“Love trumps hate” by FDC chair Caitlin Durham Bennett

According to the University of Mary Washington and the UMW Campus Police, sometime between February 17th the 18th stickers from a group called the Patriot Front appeared on campus. According to the ADL – Anti-Defamation League, the Patriot Front was founded last year as a “white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them” and espouses racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ‘ethnic and cultural origins’ of their European ancestors.” This group also participated in the August 12th “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and are known for participating in “localized ‘flash mobs’ and torch marches/demonstrations.”

On Valentine’s Day, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people, many of them students, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Reports now say Cruz was radicalized online and espoused racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic views and displayed an obsession with violence and guns. Jordan Jereb, a captain of the Republic of Florida – a “white separatist paramilitary proto-fascist organization”, claimed that Cruz trained with the group.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, “the number of white supremacist murders in the United States more than doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year, far surpassing murders committed by domestic Islamic extremists and making 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence since 1970.” Between 2008-2017, 71% of the 387 extremist-related killings in America were caused by Right-Wing Extremists. While these groups are small, there are working hard to radicalize our youth online and recruit on our college campuses, similarly to how foreign terrorists recruit youth in our country.

Last year, Reuters reported that the Trump Administration wanted to “revamp and rename” the FBI’s program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, and change it to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” and the program “would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism.” According to the Hill, “in the final days of the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant program of $10 million in Countering Violent Extremism funding was awarded to 31 different applicants, including several groups dedicated to combating white supremacy and de-radicalizing neo-Nazis. But the Trump administration froze funding for the grants while it reconsidered the applications.” In the end, “funding was pulled for a total of 12 grant recipients — including $400,000 for a group called Life After Hate, which was one of the only original grant recipients focused on fighting far-right extremism” and a $900,000 grant that would have gone toward the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to counter jihadist and white supremacist recruiting.” We must urge our elected officials on Congress to have better oversight to counter these harmful changes that threaten our national security.

It is time stand up against this epidemic in our nation, to reject hate and fascism. I urge fellow Democrats in the City of Fredericksburg to support the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and to join your local NAACP #7069 chapter to help combat hate in our community. We stand with the University of Mary Washington Young Democrats in denouncing this act of intimidation on their campus.

– Caitlin Durham Bennett, Chair Fredericksburg Democratic Committee

Joint Statement from the FDC and SDC on Voters’ Rights

JOINT STATEMENT OF STAFFORD COUNTY AND FREDERICKSBURG DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEES

In the recent election, at least 147 voters in the 28th and 88th House of Delegates Districts were given the wrong ballots because they were improperly assigned to the wrong district.  Multiple media reports show that this problem was well known since at least 2015 but perhaps as far back as 2011.  This is not a “garden-variety error”, this is voter disenfranchisement.

The ability to vote in free and fair elections is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it goes to the very essence of representative government.  Therefore, we call on the Stafford County and Fredericksburg City registrars to work with the Virginia Department of Elections to fix the voter registration files immediately and to establish meaningful ways to audit these files in the future.

We also call for an end to partisan political gerrymandering that allows politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their politicians.  We strongly support civil organizations like OneVirginia 2021 that lead the fight in advocating for nonpartisan redistricting in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Furthermore, we demand that the General Assembly pass meaningful reforms to improve voting accessibility and integrity.  The Washington Post recently estimated that over 6,000 Virginians are registered in the wrong district while the Virginia Department of Elections does not have the budget nor the current authority to audit and fix these issues. Last year, three bills died that would have automatically registered any eligible Virginian to vote upon applying for or renewing a driver’s license.  These bills would have boosted registration rates, cleaned up the rolls, and made voting more convenient all while lowering costs.  Passing these bills should have been common sense!

In this New Year, we have a lot of work to do but we are encouraged by the enthusiasm and energy of our members and the outpouring of support from stakeholders in our communities.  Together, we will achieve these meaningful reforms.  The open and inclusive principles of the Democratic Party demand no less.

