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Donald McEachin

October, 2019 Update From Congressman McEachin

 

This month we are very excited to announce a special opportunity for the young people of my district, Eco Heroes. Participating students will complete a series of environmentally focused challenges to learn more about the importance of being eco-friendly in our daily lives. This is an opportunity for youngsters in our district to show their passion and be Eco Heroes.

I am very concerned about the environment and the future health of our planet. I have been so impressed by the work, commitment and passion shown by youth around the world to improve the environment, particularly after the Youth Climate Strike. Greta Thunberg and her dedicated climate army are an inspiration to all of us. This program emphasizes the small and easy ways you can make a difference and is open to elementary school students in Virginia’s fourth congressional district.

To register yourself, your child or another youth in your life send an email to va04.projects@mail.house.gov before October 14th. For those who successfully complete the program, I will be hosting a reception for them with their parents and they will each receive a certificate. I hope to meet many, many young EcoHeroes so join the program and become a Fourth District Eco Hero!

Just a reminder - If you have an issue or a problem with a federal agency, my office is happy to help. Just go to my website, mceachin.house.gov, to get started. We are also happy to record your opinion on any news topic. Additionally, my office will be participating in the Grand Opening of Freedmen’s Point on October 15th in Hopewell so please feel free to say hello to them or express any concerns.

-Congressman A. Donald McEachin represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District

McEachin Announces New Eco Heroes District Program Washington, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced a new environmental program, Eco Heroes, for elementary school students in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District. Participa

Washington, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced a new environmental program, Eco Heroes, for elementary school students in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District. Participating students will complete a series of environmentally focused challenges to learn more about the importance of being eco-friendly in our daily lives.

“We are very excited to announce this special opportunity for the young people of my district,” said Congressman McEachin. “I am very concerned about the environment and the future health of our planet. I have been so impressed by the work, commitment and passion shown by youth around the world to improve the environment particularly after last week’s Youth Climate Strike.  This is an opportunity for youngsters in our district to show their passion and be Eco Heroes and I look forward to seeing their great efforts."

Students can register by emailing VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov until October 14, 2019. Participants will be recognized at a ceremony with local environmental leaders in Spring 2020. Any students needing resources to participate should contact Congressman McEachin’s Richmond office at 804-486-1840.

September Update From Congressman McEachin

This summer, we were happy to host a “Mobile McEachin” in Emporia. This is where a staffer travels to the locality to provide easier and more efficient service for constituents. We were excited to meet folks from Emporia and be able to offer help. Until we are there again, if you need assistance with a federal agency, please contact my office at mceachin.house.gov.  We are also happy to hear your opinions on issues of the day.

On September 28th, from 10 am to noon at Capital One, West Creek Commons, 15000 Capital One Drive, Richmond, 23238, I will be hosting, with Congresswoman Spanberger a Service Academy Day for students interested in attending one of the five service academies – US Coast Guard Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Merchant Marine Academy, US Naval Academy at Annapolis and US Military Academy at West Point. This is a great opportunity to learn about the academies and the application process. Our academies train leaders of the next generation.

Unfortunately, I had to cancel my August town hall in Emporia because of dangerous threatening weather. I was very disappointed not to have the chance to dialogue with folks, but safety is paramount. I plan to be back soon.

-Congressman A. Donald McEachin represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District

McEachin Announces Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Washington, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one for $159, 551 to the American Civil War Museum Foundation for a summer program for teachers' professional developed. The second grant is awarded to the Library of Virginia for $324,958 to restore and digitize historic American newspapers.

"I am thrilled to see these monies come into Virginia. As we all know, the Civil War is an important, but sometimes difficult and fraught subject to teach. Teachers, like everyone else, bring the biases of their upbringing and location. This program can help sift through that so the legitimate historical information can be imparted and then shared with students,” said Congressman McEachin. “Newspapers are struggling and all too many are dying. This grant will allow the Library of Virginia to help ensure that history, as it happened, through local newspapers can be preserved and appreciated. 

Both of these grants will help ensure a better, more objective and more accurate understanding of our history."

McEachin Announces “For the People” August District Work Period Events

Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin has spent the past 200 days working to lower health care costs, protecting our environment, increasing paychecks by rebuilding American and restoring ethics and integrity in our government to deliver progress to the people of Virginia’s fourth congressional district. He will be holding events to discuss his vision for the country, give legislative updates, and hear directly from his constituents on what matters most to them. Congressman McEachin issued the following statement:

"After spending several months advocating and passing good policy For The People, I am very excited to be coming home with extended opportunity to meet with constituents,” saidCongressman A. Donald McEachin. “We have events planned all over the district - a town hall about gun violence in Petersburg with special guest, Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, another town hall with Congressman Scott in Chesapeake and a town hall in Emporia about healthcare. I will also be doing several book drops at libraries in the district and I will also meet with constituents in Surry to discuss food deserts, an issue in which I have introduced bicameral legislation with Senator Warner.

“I plan to be all over the district to hear the concerns of my constituents and share information about the first seven months of this Congress. It will be a busy time and I look forward to being out around the district for an extended period.”

August 7th at 6:30pm: Emporia Health Care Town Hall in cooperation with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, City of Emporia, and local health care experts City Council Chambers;Municipal Building,  201 S. Main St. Emporia, VA 23847

McEachin Votes in Support of the Raise the Wage Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) voted for House passage of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, legislation he cosponsored to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in 10 years. The bill will gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over a six-year period. Additionally, the act would phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. To keep up with inflation, the Raise the Wage Act indexes future minimum wage increases to median hourly wage growth.

