Gerrymandering is the process of manipulating the drawing of state and federal legislative districts to favor incumbents and the majority party. Gerrymandering of districts has resulted in disenfranchised voters, increased gridlock, dysfunction in the General Assembly and Congress, and has generated voter apathy driving down turnout on Election Day. In the editorial section of the Virginian Pilot today, Mayor Kenny Alexander wrote a compelling commentary on the negative impact gerrymandering has on the redistricting process calling for an end to the archaic practice.
Bob Stephens and Dana Dickens invite you to a meeting 7 PM Thursday, January 12 at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts (the Naismith class room) to address working for a nonpartisan independent redistricting commission in the Commonwealth. Please encourage others to attend and feel free to forward this information to everyone you think might be interested. The more voices we have, the louder the noise!
Each of us can make a difference … together we can make a change. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday night.
PS: On Wednesday the 11th at 7 PM, Mayor Alexander and Mayor Sessons will host the showing of a PBS documentary called “GerryRigged: Turning Democracy on its Head at the Batten Center, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive | Norfolk, VA 23502. If you missed it in Suffolk in December or know someone who wants to see it, the event is free.
(This post was adapted from an email sent by Dana Dickens)
At last night’s meeting we discussed “Armchair Activism”, as opposed to real activism which means getting up and doing something. One of our members said she will be getting up and doing something on January 21. The Women’s March on Washington will be a chance for people of diverse backgrounds who have been concerned by the rhetoric and events of this election cycle to send a strong message to Washington that our numbers are too great to ignore.
More information is their website and Facebook page, or you can contact us.
And while browsing the web won’t be enough to get you out of your seat, we have added a few new links to our sidebar that might help some of you get started.
One Virginia2021, will be hosting a screening of Gerry Rigged at Kings Fork High School on Decemember 6th.
Save the Date for a special screening of GerryRigged, Turning Democracy on its Head. OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting.
Kings Fork High School
351 Kings Fork Road
Suffolk, VA 23434
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
7:00pm – Free event
Gerrymandering, the process by which political district lines are drawn by the very politicians who stand to benefit by them, affects the fabric of our democracy in profound ways. Gerryrigged: Turning Democracy on its Head examines its impact in this hour-long documentary, a partnership of WCVE (PBS) with OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting. Learn how non-partisan reform efforts in Virginia can change this dangerous trend and return political power to the voters.
OneVirginia2021 is committed to education and advocacy, with a multi-partisan approach that includes Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We believe that state and congressional districts belong to the citizens of our Commonwealth, and not to any legislator, political party, or special interest.
We’re passing along this advice from an email, from New Virginia Majority
On Virginia’s ballot this year is a constitutional amendment that would put Virginia’s existing anti-worker, anti-family law into the state constitution.
Amendment 1 is full of misplaced priorities by the General Assembly. Instead of working to create good jobs or improve schools, our state lawmakers want to elevate an existing law and make it an amendment to the constitution. Amendment 1 is anti-worker, a waste of time, and does not deserve to be in the Virginia constitution. It’s unnecessary, costly and nearly impossible to reverse.
Anti-worker laws backed by corporate interests have devastated the economies of many U.S. states, and have proven to be disastrous to communities and the economy. They are associated with lower wages and benefits for both union and nonunion workers, and attack the very pillars of quality jobs.
All workers should have the right to organize for better working conditions; an organized workforce means quality jobs, healthier communities, and a stronger economy. We must protect working families.
Vote NO on Amendment 1.
Co-executive Director, New Virginia Majority
Join us Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (Election Day) to help get out the vote and put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
It is very important get involved! Voters are being mislead by false information and a phone call or a visit could be what they need to get straight!
Please Call: Christian Reuwer at 540-641-1052 or John Mahon at 646-671-2938 to step up and volunteer!
You can also stop by the campaign office at 602 West Washington Street (Washington and Broad).
Thank you so much. We need you!
Vote in person before Election Day
Sept 23 – Nov 5
If you qualify for excuse-only absentee, you can vote absentee in person using the machine in your Local Voter Registrar’s Office on weekdays during business hours.
Offices are also open on 2 Saturdays, Oct 29 and Nov 5. Some locations may offer additional dates, contact your local voter registrar’s office for details.
Note that you may not qualify for early voting. Examples of valid situations which would qualify you are:
- Not in your county or city on Election Day, Nov 8, because of work, vacation, or personal reasons
- A member of US Armed Forces or the spouse or dependent of a member and won’t be in your county or city on Election Day
- A student or the spouse of a student attending school outside your county or city on Election Day
More qualifiers are listed at https://www.iwillvote.com/learn/vote/va/
Go out and vote!
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons. Dwight Burdette
The Democratic Party of Virginia has a Voter Hotline, 1-844-4VA-VOTE (1-844-482-8683). Keep that number handy and use it for questions about voting or to report voting issues such as:
- Problems getting an absentee ballot
- Problems with voting machines
- Erroneous or deliberately misleading information about polling locations or times
- Voter intimidation or obstruction at the polls
We’ve already seen some problems in our area, including absentee voters not getting their ballots, and menaces trying to intimidate early voters.
Don’t let problems like these stop you from voting! Let the DPVA help you and others by calling 1-844-4VA-VOTE if you have questions or experience problems with voting.
Look for the Suffolk Democratic Committee at Peanut Fest this year, from Thursday to Sunday October 6th – 9th.
Also: Get your Photo I.D. at the Suffolk City’s Tent. The photo I.D. cards will be free and are an acceptable form of identification for voting.
The last day to register to vote in Virginia is October 17th. We will have voter information and registration forms in the tent, along with information about our Democratic candidates.