Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 17

By Megan Schiffres

April 17, 2021

Virginia enters Phase 2, McAuliffe campaign fundraising outpaces other candidates, and some colleges will require vaccinations to return to campus.

Daily Number

14 – That’s how many years it’s been since the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. The anniversary of that tragic day, when 33 people lost their lives, was yesterday.

Virginia Enters Phase 2 Tomorrow

Virginia will enter Phase 2 of its vaccination plan tomorrow. That means all Virginians 16 years old or older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Commonwealth is transitioning to the second phase at the same time it passed another milestone. Governor Ralph Northam announced yesterday that about half of adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In a statement from the governor on April 1, Northam said he has high hopes for the future of the Commonwealth now that the vaccine is becoming widely available.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel—and that light is getting brighter every day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” Northam said.

You can get a vaccine appointment by pre-registering at or by calling 977-VAX-IN-VA. And yes, this is happening despite the shutdown of the Johnson & Johnson version. How does that change things? Brian Carlton and Amie Knowles explain here.

McAuliffe Campaign Funding Outpaces Other Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates

According to reporting by the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), former governor and current candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe is leading the race in fundraising.

McAuliffe, according to VPAP, has a total of $8,512,035 in cash-on-hand as of March 31. This total combines multiple campaign accounts, according to the public access project.

His biggest donors include a super PAC called DGA Action, which contributed $6,631,084 to McAuliffe’s campaign. DGA Action is based in Washington D.C. and lobbies for Democratic political candidates. For more detailed information about how McAuliffe’s campaign is getting its money, you can click the link here.

The candidate with the second largest financial backing in the Democratic primary is Jennifer Carroll Foy. Her PAC, Carroll Foy for Governor, had $2,329,330 in cash-on hand at the end of March. For more information about who donates to Foy, you can try this link from VPAP.

Among the Republican candidates hoping to become the party’s nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin is leading the PAC in terms of funding. Youngkin is CEO of Caryle Group, a multinational private equity firm. His PAC, Youngkin for Governor, had $3,281,669 in cash on-hand when he reported it in March. For more info on his campaign’s finances, visit this link.

Pete Snyder, former founder of social media marketing agency New Media Strategies, had the second highest cash-on hand. In March, his PAC Snyder for Governor had $2,596,570 to spend.

Some DC Colleges to Require Vaccines For Returning Students

Both American University and Georgetown University are requiring students to get vaccinated before returning to campus.

American University president Sylvia Burwell wrote to the American University community, “After weighing the many considerations, we are announcing that all American University students who reside on-campus or come to campus for any reason in the fall will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.”

According to Burwell, undergraduate, graduate, and Washington College of Law students will provide proof of vaccination in a similar fashion to other vaccines that are already required by university policy.

Similarly, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in a statement that the university will require undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus, medical center, and law center to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for the fall semester.

“As we look at the additional public health measures that will enable our safe return this fall, we are closely reviewing whether we will establish a vaccine requirement for faculty and staff. We are consulting with our faculty and staff leadership bodies as we consider this decision,” said DeGioia.

Xzavier Hill Protest Saturday

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 17
justiceforxzavierhill on Instagram

Another protest for an independent investigation in the case of Xzavier Hill is happening this weekend. Two Virginia State Police officers killed Hill on January 9. His family have been calling for transparency in his case since his death.

RELATED: Xzavier Hill Was Unarmed, Family Says. Questions Remain in Police Shooting

Norfolk Police Internal Affairs Officer Donated to White Supremacist Shooter

The second in command in the Norfolk Police Department’s internal affairs unit donated money to a white supremacist who shot and killed Black liberation protesters last year. That’s according to reporting by the Virginia Pilot.

Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and seriously wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, on August 25, 2020. Though he’s entered a plea of not guilty to those crimes, the attack was caught on film. We didn’t include a link to the video because it is extremely disturbing and potentially traumatizing.

On September 3 last year, a donation of $25 to Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund was made anonymously, but using an email associated with Sargent William Kelly of the Norfolk Police Department. Kelly currently services as the executive officer of internal affairs in Norfolk.

According to The Guardian, that donation also included a comment reading, “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong.” The comment also said, “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

Information about the sources of these donations came from a data breach at a Christian crowdfunding website. The breach, shared with journalists by transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets, also exposed the donations of several other law enforcement officers and other public officials across the country.

University of Virginia President Abel Liu Wins Truman Scholarship

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 17
Abel Liu source UVA Student Council Executive Board <a href=httpswwwuvastudcocomexecutive board>website<a>

Abel Liu, who made history this year as UVA’s first transgender and student body president and as UVA’s first Chinese-American president, is now also the recipient of the Truman Scholarship.

This scholarship, established in 1975 by Congress, supports future public service leaders. As founder of UVA Mutual Aid, Liu is already empowering his community by providing them with public resources.

“Our aid network taught me the connection between building a community of care and creating real resources,” Liu said to UVA Today. “My mutual aid efforts also imbued me with a new sense of duty. I spoke to students who were grateful for any help we could offer, but still needed much more.”

Liu is one of only 62 scholars across the country to receive the scholarship.

Friday’s Trivia Answer: You May Want to Head South

That’s right, Detroit is actually north of Canada! That means to get there, you’d have to drive south. Weird.

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