^Pest Management Month^|^Pest Management Month^|2018-04-01 04:52:24:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, pest management professionals are tasked with protecting society from the problems pests cause, including health issues, destruction of property, and damage to the environment; and&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, effective pest management in homes, businesses, and public places throughout our Commonwealth is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of all Virginians; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Virginia Pest Management Association is a leader in the Commonwealth, and protects our environment by ensuring the safe and effective use of pest management materials; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the National Pest Management Association is committed to educating the public about the dangers to people and property posed by pests; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Pest Management Month offers all Virginians an opportunity to understand and appreciate the important role that pest management providers play in protecting their health and well-being;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2018 as <strong>PEST MANAGEMENT MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Vietnam War Veterans Day^|^Vietnam War Veterans Day^|2018-03-29 03:52:32:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, more than 230,000 Virginians served the nation in Vietnam, nearly 1,500 sacrificed their lives, and 46 Virginians are still listed as missing in action; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, of the 239 service members who were awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, eight were Virginians, including seven who died in action; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians served in Vietnam from the beginning to the end, with a Virginian being one of the first casualties of the war in 1961, and one of the last in 1975; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Vietnam War was extremely divisive among people in this country, and the debate about the country's involvement in the war deprived many members of the Armed Forces of public support and appreciation of their patriotic service; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who returned from Vietnam were never accorded the recognition and praise that was routinely given returning servicemen and women in earlier wars; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is especially important that the extraordinary contributions of America's Vietnam War veterans and the sacrifice of their families be remembered and recognized; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 officially designated March 29 as the annual Vietnam War Veterans Day;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE</span></strong><span>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 29, 2018, as <strong>VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY</strong> in the <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Hereditary Lynch Syndrome Cancer Awareness Day^|^Hereditary Lynch Syndrome Cancer Awareness Day^|2018-03-22 02:46:58:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Lynch syndrome, a part of the hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, is a hereditary condition that causes greater risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, hepatobiliary tract, urinary tract, and other types of cancers; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Lynch syndrome creates a hereditary predisposition to cancer at a high lifetime risk and often at an early onset age; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is estimated that Lynch syndrome incidence rates are approximately 1 in 370 individuals, and it often goes severely underdiagnosed; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, every person should know his or her family history and share that history with a physician to determine if he or she may be at high risk for hereditary cancers; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, every newly diagnosed colorectal cancer and endometrial cancer should be screened for Lynch syndrome characteristics to prompt risk assessment and genetic testing; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, a positive genetic test will determine if these cancers are hereditary or familial, and they will qualify affected individuals for regular cancer screening tests so that growths, polyps, and tumors may be detected early and treated or removed before becoming life threatening; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, increasing knowledge and awareness of Lynch syndrome diagnoses can increase cancer prevention through regular screening measures and can lead to earlier cancer detection and treatment; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Hereditary Lynch Syndrome Cancer Awareness Day provides us with the opportunity to learn more about this hereditary condition and to encourage each Virginian to learn and use his or her family history to assess individual risk and take steps toward prevention and detection;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 22, 2018, as <strong>HEREDITARY LYNCH SYNDROME&nbsp;CANCER AWARENESS DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^World Down Syndrome Day^|^World Down Syndrome Day^|2018-03-21 04:53:29:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of genetic material from chromosome 21; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Down syndrome causes a distinct facial appearance, intellectual disability, developmental delays, and may be associated with gastrointestinal or heart defects; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, when children and adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to participate, all children benefit from this shared environment; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21<sup>st</sup> as World Down Syndrome Day; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, this year&rsquo;s theme, &ldquo;#WhatIBringToMyCommunity,&rdquo; represents how individuals with Down syndrome can and do make meaningful contributions throughout their lives to their schools, workplaces, and communities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, World Down Syndrome Day is an opportunity to enhance public education and awareness about Down syndrome;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 21, 2018, as <strong>WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Nowruz^|^Nowruz^|2018-03-20 04:47:11:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> Nowruz is the celebration of the New Year and marks the first day of spring; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Nowruz has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years in Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Kyrgyztan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since 2010, the United Nations has designated March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the celebration of Nowruz is started weeks before, by Nowruz khaneh tekani &ldquo;shaking the house,&rdquo; which is an important Nowruz tradition to clean the house for the New Year; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in the weeks leading up to Nowruz, families put together the haft-seen, which serves as a collection of items that symbolize hope for the New Year; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Seven S&rsquo;s serve as the foundation of the haft-seen, and each item represents an important part of life; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Seven S&rsquo;s includes: Sabzeh (wheat sprouts) which symbolizes rebirth, Senjed (silver berry) which symbolizes love, Sib (apple) which symbolizes beauty and health, Seer (Garlic) which symbolizes medicine, Samanu (sweet pudding) which symbolizes wealth, Serkeh (vinegar) which symbolizes patience and wisdom, and Sumac (Iranian spice) which symbolizes the color of sunrise; and&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the haft-seen also includes a mirror symbolizing reflection, colored eggs symbolizing fertility, coins symbolizing prosperity, a live goldfish symbolizing a new life, and the Quran</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, on the eve of spring equinox, families gather to celebrate Nowruz and eat Sabzi Polo Mahi, which is fish and rice; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Nowruz is celebrated for 13 days, and on the 13<sup>th</sup> day, known as Sizdeah Bedar, families take the sabzeh to the park and place it in water to symbolize the previous year and to usher in the New Year; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins those celebrating Nowruz and the new spring in Virginia and throughout the world;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE</span></strong><span>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 20, 2018, as <strong><span>NOWRUZ&nbsp;</span></strong>in our<strong> COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens. </span></p>^
