The House District 35 Democratic Nominating Committee, chaired by Michelle Woody, has officially announced October 8th as the date for the Caucus to determine the Democratic nominee in the January 10th Special Election.
Democratic voters may cast a ballot in the Unassembled Caucus – similar to a regular primary election where participants may check in, vote, and leave – at any one of three voting locations throughout the district on Saturday, October 8th, between 10am and 4pm.
Candidates for the nomination have until Friday, September 30th, to submit the appropriate documents to appear on the caucus ballot. Voters may find information about the caucus at FairfaxVotes.org/HD35.
The 35th House District includes Dunn Loring, Oakton, Tysons, and the Town of Vienna. The previous Delegate from the 35th House District, Mark Keam, resigned in early September to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration. The winner of the October 8th Caucus is expected to win the January 10th Special Election, just as Democrats have won the 35th House District in every election since 2003.
We’ll start our post-Labor day political mad dash with some big local politics news: per a letter, he circulated to friends and colleagues, long-time Hunter Mill Democrat Del. Mark Keam says he will be leaving the Virginia House of Delegates to pursue a new job opportunity. Del. Keam, who lives in Hunter Mill’s very own Vienna, has been in the Virginia Legislature since 2010. He was the first Asian-born immigrant and the first Korean American elected to state office in Virginia.
In the Virginia House of Delegates, Keam has been a practical, steadfast, and busy Democrat, drafting and introducing over 200 bills. He is credited with a significant role in passing over 120 measures into law. Keam has been a champion of government accountability, education, civil rights, healthcare, and myriad other Democratic priorities. It’s safe to say Virginia is a better place to live because of Del. Keam’s 12 years in the Virginia House, and we are thankful for his service to the Commonwealth.
In addition to Keam’s legislative accomplishments, he has been a mainstay at meetings of the Hunter Mill Democrats and of the Fairfax County Democrats. We have always appreciated his attendance at meetings, often giving us insight into the latest legislative and political developments. Sometimes, he just comes by to say hello and check in with friends and constituents. We’re sure we will continue to see him here in the Hunter Mill community, and we wish him all the best on his next career adventure.
In order to fill Del. Keam’s seat, the Speaker of the House, Republican Todd Gilbert, will need to call a special election. We will keep you updated with information on a special election when there is more information to provide, so we can do everything possible to fill Keam’s big shoes with another Democrat.
Update: House Speaker has set the special election date for January 10, 2023
Bring a friend and help us get Democrats to the polls in November by canvassing for our candidate, Representative Gerry Connolly. Saturday, October 15th, 11 am and 2 pm at Starbucks Reston Plaza America, 11610-A Plaza America Dr, Reston. For more information and to sign up go to Hunter Mill Dems Canvass for Gerry Connolly.
Weekdays: 1 pm – 7 pm Saturdays (September 24, October 29, November 5): 9 am – 5 pm Sunday (October 30): 1 pm – 5 pm
More locations will open starting October 27. We will need volunteers to help staff the Fairfax Democrats booth to help pass out sample ballots and provide voting information. More information on early voting is available here, and more information on all methods and means of voting is available at FairfaxVotes.org.
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.
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
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
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.”
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.
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!