It’s Voter Engagement Season

We are nearing the end of July, moving us into the most important time to engage voters for the mid-term election in November. The only way we can hold onto the House is if everyone hits the doors, the phones, and every other method of engagement. Of course, we’ve got to re-elect Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer, but we also need to do what we can to support candidates in tougher districts in Virginia, like Jennifer Wexton, Elaine Luria, and Abigail Spanberger.

We’ve all seen the polls, but we have also seen time and again that the polls miss an energized base of committed voters and volunteers. We have every reason to be energized after one of the most extremist, destructive Supreme Court terms in American history, after a summer of seeing details of just how far Trump and Republicans went to overthrow the American Constitutional order, after repeated, horrifying mass shootings, and after Republicans in Congress demonstrated hostility toward all manor of rights, including contraceptive access.

And as important as it is to hold onto the U.S. House this year, our engagement this year also sets the stage for 2023, when taking the Virginia House and keeping the Virginia Senate will be more important than it has ever been. We keep saying it here, but the only thing holding Youngkin back from implementing his extremist agenda here in Virginia is a tiny number of Democrats in the Senate. Well… that and the fact that he seems more interested in running for President than being the governor of Virginia. But his White House ambitions will only push him to be more extremist in 2023 if we don’t stop him at the ballot box.

Take the time to read through the various engagements here in the newsletter, check out opportunities in the Fairfax County Democrats calendar, and figure out the best way for you to get out there and defend democracy.

Blue Fairfax Dinner – July 17 – 7:00 PM

Join the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for the inaugural Blue Fairfax Dinner at the illustrious Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. Hear from your local, state, and federal elected officials, and mingle with Democratic Party activists and community leaders at the biggest political event of the Summer! Winners of the FCDC District of the Year, Member of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Senator Charles S. Robb Young Leaders Award, and Lynda J. Robb Community Service Award will be recognized during the dinner program. ***Early Bird ticket prices are available through Tuesday, July 5th, after which Young Democrat tickets go up to $125 and General Admission to $200. Program sponsorships are available until Thursday, June 30th.****

Date/Time
Sunday, July 17, 2022
7:00 pm

Location
Hilton Mclean Tysons Corner 
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102

22nd John N. Sturdivant Awards Brunch

The Sturdivant Brunch is a ‘one of its kind’ event hosted by the 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee, where we honor John N. Sturdivant, formally the President of the largest federal worker union, whose contribution (among many others) helped ease the restriction on federal worker’s involvement in politics, leading to Democrat wins in many important elections. In the past years, we have had the pleasure of honoring many of our community’s very best labor organizers, activists, and community leaders. This will be the 22nd event for the Sturdivant Awards presentations and we are excited to have four dedicated and dynamic women as our awardees.

Date/Time
Sunday, July 10, 2022
10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location
Westwood Country Club
800 Maple Ave E,
Vienna, VA 22180

More details are available at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/sturdivant22

Statement on Unprecedented Overturning of Roe v. Wade

FAIRFAX COUNTY – In response to the Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to overturn 50 years of legal precedence in Roe v. Wade, FCDC Chair Bryan Graham has released the following statement:

“Individual rights to personal reproductive autonomy are under attack from the extremist Republican Party. The Trump-packed Supreme Court has overturned nearly 50 years of established legal precedence by allowing states to refuse an individual’s right to an abortion. Republicans profess to be the party of individual liberty, but they continually attack women’s freedoms and rights.

“This ruling does not end abortion in our country. Instead, it amplifies inequality. Vast swaths of the country will soon be thousands of miles away from reproductive healthcare, limiting access to those without the means to travel. Beyond that, regressive laws ready to go in effect in various states are seemingly meant to terrorize—forcing pregnancy on victims of rape and convening inquests for those who miscarry.

