Chairman's Corner

Senator Kaine wants more gun violence research, background checks

Originally published on June 2, 2016 on by Chris Horne.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) – Senator Tim Kaine is supporting legislation that would increase funding for research into gun violence and broaden the use of background checks.

Kaine made the announcement on Thursday, which is also National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Sen. Kaine says the legislation will provide $10 million each year thru 2021 for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC would then use the money to conduct, or support, research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

The Backbone Of American Elections: Pen And Paper

Originally published on November 4, 2014 on Tech Crunch By Chris Kelly.

Apple will soon put a touchscreen computer on our wrists. High school football is being reshaped for both players and coaches by the latest video technology. And a Silicon Valley pundit is waxing visionary of a future where digital technology enables telepathy between humans. And yet, in this techno-wonderland, in the most powerful and technologically advanced country in the world, today, most of us will head to the polls and use pen and paper to vote. How can this be?

To answer this question, we need to look at the role of technology in government and understand that where government once led, it has fallen behind. This is not to bash our civic institutions, but instead to make clear that technology moves faster than a process and regulation-constrained government organization — or large business for that matter — can match. The reasons for this gap in technological pace are cost and scale.

NLC Honorary National Co-Chair Michael Blake on a theoretical challenge to de Blasio

Originally published on May 31, 2016 on Politico by Azi Paybarah

The names most often floated as Democratic primary challengers to Mayor Bill de Blasio are City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and, more recently, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. But each of them would have to give up their seats for the highly uncertain prospect of ousting a sitting mayor in their own party.

One prominent Democrat floated a new name to me: Assemblyman Michael Blake of the Bronx. As a state legislator, he wouldn’t have to give up his seat to run for mayor, and as one of the newer members in the seniority-driven body, there is little downside, for him, to running and boosting his profile.


Originally published on May 25, 2016 on by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine

Washington – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following joint statement today after the Senate voted 55-43 to repeal a wasteful and duplicative U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspection program that is harmful to Virginia seafood producers:

“The catfish inspection program is a waste of taxpayer dollars. This unnecessary, duplicative program offers no benefits for safety or consumer health, and simply creates extra burdens for Virginia seafood processors and producers, who are now forced to report separately to two separate federal agencies – one to inspect catfish, and one to inspect all other types of fish. It also undermines Virginia’s efforts to employ market-based solutions to reduce the population of blue catfish, which is an invasive species that poses a long-term threat to Virginia’s fishery resources. We applaud the Senate for finally moving forward to repeal this duplicative, wasteful program, and urge the House of Representatives to act quickly on this resolution of disapproval.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the primary inspector of all foreign and domestic fish products. But a provision tucked into the 2008 farm bill designed to privilege Mississippi Delta catfish farmers required USDA, which inspects meat and poultry products, to set up a separate program for the sole purpose of inspecting catfish. The resulting USDA catfish inspection rule, which began to take effect in March of this year, requires seafood companies that handle catfish as well as other types of seafood to have two federal agencies inspect their operation: USDA, to look at catfish, and the FDA, to inspect all other fish. 

Kaine statement on Trump rooting for housing market collapse

Originally published on May 24, 2016 on Augusta Free Press by Augusta Free Press Staff

Senator Tim Kaine, who served as Governor of Virginia during the economic crisis, criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over recent revelations that Trump actively rooted for the housing market to collapse ahead of the Great Recession, calling his candidacy “too big a risk for our country.”

Last week, CNN reported that, in 2006, Trump actually rooted for the housing and real estate market to fail so he could try to “make a lot of money.” Yesterday, NBC News reported that Trump said he was “excited” for the housing bubble to burst, one year before the U.S. economy was hit by the worst recession since the Great Depression.

NBC 29 News Senator Tim Kaine Backs Birth Control Bill

Originally published on May 24, 2016 on NBC by NBC 29 Staff


U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, D-VA, is backing a bill he says will secure women's access to contraception at pharmacies.

Kaine and many of his fellow Democrats in the U.S. Senate have cosponsored the "Access to Birth Control Act."

They say this legislation would ensure women with valid prescriptions for birth control are not denied or intimidated when requesting these products.

In Keynote Address, Kaine Discusses Formulating Cybersecurity Doctrine and Investments in Cyber Workforce

Originally Published on May 24th, 2016 by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered the keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ event, “Cybersecurity After Information Sharing,” in which he argued that unanswered doctrinal questions and the effects of budget uncertainty have undermined the United States’ cybersecurity posture. Kaine supported the creation of a commission that would offer lawmakers policy recommendations on how best to strike a balance between strengthening national security and protecting individual privacy. Citing Virginia’s large cyber footprint, Kaine also called for greater investments to create a workforce ready to tackle the cyber challenges of the future.

