As we approach the third full week of the 2020 session, things are well underway at the General Assembly in Richmond. 

A historic beginning to the session was observed on January 8th when Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) was sworn in as the Speaker of the House. Filler-Corn is the first woman in Virginia to get elected to the Speaker position, along with being the first person of Jewish faith to hold the position. If you are interested in learning more about Delegate Filler-Corn and her decade of service in the Virginia legislature, please visit her webpage.

The historic advances continued through the following week, when on Wednesday, January 14th, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) successfully made its way through both chambers of the legislature. If Governor Northam signs the bill at the end of this year’s legislative session, that would make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the ERA, bringing it one step closer to the U.S. Constitution.

There are many other daily events, which we encourage you to tune into. Ways to stay informed include: radio coverage, live streaming the committee meetings, contacting your representatives, joining VOCAL for Friday advocacy update calls, or heading downtown to see the action in person. Specifically, follow VOCAL’s progression through the session on our 2020 Legislative Session webpage. There, you will find our 2020 Legislative Priorities, the 2020 bill tracking chart (once finalized), and the minutes from previous Advocacy Committee calls. If you have any questions about our organization’s efforts during the session, please do not hesitate to contact us at the VOCAL office, (804) 343-1777.

Some general tips and information:

  • Learn about how a bill becomes a law in Virginia.
  • Find out who your elected representatives are. If there is a bill that you are especially interested in, speaking with your designated legislator about your thoughts is a great action step in advocacy.
  • Plan your trip to the legislature.
  • Legislator vs. Legislature vs. Legislation
    • Legislator: A person who makes laws
    • Legislature: The governing body of a country or state. 
      • The Legislature of Virginia includes the House & Senate chambers.
    • Legislation: Laws, bills, and/or policy.

 

Nothing About Us, Without Us. 

-Unknown, Disability Rights Movement

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