"Establishing a livable wage is a positive step forward for economic justice in this country,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “No American should be struggling to live about the poverty line while working full-time. Since coming to Congress, I have consistently advocated for raising the minimum wage, and this legislation will help address inequality and ease financial burdens on hardworking individuals in Virginia and across our country. I will continue to fight for fairer wages for all Americans.”

  • The Raise the Wage Act could increase wages for more than 30 million American workers, according to independent economic analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Even the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) more cautious estimate of a similar proposal indicated as many as 27 million workers could see a wage increase.
  • The Raise the Wage Act could lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children, according to the CBO’s recent report.
  • The Raise the Wage Act also helps secure equality and fairness for women by giving an estimated 23 million working women a raise and helping narrow the gender wage gap that disproportionately impacts women of color.

The federal minimum wage was last raised a decade ago. Since then, workers have struggled keep up with the increasing costs of housing, healthcare, and education while the minimum wage has remained stagnant. The Raise the Wage Act accounts for changing market prices to give more Americans access to baseline financial stability. It is time to ensure that all Americans who work 40 hours a week are able to live above the poverty line.

McEachin Introduces Legislation to Honor Members of the Armed Forces Who Have Died in the Line of Duty

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the introduction of H.R. 3615, the Honor and Remember Flag Recognition Act to honor members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This legislation will designate the Honor and Remember Flag as an official symbol to acknowledge all such servicemembers. It would require the flag to be displayed at civically important locations, from the U.S. Capitol to national cemeteries to local post offices, and on major holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day. Congressman McEachin introduced the legislation at the request of Mr. George A. Lutz, a constituent whose son Cpl. George Anthony “Tony” Lutz II, was killed in 2005 while on duty in Fallujah, Iraq.

“The Honor and Remember Flag should be a nationally recognized symbol,” saidCongressman A. Donald McEachin. “This flag should fly as a form of remembrance and as a sign of our respect for all servicemembers who have given their lives in the line of duty. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices our men and women in the military—and their families— make to keep us safe at home and abroad. I am proud to have worked with Mr. Lutz on this legislation. Displaying this flag is just one of many ways we can honor the service of our servicemembers, including his son.”

I am so grateful to Rep. McEachin for his belief in this important legislation,” said George Lutz. “With the recognition of the Honor and Remember Flag our nation will embrace a specific and collective expression of appreciation to each fallen family member, friend and comrade left behind."

McEachin Applauds Announcement of Needed Improvements to Ettrick Amtrak Station

Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin today issued this statement on the news that the Commonwealth Transportation Board has included $5.7 million to upgrade and repair the Ettrick train station.

“For years I have advocated that these upgrades happen and that Ettrick be the permanent site for the new, modernized and larger Amtrak station,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “This is an outstanding first step. I have written numerous letters asking for Ettrick to be the chosen site and supported a grant request for monies for these improvements. Moreover, I have met with local officials, Amtrak officials and community members to try and facilitate this decision.

“I want to commend the community and Chesterfield County officials for their unceasing efforts to make this happen.

“Ettrick, as I have said, is the best location for the new Amtrak station. A station is already on the site and will now be upgraded. Usage of that station and Amtrak has only grown and the present station was clearly too small and outdated. Locating Amtrak permanently in Ettrick not only serves the community, fits into the County’s extensive plans for the area, but also serves Virginia State students.

“Let me reiterate how pleased I am to see this and to thank everyone involved for working together to make it happen,” Congressman McEachin concluded. 

Background: http://villagenewsonline.com/2019/07/02/funding-approved-for-ettrick-train-station/

McEachin & Olson Lead Bipartisan Bill Cracking Down on Robocall Violators

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a bipartisan group of House members led by Congressman A. Donald (D-VA) McEachin and Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the Locking Up Robocallers Act of 2019, which directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide evidence of unlawful robocall violations to the Attorney General. This would strengthen enforcement of current robocall laws aimed at ending the scourge of predatory robocalls.

The bill was introduced by Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA), Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX), with original co-sponsors Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ), Congresswoman Susan Brooks(R-IN), Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN).

“Robocalls can be a nuisance or even predatory,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin.“This bill will allow for greater transparency and oversight over the enforcement of robocaller infractions which is desperately needed at a time when robocalls are on the rise. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will help protect Virginians and all Americans from these unwanted calls.”  

"The constant interruption from unwanted and illegal robocalls disrupt and aggravate all Americans," said Congressman Olson. “The Locking Up Illegal Robocallers Act will provide important information to the Department of Justice, so they can fully prosecute criminals who engage in deceptive and illegal robocall practices. I'm proud to work on this bipartisan issue to help Texans hang up on harassing robocalls. I thank my colleagues for helping on this critical issue and hope we can pass it on the floor soon.”

“These robocalls aren’t just annoying, they’re a tool for fraud aimed at members in our community and they must be stopped,” said Congressman Kim. “I’m proud to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to bring this solution to the table. I look forward to working together to get this passed into law and give New Jersey residents the relief from this predatory behavior they deserve.”

Robocalls are disruptive and often prey on our communities’ most vulnerable populations in hopes to capitalize off of their private and personal information,” said Congresswoman Brooks.“With these kinds of scams on the rise, we must do more to protect consumers by ensuring those who violate the law are prosecuted. The Locking Up Illegal Robocallers Act is a bipartisan bill we can all support that works to diminish the dangerous telemarketing scams Hoosiers and people across the country face daily by better providing law enforcement the information they need in order to put a stop to fraudulent robocalls.”

