Future Programs

Posted June 27th, 2011 by Bruce Saunders
Categories: Future

The public is welcome to our meetings that take place at the Senior Center, usually on the second Wednesday of the month from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. The Senior Center is located at 491 Hillsdale Drive, formerly known as 1180 Pepsi Place, in Charlottesville — www.seniorcenterinc.org. There is no charge, although we suggest you join our group. The dues are only $20 for a year.

Wednesday, March 14:  CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Getting Offenders Onto The Straight And Narrow  Our speaker, Pat Nolan, is a nationally recognized leader in this movement. Pat is the director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform and a leader in the Right on Crime project, a movement of conservative leaders who advocate for criminal justice reform.

Wednesday, April 11:  Medical Breakthroughs in Our Backyard with Jessica Foley, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

Wednesday, May 9: “The Just-concluded General Assembly Session: What Was Accomplished and What Wasn’t?” with our local legislators.

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Past Programs

Past programs are arranged in inverse chronological order.  Speaker bios and links to podcasts are given, with a program summary written by SSV Treasurer and board member Jim Peterson.

Becoming an Age-Friendly Community

Posted February 16th, 2018 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Representatives of the Charlottesville Area Alliance discuss the mission and vision of the Alliance, and how we can become the most age-friendly community in the country.

SSV President Rich DeMong and Charlottesville Area Alliance panel.

The event took place at the Wednesday February 14, 2018 meeting. SSV President Rich DeMong introduced the moderator Marta Keane who then introduced the panel. Listen to the podcast.

Representing the Alliance are:

Marta Keane has been the CEO of JABA since April 2013. JABA works to help people age in community, by providing a Continuum of Caring for the Continuum of Living.  Her entire career has been on helping seniors achieve the highest quality of life, in the place of their choice.  She believes in creating a community that honors and respects the gifts that seniors have to offer.
Brad Sheffield serves as the executive at JAUNT Inc.  He has been working in the transit industry for 16 years, in both public and private transit planning roles. From January 2014 to December 2017, Brad served on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the Rio Magisterial District. He is passionate about helping communities foster the traditional characteristics that make places great to work, raise a family, and retire.
Sunshine Mathon is the executive director of Piedmont Housing Alliance. Sunshine has lead the development of over 1,200 healthy, efficient homes in Texas and Virginia, including some of the highest ever LEED for Homes communities. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the deep green affordable housing sector. Sunshine holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas
Rebecca Schmidt is the population health manager for the Thomas Jefferson Health District serving the City of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties. Over the past 15 years, she has worked in health policy, program development, implementation and evaluation for nongovernmental agencies and for local, state, federal and international government.  She holds a B.A. from Boston University and an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Peter Thompson has served as executive director of the Senior Center Inc. since 1999.  The Senior Center positively impacts the community by creating opportunities for healthy aging through over 100 programs and scores of partnerships.  Peter received his B.A. from UVa and his MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Recent community service includes serving on the Board of Directors of the OLLI at UVa, Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

Introducing Our Local Commonwealth’s Attorneys

Posted January 14th, 2018 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

“Commonwealth’s Attorney” is Virginia vernacular for “prosecutor” — the D.A. who goes after the bad guys. There’s a lot more to their job.

Three examples:

• Prosecutors have wide discretion as regards whom they “throw the book at” and to whom they give second chances, as by sending them to “diversion” programs such as substance-abuse treatment versus locking them up. How they exercise that discretion is very important in determining the livability of the locality they serve, as New York City residents found when so-called “minor” crimes were ignored.
• Prosecutors can have a major impact on crime prevention, as by advising groups targeted by criminals about the scams likely to be tried on them.
• Prosecutors are among the best expert witnesses when legislators are considering changes to the criminal code or the process for considering criminal cases.

Our January program provided us an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of our relatively new Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Robert Tracci, and our brand-new City Commonwealth’s Attorney, Joseph Platania. SSV Vice President Terry Cooper moderated the discussion. Listen to the podcast below.

Joe Platania was elected Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney this past November but he has been with that office since 2003. For much of that time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, helping to prosecute federal criminal cases. Joe is a graduate of Providence College and the Washington & Lee University School of Law. Before joining the City Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office he was an assistant public defender and an appellate attorney for the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center. Joe is the current president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association.

