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