Want a succinct summary of our fall semester? Look no further than our newsletter, posted below!
Our members had a very productive day today lobbying members of the General Assembly in Richmond! Some of the issues we spoke to legislators about include expanding rural access to broadband internet, and raising the felony threshold for larceny in the Commonwealth. We hope that the General Assembly will be able to pass laws this session that serve to advance a more just, equitable Commonwealth.
Today, members attended the inauguration of the commonwealth-wide officials we worked to elect. In his speech, Governor Northam articulated his goals for his term, and the manner in which he wants to go about tackling them. While there, we were lucky enough to see UVA's own Professor Larry Sabato. The weather may have been cold, but nothing could chill our optimism for the next four years!
This weekend, our members went to Richmond to help with GOTV efforts for the coming election. In addition to supporting the statewide ticket, we joined House of Delegates candidates Schuyler VanValkenburg and Debra Rodman in their canvassing efforts. While canvassing for Mr. VanValkenburg we were lucky enough to be joined by Charlottesville's own Delegate David Toscano. We wish Mr. VanValkenburg and Ms. Rodman the best of luck in their elections this Tuesday.
Today our members went on a sunset hike of Humpback Rock. The weather was perfect, and the views from the top were truly breathtaking. Afterwards, our members joined together for dinner on the way back. Truly a great way to kick off the new year with our new members!
We started meetings for the semester with the one and only Tom Perriello. Tom spoke with us about his work with the Win Virginia PAC, helping support Democratic House of Delegates candidates. We thank Tom for joining us, and look forward to joining him in helping campaign for down-ballot Democrats.
This afternoon we had our end of the semester lunch at Brazos tacos. While we were expecting a fun filled afternoon of food and frisbee, we also had the pleasant surprise of Lieutenant Governor candidate Gene Rossi! We wish Mr. Rossi luck in the upcoming primary, and we wish all of our members luck with their final exams.
When our Congressman Tom Garrett decided to host a Townhall we were thrilled to voice our concerns as his constituents. But when we learned that the event would be housed at a venue on Grounds that would cater to less than 300 constituents, we decided to reserve a larger venue and off it to the Congressman. The movement quickly gained support on social media and the movement #TomLetsTalk was born. On the day of the Town Hall we hosted a Democracy fair on Southlawn and a rally in the amphitheater. It was a great demonstration what democracy actually looks like: individuals uniting in an effort to communicate with their representatives.
This weekend we attended the Virginia Young Democrats convention in Harrisonburg. In addition to elections for the organization, we heard from all of the candidates for statewide office this coming fall. We look forward to helping elect whoever emerges from the primary in June.
We were thrilled that Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam stopped by Grounds today! He talked with us about how he got involved with politics and how we can address the issues facing Virginia today. He also took our questions ranging from the opioid crisis and Medicaid expansion to transportation and gerrymandering. It was a wonderful experience, and we hope he'll visit again soon!