In solidarity,

Benjamin M. Litchfield, Chair
Stafford County Democratic Committee

Caitlin Bennett, Chair
Fredericksburg Democratic Committee

Rules for 2018-2019 Reorganization Caucus

  1. The doors of the caucus room will open and the certification process will begin at 7:00 pm on January 10, 2018. An official clock will be identified by the Temporary Chair of the Caucus. This clock will be used for all timekeeping.
  2. The doors to the caucus meeting room will be closed promptly at 7:30 pm. A five minute warning will be issued by the Temporary Chair at 7:25 pm. Persons standing in line to complete a certification form at the time the doors close will be allowed to complete their forms and participate in the caucus.
  3. The Temporary Credentials Committee will be responsible for checking in caucus participants by confirming that they are registered to vote in the district. Every person who participates in the caucus must complete a certification from and sign a statement that says they are a registered voter of the District, a Democrat, and that they do not intend to support a candidate opposed to the Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election.
  4. The caucus will be called to order by the temporary chair. The District chair or his/her designee shall act as the temporary chair.
  5. The first order of business shall be the election of a permanent chair.
  6. The permanent chair shall appoint the permanent caucus secretary.
  7. The chair shall call upon the Temporary Credentials Committee for a report of the number of credentialed participants in the caucus.
  8. The chair shall thereupon offer a report on Temporary Rules. Upon a motion for adoption, the Temporary Rules may be amended from the floor (but must comply with the Call to Convention), put to a vote, and adopted.
  9. Immediately prior to the distribution of ballots, the permanent chair shall ask if there are any slates to be recognized. Only those slates properly prefiled as a slate of delegates on or before the deadline will be recognized as such. First name, middle initial, and last name of each of those properly prefiled shall be listed on the caucus ballot in alphabetical order. They must also be numbered. A slate may be presented on the ballot and designates as “Slate A,” “Slate B,” etc. It is prohibited to give any preferential treatment to any slate and none will be listed as the “official slate.” Each slate will be announced and the names of the members of each slate read by the chair.
  10. Ballots will be distributed only to those persons who have submitted a registration form per the Call to Caucus.
  11. Caucus participants will be instructed by the chair as to the maximum number of delegate and/or alternate candidates for whom they may vote. Those wishing to vote for a slate may mark only the slate in the appropriate space provided. Ballots showing votes of more delegates than is allowed will be declared invalid. If a slate is offered which does not contain the maximum number of delegates, a participant may vote for the slate simply by marking in the appropriated space and then mark the names of the other candidates listed in alphabetical order so long as the maximum number is not violated. Slates may also include alternates.
  12. Caucus participants may vote for individual delegate candidates by placing an “X” beside the appropriate name. They may vote for a slate by placing an “X” on the slate space provided on the ballot.
  13. Alternates elected shall be those persons receiving the next highest number of votes from the delegates, unless they have prefiled on a slate to be an alternate.  
  14. A tellers committee, representative of the assembly, shall be appointed by the chair to collect and count the ballots. Each candidate is entitled to have one representative who will observe the tellers committee count the ballots.
  15. Upon collection of the ballots, the caucus meeting shall stand in recess until the tellers committee has reported its count to the chair. The tellers committee shall report directly to the chair who will announce the vote. The number of ballots may not exceed the number of credentialed participants as reported by the Credentials Committee.
  16. Upon the announcement of the results and the collection of all documentation, the caucus will adjourn.
  17. The official ballot will be marked with the word “official” at the top. The names of all delegate candidates will be listed in alphabetical order and numbered. Space will be provided at the bottom portion of the ballot for any pre-filed slate of delegates and alternates.
  18. Tie votes will be decided by the flip of a coin.

Call to Caucus for Reorganization

CALL TO CAUCUS FOR LOCAL COMMITTEE REORGANIZATION
FREDERICKSBURG DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

January 10, 2018

 

Pursuant to the authority provided by the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee hereby calls an assembled caucus beginning at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7 PM) on January 10, 2018 at the Fredericksburg Veterans of Foreign Wars (2701 Princess Anne St).  The purpose of the caucus will be to elect the new members of the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee.

I. Candidate Filing:

Each person seeking to become a member of the Committee shall file a Declaration of Candidacy form with the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee Chair.  Filings shall be made from 7 AM on December 21, 2017 until 7 PM on January 10, 2018 using the form linked here. Only those candidates who have timely and properly filed a Declaration of Candidacy form will have their names placed in nomination.

