You’re invited to the next Rappahannock County Democrats meeting

The Rappahannock County Democrats will meet at the Rappahannock County Library (4 Library Road, Washington, VA) on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 7 p.m. You don’t have to be a RCDC member or a Democrat to attend.

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Blue State Bluegrass Brunch 2015

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Next Festive Progressives Gathering – March 26, 2015

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Do you like to dine and mingle with other Democrats and Progressives? You’re in luck. Festive Progressives will be gathering at the Flint Hill Public House (675 Zachary Taylor Highway  Flint Hill, Va.) on Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. There’s no sign up, fee or commitment. Just show up and enjoy the company. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the restaurant menu.

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A note from OneVirginia2021

A Quick Look Back at the 2015 Session & Building on our Momentum

We are blown away.  The support we had from you all during the 2015 General Assembly Session was tremendous and got redistricting reform further than it has ever been before.  Thank you for being a part of this movement!

There’s more to do, however, and we’re hard at work getting it done.  We could use your help.  See below for our session wrap up and opportunities to continue to build the momentum we have from the 2015 session.
The 2015 General Assembly Session was critical to establishing redistricting reform in Virginia and is the foundation for our six year plan. We had more success than even our most optimistic supporters expected. The foundation is strong and momentum is building for reform in the coming years.

How can you help?  First, we need everyone to continue the conversation in their community, with their neighbors, and with their legislators.  We aren’t resting until we fix the fundamental problem of politicians manipulating elections by picking their voters to ensure their own re-election.  And since this is an election year all across Virginia, let’s be loud about this issue!

Additionally, we’d love for you to become a member of OneVirginia2021 by making a donation to the cause.  Many of our supporters are donating $25 a month (it’s easy and you only have to click once) to the cause.  It’s a great, easy way to help make sure the message gets out to all legislators!

Finally, you can support us by organizing in your community.  If there’s an opportunity for us to talk to your civic organization or community group, we’d love to do so.  Email our executive director, Brian Cannon at Brian.Cannon@onevirginia2021.org and let us know.  This effort must come from all corners of Virginia to every elected official and candidate in our state.

Internship?

OneVirginia2021 is looking for collegiate interns in Richmond. Interns have the opportunity to do substantive work, while gaining in-depth experience in community education and advocacy.  Interns must have excellent written and oral communication skills with a commitment to working within a team, sharing information, and working collaboratively. Please send resume and cover letter to Brian with the subject line “OneVirginia2021 Internship.”

As always – thanks for your support and passion on this issue.  We must stop the political gerrymandering that paralyzes our democracy.  Virginia can do better.  And with your help, we will.

Sincerely,

OneVirginia2021

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A note to Ross (RCDC Chair) from April Moore, Candidate, Virginia Senate, District 26

Dear Ross,

As you know, I am taking on Mark Obenshain in this year’s election for the senate seat from our district.  But the official public announcement of my candidacy will be coming next week, on Tuesday—St. Patrick’s Day—March 17.  
 
I would appreciate your forwarding this message to all the good Democrats on your Rappahannock County email list.  A good turnout is an important way to show the press that we mean business.  
As for me, I couldn’t be more serious about wanting to show the citizens of our district—liberals and conservatives alike—how Mark Obenshain is on the wrong side of the issues that will do most to determine what kind of Virginia, what kind of America, and what kind of planet we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. 
 
I am running on these three issues:  
  • Government should serve the people, not just the wealthy, special interests
  • Virginia—ranked 47th of the 50 states in government integrity by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity–needs genuine ethics reform
  • We need responsible action to meet the challenge of climate change
 
Mark Obenshain is working in the opposite direction on all three of these issues.  
 
My announcement at the press conference will be at 11:00 am Tuesday, March 17, in Harrisonburg, at the Rockingham County government building, 20 East Gay Street.
 
Please put out the word.  Together, we can accomplish something!
 
April Moore
Candidate, Virginia Senate district 26

 

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Let your voice be heard – write to newspapers and other publications

Click the link to read an editorial written by RCDC member Fred Shaefer of Sperryville: http://www.richmond.com/opinion/your-opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article_8a89c3bf-9159-5695-896a-bccc500cef4c.html#.VOYf8nSOmnY.gmail

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TWO BIPARTISAN SENATE REFORM BILLS KILLED IN HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE

Richmond: The Virginia State Senate has passed several bipartisan legislative proposals endorsed by OneVirginia2021 to create an ethical and impartial redistricting process. The House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee on Elections took up two of those bills (SB 824 and SB 1000) today and killed them both on a 5 – 2 vote. Delegates Cole, Ransone, Landes, Minchew and Fowler voting against ending political gerrymandering. Delegates Sickles and Futrell voted in favor of these reform measures.

The House Subcommittee met at 7AM this morning in a room packed with supporters of redistricting reform. No comments were allowed on SB 824, Senator Miller’s bill to include a referendum question on the November ballot so voters could weigh in on establishing an independent commission. Delegate Landes made the motion to kill the bill and it was dispensed with in just three minutes. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

Senator Lewis’s SB 1000, which would have given map drawing responsibility to the Division of Legislative Services, under the supervision of an Independent Advisory Commission, was also defeated, although many individual citizens and civic organizations spoke in favor of the bill. Several citizens gave longer testimony in favor of the bill, and Delegates Sickles and Futrell also spoke to it’s importance and asked that it be passed on to the full Committee for an in-depth discussion. Ann Laurence Baumer, a graduate student at the Frank Batten School of Leadership at the University of Virginia, spoke in favor of the bill calling it a “conflict of interest that politicians get to pick their own voters.”