“Republicans sadly continue to have a dangerous relationship with the truth. Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch all lied under oath about whether Roe v. Wade was settled law during their confirmation hearings. Their place on the court cemented by their lies, they have gutted Miranda rights and gun regulations, placed limits on citizens’ ability to seek damages if their constitutional rights are violated, and enabled tax dollars to go to religious schools.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade reinforces the continued need for Democratic leadership to protect reproductive rights for Virginians and the importance of upcoming elections. The right to an abortion in Virginia hangs in the balance of one Senate vote.  The Fairfax County Democratic Committee will work to elect those who will protect the right to choose in the Commonwealth.”

Update from Hunter Mill District School Board Member Melanie Meren

Concluding this school year brings with it a whirlwind of emotions. While there is much to celebrate, there have also been incidents in our community and nation that should bring us great pause. 

I remain committed to working with other elected officials to provide safe learning and living environments for the children and adults. Here are some updates on these latest efforts:

  • Gun violence prevention:
    • FCPS has a plethora of information here, sadly, for student support resources regarding gun violence prevention as well as about FCPS’ safety practices
    • The School Board approved my motion to prioritize $15 million of the Fiscal Year 23 Budget to ensure all facilities have “security vestibules” – a needed strategy that you can read about here in this Fairfax Now article
    • At the June 16 public Regular Meeting, the Board adopted a guns-free school policy.
    • I am seeking opportunities to inform the community about what levels of government – local, state, federal – are responsible for gun violence prevention policy and laws. If this is something you’d like to be involved in, please contact me here
  • Traffic and pedestrian safety:
    • I continue to work with FCPS and Fairfax County staff, alongside community members, to improve transit safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. While improvements have been made near several Hunter Mill District schools, please be sure that you prioritize driving responsibly.
  • Welcoming a new Superintendent:
    • The June 30 public Regular Meeting will include the Administration of the Oath of Office for FCPS’ incoming Superintendent, Dr. Michelle Reid. The public is welcome to attend, and details will be updated on Board Docs, here. Dr. Reid brings vision, enthusiasm, creativity, and curiosity to the implementation of excellent public education. I am thrilled to have this 2021 National Superintendent of the Year at the helm of our public schools beginning July 1!  
  • Investing in environmentally sustainable schools:
    • Providing a secure learning environment includes having spaces that mitigate climate change, and preparing students for workforce needs to implement climate change solutions. Through my collaborative efforts with Board Members and staff to identify funding, FCPS is doubling the number of staff in Fiscal Year 23, who work centrally to support environmental education and sustainable facilities! To be transparent, it’s going from two to four people – but it’s progress! This is one step in a multi-year approach to expand professional development, outdoor learning spaces, and content including STEM core academics so that ultimately, every student in FCPS experiences the research-proven success of environmental education on academic and emotional learning, in spaces that promote greater sustainability of resources.
    • FCPS is hiring a new Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Transportation. This is an opportunity to further the community’s green goals. If you have suggestions for candidates, please inform me!

              Melanie Meren
               Hunter Mill District School Board Member
               Melanie.Meren@fcps.edu 

Get Tickets for the May 22 Lasagna Dinner!

46th Annual Hunter Mill Democrats Lasagna Dinner

Join us for our 46th Annual Hunter Mill District Democrats Lasagna Dinner on May 22. We are coming back from the hiatus due to the pandemic and we will be making sure to take some extra precautions as we come back to an in-person event. Our Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee is our signature event of the year and a very important fundraiser to help support our Democratic candidates. Our format will follow previous years with a reception and a dinner program. The Lasagna Dinner is an excellent opportunity to invite local democrats who might not be familiar with our committee and interact with our elected officials in a casual setting. As always, we will be awarding two awards during the ceremony: the Ed Herlihy Activist Award and the Martha Pennino Community Service Award. These awards denote exceptional service both within the Democratic Party and throughout our Hunter Mill District community. 

Buy your tickets today! Ticket prices will increase on May 11. It is crucial that we have the resources to support our candidates and voter outreach into the community. This work is especially important following the devastating losses in 2021.  Our committee will support Democratic candidates like Congressman Gerry Connolly and prepare for the important 2023 election year too. The Hunter Mill Democrats Lasagna Dinner is a volunteer lead operation and we are still looking for some volunteers. If you are interested in lending your talents or donating some food, you can sign up here. We will be adding some updates about the Lasagna Dinner over the next weeks so be on the lookout and we hope you are able to join us.