Robert Tracci was elected Albemarle County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in November 2015. Before that he had been a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General dealing with violations of federal criminal law. Prior to that Robert had been a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, the House committee that deals with criminal law and criminal procedure, voting rights, intellectual property and other areas. Robert is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of Ohio Wesleyan University and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.

Mediation in Central Virginia

Posted December 15th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Richard D. Balnave (left), Edward B. Lowry and Robyn Jackson

On December 13, 2017, Edward B. Lowry, Richard D. Balnave and Robyn Jackson spoke about the mediation process and how it helps resolve differences in a way more effective than that of the court.  Check out their impressive credentials below and listen to a podcast of their presentations and the Q&A afterward.  SSV board member Bonnie Brewer moderated the forum.

Edward B. Lowry engages in a statewide commercial litigation practice. He has been with the law firm of Michie-Hamlett since 1971. His litigation experience includes business torts, construction law, securities arbitration, employment, contract, real estate and banking laws. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation. He has been president of the Virginia State Bar and the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Associations. Ed was a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law where he taught a course in trial advocacy until 2013. Ed has participated in many meditations both as mediator and attorney for parties. He virtually always recommends mediation to his clients as it provides an opportunity for clients to resolve disputes without the uncertainty and expense of litigation.

Richard D. Balnave came to the University of Virginia Law School in 1984 to direct the Family Law Clinic following eight years of practice in Pennsylvania.  An expert in the areas of domestic relations and children’s law, he served on the board of governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Council of Domestic Relations Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He has lectured to Virginia circuit and district court judges and the Virginia Court of Appeals about issues in Virginia domestic relations law. Richard is a past president of the board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society and a former board member of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association. He has assisted the Virginia General Assembly studies concerning child support guidelines and  mediation of child custody disputes.

Robyn Jackson is the founder of The Civility School, which teaches social skills, modern manners, and professional etiquette to all ages. The Civility School’s battle cry is “for the comfort and convenience of others.” Cultural awareness, flexibility, and empathetic intention are the keys to its method. Robyn’s background in teaching, counseling, and mediation combine to create a deep treatment of the often superficial world of etiquette. Robyn lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Brian, and their three sons.

Program Summary

“Mediation in Central Virginia” was the topic. Ed Lowry, an attorney with MichieHamlett, virtually always recommends mediation to his clients as it provides an opportunity for clients to resolve disputes without the uncertainty and expense of litigation. Richard Balnave, UVA Law school, an expert in the areas of domestic relations and children’s law, has assisted the Virginia General Assembly studies concerning child support guidelines and mediation of child custody disputes. Robyn Jackson is the founder of The Civility School, which teaches social skills, modern manners, and professional etiquette to all ages. The Civility School’s battle cry is “for the comfort and convenience of others.”

Although mediation is a voluntary process, a judge can order the parties to go to a mediation center to learn about the process, and then after they have learned what mediation is and how it differs from court, they are asked if they choose to stay or would they prefer to go back to court. In mediation, the participants sit in a private room with two mediators where what they say remains private, unlike the court situation that is open to the public and law enforcement, and all of their business becomes public information.

The percentage of couples who achieve agreement in mediation is much higher than the percentage of those who achieve agreement prior to the end of a court case. People report that they feel like they were finally able to say what was on their mind, and also they better understand what the concerns were of the other party.

Other major advantages of mediation as compared to the court process relate to time and money. Whereas it may take months or years to resolve an issue through the courts, mediation can provide a resolution in a single day. The impact on costs to the participants is obvious. In earlier times, the only options were court and arbitration. Arbitration is litigation on a private basis. You hire an arbitrator and that person makes the decision, but this process—like court—is horribly expensive. There are at least three costs to litigation. The economic cost can be withering if it is long and complicated litigation. The second is opportunity costs—the parties are spending hours and hours with their lawyers and others when they could be spending their time on things they want to do. The third are the emotional costs—it is very trying and exhausting to go through litigation.

Key Economic Policy Issues: A Guide for Investors and Voters

Posted November 10th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Nicholas Sargen talks about the Republican proposal for corporate and personal tax cuts which is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the US budget deficit over the next ten years. Sargen argues the case for personal tax cuts to boost the economy is less compelling, especially as the unemployment rate nears 4%.  SSV Board Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the forum. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. A pdf version of the presentation can be download, and then listen to the podcast.