^Fresh Air Fund Day^|^Fresh Air Fund Day^|2018-03-20 12:51:16:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Fresh Air Fund provides free summer experiences to thousands of children from New York City&rsquo;s low-income communities each summer; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Fresh Air Fund allows New York City children to visit the homes of volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia families have been participating in the Fresh Air Fund&rsquo;s Friendly Towns Program for over 140 years; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Fresh Air Fund allows children from New York City to enjoy Virginia backyards, parks, and wide open spaces; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Fresh Air Fund is celebrating its 142<sup>nd</sup> summer;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 20, 2017, as <strong>FRESH AIR FUND DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Surveyors Week^|^Surveyors Week^|2018-03-18 02:13:09:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,&nbsp;</span><span>the role of the surveyor has been, and remains, of vital importance in the development of the United States and to our private property rights; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,&nbsp;</span><span>surveying requires both fieldwork and indoor work, in order to measure, maintain, monitor, verify, validate, and regulate boundaries of land, economic assets, and other properties; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since the colonial era, surveyors have been statesmen, leaders in the community, and influential citizens; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, former surveyors include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, surveyors remain essential to the development of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia today; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia is home to more than 1,200 licensed surveyors; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Surveyors Week is an opportunity to recognize the historic contributions of surveying, and appreciate the new technologies that are constantly modernizing the profession;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize the week of March 18-24, 2018, as <strong><span>SURVEYORS WEEK</span> </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Virginia Agriculture Week^|^Virginia Agriculture Week^|2018-03-18 12:53:11:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, each year Virginia celebrates Agriculture Week starting the first day of spring, and the nation celebrates as a whole on March 20; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, agriculture is the Commonwealth&rsquo;s largest industry, with an economic impact of $70 billion annually and employment of more than 334,000 people; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, on average, a Virginia farmer produces enough food to feed his or her own family and to feed 165 additional people each year; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the world&rsquo;s population is projected to reach 10 billion people by the year 2050, and farmers will face tremendous challenges in feeding the growing population; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia farmers are already rising to the challenge by utilizing new technologies to increase agricultural production, improve efficiency, and expand their world markets; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, farmers are the planet&rsquo;s original environmental stewards, and they continue to apply the very best practices to protect valuable land and water resources;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 18-24, 2018, as <strong>VIRGINIA AGRICULTURE WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Peter Francisco Day^|^Peter Francisco Day^|2018-03-15 12:40:05:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Peter Francisco was abandoned as a young child near the present-day site of Hopewell, Virginia, in 1765, and was taken in by Judge Anthony Winston to live and work as an indentured servant; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Peter Francisco listened to Patrick Henry&rsquo;s historic &ldquo;<em>Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death</em>&rdquo; speech through a window of St. John&rsquo;s Church in Richmond on March 23, 1775, and eagerly joined the fight for American independence as a soldier at age sixteen; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Peter Francisco displayed remarkable courage in many battles, once saving the life of his commanding officer and surviving multiple injuries over the course of the war, and he went on to witness General George Washington&rsquo;s decisive victory at Yorktown, Virginia; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Peter Francisco served as the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1825 until his death on January 16, 1831, after which he was honored by the Virginia House of Delegates and buried with military honors in Richmond&rsquo;s Shockoe Cemetery; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Peter Francisco served his nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia with great distinction and made important contributions to the history of our Commonwealth and nation; and<strong><span>&nbsp;</span></strong></span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since 1973, the Virginia General Assembly has honored Peter Francisco&rsquo;s service to our Commonwealth and nation by annually recognizing March 15<sup>th</sup> as Peter Francisco Day;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE</span></strong><span>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 15, 2018, as <strong>PETER FRANCISCO DAY </strong>in the <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Brain Awareness Month^|^Brain Awareness Month^|2018-03-12 01:42:35:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians are afflicted each year with diseases or disorders of the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nervous system, which cause disabilities, diminished quality of life, and large economic burdens; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, those affected by neurological and psychological diseases and disorders are helped by the tremendous scientific breakthroughs in biomedical and neuroscience research coupled with the dedication of health care workers in the Commonwealth; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, scientific breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience have benefited individuals afflicted with spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer&rsquo;s disease, depression, Parkinson&rsquo;s disease, drug addiction, and other life threatening disorders; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Society for Neuroscience is the world&rsquo;s largest organization of scientists dedicated to the study of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Brain Awareness Week is an opportunity to enhance public education and awareness about brain disorders and the advancements made in neuroscience research;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE</span></strong>,I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 12-18, 2018, as BRAIN AWARENESS MONTH&nbsp;in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^AmeriCorps Week^|^AmeriCorps Week^|2018-03-11 01:46:51:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> AmeriCorps provides opportunities for more than 80,000 Americans interested in making an ongoing, intensive commitment to serve at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups all across the country; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,last year in Virginia, 6,000 national service members of various ages and backgrounds helped to meet local needs at more than 805 locations in the Commonwealth by tutoring or mentoring disadvantaged children and youth, supporting veterans and military families, restoring the environment, and responding to disasters; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in exchange for their service, AmeriCorps members earn valuable work skills, money for higher education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship that strengthens the lives of their families, communities, and the Commonwealth as a whole; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since AmeriCorps&rsquo; founding in 1994, more than 14,000 Virginia AmeriCorps members have served more than 22 million hours and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $55,900,000; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, AmeriCorps Week is an opportunity to recognize the dedication and commitment of AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps alumni, and their community partners, and to reinforce responsibility, compassion, and tolerance as critical values for building a better Commonwealth;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 11-17, 2018, as <strong>AMERICORPS WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Suddenly Sleepy Saturday: A Day for Narcolepsy Awareness^|^Suddenly Sleepy Saturday: A Day for Narcolepsy Awareness^|2018-03-10 01:47:52:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain&rsquo;s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles, resulting in extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, narcolepsy affects an estimated 135,000 to 200,000 people in the United States; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the symptoms of narcolepsy, especially when undiagnosed, can cause accidents, injuries, and problems with learning and working; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, narcolepsy affects people neurologically, socially, and emotionally; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, people of all ages, with onset typically occurring between the ages of 7 and 25; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Narcolepsy Network is a national organization created to promote awareness of the disease and provide support for those who suffer from narcolepsy; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Suddenly Sleepy Saturday: A Day for Narcolepsy Awareness is an opportunity to educate Virginians about the symptoms of narcolepsy;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 10, 2018, as<strong> SUDDENLY SLEEPY SATURDAY: A DAY FOR NARCOLEPSY AWARENESS </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Telework Week^|^Telework Week^|2018-03-05 01:56:54:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, telework is a family-friendly, business-friendly strategy that promotes workforce efficiency, improves recruitment, retention, and productivity of employees; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, telework helps alleviate congestion and improves the efficiency of the transportation system by reducing the number of cars on highways; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, teleworking can be an economically and environmentally wise choice by reducing our consumption of fuel and improving air quality; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Virginia Department of Transportation are providing incentives for new or expanded telework programs to businesses in the immediate areas impacted by the construction of the I-66 and I-395 Express Lanes projects; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, DRPT&rsquo;s Telework!VA program provides a one-stop resource for businesses, individuals, and government agencies seeking to learn more about telework; and <span>&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians are encouraged to telework at least one day during Telework Week and enjoy the benefits of reduced travel congestion, higher quality of life, and continued economic growth;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 5-9, 2018, as <strong>TELEWORK WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^National School Breakfast Week^|^National School Breakfast Week^|2018-03-05 12:46:18:0|^<p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>,Virginia is dedicated to the health and wellness of our Commonwealth&rsquo;s children and is committed to expanding access to healthy meals for school children; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the