Last week, UDems held our semesterly Policy Forum. This semester, we focused on gun violence and welcomed students from the Students Demand Action at UVA club and community members from the B.U.C.K. Squad. You can learn more about their organizations at www.instagram.com/sda_at_uva/ and bucksquad911.org.
UDems held our annual semiformal on 10/20. It was a fun night and a great kick off for our Get Out the Vote efforts. Thanks to everyone who attended!
UDems met with Sara Ratcliffe last week to hear about her campaign for House of Delegates. It was great to hear about her experience in policy making, her approach to the campaign, and how she thinks Democrats can connect with rural voters. We'll be campaigning for Sara in the next few weeks as we work to get a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates.
UDems members visited the Monacan Nation in Amherst County last week. We appreciate the Monacan Nation taking the time to teach us about their history and traditions. The Monacan Nation recently received Federal recognitions after centuries of institutionalized marginalization. This history is critical to understand as UVA exists on land that was once Monacan.
It was great to meet our local Democratic candidates last week. Thank you to State Senator Creigh Deeds, Amy Laufer, and Allison Spillman for joining us. We're excited to campaign for them this fall!
Meet our 2023 summer stipend recipients Caroline Wu and Elizabeth Dinegar! Each year, UDems awards two students with stipends to support their endeavors in unpaid or underpaid internships. Thank you to our donors for making this possible! Read below for the amazing work Caroline and Elizabeth did this summer:
I was an Analytical Research Intern at the Center for NonViolent Actions and Strategies, a nonprofit committed to promoting democratic movements and protecting human rights. I gained experience in analyzing geopolitical and historical trends in order to understand how any given development falls within a larger trajectory. I had the opportunity to study Hungary’s presidential elections, the women-led revolution against the Iranian morality police, the military coup in Niger, among others.
The UDems Summer Stipend encouraged me to pursue this internship, which could not provide compensation, and allowed greater flexibility in accessing research materials and work spaces.
I was an intern with EARTHDAY.ORG, an environmental nonprofit that has been a trailblazer of the environmental movement. I was able to broaden my skills in outreach as well as my understanding of the policy behind environmental advocacy. I am double majoring in Government and Environmental Thought and Practice with a minor in Sociology; my internship with EARTHDAY.ORG encompassed all of my interests in one experience that I will carry with me as I pursue similar work in the future. The UDems Summer Stipend was able to support me in my unpaid internship by helping to pay for my metro fare into DC and other expenses.
This week we were delighted to be joined by Larry Roberts, Director of UVA's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Mr. Roberts is a former UDems and has extensive experience in Virginia politics. We heard from him about the many important races in Virginia this year and current trends in the VA political landscape. The meeting was a great kickoff to our fall campaign season, with control of the VA House and Senate in close contestation. We're eager to make the phone calls and knock the doors necessary to allow Democrats to win!
On 9/6, we were joined by Matthew Gillikin of Livable Cville. Livable Cville advocates for policies to build an inclusive Charlottesville area with affordable housing, sustainable transportation & healthy neighborhoods welcoming to all. Matthew taught us about the history of zoning in Charlottesville and the currently ongoing zoning rewrite. The Charlottesville Planning Commission meets Thursday 9/14 and UDems is planning to attend to show support for zoning that promotes affordability, equity, and environmentalism.
This week on 9/5 we will hear from Larry Roberts, Director of the UVA Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership! He'll be talking to us about "Virginia Politics 101."
Thanks to everyone who came out to our first meeting yesterday evening!! We're super excited for a fall full of campaigning, advocacy work, and social events. New members are always welcome and we hope to see everyone at our next meeting!