Greg Lucyk, President of OneVirginia2021’s Board, said “the House subcommittee voted today in favor of political gerrymandering and against common sense, bipartisan reform that overwhelmingly passed the Senate.” Speaking to the larger issue before the House, Lucyk said, “We must create a process in which we remove the conflict of interest politicians have when drawing their own district lines.”

The House Privileges and Elections Committee, Chaired by Delegate Cole, still has two opportunities to support reasonable, bipartisan redistricting reform. Senator Watkins’ SB 840, setting forth specific and well-defined redistricting criteria, is scheduled to be heard next week in the same subcommittee. And Senators Vogel and Lucas’ SJ 284, creating an independent redistricting commission with nonpartisan criteria to draw the maps, is yet to be assigned to a subcommittee, but could be heard on Monday by the House Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.

OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting is a group of Virginians from across the political spectrum who believe that congressional and state legislative districts belong to the citizens of the Commonwealth, and not to any legislator, political party or special interest.

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2015 Membership donations

Fellow Democrats, it is time for our annual donation of $10 or more to help fund the Democratic Committee functions.  We will sponsor again this year the Blue State, Bluegrass Brunch on April 11 at the Washington Fire Hall, in addition we incur various expenses throughout the year that your donation supports.  This next year and half will be critical for all of us to engage personally and financially in our Democratic process to ensure we don’t move backwards several generations, but move forward.  If you can donate this year, please mail your check to the Rappahannock County Democratic Committee at:

PO Box 277
Washington, VA 22747

Or if you see Ray Boch, Ross O’Donoghue, Gwen Bates, or Greg Ludlow, you can just give them the donation

You can also pay via this website: https://secure.actblue.com/donate

Many thanks,
Gwen Bates, Secretary

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Diversity Festival in Front Royal, November 1

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The Rappahanock County Democrats received the following letter…

Hi, my name is Jay North and I am the organizer of the 1st Annual Celebrate Diversity Festival. Our event happens Saturday, November 1st, which is only a few days away. I am contacting you because I think this event is about principles dear to the hearts of Democrats everywhere. The event was organized on very short notice in response to the repeal of a local ordinance in the town of Front Royal that discriminated against specific religious and ethnic groups. In the course of repealing that code, public hearings were held where factions arose from within the community to attack still other minorities through hate speech, attacks on the free press, and boycotts of local businesses.

I formed this event to celebrate the fact that there are people of varied backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and cultures that call this valley and this country home. This is event is to show that those who seek to use their faith to persecute others do not speak for God, and that those who claim to speak for the community do not speak for all of us.

The response from radio stations, newspapers, businesses and national non-profits has been overwhelming and continues to grow every day. We now have interest from Senator Warner’s office to send a representative to join our speaker panel. But it should not stop there. Democrats from red-zones are often forgotten about as though our votes don’t matter. Yet the number of people who care about Democratic causes, which are human causes, is unlimited and reaches across party lines. Yet in mid-term elections, when turnout is low, we find ourselves in an opportunity which our leaders should not ignore.

Here before a captive audience of people from Harrisonburg, Manassas, Winchester, Front Royal, Luray, The Plains, and all over the surrounding region, our leaders have the opportunity, just 3 days before the election, to energize the base, to share a vision for the future of all Virginians, and all Americans; one that is tolerant, peaceful, and inclusive of everyone. I am writing to ask you to help get the word out about our event, to bring people of different backgrounds together in a showing of solidarity for equality and justice. I am asking you to apply pressure to our elected officials and remind them that we are still here, in spite of being surrounded by conservative and often closed minds, we are still here. We fight for freedom with our very existence, standing against a tide of racism, religious bigotry, and the divisiveness of corporately purchased power mongers.

The only way we will win is if we fight back, if we fight to preserve individual freedom, respect for diversity, and hope for a better tomorrow. It is time our elected officials remember that votes are easier to come by in larger population centers, and that hearts and minds need won in the more difficult places. Will you and the people of your district join us? I am sending along a copy of our press release, and more information can be found on our website at www.celebratediversityfestival.org . Come join us this Saturday and see that we are none of us, alone.

Jay North

Press release: http://rappdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Diversity-Festival.pdf

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Election Night Party at El Quijote!

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The Rappahannock Democratic Committee meeting WILL NOT be held in November.

You are invited to join us November 4, election evening, at the El Quijote restaurant, at 7:30 in Sperryville. A variety of tapas will be laid out in a buffet with a cash bar. There will be TV & WiFi. A $10 donation is suggested.

El Quijote is in the River District Arts building on River Lane off Water Street near the distillery and Copper Fox Antiques. If you plan to come, please call Ray Boc at 987-9706 or email at rayboc(at)att.net by Sunday noon, November 2.

A head count is necessary to assure that we have enough food prepared. However no one will be turned away.

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