Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here.
Did you know today marks Virginia’s 231st birthday? It’s true, the Old Dominion was established on June 25, 1788. Virginia is a spry 231, and we look forward to seeing it on the dance floor this weekend.
5 Things you need to know today
- Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney calls for ban on guns in city-owned building and parks – Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is calling for a ban on guns in city-owned buildings, parks and community facilities. His decision comes after the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl in a Richmond city park on May 26 and after the mass shooting in a Virginia Beach municipal building on May 31. Stoney said he is proposing the local ordinance now so the city will be ready if the General Assembly passes legislation to expand the ability of local governments to prohibit guns in city buildings during their upcoming special session.
- Maternal mortality causes vary by race – Black women are roughly three times more likely to suffer a pregnancy-related death, a disparity that Virginia is trying to eliminate by 2025. But the cause and manner of women’s deaths also vary widely by race, according to a new report from the Virginia Mercury. From 2009 to 2013, the leading causes of death for black women who were pregnant or terminated a pregnancy in the past year included cardiac disorder, homicide, and exacerbation of a chronic illness. For white women in the same category the leading causes of death included accidental overdoses, car accidents, and cancer.
- Virginia colleges create programs to combat Virginia’s teacher shortage – 15 Virginia colleges and universities are launching new four-year teacher education degree programs in the fall with an aim to address the teacher shortage in Virginia. The Virginia Board of Education approved the programs last week, and the participating schools include The College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
- Arlington public schools expand protections for transgender students – Arlington Public Schools will implement rules that allows students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity and that give students the right to use their chosen names and pronouns. The rules are expected to be in place for the 2019-2020 school year. Arlington, which educates more than 27,000 students, will become the first school system in Northern Virginia to put explicit regulations in place.
- Next Gen, Emily’s List and Priorities USA to spend $1.6 million Virginia – Liberal advocacy group NextGen America will spend $1 million to register at least 12,000 millennial voters in Virginia as part of its push to flip control of the General Assembly to Democrats in November. Emily’s List and Priorities USA will also spend $600,000 to support female candidates who support abortion rights. Virginia is the only state with competitive state legislative elections this year, and with all 140 seats in the General Assembly up for grabs and a Democratic majority in both houses in sight, liberal groups are going on the offensive.
From the Gram