Opinion: Commentary: Busy Summer, Fall, Session Coming

Opinion: Commentary: Busy Summer, Fall, Session Coming

I have been busy at work this summer serving you as your Delegate, here at home in the 44th District, and in Richmond. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or read my column here in the Mount Vernon Gazette and my weekly newsletter, you know that I always try to keep you updated on important issues concerning the Commonwealth and apprised of my daily, year-round work on your behalf.

As you know, the Virginia General Assembly is a part-time legislature. I am one of the many legislators that has a full-time job in addition to my responsibilities as an elected official. Although we are only in our legislative session for 45 days during odd-numbered years like this one, and for 60 days during even-numbered years, I travel often to Richmond out of session in my official Delegate capacity.

As a brief recap, this summer was filled with numerous trips to Richmond for meetings as a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Broadband Advisory Council, the Offender Population Forecasting Policy Committee, the July Special Session on gun violence prevention legislation, as well as the follow-up Crime Commission meetings held in August, and I must not forget the several Democratic Caucus meetings I attended. I will also be heading down to Richmond at least twice this October for both the Crime Commission and another Appropriations meeting. After the Nov. 5 election, the gun violence prevention Special Session is scheduled to reconvene on Nov. 18, with more Appropriations meetings in Norfolk on the 19th and 20th.

One of my most important duties, whether we are in session or not, is my service to constituents. I receive many inquiries from 44th district residents requesting my assistance on a wide range of issues. Recently, I have assisted constituents with letters of support for numerous issues like educational grant applications, VDOT matters, a child support concern, traffic lights, applying for the new REAL ID (the deadline is this time next year), among others.

Another key part of my responsibility as Delegate is participating in and hosting community events in and around the 44th district, in addition to the many political ones. Over the last month, I attended and spoke at the annual NoVA Labor Day Picnic at Fort Hunt Park, spoke to electric vehicle enthusiasts and before faith leaders at a meeting on the climate change crisis, and hosted a screening of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex” with VAratifyERA, just to name a few. This week, I will be joining our Mount Vernon School Board Chair, Karen Corbett Sanders in speaking to the Mount Vernon High School PTSA about education issues, meeting with a tenants group at the Audubon community.

I will also be attending the 29th annual Slave Memorial wreath-laying ceremony at Mount Vernon on Saturday at 11am, which I highly recommend and hope you can attend.

Most importantly, during the last several weeks, I have been busy preparing legislation for next year’s General Assembly session that begins in January. Bill planning, in addition to the upcoming election, is a key focus for me this fall season. I am meeting with constituents, community leaders, and other subject matter experts and stakeholders to assist in drafting new potential legislation important to my constituents here in the 44th district. I want to continue hearing from my constituents during this important process. If there is any issue that you care about and would like to improve in our community or the Commonwealth, please reach out to my office to share these thoughts by emailing me at DelPKrizek@house.virginia.gov. Your idea could become a bill that gets signed by the Governor into law next year as did seven bills I introduced last session.