By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
As promised, on the first day as Virginia 74th Governor Republican Glenn Youngkin, issued executive orders aimed at appealing to his political base.
The 11 Executive Orders are also designed to signal his effort to roll back the progressive political tide, pursued by the Democrats who held the Executive mansion and the legislature the past two years.
As predicted, one of them creates concern among state health officials by allowing parents to opt-out of mask mandates in Virginia schools.
Another, issued on the weekend, when the nation was gearing up for the celebration of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr’s birth called for the banning of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the state’s public school classrooms.
In the executive order, Youngkin called for ending “the use of divisive concepts, including critical race theory, in public education.”
CRT is not being taught in the state’s public schools.
It is a doctoral academic subject that studies how the United States has used its legal, educational and economic system to discriminate against African Americans.
Youngkin used the controversy surrounding CRT to evoke resentment among rural and suburban white families, who fueled his electoral victory last November.
But African American educational and civil rights activists have said it will curtail the teaching of basics of contributions of Black history over the past five decades in Virginia.
Environmentals were not surprised either. Shortly after being elected, Youngkin, said he was considering withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The list of executive orders and directives Youngkin signed is as follows, per his office:
• Executive Order Number One delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.
• Executive Order Number Two delivers on his Day One promises to empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school.
• Executive Order Number Three delivers on his Day One promise to restore integrity and confidence in the Parole Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
• Executive Order Number Four delivers on his Day One promise to investigate wrongdoing in Loudoun County.
• Executive Order Number Five delivers on his Day One promise to make government work for Virginians by creating the Commonwealth Chief Transformation Officer.
• Executive Order Number Six delivers on his Day One promise to declare Virginia open for business.
• Executive Order Number Seven delivers on his Day One promise to combat and prevent human trafficking and provide support to survivors.
• Executive Order Number Eight delivers on his Day One promise to establish a commission to combat antisemitism.
• Executive Order Number Nine delivers on his Day One promise to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Youngkin also signed two executive directives:
• Executive Directive Number One delivers on his fulfilling his Day One promise to jumpstart our economy by cutting job-killing regulations by 25 percent.
• Executive Directive Number Two delivers on his fulfilling his Day One promise to restore individual freedoms and personal privacy by rescinding the vaccine mandate for all state employees.
Youngkin was sworn in as governor on January 15 during a noon ceremony in Richmond.
Ahead of his inauguration, Youngkin said in an interview with News 3 that he planned to rescind mask mandates in the state and “press back” against vaccine mandates at the federal level.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin