DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS
About The Democrat
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The Fairfax County Board of Elections is looking for Election Officers to serve
Final Day to
Register to Vote or Change your Voter Address for the November General Election: October 17
FCDC and Obama for America will be conducting voter registration drives all around Fairfax County. Stop by our headquarters if you’d like to pick up some voter registration forms. We will provide volunteers with all the supplies necessary, including clipboards forms, receipts, pens, sign-up sheets and buttons.
File to be a Delegate to the State Democratic Convention
for a document that contains all the information and forms for either running for, or voting for, Delegates. The document contains the filing forms and the addresses where the forms are to be sent. To find out which District you live in, visit Click here fairfaxdemocrats.org/districts/.
Caucuses are scheduled for April 21st in each of the nine Supervisor Districts of Fairfax County, for the purpose of selecting Delegates to the State Democratic Convention (to be held in Fairfax June 2nd). The Delegates chosen will represent Fairfax County’s three Congressional Districts at the Convention. The absentee in-person caucus will be held on April 19th at our headquarters. If the number of candidates for Delegate filing is no more than the number allotted, then the caucus will be cancelled. Any Fairfax County registered voter may participate in the caucus to elect Delegates.
FCDC Internship Opportunities
FCDC is looking for interns this summer! High School and College students are encouraged to apply. These interns help us get organized by contacting voters, improving our contact data, helping with mailers, making campaign buttons, working at events like rallies, parades, fairs, and festivals. The interns meet elected officials, go on field trips to the US Capitol and pick up good job experience that can pay off when they get out of school. Your kind donations go toward the care and feeding of these wonderful young Democrats.
Click here for the Internship Application
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer Visits with NoVA Democrats
Report by Bruce Neilson
Steny Hoyer serves as the House Minority Whip under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He is the long time U. S. Representative of Maryland’s 5
th Congressional District. Hoyer appeared before Northern Virginia Democrats on the evening of Thursday, February 23rd at the Hartland Road office building in Merrifield which houses the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. The first hour of his visit was with Northern Virginia business leaders, followed by a gathering of Northern Virginia Democratic Party activists. Some FCDC leadership members in attendance included Chair Cesar del Aguila, Dranesville District Chair Ron Bleeker, Providence District Chair Paul Jameson, and Sandra Klassen, Chair of National Affairs for FCDC. Obama campaign officials and representatives from the Democratic National Committee were also present. The event attracted a full room of cheering fans for the President eager to hear about the upcoming election.
According to Hoyer, anybody watching the Presidential debates can see that none of the Republican choices are ready for prime time. The Republican Party base of today has the narrowest base of any political party of the past 50 years. Hoyer stated, “It is the narrowest base I have ever seen in America. That is why these Presidential debates are so convoluted.” America does not run on narrowness, it runs on being inclusive and expansive in the broadest sense, and that is why the Democratic Party is so much more relevant today.
In 2008, Barack Obama went through those three debates with John McCain and won the Presidency, after the public became more convinced that this guy gets it; he understands my problems; he has the integrity, the commitment, to get this job done. We need to be working as hard as we can for our children and grandchildren. We don’t need Mitt Romney saying. “I am walking away from building our country, it will build itself.” That was never the case. Talk about the railroads? They would never have been built. The Interstate highways? They would never have been built. What has made this country great is the private sector, and its initiative. Immigrants were not the “wretched refuse” (as the inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads); they were the courageous, the exceptional immigrants; we took them in, and they made this country exceptional.
This President was handed the toughest economic hand of any President since Abraham Lincoln. How was it tougher than Roosevelt’s economic crisis? First, Obama had two wars to fight at the same time. We are now already out of Iraq, and Afghanistan will end soon. Second, Roosevelt took over after 3 ½ years of economic depression, at a time when the public knew that very substantial action was needed. Obama came in after only a few months of news about recessionary decline, and the public wasn’t sure what actions were needed. Shortly thereafter, he invested to prevent the collapse of the automobile industry. Romney and Santorum have both said they would have let Detroit fold. Obama has preserved millions of jobs, and Detroit is profitable once again. The President took bold chances and as a result,
Detroit is alive, and Osama Bin Laden is dead. We need four more years of this President’s leadership.
