Virginia Israel Advisory Board funded for FY2013 and FY2014 thanks to Tidewater and state-wide grass roots efforts

May 25, 2012

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More than 320 notes and signatures were sent by the Tidewater community to Governor Bob McDonnell’s office, advocating for full funding for the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, $175,361 for FY2013 and FY2014. With this funding and a commitment for VIAB to remain an independent agency, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board is poised to continue its success in creating an astounding 100 to 150 new jobs in Virginia each year, and returning more than $5 for every $1 invested from the state coffers.

Community members did not do this alone; a bi-partisan Virginia General Assembly shared its support for VIAB, championed by the patron of VIAB’s budget amendment, Majority Caucus Leader Delegate Tim Hugo. VIAB’s founder, former Virginia Governor George Allen, deserves thanks for his support. Also supporting this important program were House of Delegates Speaker William Howell, Delegate Sal Iaquinto, State Senator Mark Obenshain, and Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (who sent a letter from JCRC’s Israel mission alumni and members of the informal Virginia Jewish caucus), State Senators George Delegates Bob Brink, David Englin, Antonio Lopez, Lionel Spruill and Scott Surovell. House Majority Leader, Representative EricCantor, as well as Representative Scott Rigell also each reached out to Governor McDonnell.

Ultimately, it was Governor McDonnell who increased the Virginia Israel Advisory Board’s funding and offered continued support for the board. Many have already expressed their appreciation to him.

For those who have not yet sent a note of appreciation, here’s how: Call or write to the Governor at Office of the Governor, Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor, 1111 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219; via email at: robert.f.mcdonnell@governor. virginia.gov; by phone at (804) 786-2211. Or, visit the JCRC in Greater Washington’s website, select their Virginia advocacy page, to send a letter to Delegate Sal Iaquinto and Delegate Lionel Spruill, as well as the Governor at www.jcouncil.org.

In Tidewater, the Community Relations Council of the UJFT spearheaded the drive to deliver a strong and unified message on this issue.

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