Better Know a Precinct

There has been much ado about maps in Virginia so far in 2022, but what’s most interesting to many of us are the changes made to our very own precincts.

As we have told you before, the new legislative maps adopted by the Supreme Court in December have led the Board of Supervisors to make adjustments in the boundaries of nine Hunter Mill precincts. Most of these changes are minor, for example, Westbriar, Fox Mill, North Point, Sunrise Valley, and Flint Hill have been split into two new districts (e.g., Westbriar 1 and 2). These newly divided precincts will continue to vote at the same polling locations as before.

Voters in South Lakes, Glade, and Colvin, however, may be voting at a new location. The Attorney General has until early May to issue a certificate of ‘no objection’ to the new precincts. Once that is done, the Office of Elections will notify affected voters.  Watch your mail if you live in one of these precincts.

For more information, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/fairfax-county-proposes-changes-its-voting-precincts-due-redistricting?

Remembering January 6

January 6, 2021 is a day that is burned in the memory of every democracy-loving American. The images of that day are burned into our memories, and we will never forget that even after a violent mob sought to overthrow the Constitutional order, most Republicans came back into the chamber and voted against certifying the legitimate results of a free and fair election.

Before the 2021 election here in Virginia, Republicans were already setting the stage to claim fraud if they lost. When they won, not a single one of them raised questions about “election integrity” or “voter fraud.” In the meantime, Republicans in Fairfax County are trying to recall every Democratic elected official they can using campaigns of lies and deception. It is clear that allegations of voter fraud have never been in good faith, but are part of a war on democracy, the end goal of which is the complete de-legitimization of Democratic voters. Some have even written that “voter fraud” effectively just means “Democrats voting.”

If the promise of the United States of America means anything, it means the right to vote. We cannot forget that the Republican Party is now actively against democracy unless they are winning, and party leaders will call their supporters to violence to overturn elections they lose. That means it is left to us, the aptly named Democratic party, to promote democracy and the right to vote.

As we remember the horrible events of this day last year, we must recommit ourselves to the activism that led us to expand voting rights here in Virginia, and do everything in our power to preserve those hard-fought gains.

Check out FCDC Chair Bryan Graham’s statement on January 6 for more reflections on remembering this day.

First Hunter Mill Meeting of 2022 on Wednesday, January 12

Meeting Graphic

Happy New Year, Hunter Mill Democrats! Thank you for joining the party for the 2022–2023 biennium. We’re glad to have you with us, and we have a lot of work to do. We will get started with the first meeting of the biennium on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 starting at 7:30pm. As you are no doubt aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, so the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom (register here). We look forward to seeing everyone for the new biennium.

Also, don’t miss the Fairfax County Democrats reorganization meeting the night before ours on Tuesday, January 11. There, voting members will be able to vote for County Officers and other important priorities for FCDC.

Early Voting Has Begun!

You can help Democrats get out the vote by voting early and removing your door from the ones volunteers must knock before election day.

Where and When to Vote:

North County Governmental Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr, Reston

From now – October 30th
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturdays, October 23rd and October 30th: 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, October 24th: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax

From now – October 30th
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Saturdays, October 23rd and October 30th: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, October 24th: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

The Coordinated Campaign needs help NOW to get out the Democratic vote by knocking doors and calling voters.

To sign up to canvass, use one of these links:
Reston / Herndon: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/410404/
Reston: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/409498/
Vienna: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/410428/

Join the DPVA Northern Virginia phone bank by using this link: https://www.mobilize.us/virginiaturnoutproject/event/403445/

Hunter Mill Democrats need help to staff the Democratic visibility tables at the North County Governmental Center Early Voting site and at the polls on Election Day. If interested, please contact hmdprecinctoperations@gmail.com