“Upstate New Yorkers are fed up with intrusive and unwanted robocalls,” said Congressman Brindisi. “These calls aren’t just annoying, they are dangerous and can scam hard-working Americans out of time and money. I'm proud to support the bipartisan Locking Up Robocallers Act to make sure law enforcement officials have the information they need to put an end to these scam calls and financial frauds”

“I have heard from countless people throughout West Tennessee who are tired of the endless stream of harassing robocalls,” said Congressman Kustoff. ““Robocalls are illegal, abusive, dangerous and anyone with a phone can fall victim to them. I look forward to getting this bipartisan legislation passed into law and finally put an end to these scams.”

According to the FCC, they receive over 200,000 complaints a year from residents receiving predatory robocalls. Another FCC report shows that an estimated 26.3 billion robocalls were made to mobile phones and more than 47 billion were made in total to phones in the U.S. in 2018.

“Every day, Americans’ phones are flooded with unwanted robocalls, often originating from scammers,” said NCTA, the internet and television association who has endorsed the legislation. “Both the Locking Up Illegal Robocallers Act and the Ending One-Ring Scams Act take important actions to alleviate illegal robocalls and keep consumers safe from harmful schemes. While combatting robocalls is a complex challenge, we look forward to working with House members on passage of these two pieces of legislation.”

The full text of the bill can be found by clicking here.

Officials Seek to Attract Grocery Stories to ‘Food Deserts’

Rep. McEachin Leads Members of VA Congressional Delegation in Letter Opposing Seismic Airgun Blasting and Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) led a letter, signed by every Democratic member of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, expressing opposition to the five Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) permits issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last November, and requesting the Trump Administration revoke these IHAs and refrain from issuing seismic airgun survey permits off the coast of Virginia. The letter also expresses opposition to the inclusion of the Commonwealth’s offshore area in the final 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

“Virginians have too much to lose when we prioritize polluters’ profits over the health and safety of our ocean and coastal communities,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Seismic airgun blasting can devastate marine life, including endangered species and essential fish stocks. History has shown us that offshore drilling accidents can irrevocably harm coastal communities’ economies, public health and marine life – and compromise military activities that are important to national security. The potential toll from an oil spill—in terms of damages, injuries, deaths, and other harms—is incalculable. I urge the administration to listen to Virginians, who have expressed vehement opposition to all forms of oil and gas exploration off Virginia’s coast.”

“In Virginia alone, more than 20 communities have officially voiced their opposition to seismic surveys and offshore drilling, including Virginia Beach and Norfolk – Virginia’s most populous cities. The Commonwealth has a diverse and robust economy based on sectors like tourism, recreation, aquaculture, deepwater port commerce, and Department of Defense infrastructure. Moving forward with seismic testing and offshore drilling could threaten these critical engines of Virginia’s economy, along with the valuable ecosystems along the coast and within the Chesapeake Bay. These shores, and the ecosystems and jobs they support, are simply too vital to the Commonwealth to risk,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Our constituents remain concerned with the administration’s efforts to open the Commonwealth’s offshore area to oil and gas exploration and drilling. Accordingly, we again request that the Department of Commerce revoke these IHAs, and that the Department of the Interior deny all pending seismic survey permits for the Atlantic.”

“Assaulting our ocean with seismic airguns in search of dirty and dangerous offshore oil is reckless and wrong,” saidDiane Hoskins, Offshore Drilling Campaign Director of Oceana. “Today’s letter calls on President Trump’s administration to do the right thing and protect Virginia from the harms associated with offshore drilling. Seismic airgun blasting threatens serious injury and even death to whales, dolphins and other marine life.  This dangerous blasting is being proposed so that companies can come in and drill for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast. Local communities and businesses up and down the East Coast have objected to expanded offshore drilling activities, like seismic airgun blasting.”

Full letter text is available here.

Rep. McEachin Cosponsors Democratic Priority H.R. 1 – ‘For the People Act’

H.R. 1 includes language derived from Rep. McEachin’s ‘Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2018’ and ‘Election Day Holiday Act’

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) proudly co-sponsored H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019” – a Democratic legislative priority that includes voter protection and access language derived from two bills he co-introduced in the 115th Congress.

H.R. 1 includes voter protection language derived from Rep. McEachin's “Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2018,” co-introduced with Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10), and voter access language derived from “Election Day Holiday Act,” co-introduced with Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18).

“No person should be deceived as they seek to cast their vote in an election, and all those who wish to vote should have the time they need to do just that. Our democracy depends on the involvement of our citizens, and the right to vote is the most basic form of participation,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Democrats are and have been committed to making it easier for the American people to exercise their right to vote. Just this past November, we saw well-documented election fraud in a North Carolina congressional race. We must pass federal legislation that will ensure security and integrity in our elections and make it easier for Americans to participate in our democracy.”

Congressman McEachin is proud to see language from his bills included in the sweeping package of pro-democracy and anti-corruption reforms to be passed in the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

Background:

As introduced in the 115th Congress, the “Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2018” (H. R. 6607) aims to prohibit disinformation regarding elections—including disinformation about political endorsements or an individual’s eligibility to vote—and it would forbid intentional efforts to “hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person to vote or register to vote.” Violators would face a fine of up to $100,000, a prison sentence of up to 5 years, or both. The bill would also empower the Attorney General to take corrective action in the face of disinformation campaigns, and it would enable those affected by such campaigns to seek preventive relief in federal court.

As introduced in the 115th Congress, the “Election Day Holiday Act” (H. R. 6880) would require the federal government to treat Election Day as a holiday and urge private employers to do the same.

Donald McEachin Installed as Vice-Chair of the Sustainale Energy and Environment Coalition

WASHINGTON — Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following his installation as a Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC):

“Scientific reports, record breaking natural disasters, and my constituents – especially our courageous young people – have made it crystal-clear: the time to act on climate is now. As members of SEEC’s leadership team, we will take bold steps together to address our climate crisis. We will encourage our national transition to a clean energy economy; promote the creation of well-paying green jobs; and advocate for strong environmental protections, all while fighting to address long-standing environmental injustices. I am confident that in the new Democratic Majority, SEEC members will help lead our colleagues and our country toward a more sustainable future. I am excited and honored to be part of the leadership that will help make that happen.”

