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Roadmap to College Student Success

February 9, 2024

Dear East Ocean View,

In Congress, I have the honor of serving as the Ranking Member, or top Democrat, on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In that capacity, I recently led Committee Democrats in launching the Roadmap to College Student Success, a legislative blueprint for improving our nation’s higher education system for students and families. The Roadmap brings together a series of bold legislative proposals focused on bringing down the cost of college, helping students access a quality degree, and—once students are in school—providing them with the support they need to graduate.

Watch the launch video on YouTube

"When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law in 1965, he said it meant that, and I quote, ‘a high school senior anywhere in this great land of ours can apply to any college or any university in any of the 50 states and not be turned away because [their] family is poor.’"And that’s the way it was after President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act. The Pell Grant covered 80 percent of the cost of going to a state college, but now the Pell Grant covers less than a third of that cost."And so, sadly, the reality is that, despite the promise, higher education remains out of reach for millions of Americans.“We can and must do better for America’s students.“This campaign has three main objectives: first, bring down the cost of college, second, help students access a quality degree, and third—once students are in school—provide them with the support they need to graduate.“A college degree is the best investment students can make for their future. And, with our help, future generations may have the opportunity to enjoy the lifelong benefits that come with a college degree.“Ultimately, our goal remains the same as it was in 1965: Regardless of a student’s background, a college degree shall never be out of reach.”

The Roadmap to College Student Success currently consists of the following bills:


H.R. 1731 – Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act This bill lowers the cost of college for current and future student borrowers and their families by making critical reforms to the student loan system. These reforms include doubling the Pell Grant, improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and making loans more affordable and accessible. H.R. 5998 – America’s College Promise Act This bill expands access to high-quality public higher education by creating a new federal-state partnership that will provide students with two years of tuition-free community college or two years of tuition-free attendance at HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs. H.R. 961 – Pell to Grad Act This bill strengthens the Pell Grant program—the cornerstone of our federal student aid system—by increasing lifetime Pell Grant eligibility from 12 semesters to 16 semesters and expanding Pell Grant eligibility to graduate students.


H.R. 2957 – College Transparency Act This bipartisan bill provides students and families with better information as they consider their higher education options by ensuring that institutions report accurate data on their student outcomes—such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings—while protecting students’ privacy.


H.R. 2401 – Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act This bipartisan bill makes the transition from high school to college easier for students with disabilities and their families by allowing them to use a variety of existing documentation as proof of a disability when seeking accommodations on campus. H.R. 309 – Opportunity To Address College Hunger Act This bill supports college students experiencing hunger by requiring institutions of higher education to inform students in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program that they may qualify for SNAP benefits. This year, Committee Democrats will add to the “roadmap” other key legislation that would help ensure every student can access the life-long benefits that come with a high-quality higher education. The Roadmap to College Student Success stands in stark contrast to House Republicans’ College Cost Reduction Act, which does nothing to meaningfully lower the cost of higher education for students and families, eliminates protections against low-quality institutions and programs for students and taxpayers, and cuts critical support for students’ wellbeing and success. Learn more about the Roadmap to College Student Success here.

Very truly yours,


Member of Congress



Ward 5 Connect 2024: Issue 1


Happy New Year Ward 5!

I am excited to present to you my new newsletter format which will help Ward 5 residents stay connected with me and the City of Norfolk. Please use this newsletter as a resource for what is happening in Ward 5 and the City of Norfolk.

In this issue, you will find an update on the Ocean View Beach Park expansion, a 2023 update on City of Norfolk Crime from Police Chief Mark Talbot, the 2025 Fiscal Year Budget Process, as well as other updates on surveys and happenings in Norfolk.

At the bottom of the newsletter, please find a link to a Google Form to suggest future newsletter topics as well as to sign up to have future Ward 5 Connect newsletters emailed to you. I look forward to seeing you at a civic league meeting or event in Ward 5.

Common City of Norfolk Links and Resources


Ocean View Beach Park Expansion

Amenities for the new park area include the following:

  • Additional Green Space

  • Small, semi-circular shaped performance venue

  • Expansion behind new park area of existing promenade from Ocean View Beach Park

  • Paved area for food trucks and other community activities

  • Additional parking spaces

  • Upgraded, fully accessible beach access ramp

  • Improved egress from the existing parking area during events

  • Shower and foot wash stations

  • Infrastructure to support future EV changing stations

  • Landscaping, picnic tables, benches, and bike racks

Budget for park expansion includes the following:

  • $1,500,000 from FY23 CIP

  • $1,000,000 from FY24 CIP

  • Total budget of $2,500,000

Schedule for project is as follows:

  • Survey complete

  • Design continues

  • Site Plan submitted

  • Advertise project for bids Spring 2024

  • Project completion Spring 2025

Ward 5 Projects

Various Project Sheets for Ward 5 Capital Improvement Projects

Please download the Project Info Sheets for various Ward 5 Projects. The Info Sheets include the 5-year road resurfacing plan. Please keep in mind that many of the dates of the projects may be delayed by one year or more, based on contractor availability. Info sheets will be updated in future newsletters.

5-Yr Resurfacing Plan FY23-27
Download PDF • 3.14MB

Little Creek Shore Intersection Project Info Sheet
Download PDF • 563KB

Little Creek Shore Drive Public Exhibit (2022-08-24)_202208250753072769
Download PDF • 3.87MB

East Beach and Bay Point Beach Nourishment_202401111135259839
Download PDF • 520KB

Duffys Lane outfall extension_202401091343109364
Download PDF • 902KB

East Ocean View Bay Street Drainage Upgrades_202401031547352210
Download PDF • 760KB

City of Norfolk Police Department Crime Update

Norfolk and Ward 5 Crime Down in 2023 - More Work to Do.

