Pulling Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the extremely successful and popular greenhouse gas reduction collaboration between several Eastern Seaboard states. DCist, 10/6/22. Please submit a comment on the Virginia Townhall website opposing the repeal. The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter has a very informative talking points document, but don’t copy their comments exactly; better to make your own unique comment!
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has introduced draft guidelines that would prohibit teachers from using a transgender student’s name of choice or affirming the student’s gender without explicit parental approval, and would require teachers to report transgender students to parents even if those students are not ready or able to discuss it with their parents. Students across the state have fought back against this governmental meddling with peaceful demonstrations, e.g. the 9/27 coordinated walkouts by thousands of Virginia students. Please submit a comment on the Virginia Townhall website opposing these guidelines, which would make life miserable for many transgender students across the state.
The Youngkin Administration is trying to push through two horrificly bad policy changes, and the public comment periods for both end Wednesday 10/26:
The newest Virginia Young Democrats chapter will serve Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, and Greene Counties. If you’re between 13-35 and would like to register voters, canvass, and take campaign actions with other young people, sign up at bit.ly/cvilleyds, or get more info from their Facebook page (or email email@example.com). The group’s initial officers are:
- President: Kara Kline (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- VP: Trent Fisher
- Treasurer: Dashad Cooper
- Secretary: Hailey Yowell
- Outreach Director: Amanda Snead
- Communications Director: Samantha Litchford
Our two A12 events around Ézé Amos’ photo exhibition The Story of Us: Reclaiming the Narrative of #Charlottesville through Portraits of Community Resilience were very successful.
• Presentation (8/10) — 50 people, in-person and online, attended Ézé’s overview of the exhibition (partially given “in conversation with” Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center). If you missed it, here’s a recording of Ézé’s presentation; the first 24 minutes, mostly Ézé and Andrea discussing how Eze’s became a photojournalist, why he chose the Downtown Mall and racial justice struggles as his main subject areas, and how he chose the 36 photos for this exhibition. The first 24 minutes are audio-only, but the video kicks in when he starts showing the photos.
• Walking Tour (8/13) — What was planned as a one-hour tour lasted two hours as Ézé led us to each installation and explained (much abridged) what was going on in each photo and a bit about each person featured. 100 or more people joined the tour at various points to listen and ask questions.
Thank you Ézé and Andrea and everyone who turned out for this very meaningful A12 commemoration.
If you’ve not seen the photos yet on the Downtown Mall, don’t wait much longer; the photos will be taken down after September 29th, though you’ll be able to visit Eze’s website.
The Cville Dems had a very busy week on this front.
Last Thursday night, 6/24, we partnered with Blue Ridge Abortion Fund to present a free webinar about how an overturning of Roe would impact the Charlottesville region. BRAF Development Director Deborah Arenstein and our Bekah Saxon gave welcoming and closing remarks, and the panelists (clearly already tired and frustrated preparing for the ban) gave a great presentation.
Friday morning 6/25 the overturning of Roe was announced. By Friday afternoon, we had coordinated with NOW and Bans Off Our Bodies for a 5pm rally at the Federal Building, arranged for the media to interview Sen. Lucas for comments at 6pm (see Fish Fry coverage above), and organized a well-attended Cville Dems 11am Saturday 6/26 rally (here’s CBS19’s coverage, photos below).
As Sen. Lucas said, we are most definitely not giving up the fight (Pres. Biden came out Thursday in favor of a Senate filibuster exception for abortion rights)… but Virginia is on the edge of losing the next and deciding round of this fight. Gov. Youngkin has promised to push for an abortion ban, and if the Republicans gain seats in this November’s midterms then Dems won’t be able to stop Youngkin and his allies from outlawing abortion in Virginia too.
As we’re seeing, elections have very profound consequences.
Help the Dems organize and mobilize for November… join this fight!