 

II. Notice:

The Fredericksburg Democratic Committee shall provide notice of this caucus by placement of a general notice of the caucus, including noticing the caucus date, time, and location, along with the Call to Caucus, on the Democratic Party of Virginia, the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee websites; by email notification to the members of the Fredericksburg Democrats who reside in the City of Fredericksburg; and through other reasonable means that will disseminate information about the caucus to registered voters in the City of Fredericksburg. In addition, reasonable actions shall be taken to promote participation in the caucus in accordance with the Affirmative Action provisions of the Party Plan of the DPVA.

III. Participation:

Every Democrat who is a registered voter in the City of Fredericksburg is urged to attend and participate. Each participant must sign a written declaration the he or she:

  • Is a Democrat and not a member of any other political party;
  • Does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the upcoming Election;
  • Has not participated in and will not participate in the nominating process of any other party for this election; and
  • Is registered to vote in the City of Fredericksburg.

Affirmative Action:

It shall be the duty and goal of all members of the Fredericksburg Committee to seek out and encourage the broadest possible participation within the committee, and in its membership, of all duly qualified citizen without regard to race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic identity, disability, or economic status.

IV. Conduct of Caucus

The doors to the caucus will open at 7 PM and will close at 7:30 PM and no further persons will be permitted to enter. Those in line will be permitted to complete the check-in process and will be permitted to participate.

The Chair of the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, or his or her designee, shall be the Temporary Chair of the Caucus and shall appoint a Temporary Secretary and such other Officers of the Caucus as is deemed appropriate. The Fredericksburg Democratic Committee will prepare Temporary Rules for the Caucus. Participants will adopt permanent Rules for the Caucus.

ADOPTED:

December 20, 2017                    Jason Graham, Chair, Fredericksburg Democratic Committee

Paid for by the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee

Resolutions Committee Report for 12/13/17

LETTER TO FDC MEMBERSHIP

Dec 13, 2017

From the FDC Resolutions Committee:

We have defined criteria for resolutions and have written two that address issues that are important to us all. Attached find please find these two resolutions (watershed and solar) that meet the criteria for well-designed resolutions. Please read them and think about them: They will be proposed to the FDC for a vote at a later date.  More resolutions will be forthcoming before the Congressional District 1 convention/caucus this spring.

Please contact Rob Roberson <rob at michaelroberson dot com> of the Resolutions Committee to share issues that you believe support the core values of FDC.

CRITERIA FOR RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Single issue, clearly stated
  2. Factual statement of issue, concern, or problem
  3. Citation of credible source for issue definition
  4. Clear statement of connection to Virginia
  5. Statement of potential state agencies (future) responsibility
  6. Clear statement of rational approach to solution or amelioration

WATERSHED PROTECTION

The Fredericksburg Democratic Committee Endorses Policies to Protect the Natural Environment of The Commonwealth of Virginia

Whereas,

The fundamental values of American democracy since the Founding of our Nation, include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  These values demand that the rights of individuals must not be abridged during the development and improvement of our society.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, being blessed by abundant natural beauty and tranquility, has long been the sought-after location for living in concert with nature.  Careful stewardship of natural resources has mostly succeeded in balancing individual rights with economic imperatives. Maturation of scientific means of monitoring and understanding changes in environments and their potential and real effects on life as expected in Virginia make it clear that this balance cannot continue without change in approach to exploitation for commercial benefit.

Coal mining, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, agricultural side-effects, are damaging ecosystems and polluting water supplies, constituting serious threats to the health and well-being of citizens.  The Rappahannock River is now listed as endangered by American Rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay is only now showing significant recovery from near-catastrophic pollution. Recent and proposed new Federal regulation changes threaten the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Therefore, be it resolved, the Convention:

That the Commonwealth enact laws and support regulations to control and ultimately eliminate contamination due to coal ash management and runoff, due to chemical incursion into streams, rivers and subsurface aquifers, due to agricultural fertilizer runoff, and further to prohibit dangerous techniques such as hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas bearing shale deposits.


