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I thought that I would return to Richmond this week to cast a final vote on our biennial budget. I am extremely disappointed that a small group of  senators continue to hold off a vote on this bipartisan budget that would give a 2% raise to teachers, fund essential government programs and expand access to affordable healthcare for nearly 400,000 Virginians. I have just been told that we will return to Richmond next week to vote on the budget. Stay tuned. 
Virginia Chamber of Commerce 94th Annual Awards Dinner
RICHMOND – The Virginia Chamber of Commerce today named the recipients of the Free Enterprise Award for their support of pro-business policies during the 2018 legislative session. The Free Enterprise Award recognizes legislators for their support for the principles and initiatives outlined in the Chamber’s long-term economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2025.

“We are pleased to recognize these legislators for their work to make Virginia the best state for business,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “The recommendations in Blueprint Virginia 2025 outline the business community’s plan to put us on track for long-term economic growth. The support of public policy leaders is key to ensuring Virginia continues to grow and prosper, and we are thankful for the leadership of these legislators.”
The Chamber also recognized Senator Siobhan Dunnavant as 2018 Senate Legislator of the Year and Delegate Todd Gilbert as 2018 House Legislator of the Year. The Virginia Chamber’s Legislator of the Year Award is the business community’s premier legislative award honoring the lawmaker who demonstrates outstanding leadership on pro-business issues. Delegate Emily Brewer was recognized as the Freshman Legislator of the Year.
I was recognized with the 2018 Free Enterprise Award for my work to advance the policies of Blueprint Virginia 2025 in Workforce and Education.

About the Virginia Chamber of Commerce The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the Commonwealth, with more than 26,000 members. The Chamber is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory, civic and judicial arenas to act as the catalyst for positive change in all areas of economic development and competitiveness for Virginia. In December 2017, the Chamber released an update to its long-term strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2025, which engaged over 6,000 business and community leaders to lay out a plan to getting Virginia back to the top of national business climate rankings. Learn more at
Hampton University University College Dean's Reception & Awards Ceremony 
Congressman Bobby Scott, Mayor Tuck, Councilman-Elect Steve Brown and I are pictured with the Mistress of Ceremony, Dean of University College, Dr. Kim Luckes and the keynote speaker, Mr. Richard “Rikki” Vaughn, who graduated in 2013. While giving homage to University College, he inspired the graduates by his story of overcoming obstacles as he highlighted his success in the restaurant business. Rikki Vaughn announced and launched his bid for United States Senate for the state of Maryland. Candidate Vaughn would be the youngest in the U.S. Senate and first African American elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Maryland.
Downtown Child Development Center

Earlier this week, I visited the Hampton Downtown Child Development Center. 

They are a private, nonprofit child care center serving children from all backgrounds, incomes and abilities - a wonderful "melting pot" where everyone learns together, and from each other. They were the first center on the Peninsula to be NAEYC accredited, placing them in the top 7% of child care in the country, and in our 2012 assessment and earned perfect scores in 8 out of 10 categories. Each day, they nurture and educate nearly 200 children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, offering the Peninsula's only sliding-scale tuition rate, where families pay based on income and need. Downtown Child Development Center's mission is "To nurture young children by providing affordable, quality preschool programs that develop the 'whole child' and foster school readiness." For more information or ways to support, visit their web site:

Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board
Each year the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board (CSB) recognizes employees who are celebrating significant employment anniversaries of five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and thirty years of services. In addition awards were given to recipients of the Patty L. Gilbertson Excellence in Service Award and the Hampton-Newport News CSB Hall of Fame.

Given in memory of Mrs. Patty L. Gilbertson, recipient has achieved and demonstrated significant contributions to individuals served, lived the mission of the CSB (through purpose, core values and vision), and has been an example of someone who is able to demonstrate a balance between professional and personal life. 

Hall of Fame recipients are selected by the Hampton-Newport News CSB Board and Staff in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to improving the lives of consumers and their understanding of the mission and philosophy of CSB. 