Nicholas Sargen is an international economist turned global money manager.  He has been involved in international financial markets since the early 1970s when he began his career at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  He subsequently worked on Wall Street for 25 years holding senior positions with Morgan Guaranty Trust (VP International Economics Department), Salomon Brothers Inc. (Director of Bond Market Research), Prudential Insurance (CIO for Global Fixed Income Advisors) and J.P. Morgan Private Bank (Chief Investment Strategist).  In 2003 he became chief investment officer for the Western & Southern Financial Group and its affiliate, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., where he now serves as chief economist.

Sargen has written extensively on international financial markets, and he recently authored a book, Global Shocks: An Investment Guide for Turbulent Markets. He appeared frequently on business television programs throughout his career on Wall Street and was a regular panelist on Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week.  He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.  He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and he has recently relocated to Keswick, Virginia.

Program Summary

Nicholas P. Sargen began by stating that the roots of his presentation go back one year, to the time of the general election. With regard to political affiliation, he described himself as an independent, one who could be persuaded by arguments.

The following is just a sampling of the points included in Sargen’s comprehensive presentation. He identified five key issues in the Trump era: (1) How to cope with an aging population; (2) What to do with entitlement programs; (3) How to pay for them and still have room for tax cuts; (4) How to deal with globalization and growing income inequality; and (5) How to position your retirement and investment portfolios.

He presented four views of what’s ailing the economy: debt hangover from the global financial crisis; “secular stagnation”; supply side constraints; and too much government interference.  It’s a global phenomenon!

How to restore economic growth? The Republican approach is via tax policy changes and deregulation. The President and congressional leaders, however, are divided between tax cuts and tax reform. The case for corporate tax cuts is more compelling than for personal tax cuts. The issue for investors to decide is whether we can afford tax cuts.

Healthcare is much more difficult to fix than Social Security. Social Security can extend the retirement age to receive full benefits. Medical costs in the United States have been rising much faster than inflation, and medical expenses in our country are also the highest in the world. The key players in the medical arena do not agree on a solution.

What are the pros and cons related to the impact of globalization? The good: corporate profits have surged. The bad: workers have been hurt by foreign competition. The ugly: income inequality has increased. One consequence is the rise of populism.

What to do? Although the winning strategy has been to take risk, a market correction is overdue. Sargen does not foresee a bubble or bear market, yet you need to have realistic return expectations.

Candidates Forum: Albemarle County Board of Supervisors & Albemarle County School Board

Posted October 12th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Candidates for contested Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and School Board seats shared their views and responded to questions from the audience at this Senior Statesmen of Virginia sponsored forum.

First SSV Board Member Terry Cooper moderated the Board of Supervisors forum. Then SSV Vice President Rich DeMong moderated the School Board forum (shown above).  Listen to the event via podcast.

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Candidates For Albemarle County Board Of Supervisors Samuel Miller District

John Lowry (R) lives in North Garden. His background is in financial management. He is also a former chair of the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority. John is a runner and a member of the Albemarle Pipes and Drums Corps.

Liz Palmer (D), the incumbent supervisor seeking a second term, lives in Ivy. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Auburn University Veterinary School. She served as chair of the Board in 2016. She operates a veterinary hospice for companion animals.

Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Rio District

Katrina Callsen is a graduate of Yale, the Boston University School of Education and U.Va. Law. She is a former teacher with Teach for America. She volunteers with Kids Give Back.

 

Mary McIntyre is an alumna of UNC — Greensboro who holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii — Manoa. She has taught in North Carolina, Virginia and Hawaii and volunteered at a school in Tanzania.

 

Candidates For Albemarle County School Board Samuel Miller District

Graham Paige, the incumbent seeking his first full term, resides in Esmont. He is a graduate of Hampton University with a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He is a retired Albemarle County teacher. He is a trustee, adult Sunday-School teacher and organist at New Green Mountain Baptist Church.

 

Julian Waters is a 2017 graduate of Western Albemarle making his first run for elective office. He is active in education-policy issues and a regular blood donor who founded the Model Aviations and Drone Club at Western Albemarle.

 

The event took place on Wednesday October 11, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Program Summary

This is the third time Board of Supervisors hopeful John Lowry, a Republican, and incumbent Democrat Liz Palmer have faced off at a campaign forum this election cycle. Lowry said that he “was chair of the airport board when the new airport was being built and was chair of the economic development authority for 12 years.” “I am running for office because I believe I can better represent the constituents’ interests in the Samuel Miller District.”

