Democratic School Board Candidates Drop by the Reston Farmer’s Market

Democratic Candidates for School Board dropped by the Reston Farmer’s Market on Saturday! From left: Melanie Meren (Hunter Mill), Rachna Sizmore-Heizer (At-Large), Elaine Tholen (Dranesville), and Karen Keys-Gamarra (At-Large). Abrar Omeish (At-Large) was unable to attend.

You never know who will drop by the farmer’s market, and the Hunter Mill Democrats are there every weekend. If you’re interested in volunteering to staff the Hunter Mill Dems’ farmer’s market table, contact huntermilldems@gmail.com.

 

Activists Hold Vigil at NRA After Republican Short-Circuit of Legislative Session

After Republicans’ stunning inaction on gun violence during last week’s short-lived legislative session, Hunter Mill members and others joined the Alliance to End Gun Violence at a vigil in front of NRA Headquarters in memory of victims of gun violence.

The organization holds a vigil on the 14th of each month in front of the NRA headquarters in Fairfax. The vigil is held from 10:00am–1:00pm except for Sundays, when it is takes place from 2:00–3:00pm. Come join us each month and make sure that gun-violence victims don’t go unseen by the NRA.

 

A trio of stars puts sparkle in Hunter Mill’s lasagna dinner – and enthusiasm for a win in November

By Brad Swanson:

A trio of rising Democratic stars in the state legislature fired up the audience at the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee’s 44th annual lasagna dinner fundraiser Saturday night with a consistent message– it’s time to take back the majority in both the House and Senate.

Hala Ayala (D- 51, left), Kathy Tran (D-42, center) and Jennifer Foy (D-2, right) each delivered short but punchy presentations at the Reston Community Center exhorting diners to seize the moment to replace long-standing, but now slim, majorities in both chambers of the state assembly in state-wide elections on Nov. 5.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” said Del. Foy. “Now is the time we can play offense rather than defense.”

Del. Tran recounted some major accomplishments, spearheaded by Democrats, in the 2019 legislative session, such as Medicaid expansion. She also noted some disappointments, progressive legislation torpedoed by Republicans, but said that “all eyes are going to be on Virginia this November,” and that “we’re going to continue to fight for our values” in the effort to flip the legislature.

Del. Ayala used her own example to send a note of inspiration, having overcome financial hardship, family health issues, and rank bigotry in a successful bid to enter the state legislature.

The three speakers, all relatively young women of color, portrayed a diverse and energetic Democratic party ready to take center stage in a state turning increasingly blue.

The other major event of the evening was a tribute to Cathy Hudgins (right), who is retiring after two decades as Hunter Mill District’s representative on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Sup. Hudgins was recognized as an effective voice for social progress and justice by former colleagues including, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D- 11), a former Supervisory Board chair, who is traveling and contributed a congratulatory video.

Read the rest at The Blue View

Parker Messick: Development in Hunter Mill is excessive

Blue View Editor’s Note: We invite all Democrats running for office in northern Virginia to submit an individual statement, maximum 500 words. This one comes from Parker Messick,  a candidate for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Hunter Mill District. The primary election for this race will take place on June 11th.

By Parker Messick

The Hunter Mill district is a dynamic community that is home to many.

We are strengthened by the diverse cultures and ideologies that our great citizens bring to the district. Regardless of wealth or status, this community has been a beautiful place to live and work. However, over the last several years the Hunter Mill district has undergone an excessive amount of development. The increased burden on our local businesses, roads, environment, and schools goes against the intended purposes of development in our community. This burden of excessive development has been especially felt by long term residents of the district.

As a near lifelong resident of this community, I have witnessed the place I call home slowly transform into a community that only benefits a select few. The addition of expensive, high-rise apartments and buildings has made it extremely difficult for the Hunter Mill district to be a home to many. Increased development is not acceptable when it prohibits members of the district from enjoying what the community has to offer.

The paid parking at the Reston Town Center is a prime example of this prohibitive behavior. Restonians should not have to pay for parking at the Town Center. The simple act of paid parking discourages many citizens from socializing and shopping at Town Center, removing a source of community engagement and hurting local businesses in the process. The congestion present on local roadways has also impacted the citizens’ abilities to commute in a timely manner and practice safe driving practices. Our roads need to be upgraded and expanded for shortened commutes and safer travels.

More from The Blue View

Fairfax County Democratic candidates reach out to Muslim Community

Muslims are believed to be under-represented among Fairfax County voters, but outreach efforts by Democratic Party candidates for local office aim to change that equation.

The latest such effort took place Saturday, Feb. 16, at Dar al Hijrah Mosque in Mason District, where three school board candidates met with Muslim community members to describe the workings of the  Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) and urge membership.

Abrar Omeish, candidate for an at-large seat, and Jessica Swanson, Mason District candidate, addressed the audience and took questions while Jung Byun, Providence District candidate, also attended the event and mingled with participants.

“I’m excited to learn about how I can contribute to the party,” said participant Maura Yasin, who has volunteered in campaigns since the candidacy of Barack Obama but only recently became an FCDC member.

According to Omeish, Muslims are estimated at about 10% of the county’s population but only 4% of registered voters. While some are ineligible to become voters, she estimates that Muslims would account for at least 1-2% more of the electorate if all eligible voters registered.

More from The Blue View

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

Get on the bus for ERA ratification

By Susan Laume:

Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment are sponsoring a 10-day bus tour across Virginia to urge legislators to make Virginia the 38th and final state necessary to achieve ratification. The bus stopped in several locations in Fairfax County on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, after visiting Richmond, and continued on to Fredericksburg.

The bus tour is run by VAratifyERA, a non-partisan, single issue campaign focused on this issue.  In Fairfax County, the third day of the tour, the bus stopped at George Mason University, Clifton, Falls Church and Fairfax.

At the Clifton stop, state Sen. George Barker (D-39) and his wife Jane were on the bus. Sen. Barker first introduced the ERA in the state legislature in 2012 and has been a strong supporter ever since. Mrs. Barker is co-chair of the Democratic Women of Clifton and Northern Virginia, and a leader in the bi-partisan effort to build a memorial to suffragists near the former Lorton Reformatory location where many suffragists were imprisoned.

Also on the bus were state Delegates Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-2), Hala Ayala (D-51) and Kaye Kory (D-38).

From The Blue View

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.

More from The Blue View

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.

More from The Blue View