“We’re at the epicenter of a changing digital landscape. Obviously many of the key federal agencies that work on cyber policy are headquartered or have a significant presence in Virginia, as do their employees. We have a private sector in the cyber space that is second to none, it’s a great hub for IT and cyber innovation. Virginia is second in the nation in the percentage of the workforce that is in technology jobs,” Kaine said. “We’re the hub of internet traffic in the world. Seventy percent of the world’s internet traffic passes through Loudoun County, which has the highest concentration of data centers in the world. …Even as a center of a technology workforce, second in the nation of percentage of workers in technology jobs, even in Virginia there are huge gaps. Our State Economic Development Partnership says there is one candidate for every three cyber security positions that are open in Virginia and this is in the state with the technology workforce, so we have a dramatic need to get more people into this field.”

Senator Kaine's full remarks can be read here. 

NLC Honorary Co-Chair Mike Blake Visits NLC Georgia

Over the weekend, NLC Honorary Co-Chair, Assemblymember Mike Blake, helped kick off the NLC Atlanta and Augusta Institute Weekend. Assemblymember Blake also joined progressive leaders, supporters and friends at the first Georgia Progress Breakfast, hosted by our NLC leaders to foster conversation and action to move Georgia forward. 

Assemblymember Blake shared his thoughts with our Fellows and supporters on the progressive movement and the important work that our NLC leaders are doing in Georgia. 

It was an incredibly exciting weekend for NLC in Georgia, and we're excited about the opportunities for our chapters to make a lasting impact on their communities. 

See more from the Georgia Progress Breakfast & NLC Georgia Institute below: 


Fiona Ma: Ventura County voters should support transportation sales tax

This fall, Ventura County voters may be asked to consider a half-cent sales tax increase for transportation funding. 

Just a few weeks ago, California Transportation Commission officials warned that Ventura County's planned high-occupancy vehicle — carpool — lanes on Highway 101 might be scrapped due to lack of funding.

Read more

Senator Tim Kaine talks diplomacy, policy at Tisch College

Originally published by Sophie Lehrenbaum on 

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) visited Tisch College on Feb. 5 to reveal his insights on foreign policy, discuss his experiences in various governmental offices and share his thoughts on the upcoming presidential election. The discussion, which had about 40 undergraduate and graduate students in attendance, was facilitated by Professor of Political Science Richard Eichenberg.

Alan Solomont, dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, opened the event by introducing the senator and speaking to his kindness and receptiveness. First-year political science major Deb Mayo, who lives next door to Kaine, then gave a brief overview of the senator’s accomplishments and government experience. Following the introduction, Eichenberg launched into a one-one-one discussion with the senator.

Eichenberg’s first question focused on the role of foreign policy in the coming election cycle, which Kaine, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, predicted would be extremely salient when voters head to the polls in the coming months.

“Six to eight months ago, this cycle would have been very driven by domestic issues, [but] my sense is that this has changed,” Kaine said. “Had the war against ISIL not expanded from Iraq to Syria [outcomes may have been different, but with] bombings and terrorist attacks, I think it is coming closer to home…[and] security fears [that] people have are going to make an important issue.”

Read the full story. 

Fiona Ma appointed to California Film Commission

Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins has named State Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma, CPA, to serve on the California Film Commission.

The appointment is effective immediately, with her term of service being two years, or until a replacement is named by the speaker.

The California Film Commission was established to “enhance California’s status as a leader in the motion picture, television and commercial production.”

The commission supports productions of all sizes and budgets; advises productions on film and TV tax credits that they may be eligible for; as well as providing support in production issues like securing permits and shooting locations.

“California is home to Hollywood, mega stars, iconic landmarks, a highly diverse talent pool and great weather. I look forward to actively promoting our brand image as a world class filming destination,” said Ma. “The film industry creates so many jobs, and generates so much economic activity for our state, and I am committed to working with policy makers, industry leaders and community leaders across California to help strengthen the industry and create new jobs for Californians.”

“Fiona will be a great addition to the film commission. Her service in the Assembly, her expertise on tax issues, and her leadership in helping preserve and expand the film tax credit and means that she will be an outstanding voice for California’s most high-profile industry,” said Speaker Atkins.

Read the full story here. 

Kaine Introduces Legislation to End Gun Industry's Liability Shield

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined U.S Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy to introduce the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act which would ensure that the gun industry – manufacturers, sellers and interest groups – is not shielded from liability when it acts with negligence and disregard for public safety. The bill would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). A companion bill in the House of Representatives was introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff.

Read more

Sen. Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse Among Older Adults

ASHBURN, VA: U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Ashburn on Monday, January 25, to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans, according to an announcement by the Office of Senator Kaine.

Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia to discuss the harmful impacts of opioid abuse on communities in the Commonwealth. Witnesses at Monday’s hearing will include The Honorable Mark Herring, Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Katherine Neuhausen, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University; Lisa Wilkins, Acting State Director, Virginia Change Addiction Now; Jane Terry, Director of Government Affairs, National Safety Counsel; and Mellie Randall, Director of the Office of Substance Abuse Services, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Read the full story:

Fiona Ma joins Hillary for America AAPI Leadership Council


NLC Honorary Co-Chair Fiona Ma joined the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Leadership Council. 

Hillary for America announced the launch of its Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Leadership Council– a group of over 150 elected officials, community, and grassroots leaders who will help build a grassroots-driven volunteer team that will help Hillary Clinton engage, energize and organize support in the AAPI community ahead of the caucuses and primaries.

These officials are taking on leadership roles on the heels of the launch of AAPI for Hillary in San Gabriel, California, where Clinton was surrounded by leaders from the community and discussed what’s at stake for the AAPI community in this election.

Read more:

Assemblyman Michael Blake to give State of the District address

Assemblymember Michael Blake cordially invites you to his first State of the District as he outlines the progress of and the path forward for the 79th assembly district to achieve our "3, 2, 1" vision of Economic Development, Education, and Equality for All. 

Assemblymember Blake's State of The District will be on Saturday January 23rd, 2016 at 4pm at DreamYard, 1085 Washington Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451. 

A reception will follow the event. Join us as we are transforming the South Bronx into the urban metropolis of the world.

RSVP here:


Tim Kaine invites drug addiction prevention advocate to State of the Union

kaineheadshot.jpgToday, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine announced that his guest to President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday will be Don Flattery, a resident of Alexandria who lost his son Kevin – a 26-year-old graduate of UVA and Gonzaga College High School – to an opioid overdose in 2014.

Kaine has spoken with families, law enforcement and businesses across Virginia about the devastating impact that drug abuse has had on their communities and has worked across the aisle on efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Flattery has become an advocate in the fight against opioid addiction and is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse. He has been a vocal supporter of Kaine’s Co-prescribing Saves Lives Acta bill that would help prevent opioid overdose deaths by encouraging physicians to co-prescribe the life-saving drug Naloxone alongside opioid prescriptions.

The bill would also make Naloxone more widely available in federal health settings.

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"In the wake of Charleston, Sandy Hook, and countless other tragedies across the country, there’s simply no denying that gun violence is one of the most pressing crises that our nation faces. That is why I strongly support the executive actions the President has announced." - Senator Tim Kaine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today on the executive actions President Obama announced to reduce gun violence:

“Virginia knows all too well the tragedy and pain of gun violence. When I was Governor, Virginia suffered the deadliest mass shooting to date on the campus of Virginia Tech. More recently, the nation witnessed the terrifying shooting of two young journalists from our Commonwealth on live television. And there are too many incidents of domestic violence, suicides and urban violence involving guns that remain outside the coverage of the mainstream press. In the wake of Charleston, Sandy Hook, and countless other tragedies across the country, there’s simply no denying that gun violence is one of the most pressing crises that our nation faces. That is why I strongly support the executive actions the President has announced.

“The proposals seek a robust and holistic approach focused on strengthening background checks and providing the resources to enforce gun laws, increase mental health treatment and improve reporting to the background check system. They also encourage the use of smart technology to develop safer guns. It’s my hope that Congress will not stand in the way of these important actions to protect Americans and their families and that we can work together to find more ways to reduce gun violence.”




WASHINGTON, D.C. – El Senador Tim Kaine hoy hizo las siguientes declaraciones sobre las acciones ejecutivas anunciadas por el Presidente Obama para reducir la violencia de armas: 

“Virginia conoce demasiado bien la tragedia y el dolor de la violencia de armas de fuego. Cuando fui Gobernador, el tiroteo en masa más mortífero en la historia ocurrió en el campus de Virginia Tech. Más recientemente, la nación fue testigo a la espantosa matanza de dos jóvenes periodistas de nuestro estado en vivo en la televisión. Además hay demasiados incidentes de violencia doméstica, suicidios y violencia urbana involucrando las armas que los medios no cubren. Siguiendo las tragedias en Charleston, Sandy Hook y muchas más por todo el país, simplemente no existe una manera de negar que la violencia de armas es una de las crisis más urgentes que nuestro país enfrenta. Por eso es que apoyo contundentemente las acciones ejecutivas que el Presidente ha anunciado.

“Las propuestas buscan una estrategia robusta y holística enfocada en fortalecer la verificación de antecedentes y proveer los recursos para ejecutar las leyes de armas, aumentar el tratamiento de salud mental y mejorar la adhesión al sistema de verificación de antecedentes. También fomentan el uso de tecnología para desarrollar armas más seguras. Espero que el Congreso no se opondrá a estas medidas importantes para proteger a los ciudadanos y sus familias y que podremos colaborar para encontrar más maneras de reducir la violencia de armas.”


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