Our October 4th meeting focused on the work we are doing to support progressive candidates in the upcoming Virginia House of Delegates elections. We also discussed several other activities that NOPE is involved in.
Virginia House of Delegates Elections
Debra described our many activities related to helping progressive Democrats win their House of Delegates elections during Virginia's upcoming November 2017 election. She will send a NOPE email with more specific information on how to get involved in the following actions:
Race 4 Democracy Update on Phase 2: Debra reported that Race for Democracy Phase 1, which we held during August and the beginning of September, raised more than $37,000. We have distributed these funds to eight House of Delegates candidates. Race for Democracy Phase 2 has started, and will end on October 15. We hope to raise an additional $15,000. Join Race for Democracy Phase 2 and follow our progress at Race for Democracy.
Canvassing: Let’s get to Virginia! We have lots of opportunities to canvass for progressive Virginia House of Delegates candidates. Debra is working with Swing Left 31st Street and other groups to organize canvassing on Saturdays and Sundays. We also hope to set up a canvassing "launch pad" near the Booeymonger in Friendship Heights.
Get out the Vote: NOPE is involved in several activities to remind Democratic Virginia voters that it is crucial for them to go to the polls on November 7.
Text Campaign - NOPE plans to coordinate with a local organization's text message campaign that is asking folks to text ten of their friends who live in Virginia, and remind them to vote on November 7. More information to follow!
Postcards - We discussed the following two postcard-writing activities:
- Postcards4VA. We have committed to writing, addressing, and mailing 200 postcards to Virginia voters letting them know that their vote matters. encouraging. NOPE! members have already written about 100 postcards. We'll continue to do these individually, in groups, or at our official postcard-writing party (see below).
- Postcard Party for the Campaign for a Family-Friendly Economy. This organization has been working working in New Hampshire to build a better future for working people and a more stable economy by fighting for smart policies that lift New Hampshire families and make stronger communities. The group has come to Virginia to help implement a paid canvassing, direct mail, and postcard campaign to support the Virginia House of Delegates races. Mike P.... came to our meeting to tell us about the postcard-writing campaign. We have committed to holding a postcard writing-party in October.
Jeannie Engel provided an update about the group she started to support our immigrant neighbors:
- Collectively, Neighbors Rising has donated 161 books for elementary school children for a program sponsored by Identity. Identity assists more than 3,000 in-school and out-of-school Latino youth and their families who live in high-poverty areas of Montgomery County and who are most at-risk for poor academic and economic life outcomes. Book donations can be make here: http://a.co/1bhN0YM.
- Neighbors Rising’s recent “Friendraiser” for Identity raised over $2,000 and that was matched by another donor, resulting in over $4,000 of new general support funds for the organization!
- We’re developing new ways to support the Latin American Youth Center, and recently collected sheets, pillows, and towels for our hurricane victim neighbors in Puerto Rico.
- Young Neighbors Rising, a fabulous group of neighbors in their 20s and early 30s, is gearing up for a resource raising campaign – perhaps for soccer equipment for our partner organizations’ teams.
Jean Simons described her goals for a new group that will focus on how we can understand the privileges we have solely because we (that is, most of us in NOPE) are white and how to learn to truly support our African-American neighbors. A meeting will be scheduled in the coming months.
Kathy Stein talked about ways to support Americans for Self-Rule, a non-profit Political Action Committee founded to protect the democratic will of DC residents from Congressional overreach, and to promote the District’s right to independent, democratic self-governance. Under the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Congress has the authority to veto the laws passed by the DC Council. Congressional members are currently threatening DC's autonomy over gun control, death with dignity, reproductive rights, school vouchers, and recreational marijuana. Kathy and Susan Sala have "manned" booths at festivals and fairs across DC to talk to citizens about these issues and to raise funds for American for Self-Rule.
Herd on the Hill offers disenfranchised DC citizens a way to be sure our views are heard on Capitol Hill: we can hand-deliver letters from progressives in other states to their Senators and Representatives! Volunteers meet for lunch once a week and then progress to the Hill to deliver constituent messages. We decided that NOPE will coordinate with Herd on the Hill after the November Virginia elections.