From the December 6 Community Meeting at Charlottesville High School
Just before the winter holiday, my team sent an Online Survey for you to indicate your level of enthusiasm for supporting ideas and initiatives that came from our “Silver Linings” community meeting at CHS. The survey presented a list of 11 strategies that percolated to the top and that we felt accurately summarized input from the meeting. We also created a Sticking Together Blog on my website, and shared a comprehensive list of all the comments from the meeting for you to view. Now, as promised, here is a summary of the survey results:
Significant Survey Results
Without a doubt, as one respondent said, there is an enormous amount of Democratic energy waiting to find an outlet. Just under 400 respondents to the survey weighed in. Concerning your ranking of effective strategies to channel this energy, 6 of the 11 initiatives you were asked to rank attracted more than 50 percent support with a weighting of “very important.” In descending rank order they are:
- Work to create non-partisan redistricting (92%)
- Support good journalism and hold “false” or “biased” media accountable (81%)
- Work on state legislative, local and midterm elections (81%)
- Improve voter registration, voter data, voter turnout and voter rights (77%)
- Create coherent, strong messaging around issues that are important (67%)
- Engage elected officials to support the right positions (64%)
Besides your survey rankings, the majority of you shared additional comments at the end of your survey. Many of you went on to give “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” by elaborating on the initiatives you felt were most important. Also, a fair number of you wanted to emphasize the importance of listening and understanding by elected officials, by candidates, by activists, and by finding a way to open the ears, minds and hearts of voters.
Many of you shared comments of appreciation for my team’s efforts to represent you, to gather us at the original “Silver Linings” meeting, and the continuing follow up. Thank you for that.
We are receiving many comments on my Sticking Together Blog site and will post as many as we can, without being repetitive. My work on this project will need to step back somewhat for the next six weeks while I am in Richmond (beginning January 9) for the 2017 General Assembly session. I know many of you have already begun this work on your own or with local and national groups. Upon our return, we will continue to work with you to explore and execute ways to move these ideas into reality.
While I am in Richmond, I will continue working for and pushing a bipartisan effort for nonpartisan redistricting—your “Number 1” priority from the survey. You can also work on this with OneVirginia2021 (see more information below). I will continue to send information as I receive it about the Virginia House of Delegates redistricting case that was heard by the Supreme Court in December.
When the session is over, we will help organize advocacy training. There are groups such as the Road Forward PAC and Progress Virginia who might be willing to take the lead on this.
Things You Can Do Now
- Help Ryant Washington get out the vote and get elected to the Virginia State Senate. Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 10 is the special election. Ryant’s Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/ ryantwashingtonva22/
- Work on the statewide races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.
- Join the Washington March on January 21, https://www.womensmarch.com/ or, if you can’t, perhaps you can join the local march set up in Charlottesville that same day at the Ix Art Park: https://www.facebook.com/ CharlottesvilleGathers/
- Fight fake news. Stay involved and informed, perhaps subscribe to a newspaper such as the Washington Post or the New York Times. They are currently promoting themselves as publishers of real news.
- Join OneVirginia2021 (Virginians for Fair Redistricting) https://onevirginia2021.org/
Until the 2017 session ends, wish us well in Richmond as we work to move our ideas ahead into practical legislation and work to defeat legislation that flies in the face of our values.
Thank you, again, for your input and for your willingness to participate in this initiative.