Alexandria is gunning for authority to run its own health department.
Every year, Alexandria sends representatives to Richmond to plead its case to the General Assembly. With the city under the yoke of the Dillon Rule — which says that local government can only exercise powers expressly granted by the state — often times those legislative priorities focus on areas where the city wants a little more wiggle room.
This year, as part of the ongoing Covid recovery efforts, the city is hoping for more authority to establish its own health department. There is an Alexandria Health Department, but it’s one of 33 health districts that are part of the state’s health department. Health department leadership is chosen by the state and answers to state leadership. Neighboring Fairfax and Arlington both have independent health departments.
“[Alexandria supports] legislation to provide the City of Alexandria with the authority to establish a locally administered health department, under contract with the Virginia Department of Health,” the draft legislative package says, “and ensure the City’s investment in its public health system is focused on and responsive to the needs of all Alexandrians.”
Other recovery priorities include increasing investment in workforce development initiatives to help workers acquire skills to fill childcare and healthcare jobs — both critically in need in Alexandria. The legislative package cites the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, Virginia Jobs Investment Program and the G3 community college grant program as state-funded programs that benefit Alexandria’s workforce training.
Lastly, in pandemic recovery, the legislative package says investment is needed in programs to help recover from Covid-related learning loss.
“[Alexandria supports investing] in programs to mitigate and recover from COVID-19 related learning loss among Virginia students,” the legislative package says, “especially among students with higher level, more specialized needs, including special education students, English language learners, and students living in economically disadvantaged households.”
The legislative package is scheduled for review at the City Council meeting on Saturday, Dec. 17.
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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on