School Nutrition Association of Virginia supports strong federal nutrition standards for school meals, including the increased access to a greater quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the National School Breakfast Program has served our nation admirably since it was permanently established in 1975; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, over ten million more breakfasts were served in Virginia during the 2016-2017 school year, compared to the 2013-2014 school year; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, students who participate in school breakfast do better in math, have better attendance records, perform better on standardized tests, generally have fewer discipline problems, are more likely to interact with their teachers and peers, and graduate on-time, in comparison to students who do not eat school breakfast; and&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, alternative delivery models that allow for eating breakfast after the bell, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance have proven to increase school breakfast participation; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, Virginia&rsquo;s 2016 Breakfast Budget Amendment has helped schools move to alternative delivery models and has led to an additional 2.8 million breakfasts served in participating schools; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, this year&rsquo;s theme, &ldquo;I Heart School Breakfast,&rdquo; is a collaborative initiative between The Department of Education&rsquo;s Office of School Nutrition Programs, First Lady Pamela Northam, No Kid Hungry Virginia, School Nutrition Association of Virginia, Virginia Hunger Solutions, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Southeastern United Dairy Industry Associates, American Dairy Association North East and others to promote the need for children to start their day with a healthy meal; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, National School Breakfast Week is an opportunity to recognize the importance of making informed decisions about food choices every day, and the need for continued nutrition education and access to enhance healthy eating practices;</p> <p><strong>NOW, THEREFORE, </strong>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 5-9, 2018, as <strong>NATIONAL SCHOOL BREAKFAST WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^National Life Coaches Week^|^National Life Coaches Week^|2018-03-05 07:13:14:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the health and well-being of all Virginians are of utmost importance to the prosperity and livelihood of our Commonwealth&rsquo;s families and communities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, life coaches play an important role in promoting leadership qualities and other positive characteristics in Virginians; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia life coaches promote success through setting personal and professional goals, encouraging self-worth and providing guidance to their clients; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,&nbsp;</span><span>it is vital to support these professionals in their continuous efforts to improve lives throughout the Commonwealth; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is important to recognize that all citizens who receive life coaching in our Commonwealth benefit from the expertise and professionalism of Virginia's life coaches;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 5-10, 2018, as <strong>NATIONAL LIFE COACHES WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.&nbsp;</span></p>^
^Christian Heritage Week^|^Christian Heritage Week^|2018-03-04 01:58:00:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the protection of religious freedom is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Constitution of Virginia states, &ldquo;That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience;&rdquo; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the founders of our country were great men and women from many religious denominations, and cultures, who came together to establish a country &ldquo;with liberty and justice for all;&rdquo; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, today, our Commonwealth continues to celebrate the many different faiths and cultures that make up the rich and colorful fabric of our state and nation;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW</span></strong><span>, <strong>THEREFORE</strong>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 4-10, 2018, as <strong>CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK</strong> in the <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Women In Construction Month^|^Women In Construction Month^|2018-03-04 07:18:11:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), founded in 1953, started as a local support network for the few women in the construction industry at the time; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in 1955, the National Association of Women in Construction became nationally chartered, and today provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service, and more; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Richmond Chapter 141 has distinguished itself for 51 years as the voice of women in construction in the Southeast Region; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Richmond Chapter has unceasingly promoted the employment and advance of women in the construction industry; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the construction community has been a driving force behind community development through renovation and beautification projects, promotion of skilled trades, and a positive vision of the future; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Women in Construction Week is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the many dedicated workers and their steadfast support of women in construction;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 4-10, 2018, as <strong>WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Month^|^Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Month^|2018-03-03 01:45:35:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of cancer in which breast cancer cells test negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, these results mean the growth of the cancer is not responsive to hormonal therapy or therapies that target HER2 receptors; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, about 10 to 20 percent of breast cancers are found to be triple-negative; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, triple-negative breast cancer is more likely to spread and reoccur between the first and third year after diagnosis and treatment; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, triple-negative breast cancer most commonly occurs before the ages of 40 and 50, and is more likely to occur in African American women, Hispanic women, and women with BRCA1 mutations; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day serves as an opportunity to increase awareness of the disease and to encourage individuals to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is vital that those affected by triple-negative breast cancer have access to quality, affordable care, and that research of this type of breast cancer continues to be vigorously supported;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 3, 2018, as <strong>TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Sudden Unexplained Death In Childhood Awareness Month^|^Sudden Unexplained Death In Childhood Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 07:33:25:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span>Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the child&rsquo;s medical history</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in 2016, there were approximately 445 cases of SUDC in the United States between the ages of 1 to 19 - including 236 children under the age of 5 - who die without any clear cause or explanation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>while less common than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which occurs before the first birthday, SUDC is an important health concern that deserves increased public awareness and research</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, at the present time, there is no way to prevent SUDC, as its cause is unknown</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, we recognize the dedicated efforts of organizations such as the SUDC Foundation, medical professionals, and volunteers who are working to better understand the causes of sudden unexplained death, improve the health of infants and children, and provide much needed hope and support for families grieving the heartbreaking sudden unexplained death of a child; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness Month provides us with an opportunity to honor the memory of the young lives that ended too soon, show encouragement and support for the families and loved ones forever devastated by their loss, and increase public awareness of SUDC and the ongoing search for answers</span><span>;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>SUDDEN UNEXPLAINED DEATH IN CHILDHOOD AWARENESS MONTH</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Women's History Month^|^Women's History Month^|2018-03-01 06:40:55:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, throughout our nation&rsquo;s history, women have been pioneers in all areas of society, from arts and sciences, to medicine and public service; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, women have dramatically influenced our public policy and the building of viable institutions and organizations; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, from championing basic human rights to ensuring access and equal opportunity for all Americans, women have led the way in establishing a strong and more democratic country; and<span><br /></span></span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, we remember the great American women who fought for suffrage and advanced our democracy; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the knowledge, skills, and abilities of women contribute to a more robust workforce and a more prosperous economy; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Women&rsquo;s History Month was first recognized in 1987 by Congress and enacted by the President after years of lobbying by the National Women&rsquo;s History Project; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, this year&rsquo;s theme, <em>Nevertheless She Persisted,</em> <span>honors