Representatives McEachin, Schneider Introduced P.A.R.I.S. Climate Act

Legislation to highlight why U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is disastrous

Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced the Produce All Relevant Information to Safeguard (P.A.R.I.S.) Climate Act at the same time the United Nations Climate Change annual conference takes place in Poland.

“Climate change poses an existential threat to the world as we know it, and preventing that change is one of the most pressing issues we face. Public health, environmental quality, and our economy are at risk if we do not act. Several international and domestic reports have confirmed the urgency of our situation, and this administration must use the facts we have to protect the American people and everyone with whom we share this one Earth,” said Congressman McEachin. “Three years after the signing of the Paris Agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference, Congressman Schneider and I introduced the P.A.R.I.S. Climate Act because we know the Paris Agreement was a crucial step toward ensuring our world is livable and healthy, and science shows our withdrawal endangers that precious goal.”

The P.A.R.I.S. Climate Act would require the Secretary of State to regularly publish a public assessment that highlights the damaging consequences of the Trump Administration’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. This straightforward bill demands regular answers to the following questions:

  1. How many parties have formally indicated an intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement?
  2. Does the State Department have a reasonable expectation that any parties may pursue withdrawal in the next year? If so, which, and for what reasons?
  3. Has the U.S. established specific terms for re-engagement with the Paris Agreement, per stated administration policy?

The P.A.R.I.S. Climate Act will force the administration to acknowledge the dangers of withdrawal, again and again. Every other nation recognizes the threat posed by climate change; Reps. McEachin and Schneider believe that this administration should stop preventing the United States from doing as much as possible to mitigate the impact of climate change. Bill text of H.R. 7220 is available here.

Virginia Delegation Calls on President Trump to Issue Federal Emergency Declaration Ahead of Hurricane Florence

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, along with U.S. Reps. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Scott Taylor (VA-02), Bobby Scott (VA-03), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Tom Garrett (VA-05), Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Dave Brat (VA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08), Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), and Gerry Connolly (VA-11), called on President Donald Trump to issue a federal emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Florence, a tropical storm which was recently upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to make landfall somewhere on the southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast Thursday night. Virginia’s congressional delegation wrote to the President in support of a request from Gov. Ralph Northam in advance of the storm’s potentially devastating effects on the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“The health and well-being of my constituents is my top concern, which is why I joined the entire congressional delegation of Virginia to call on President Trump to give full consideration to Governor Northam’s request to issue a federal emergency,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “If this storm continues as predicted, making federal resources available will help us achieve a speedy recovery.”

“A federal emergency declaration would ensure the full availability of federal resources to support the Commonwealth’s efforts to guarantee public safety and rapid recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Florence. Thank you for your consideration of Governor Northam’s request. We look forward to working with you, FEMA, and other relevant federal agencies to ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia has the resources available to ensure the safety of our constituents,” wrote the Virginia Congressional Delegation.

On September 8, 2018, Gov. Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which is projected to have a significant impact on the Commonwealth in the coming days. It is increasingly likely that Virginia will face damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and potentially life-threating storm surge flooding. Many localities have already ordered mandatory evacuations to prevent potential physical harm or loss of life.

The full text of the letter can be found below.

Dear Mr. President:

We write today to express our support for Governor Ralph S. Northam’s request for a federal emergency declaration in advance of Hurricane Florence’s potentially devastating effects on the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As you may know, on September 8, 2018 Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which is projected to have a significant impact on the Commonwealth in the coming days. It is increasingly likely that Virginia will face damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and potentially life-threating storm surge flooding due to Hurricane Florence. Many localities have already ordered mandatory evacuations to prevent potential physical harm or loss of life.

Governor Northam’s emergency declaration ensures a fully coordinated state response to support local recovery efforts. The Commonwealth has activated the Virginia Evacuation Coordination Team for Operational Response to assess the storm’s potential effects and the Virginia Emergency Operations Center is already coordinating the state’s response with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A federal emergency declaration would ensure the full availability of federal resources to support the Commonwealth’s efforts to guarantee public safety and rapid recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Florence.

Thank you for your consideration of Governor Northam’s request. We look forward to working with you, FEMA, and other relevant federal agencies to ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia has the resources available to ensure the safety of our constituents.

 

 

During U.S. Open, McEachin, Kaine, Capito, Warner, Scott Commemorate Arthur Ashe on 50th Anniversary of Historic Win

WASHINGTON – Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Bobby Scott (VA-03) and U.S. Senators Tim Kaine, Shelley Moore Capito, and Mark Warner announced their plans introduce bicameral resolutions to commemorate Arthur Ashe, a Richmond, VA native, on the 50th anniversary of his historic win at the 1968 U.S. Open Tennis Championship. The resolution honors Ashe’s humanitarian contributions to civil rights, education, the movement against apartheid in South Africa, and HIV/AIDS awareness. The 2018 U.S. Open Tennis Championship is currently underway.

“I am so proud to introduce a House Resolution honoring the life, legacy, and leadership of the great Arthur Ashe,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Ashe’s contributions to American history continue to make his fellow Richmonders proud – just as we were on the historic day 50 years ago.”

“Virginians will always be proud of what Arthur Ashe accomplished on and off the court,” Kaine said. “He set an example of how to be a leader, and 50 years after his historic win, he deserves this recognition.”

