This week we were honored to welcome Dr. Bill Antholis as the speaker at our meeting. A UVA grad, Dr. Antholis currently serves as the Director of the Miller Center at UVA. During his speech, he presented the Miller Center's research on the first year of a President's term. This was insightful as it contextualized the Trump administration thus far. Dr. Antholis described Trump’s presidency as “at a crossroads” and likely to rewrite the relationship between the President, his party, and the electorate. With the amount of rhetoric used in political discourse, this presentation of actual data about the first year of President's term was insightful.
Tonight we welcomed Shelly Simmonds to our weekly meeting. Shelly spoke with us about her personal experiences in Virginia politics, starting with leading the PTA at her daughter's school and most recently featuring a race for the Virginia House of Delegates decided by drawing a name from a bowl. She also spoke about the importance of registering voters and increasing turnout in future elections. We can't wait to see what the future holds for Ms. Simmonds!
Today we welcomed Adjunct Professor James Todd to speak at our weekly meeting. A UDems favorite, Professor Todd spoke about the 25th Amendment and determining presidential fitness to serve. We look forward to having Professor Todd join us in the future.
Tonight we were joined by our first speaker of the semester, Lauren Mims. Lauren attended UVA for her undergraduate degree, and is currently working on her PhD in the Curry School. She is also the former Assistant Director of the White House Initiative for Education Excellence for African-Americans. While filling that role, she designed and hosted student summits, led White House and DOE briefings, and highlighted the stories of Black students who were multiply marginalized, including those with physical or intellectual disabilities. Hearing about her work in the Obama Administration and her current work on her PhD made for an interesting evening.
We started off the semester by writing to members of the General Assembly during our first meeting. Members wrote about issues currently before committees, ranging from sensible gun laws to expanding Medicaid in the Commonwealth. We hope that legislators in Richmond will pay attention to the November 2017 elections and take action on these important matters.
Yesterday was our first meeting of the semester. Turnout was great, with many familiar members as well as a number of new faces. We were joined by representatives from Young Democrats of Virginia and wrote letters to legislators about HB1410, a bill that would place requirements on public institutions of higher education, including UVa. We sent dozens of letters, so be on the lookout for news about an education bill dying in committee. Join us next week as we continue to work through our #udems100days checklist!
The 2016 election is of historic importance. Joining UDems and coming to our weekly meetings we help ensure that we get Democrats elected up and down the ballot! - President, Sam Tobin
Our meetings in 2016 are going to be bigger, better, and more exhilarating than ever. We can't wait to see you every Wednesday at 6:00pm! - Vice President, Brett Curtis
We are busy preparing for our first membership meetings of the 16-17 school year! As soon as we have more information, we will update it here. In the mean time, make sure you've connected with us!
Upcoming we will have our first-year meet and greet meeting, followed by the first full body meeting. Make sure to stop by our table at the activities fair for some UDems swag!