“I’m having such a good time and feel we’ve done a good job and I want to continue,” Palmer said. “When I moved here I was struck by the condition of our water infrastructure, which is where our built environment meets the natural environment.”

After about 45 minutes, the event shifted over to the two contested School Board races.

Katrina Callsen and Mary McIntyre met for the first time in a campaign forum in their race to succeed Pam Moynihan for the Rio District’s School Board seat.

Graham Paige, the incumbent School Board member for the Samuel Miller District, answered questions alongside challenger Julian Waters, a 2017 graduate of Western Albemarle High School.

Virginia House of Delegates 25th and 58th Districts Candidates Forum

Posted September 19th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Candidates for the contested House of Delegates seats representing Albemarle and Charlottesville shared their positions and responded to questions from the audience.  The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper. A podcast of the presentations can be heard by clicking below.

Steve Landes and Angela Lynn with Terry Cooper moderating

The following candidate information is excerpted from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Steve Landes (R): Serving his eleventh term, Steve has been an able steward of taxpayer resources in the House of Delegates. During his tenure, he has focused on promoting economic development, fostering education innovations, and increasing healthcare choice, access and affordability. He has been a steady voice of reason heard above the noise that all too often clouds our political discourse. Steve serves as a House Budget Conferee. He is a Member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, representing the House of Delegates, serves on the Education Commission of the States; and serves on the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. He is also Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education; and on the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia.

Angela Lynn (D): This is a decisive moment in our Commonwealth. We need assertive leadership with the courage to stand up to entrenched interests in Richmond and do what is right for Virginia. I’m running for the General Assembly because I believe I can provide that leadership. As our government today gerrymanders the state to ensure their own power, and education and health care are at risk for our most vulnerable, we need representatives in government who understand our needs and will fight for the interests of the community. My family have been proud Virginians since the 1700s. After my husband’s career in the military, he and I moved here 25 years ago to raise our five children. I’ve worked as a higher education administrator and led efforts to improve our community. I’m running for the General Assembly to support and protect my home state.

Rob Bell (R): grew up in a Navy family.  He attended the University of Virginia on scholarship, and graduated with honors from both the college and law school.  Rob served as a state prosecutor in Orange County for five years, where he prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice. Since his election as a Republican to the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on repeat-offense drunk driving and keep sex offenders off school property. He has also worked to close loopholes in Virginia’s mental health laws after the shooting at Virginia Tech.  More recently, he wrote laws to expand Virginia’s protective orders and to require life in prison for those convicted of raping children. In 2015 he wrote the law to address sexual assaults on on college campuses, and in 2016 expanded Virginia’s stalking laws.

Kellen Squire (D): I’m a husband and a father to three beautiful children.  I’m an emergency room nurse and a proud graduate of the University of Virginia.  I’m a Christian, an avid outdoorsman, and a hard-working, middle-class American who’s fed up with the political system today. We’ve almost killed the working class in this country.  Wages have been stagnant for more than three decades.  Our government seems to work more for lobbyists and special interests than for ordinary people.  The worst kind of toxicity in our politics, pitting some groups of Americans against others, is a disease that threatens the future of our country. That disease is spread by political operatives and career politicians, some of whom have spent decades in office by gerrymandering themselves into comfortable little districts so that they never have to run against a serious opponent.

Program Summary

The following is excerpted from an article written by Michael Bragg which appeared in the September 14, 2017, edition of The Daily Progress. The entire article can be accessed on the Internet at:
http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/revenue-sharing-pact-among-topics-athouse-candidate-forum/article_851ea5b8-98ef-11e7-9c3c-a79ab498da82.html

With Election Day less than two months away, candidates for the 25th and 58th districts in the Virginia House of Delegates made their case to voters at a Wednesday forum. Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, and Democrat Angela Lynn, candidates for the 25th District, went first at the forum, which was hosted by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, and Democrat Kellen Squire, both running for the 58th District, spoke next.

The candidates had a chance to weigh in on subjects such as the Charlottesville-Albemarle County revenue-sharing agreement and voter ID laws. “The whole purpose of the revenue-sharing agreement was so the county would not have more territory annexed by the city,” Landes said. “So, really, it makes no sense. It’s not a logical solution to a problem that was there originally.” But Lynn argued that state politicians getting involved in the agreement is government overreach, saying it’s a local matter. Bell called the agreement a bad deal. Squire said it’s hurting the funding for Albemarle schools, and that the agreement needs to be addressed.