women who fight all forms of discrimination against women</span>;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>WOMEN&rsquo;S HISTORY MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month^|^Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 06:37:21:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,within the United States, one in six, or about 15%, of children aged three through 17 have one or more developmental disabilities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in the Commonwealth, there are approximately 134,000 people with developmental disabilities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians with developmental disabilities are our neighbors, family members, coworkers, and friends and important contributors to the diversity of our communities and our Commonwealth; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, when individuals with developmental disabilities are included and active in their communities, they live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians with developmental disabilities have the right to vote, attend college, work in real jobs earning competitive wages, live healthy integrated lives in the community, and be fully included in all facets of society without experiencing unnecessary barriers to full participation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Commonwealth has created and continues to increase community-based services and supports that allow Virginians with developmental disabilities to live, work, and thrive in the community; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time to recognize the contributions of Virginians with developmental disabilities and the Commonwealth&rsquo;s efforts to identify and remove barriers to inclusion for all Virginians; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, removing these barriers for individuals with developmental disabilities benefits the entire Commonwealth and is a part of our commitment to providing equal opportunity, and rights for all Virginians;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month^|^Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 03:52:03:0|^<p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States, and currently there is no cure; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, symptoms include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, weakness and fatigue, and unexplained weight loss; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, many people with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, in 2014, 139,992 individuals in the United States were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, including 73,396 men and 66,596 women, and 51,651 individuals died from colorectal cancer; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates are highest in African-American men and women; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the survival rate of individuals who have early stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent, but is only 14 percent when diagnosed after it has spread to other organs; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the rates of new colorectal cancer cases and deaths among adults aged 50 years or older are decreasing in the United States due to an increase in regular screenings; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>,&nbsp;the national goal established by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable is that 80 percent of Americans ages 50 and older be screened by the year 2018; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>,&nbsp;Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to offer education on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the importance of early detection and screening;</p> <p><strong>NOW, THEREFORE,&nbsp;</strong>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as&nbsp;<strong>COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH&nbsp;</strong>in our&nbsp;<strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA,&nbsp;</strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^Certified Government Financial Manager Month^|^Certified Government Financial Manager Month^|2018-03-01 03:43:54:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Richmond Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants is a professional organization and part of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), which has a network of more than 14,000 members in 101 chapters in the United States and around the world; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, approximately 307 active members of the AGA representing state, federal, municipal, and private sector accountants, auditors, and financial managers living in Virginia; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, AGA Richmond Chapter members have responded to AGA&rsquo;s mission of advancing government accountability, as it continues its broad educational efforts with an emphasis on high standards of conduct, honor, and character in its Code of Ethics; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, AGA Richmond Chapter members are making significant advances both in professional ability and in service to the residents of Virginia by mastering increasingly technical and complex requirements; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) program of AGA provides a means of demonstrating professionalism and competency by requiring CGFM candidates to have appropriate educational and employment history and to abide by AGA&rsquo;s Code of Ethics; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, CGRM also requires candidates to pass three examinations requiring expertise in governmental environment, governmental financial management and control, governmental accounting, and financial reporting and budgeting. It also requires each CGFM holder to maintain certification by completing at least 80 hours of continuing professional education in government financial management topics or related technical subjects every two years;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW</span></strong><span>, <strong>THEREFORE</strong>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>CERTIFIED GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL MANAGER MONTH</strong>&nbsp;in the <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Governmental Purchasing Month^|^Governmental Purchasing Month^|2018-03-01 03:42:44:0|^<p><strong>WHEREAS, </strong>the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing (VAGP) is the largest chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, with approximately 1,100 procurement professionals employed by nearly 350 public entities in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the VAGP membership is comprised of cities, counties, towns, state agencies, colleges, universities, public schools, hospitals, political subdivisions, authorities, and community services boards throughout Virginia; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS, </strong>the Capital Area Purchasing Association (CAPA), is also a large chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, and represents approximately 290 professional public purchasers from more than 55 public entities in the Virginia Capital Region; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS, </strong>purchasing and materials management professionals work diligently to establish and maintain ethical standards in buying and selling in order to make procurement methods more efficient and to promote professionalism in public purchasing; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS, </strong>the purchasing and materials management professions engage in, or have direct responsibility for, executing, implementing and administering contracts, developing forecasts and procurement strategies, supervising and monitoring the flow and storage of materials, and developing working relationships with suppliers; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS, </strong>governmental purchasing professionals contribute positively to our Commonwealth&rsquo;s public agencies and services by improving purchasing methods and practices and by using new technology to increase efficiency and improve processes;</p> <p><strong>NOW, THEREFORE, </strong>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>GOVERMENTAL PURCHASING MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^Youth Art Month^|^Youth Art Month^|2018-03-01 03:09:14:0|^<p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, youth art education is a viable component of elementary and secondary education that helps young people grow and develop to be able to compete in the global market; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, art education develops students&rsquo; creative potential and improves problem-solving and critical thinking skills by reinforcing and bringing to life what students learn in other subjects; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, art education teaches sensitivity to beauty, order, and other expressive qualities, and also gives students a deeper understanding of multi-cultural values and beliefs; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, art education helps students develop lifelong skills, including language development, inventiveness, motor skills, visual learning, and decision making; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, art education interrelates student learning in art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the National Art Education Association, in conjunction with the Virginia Art Education Association, strives to improve the well-being of our communities by upgrading visual awareness of the cultural strengths of Virginia and the United States as a whole; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins the National Art Education Association and the Virginia Art Education Association in supporting our youth in their intellectual development through artistic endeavors, and offering support to our committed art teachers;</p> <p><strong>NOW, THEREFORE, </strong>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>YOUTH ART MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^Brain Injury Awareness Month^|^Brain Injury Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 01:34:49:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury that disrupts the brain's normal function, often resulting in a lifetime of physical, cognitive, and behavioral challenges; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, an estimated 2.5 million Americans, including 475,000 children, sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, including 795,000 who suffer a