It was an honor to highlight one of the 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, Mrs. Jane Hobbs (pictured above). The ceremony was well attended by members of the Virginia General Assembly, and officials from the City of Hampton, and the City of Newport News. 
Senior Picnic
The annual Senior Picnic, hosted by Sheriff BJ Roberts, was a great occasion. Due to the weather, he made a decision to move it from outdoors at Mill Point Park to indoors at Queen Street Baptist North Worship Center. Many staff members of the sheriff's department helped serve the attendees and elected officials offered assistance to help their needs. I met many people who live in the 92nd House District.
Barett-Peake Hertiage Foundation
Marker Unveiling Ceremony
The ceremony was held at the Historic Virginia Federation of Colored Women's Clubs Headquarters. Founded in 2013, the Barrett-Peake heritage Foundation (BPHF) is named after two historic women in the state of Virginia, Janie Porter Barrett and Mary Peake. Janie Porter Barrett charted the Virginia Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, headquartered in Hampton. She also started the first documented Black settlement house on Locust Street, and the Virginia Industrial School in Hanover County. Mary Peake was a teacher who defied Virginia law and taught Black people how to read and write prior to the Civil War. She was also a civic leader, active in the Daughters of Zion, a benevolent organization. As a living museum, ideas for community utilization include an archives area, first-floor museum with artifacts and period furniture from the Federation, space for academic tutoring, musical/drama session, meeting room, and reception spaces as well. 
Wedding of Russel Wade
It was an honor to attend the wedding of Russel and Rhonda Wade. Russel was my legislative assistant several years ago, until Senator Tim Kaine snatched him up and carried him to Washington D.C. He continues to work as a legislative aid for the senator in the concentration of small business, social security, and housing finance. Senator Kaine was the wedding officiate and I was honored to have been seated beside his wife, the former Secretary of Education, Anne Holton. Congratulations to the newlyweds. 
Honor Roll Letters Are Completed!
The desk is empty and all the letters and certificates have been mailed! This year I have signed 8,643 honor roll letters and certificates. As always, it is an honor to give recognition to students who commit to excellence and hard work. 
Reminder: If your student lives in the 92HD, has earned honor roll, but did not receive a letter or certificate, it is probably because the school is located in a different house district. There is no way to determine if a student lives in a particular district, so we base it on the location of the school. However, if you live in the 92HD and your child earned honor roll, please let me know and I will gladly send a letter of acknowledgement. 
Delta Luncheon

I was thrilled to have been seated with Reverend Dr. Joan Parrott for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Scholarship and Awards Luncheon. Reverend Parrott is the pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Hampton. In the 150 years since its founding, Reverend Parrott is the first woman to lead the congregation. In addition to being there to celebrate with the scholarship recipients, Reverend Parrott was also there to celebrate with two members of her congregation: Retha Montgomery, Delta Woman of the Year and Willie C. Anderson, Community Woman of the Year. It was a lovely afternoon. 

From Dr. Mary T. Christian:
A Day To Remember
Please join us for a Memorial Day Gathering and bring a Floral or a Flag.

Date:  Saturday, May 26
Time:  10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Place:  Entrance Area to Bassette Cemetery - Behind HRT (Hampton) Transportation Center, King Street

IN REMEMBRANCE, we will decorate our Historic grave sites. Thanks to Sheriff B.J. Robert's group for cemetery maintenance and the Promise Program participants among volunteers. If you prefer to make a donation instead, please send to Barrett-Peake Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 1892, Hampton, VA 23669. THANK YOU for your cooperation and GOD BLESS! For additional information, please contact Dr. Mary T. Christian, 723-2673 or 236-4244.

Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc., a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. This day brings people together to have fun, raise money, and change the lives of kids who need our help the most. Red Nose Day launched in the US in 2015, dedicated to ending child poverty, both in the US and in some of the poorest communities in the world. The money raised by Red Nose Day in the US has benefited programs for children and young people in all 50 states and in 34 countries internationally. The meaning of the Red Nose is described on their site as:

"Simple yet powerful, visible and playful,
the Red Nose has always been our symbol.
It brings us together, breaks down barriers,
and reminds us of the power of laughter. 

This year Red Noses arrive with a touch of silver sparkle,
because giving children a brighter future is something to celebrate."

All the best, 

Delegate Jeion (ja-WAN) Ward
Authorized by J Ward for Delegate
Copyright © 2018 Jeion Ward for Delegate, All rights reserved.

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