Archived Issues of The Democrat Now Available Online
At FCDC Headquarters, we have issues of The Democrat dating back to 1962. Volunteers have begun working to scan and upload these historic documents which can now be viewed by the general public at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org/demarchive. Archiving is currently in progress. We invite you to take a look and learn more about the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s rich history!
New Co-Chairs for Braddock & Springfield
Two new Co-Chairs were recently elected to the Braddock and Springfield District Democratic Committees. Please welcome Tom Johnson, who joins Chris Wade at the helm of Braddock District, and Hank Thomassen who will be Co-Chair of Springfield along with Mark Itzkoff. Both Tom and Hank are longtime active Democrats who will bring unique organizing and leadership abilities to their districts and to the Steering Committee. If you’d like to send them a welcome message, you can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Editors for The Democrat
This issue marks the first edition under our new Editor in Chief, Jayne Byrnes! You can send her a message or submit content to email@example.com. I also would like to thank our new Digital Editor, Susan Bogan.
Pursuant to Article VII, Section 5, of the Virginia Young Democrats Constitution, I hereby call the members of the Virginia Young Democrats to assemble in annual Convention for the purpose of considering charter applications, resolutions, and constitutional amendments; electing officers; and conducting such other business as the Convention directs. The convention will be held in Norfolk, VA, and will be hosted by the Old Dominion University Young Democrats and Norfolk State University Young Democrats. Convention activities will begin the afternoon of Friday, April 19th and will conclude on Sunday, April 21st. Critical information about this year’s convention including registration details, can be found at the convention website.
Calls to Convention – 8th, 10th & 11th Congressional Districts
According to sections 4.2, 4.3 of the Virginia Democratic Party Plan (State Party Plan): The twenty members of the Central Committee from each congressional district shall be nominated in congressional district conventions and shall be elected by the State Convention in each gubernatorial election year, each member to serve a term of four years. The members of the Central and district committees shall be equally divided between men and women.
Pursuant to the authority provided by the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Committee (District Committee) hereby calls a Convention to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Robert E. Lee High School (6540 Franconia Rd, Springfield, VA 22150).
Justin Fairfax For Attorney General
Attorney General Candidate Justin Fairfax recently spoke with students at two Virginia campuses. The William & Mary Young Democrats hosted a “Meet and Greet” for Fairfax on Thursday, February 21. And, on Tuesday, February 19, Justin spoke with political science students at Hampton University.
At both campuses, Justin focused on key issues he wants to address if elected Attorney General – including increasing access to higher education by improving transparency in the private student loan market and increasing economic opportunities for families and veterans. And, Justin, a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Law School (Columbia Law Review), shared how access to education has been important in his life. At Duke, Fairfax was a recipient of the Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship. Today, he and his wife, Dr. Cerina Fairfax, have endowed an opportunity scholarship at his alma mater.
Joshua Perrin, a Hampton University junior, who covered the event for the Hampton Script, captured why Fairfax is running for Attorney General. “If I had the opportunity to make communities safer for kids like me, I would do it … I am 100 percent for changing the odds for people,” Fairfax stated in the article.
Zach Hardy, a student reporter who covered Thursday’s Meet and Greet for William & Mary’s The Flat Hat, noted that of the four candidates running for Attorney General, Fairfax is the only former federal prosecutor. “I think that brings us a unique set of skills and experience. As attorney general, you are the chief law enforcement officer for the state. Having had experience in actually enforcing law is incredibly important and helpful.”
Justin is running for Virginia Attorney General to help protect families and businesses, to keep our communities safe, and to ensure that all Virginians have more security, opportunity, and access to the American Dream. Political supporters include former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, former American Bar Association President Robert Grey, Jr. and prominent Virginia Businessman and Campaign Treasurer for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Warren Thompson. For more information on Justin’s campaign for Attorney General, please visit www.justinfairfax.com.
Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor
Aneesh Chopra’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor has been building momentum across the Commonwealth. Earlier this month, Chopra won the Mount Vernon Democrats straw poll — the first straw poll in Virginia. This week, Aneesh received the endorsement of Congressman Tom Perriello. Citing Chopra’s “great energy and vision,” Perriello said Chopra is the best candidate for “creating a stronger Commonwealth for future generations.” Perriello joins Congressman Jim Moran and former Congressman Rick Boucher in endorsing Chopra. The endorsement comes on the heels of a downstate tour, where Chopra met with supporters in Bristol, Danville, Roanoke and Harrisonburg. You can stay updated on Chopra’s campaign by visiting his newly-launched website at http://www.teamchopra.org. For questions or to learn more, please contact Jamie Lockhart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-514-7409.
The 2 1/2 weeks that follow “crossover” in odd-numbered years are very hectic in the General Assembly. I was able to successfully shepherd 22 of my bills through the Senate and into the House, which makes for some interesting mornings where I am required to be in three or four places at one time. While some of these bills have met their end in House committees, I’m diligently working on the rest of them in the hopes that practical solutions will trump party politics.
In the past two weeks, the General Assembly took action on a number of large issues. One of these is reform and expansion of Medicaid. The Commonwealth faces a critical decision. Currently, in Virginia, people between the ages of 19 and 64 do not qualify for Medicaid, even If they have no income, unless they are severely disabled. In the Senate budget adopted last week, we agreed to provide Medicaid coverage to such persons if they have income below 133 percent of the poverty level, subject to certain conditions regarding reform of Medicaid.
It is recognized that such an expansion would be good for people gaining health care coverage, enabling them to go to doctors’ offices, stay out of emergency departments, improve their health status, and increase their life expectancy. What is less understood is how important this expansion is for Virginia businesses, for jobs, and for the Virginia economy. Virginia businesses now pay a “hidden tax” when obtaining health insurance for their employees, paying for not only the cost of care for their employees but also part of the cost of care for the uninsured. If we do not expand Medicaid while other states do such expansions, Virginia businesses will be at a competitive disadvantage with competitors not having to pay that large “hidden tax.” In addition, such expansion will create 30,000 jobs and boost the Virginia economy significantly.
You can watch my Senate remarks on this issue last week by clicking here, but the final point I made then bears repeating. For the past 47 years, Virginia has gotten $1.70 from the Federal government for each $1.70 spent on Medicaid. For the past 15 years, we have gotten about $1.70 for each $1 spent on health care for children. For the people newly covered If we expand Medicaid now, however, we will get $1.70 for every $0.01 spent. You read that right. That’s a one dollar seventy cent return for every penny. This matter will be decided over the next week or so as our budget is finalized. We would be foolish to turn down such an opportunity.
A major development this week was Senate passage of a large transportation funding package. There has been no meaningful investment in transportation since the gas tax was last raised in 1986. While we are still far from a final product, I am hopeful we will reach agreement on major long-term transportation investments. I urge you to follow this debate closely, as it affects us in Northern Virginia acutely. As if we didn’t already know it, this week we were again ranked as the region with the worst traffic in the country. The final issue that I will tell you about is legislation brought to me by students at Centreville High School. Knowing what their classmates do, two students proposed prohibiting minors under the age of 15 from using tanning beds and requiring parental consent for those aged 15 through 17. My Senate Bill 1274 was supported not only by the students but also by the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Medical Society of Virginia, the Society of Dermatology, and by a woman who used tanning beds when in high school and college only to get aggressive melanoma at age 23. With the help of the students and their supporters, we got this legislation through the Senate before it was killed in the House of Delegates. While the measure did not pass this year, I couldn’t have been more pleased with what the students accomplished, and I have pledged to try to get such a bill passed next year.
With only a week left [at the time of this writing] until the General Assembly adjourns sine die, we are in a mad dash to complete our work. Stay tuned as we hit the final stretch and as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office if there is anything I can do to be of service.
The Democrat is the monthly publication of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. The purpose of The Democrat is to provide information to Committee members and other interested persons through district reports, committee reports, news articles, campaign notices and flyers. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate Committee Resolution. How to Submit Material E-mail text and/or photos to email@example.com by 5:00 PM on the third Monday of each month for inclusion in the following month’s issue. Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words. Advertising Ads are welcomed and accepted; however, we reserve the right to reject ads for any reason. No product, service, or event advertised herein is endorsed by The Democrat or the FCDC, unless otherwise noted.