stroke; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, as many as 8.5 million children and adults nationwide live with long-term disabilities due to traumatic brain injury and stroke; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an estimated 389,621 Virginians live with disabilities caused by TBI and stroke; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, of the approximately 28,000 individuals in Virginia each year who sustain brain injuries including concussions, more than 7,000 are hospitalized, largely due to falls, motor vehicle crashes, assaults, sporting-related injuries, or occupational injuries; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since 2000, 375,230 U.S. military service members worldwide have been diagnosed with TBI</span><span>in deployed and non-deployed settings, and as a typical injury of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, TBI presents ongoing challenges for Virginia veterans and their families; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, early, equal, and adequate access to care greatly increases the overall quality of life of Virginians with TBI, enabling them to return to home, school, work, and community; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Brain Injury Association of America promotes March as Brain Injury Awareness Month with the theme, "Change Your Mind About Brain Injury,&rdquo; which provides a platform for changing common misconceptions about the injury, educating the public on the incidence of brain injury, and advocating for the needs of individuals who are injured and their family members; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is the lead agency for coordinating brain injury services in the Commonwealth, and provides services in partnership with the Department of Veterans Services and its Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and a network of state-funded brain injury services programs, including the Brain Injury Association of Virginia;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month^|^Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 12:55:23:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cell, is the third most common blood cancer in the United States; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is critical that clinicians and the general public become more aware of the symptoms of multiple myeloma so that it can be diagnosed at an early stage; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2018 more than 30,000 new cases will be diagnosed and about 12,000 deaths will occur due to multiple myeloma; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, although there have been important advances in the last decade, there is still no cure for multiple myeloma; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Greater Richmond Multiple Myeloma Support Group was established in 2010 as an affiliate of the International Myeloma Foundation, and helps support patients and families; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month is an opportunity to educate individuals on the signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma with the hope that increased awareness will lead to further research and improved treatment methods;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>MULTIPLE MYELOMA AWARENESS MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Professional Social Work Month^|^Professional Social Work Month^|2018-03-01 12:32:38:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the mental and physical health and well-being of all Virginians are of the utmost importance to the happiness and prosperity of our Commonwealth&rsquo;s families and communities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, professional social workers provide services to Virginia&rsquo;s schools, hospitals, community organizations, public and private agencies, and higher educational institutions, as well as the military and veterans centers; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, social workers offer guidance and assistance to thousands of Virginians every day, empowering them to build brighter futures for themselves and their families; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, social workers understand and appreciate the worth and dignity of all individuals and families within our communities, and their mission is to enable people to reach their full potential and enrich their lives; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, through compassion, advocacy, and empowerment, social work professionals have made significant impacts on the lives of the people they serve; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the theme of Professional Social Work Month is &ldquo;Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions;&rdquo; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong>,<span>social workers believe in the strength, courage, and resilience of the human spirit, and strive to help people lead healthier and more productive lives;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE,</span></strong><span> I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL WORK MONTH</strong> in the <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Month^|^Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 08:08:27:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), previously known as Devic&rsquo;s disease, is a rare autoimmune disease that primarily affects the eye nerves and spinal cord</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, NMO occurs when the body&rsquo;s immune system reacts against its own cells; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, NMO may cause blindness, weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, painful spasms, loss of sensation, uncontrollable vomiting and hiccups, and bladder or bowel dysfunction from spinal cord damage; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, an estimated 4,000 people in the United States have NMO, and it is 80 percent more common in women than men; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the cause of NMO is still largely unknown, and NMO is often misdiagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis, but it is its own distinct condition; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, while there is no cure for NMO, there are therapies aimed at treating episodes in progress, reducing symptoms, and preventing relapses; and<span><br /></span></span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, increasing awareness about NMO has caused NMO diagnoses to rise, as doctors have become better able to recognize the varying manifestations of the disease; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the NMO community is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of this disease in order to promote research, improve patient care and outcomes, and find a cure;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>NEUROMYELITIS OPTICA AWARENESS MONTH&nbsp;</strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^March Is Mediation Month^|^March Is Mediation Month^|2018-03-01 08:07:30:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, 2018 marks the 25<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the passage of the dispute resolution proceedings statute that continues to play an important role in institutionalizing the use of mediation in the courts in Virginia; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, with continued adherence to the 2002 Virginia Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, numerous governmental entities in the Commonwealth are demonstrating a commitment to application of creative problem solving when faced with complex issues and disputes; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Dispute Resolution Services in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia continues to administer the mediator certification program, providing a way for the public to locate a mediator for individual services; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, mediators and other dispute resolution practitioners, through their significant expertise in helping stakeholders find durable solutions to important issues, have demonstrated the value of the field of alternative dispute resolution and the value of mediation as a tool for peacemaking between and among individuals, groups, neighborhoods, and countries; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, many of Virginia&rsquo;s universities, colleges, and law schools often incorporate mediation into their curricula and programs; leaders, managers, and supervisors apply mediation practices and skills in the workplace; and not-for-profit community-based dispute resolution centers provide opportunities to resolve issues effectively and affordably in communities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, an increasing number of professional entities in Virginia contribute to and provide quality dispute resolution services; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to be a leader in promoting the use of such principles and practices;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>MARCH IS MEDIATION MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Education and Awareness Month^|^Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Education and Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 07:51:51:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, this damage slows down or blocks messages between the brain and body, leading to symptoms of MS, including visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, thinking and memory problems, and sensations such as numbness, prickling, or &ldquo;pins and needles;&rdquo; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, experts estimate that there are currently 400,000 people in the United States diagnosed with MS, and twice as many women than men are affected by MS; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, MS can be mild, or can cause individuals to lose their ability to write, speak, or walk; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, most individuals experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the exact cause of MS is unknown and there is no cure, but there are treatments for initial attacks, medications and therapies to improve symptoms, and recently developed drugs to slow the worsening of the disease; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the MS Alliance of Virginia (MSAV) provides programs and services for anyone in Virginia whose life has been affected by MS; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, raising public awareness of MS will lead to increased support and services for families