“As an avid tennis player, I’ve always been a fan of Arthur Ashe. Not only was he an incredible athlete, but he was also a great humanitarian and an advocate for many important causes. He built his legacy both on the court and through the many other efforts he championed around the world, and I’m excited to sponsor this resolution honoring that legacy,” Capito said.

“Although most remember Arthur Ashe as a fierce competitor on the tennis court, he was also an activist and an incredible force for racial and social justice,” said Warner. “This much deserved tribute honors him for using his platform to be a champion for all.”

“This bicameral resolution will further solidify the legacy of Arthur Ashe by honoring his legacy both on and off the court. As Virginians and Americans, we are inspired by his achievements,” said Scott.

Arthur Ashe was the first African-American man to win the singles title at the U.S. Open and to be ranked number one in the world. Click here for full text of the resolution.

McEachin Announces 2018 Congressional Art Competition Winners, Exhibit

Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announces the winners of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition, and the art exhibit displaying all 2018 entries – including the winning submissions.

“I am once again convinced that some of the most talented artists live in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District,”said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04). “The submitted artwork was truly amazing. I look forward to meeting the young artists and celebrating their hard work at this year’s art exhibit.”

All submitted and winning artwork will be displayed at the 2018 Congressional Art Competition Exhibit and Reception hosted at the Browne Studio on Saturday, June 23, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The first-place artwork completed by Allie Sarinana, a student from Colonial Heights High School, will also be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

“I am honored to see Allie’s work of art every time I walk through the Capitol. Her work represents our congressional district well,” said Congressman McEachin.

The winners were selected by the members of the 2018 Advisory Committee for the Congressional Art Competition.

 First Place: Allie Sarinana, Colonial Heights High School, "Miles," Graphite.

Second Place: Krystle Brown, Surry County High School, "Parisian Beauty," Mixed Media.

Third Place: Raven Peirce, Surry County High School, "Still Life with Flowers." Water Color.

Congressman McEachin to Host 2nd Annual Parent Power Forum

Petersburg, Va. – SATURDAY, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host his annual “Know Your Rights: Parent Power Forum” at Petersburg High School to provide parents and caregivers with information about their student’s rights in the classroom. Attendees will be able to benefit from a panel discussion and workshops lead by experienced educators, school administrators, parents, and education advocates.

Who:    Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Mayor Samuel Parham (Petersburg), Mr. Kenneth Pritchett, Chair of the Petersburg School Board, and Dr. William Wynn, Principal of Petersburg High School

What:  Congressman McEachin’s annual “Know Your Rights: Parent Power Forum” aims to provide parents and caregivers with information about their student’s rights in the classroom with a panel discussion and workshops lead by experienced educators, school administrators, parents, and education advocates. The information will focus on ways to better support the needs of students with special needs and different learning abilities.

When: SATURDAY, May 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where: Petersburg High School, 3101 Johnson Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805

Congressman McEachin Introduced Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), a co-chair of the Reinvesting in our Returning Heroes task force, introduced the Disabled Access Credit Expansion (DACE) Act to assist small business owners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), aiming to expand access and job opportunities for disabled Americans.

Currently, small businesses can receive a tax credit worth 50 percent of costs incurred to meet accessibility requirements under the ADA, up to a limit of $10,250. The DACE Act incentivizes proactive ADA compliance for small business owners by doubling the maximum allowable credit, which will reduce their liability and increase their ability to employ individuals with disabilities, including veterans.

“I introduced the DACE Act to help veterans and others with disabilities, while also helping small business owners make necessary structural improvements under the ADA—changes that will enable them to employ, and serve, more individuals with disabilities,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Unfortunately, far too many of our dedicated servicemembers come home with permanent injuries. As our returning veterans transition to civilian life, we need to do more to help them find well-paying jobs and continue to support themselves and their families. Enabling businesses to more easily hire these veterans, and any American who wants to work, is one of the best steps we can take.”

“Our veterans bring unique skills and experiences to the workforce and it is our duty to ensure that they have every opportunity while transitioning back to civilian life and finding meaningful employment,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “Congressman McEachin’s Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act will give veterans with disabilities the opportunity to secure well-paying jobs while providing incentives to our nation’s small businesses. I am proud to join him and my colleagues in this effort to help our veteran communities transition to the civilian workforce.” 

“The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act led by Congressman Donald McEachin reinforces House Democrats’ commitment to improve access for Americans with disabilities,” said House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (CA-38). “I am proud to join with members of the Democratic Caucus Jobs for America Task Force to introduce legislation that helps America’s small businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and increases access for people with disabilities and veterans.”

The Disabled Access Credit Expansion (DACE) Act would:

  • Increase the maximum eligible expenses to $20,500;
  • Double the maximum possible credit for small business owners from $5,000 to $10,125;
  • Make the credit more widely available by expanding the definition of “small business” to include companies with income of $2.5 million or less; and
  • Index the updated maximum eligible expenses to keep pace with inflation.

“In light of legislative efforts like H.R. 620, it is more important than ever that we champion basic fairness and equal access,”said Congressman McEachin. “My bill takes a better path, helping not just people with disabilities, but our hardworking small business owners.”

This bill is endorsed by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Full bill text is available here.

Virginia Department of Health to Receive $2+ Million for HIV Programs

Richmond, Va. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced that the Virginia Department of Health will receive $2,070,445.00 in grant funding to support their Integrated HIV Surveillance and Prevention programs.

“In the midst of STD Awareness Month, I am so pleased to see this grant funding awarded to the health department so that we may increase awareness and stress the importance of prevention,”said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Prevention is a key element in the successful fight against a disease. With this funding, Virginians will be able to better protect themselves and their family, which will save lives and money in the future.”

