By Congressman A. Donald McEachin
It had been a very busy September, from the start of several district activities to important legislation in Washington. I wanted to start by reminding my constituents of several important deadlines for the coming month:
The deadline for the Congressional App Challenge is fast approaching November 1. The Congressional App Challenge is open to students who live or attend school in our Congress District. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity in designing a useful and interesting computer application. Information on this challenge and the application is available at mceachin.house.gov.
November 1 is also the deadline to submit an application for the Fourth District Veteran of the Year. As the son of a veteran, I am well aware of the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families. In addition, many veterans, even retired from the military, continue to serve our communities, making a difference. We must honor our veterans every day for the sacrifices they made to ensure our security and our freedom. If you know of a veteran you would like to name, visit mceachin.house.gov for the nomination.
Every year I have the opportunity to nominate the best and brightest high school students for consideration in the prestigious military academies of our country. The five US service academies include the US Air Force Academy, the US Coast Guard Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy, the US Military Academy at West Point, and the US Naval Academy.
This year, I had the pleasure of hosting an Academy of Service Day with my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, from the Seventh Congressional District of Virginia. We were joined by representatives of the military academies, who provided useful information on the application and nomination process. If you missed the event, you can watch it on YouTube by searching for the video titled “Joint Services Academy Day 2021 Hosted by McEachin & Spanberger Representatives”. For more information, including how to apply for the nomination process, please visit mceachin.house.gov. The deadline to apply is fast approaching – October 29.
Nominations to US Service Academies can be made by the president, vice president, or a member of Congress. Nominations are required for all except for the US Coast Guard Academy, where nominations are made in an annual nationwide competition.
In today’s world, access to connected devices, like computers, laptops and tablets, is imperative. Whether for remote work, job search, education, or telehealth services, Americans need access to these important devices to be competitive and succeed in the 21st century. That’s why I had the pleasure of joining with Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in presenting Device Access for Every American Act. This legislation would provide a voucher of up to $ 400 to help low-income Americans buy a connected device.
While computer access is almost ubiquitous for high-income households, 11% of US households do not have a computer or tablet. Additionally, 1 in 3 African American and Hispanic households do not have access to a computer at home – twice the number of white families – and 4.4 million households with students do not have consistent access to a home computer. By helping these families get computers and get online, we can reduce and potentially eliminate the digital divide, providing opportunities for success for many more Americans.
Congressman A. Donald McEachin represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.