Happy for Spring!

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Dear Friend, 

I am officially on the ballot and have started to reach out to community members in our newly created 38th District (McLean, Great Falls, Reston, Herndon, WolfTrap) while still maintaining contact with our existing 33rd District (Leesburg, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn) the current 33rd District. Thank you to all of the people who helped by signing my petitions, volunteering to help, and hosting events to introduce me to your friends and neighbors. Thanks to everyone who has donated to help support my campaign too!

To see who is on the ballot for the November election, VPAP.org has an excellent site. In our neck of the woods, there will be major changes.  Not only am I running in a completely new district SD 38, but there are a huge number of retirements too. This local and state election cycle typically has the lowest turnout of all elections but the people we elect in general affect your life more directly on a day-to-day basis than the federal cycles.  This is considered the off, off year. In Fairfax County, your ballot will have: State Senate, House of Delegates, Chair and District Board of Supervisors, 3 At-Large and District School Board Members, Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Clerk of Court.  It will be an exciting spring, summer and fall and I hope that you will get involved in our electoral process no matter where you live or who you vote for. 

Next week we return to Richmond to consider the Governor’s amendments and vetoes. You can see that I have a lot of work to prepare and am interested in hearing your feedback. Your voice is important to me.

It’s Spring Break! Fairfax and Loudoun schools get to take next week off – I hope that students and teachers make the most of their break. We are fortunate to have an abundance of public parks in both Fairfax County and Loudoun County. This is also a special time for several of our religious communities as they celebrate Ramadan, Easter, and Passover.

I wish you peace and reflection during this most holy time.

Kindest regards,

Out in the District

Representing District 33, Running for Redistricted District 38

2023 Legislative Slate Update

Governor Youngkin signed each of my 6 bills that passed the General Assembly. 

Transportation Updates

VDOT Paving Map

You can check whether your street or neighborhood will be paved this year with this interactive map: 2023 Northern Virginia Paving Program.

495 Next Project

Work continues on the 495 Next Project. The I-495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project is extending the existing 495 Express Lanes north by two-and-a-half miles from the Dulles Corridor interchange to the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange in the vicinity of the American Legion Bridge. The project will provide new and improved connections at the Dulles Corridor and George Washington Memorial Parkway. I know that congestion is a concern for many and will continue to work with VDOT to find solutions.

 This spring, crews will continue clearing trees and removing more than four miles of old noise walls along the 495 NEXT project corridor. The new outside lanes will be constructed, and new and replacement noise walls will be installed as soon as the necessary construction is in place. Traffic will then be shifted onto the new outside lanes, creating space to build the new inside lanes. For further information on the ongoing work, check here for the most recent update. Sign up to receive updates from VDOT.

Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Support and Resources

Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Support and Resources

As a member of the Substance Abuse Services Council, which is in the process of changing the name to Addiction Recovery Services, we work together to ensure that people have the resources they need to identify and get help for addiction recovery support. The new hotline for suicide prevention, 9-8-8, is available nationwide. You can also find support for yourself and family members by reaching out to NAMI or Mental Health America

Addiction is a life threatening problem for too many Virginians. Please reach out if you need help for yourself or a loved one.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

National Drug Helpline: 1-844-289-0879

National Institute of Mental Health Information Resource Center: 1-866-615-6464

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: 1-855-378-4373

Both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties offer mental health first aid courses so you will be equipped better to help others and yourself.

Constituent Services

Unemployment Assistance and Resources for Job Searchers

For those eligible for benefits, VEC requires that people receiving unemployment benefits show proof of job searches each week. I encourage you to seek support for finding a job from Virginia Career Works or the Loudoun Workforce Resource Center. They help identify training programs, job opportunities, and help with resumes, emails, and interviewing skills. My constituents report good results working with VCW and the Loudoun Workforce Resource Center.

My staff continues to work with constituents who are waiting for benefits although we have seen many cases resolved. Please reach out if you need help with a VEC claim.

Help Paying Bills

If you are struggling to pay bills, please visit Virginia’s CommonHelp websiteto figure out if you qualify for assistance. You can also reach out to your county – your local government will review your financial situation and connect you with resources. In Fairfax County, contact Coordinated Services. In Loudoun County, contact Information and Referral

Here are additional resources for food. If you have lost your health insurance, please visit coverva.gov to figure out if you are eligible for medicaid or for help with Affordable Care Act insurance.