In the Democratic Party, we are for jobs, growing the economy, expanding the middle class. Not shrinking it. And this is no time to walk away from the future, but a time to build on it.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Election Law and Voter Protection Committee
Stephen Spitz and Kristin Cabral, C0-Chairs
The Election Law and Voter Protection Committee is already recruiting for our Post-Election Canvass Team. The post-election canvass is when, after Election Day, the Office of Elections reviews the precinct paperwork before verifying the vote totals. It is essential this year — especially as to both the races for the Presidency & the U.S. Senate — that the post-election canvass in Battleground Virginia’s largest jurisdiction of Fairfax County be completely covered. The post-election canvass takes place on the Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday (Nov. 7th to 9th) after Election Day (Nov 6th). Most of our past volunteers have given a half-day or full day of their time. Please contact Co-Chair Kristin Cabral at email@example.com if you can donate your efforts to this important cause.
DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS
Ron Bleeker, Chair
The DDDC met on Feb. 9 in McLean. As a result of Cesar del Aguila’s election as Chair of FCDC, an election was held to replace him as Vice Chair of the Dranesville DDC. Leslie Mason was elected as the new Vice Chair.
The Committee heard from several candidates who are running for office in Herndon, although that election is non-partisan. We also discussed the Congressional re-districting, which will result in Dranesville now having precincts in the 8th (Moran), 10th (Wolf), and 11th (Connolly) Congressional Districts. In that connection, Mary Moran was present and spoke about Congressman Moran’s upcoming campaign. We look forward to having both Congressman Moran and Congressman Connolly at one of our upcoming meetings.
DDDC members also co-hosted several events in February in support of and attended by former Gov. Tim Kaine, candidate for the U.S. Senate. One event was held on Feb. 8 at the offices of Reed Smith in Fairfax, and another on Feb. 23 at the home of the Lodals in McLean.
Paul W. Jameson, Chair
Providence Dems have held or will hold seven house parties, each of which covers specific precincts throughout all of Providence District.
The purpose of these parties is to build up our precinct organizations for 2012 and beyond, and to recruit volunteers for the campaigns. The house parties are being coordinated with OFA, which has posted a notice of each party on its web site and has devoted numerous phone banking sessions to calling people to attend. Combined with PDDC’s many volunteer callers, we have been getting great turnout for the parties. So far, we have had Supervisor Linda Smyth, Senator Chap Petersen, and Delegate Mark Keam attend one or more of these parties, which have attracted up to 40 attendees each. Many, many thanks to the hosts of these parties (who also recruited attendees): Holly Hambley, Catherine Fort, Steve Shannon, Shana Singerman, Velma Massenburg, Ann Landy, and Emilie Miller. And many more thanks to those who have devoted (or will devote) hours to calling and emailing: Tania Hossain, Janet Vasak, Sara Schneider, Patricia Leslie, Christy Nishioka, Marsha Woods, Charlie Hall, Nancy Pierce, Judy Baker, Gil Conrad, Linda Bossert, Frank Lanham, Susan Cohen, Linda Beatty, Irv Varkonyi, Walt Carlson, Chris Johnston, and OFA folks Parker Ramsdell, Josh Yazman, and Kate Lanahan and their volunteer callers (apologies if we’ve missed anyone). These parties could not have taken place without you!
The next step will be to increase our voter registration efforts.
The voting age population of Providence exceeds the number of registered voters in Providence by 28,000. Certainly a great many of those 28,000 are eligible to be registered, and we hope to find as many of those as we can.
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FDR’s Words on ‘Economic Royalists’ Still Ring True
As we prepare to honor and reassert the strong Democratic values and policies of Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt at our upcoming Dinner, it would be fitting to reflect upon the following exerpt of FDR’s 1936 convention speech:
“For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital – all undreamed of by the Fathers – the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
“There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small-businessmen and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
“It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.’”
