On Wednesday I will take my oath of office in the Capitol Building, and the 2022 General Assembly Session will formally begin. This session is fraught with uncertainty: uncertainty about the politics at play and uncertainty about the health of the members of the General Assembly and the health of all Virginians.
While our Governor-Elect has announced his opposition to masks and vaccinations, supported by the new Republican House of Delegates majority, I am firmly committed to Richmond office procedures which will protect not only myself and my staff, but all visitors to the Pocahontas Building. Visitors to my office will be required to wear masks (we will provide one if you do not arrive masked). Please call (804) 698-1038 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment to visit in-person or for a virtual meeting. I urge all visitors to be vaccinated.
I will fight fiercely to protect the progress we have made in the past two years — progress based upon our shared values. The Governor-Elect has joined the new Republican majority in calling for immediate measures to undo that progress: in voting rights, women’s civil rights, gun violence prevention, protections against discrimination for all minorities, animal welfare, educational equity and major steps in increasing transparency. I will be working hard to defend our accomplishments and represent the values of my constituents.
I have begun to file legislation on a variety of topics. Many bill subjects were suggested and/or lobbied for by constituents and advocacy groups with which I have worked closely over the years. While my bills range wide in issue areas, the theme of each is the same–solving problems and increasing equity, honesty and transparency in government. My legislative agenda emphasizes our fight against climate change and expanding energy efficiency in building construction and minimizing energy loss in retrofitting. I am taking a stand against fossil fuel investment by the government to protect our already-fouled environment and to decrease the use of fossil fuels by making walking and biking safer alternatives to driving. I am fighting to stop cruelty to animals and to prevent cruelty to humans. I am fighting for access to government by all Virginians. As the former Chair of the Disability Commission, I am sponsoring several bills which will bring our Commonwealth closer to offering “A Life Like Yours” to disabled Virginians. Although I am now the former Chair of the Cities, Counties and Towns Committee, I am still working on strengthening local government to safeguard the positive strides made over the past two years, all the while increasing its accessibility both in-person and virtually.
Finding common ground so as to work effectively across the aisle will be foremost in my actions during this session. But bipartisanship will never be sacrificed for expediency. We are in new territory here in Virginia in 2022. Our challenges will be many. However I am confident that with the support of strong citizen advocates and like-minded legislators that we will make progress. Stay with us— don’t let up the scrutiny of the Democrats and Republicans elected to improve our Commonwealth— and make sure that we do our jobs!
Delegate Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. She may be emailed at [email protected]