The Virginia Department of Health will receive this grant from the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB Prevention, housed under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

McEachin Announces Beginning of 2018 Congressional Art Competition

Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) calls on high school students to begin submitting their best works of art for consideration in the 4th Congressional District’s 2018 Congressional Art Competition.

“I am incredibly proud of Jada Epps each time I walk past her 2017 first place drawingon display in the U.S. Capitol. I look forward to seeing the art that will represent our district next,”said Congressman Donald McEachin.

All students who live in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District attending school in grades 9 - 12 are invited to submit original artwork in concept, design and execution in the 2018 Congressional Art Competition. Artwork must be two-dimensional, weigh no more than 15 pounds, but may be in any medium (paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photography, graphic design, etc.). Students, parents and teachers can find complete rules for entry here. All submissions must be received before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018.

For questions or more information about the competition, please contact Elizabeth Hardin at (804) 486-1840.

Activists Oppose Drilling Off Virginia’s Coast

Rep. McEachin Announces $2.2M+ Grant for Virginia Department of Health

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announcedthat the Virginia Department of Health was awarded a $2,285,039.00 Maternal and Child Health Services Grant (MCH) by the Health Resources and Services Administration, to fund access to quality care for women and children in Virginia.

“I am pleased to see this funding awarded to the women and children of Virginia,” said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04). “This grant will provide access to high-quality, affordable care for some women and children who might otherwise have lacked the care they need. This funding will help create a healthier, happier, safer Commonwealth.”

The MCH grant is a Title V block grant that runs through September 2019. The funds are typically allocated to improve access to prenatal and postnatal care, reduce infant mortality, and increase health assessments and preventative care for children.

Congressman McEachin has made the health and well-being of women and children a priority. Rep. McEachin is an original co-sponsor of the Healthy MOM Act (H.R. 2745), recognizing the immediate need, cost-reducing benefits, and lifesaving nature of being able to enroll in a healthcare plan from the moment pregnancy beings. He is also a co-sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act (H.R. 3773), which promotes child care and early learning.

McEachin, Costello, Evans, Ryan Introduce Bipartisan Bill to End Food Deserts

The “Healthy Food Access for all Americans Act” would incentivize food providers to expand access to healthy foods in underserved communities 

WASHINGTON – Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Ryan Costello (PA-06), Dwight Evans (PA-02) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) co-introduced the bipartisan Healthy Food Access for all Americans Act (HFAAA) to increase access to fresh produce available in low-income and rural areas of America.

“Every person, regardless of where he or she lives, deserves access to nutritious, affordable food, yet thousands of families in my congressional district live in areas where food access is a problem. I am committed to addressing hunger and food insecurity, which is why I introduced the Healthy Food Access for all Americans Act with my colleagues,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “By creating incentives for food providers to establish themselves in communities without access to fresh foods, this commonsense bill will help my constituents secure healthier food options for themselves and their families. We must do everything we can to eliminate food deserts.”

The bicameral, bipartisan HFAAA would create a system of tax credits and grants for businesses and nonprofits who serve low-income and low-access urban and rural areas. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), an estimated 37 million Americans live in a food desert. (*See chart below for data on food deserts in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.)

"Access to nutritious food should be an important aspect of every life” said Congressman Costello. “Under this legislation, grocery stores, farmers markets, and food banks that provide fresh, healthy foods would be encouraged to open, offer a permanent presence, or make renovations to their stores in underserved areas. Nutritious foods are linked to positive health outcomes, and this legislation is a step forward in making sure families can access the nutrients and food they need to be successful.”

“I truly believe when we change the narrative as it relates to healthy food options and provide greater access to nutritious food choices we can move the needle in terms of getting rid of food deserts, something I’ve focused a great deal of my time on throughout my entire career.  This bill is an example of a way to use the tax code to incentivize food merchants to help close the grocery store gap and change behaviors. We know diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and others, have a direct correlation to the foods we eat and to critical nutrients missing from our diets. Today, I am proud to stand with my colleagues to introduce the Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act. HFAAA is one of the tools in our toolbox that we can use to build healthier neighborhoods, block by block,” said Congressman Evans.

“Our food system is broken and ineffective. In a country where obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing, and where 37 million people live in food deserts, we cannot allow the status quo to continue. We must find new ways for all Americans to have access to fresh, healthy food. This legislation takes a big step in the right direction towards accomplishing that goal, and I’m proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress to get this done. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it makes economic sense to tackle a food system that is at the root of so much of our sky-high healthcare costs,” said Congressman Ryan.

USDA defines a food desert as an area where a grocery store is not available within a mile in urban communities or 10 miles in rural areas; and defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. This bill expands on that definition by adding U.S. census tracts with a poverty rate of 20% (or higher) or a median family income of less than 80% of the median for the state or metro area. The legislation also defines a grocery market as a retail sales store with at least 35% of its selection (or forecasted selection) dedicated to selling fresh produce, poultry, dairy, and deli items.

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a similar version of the HFAAA in August; Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) signed as a co-sponsor since the bill was introduced.

Full bill text is available here and bill summary is available here. For a map of areas in the United States that would qualify to be served as food deserts under this bill, click here.  

NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO LIVE IN FOOD DESERTS, AS DEFINED BY USDA

(The listed localities are included in the 4th Congressional District)

 

Virginia Locality

# of Residents

Chesapeake

12,198

Chesterfield

14,188

Colonial Heights

2,629

Dinwiddie

5,720

Henrico

37,342

Hopewell

12,120

Petersburg

15,759

Prince George

8,543

Richmond City

60,545

Southampton

7,958

Suffolk

4,795

Sussex

6,377

 

*The population of Virginians who live in food deserts as defined in this bill.