Last year, the City of Norfolk recommitted its efforts towards improving public safety on behalf of our residents and business. At the January 23, 2024, City Council Meeting, Police Chief Mark Talbot gave his Fourth Quarter Public Safety Briefing. The full presentation can be downloaded below. With your help, overall crime within the City of Norfolk decreased by 24% last year.

  • Homicides - Down 33%

  • Robberies - Down 31%

  • Aggravated Assaults - Down 23%

  • Non-Fatal Shootings - Down 32%

  • Total Violent Crime - Down 24%

  • Residential Burglaries - Down 10%

  • Larcenies - Down 26%

  • Auto Part Larcenies - Down 41%

  • Stolen Vehicles - Down 20%

There's more work to do. With your help, our City will continue to see progress.

Thank you to our Norfolk Police Officers and all first responders, for the work you do every day to keep our citizens safe.

Chief Talbot's presentation to the City Council can be viewed HERE. If you do not see Councilman Smigiel, he was home sick with the flu and called into the meeting.

City of Norfolk Police Department Web Site:

1-23-2024 Fourth Quarter Public Safety Briefing
Download PDF • 343KB


2025 Fiscal Year Budget Information


Get Involved with Norfolk's FY2025 Budget Process

Citizens are encouraged to get involved with the Budget Process for Fiscal Year(FY) 2025. You can find more information on the city's budget website here: Citizen Cents | City of Norfolk, Virginia - Official Website

Make sure to fill out the Balancing Act for the Proposed Budget.

The City Council Public Budget Hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 6:00 pm at Granby High School.


City of Norfolk Happenings


2024 Presidential Primary Election

Early and absentee voting for the March 5 Presidential Primary Election is underway. Early voting is available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Norfolk Office of Elections (810 Union St., Suite 100). The deadline to vote early is 5 p.m. on March 2. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Feb. 23.

Early voting will also be available at several satellite locations beginning Feb. 24. Find a complete list of locations, dates and times. Get more at


NFK2050 is underway - and now online!

If you missed the open houses, you can still provide your input as our Department of Planning works to create our next Comprehensive Plan.

NFK2050 will serve as a framework for how our City will grow and evolve over the next 25 years.

Provide your insights so our team can ensure all voices are heard:


Take Norfolk's Recycling Survey

The City of Norfolk’s contract with TFC Recycling is expiring this year. City leaders want to know how residents and businesses use the current recycling program and get input and suggestions for improving and managing future recycling programs and services.

Take the survey here. Deadline: 11:59 PM on February 9, 2024

For more information on the City of Norfolk's recycling efforts, visit our website.

Let's Talk Norfolk

Please give us your input. The City of Norfolk wants your input.

Retain Your Rain Project Grants

Calling all nonprofits, civic leagues, churches, and other local organizations – it’s time to apply for this fall’s Retain Your Rain Project grant! Take the first step towards building that neighborhood garden or planting trees on your street. Apply before March 1 for the opportunity to receive up to $2500 from the City of Norfolk towards the environmental project of your choice. To fill out your application, click here: for questions about eligibility, input on your project idea and to submit your application!


The KidZone at Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch is open once again

Need a fun place for your kiddos to go rain or shine? The KidZone at Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch is open once again for your little ones to enjoy!

What's new? New interactive wall elements and activities.

If Pretlow is too much of a drive, every Norfolk Public Library location has a fun and safe KidZone filled with educational toys to help develop early literacy skills!

Visit for more information about all our fun, FREE activities.


Civic and Community Information


Join your Civic League Today!

Want to get more involved in your community, stay-up-to date with happenings in your neighborhood, and have more contact with City Officials? Join your Civic League today. Almost every section of Ward 5 has an active Civic League. Please use the map above to identify your civic league, or use the attached spreadsheet and links to help you get connected with your civic association. The foundation of the City of Norfolk government starts with our Civic Leagues.

Read more about Norfolk's Civic Leagues and use this link to help find yours:


Join Ward 5 Business Associations -E.Little Creek Rd.and/or Ocean View



Download the My Norfolk App Today


Download Mobile App


Make a service request or track a service request in real-time. You’ve got the city at your fingertips! Additional features include a handy how-to list of helpful information, job listings, trash & recycling schedules and so much more. It's MyNorfolk – a new, mobile-friendly, customer-service experience right in the palm of your hand. Use the links below to download the app or you can go to for more information.


‎This mobile application allows citizens to create and track service requests in real time. Users will have access to events, meeting schedules, parking, and other information.


Ward 5 Business Feature - Coffee


Whether you need to get your caffeine fix from a local coffee shop or a chain, Ward 5 has a variety of places to meet your coffee needs. This list does not include many of our local restaurants that serve coffee. This is not an endorsement of any particular coffee establishment, but just to let you know what is available in Ward 5.

Apelu Island Cafe

1710 E Little Creek Rd #104, Norfolk, VA 23518

Coaster Coffee

8418 Tidewater Drive Norfolk Virginia 23518

COVA Brewing Co.

9529 Shore Drive, Norfolk, VA 23518

Dunkin' Donuts

2300 E. Little Creek Rd., Norfolk, VA 23518

LaVie/Always Latte Cafe

1846 E Little Creek Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518

Mudita Cafe and Bar

9647 1st View St, Norfolk, VA 23503

Starbucks (2 Locations)

179 W. Ocean View Ave,. Norfolk, VA 23503 [Inside Harris Teeter]

4231 E Little Creek Road, Norfolk, VA 23518


Download Ward Maps Here


Find Ward 5 and other Wards

Use the links below to download maps of Norfolk's Wards and Superwards.

Download PDF • 2.43MB

Download PDF • 2.46MB

Suggest future newsletter topics and sign-up to receive future newsletters here


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