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Week 1: A New Building, A New Governor, A New Day


The start of a General Assembly Session always feels like the first day back to school, with the same faces in a familiar setting. But this year it feels like I’ve transferred to a whole new school with a new principal and lots of new classmates. We’ve moved into our temporary home for the next three years, the Pocahontas Building, on the southside of Capitol Square, while the former General Assembly Building on the northside is torn down and replaced.


Last Wednesday marked Governor Terry McAuliffe’s final State of the Commonwealth, and Monday was Governor Ralph Northam’s first. Those addresses bookended the Inauguration of Dr. Northam as our 73rd Governor. I’ve been fortunate to attend the ceremonies of all five of the governors I’ve served with, and participating in this process, fundamental to democracy, inspires a deepened appreciation of our Commonwealth’s history and the great honor to be a part of it. Despite the cold and even a few snowflakes, I greatly enjoyed witnessing, once again, the peaceful transfer of power. Reflecting on the outgoing and incoming remarks from Governors McAuliffe and Northam, I was moved by two optimistic visions for the future: the belief in second chances and a call for hope.


In his Inaugural Address, Governor Northam acknowledged our Commonwealth’s complicated heritage: Virginia helped light the spark of the American Revolution when Patrick Henry, our first elected Governor, cried “Give me liberty or give me death” while only half a mile away a bustling slave market was growing. Governor Northam rightly acknowledged the complicated legacy that shapes us all; but as the Virginia Native American Tribes blessed the Capitol, Muslim Boy and Girl Scouts led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and a rousing chorus sang “America the Beautiful,” I understood that we must always work to embody hope and believe in second chances. Governor Northam said we have a “responsibility to shape the future - to leave this place better than we found it” and that the country is looking at us to lead the way. With the party breakdown in both chambers nearly tied, Dr. Northam’s Inaugural message must be realized: “If we work together today, tomorrow will be better for all of the Virginians who have placed their trust in us.”


We welcomed nineteen new members to the House of Delegates fifteen Democrats and four Republicans. The freshman Democratic class is as diverse as the Commonwealth itself. These talented and promising new Delegates are majority female and include Millennials, a VMI alumna, two Latinas, the first Asian-American woman, a former news anchor, the first out lesbian, and the first openly transgender legislator in the United States. Our LGBT caucus now proudly includes five members. Other signs of progress include Governor Northam’s majority-female Cabinet, and our new Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax, who became only the second African-American elected to statewide office in our 400 year history. His first day presiding over the Senate was on Martin Luther King Day.


I’ve introduced 23 bills so far and intend to file up to seven more. Eight are on the topic of election reform, including no-excuse absentee voting (SB 602), which will be heard by the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee where I serve as a member. On the subject of gun violence prevention, I’ve introduced a bill to prohibit carrying loaded firearms while intoxicated (SB 2), universal background checks (SB 5), and a ban on bump stocks (SB 1). The urgency of banning bump stocks was further underscored by the brave testimony of Courtney Carroll, a survivor of the Las Vegas tragedy who lives in Richmond. I’m continuing my fight to decriminalize marijuana, this year with bipartisan support. Other topics I’m also pursuing include preventing sexual abuse of public and private school students (SB 605); allowing a governor to serve two consecutive terms (SJ 8); and establishing an office to assist immigrant service organizations (SB 606). I intend to co-patron a range of legislation including funding for Metro, redistricting reform, and a repeal of the misguided rate freeze that has provided millions in over-earnings for Dominion Power. I also look forward to assisting our new Governor’s efforts to expand and strengthen the New Virginia Economy as we develop our new two-year budget.


While I will be working out of Richmond through mid-March, I will be home to attend Town Hall Meetings and build a community dialogue on the state issues you care about most. A number of my colleagues will be joining me.


Mount Vernon

Saturday, January 20th

9:30am – 11:00am

Walt Whitman Middle School

2500 Parkers Lane

With Senator Scott Surovell and Delegate Paul Krizek


Lee District – Mount Eagle

Saturday, January 20th

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Mount Eagle Elementary School

6116 N. Kings Highway

With Delegate Mark Sickles


Lee District – Hayfield

Saturday, January 20th

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Hayfield Elementary School

7633 Telegraph Rd

With Senator George Barker, Senator Scott Surovell, Delegate Paul Krizek and Delegate Mark Sickles



Saturday, January 20th

10:00am – 12:00pm

Mount Vernon Community School

2601 Commonwealth Ave

With Delegate Mark Levine



Saturday, January 27th

1:30pm – 3:30pm

Walter Reed Community Center

2909 16th Street S

With Delegate Alfonso Lopez


Please consider following me on Twitter @AdamEbbin, liking my facebook page at, emailing your views to me at, and taking my survey at

It is my continued honor to serve the people of the 30th District,

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Adam P. Ebbin

Member, Virginia Senate

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Virginia Senator Adam P. Ebbin took office in January 2012 after serving for eight years in the House of Delegates. Adam represents 200,000 residents of the 30th Senate District who reside in portions of Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County’s Mount Vernon and Lee Magisterial Districts. As a leader in the General Assembly, Adam has fought to advance progressive priorities, including preventing gun violence, making it easier to vote, and fighting for equality for all Virginians.

For more information about Senator Ebbin, visit