assembly affect our lives in the 42nd District and the Commonwealth. I hosted two town halls, one in Springfield and one in Lorton with Senator George Barker and Delegate Mark Sickles. I was also able to give legislative updates to a women’s huddle group in the Orange Hunt/Hunt Valley neighborhood as well as civic associations including Barrington HOA, Braddock District Council of Community Associations, Crosspointe HOA, and Social Action Linking Together. Our discussions were wide ranging and touched upon Medicaid expansion, funding for the metro system, implications of the electrical “rate freeze” bill, taxation, ending gerrymandering, protecting the environment, advancing common sense gun safety policies, increasing teacher pay, supporting veterans, and advancing workforce strategies for our region.
Constituent Meetings and Services
Throughout the spring, I’ve enjoyed meeting one-on-one with neighbors to hear about their priorities. Community members shared their concerns with gerrymandering and racial profiling, respite care for caregivers, our criminal justice system, youth athletics, state tax refund policies, and immigrant integration.
Many of you have contacted me about specific road conditions and related issues in your neighborhoods. In addition to working with you over email and phone, my team and I have been onsite at the Lakewood I and II HOA and Barrington HOA neighborhoods, as well as at constituent homes in Fairfax Station to look at road and stormwater drainage issues.
We are in constant contact with the Virginia Department of Transportation to address our community’s infrastructure needs. I have met with VDOT and Fairfax County for updates about the widening of Rolling Road and the Springfield Multi-Use Garage projects. I encourage you to reach out to me with concerns regarding potholes, traffic, infrastructure projects, inclimate weather conditions, and more.
I appreciate each conversation I have had with community members about issues that are close to their hearts. Your questions, concerns, and feedback help me better represent you in the Virginia General Assembly. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting, you can call me at 804-698-1042 or reach me by email at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov.
In the Community
I am excited to share highlights from different celebrations to honor residents and organizations in the 42nd District that I attended throughout the spring.
I very much enjoy hearing directly from our youth about their hopes. I visited Irving Middle School to listen to student presentations about what our state government can do to address the Opioid Epidemic. It was clear our students put a lot of thought into their ideas, and I’m very proud of them.
I met with Girl Scout Troops 5551 and 5554 at Sangster Elementary School and spoke with them about my job as their delegate and my experience as a woman in elected office. I had the honor of presenting six new Eagle Scouts with Virginia flags that have flown over our state Capitol at different Eagle Scout Courts of Honor for Troop 1140. Each of these Scouts have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to service, and I know their futures are very bright.
I had a lot of fun throwing out the first pitch for Opening Day for South County Little League (SCLL). It was a pleasure to present the volunteer Board of Directors with HJ572, celebrating SCLL’s 50th anniversary. I sponsored teams in both SCLL and the West Springfield Little League, and I hope all of our ballplayers and volunteer coaches, umpires, team parents had a great season.
We are fortunate in the 42nd District to have dedicated teachers and staff who are creating nurturing learning environments for our children. I celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by visiting Gunston Elementary School where I read to kindergarteners and spoke with staff about the need to increase teacher pay and school budgets, balance learning with mandatory tests, support diverse student body, and further innovative partnerships with Guston Hall. Also, Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) have such an important role in augmenting our students’ education, and I celebrated our local PTA leaders at the Northern Virginia District PTA Annual Meeting and Awards Reception. I attended the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7327 and Auxillary Award’s Ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of students, teachers, and first responders in our community.
I had opportunities to hear from college students as well. This includes speaking with students and faculty about the intersections of public health and key issues affecting the Commonwealth during George Mason University’s observation of National Public Health Week. As the keynote speaker and a judge for Northern Virginia Community College’s “Loser-Savkar Democracy Buildings” speaking competition, I was very impressed by the students’ poise and passion. I also enjoyed speaking with George Washington University’s Women Leadership Fellows about leading as a woman and standing up for our values.
My husband and I were honored to celebrate our Rabbi and my constituent, Rabbi Amy Perlin, at her retirement gala. Rabbi Perlin has led Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station for 32 years, and I presented her with HJ 206, a resolution I sponsored to honor her life’s work to advance justice and foster a more welcoming community for many.
To get an update on services available to our most vulnerable community members, I toured the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board office, Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO), and Lorton Community Action Center. Many thanks to my constituents, Tom Burger and Joan Wheaton, for helping organize some of these visits. I look forward to working at the state level to strengthen our social safety net for our community members in need.
We are lucky to have a lot of parks in the 42nd District, including a state park, four regional parks, and many county parks. My family and I had fun at Mason Neck State Park’s Eagle Fest. It was great to see so many enjoying themselves at Mason Neck and learning about ways to protect our natural environment. I met with the Potomac District Friends of State Parks and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to discuss opportunities to advocate for our parks with the General Assembly.
In addition to our parks, we have important waterways in the 42nd District that serve as important natural and recreational treasures. I met with Save Lake Accotink to hear about their efforts to ensure that future strategies for the Lake are environmentally and fiscally sound as well as preserve the recreational and community aspects of the Lake. I also attended the Mount Vernon Yacht Club for their annual Commissioning Day and I wish everyone a safe and memorable boating season.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
It was meaningful for me to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) in my role as delegate. As the first Vietnamese American and one of the first Asian American women elected to the Virginia state government, I deeply appreciate this opportunity to bring my perspective and experiences to the General Assembly. A couple of highlights from the APAHM celebrations that I attended throughout the month: I enjoyed my conversations with University of Virginia faculty and students to kick-off the APAHM observance at the school. I was honored to speak at the annual Vietnam Human Rights Day dinner where I was moved to hear from former prisoners of conscience who inspire us to push for human rights in Vietnam and around the world. I ended APAHM by speaking with members of AFSCME about the connections between the labor movement and some of the most pressing issues of our time.