in the Commonwealth of Virginia that are impacted by this disease;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) EDUCATION AND AWARENESS MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Endometriosis Awareness Month^|^Endometriosis Awareness Month^|2018-03-01 07:11:04:0|^<p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, the health and well-being of all Virginians is of great importance to the prosperity, happiness, and livelihood of our Commonwealth's families and communities; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, affecting at least five million women in the United States; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue releases within the abdominal cavity, often causing significant damage to the reproductive system; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, although extremely rare, endometriosis can also attach to and damage other vital organs; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, endometriosis can be characterized by infertility and digestive problems, and chronic pelvic or intestinal pain, which may lead to depression, tiredness, and irritability, and can place a heavy burden on interpersonal relationships and workplace productivity; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, many women who suffer from endometriosis face misdiagnosis, financial burden, emotional distress, adverse side effects of hormonal treatment therapies, and sometimes numerous surgeries; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, a group of women from EndoMarch Team Virginia and Virginia HOPE will participate in the 5<sup>th</sup> annual International March for endometriosis awareness; and</p> <p><strong>WHEREAS</strong>, Endometriosis Awareness Month is an opportunity to garner support for further research of the disease, and increased education about and mindfulness of the symptoms that affect women with endometriosis;</p> <p><strong>NOW, THEREFORE, </strong>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as <strong>Endometriosis Awareness month </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</p>^
^School Board Clerk Appreciation Week^|^School Board Clerk Appreciation Week^|2018-02-19 06:02:26:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, school board clerks in each locality throughout the Commonwealth are appointed by law to fulfill their duties and responsibilities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>school board clerks are responsible for keeping accurate records of the meetings and proceedings of the school board, a record of all receipts and disbursements, and a record of all official acts; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, school board clerks perform other duties in connection with the school business of his or her county or city as may be required by the school board; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>school board clerks maintain frequent contact with the public, including parents, employees, and the media, on behalf of the school board and superintendent; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, school board clerks, in the performance of their duties, are often required to work extra hours attending school board meetings; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, school board clerks ensure that students achieve their highest potential and provide an invaluable service for school board members and superintendents;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE</span></strong><span>, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 19-23, 2018, as <strong><span>SCHOOL BOARD CLERK APPRECIATION WEEK</span></strong> in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^National Engineers Week^|^National Engineers Week^|2018-02-18 07:15:09:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia is committed to training individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs and degrees; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, engineers are professional practitioners within the STEM field who use scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity to solve technical, societal, and commercial problems; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, engineers face many challenges in the 21<sup>st</sup> century &ndash; from rebuilding localities devastated by natural disaster, cleaning up the environment, and ensuring safe, clean, and efficient sources of energy, to designing information systems that will assist our country in various sectors; and&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, engineers serve as a source of encouragement for young math and science students across the Commonwealth of Virginia to realize the power and influence of STEM programs and degrees; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, National Engineers Week celebrates the many contributions engineers make to our society and thanks them for their continued service to Virginia;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 18-24, 2018, as <strong>NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^National Court Reporting and Captioning Week (1)^|^National Court Reporting and Captioning Week^|2018-02-10 02:41:51:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since the rise of civilization, society has relied on scribes to translate spoken word into text in order to keep historical records</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in Ancient Egypt, scribes were elite guardians of history and culture, recording laws and other important documents, and scribes have continued to serve as impartial historical record keepers ever since; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, scribes were present with our nation&rsquo;s founding fathers as the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights were drafted, and President Lincoln entrusted scribes to record the Emancipation Proclamation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, since the advent of shorthand machines, scribes have been known as court reporters or captioners and have played an invaluable role in courtrooms across the nation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, court reporters work with the United States Congress, diligently preserving members&rsquo; words and actions; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, court reporters and captioners are responsible for the closed captioning seen scrolling across television screens, at sporting stadiums, and in other community and educational settings, bringing information to millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans every day; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, court reporters and captioners dedicate themselves to impartially preserving our history, and the Commonwealth of Virginia appreciates the tremendous work they perform;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 17-24, 2018, as <strong><span>NATIONAL COURT REPORTING AND CAPTIONING WEEK </span></strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Enrolled Agent Week^|^Enrolled Agent Week^|2018-02-04 07:09:03:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the fiscal health and well-being of Virginia&rsquo;s people, businesses, and institutions is critical to the continued vitality and prosperity of the Commonwealth; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, enrolled agents are professionals who have earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test, or through experience as a former IRS employee; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department; and<strong><br /></strong></span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, enrolled agents assist taxpayers with issues ranging from the annual compliance filing of a tax return to more complex issues of audits, liens, levies, appeals, and collections; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, their knowledge, professionalism, and integrity make the enrolled agent &ldquo;America's Tax Expert&reg;&rdquo;; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, enrolled agents have been important to both Virginia taxpayers and to the Virginia Department of Taxation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Enrolled Agent Week recognizes agents for their hard work and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses, and institutions across Virginia;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 4-10, 2018, as <strong>ENROLLED AGENT WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^School Board Appreciation Month (2)^|^School Board Appreciation Month^|2018-02-01 06:01:15:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>the education of Virginia&rsquo;s school-aged children is the foundation upon which the economic, social, and intellectual strength of our Commonwealth is built</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>locally elected and appointed school board members play an important role in our representative democracy, as the decisions of local school boards directly influence instruction in Virginia&rsquo;s public schools</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>the leadership of our school boards affects the development and future of our children and ensures that students are prepared to compete in local, state, national, and global economies</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>local school boards devote themselves to providing a high-quality education for all students in the Commonwealth</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>school board members work with parents, businesses, educational professionals, and other community members to create and sustain an educational vision for our students</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>the Commonwealth of Virginia is proud of our educational system and appreciates the efforts of local school board members to make the Virginia public school system an excellent place in which to educate our youth</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>School Board Appreciation Month recognizes school board members for their leadership and support of a public school system from which the entire Commonwealth benefits;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 2018 as <strong><span>SCHOOL BOARD APPRECIATION MONTH&nbsp;</span></strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Career and Technical Education Month (3)^|^Career and Technical Education Month^|2018-02-01 04:40:22:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, economic and technological changes in our society are rapidly reflected in the structure and nature of today&rsquo;s workplace, thereby placing new and additional responsibilities on our educational system; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, career and technical education provides students with a career pathway for postsecondary education and workplace readiness; serves as the foundation of a strong, well-educated workforce, which fosters productivity in business and industry; and contributes to Virginia&rsquo;s leadership in the international marketplace; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, career and technical education gives citizens experience in practical, meaningful applications of basic skills, including reading, writing, and mathematics; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, career and technical education offers individuals lifelong opportunities to learn new skills that provide them with more career choices, expanded earning potential, and greater job satisfaction; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the cooperative and ever-increasing efforts between career and technical educators, administrators, and representatives of business and industry stimulate the growth and vitality of our Commonwealth&rsquo;s economy by preparing citizens for careers in high-demand, high-wage, and highly technologically-skilled areas in a global economy; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, this year&rsquo;s theme, <em>Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!