McEachin Announced 2017 Congressional App Challenge

RICHMOND –Congressman A. Donald McEachin is accepting applications for the 2017 Congressional App Challenge until November 1, 2017.

“This annual competition provides students of all ages with a fantastic opportunity to use their STEM-related education to develop the potentially next best app,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “I encourage every qualified student to use their creativity to develop a groundbreaking app that will represent the best congressional district in America.”

The winner’s app will be on display in the U.S. Capitol Building along with other honorees from across the country.

All students who live or attend school in the 4th Congressional District qualify to participate in this year’s competition. Students of all experience levels are encouraged to compete. There is no minimum age for participation. Any students interested in entering the competition should visit: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/.

Students, teachers, and parents with questions about the competition can contact Congressman McEachin’s Central Virginia office at (804) 486–1840.

Congressman McEachin to visit Emporia

RICHMOND – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host two Coffee with Your Congressman events to meet with constituents, hear their concerns, chat about issues, and inform them about what federal and local services are available through his office.

Emporia Coffee with Your Congressman

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 4:30p.m. to 6:00p.m.

Where:Cafe Cuisine

321 Halifax Street

Emporia, Virginia 23847

Hopewell / Prince George Coffee with Your Congressman

When: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 5:00p.m. to 6:30p.m.

Where:The Beacon Theatre

401 North Main Street

Hopewell, Virginia 23860

Brat, McEachin highlight importance of bipartisanship

By Coleman Jennings, VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Though they come from different sides of the aisle, two Virginia congressmen came together for a moderated discussion on entrepreneurship and economic growth. U.S. Reps. Dave Brat, a Republican from Glen Allen, and A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Richmond, highlighted the importance of bipartisan cooperation in moving Virginia and the nation forward.

While Brat and McEachin disagreed over issues such as health care, they found common ground in supporting broadband service in rural areas and deregulation that will stimulate business growth.

“If you don’t have internet, you can forget about bringing jobs in,” McEachin, who was elected last fall, told the approximately 80 people who attended Thursday’s forum, which was sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Richmond Young Professionals.

Brat, a tea party stalwart who advocates for limited government, agreed that expanding infrastructure is important for business growth. “I’m trying to be as pro-business as I can on every policy I’m for,” he said at the event, held at the Richmond Times-Dispatch building.

Although the officeholders were cordial and friendly to each other, such sentiments were not shared by some members of the audience. About a dozenmembers of the audience jeered at Brat, frequently interrupting his answers with scoffs. A small group in attendance continually raised red index cards every time Brat said something they didn’t like.

The topics for discussion were prepared beforehand and presented by the moderator T. Otey Smith, a principal of RLJ Equity Partners in Bethesda, Md. Each congressman was given about three minutes to give his take on the given question.

The two men may not often see eye to eye on certain issues. But on Thursday night, they frequently agreed on certain aspects of the discussion and exchanged encouraging words on topics where they shared similarities.

The discussion was not without its disagreements. One that stood out was health care. McEachin supported former President Barrack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare didn’t do everything right, but all the problems in the health-care system were not created by Obamacare either,” McEachin said.

He criticized President Donald Trump and other Republican officials for their vow to repeal and replace Obamacare. “They don’t have a lot of places to go to fix our health-care system and make it look different from Obamacare.”

Brat started off by calling Obamacare “in the ditch,” saying it “focused on coverage up front and paid no attention to price – prices have gone up 105 percent under Obamacare.” Brat is in favor in delegating health-care coverage to the states rather than having the federal government issue mandates.

“Politicians are not good at running things. Let’s bring that power down to the state level,” he said.

Brat represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which stretches from Chesterfield County to Culpeper. As an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, he won the seat in 2014 by upsetting House Minority Leader Eric Cantor.

McEachin represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes Richmond, Petersburg and parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties. An attorney, he previously served 17 years in the Virginia General Assembly.

After the hourlong discussion, both men shook hands and stayed around to talk to constituents. Some attendees said the respect Brat and McEachin showed for each other provided a model for other members of Congress.

“I think bipartisanship is key, especially in a time like this,” said Mark Stafford, a resident of Brat’s district. “I don’t want to watch my country waste away.”

VA MEMBERS URGE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP TO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT MINERS BEFORE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS EXPIRE

~ An estimated 10,000 retired coal miners in Virginia are at risk of losing health and retirement benefits in the coming years ~

WASHINGTON – In a letter today, Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, and Reps. Gerry Connolly, A. Donald McEachin, and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (all D-VA) urged Congressional leaders to take action to protect retired coal miners who risk losing their healthcare benefits as part of negotiations to keep the government funded before the end of the week. Last year, Congress reached a deal to extend government funding and retired miners’ health care benefits until April 28th. In March, retired coal miners and their families began receiving letters notifying them of the impending termination of their health care coverage. 

“This nation was built on the backs of our workers. Let us not forsake them. We implore you to immediately pass a permanent health care fix for the miners and commit to working with us to finding and passing a solution for the imperiled 1974 Pension Fund,” the members wrote.

Retired miners are facing uncertainty because the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan is severely underfunded, still reeling from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and a series of bankruptcies in the coal industry.

The Virginia Congressional members pressed for the inclusion in negotiations of the Miners Protection Act, bipartisan legislation which would transfer federal funds to shore up the underfunded health insurance and pension plan.

“Anything less is merely an extension of the ongoing uncertainty and agony that these men and women have been carrying for years. Anything less is an unacceptable and tragic failure of this body to keep its word to the men and women who powered our nation to prosperity at the risk of their own health and lives,” the members added.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below.

