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January 10, 2024

New Virginia House of Delegates speaker Del. Don Scott, D-Portsmouth (left) is sworn in by Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernard Goodwyn (right) amid cheers and a standing ovation after his unanimous election.

Virginia General Assembly 2024 convenes and makes history

About a third of state lawmakers are new to the job, they're working in a newly renovated building, and this year Democrats are leading both the House and the Senate under the veto powers of a Republican Governor.

But the real history-making news is the swearing in this week of Don Scott, the first Black Speaker of the House in the legislature's 400 year history. 

Scott's story is one of lifelong perserverance, as the 58-year-old Navy Veteran and attorney made his way from prison to politics. 

VPM reporter Jahd Khalil has a look at Scott's fascinating life in this NPR profile.


VPLC's 2024 Legislative Agenda

Families and children are at the heart of VPLC's legislative agenda this year, from protecting tenants from unfair eviction and utility disconnection processes, to making sure that hungry children are able to eat and that their parents have adequate legal representation. 

VPLC also supports measures that would stop the rampant spread of abusive junk fees and hidden payday loans that threaten the economic security of already-struggling Virginians. The 2024 Legislative Agenda is outlined below, or you can access it here from our website.

VPLC's Executive Director Jay Speer discusses the agenda in this morning's Coffee Chat.

List of VPLC's legislative priorities

Fighting for the rights of all Virginians: VPLC's team of legislative advocates is ready to work

Just a few of our legislative advocates, from left to right: Valerie L'Herrou, Susheela Varky, Janae Craddock, Kajsa Foskey, Flannery O'Rourke, Anna Daniszewski, Jay Speer, Amanda Gago Silcox, Christie Marra

It's rare to find all of VPLC's legislative advocates in one place, at the same time, standing still. And while that's not exactly what happened in the photo above, we did find quite a few of them at VPLC's Annual "Facts Not Funds" session kickoff event, where they talked with state lawmakers about the issues facing struggling Virginians.

But there's an easier way to find the advocates all in one place. Just use this link to our advocates roster and contact sheet.


Join VPLC next Wednesday for a Tenant Day of Action at the General Assembly! We will meet at the VPLC office and visit legislators' offices in the morning, then testify at Senate General Laws in the afternoon if scheduling permits. Make your voice heard on these important issues! 

Please contact Daniel Rezai (drezai@vplc.org) with questions about the event. 


Are you a justice advocate?

Please help VPLC get the word out about the many important issues under consideration by state lawmakers right now.  Let everyone in your orbit know about legislative proposals and the crucial votes lawmakers are considering over the next two months. Here's how you can help:

  • share our social media posts within your own network
  • forward our weekly e-newsletters
  • contact your legislator to have your voice heard (you can find your lawmaker using this online tool)
  • sign up here for crucial Action Alert notifications emailed throughout Session 2024

Thank you for your support. We can't improve Virginia for all without you.

Virginia Poverty Law Center
919 East Main St Suite 610 | Richmond, Virginia 23219
804-782-9430 | info@vplc.org
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