The Virginia Legislature is meeting Aug. 18 for a special session to consider criminal justice reform, COVID-19 relief and budget issues. Hopefully we will see an engaged legislature this year, unlike last summer’s special session on gun violence, when nothing happened. I would like to address two of the areas for this special session.
First, we have all witnessed the ongoing violence against our Black citizens and communities. While we are fortunate here in Fauquier County to have Sheriff [Robert] Mosier and Chief [Mike] Kochis, the rest of Virginia is not so lucky. That must change. We need police reform and accountability across the state. As the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus says “ we must eliminate law enforcement abuse, prevent and punish racist behavior, weed out institutional racism and increase accountability at all levels of law enforcement.”
Second, we need to address public health funding for COVID relief in Black communities, along with other communities of color. We know that COVID rates are three to five times higher in those areas - why would we not aid our citizens who are most vulnerable?
Sen. Jill Vogel, and Del. Elizabeth Guzman, Del. Michael Webert and Del. Mark Cole -- we are looking to you to do your jobs and take care of all of the citizens of the Commonwealth. It’s literally a matter of life and death.
Max N. Hall