July 30, 2021 Newsletter

July 30, 2021

Dear Friends,

This was another busy week as I am excited to share some important updates for our district.

This week, I secured funding for all ten Community Project Funding requests submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Appropriations process. This amounted to $19,121,508 in total to fund local projects and priorities in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.

I also wanted to remind you about the Child Tax Credit payments, which began this month, and how they will impact you and your family.

Lastly, I wanted to thank Ms. La’Veesha Rollins of Charles City County who attended the Climate Advocacy Breakfast Press event in Washington D.C on behalf of our district.

Child Tax Credit Payments Have Begun

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the enhanced Child Tax Credit, monthly payments have started hitting hardworking Virginians’ bank accounts. The enhanced Child Tax Credit could help lift more than half of American children out from below the poverty line. Over 39 million children, more than 88% nationwide, will receive payments from this program. In just our congressional district, almost 150,000 children will benefit.

Here is some helpful information as the Child Tax Credit program is underway –

The payments are scheduled for delivery July 15th, August 13th, September 15th, October 15th, November 15th, and December 15th. Eligibility and payment amounts will be determined by the IRS, which will first look to 2020 tax returns. People who filed and processed their tax returns by June 28th should have received their first payment if they were eligible. Payments for returns filed and/or processed after June 28th will be pro-rated and delivered in later monthly installments.

Credits made to a direct deposit account should be available now or in the coming days. Checks sent through the U.S. Postal Service will take some additional time to move through the mail.

Constituents can manage delivery and check the status of their payments using the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update Portal. The IRS also has put up a Frequently Asked Questions page that can be very helpful with any inquiries or concerns you have about the Child Tax Credit.


Community Funding Projects!

I am thrilled to share some exciting updates regarding my Community Project Funding requests. Earlier this week, I announced that all ten Community Project Funding requests I submitted to the House Appropriations Committee were approved. There was no guarantee that all of the requests for Virginia’s Fourth would be chosen but thanks to the hard work of our local leaders, we were able to secure much-needed funding for every project.

More details on my ten projects are below:

Broadband Expansion for Charles City County: Reliable access to high-speed internet has become necessary for families and communities to thrive. The internet has become a necessity for so many important aspects of life, including education tele-health medicine, job hunting, tele-working, especially during the pandemic, and so much more. This request will ensure more than 99% of Charles City County residents will have access to high-speed internet.

Water Infrastructure Upgrades for Surry County, Peterburg, and Prince George: These localities need help with their water systems. Surry County needs to replace the current well for its public schools and connect it to a public water source to increase capacity and extend the longevity of the system. Prince George wants to extend their central water system to the Route 10 corridor to provide a reliable water source allowing them to then decommission an existing aquifer well system. Petersburg needs to upgrade their wastewater system to protect public health in the Pharmaceutical Park/Poor Creek Sewer Service area. Reliable access to potable water should be a right and no one should worry that water will not be readily available or that wastewater will not be handled safely.

Chesterfield County’s Ettrick Train Station Revitalization: Chesterfield County needs funding to update and improve the Ettrick Train Station. This station serves residents of Chesterfield and the Tri-Cities, who need to travel down the I-95 corridor but may not have a car, as well as students at Virginia State University, who rely on the train system to travel home. This revitalization will help ensure regular and increased train service for this entire region. This will be a win for residents and the environment and will help reduce congestion on I-95.

City of Hopewell’s Cattail Creek Crossing Project: The City of Hopewell wants to improve Cattail Creek Crossing to enhance the safety and non-vehicular mobility for users along Courthouse Road. Funding for this project will improve pedestrian safety, increase mobility options, and improve the quality of life for residents.

Chesapeake’s Historic Village at the Great Dismal Swamp: The City of Chesapeake needs funding to move the historic Cornland School to a location at the Great Dismal Swamp where it can be restored and maintained for future generations. The Cornland School was built over a century ago to educate African American children and has historic significance as one of the few schools still standing that illustrates the inequities created by “separate but equal” policies. These funds will help move and restore the school, turning it into a Center for African American History and Culture.
Richmond City – Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)’s Gun Violence Prevention Framework: VCU needs funding for their proposal to establish an evidence-based public health response to address the underlying social, economic, and systemic factors that contribute to the epidemic of gun violence. Here in Virgina, just last year, there were over 1,000 gun deaths, 87 of which were children. Funding for this project could aid in determining the root causes of gun violence and how to address them, which could potentially save thousands of lives.

Richmond City – VCU’s RTR Teacher Residency Early Childhood Program: VCU needs funding for a project to recruit, support, train, and retain high-quality early-childhood education teachers. Study after study has determined that children who attend a good preschool program come to school better able to learn and better prepared. Funding for this project will ensure our communities have the high-quality educators preparing our children and future generations.
City of Henrico’s Highland Springs Elementary School’s An Achievable Dream Certified Academy: Achievable Dream, Inc. is a non-profit that partners with school districts to create schools that teach standard academic subjects and enhance their curriculum with a focus on social, academic, and moral education (SAME). Henrico has an elementary school dedicated to this program where HCPS provides staffing and the underpinning of schools (food, services, transportation, etc.) and An Achievable Dream supplements these to provide a stronger experience for students. Henrico County wants to expand this program into middle school and this funding would support and supplement that project, providing resources for more wrap around programming. 

On Thursday, the House voted on a seven-bill government spending package from various House Appropriations Subcommittees. The package aims to create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families and the vulnerable. The legislative package included several of the aforementioned Community Project Funding requests. I was proud to vote in support of this legislative package, advance many of my Community Project Funding requests, and pass them out of the House and into the Senate. I will continue advocating for the remaining requests and fighting to ensure they are all signed into law.


Climate Advocacy Program

I would like to thank Ms. La’Veesha Rollins, of Charles City County in our district, who spoke passionately about climate change and its impact in our Fourth District communities at the Climate Advocacy Breakfast Press event in Washington last week. Ms. Rollins, a Women Earth Alliance 2020 Accelerator Member and Co-Director of Concerned Citizens of Charles City County (C-5), is a dedicated activist and shared compelling insights. I would like to thank her for her commitment and to thank the numerous residents of our district who are dedicated to addressing climate change and leaving the earth a healthier place for our children and grandchildren. The effects of climate change continue to worsen, and we are seeing those impacts with more frequent severe weather events, rising sea levels, and warming temperatures. We must take action now to curb the climate crisis. I applaud Ms. Rollins for her leadership and efforts.