Danny's Desk: News from the Virginia General Assembly
Jan 23, 2018

Promoting Our Region

In last week's newsletter, I mentioned a number of changes at the General Assembly. As a representative of my district and our region, it is important for me to reach beyond the legislature to all who can help us to thrive.

With a new Governor's administration, there usually come many new cabinet positions. I purposefully contact those new leaders to help them become familiar with our area and to boldly promote Southside.

I already met with the new Secretary of Finance, Aubrey Layne, who moves into that position after serving as Secretary of Transportation for the previous administration.

The new Secretary of Commerce and Trade is Esther Lee, which is the position that Southside native, Todd Haymore, most recently held. I am meeting with her this week and we will be hosting a tour of our area to help Secretary Lee get familiar with our economic development initiatives and to tap into her ideas and resources for our region.

Also along the lines of economic development, there is a newly-formed position of Chief Workforce Advisor to the Governor. Megan Healy is very enthusiastic about our region. She actually taught at Patrick Henry Community College and at Danville Community College, so she understands what we are doing.


Agriculture and forestry are one of the economic engines in Pittsylvania County. I have already met with the new Secretary of Natural Resources, Matthew Strickler, and with the new Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Bettina Ring. Secretary Ring spoke to our Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. She is a forester by background and very excited to take on the challenges of the new position.

And finally, I have reached out to the new Secretary of Transportation, Shannon Valentine. She hails from the Lynchburg area and I already know her, since we served at the same time when she was in the House of Delegates from 2006 to 2010.

Reaching out to these new Cabinet members is very important. We need to make sure that they understand our area as we “reinvent and move the economy” forward.

Our House of Delegates also has a host of new faces with 19 newly-elected freshmen delegates. There are 15 Democrats and 4 Republicans, bringing the House to a 51-49 Republican majority. Three of the new delegates serve on the ACNR Committee that I chair. I am working to meet all of the others in order to make them aware of what we are doing in Southside.

In my efforts to keep our region on the radar, I have not had the opportunity to talk to Governor Northam yet -- but I will.

We are currently in our offices in Richmond.  My Legislative Aide, Mary Franklin, is staffing our office here, located in Room 301 East of the Pocahontas Building.  You can contact us by sending an e-mail to DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov or by sending a letter to me at PO Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218-0406, or by calling 804-698-1014. And, visit www.dannymarshall.com to complete our 2018 Survey (bottom of Homepage).