Guest Column: What Safety Net?
by Adam Roach
My name is Adam Roach. I decided to volunteer with the Fairfax Dems because I’m tired of feeling totally powerless as the Republicans maim and try to destroy all that is good about this country and all that it stands for.
The way to good government and fairness to everyone is NOT determined by those who use locker room type comparisons to see who has the biggest wallet.
Now, ol’ Mitt says he can “fix” the “safety net.” WHAT safety net? I don’t know where they get the idea that poor people don’t pay for anything. We pay through the nose every day just to survive. Medicare goes out of its way to find flimsy excuses to deny claims. They take forever to pay and never pay the full claim amount.
Here’s an example: I am on Medicare and receive regular notices as to what they have paid. Here’s an example of how they pay:
Medicare approved $250
Medicare paid provider $47.87
“We are submitting this to Medicaid to see if they can pay additional benefits. If not, you are responsible to pay the remaining balance.”
By accepting Medicare, doctors lose money and many have stopped taking it.
Medicaid is even worse. Although it’s a federal program, it’s administered by the individual states. Many states have an abysmal Medicaid program. They also take a great deal of time to pay and often lose paperwork, and will find convenient loopholes to refuse payment. Then the medical facility comes after YOU. By this time many have waited over a year to receive payment and take their hostility out on you.
Food stamps are a very abused, weak substitution for food assistance. They make you jump through all sorts of hoops and pay next to nothing in benefits. The system is very biased toward families and if you’re a single man with no dependents (like me), just try to get anything decent from them. I have applied for food stamps in the past and have brought in my medical records – as they ask if you have them – and the food stamps worker ignored them and said, “We’ll just give you the regular amount.” I received a whopping $34 a month. A friend of mine received $10 a month. Probably the most disturbing aspect is that the food stamp workers no longer identify themselves by name. They all have been issued a number by the Social Services agency that employs them.
So this is our “safety net” that the Republicans are trying to eliminate. Many people – such as myself – cannot work because of health issues and disabilities. So, yes, take away our benefits and we’ll “work harder.” Tell someone’s 104 year old grandmother to stop being a slacker and living off the government’s dime and see how well that plays out.
Government housing: I am in section 8 housing and was on the wait list for six years. This was AFTER being “moved up” the list because of my disabilities. What they don’t bother to tell you is that AFTER you climb to the top of that list, your name is then added to a SECOND wait list. After I received my voucher, there were 2000+ names after mine. And this is just the wait list of Fairfax County. All housing authorities have it equally tough. Many closed their lists to additional names years ago. There are just too many people who have a genuine need and can’t do it alone.
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Sustainer Sign Up or Renewal Form
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Since my first run for Providence District Supervisor in 1995, I have hosted an annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete. The event has grown from a small gathering of friends at my home to one of the highlights of the Democratic political season.
Tickets start at $40 each. Tickets will be emailed to the email address you provide from firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions or to RSVP and pay at the door email email@example.com or call our office (703)375-9374.
You are invited to the Annual Hunter Mill Lasagna Dinner! Enjoy a variety of homemade lasagna, breads, salads and desserts. Talk to your elected representatives and other Democratic activists in a relaxed friendly environment. Celebrate with the Martha Pennino Community Service Award and the Ed Herlihy Democratic Activist Award winners. Bid in our live and silent auctions to help raise money to support electing Democratic candidates and building a great Democratic Party!
Join FCDC at this annual event for an opportunity to meet your Democratic Supervisors and to discuss issues of importance to Fairfax County. More details to come soon.
The Fairfax County Democratic Committee requests the pleasure of your company at our
(formerly the Jefferson Jackson Dinner) Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Dinner .
Please email material to Sue Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach text file or photos, or copy the material into the email message.
Deadline for submission is the third Monday of each month by 5:00 pm for inclusion in the following month’s issue.