Hero & Zero January 10


Women Leadership in the House of Delegates and the State Senate

On Wednesday, the 2020 General Assembly convened for its first day of session and was it a day for herstory! We had a day of firsts for the country’s oldest legislature where we had our first woman and first Jewish Speaker of the House of Delegates, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, sworn in. Another first was Delegate Charniele Herring becoming the first Black woman legislator to be designated as House Majority Leader. 

On the Senate side, Senator Mamie Locke was sworn in as the first Black woman Democratic Chair. Also, Senator Louise Lucas was elected as the first Black woman President Pro Tempore of the Virginia Senate, whose role is to serve as the presiding officer of the Senate of Virginia in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor.

From the left, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, Delegate Charniele Herring, Senator Mamie Locke, and Senator Louise Lucas


The Gun Lobby

Gun enthusiasts have been whipped into a frenzy by the likes of the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who are wrongly claiming that the Virginia government is out to confiscate guns from Virginia residents. Voters in the Commonwealth sent a mandate to the General Assembly when they went to the polls in November to take action on gun violence in the state. We want commonsense gun violence prevention measures such as universal background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people, and banning assault rifles.

Absolutely no one is calling for the confiscation of people’s guns. But the NRA and VCDL have been fanning the flames by spreading nonsense and encouraging people from all over Virginia and outside of the state to descend on the Capitol on Jan. 20 (ahem Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) to tote their guns around and intimidate citizens. They think they can make us back down? We won’t because there’s more of us than them and we won’t let them silence us. 

Phillip Van Cleave, leader of the Virginia Citizens Defense League