</em>, demonstrates the crucial role that career and technical education plays in readying our students for successful careers;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 2018 as <strong>CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA</strong>, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Black History Month^|^Black History Month^|2018-02-01 10:26:58:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> Virginians of all backgrounds and experiences contribute to the rich diversity, storied history, and promising future of our Commonwealth, and it is important for Virginians to recognize the contributions to our society made by all of our citizens; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>African Americans have made significant contributions to Virginia and American history, and Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a native of Buckingham County, and the son of formerly enslaved persons, who went on to become the second African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, dedicated his life to researching and sharing the history of African Americans by founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and the <em>Journal of Negro History</em>, publishing significant scholarly works and establishing Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> in 1619, the first Africans arrived at the English colonies at Old Point Comfort, Virginia, on the English ships <em>White Lion </em>and <em>Treasurer</em>, and some of these individuals were sold in exchange for food, and others were transported to Jamestown, where they were sold again, likely into slavery; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in 1670, a Virginia law passed that defined slaves-for-life as all non-Christian servants brought to the colony &ldquo;by shipping,&rdquo; which ensured that all men, women, and children that were transported to the Virginia colonies were enslaved for the entirety of their life; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, between 1670 and 1865, Virginia&rsquo;s enslaved population would expand to 550,000 individuals, which constituted one third of the Commonwealth&rsquo;s population, and although an act of Congress in 1808 banned the international slave trade, one of Virginia&rsquo;s largest industries included the domestic slave trade; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, prior to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, countless numbers of enslaved men, women and children resisted the degradation of slavery and sought freedom; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, during the American Civil War, hundreds of black men fought and died as enlisted men in the United States Colored Troops, seeking life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as a free people, and five Virginians &ndash;</span><span>Powhatan Beaty (5th USCT), James Gardiner (36th USCT), Miles James (36th USCT), Edward Ratcliff (38th USCT), and Charles Veal (4th USCT) &ndash; were awarded the Medal of Honor for their service and sacrifice during the war; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the surrender of General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, which marked the end of the American Civil War, and the ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, allowed men, women, and children to be set free from human slavery and start their lives as fully free citizens; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, after the American Civil War, during the era of Reconstruction between 1865-1877, as a condition of readmission into the Union, former slave states were required by Congress to create reconstructed governments, hold state conventions, and establish new constitutions; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in Virginia, African American men were given the right to vote for and to be elected delegates to the convention, and 24 African American men were elected to the 1867-1868 Virginia Constitutional Convention, which drafted and passed the Virginia Constitution of 1869; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, between 1867 and 1890, during Reconstruction, nearly 100 African American men won election to the convention, the House of Delegates, and the Senate of Virginia, and hundreds more in city and county government offices or as postal workers and other federal jobs; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, prominent African Americans in the Commonwealth who were elected or appointed to serve in local, state, or federal government include: the Honorable Arenda L. Wright Allen,</span><span>the Honorable Peter Jacob Carter, the Honorable Willie J. Dell, the Honorable Roland J. &lsquo;Duke&rsquo; Ealey, the Honorable Roger Gregory, the Honorable Curtis Harris, the Honorable Leroy R. Hassell, Sr.,</span><span>the Honorable Willis A. Hodges,</span><span>the Honorable John M. Langston,</span><span>the Honorable Henry L. Marsh,</span><span>the Honorable Yvonne B. Miller, the Honorable Daniel M. Norton, the Honorable William F. &ldquo;Fergie&rdquo; Reid,</span><span>the Honorable Spottswood William Robinson, III, the Honorable Robert &ldquo;Bobby&rdquo; Scott, the Honorable John Charles Thomas, the Honorable L. Douglas Wilder, and many others; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, notable civil rights leaders and lawyers in Virginia who advanced the cause of liberty, justice, and equality for African Americans in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation include:</span><span> <span>Eugene Allen,</span> Ella Baker, </span><span>Betty Ann Kilby Fisher Baldwin, Henry &lsquo;Box&rsquo; Brown, Anthony Burns, Evelyn Thomas Butts, Esther Georgia Irving Cooper, Herbert V. Coulton, Sr., James Farmer, Dr. Calvin Coolidge Green, Reverend Leslie Francis Griffin, Reverend Dr. Curtis West Harris, Andrew Heidelberg, Dorothy Height, Oliver Hill, Esq., Gloria Jean Mead Jinadu, Barbara Johns, Reverend Vernon Johns, Margie Jumper, Elizabeth Keckley, Betty Ann Kilby, Reverend James Kilby, Irene Amos Morgan Kirkaldy, Richard and Mildred Loving, Lavinia Marian Fleming Poe, the Richmond 34, Ora Brown Stokes, Gregory Hayes Swanson, William Thornton, M.D., Sam Tucker, Nat Turner, Maggie L. Walker, Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, Reverend Dr. Raymond R. Wilkinson, and many others; </span><span>and</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, distinguished African American educators, scientists, doctors, and journalists in Virginia history include: George Freeman Bragg, Dr. Virgie M. Binford, </span><span>Raymond H. Boone, Sr., </span><span>John Andrew Bowler, Rosa L. Dixon Bowser, Mary Elizabeth Branch, Lucy Goode Brooks, George O. Brown, John H. Davis, Jennie Serepta Dean, John Malcus Ellison, Jean Louise Harris, M.D.,&nbsp; Mary Winston-Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Sarah Garland Boyd Jones, Henrietta Lacks, John Mitchell, Jr., Dr. Robert Russa Moton, Samuel DeWitt Proctor, James Solomon Russell, William Henry and Lucy Gantt Sheppard, Lucy F. Simms, Dr. LaVerne Byrd Smith, Dorothy Vaughan, Ruby Clayton Walker, Booker T. Washington, Dr. James Edward Maceo West, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Roger Arliner Young, and others; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginia based newspapers such as <em>The Richmond Free-Press, The Richmond Planet</em>, <em>The</em> <em>Lancet</em>, and <em>The Norfolk Journal and Guide</em> gave a voice to the daily struggles for freedom and equality of African Americans throughout our Commonwealth and nation; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, renowned African American athletes and entertainers that are Virginians include: </span><span>Arthur Ashe</span><span>, Michael Eugene &ldquo;D&rsquo;Angelo&rdquo; Archer, Pearl Bailey, Ruth Brown, LaTasha Colander, Gabrielle &ldquo;Gabby&rdquo; Douglas, Kenny Easley, Jr,</span><span>Missy Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Edwin B. Henderson, Allen Iverson, Lawrence &ldquo;LoJo&rdquo; Johnson, </span><span>Willie Lanier, Moses Malone, Timothy &ldquo;Timbaland&rdquo; Mosley, Francena McCorory, Don Pullen, Bill &ldquo;Bojangles&rdquo; Robinson, Ralph Sampson, Wendell Scott, Bruce Smith, Lonnie Smith, Wanda Sykes, Pharrell Williams, and many others</span><span>; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span>many other African Americans have made important contributions to our country, including Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, the Honorable Blanche K. Bruce, the Honorable Shirley A. Chisholm, Miles Davis, W.E.B. DuBois, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Langston Hughes, James W. Johnson, Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Earl Lloyd, the Honorable Thurgood Marshall, the Honorable Barack H. