News & Events

Check out what the SML Democrats are doing and perhaps catch up on some local and state news.

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In the Headlines

SML Democrats News Releases

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Local and State News

Franklin County Schools demand more SROs in schools
By Paige Meyer, WSET-TV
Franklin County School Board and the Sheriff’s Office are teaming up with one goal in mind — to keep all students safe. Monday night’s school board meeting unveiled their plan of action. These community leaders want to have armed, trained law enforcement officers in each school to support school safety and security.

Luria: “Like a captain watching his ship burn, Trump did nothing on Jan 6 to stop the riot”
By Regina Mobley, WAVY-TV
The January 6 hearings have provided disturbing details about how former President Trump and his team spread false information about voter fraud, assembled the violent mob, and then tried to make the violence appear spontaneous. Congresswoman Elaine Luria, a former U.S. Navy Commander, says the former Commander-in-Chief is guilty of dereliction of duty. “The captain of the ship can’t just sit there for three hours, watch the ship burn to the water line and not take any action,” said Luria after Tuesday’s hearing. According to the committee’s schedule, Luria, a Democrat, along with Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger will co-moderate what is scheduled to be the final hearing, on Thursday, July 21.

Treatment of recent Bedford County library display prompts comments to supervisors
By Shannon Kelly, News & Advance
The relocation of a recent Pride Month display of LGBTQ books at a Bedford County library brought multiple residents out to speak at a county board of supervisors meeting this week, with several expressing support for the library’s display and one saying the display should have been relocated or removed. When Pride Month — a time federally designated for LGBTQ awareness and activism — kicked off in June, Bedford County public libraries, like other public library systems, added themed displays offering resources related to the LGBTQ community, and books with representation of this community. Before long, the Forest Library branch was targeted by a small number of individuals, some affiliated with a local group that desired to remove or relocate LGBTQ materials.

Roanoke Amtrak expansion rolling: Significant ridership increase predicted
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times
Amtrak’s midday train to Roanoke entered the station for the first time Monday before a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. With two Amtrak trains now serving the city daily, one transportation official predicted that local ridership will at least double to 10,000 monthly trips within a few years.

Youngkin defends portrayal of gay-marriage rights as business ranking slips
By Laura Vozzella, Washington Post
Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Wednesday that he was right to tell a national TV audience that Virginia law protects same-sex marriage rights, even though such unions would be banned in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses itself on that issue. Youngkin, a Republican who has leaned into some culture wars but mostly sidestepped LGBTQ issues, defended his remarks as the state he’s led for six months slipped in an annual best-states-for business ranking — due in part to a lower score for “life, health and inclusion.”

Video: In Cringe-Inducing, Falsehood-Filled Nebraska Speech, Glenn Youngkin Says We All Should Take “a moment to thank our Lord for our Supreme Court”
For whatever reason – gee, what could it be? what could it be? LOL – Glenn Youngkin, who’s only been in office as governor of Virginia for six months and has plenty to work on here (if he gave a rat’s hindquarters about Virginia), was busy delivering a speech this morning in…Nebraska?!? Yep, Nebraska, which just so happens to border on a certain state that traditionally holds the first presidential nominating caucuses every four years, with the 2024 cycle slated to really start gearing up next year, and with increasing talk about possible alternative Republican presidential candidates if Trump decides not to run, is in prison, etc.

Congressman calls for abortion ban in Virginia: ‘Republicans should not be negotiating’
Anti-abortion supporters rallied at the Virginia State Capitol Saturday afternoon to call on state lawmakers to limit access to abortion in the Commonwealth. More than 100 people turned out for the rally organized by Virginia’s 5th District Congressman Bob Good in a push for a complete ban on abortions in Virginia. Additionally, Good and supporters criticized Republicans looking to compromise on the issue as it is now up to states to decide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

GOP looks for ways to curb abortions even without a ban
By Mel Leonor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to ban women from obtaining legal abortions in Virginia after 15 weeks of pregnancy isn’t likely to get past Democrats in control of the Senate. But Republicans are seeking ways to advance their agenda on abortions outside of outright bans. Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, for example, is urging Youngkin to consider conditioning some funding for state-funded universities like Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia on those institutions halting the procedure at their medical facilities.

Youngkin Gets Grade of ‘F’ in First Conservation Ranking
The new Virginia League of Conservation Voters scorecard doesn’t just grade the legislators (and overwhelmingly, Dems get superb scores while Republicans get abysmal ones when it comes to caring about our environment), it also scores Gov. Glenn Youngkin. And the results are NOT pretty, to put it mildly. In his first few months on the job, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has done little to advance environmental protection, focusing instead on rolling back important environmental safeguards, while appointing individuals with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry to his administration and to important regulatory posts. Furthermore, Gov. Youngkin has shown little interest in working with the legislature to find common ground; instead he’s proven to be incredibly uncollaborative, even with members of his own party, and used the bully pulpit of his office to pick political fights, killing bipartisan legislation as retribution to the bills’ patrons, while ignoring the actual policy considerations.

Youngkin promotes recycling but discards program to ban plastics
By Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) issued an executive order Thursday laying out a recycling plan for state agencies but drew criticism from environmental groups for something he discarded: an order by former governor Ralph Northam (D) that required executive branch state agencies to give up single-use plastics by the end of 2025.

Diversification of Virginia, 1990-2020
In 1990, three out of four Virginia residents identified as white. Three decades later, the number was down to less than 60 percent. This interactive map and chart show the dramatic changes in population.

Governor signs 45 bills into law
By Caitlyn Burchett, Virginian-Pilot
Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed 45 bills into law Friday, making sweeping changes to education, public safety, and fees for veteran fishing and hunting. The bills, he said, include bipartisan legislation that aims to strengthen school safety audits, cut fees for veteran sportsmen and establish new training for law enforcement to recognize signs of human trafficking.

Sens. Warner, Kaine announce largest-ever federal investment in Virginia’s bridges
By Gary Boyer, WFXR-TV

House Republicans tout infrastructure funding they voted against
By Benjamin Siegel, ABC News

Voters Rest Easy Knowing Senate Democrats Stood Up Once Again to Protect Our Progress, Reject Voter Suppression Bills

Youngkin urges parents to report ‘divisive’ teaching methods
By Katie King, Virginian-Pilot
Visit our Armchair Activist page to see how you can take action to make a positive difference on this topic. 

Take Action: Be an Armchair Activist

If stories in the news get your blood boiling or inspire you, visit our Armchair Activist page to see different ways you might want to make your voice heard. Current topics:

  • Turn the Governor’s Teacher Tip Line into something positive.
  • Tell our legislators to protect our environmental progress.
  • Let your county school boards know how you feel about book banning, lesson plans, “learning loss” caused by the pandemic and more.

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SML Democrats includes members from communities around Smith Mountain Lake: Bedford, Glade Hill, Goodview, Hardy, Huddleston, Moneta, Penhook, Redwood, Union Hall, Westlake and Wirtz.