April 25, 2017

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                              
Senate Majority Leader                                               
The Capitol S-230                                                       
Washington, DC 20510                                              

The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader
The Capitol S-221
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan                                          
Speaker of the House of Representatives                   
The Capitol H-232                                                      
Washington, DC 20515                                              

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi  
House Minority Leader
The Capitol H-204
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi,

As you know, at the expiration of the current continuing resolution, 22,600 of our nation’s retired coal miners will lose their healthcare benefits.  In March, these miners received letters notifying them of this impending termination and, sadly, it is not the first such letter they have received.  

Virginia is home to nearly 10,000 UMWA beneficiaries whose benefits are at risk in the coming years, many of whom will soon suffer the anguish and fear that comes with the loss of these life-saving benefits. 

While the continuing resolution included a four-month extension of benefits, it did so using remaining funds in the existing Voluntary Employee’s Beneficiary Association (VEBA) plans.  The “extension” was essentially a transfer of funds already belonging to these miners.  In fact, it shortened the timeline for 6,500 of these miners who would have otherwise received healthcare benefits through July.  Additionally, the pension fund that these miners and their widows rely on for life’s basic necessities will reach the point of no return this year if Congress does not act to shore it up.

This bill is simple – it is the continuation of a longstanding commitment by our government to lifetime health and retirement benefits for our miners.  The Krug-Lewis Agreement was signed in 1946 at the White House in front of President Truman by UMWA president John L. Lewis and Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug.  While the agreement itself was not drafted in perpetuity, Congress essentially codified the promises made in that agreement by subsequently passing the Coal Act. 

The Coal Act and its 2006 amendments re-committed the government to the health and retirement security of our nation’s miners and their families.  In fact, prior to passage of the 1992 Coal Act, the Dole Commission (appointed by President George H.W. Bush) issued a report stating that, “The UMWA Health and Retirement Funds is as much a creature of government as it is of collective bargaining. There is a line running from the original Boone Report to the present system. In a way, the original Krug-Lewis agreement predisposed, if not predetermined, the system that evolved.” 

The Miners Protection Act is a responsible, bipartisan solution to an immediate problem that is fully offset and has gone through regular order.  As Congress considers a continuing resolution to keep the government running, we fully expect that such a vehicle will include the permanent health care fix for our nation’s retired miners as promised at the end of 2016 and proposed in the Miner’s Protection Act.

Anything less is merely an extension of the ongoing uncertainty and agony that these men and women have been carrying for years.  Anything less is an unacceptable and tragic failure of this body to keep its word to the men and women who powered our nation to prosperity at the risk of their own health and lives. 

This nation was built on the backs of our workers.  Let us not forsake them.  We implore you to immediately pass a permanent health care fix for the miners and commit to working with us to finding and passing a solution for the imperiled 1974 Pension Fund.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                  

Mark R. Warner                                                        
United States Senator            

Tim Kaine
United States Senator

Gerry Connolly
United States Representative

A. Donald McEachin  
United States Representative

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
United States Representative 

Platt Urges Democrats to get behind McEachin K-12 Education Bill

“63 years after we outlawed unequal facilities, the average Virginia child is going to an obsolete K-12 facility according to national standards. This isn’t the equality we should be looking for!”

Great Falls, Virginia -- Democrat Susan Platt, a candidate for Lt. Governor in the June 13 primary, called on fellow Democrats “to get behind the potentially game-changing K-12 facility legislation being championed by Democratic Congressman Don McEachin.” The measure, H.R. 922 (a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last February), almost certainly “is the best hope in Virginia history to enable localities to afford modernizing their oldest, undated facilities, a pre-requisite to the equal educational opportunity that Dr. King wanted for our children, that Democrats have long promised the working families of Virginia” said Platt.

In 2013, then Governor Robert McDonnell order the state’s first-ever K-12 facility review. He found the results shocking. Besides obsolete nature of the average facility, upwards of 40% of Virginia’s K-12 buildings were sufficiently aged to be considered as “historic” structures under federal and state law.

McEachin’s legislation addresses an unintended anti-education bias in federal law. In 1986, Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill created the “federal rehabilitation tax credit.” It incentivized modernization of buildings sufficiently aged to qualify as historic under the law. But the IRS code contained unappreciated legalese buried in arcane bureaucratese.

Platt said the Trump Hotel project in Washington provides an easily understood explanation. The Trump Organization modernized a government owned building – the old DC Post Office – into a new Hotel use pursuant to a long-term lease. This enabled the project to take advantage of beneficial “federal rehabilitation tax credit” financing. However, because a local K-12 facility modernization project aims to keep the same use – a local school – it runs afoul of the so-called “prior use” rule. The “prior use” rule says this financing is barred when the post-modernization usage remains the same.

“This seeming little rule has a huge anti-education impact” said Platt. “Based on current law, it can drive up local school modernization costs by upwards of 33% or possibly even more here in Virginia depending on the particular circumstances of a project.”

From academia to Main Street, the 40,000 federal rehabilitation tax credit financed projects around the country have been widely praised.

“Every dollar saved in local construction costs is a dollar available to improve local instruction without raising local taxes or incurring more local debt.”

Platt pointed out that the Congressional Black Caucus presented Don’s bill to President Trump at their meeting last month.” “Dean Rozell of the George Mason School of Public Policy wrote an article on it, I recommend it to everyone.”

Platt applauded Congressman McEachin for his efforts.

“Education is the great equalizer, that’s what Dr. King said and he was so right,” pointed out Platt.

“Democratic leaders, and thus who want to be Democratic leaders, need to publicly support and get behind Don.”

The Brown decision was in 1954. After 63 years, “I think the children of Virginia have waited long enough” declared Platt.

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