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Gordon Parks, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>it is important to learn from the many lessons found in history&rsquo;s failures, successes, disappointments, and triumphs as we strive to pursue an inclusive vision of liberty, justice, and equality for all;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 2018 as <strong>BLACK HISTORY MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^India's 69th Republic Day^|^India's 69th Republic Day^|2018-01-26 08:27:59:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, on January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India was passed by the Constituent Assembly of India, marking the country&rsquo;s transition toward an independent republic; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, known as Republic Day, January 26 is celebrated by individuals all over the world, with a grand parade held in New Delhi from the Rajghat along the Vijay path; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the parade is followed by displays from different states of the country, depicting people celebrating the event; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the National Council of Asian Indian Associations Inc. (NCAIA) and the Indian American Community Organizations of the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region will host a celebration on January 28, 2018, in honor of India&rsquo;s 69<sup>th</sup> Republic Day at the Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, this celebration </span><span>offers an array of attractions, including authentic Indian cuisine, musical performances, youth events, and more; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, </span><span>the Republic Day is an opportunity to celebrate Virginia&rsquo;s thousands of Indian-Americans, whose abilities and contributions strengthen Virginia&rsquo;s economy, enrich Virginia&rsquo;s diverse culture, and invigorate Virginia&rsquo;s communities;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 26, 2018, as <strong>INDIA&rsquo;S 69<sup>th</sup> REPUBLIC DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week (1)^|^Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week^|2018-01-22 04:42:09:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, principals make a significant difference for students and staff every day, impacting the effectiveness of teachers and the achievement of students; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, principals serve as educational leaders who motivate and inspire all members of the school staff and student body to engage in the learning process; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, principals are entrusted with the opportunity and the responsibility of guiding, directing, nurturing, mentoring, and imparting knowledge to our children while they are at school; and&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, principals work with teachers and staff to set academic standards and push students to excel; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, principals must work collaboratively with parents and the community-at-large to proactively prepare students to be self-reliant and productive citizens; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, it is the responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia to continue to support and recognize the efforts of school principals who are positively impacting students, who are the future of Virginia; and</span></p> <p><span> <strong>WHEREAS</strong>, Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week is an opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of Virginia school principals in promoting quality education for every child;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 22-26, 2018, as <strong>VIRGINIA SCHOOL PRINCIPALS APPRECIATION WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week (3)^|^Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week^|2018-01-22 02:28:16:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are essential to Virginia&rsquo;s healthcare system, and they have provided high-quality, cost-effective anesthesia care for more than 150 years; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, CRNAs first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines since WWI; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, and trauma stabilization services; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; the offices of podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons; ambulatory surgical centers; U.S. Military and Public Health Services, and Veterans Administration medical facilities; and<br /> </span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week is an opportunity to thank the more than 1,450 CRNAs in the Commonwealth of Virginia who devote their lives to providing quality, safe, and cost-effective anesthesia services;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 22-28, 2018, as <strong>CERTIFIED REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETISTS WEEK </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (1)^|^Martin Luther King, Jr., Day^|2018-01-15 04:40:35:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, on January 15, 1929, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. &ndash; the transformational leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, and one of the most influential orators for peace, equality, and human rights in world history &ndash; was born in Atlanta, Georgia; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, throughout his life, Dr. King's transcendent words and actions inspired a shared vision of a future promised land in which people &ldquo;transformed the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood"; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>; this beautiful symphony of brotherhood envisioned a society where individuals were not judged &ldquo;by the color of their skin but by the content of their character&rdquo;; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Dr. King sacrificed his life to spread a message of universal equality and justice that touched the soul of our nation, and for his efforts to end racial segregation and discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means &ndash; such as his heroic leadership in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1957 Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the 1963 March on Washington &ndash; he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1964; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><strong><span>,</span></strong><span><span>&nbsp;</span></span><span>Dr. King&rsquo;s words continue to resonate with the world today by reminding us of the imperative to continue the fight for justice and equality no matter the opposition, because &ldquo;the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy&rdquo;; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, people throughout the world continue to be inspired by Dr. King's vision and words, his strength of character and compassion, and his model for peaceful demonstration and dialogue; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Dr. King&rsquo;s goal of a just and united society and his efforts in the struggle for civil human rights have continued since his tragic assassination in 1968, and will go on until his dream of freedom, equality and justice for all is fully realized in the hearts, minds, and souls of the people of our Commonwealth, these United States, and the world;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 15, 2017, as <strong>MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., DAY </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^National Radon Action Month (1)^|^National Radon Action Month^|2018-01-01 02:37:36:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, contributing to more than 700 lung cancer deaths in Virginia each year; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, 46 of Virginia's 95 counties and 15 of Virginia&rsquo;s 38 cities have been identified as having a high risk for elevated radon exposure; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, exposure to elevated levels of radon in homes is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the Unites States; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, Virginians are encouraged to protect their families from the serious health risks associated with radon by taking measures to reduce elevated radon levels if found in their homes; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, inexpensive at-home radon test kits may be used to measure indoor levels of the naturally occurring, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, the Virginia Department of Health&rsquo;s Radon Program offers outreach and educational efforts to help combat the lung cancer risk posed by elevated levels of indoor radon gas; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, National Radon Action Month is an opportunity to educate individuals on the available measures to reduce radon;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 2018 as <strong>NATIONAL RADON ACTION MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.</span></p>^
^Cervical Health Awareness Month^|^Cervical Health Awareness Month^|2018-01-01 02:36:23:0|^<p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> the health and safety of all Virginians is important to the happiness, prosperity, and well-being of our Commonwealth&rsquo;s families and communities; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> in 2014, 12,578 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer nationwide, and 4,115 died from the disease; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> regular cervical cancer screening tests are an effective way to detect the disease early, when it can still be successfully treated; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> cervical cancer vaccines are now widely available, and combined with regular screenings, they provide an effective means of preventing the disease; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>, in the past 40 years, the number of cases and deaths from cervical cancer decreased significantly due to the increase in regular screenings; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> increasing awareness of prevention and detection techniques among patients and health care providers is a key component in safe-guarding cervical health; and</span></p> <p><strong><span>WHEREAS</span></strong><span>,</span><span> throughout the month of January, organizations and healthcare practitioners are encouraged to promote awareness about cervical cancer, and to support patients currently battling cervical cancer and those who have lost loved ones to this disease;</span></p> <p><strong><span>NOW, THEREFORE, </span></strong><span>I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize January 2018 as <strong>CERVICAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH </strong>in our <strong>COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, </strong>and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.&nbsp;</span></p>^