From the December 6 Community Meeting at Charlottesville High School
Our meeting, “Sticking Together in Challenging Times,” produced an outpouring of citizens with ideas about what we need to do next.
It was one of the most energizing meetings that I have attended in years. In fact, the crowd was so large and the ideas so many that it is taking a little longer to assemble them than we originally expected.
We will have a more detailed report soon, but, in the interim, we thought we should post this summary written by one of the attendees. While in no way exhaustive, it details some of the ideas, with links so you can make contact.
Thanks again to all who attended this meeting and contributed their ideas and energy. We are creating an online survey of the most frequently mentioned ideas from the meeting for you to vote to let us know what YOU think the next step priorities should be. We’ll also post a document of all of the ideas recorded at the meeting.
RECAP NOTES submitted by participant Geri Greenspan
For those of you who weren’t able to attend Delegate Toscano’s event on Tuesday, December 6, I wanted to recap and share my notes. I believe Delegate Toscano will be posting a summary of the discussion on his blog, but it’s not up yet. There were about 300 people there, and we went around the room sharing goals and priorities for the coming year. There were many great ideas, but I only wrote down some of them. The ones I made note of are:
- Ryant Washington is the Democrat running for the Virginia Senate seat in the 22nd District, which encompasses Fluvanna, Buckingham, Amherst, etc. The special election is January 10th. Special elections are all about turnout and can be highly unpredictable. For anyone who wants to start working on campaigns now, this is your chance!
- Virginia 2017 elections: sign up to support Ralph Northam and Mark Herring on their websites.
- Donate to David Toscano’s PAC (Virginia First), which distributes money to Democrats running in other House districts. Mr. Toscano believes there are several districts where Democrats can pick up House seats this year. He encouraged people to volunteer to campaign in those areas.
- Together Cville was mentioned, and I think most people on this page are already aware of that group.
- The Road Forward PAC is raising money to offer a program to train local Democrats to run for elected office.
- Progressive House VA is an organization trying to find progressive candidates to run in all 100 House races in Virginia this year.
- OneVirginia2021 is a non-partisan organization that advocates for redistricting reform to eliminate political gerrymandering (they helped introduce a bi-partisan bill that would create an independent redistricting commission). Contact legislators and ask them to push for a vote on the bill this year.
- Hate Has No Home Here is a campaign through which you can buy yard signs, bumper stickers, etc. with that slogan.
- There are many state and local boards with openings for citizen appointments. Listings can be found online (Secretary of the Commonwealth for state boards, county or city websites for local ones). These are a great way to get involved in an issue that interests you. If you want an appointment, call Mr. Toscano’s office and he can help.
- Mr. Toscano plans to introduce a bill that would automatically register people to vote through the DMV. Support that bill.
- Report any incidents of discrimination/hate crimes to the Charlottesville Office of Human Rights.
- Veteran organizers/activists/campaign volunteers should partner with one or two newcomers to mentor them and keep them engaged.
There were many other great ideas and suggestions, but these were the ones that stood out to me.
Reprinted with permission from Geri Greenspan.