Good morning, RVA! It's 41 °F, and temperatures will continue to rise throughout the day and into the evening. Keep an eye out for some rain later this afternoon.
With the General Assembly officially underway there are updates to be had! First, Democrat Shelly Simonds has conceded the 94th District to her Republican opponent and will not seek a second recount. Damn you, game of chance! Graham Moomaw at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a bunch of details on the important administrata of the first day, but this short paragraph hints at a less cynical, more bipartisan environment than previous years, "In bipartisan negotiations over new House rules, the parties agreed to have proportional representation on subcommittees, the small legislative panels that routinely kill legislation at early morning meetings with little record of what happened. Perhaps more importantly, recorded votes will now be required at the subcommittee level." Virginia Pilot reporter Jordan Pascale has a fun Twitter thread with a few pictures from the first day, including Delegate Kathy Tran who I hope brings her daughter to the House every dang day. And, finally, you can read the entirety of Governor McAuliffe's final State of the Commonwealth address.
Whoa, via his Facebook, Senior Policy Advisor Jon Baliles says he's no longer working for the City and has "decided to pursue other opportunities and begin a new chapter in my life." Once a 1st District Councilmember, currently part of the creative engine behind the RVA Street Art Fest, and long ago a Richmond Blogger of Consequence, Baliles has always been involved in cool Richmond stuff. I'm excited to see where he ends up next.
Karen Newton at Style Weekly has a profile of Nate's Bagels! I love this specific Nate, so I am biased, but I really do think his bagels are wonderful. Look for Nate's Bagels to open at Cary and Allen later this year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, and it is still a national day of service. Karen Newton, again at Style Weekly, runs us though a handful of ways to get involved around Richmond. If you don't feel like getting involved (boooo), but do feel like crying in a room full of strangers, the Byrd will show Hidden Figures on Sunday at 4:30 PM for free.
Here's an article in Richmond Magazine about celery root by Genevelyn Steele. Who even knew??
A couple days back, federal judges told North Carolina to redraw their super gerrymandered congressional districts. Virginia has its own problems with gerrymandering, though not as severe as North Carolina's, and if you're into fair redistricting in the Commonwealth you should get to know One Virginia 2021—they're our (powerful) advocates on this topic.
- Hokies beat the Demon Deacons, 83-75.
This morning's longread
You need to read this.
In some ways, though, I think the flaws in the spreadsheet were also a result of my own cynicism. At the time when I made it, I had become so accustomed to hearing about open secrets, to men whose bad behavior was universally known and perpetually immune from consequence, that it seemed like no one in power cared about the women who were most vulnerable to it. Sexual harassment and assault, even when it was violent, had been tolerated for so long that it seemed like much of the world found it acceptable. I thought that women could create a document with the aim of helping one another in part because I assumed that people with authority didn’t care about what we had to say there. In this sense, at least, I am glad I was wrong.
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