Unpacking the sausage of Fairfax County elections

By Brad Swanson:

You should not look too closely into the making of laws or sausages, runs the saying attributed (incorrectly) to Germany’s “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck. But what would he have thought about the convoluted process of making Democratic Party candidates for Fairfax County elected offices?

Overall, there will be more than 50 offices on Fairfax County ballots on November 5, 2019. Whew! And before you have elections you have candidate selection –or, in the case of non-partisan offices, endorsement.   And this is a process of legislative, not to mention sausage-packing, complexity.

To keep the machinery moving, Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) helpfully keeps a  list of candidates and ongoing selections, updated frequently. Click here  to access.

To start, here are the offices to be elected on Nov.  5:

9 State Senators
17 House of Delegates Members
9 Board of Supervisors Members
1 Chairperson, Board of Supervisors
1 Commonwealth’s Attorney
1 Sheriff
9 District School Board Members
3 At-Large School Board Members
3 Soil & Water Conservation District Directors

Total: 53

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Money in politics emerging as top issue in Virginia 2019 elections

By Abby Fox:

The heated topic of money in politics in Virginia drew a star-studded list of speakers and a large, boisterous audience to a forum on Nov. 28th at the Mason District Government Center.

State legislators, candidates and activists took turns detailing the corrosive effects of corporate money on politics throughout the Commonwealth, calling out Dominion Energy, the NRA, the Koch industrial family, tobacco giant Altria, and private prison company GEO Group, among others.

The speakers agreed that the topic is sure to play an important role in elections in Nov. 2019 in which all 40 state senators and 100 state delegates will be chosen.

Event sponsors included: People Demanding Action, the End Corporate Rule Issue Organizing Team of People Demanding Action, Progressive Democrats of America-Virginia, Our Revolution Northern Virginia, Our Revolution Arlington, American Promise – Virginia, Our Revolution Alexandria, Activate Virginia, and Loudoun Progressives.

(Photo: Yasmine Taeb says she will take a leave of absence for six months to wage an electoral battle for Virginia state senate)

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Urgent Need for Calls to Florida Voters

Please help make calls to Florida voters to ensure that their votes are counted.  These calls are SO important as each one of these voters that you help to cure their ballot is a vote for Democrats in an extremely close election. We can’t do it without your help!

Who we’re talking to: FL Democratic voters who voted by mail, but their ballot likely did not count, likely because the signature on their ballot envelope didn’t match their voter registration signature.

What we need them to do:

1. Confirm that they voted by mail in this past election

2. Go to this website for an affidavit: http://nelsonforsenate.com/voterform (OR, you send them an email with this link)

3. Fill out the affidavit (either print it, or fill it out online)

4. Locate a valid Florida ID (list of acceptable ID’s is in the script)

5. GO TO their county supervisor of elections OR email their county supervisor of elections their signed affidavit + a copy of their valid ID

THE DEADLINE TO DO THE ABOVE AND MAKE THEIR BALLOT COUNT IS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17th AT 5PM

Hunter Mill Democrats Volunteer Appreciation Party Saturday!

Well, we did it. We worked together and we built a Blue Wave last week. Democrats had a great night across the country, and the first signs of a good night came right here in Northern Virginia. Jennifer Wexton comfortably defeated Barbara Comstock in one of the first big flips of the night. We also propelled Tim Kaine and Gerry Connolly to decisive statement victories in their races. And none of it would have happened without our incredible volunteers. It’s time to raise a glass to you, and take an evening to revel in victory!

The annual Hunter Mill Democrats Volunteer Appreciation Party will take place this Saturday, from 5pm-7pm at Reston Community Center Lake Anne, located 1609-A Washington Plaza N., Reston, 20190.

Join fellow volunteers and elected officials, including Janet Howell, Chap Petersen, Mark Keam, Ken Plum, and and more to celebrate everyone’s hard work and our electoral success this year! Please click here to RSVP.

Light food and beverages will be provided, though if you would like to contribute a side dish, it would be welcome. Please note this in your RSVP.

There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is appreciated so we can make sure we have enough food. Please click here to RSVP.

Questions? Email huntermilldems@gmail.com

Hunter Mill Democrats Monthly Meeting on Wednesday, November 14 at Reston Community Center

The October meeting of the Hunter Mill Democrats will take place on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30pm at the Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods Village Center, 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston, VA 20191 (map below). This will be the first Hunter Mill meeting since election day, so come and let’s congratulate one another on a job well done! It will also be time to start talking about the upcoming special and general elections for 2019. All are welcome to arrive at 7pm to meet one another and members of the executive board before the meeting begins at 7:30pm.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, November 14!

Hunter Mill Volunteers Needed for Wexton in VA-10

One of our best opportunities to take back Congress is in Virginia’s 10th District where we are working to elect Jennifer Wexton as our next U.S. Representative and to defeat the Republican incumbent. With less than 2 weeks to go, you can sign up today to help take back the 10th District. There’s so much excitement around this campaign that many of our volunteer shifts are full in the eastern parts of the district. However, if you are able to go west, there are five locations that still need volunteers for both this weekend and in the final days before Election Day. These are important areas of the district that may hold the key to victory!

What: Volunteer for Jennifer Wexton for Congress

When: Weekend of October 28-29 and November 3 thru 6

Where: Choose a location below:

The campaign has asked Hunter Mill volunteers to assist at the Ashburn location, first on the list below. Help is welcome anywhere, but please make your best effort to help in Ashburn if you can.