Use Your Voice – Submit a Public Comment re the Proposed Air Pollution Control Variance for the Data Centers

I’ve heard from many constituents about the proposed variance for the data centers in Loudoun County and power capacity in our Data Center corridor. Like many people, I have concerns about the effect on our immediate air quality if a variance were to be permitted to allow diesel generators on site. My staff and I have been in contact with DEQ and the stakeholders regarding the Data Center power capacity in Loudoun County.  I learned that at this point, members of the Data Centers Coalition have determined that even if DEQ would allow a variance it would not be beneficial to the data centers in Loudoun County at this time.

The proposed variance is in an openpublic comment period. When I spoke with DEQ, they encouraged public comment – the deadline is April 21, 2023. You could also submit a comment in person at DEQ’s public meeting on April 6 at 11 am in Woodbridge which also has a concentration of data centers. I’ve made a request for a public meeting in Loudoun County. When writing your public comment, share how the variance, if approved, might affect your  health or your family’s health. The current version of the proposed variance requires notification to DEQ of generator use. Let DEQ know what notice would be most helpful for you?

I will continue to monitor this situation closely.  I do not believe that we have heard the end of it.  It will be imperative that local governments closely weigh the needs of our residential communities, our energy capacity, and the environment as they consider new data center applications.

Attend Inova Phlebotomy School for Free

Inova offers phlebotomy training with a tuition waiver in exchange for a commitment to work for INOVA for at least 18 months. Inova Phlebotomy School provides an educational program that teaches the art and science of phlebotomy. This program’s focus will be on knowledge, technical abilities, troubleshooting, as well as confidence to pass the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Registry Certification Examination. Students will graduate with the necessary skills to perform successful venipunctures. The program will provide practicums that emphasize technical skills and knowledge, resulting in a successful phlebotomist. Learn more here.

Support for Veterans at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is organized into seven service delivery sections:  benefits; veteran and family support; veterans education; transition and employment; care centers; veterans cemeteries; and the Virginia War Memorial. Benefits Services assists veterans of the armed forces and their dependents in accessing federal and state veteran benefits. The Veterans Education Training and Employment (VETE) directorate of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services ensures that every Veteran or eligible person has a full and fair opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential through access to the G.I. Bill approved post-secondary educational, training/licensure/certification, entrepreneurial institutions, V3 certified employers and Virginia Colleges and Universities. Currently, more than 1000 institutions with various programs are approved in Virginia. The Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program is designed to provide timely supplemental behavioral health, rehabilitation services, and support to Virginia’s veterans, members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia residents in the Armed Forces Reserves, and their family members, who are coping with the effects of combat/operational stress and other combat-related injuries resulting from their service and sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces.

A recent DVS newsletter explained that disabled veterans and their dependents are eligible for educational benefits via  “the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP), which waives tuition and required fees at all public Virginia colleges and universities, including our flagship universities and fantastic network of community colleges. This program is available to the dependents of veterans rated 90% or 100% by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the surviving dependents of veterans who died on active duty or because of a service-connected disability. Additionally, students whose sponsor’s disabilities were combat related may also be eligible for a stipend to help offset the cost of room, board, books, and supplies.  Additionally, through a partnership with Tech for Troops, we’re able to offer free laptops to some of the beneficiaries and look forward to expanding that program.”

I encourage you to reach out to a DVS location near you.

Figure out Your New State Legislative Districts

The Who’s My Legislator website has been updated. You can now look up your address and figure out your new, post redistricting (post 2020 Census) legislative districts. 

Enter NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge

Students can create a podcast about any topic they wish to explore for NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge. Past stories have covered everything from social media, tattoos to questions on race and identity and how young people do, or don’t, fit in. Your podcast can also be in many different formats: an interview, narrative story or even investigative reporting. You can do it by yourself or with your entire class. One important rule to keep in mind is that the maximum length of your podcast is eight minutes, and longer entries will be disqualified. Entries must be submitted by an educator or a student leader who’s 18 years old or older. The contest closes on April 28. The judges will choose winners in two categories: grades five through eight and grades nine through 12. 

Up to $30 discount on Broadband Bill for Eligible Households

Please share information regarding The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – we know that many families who qualify for these benefits have not yet signed up.

Give Back

I am grateful for the long time commitment of Healthworks in our community. The mission of HealthWorks for Northern Virginia is to provide excellent and affordable medical, dental and behavioral healthcare in our communities by being compassionate, culturally competent, and accessible to all. The new clinic in Sterling will provide care to those who need it most and cannot afford to pay. Please support them if you can.



Keep in Touch

I’m back at my district office. If you wish to contact us to arrange a visit or need constituent service, please email district33@senate.virginia.gov or call 703-437-0086. My team includes Chief of Staff Karen Harrison and Director of Constituent Services, Kathy Shupe.