I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and happy Hanukkah to all who are celebrating the Festival of Lights this week! Christmas will soon be upon us, and the 2019 General Assembly session will begin shortly thereafter. The holidays are always a good time to be grateful for our family and friends, reflect on the current year’s events, and look forward to the New Year awaiting us. As we approach the end of 2018, I would like to share with you some items of note, including my recent school visits, details for my upcoming Town Hall meetings, and a heads-up for the 2019 Pre-Session survey I hope you will all participate in.
Take Your Legislator to School Month
November was “Take Your Legislator to School” month, and I had the privilege of visiting Fort Defiance High School and the Valley Career and Technical Center last week. I am always so impressed with the caliber of our students and educators in the Commonwealth. I appreciate the hospitality I received and the chance to visit schools in the district. Hearing directly from our students and educators is invaluable when deliberating on educational issues in the General Assembly. I look forward to visiting additional schools in the near future.
Town Hall Meetings, 25th House District Advisory Committee, and Pre-Session Surveys
I am once again asking residents of the 25th House District for their input so I can better understand what issues are most important to you. I have found your input over the years to be invaluable. There are a number of ways for you to contact me and I always remain available. To that end, I wanted to make you aware of three upcoming Town Hall meetings, our soon to be released legislative survey, and the 25th House District Advisory Committee (HDAC). Legislative surveys will soon be mailed and posted to my website, SteveLandes.com. Additionally, you’ll find information for our upcoming Town Hall meetings listed below. I have one in each county, so hopefully, you’ll be able to join me! Finally, the 25th HDAC meets quarterly, and I am always seeking new members. If you are interested in serving on the 25th HDAC, please click here. These are all additional avenues for folks to be involved, aside from the normal phone calls, office visits during session or email contacts to my office. Hearing directly from the residents of the 25th District remains one of the most important tools for me to best represent you at the General Assembly and I look forward to hearing from you.
Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
Delegates Landes & Wilt Joint Town Hall
Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
Rockingham County Administration Center
20 East Gay Street, Harrisonburg
Delegate Landes Town Hall
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Crozet Library, Large Meeting Room
2020 Library Avenue, Crozet
Delegate Landes Town Hall
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Blue Ridge Community College
Plecker Center, Room P126A
One College Lane, Weyers Cave
American Evolution 2019 Celebration
Last week, Frommer’s, one of the most trusted names in travel, released its list of the Best Places to Go in 2019. Frommer’s staff and contributors have named Virginia, and specifically the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution as one of the Top 19 Places to Go in 2019 — in the world! The history of Virginia and our importance to the world should be a continual source of pride and reflection for all Virginians and Americans. As stated in the article, “Virginia intends to stay woke all year long.” I am excited about this wonderful designation and I encourage all of you to join the American Evolution.
I would also like to share with you some American Evolution 2019 Commemoration “Class of 400” Virginia House of Delegates videos. Please take a moment to watch my comments on the 400th Anniversary; Delegates Betsy Carr, Jason Miyares, David Toscano, Mark Keam, and I discussing Democracy; and Delegates Joe Lindsey, Stephen Heretick, Betsy Carr and I discussing the Virginia General Assembly’s Legacy. The 2019 Commemoration YouTube channel gives access to videos, playlists, and additional social media links as well.
GRASP in the 25th District
GRASP is a nonprofit college-access organization that assists students and families in obtaining funding for post-secondary education. GRASP will help students and their families, regardless of their financial resources and at no charge to them, develop an educational plan by assisting them with the financial aid process; awarding and administering scholarships; inspiring them to believe that secondary and post-secondary education are attainable; and supporting them during the completion of their educational goals.
In the 2017 – 2018 year, GRASP guided 7,022 students through the complicated requirements to access funding for education after high school and provided hands-on help with applications. It mentored 884 students starting in 10th grade, ensuring that they qualified for $532,000 in scholarships through SOAR Virginia, an Early Commitment Scholarship Program created and funded by Virginia529.
Services are free of charge and made available through support from private donations, foundations, and Virginia State Senators and Delegates. GRASP’s goal is to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school, regardless of financial or social circumstances. For more information on GRASP, please visit www.grasp4va.org.
Thanks to all of you who joined me over the weekend at the Bridgewater and Grottoes parades. What better way to spread holiday cheer than with parades? Both were certainly festive environments and it was a pleasure to participate in these celebrations and see so many friendly faces.
I am pleased to announce that Congressman-Elect Ben Cline will be joining us on December 19th for my Holiday Reception fundraiser at the Frontier Culture Museum. This is a great opportunity to show your support for my campaign, wish Congressman-Elect Cline all the best as he prepares for his new role representing Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, and spread holiday cheer with new and old acquaintances alike! You can learn more by clicking here. For questions or to RSVP, please contact Will Wrobleski by email at email@example.com or call (603) 660-8811. I hope you'll be able to join us!
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
If you know a high school student who may be interested in a future in aviation, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Liberty University, Averett University and the Virginia Department of Aviation, is offering flight academies at no cost for high school students statewide.
The Pathways Flight Academies immerse students in learning to fly while discovering the range of exciting aviation career opportunities available. Four, two-week residential academies will be offered during the summer of 2019 for selected students who have shown an interest in and passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM), and have career aspirations to become a pilot. Students admitted to this intensive program will undertake ground school and flight training that can culminate in their first solo flight at the end of the academy!
Funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Pathways Flight Academies will be rigorous programs in which students immerse themselves in learning about weather, electronic navigation, flight systems and operations, and FAA regulations. The competitive application process is open to students statewide. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, Virginia residents and 16 years old by the start of the Academy. They must also be able to pass an FAA flight physical exam upon acceptance into the program. Twenty-four students will be selected. The application deadline is January 25, 2019. Learn more about the Pathways Flight Academies and the application process at http://www.vsgc.odu.edu/pathwaysflightacademies.
In Case You Missed It
As always, my Legislative Director, Judy Wyatt, Communications Director, Will Wrobleski, and I are here to serve you. If you need help with a state government agency or issue, we can be reached by phone at 540.255.5335 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our address is Post Office Box 12, Verona, Virginia 24482.
Please visit my website at www.stevelandes.com for my latest press releases and newsletters. Also, be sure to “like” my Facebook Fan Page or you can now follow me on Twitter @steve_landes by clicking the buttons below:
Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.