On voter ID laws, both Landes and Bell argued that requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls is a great way of preventing voter fraud. But Lynn and Squire both expressed skepticism. Squire said he thinks these types of laws can discourage people from getting out to vote, while Lynn argued that the issue today is not voter fraud but getting people out to vote. “A vote is the one thing that makes us equal,” she said. “It crosses over socio-economic lines, it knows no boundaries with race or gender or any of those things that make us feel that we aren’t as powerful as another person. But if we’re not all capable of being able to do it, then that would be stripping us of a fundamental right and a pillar of our democracy.”

Lieutenant Governor Candidates Forum

Posted August 10th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Candidates for Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) and Jill Vogel (R) discuss issues facing Virginians in the 2017 election.

Jill Vogel and Justin Fairfax at The V. Earl Dickinson Building at Piedmont Virginia Community College

A 1-hour and 25-minute podcast can be heard here.

Justin Fairfax (D) was raised by a single mother and her parents. He is a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, Duke University and Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review. He later served as a federal prosecutor in Virginia. He currently practices with the Tysons Corner office of the law firm Venable LLP where he focuses on white-collar criminal-defense matters and complex civil litigation.
Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) is serving her third term in the Virginia Senate. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and DePaul University School of Law. She is a senior partner in Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC, a firm that specializes in election and ethics laws. In the Virginia Senate she chairs the Privileges & Elections Committee and is a member of numerous other committees and subcommittees, including the Senate’s “money” (taxation and spending) committee, Senate Finance.
The forum was moderated by Bob Gibson. Mr. Gibson is a long-time political writer, columnist and editor at The Charlottesville Daily Progress. He is now with the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Program Summary

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 9, 2017 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the V. Earl Dickinson Building and in conjunction with  Piedmont Virginia Community College. The candidates responded to questions from the audience written on 3 x 5 cards and posed to the candidates by forum moderator, Bob Gibson. The quality and relevance of the questions submitted by audience members were outstanding, and it was very heartening to witness the thoughtfulness, respect and civility exhibited by both candidates as they responded to the questions and offered forth their positions on the issues.

The forum received extensive coverage from radio, television, Internet and the print media. The following links are provided to see the newspaper coverage in their entirety.

The Daily Progress: http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/lt-gov-candidates-find-common-ground-on-climate-change-differ/article_8ba00e48-7d6c-11e7-bdb0-0316eac2466f.html

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/justin-fairfaxand-jill-vogel-spar-in-first-debate-for/article_0d651b56-f8d9-51d2-a14e-d1bb04ac6abb.html

The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/much-lampooned-ultrasoundbill-revived-in-race-for-va-lieutenant-governor/2017/08/09/dceca174-7cab-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.cd6267ae78cc

Visioning for the Future of Rio+29

Posted June 20th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Albemarle County is actively working to transform the Route 29/Rio Road area, work that started with the new grade separated interchange project and is continuing with a small area plan that will re-imagine how people live, work, shop and play in this critical area of the County. In this podcast, the County solicits the thoughts and ideas of seniors as it begins to finalize the plans for this vital area of the county. Topics include: Current Rio+29 Small Area Plan, the Economic Development in the Rio+29 area and the development of transportation facilities for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and cars.  Listen to the speakers via the podcast and watch the slides shown.


Presentations were made by Rachel Falkenstein (left), Albemarle County Senior Planner, Lee Catlin, Assistant County Executive, and Kevin McDermott, Principal Planner for Transportation. Lee Catlin spoke first on economic development in the county, how new businesses are attracted, and facilitating the growth of current businesses. There was a discussion of improving the corridors for cars, bikes, pedestrians and transits lead by Kevin McDermott. Rachel Falkenstein discussed amenities, land uses, urban forms and features of the area.

In addition to leading the discussion, Supervisors Diantha McKeel, Chair of the Board and Supervisor for the Jack Jouett District, and Brad Sheffield, Supervisor for the Rio District, also answered questions from the audience.  The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

General Assembly Legislative Report

Posted May 12th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Area legislators reported on the 2017 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This was the biennial “short” session when the focus is normally on amending Virginia’s two-year budget. Because revenues were greater than expected, the budget amendments were adopted with little strife. The record on other issues was mixed. For example, bills to reform the redistricting process and end gerrymandering, which passed the Senate overwhelmingly, were killed in an early-morning House subcommittee meeting.

