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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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.

Weekend of Action!

The November election is only two months away, and every single vote counts in building our blue wave. To make sure we do everything we can to elect Tim Kaine, Jennifer Wexton, and Gerry Connolly in 2018, we’re asking everyone who can to join our elected officials and participate in a weekend of action this weekend, September 8 and 9, 2018.

On Saturday, we will be having a canvassing and phone banking event from the home of Sue Langley:

2435 Flint Hill Road
Vienna, VA 22181

Gerry Connolly will join us at noon, and Ken Plum and Pat Hynes will also participate. More information is available here.

On Sunday at 9am, Delegate Jennifer Boysko will join us for canvassing and phone banking in Fox Mill:

2982 Franklin Oaks Drive
Herndon, VA 20171

More information is available here.

There are opportunities on both Saturday and Sunday throughout the day, so come meet your elected officials and join us in fighting to restore sanity to our government.

Come Canvass Saturday with Anne Holton!

This Saturday, August 18 starting at 1pm, the Virginia Coordinated Campaign will be launching Hunter Mill door-knocking efforts from the new coordinated campaign office at

150 Elden St., Suite 244, Herndon, VA

We anticipate that Anne Holton, former Virginia Education Secretary, will join us in our efforts to reach voters.

The Coordinated Campaign has been hosting canvass events every Saturday, so if you’ve been participating in those, note the change in time and location. If you haven’t had the chance to get out there yet, this is a great time to join up and help us elect Tim Kaine to the Senate, Jennifer Wexton to the 10th House District, and Gerry Connolly to the 11th House District.

For more information, contact

Maddy White, at maddy.white@virginiavictory.org or 571.299.9490

Fairfax NAACP Recognized as Best Branch in the United States

By M. J. O’Brien:

The Fairfax County NAACP has been named the top branch in the country by the national organization. The branch will receive the prestigious Thalheimer Award, given annually to the branch with the most outstanding achievements, next week at the NAACP’s Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Kofi Annan, President, Fairfax County NAACP

“Fairfax County is the home of the best branch in the NAACP in the nation,” said Kofi Annan, president of the Fairfax branch in announcing the award. “We’ve always felt that way … but today it became official!”

Established in 1944, the Thalheimer Award recognizes “outstanding achievements” by local branches in “the implementation of the Association’s strategic priorities and goals.” These include “enhancing advocacy, civic engagement, economic and political empowerment, criminal justice, and educational equity.” The award is named for Dr. Ross Thalheimer, a psychologist who was executive director of the Community Guidance Service and also founder of the American Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

In its application for the award, the branch cited a variety of activities and initiatives, including the successful two-year “Change the Name” campaign that sought to convince the Fairfax County School Board to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. Name change proponents pointed out that naming the most diverse high school in the county after a Confederate general was a detriment to learning and an insult to students and residents alike.

In July 2017, the school board voted that the name of J.E.B. Stuart had to go and later in the year support coalesced around the name Justice High School. The school is being revamped this summer and will officially open with its new moniker next month.

Read the rest at The Blue View

When we knock, the House is a lock

The primaries are over, summer is here, and it’s time to buckle down and take back the House and Senate. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer, and one of the most important things you can do is get out there and canvass. This means pounding the pavement and knocking on your neighbors’ doors to make sure everyone knows how critical their votes are in 2018.

Taking back the House starts with taking the 10th, as Virginia’s 10th Congressional District has two precincts right here in Hunter Mill. If we want Barbara Comstock out, canvassing for Sen. Jennifer Wexton will get it done.

Taking back the Senate means reelecting Tim Kaine, which takes everyone across all of Virginia. As we learned in 2016, we can take nothing for granted, and beating neo-Confederate Corey Stewart requires running up the score right here in Hunter Mill. Knocking doors helps us do that.

There are several canvassing events already scheduled (here are sign up links for Saturday and Sunday), and more are coming throughout the summer. Keep your eyes on the Hunter Mill calendar for these opportunities, and contact Maddy White at maddy.white@virginiavictory.org or 571-299-9490 if you have any questions or concerns about participating.

We look forward to seeing you out there!

Meet Maddy from the Coordinated Campaign

Maddy is a Field Organizer for the Hunter Mill District with the Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign and will be the point of contact for all volunteer events with the coordinated campaign. She graduated from James Madison University in 2017, and is excited to be back in her home turf for this campaign! She grew up in Reston so she has a spot in her heart for this region, and is incredibly excited to hit the ground running and really ramp up the grass-root efforts in this area.

The coordinated campaign is currently seeking “influencers” to recruit, train, and launch volunteers for canvassing, phone banking, and voter registration drives in the Hunter Mill district.

If you’ve done this for past campaigns, or are interested in learning more, contact Maddy at maddy.white@virginiavictory.org or call/text at (571) 299-9490.

If you are unable to lead events but would still like to volunteer, please sign up at TimKaine.com/events or by contacting Maddy directly. She is looking forward to meeting Hunter Mill volunteers and working together to Keep Virginia Blue and flip some seats with this blue wave!

A Message from the Coordinated Campaign

Hello Hunter Mill Dems! My name is Adam and I’m a field organizer for inner NOVA with the Democratic coordinated campaign. I’ll be your point of contact for all volunteer events with the coordinated campaign. A little about myself, I was born in Washington DC but I grew up in Asia, Latin America, and right here in Fairfax, VA. Previously I worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign in Wisconsin, the Ralph Northam campaign in Fairfax, and now the Tim Kaine campaign. We’re currently seeking “influencers” to recruit, train, and launch volunteers for canvassing, phone banking, and voter registration drives in Hunter Mill. If you’ve done this for past campaigns, or are interested in learning more please shoot me a message at adam.kubiske@virginiavictory.org or call/text at 703-678-6835. If you are not able to lead events, but would still like to volunteer, please sign up at TimKaine.com/events or by contacting me directly. Looking forward to meeting you and working together to achieve a historic blue tsunami this November!