Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), chair of Virginia’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, released the following statement regarding plans to remove Confederate monuments located in her Senate district in Richmond:

“130 years ago this week, the legendary publisher John Mitchell, Jr. shared his view of the new Robert E. Lee statue unveiled in Richmond in an editorial in the Richmond Planet. ‘What does this display of Confederate emblems mean?’ Mitchell asked. ‘[It] will ultimately result in handing down to a generation unborn a legacy of treason and blood. … It serves to reopen the wound of war and cause to drift further apart the two sections.’ The statue—like many others erected just after Reconstruction—was part of a ‘Lost Cause’ narrative and a backlash to the social, economic and political rise of the Black community. This was the beginning of a narrative that was used by some to put Blacks ‘back in their place.’ Others were put up in the 1950s as part of Massive Resistance for the same reasons. These monuments continue to cause pain and trigger trauma for my family and millions of Black families across America.

Words fail when I try to describe the events of the past few weeks. In the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately kills Black and Brown people, the pain, suffering and anger over the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have touched every community in America, including Richmond.
Like so many others, I am overcome by the sheer, utter exhaustion of being Black in America. We are exhausted. We are hurting. We are frustrated. We are scared. We are angry. None of these feelings are new; we've seen and felt it all before. We all feel the pain of the endless struggle to make the ideals upon which this nation was created a reality for all, despite a foundation of inequitable hierarchy.
For the past week and a half, most of Virginia has been in Phase One of the "Forward Virginia" plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19.  
Starting at midnight, Thursday May 28th, the remaining five Northern Virginia localities, Accomack County, and the City of Richmond will also enter Phase One. 
My Mom often jokes she is half responsible for me. But she's so much more than that. She taught me how to balance family, work, and giving back to the community. Just as her mother did for her, she laid the foundation of the mother I would become.
As a little girl, I remember watching my mother pour herself into our family navigating both work and home, bandaging scuffed knees and wiping noses while also investing in her dedication to supporting students as they reached their higher education goals.
Last week, the General Assembly gathered for a historic Veto Session. to address the Governor's amendments to several bills, which can be found here. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and required social distancing, the Senate met at the Science Museum of Virginia, while the House met on the Capitol grounds. You can see a slide show of some of the more memorable images of the day from Virginia Mercury. Here are the highlights:

RICHMOND –  With the Virginia legislature completing veto session Wednesday, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) had a historically productive session: 36 of her bills and resolutions passed into law – including two amended bills that passed Wednesday. Additionally, 5 of McClellan’s bills were incorporated into other legislation that passed into law.

It seems like forever since the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session adjourned just over a month ago. In the 30 days after we adjourned in the midst of navigating this pandemic, the Governor took action on 1,291 bills. We need some good news.  And by the deadline on April 11th, the Governor signed quite a few historic bills:

I hope you are continuing to stay healthy as we all do our part to flatten the curve.  My staff and I continue to field constituent questions and share information on the latest updates as we weather this pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who joined my COVID-19 virtual town hall last Tuesday. This crisis is affecting everyone, and I appreciated hearing stories about how it's impacting my constituents lives and how we can help. Thanks to CBS6's Laura French, you can listen to the livestream here or a wrap up here.
Today, Governor Northam issued a "Stay-at-Home" order for all Virginians. Executive Order 55 takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.
The order allows individuals to leave home to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, and obtain goods and services outlined in the order such as groceries and prescriptions. Outdoor activity is permissible  so long as they are limited to gatherings of 10 or less and people remain 6 feet apart. Private campgrounds must close for short-term stays, and beaches will be closed statewide except for fishing and exercise.

Yesterday, the Governor signed Executive Order 53 ordering the closure of certain non-essential businesses, banning all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closing all public and private K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam also urged all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.
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