The three below spoke at our Wednesday May 10, 2017 meeting that was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper. Download a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation and listen to the podcast for details.

Senator Creigh Deeds (D) represents the 25th Senate District which includes the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington and Lexington, and the counties of Albemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson and Rockbridge.
Delegate Steve Landes (R) represents the 25th House of Delegates District which includes portions of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties.
Delegate David Toscano (D) represents the 57th House of Delegates District which includes Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County.

Program Summary

Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegates Steve Landes and David Toscano presented a report on the 2017 General Assembly session.

Delegate Toscano utilized a PowerPoint presentation (click here to download a PDF) to highlight the actions taken during the session. The state of play in Richmond is conducted in the context of a divided government with the legislature controlled by Republicans and the Executive controlled by Democrats.

Virginia has enjoyed an improving economy with the unemployment down to 3.9% from 5.4%, second-lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. states; and investment in ports and Dulles. Yet the income inequality gap continues to grow.

Of the 1,817 bills and resolutions introduced, 1,243 of these passed. Delegate Toscano identified 10 successes in areas such as combating opioids, encouraging solar power, increasing judicial discretion and addressing mental health issues. Areas of disappointment included the failure to achieve any improvements in health care and redistricting reform.

Delegate Landes distributed copies of “Sessions Highlights,” and then discussed the 107 billion dollar biennial budget which included a reduction of 61 million in debt and added 35 million in cash reserves. Although there were no tax increases, he enumerated a number of important programs which received increased support. Unlike the federal government, Virginia cannot print money but rather must have a balanced budget. The bond-rating agencies are looking at how Virginia is handling the rainy-day fund and so this will be a continuing concern moving ahead with future budgets.

Delegate Landes detailed several bills that he worked on in a bipartisan manner that were directed toward strengthening the economy and were signed into law.

Senator Deeds began his comments with the astonishing reminder that in 1940, Virginia’s two most populous counties were Pittsylvania and Wise, and the state’s economy was natural resources: coal, tobacco and textiles. Our economy since then has been driven by the military-industrial complex—federal spending—with growth in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

Sequestration at the federal level over the past nine to 10 years requires us to look at new ways to promote economic growth and spur a creative environment conducive to economic growth. Senator Deeds also described his ongoing efforts to improve the system of care for persons with mental illness. Virginia continues to direct the major share of its resources to support the state institutions rather than community-based services. Sixteen percent of the persons in our prisons are seriously mentally ill and 24 percent in local jails.

Changing Populations in Virginia — The Death and Life of Virginia Localities

Posted April 14th, 2017 by Administrator
Categories: Programs

Luke Juday is director of planning for the City of Waynesboro, VA.  He stated that after decades of attracting migrants from across the country, Virginia has suddenly experienced three consecutive years of net loss to other parts of the country. The effects of that change will start to ripple across the Commonwealth. With cities getting younger and rural areas getting older, population growth is becoming more and more polarized. The economic climate is becoming increasingly competitive for cities and towns, forcing local leaders to find new niches in a global economy. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.  Listen while watching his excellent  presentation as a PDF.

Luke Juday is director of planning for the City of Waynesboro, VA. Before coming to Waynesboro, he was a transportation planner at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and a demographer at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center, where most of this presentation was prepared. He has a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Grove City College, a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Botswana. He is originally from Chesapeake, VA, where he was home schooled through high school.

Program Summary

Components of Population Change are “natural increase” which is the number of births minus the number of deaths combined with “net migration” which is in-migration minus out-migration. Between 2010 and 2015, Virginia’s population increased by 381,969 which consisted of a natural increase of 220,026 and an increase of migration of 161,943.

With regard to natural increase, Mr. Juday explained the importance of the age distribution within the population. With more younger persons, the population will increase due to higher birthrates and lower death rates. Today in America there are more 60 year-olds than 6-year-olds. From 2005 to 2015, the population in Virginia of those under 18 years of age increased by only 2.9 percent while those over 65 increased 37.9 percent.

Mr. Juday employed a PowerPoint presentation that was packed with charts and graphs to help understand the intertwining of factors contributing to population change both in the nation and Virginia. He also detailed trends in population shifts in the urban core, inner ring, outer ring, satellite counties and outside of metro areas.