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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dear Virginia Senator Amanda Chase………



Emailed to Senator Chase and then the RTD today


Dear Virginia Senator Amanda Chase, 

Good afternoon. 

This morning I read the RTD article For freshman state Sen. Amanda Chase, first session was quite the education http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/article_71790f77-3452-5f9d-9109-b7ccca972198.html and I mulled it over most of the day while contacting the Virginia Representatives in Washington DC about another issue that was in yesterday’s Roanoke Times. 

In the article it mentioned your staffers are women who make practically no money to work for you but they believe in being part of the process, having their voices heard and listening to others voices. The article also said your first impression by many of your own party members was as a freshman  sit down and shut up” and it turns out that instead of speaking your mind or asking questions that you may have had, your vote was uninformed. 

The day before the 2016 session began, I stopped by your GA office and we spoke briefly, I gave you my card I reminded you that I’m always available to discuss legislation, issues or even concerns you may have about Sex Offenders, the Registry and our sexual crime statutes. You had been receiving emails from me for months first as a candidate for the Virginia Senate and then as an elected-Senator so you knew who I was and what my platform was about, or should have. On that January morning you were cordial to me, recognized my name and my platform and I wished you well on the session beginning the next day. 

Then we came face-to-face in the Senate Transpiration Committee hearing on January 27th where SB666 was to be heard and you are a Committee member. 

I stood in opposition of SB666 that day, the first day it was heard in Committee but yet the Patron, the Chairman and legal counsel were discussing it as though it had already come up once before “to work out” any Constitutional issues. 

When I opposed the Bill I pointed out that Senator Black’s claim of  Rob Buswell’s (Robby’s Rule 2015) abuser (a VSP RSO) owned a Kid’s First license plate to use it as a grooming tool to “troll” for additional victims was unfounded, that a Specialty Plate is NOT a government certification that the driver is an endorsed representative, that no other group of Virginians is prohibited from obtaining an offered Specialty Plate, that no other group of Virginians is prohibited from supporting a charity organization, that  that no Legislator has proposed a ban against anyone convicted of Animal Abuse from owning a Virginia Animal Friendly Specialty Plate and that this ban would not just affect those few Registered Offenders but their spouses, parents and driving aged children who co-owned the vehicle too. 

I spoke the truth, I had facts (data from the DMV FOIA), I raised the fear-mongering flag against what Senator Black stated and I pointed out the collateral consequences and most likely Constitutional issues with SB666 as a volunteer advocate. 

What was your response in a room of 50+ people?
 

You asked if I was a mother or not and I had to re-approach the podium and tell a roomful of strangers that after 20 years of infertility we gave up trying to have children, you then said something about yes I had similar issues (to make it appear you weren't attacking me) but then you pounced. You said that as a mother YOU cared about the protection of children in other words I didn’t. Not only did I not care, but basically I shouldn’t have an opinion on the matter because I’m childless. Ouch! 

You didn’t discuss the merits of the Bill. You didn’t address my concerns or the collateral consequences you chose to humiliate and silence me for speaking in opposition of a Bill that came about because a victim has a personal vendetta against his abuser and wants to control every aspect of his life as he can by using the Virginia Legislature as his personal foot-soldiers. 

You basically told me on January 27thto sit down and shut up  because you didn’t respect me, my experience, my knowledge or my stance. 

Should only married Legislators vote on marriage Bills? 

Should only Legislators with children vote on Education Bills? 

Should only gun-owning Legislators vote on Gun Safety Bills? 

No! 

I advocate for no money because I know the experience my family has been through isn’t an anomaly it’s more the norm than any Legislator wants to admit to. 

I find the courage to stand in Committee hearings each year and I take the unprofessional, juvenile and many times false claims that our elected officials dole out, not because I’m being paid but because I must endure the treatment, I refuse to give up.  

I will return next year and the following year but most citizens would not if they had been the target of humiliation that you made me and that should concern us all. 

Citizens of the Commonwealth have one chance to speak ‘for’ and ‘against’ legislation in each chamber during session and that’s in the Committee hearings and if it’s a Companion Bill like SB666, then when the other chambers version comes around the public is denied a chance to oppose it at all. 

As citizens it is our right to stand in support or opposition of Legislation. 

It is also our civic duty to share data, facts and offer up examples of how Legislation will be applied if it becomes law including if it would be broader than claimed and if a Patron is fear-mongering I hope most Virginians would find the courage to point that out, even though we know how you will react towards them if they do. 

Citizens who come to Richmond and stand in a Committee hearing should be encouraged to speak out not to be silenced. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Davye Devoy