SOLAR ENERGY

The Fredericksburg Democratic Committee Endorses Policies to Protect the Natural Environment of The Commonwealth of Virginia

Whereas,

The fundamental values of American democracy since the Founding of our Nation, include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  These values demand that the rights of individuals must not be abridged during the development and improvement of our society.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, being blessed by abundant natural beauty and tranquility, has long been the sought-after location for living in concert with nature.  Careful stewardship of natural resources has mostly succeeded in balancing individual rights with economic imperatives. Maturation of scientific means of monitoring and understanding changes in environments and their potential and real effects on life as expected in Virginia (and the earth at large) make it clear that this balance cannot continue without rapid and aggressive actions to reduce production of hydrocarbon contamination of the atmosphere.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report, (6/28/17) known as the National Climate Assessment Report (NCAP4) confirms and extends the warnings of NCAP3. NCAP4 was prepared by 13 Federal Agencies, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and written by 32 distinguished scientists as lead authors, 19 as contributing authors. The essential conclusion of these scientists and agencies is that “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.  For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”  (https://science2017.globalchange.gov)

Solar energy is a proven and rapidly improving technology which is becoming a successful alternative to fossil fueled generation of electricity. Customer-owned, both residential and commercial, solar energy systems are a leading means for adoption of this important green energy technology.

Therefore, be it resolved, the Convention:

That the Commonwealth enact laws and support regulations to incentivize and otherwise promote installation of residential and commercial solar energy systems.

Upcoming Coordinated Campaign Field Action opportunities

Want to DO SOMETHING to help get our Candidates Elected this November?

Upcoming Coordinated Campaign Field Action opportunities: 
Contact for all events is Brian McLenigen at bmclenigan@vavictory17.org  or mobile 571.723.8373

Canvasses
Saturday, 8/19, 9:45am, 13402 Perimeter Dr., 22407

Saturday, 8/19, Noon, 618 Kenmore Ave., 22401
Sunday, 8/20, 3pm, 7 Baldwin Dr., 22406
Saturday, 8/26, 10am, 5105 McManus Dr., 22407
Sunday, 8/27, Noon – 6pm, 1000 Snowden Hills Blvd., 22401
Saturday, 9/2, 9:45, Salem Church Library, 2607 Salem Church Rd, 22407
Sunday, 9/3, 3pm, 7 Baldwin Dr., 22406
Saturday, 9/16, 10am, 5105 McManus Dr., 22407

 

Phone Banks
Thursday, 8/17, 6pm– 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406
Saturday, 8/19, 9:30am – 11:30am, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406
Wednesday, 8/23, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, 519 Winterberry Dr., 22405
Thursday, 8/24, 6pm– 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406
Saturday, 8/26, 9:30am – 11:30am, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St., 22401
Tuesday, 8/29, 4pm – 8pm, 10010 Sandwedge Ct, 22408
Wednesday, 8/30, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, 519 Winterberry Dr., 22405
Thursday, 8/31, 6pm– 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Saturday, 9/2, 9:30am – 11:30am, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406
Thursday, 9/7, 6pm – 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Saturday, 9/9, 9:30am – 11:30am, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Thursday, 9/14, 6pm – 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Saturday, 9/16, 9:30am – 11:30am, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Wednesday, 9/20, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, 519 Winterberry Dr., 22405

Thursday, 9/21, 6pm – 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Saturday, 9/23, 9:30am – 11:30am, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

Thursday, 9/28, 6pm – 8pm, England Run Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., 22406

 

Statement on the Tragedy in Charlottesville

Please see below for a statement on the events in Charlottesville from our Chair:

I am shocked and saddened by the violence and terrorism in Charlottesville. My heart is with everyone affected by this senseless tragedy and I wish for a speedy recovery to all who were injured. Make no mistake: The hatred on display this weekend does not represent our Commonwealth or our country and I stand with leaders across the political spectrum in denouncing both the actions and ideology of white supremacists. The pathetic cowardice of a small, ignorant group reminds us that we must combat bigotry and racism wherever we find it. Now is the time to show the world that Virginians are people full of both love and resolve. We must work tirelessly in the name of equality to ensure that America’s promise continues to hold true. The events from this weekend will long remain heavy in our hearts, but we will not succumb. We will march forward, fighting for a world that treats all its people with respect, dignity, and grace.

Unity Day

Join Fredericksburg Democrats to celebrate unity among local groups as we kickoff the last six weeks of the campaign season.

Music, food, and kids’ activities will be provided.

Saturday, September 16 from Noon to 4:00 pm at Alum Spring Park.