Several deadlines happening this month

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

By Congressman A. Donald McEachin

This had been a very busy September, from the start of several district activities to significant legislation in Washington. I wanted start off by wanted to remind my constituents of several important deadlines for the upcoming month:

The deadline for the Congressional App Challenge is fast approaching on Nov. 1. The Congressional App Challenge is open to students who live or attend school in our Congressional District. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity in designing a useful and interesting computer app. Information about this challenge and applying is available at mceachin.house.gov.

Nov. 1 is also the deadline to submit a nomination for the Fourth District’s Veteran of the Year. As the son of a veteran, I am well aware of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women and their families. Moreover, many veterans, even when retired from the military, continue to serve our communities, making a difference. We need to honor our veterans every day for the sacrifices they have made to keep us safe and free. If you know a veteran you would like to nominate, visit mceachin.house.gov for the application.

Each year, I have the opportunity to nominate the very best and brightest high school students for consideration to our nation’s esteemed military academies. The five U.S. Service Academies include the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

This year, I was pleased to host a joint Service Academy Day with my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, from Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. We were joined by representatives from the military academies, who provided helpful information about the application and nomination process. If you missed the event, you can view it on YouTube by searching for the video titled “2021 Joint Service Academy Day Hosted by Reps. McEachin & Spanberger.” For more information, including how to apply for the nomination process, please visit mceachin.house.gov. The deadline to apply is coming up quickly — Oct. 29.

Nominations to U.S. Service Academies can be made by the president, vice president, or a member of Congress. Nominations are required for all but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where appointments are made during an annual nationwide competition.

In today’s world, access to connected devices, like computers, laptops and tablets, is imperative. Whether it’s for remote work, job hunting, education or tele-health services, Americans need access to these important devices to compete and succeed in the 21st century. That’s why I was pleased to join Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in introducing the Device Access for Every American Act. This legislation would provide a voucher up to $400 to help low-income Americans purchase a connected device.

While computer access is nearly ubiquitous for high-income households, 11% of American households do not have a computer or tablet. Moreover, 1 in 3 African American and Hispanic households lack access to a computer in their homes — twice the number of white families — and 4.4 million households with students lack consistent access to a computer at home. By helping these families get computers and get connected, we can reduce and potentially eliminate the digital divide, providing opportunities for success to so many more Americans.

Congressman A. Donald McEachin represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.