Ashburn
(Hunter Mill Volunteers are asked to assist here, if possible)
20937 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA 20147 (map)
Click here to sign up

Aldie/South Riding
25700 Success Drive, Aldie, VA 20105 (map)
Click here to sign up

Manassas Park
170 Market Street, Unit 124, Manassas Park City, VA 20111 (map)
Click here to sign up

Leesburg
315 Ayrlee Avenue NW, Leesburg, VA 20176 (map)
Click here to sign up

Springfield
6442 Lake Meadow Drive, Burke, VA 22015 (map)
Click here to sign up

You can view a custom google map that plots each of these locations, here.

If you’re looking for other ways to help, here are a few resources:

Thanks and feel free to contact Fairfax Democrats (703-573-6811) if you are looking for any other information or resources.

Fairfax Dems Mount Massive Latino Outreach

By Todd Thurwachter:

Ahead of the Nov. 6 election, Democrats have made a sustained effort to register and educate Latino voters in Fairfax County – who now constitute 16% of the population, and are heading higher.

The campaign has contacted tens of thousands in Fairfax and neighboring counties, led by the Voter Registration & Education Committee of Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC).

The project began last May with printing and distributing 5,000 voter information cards in Spanish, “Todo Sobre el Voto” (click here to view).

The cards, and other information in Spanish on voting, were also posted on the FCDC website. Also available in Spanish, for the first time, is the free Election Alerts service, which sends emails to subscribers before every election with key information including a sample ballot.

Committee Chair Janice Yohai also created and launched a special Latino outreach pilot program for Back-to-School-Nights in September. The committee targeted 16 Fairfax schools with over 50% Latino populations, mostly elementary schools, and recruited 13 Spanish speaking volunteers, who engaged close to 1,000 Latino parents of schoolchildren.

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Old technology is newest tool to energize voters

Reported by Janelle Hartman and Stephanie Witt Sedgwick:

Postcards may be old technology, but they are being revived as an effective tool in the arsenal of Fairfax County Democrats to get a robust turnout at elections on November 6th.

Numerous postcard parties have been held in Fairfax County throughout the campaign season to target registered voters with personal appeals from writers urging recipients to come to the polls and vote for Democrats. The total number of postcards from area volunteers flooding the US Postal Service is unknown, but estimated at tens of thousands.

The cards are all hand written and addressed. There’s no set script, but each reminds voters of the date of election and the Democratic candidates in their district and urges the voter to have their voice heard on election day.

As volunteer Eileen Shropshire wrote, “It took me longer to write this card than it will take you to vote. Your vote matters!”

Two recent postcard parties with big turnouts:

On Sunday, Oct. 21, more than 30 volunteers from Lee District Democratic Committee  turned the back room of Fiona’s Irish Pub in Alexandria into a postcard writing factory — filling more than 1,000 postcards with personal appeals to voters who cast ballots in 2016 but skipped last year’s state election. Even Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay and School Board Member Ilryong Moon squeezed into crowded tables to help.

A few days later, on Thursday morning, Oct. 25, more than two dozen volunteers filled the Whole Food Vienna café area (see image at top) to complete a three-month program organized by Vienna Neighbors United that has resulted in almost 10,000 postcards urging Virginia voters to go to the polls on November 6 and vote for the Democratic candidates in their districts.

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It’s Time to Take a Stand and Get Out the Vote!

So here we are, in the final days of the 2018 election year. This is where all the work we’ve done all year makes a difference. We’ve spent months getting out there, knocking doors, making calls, reaching out to friends and neighbors to identify the voters we need to get to the polls on November 6th. Now it’s time to make sure they vote.

Pundits and polls have been suggesting all summer that it’s going to be a big year for Democrats, but those words and numbers aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on if we don’t turn people out to vote. There is only one poll that matters, and it closes on November 6, 2018.

So now it’s time to Get Out the Vote, or “GOTV.” This is where we reach out to voters and our message focuses on voting (e.g. “Your polling place is Fox Mill Elementary School. Do you have a plan to go there and vote for Tim Kaine and Jennifer Wexton on November 6?”). We’ve spent the summer identifying the folks we need to mobilize, and now it’s time to mobilize them.

Like anything else, if you want to do GOTV well, you need to practice. So the final two weekends of October, we do “dry runs” to make sure everything is working perfectly for the final days before election day. The dry runs will be the weekends of October 20-21 and October 27-28. The final GOTV efforts will take place on November 3rd, 4th, 5th, and of course, the 6th (election day).

It all comes down to this, so we are asking you to sign up for two or more shifts doing dry runs or GOTV. You can sign up at this link.Click to sign up for GOTVIf you have questions, reach out to our field organizer Maddy White at maddy.white@virginiavictory.org. It’s time to stand up for women, children, and ALL of our communities. It is time we take a stand. This is your opportunity to get out there and set Virginia and the entire nation on a better path.

Fairfax Young Democrats lead the charge

By Paul Davis:

You cannot miss the current enthusiasm of young people for a new political direction. Fairfax Young Democrats (FYD) is one of the most active and committed youth organizations in this movement.

Whether it is hosting speakers, canvassing, protesting or other displays of civic participation, FYD is there, representing the future — and many of the present — leaders within the Democratic Party.

Here is a sample of FYD activity:

  • Recently canvassed for candidate Abigail Spanberger in the 7th Congressional district, which extends from Culpeper south to below Richmond
  • Hosted panel on Criminal Justice Reform Sept. 26, examining how young people can effect change through legislative and other means
  • Will host Sen. Tim Kaine on October 17 for a discussion on policies and issues directly impacting young professionals in our region

FYD membership consists of individuals between ages 13 to 35 years old residing in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. FYD has partnerships or affiliations with state and national Young Democrat organizations, local high schools, George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

FYD organizes its activity around four pillars:

1) Elect Democratic candidates for public office, especially fellow Young Democrats

2) Widen and increase the interest and knowledge of young people in government and the political process

3) Train and develop young people for positions of leadership; and

4) Serve those in need in our community

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