February 8, 2019
To all Roanoke Democrats:

Just like you, we have watched with sadness the events that have played out this week in Richmond. We felt it important to let you all know that we remain committed to what is important, which is the implementation of public policy that benefits all of us, regardless of political party, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, ableness or circumstances of birth. While we promote candidates for office, we do so with the knowledge that no individual is more important than the ultimate goals, and that office holders, as much as we may come to like them, are but vessels for the pursuit of those goals. Though we have been deeply disappointed in the behavior of some of our highest elected officials, we know that there are many able and dedicated public servants in Virginia who, at some point, will take the place of the current office holders. While we stand behind our earlier call for Gov. Northam’s resignation, which we believe would be the first step toward healing of our commonwealth, we, the foot-soldiers of the Democratic Party cannot force the needed change to occur on a specific schedule.

We will therefore focus on the important work that we can do. We have elections every year in Virginia, and this year’s elections are especially important. All members of the General Assembly (House and Senate) are up for election this fall. Democrats stand one seat short of a tie, and two seats short of a majority in both chambers. All of our policy objectives will be advanced by winning additional seats in the legislature, and all of them will suffer if we do not. If that were not enough, the legislature we elect this fall will have responsibility for drawing the districts to be used for the next 10 years. We will field a strong slate of progressive-minded candidates for these positions, and they need assistance, as do we as a committee. We welcome volunteers as well as monetary donations, and we are already hard at work setting the stage for a successful election year. We meet the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., and welcome new members. If you can help, please message us, or watch for the next meeting announcement. This is a time for all of us who care about economic and social justice, about protecting our planet, about preserving our democratic institutions, about educating the next generation of leaders, about addressing drug abuse and gun violence, and many more to come together to do the work of creating a better Virginia. With your help, we will. Roanoke City Democrats vote every day.

Stephen Niamke, Chair
Beth Deel, Vice-chair
Chris Fury, Secretary
Ryan LaFountain, Treasurer

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