Dogwood Weekly: What Happened This Week
By Keya Vakil
May 12, 2019

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. We hope you’re being waited on hand and foot like the Queens you are. We also want to give a special shout-out all the moms in Virginia’s General Assembly, some of whom we highlighted here.

ICYMI: 5 things that happened this week…

  1. Trump’s trade war continues; Virginia stands to lose $1.9 billion — On Friday, President Trump followed through on his threat and raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% on Friday. We wrote about the impact Trump’s trade war is having on the Commonwealth. Spoiler alert: It’s not a good one! According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Trump’s tariffs could cause “extremely significant damage” to Virginia, to the tune of $1.9 billion in lost exports.
  2. Virginia trending blue and becoming a key player in 2020 — Starting with President Obama’s win in 2008, Virginia has evolved from being a conservative-leaning battleground state to a blue-leaning state. We took a look at how the Obama effect, along with the Republican party’s lurch to the right and demographic changes have helped Democrats gain control in the state. We also expanded on how the state’s voting electorate bears similarities to the national electorate, which could give Virginia a potentially out-sized role in electing the Democratic nominee in 2020.
  3. Asthma patients benefit from ACA and Medicaid expansion — Tuesday was World Asthma Day, so we explored how the Affordable Care Act and Virginia’s recent Medicaid expansion have had a significant impact on asthma patients in the state. That progress is at risk, though, as President Trump continues to try and repeal the ACA at every turn.
  4. Federal judge strikes down abortion restriction in Virginia — In a huge victory for women’s access to reproductive healthcare, a federal judge declared on Monday that requiring a doctor to perform most abortions is “unduly burdensome” and violates the Constitution. Pro-choice advocates have long argued that first-trimester abortions are safe enough to be performed without a physician, and Monday’s decision marks the first time a federal judge has agreed with that assessment.
  5. State Sen. Jennifer McClellan launches PAC to help Democrats in 2019 — State Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan (D-Richmond) launched a new political action committee this week with the goal of helping Democrats win control of both houses of the General Assembly. McClellan’s decision to form the Virginia United PAC also hints a potential run for governor in 2021.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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