2024 Va GA Session Update 2 – 1/19/2024

Greetings with a CALL TO ACTION from your Political Affairs Committee!

The brand-new Virginia General Assembly office building was open for business on Monday, MLK Day. Undeterred by wintry weather, 22 Roanoke and New River Valley residents, including two minors and three members of the RVDW Political Affairs Committee, embarked on an important adventure, seeking meetings and facetime with State Senators and Delegates.

Happiness is . . .
experiencing citizen lobbying!

Gun violence prevention was the focus of the day, as we followed guidance from Groceries Not Guns founder and RVDW member Catherine Koebel. Bills to watch this session include Child Access Prevention Laws, Funding for Gun Violence Prevention and Gun Industry Accountability, Permit to Purchase Handgun Laws, and an Assault Weapons Ban.

We left home at 9:30am and travelled three hours in the snow, over Afton Mountain, lunching along the way, and arriving in Richmond around 1pm.

After clearing security in all our layers, hats, mittens, and scarves, we headed up to Sen. David Sutterlein’s office. Sen. Sutterlein’s (new) district includes the City of Roanoke. These constituents’ voices brought the perspective of a city traumatized by gun violence – personally and as a community. Vice Mayor Joe Cobb and Roanoke City Councilmember Luke Priddy, who is a consultant for Jennifer Boysko in Richmond this session, were present for the meeting. We spent almost an hour seeking common ground on the issue of safe storage and child access legislation.

At 2pm we joined voices and hearts with other gun violence prevention activists from across the state at the 32nd Annual MLK Day Vigil at the nearby bell tower. This year’s event was historic in its own right as we heard remarks from Del. Don Scott Jr., our state’s first Black speaker of the House of Delegates.

Following the vigil, our group returned to the General Assembly building to meet with our respective Delegates, Joe McNamara and Sam Rasoul. office where we were welcomed warmly.

Our delegation headed back to the bus at 4:20pm and safely returned to a snow-covered Roanoke five hours later. Shout out to Abbott Bus Lines for their excellent service.

Best wishes, warmest regards,

Sandra Whitley Ryals, VP Political Affairs
Political Affairs Committee Members: Barbara Andes, Becky Clark, Jessica Hilbish and Catherine Koebel

CALL TO ACTION: GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION BILLS

CALL. CALL. CALL. As often as you can. Every day is not too often! Put your delegate and your state senator on speed dial! In 2023, Johns Hopkins University research showed 81% of Americans support Child Access Prevention laws, including 58% of Republicans. Keep that in mind when you call.

Del. Sam Rasoul (D)804.698.1038Script: “Please be a vocal supporter on social media and in your legislative updates of Child Access Prevention programs and laws.”
Del. Joe McNamara (R)804.698.1040Script: “Please vote for Child Access Prevention legislation.”
Sen. David Sutterlein (R)804.698.7504Script: “Please vote for Child Access Prevention legislation.”

Full VA Senate Member List
Full VA Delegates List

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