Thankful. Grateful. Family. Friends. Health. Wellbeing. Future. Norfolk. During this holiday season, I am thankful for my family, friends, you, and the many folks I have met along my Norfolk City Council journey. We live in a great city and I am reminded of this daily. As we finished a Norfolk City Council Informal Work Session this week, I ended it by saying to my colleagues, “We serve the greatest city in Virginia!”
While we are a great city, we also are an old city! I had the opportunity to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of Ohef Sholom Temple and the 125th Anniversary of Sacred Heart Catholic Church both in Ghent. The history of these two religious institutions is remarkable. The history, families, community roots, and pride is pronounced. It was humbling to be part of these celebrations.
Every November Norfolk hosts a Legislative Dinner where we present our legislative agenda to our local delegation who represent us in Richmond. We were able to include newly elected House and Senate members along with those re-elected who all represent Norfolk. Our legislative priorities include coastal resilience. We need legislation to authorize the use of submerged lands owned by Virginia for sea level rise and coastal resilience flood protection projects. We support determining the true cost of education and funding that level of expense. We support transportation legislation that would support the 3rd Amtrak passenger service to Norfolk by December 2021. We support funding to establish a Career & Technical High School in Norfolk. We support passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. We support decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana. This General Assembly is a 60 day biennial session where a new 2-year budget is established. I have only mentioned a few highlights from our legislative package as there are too many to include in this post today. Virginia Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne was our guest speaker at the Legislative Dinner. Aubrey and I were classmates in the Old Dominion University MBA program back in the day and we worked together on group projects. It is always a pleasure to see Aubrey and share with people how we know each other. People literally laugh..really? Yes, really.
I continue to work on flooding and sea level rise issues. We are meeting with neighborhoods to see what projects we can afford that will address the needs around the Hague, Hampton Blvd., Larchmont and other areas of the city. More to come on this topic. We are much further along on the practical solutions than we are on the funding.
I enjoyed the opportunity to speak and listen at a variety of civic leagues throughout Ward 2. And, I enjoyed the opportunity to ride on the Norfolk float during the Downtown Norfolk Holiday Parade. It was great fun to see everyone on the rainy parade route.
Finally, I enjoyed a Doyle Thanksgiving with 23 in my house for 3 days. Yes, I correctly wrote the 23 in my house for 3 days. The Doyles come together every other Thanksgiving in Norfolk and we have a ball together. The ages range from 1 1/2 to 68 and a 2 year old dog. Grady was exhausted after everyone left and has slept for days.
I wish you and your family a fun and healthy holiday season! Please be in touch with me and share any ideas and concerns you may have.
Celebrating Sacred Heart Catholic Church 125th Anniversary
Upscale Avenues Realty Group Grand Opening on North Colley
Norfolk Legislative Dinner with Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne
Speaking at the West Ghent Civic League
Downtown Norfolk Holiday Parade
Happy Thanksgiving from the Doyle family!
Grady recovering from the Doyle Thanksgiving with 23 in the house!