About Senator Bill DeSteph (SD-8): Elected to the Senate of Virginia in 2015 and 2019, Senator DeSteph is
a veteran, entrepreneur, leader, and father whose chosen pursuit is to serve and protect our nation’s citizens.
Senator Bill DeSteph represents the 8th District in the Senate of Virginia. The 8th District includes portions of
the City of Virginia Beach. More information can be found at http://billdesteph.com/.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jill Eyler
January 1, 2021 757.377.3663
SENATOR DESTEPH PREVAILS: CITIZENS WILL NOW HAVE ACCESS TO
LEGISLATORS DURING UPCOMING GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
Virginia Beach, VA – Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) has prevailed in his effort to compel
the General Assembly’s Democrat majority leadership to provide office space for in-person, public
access to legislators. This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to
meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the
First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians.
“The decision to close the Pocahontas Building was a clear violation of the First Amendment and
communicated an eagerness by Senator Locke, Speaker Filler-Corn, and the Northam Administration
to shut out public input in the legislative process,” Senator DeSteph said. “Virginians will now have
both the opportunity and the ability to choose to meet with their legislators, if they elect to do so.
“I am an ardent supporter of public safety and strongly believe it is my responsibility to support and
practice measures that protect the public from various threats to their well-being. However, it is also
clear to me and countless other Virginians that, throughout this pandemic, this administration has
exploited the crisis and used it as a means to advance their political agenda.
“Across the country, and even in my district, we have seen leaders preach one thing and do another,
like pose for pictures next to complete strangers, mask-less on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. We
have also seen them use this virus as an excuse to release murderers, rapists, and sexual predators
before their full sentences have been served. And, we have seen this administration use the
pandemic as a reason to lessen essential election safeguards that reduce opportunities for voter fraud.
“I am pleased that the Federal District Court was in agreement with me that blocking citizens’ access
to legislators during the upcoming regular session was inconsistent with open access to government
and violated the First Amendment. I respect that we are a government of the people, by the people
and for the people, and I will continue to work tirelessly to provide every opportunity for anyone to
safely meet with me if they choose to do so.
“Lastly, I would like to thank Attorney Tim Anderson for his dedication, perseverance and
professionalism in achieving this incredible outcome for all Virginians.”