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commonwealth of virginia

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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Digital Accountability And Transparency Act Of 2013 April 10, 2014
Mark Warner, D-VA
"I have served in business. I have served as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. So I have done business accounting and State government accounting. There is nothing like Federal Government accounting and the lack of standards and transparency."
Nomination Of Michelle T. Friedland To Be United States Circuit Judge For The Ninth Circuit—Resumed April 10, 2014
Tim Kaine, D-VA
"But the relationship is a peaceful one, and these tribes still exist. Two tribes in Virginia have small reservations, and the other tribes own land in common. They have tribal churches, tribal cemeteries, and community centers where they still gather. There is a wonderful tradition if you are the Governor of Virginia. On the day before Thanksgiving Day every year, the Virginia tribes come to the Governor’s mansion and they present to the Governor deer, turkey, fish, and gifts as a tribute to the peaceful relationship between these tribes and the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1677. It was a beautiful aspect of my time as Governor. It was something we looked forward to every year. The members of these tribes look forward to it as well. Tribal members who have moved all across the country and all across the world come home for a homecoming, and it begins at the Virginia Governor’s mansion."
Honoring The 30Th Anniversary Of The Alexandria Transit Company And Dash Bus System March 10, 2014
James Moran, D-VA
"On behalf of the residents of the 8th Congressional District of Virginia, I congratulate the entire DASH bus system, its employees, and the Board of Directors, for their efforts and significant contributions to the Alexandria community to improve mobility and accessibility throughout the city, and for their achievements that have been recognized both nationally and by the Commonwealth of Virginia, in providing the highest quality of transit service to Alexandria residents, workers, and visitors, and in helping to make Alexandria a truly Livable, Green, and Prospering City."
Honoring The Life And Legacy Of Dr. Benjamin J. Lambert Iii March 5, 2014
Robert Scott, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, words alone cannot express the tremendous loss to the Richmond community and the Commonwealth of Virginia with Benny’s passing. Benny Lambert was a humble optometrist that achieved so much on behalf of his community during his 77 years of life. My thoughts and prayers are with Benny’s wife Carolyn, his children and grandchildren, and his many friends and admirers during this difficult time."
Recognizing Merni Fitzgerald On The Occasion Of Her Retirement From Fairfax County March 5, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and commend Merni Fitzgerald on the occasion of her retirement after a long and distinguished career in public service for the residents of Fairfax County, Virginia. For the past 13 years, Merni has been the director of the Office of Public Affairs, serving as the “voice of Fairfax County.” Prior to that, she spent 15 years as the public information officer for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Throughout her career, Merni dedicated herself to keeping Fairfax citizens well informed about the great work of their local government, while promoting engagement in our community. In her role as Director of Public Affairs, she managed external and internal communications for the largest county government in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the National Capital Region. She and her staff provided communications strategy and services for more than 40 county agencies and customer service to residents and visitors. From routine communications about Board of Supervisors meetings to emergency alerts, Merni ensured Fairfax remained in constant contact with its constituents, and she was instrumental in pushing the County onto social media to foster more opportunities for two-way communications. Whether she was sharing news and information about a notable accomplishment or a natural disaster, Merni was a calm, soothing, and informative voice for the County. Well-respected by her peers, Merni chaired the Northern Virginia communicators group and a similar committee at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which encompasses 21 jurisdictions in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In that role, she coordinated communications for the regional Emergency Preparedness Council, where we worked together for a number of years. Prior to her current position, Merni served two terms on the Falls Church City Council. She also served as Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. Her keen political sense, expert communications skills, and firm grasp of the news business has earned her the trust of the elected leadership throughout the region. She was recognized as the Virginia Communicator of the Year in 2000, and in 2007 she was recognized as one of PR News magazine’s PR Professionals of the Year for her “untiring service to the community and the media.” I can certainly attest to that. I had the distinct pleasure of working with Merni during my 14 years of service on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She was a trusted member of our leadership team and helped the county manage numerous crises including: the tragic events of 9/11, which occurred shortly after her appointment as director of public affairs; local anthrax attacks, during which the government center became a screening facility and medical distribution center; the 2002 Washington sniper shootings; Hurricane Isabel in 2003, which damaged multiple roads and properties across the county and resulted in the loss of drinking water for most residents for several days; the shooting of two police officers outside the Sully District Station in 2006; a dustup over local soup kitchens caused by an over-zealous bureaucracy; the recent record snow storms, which literally shutdown the region for days; and an earthquake in 2011. Interspersed through those events, she coordinated public information about annual multi-million dollar bond referendums and countless Board “presentations.” Most people probably don’t know Merni is a published author. Earlier in her career, Merni was an assistant to the Press Officer at the Peace Corps, an agency close to my heart given my international relations background and seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. During her time with the Corps, Merni authored two books for school-age children: one commemorating the Peace Corps’ 25th Anniversary and another on the role of Voice of America radio programming in U.S. efforts overseas. As Merni begins this new chapter in her life, I want to extend my warmest regards to her and her family. I hope she is able to find a suitable new home for the growing collection of nutcrackers that adorn her office at the Government Center, and I have no doubt she will find a way to continue making contributions to our community even in retirement. Mr. Speaker, Merni Fitzgerald’s commitment to public service has set an example that will benefit our community for generations to come. Her accomplishments are truly outstanding and deserving of our sincere appreciation. When I was Chairman of the County Board, we often joked when retirement announcements like this came before the Board that we should not allow such talented and dedicated staff to leave public service, and I certainly wish that was the case here. I wish Merni the best of luck in her retirement, and I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in expressing our appreciation for her long and fruitful service to the residents of Fairfax County and the National Capital Region."

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