Local Strike at the Christiansburg Target

This guest report comes courtesy of Charles Simpson.  He was asked to put together a post about the recent strike at Target in Christiansburg.  One of the strongest values of the Democratic party is a pro-union sentiment as outlined in the party platform. Local efforts to organize are important and are fundamental to creating a fair and safe working environment. Mr. Simpson is one of our most active members and is heavily involved in local union activity. We here at the Roanoke City Democratic Committee Blog reached out to Mr. Simpson for his comments on the recent events which are as follows:

Target Workers Strike
by Charles Simpson

Target store employees in Christiansburg VA went on strike from Tuesday August 22nd through Sunday August 27th.  The reasons behind this labor action was due to the store’s General Manager Daniel Butler’s years-long abuse. Worker testimonies included instances of inappropriate touching, suggestive comments, racist remarks, misgendering of transgender employees, and physical abuse.

These coworkers strategically planned for this event well in advance by talking with different government agencies and legal groups to determine the best courses of action.  There was/is always a possibility of the striking workers being disciplined for their actions but up until this point that has not occurred.

The rallies on the public sidewalk in front of the Target Store ran each day from 10am-6pm.  These brave individuals gained support from various labor unions, the VA AFL-CIO, progressive organizations, local students as well as the general public.  It was truly inspiring to see the rally of grassroots support for their fight. On Sunday the group leafleted tech campus asking all new students to boycott the Target store when the “College Shopping Extravaganza” was planned where college students are shuttled into the area to stock up for the class year.  

The strikers are reporting back to work as of Monday August 28th but they plan to continue to keep the movement going with regular press events and more grassroots actions.

Please read more about the strike and see workers testimonials at www.nrvstrike.org

Have a topic you’re passionate about? Want to contribute to our blog? Contact the editor at blog@roanokedems.com

What Side We Must Stand On


(image source
)

In lifetimes a few moments hang like crystals in front of a window. They reflect,  refract, and color the rest of a timeline. One watches these moments – sparkling and sharp – and imagines them in the history books. The recent events in Charlottesville are such a moment.

Any discussion on the events must – if one is to be on the right side of history – begin with this: What happened in Charlottesville is not defensible in any way, shape, or form. This is not an issue with “many sides” as our President initially claimed: It is an issue with one side which marched through the streets throwing Nazi salutes, chanting racist and anti-Semitic epithets and one side that resisted them. Among the crowd that celebrated hate and fascism there were many prominent members of the so called “alt-right” as well as some members of more traditional conservative organizations such as the WSU president of College Republicans.

The Roanoke City Democratic Committee unreservedly condemns those in Charlottesville who were there as, or in support of, the white supremacist terrorists. We are committed to supporting and protecting those in our community whom such terrorists would seek to harm. The Roanoke City Democratic Committee believes that all of Virginia – including Roanoke – should be a welcoming and safe place to live for all minorities. Additionally, we must note – in recognition of the particular tone and content of the terrorism that occurred this weekend – that we especially want to emphasize our commitment to providing a welcoming and safe environment to members of our community who are black and/or Jewish.

We invite anyone who is interested in joining us in the endeavor of supporting and protecting minorities in Virginia to join us this Thursday for our general meeting. We will be meeting at 6 P.M. at the Co-Lab in Grandin Village. We hope to see you here.

Get Your Donkey to the Polls!

Roanoke City Democratic Committee is unveiling our 2017 Slogan, and we’re very excited to offer you a chance to carry it around on your arm.  The official Roanoke City Democratic Committee Tote Bag!  Available only to RECURRING donors and available only through this link.

(We learned from NPR aka The Best! :P)

The tote bags are union made, union printed, and will have a union bug.

Roanoke City has a proven history of electing Democrats – we have Del. Sam Rasoul representing a large portion of the city in the Virginia House of Delegate, we have Sen. John Edwards representing us in the Virginia Senate.  We are proud to have Democrat Sherman Lea as our Mayor, and on the Town Council, we have Vice-Mayor Anita Price and Dr. David Trinkle.  In addition, we have constitutional officers Evelyn Powers as City Treasurer, and Sheriff Tim Allen, both of which have elections in November.

We also have some amazing candidates who are running for office in November, and we need to support them.  Djuna Osborne – social worker and Women’s March leader running for Virginia Delegate seat in HoD 11, and Melvin Hill, running for a Commonwealth Attorney.  Close by, we have Stephen McBride, running in HoD District 8.

What we don’t have is a steady stream of income, and frankly… we need it.  We have yard signs to purchase and hand out, we need to be handing over cash to our Democratic candidates, we need to be holding events such as Town Halls and Rallies for our candidates.    We need to be canvassing and getting supplies for canvassers at our coordinated campaign office.

And that’s why we are asking you to give the same amount per month you would spend on a cup at Sweet Donkey CoffeeHouse.  We have GOT to elect more Democrats in SW Virginia, and campaigns are not cheap.

We’re pretty excited to have swag for our recurring donors.  And the best part is – you can give us money even if you don’t live in Roanoke City!  That’s right!  Democrats up in NoVa can help get SW Virginia Democrats elected by helping fund local committees.  I will happily send you a bag no matter where you live. 🙂  After all, we ALL want to get our donkeys to the polls!

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 8 – MAY 14

Interested in having a voice in the local, Roanoke City, progressive movement and want to make a difference? Lots of great stuff happening this week:

On Monday, the Roanoke City Democrats Committee (RCDC) Fundraising meeting is at 6:00pm at the Grandin Co-lab. We need people with ideas and who want to help raise funds to support the election of our candidates.

On Wednesday, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee for the RCDC is meeting at 6:00pm at the Grandin Co-lab. This group is concerned with the RCDC website, Facebook and Messaging. Folks with graphics arts, photography, communications, writing and computer skills are needed!

On Thursday, The RCDC and Women’s March on Roanoke are holding a Canvass Training event at 7:00pm at the Grandin Co-lab. We are working to outreach to folks generally only vote in presidential elections and activate them to vote for our candidates.

Sign up for the event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1865066803758965/

On Saturday, Djuna Osborne, a House of Delegate Candidate in Roanoke City and one of the leaders of the Women’s March is having her first canvassing Day of Action!

Sign up for the event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1871075626442676/

On Sunday, There is the Pickin’ with Periello campaign event in Rocky Mount at Four Corners Farm.

Sign up for the event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/202219433627408/

Let us know if we’ve missed anything, by emailing admin@roanokedems.com  This is an exciting time to share democratic, progressive principles in our region!

CANVASS TRAINING

The Roanoke City Democratic Committee, in conjunction with the Women’s March in Roanoke, is hosting canvass training this Thursday, March 11, 7:00pm – 9:00pm at the Grandin Co-Lab.

We are looking to reach out to voters who only vote in presidential elections and understand their motivation.  We want to activate folks who want Democratic Party representation and get them involved in the process of winning back our House of Delegates and maintaining the Governorship.

This is a critical step in reforming our region and electing Democrats, and we need your help!

Sign up here

CALL TO CAUCUS TO ELECT DELEGATES FOR CENTRAL REORGANIZATION

The Roanoke City Democratic Committee has posted the process for reorganizing our congressional district committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia.   This important caucus will allow members of the party to select folks to sit on the district committee.   These people will become part of the State Party Central Committee, and the chairs of the Congressional Districts shall sit on the State Party Steering Committee.

These are important positions, and we need active participation in order to make our party strong.

Find out more about this process and how you can participate.

The Pre-Filling deadline is Monday, April 24th and the Caucus is on Saturday, April 29th, so please hurry!