[COMM-ORG] Virginia Organizing Project July Newsletter
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From: Virginia Organizing Project <e-action at virginia-organizing.org>
Virginia Organizing Project
July 2010 News From the
Celebrate VOP's 15th Anniversary With Us!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Linwood Holton Elementary School
1600 West Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 3227
http://virginia-organizing.org/content/celebrate-us More details...
Finally, a Victory for Main Street
By: Kevin Simowitz
Now that President Barack Obama has signed the Financial Reform bill
into law, VOP is celebrating another victory over high-priced lobbyists
and special interest groups. After Wall Street firms and big banks
helped crash the economy, we worked in support of Congress's efforts to
increase regulation and hold big financial firms accountable for their
actions. Protecting consumers with a new, independent advocate and
demanding transparency from institutions that trade derivatives, the
bill passed by Congress prioritizes the financial security of small
businesses and families over firms that once recklessly claimed to be
"too big to fail."
VOP's statewide membership, working with a wide range of groups, again
allowed us to help make it clear to our Congressional delegation that we
need increased accountability in our financial system. Helping place
op-eds and letters to the editor in newspapers from Richmond to Roanoke,
we educated readers about the strengths of the legislation, and held
lobby visits with the staff of Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner to
voice our support for reform. Congratulations to all the VOP members
who helped win another round in the struggle between Main Street and
Lots of new people are learning about the unfair system of taxation in
Virginia and taking action! The Fredericksburg Chapter is collecting
petitions to the General Assembly to press for a more balanced approach
to the state budget process. Tax and budget workshops were also held in
Martinsville, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Chesapeake,
Falls Church and Fredericksburg.
VOP leaders attended America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Reality in
Richmond. This all-day event was networked with 19 similar conversations
across the country to discuss the federal budget deficit, spending and
tax priorities. VOP took the opportunity to pass out flyers and speak
out on the need for a balanced approach to the budget.
Cuccinelli Tries to Deny Virginia Health Care
By: Mark Ryan, M.D.
On July 1, I walked past many mounted and plain clothes police and stood
in front of the federal courthouse in Richmond as Attorney General Ken
Cuccinelli's office made its opening arguments in a lawsuit challenging
the health care reform law's constitutionality. The large police
presence was in response to a group of health care advocates, myself
included, organized by the Virginia Organizing Project. We came together
at a media conference outside the courthouse to oppose Cuccinelli's
absurd lawsuit. We stood together to oppose Cuccinelli's attempt to
attack a law that will hold the health insurance industry accountable
and ensure that all Americans will have access to health care.
News in Brief
*VOP had a table at the first-ever Peninsula Gay Pride Festival,
sponsored by St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hampton.
*The Williamsburg Chapter held meetings with School Board members,
developing support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to
the list of categories protected under the nondiscrimination policy.
*VOP leader Jill Carson helped lead a workshop on community organizing
and VOP for 150 Appalachian Service Project staff members going to work
in central Appalachia this summer.
*VOP was represented at the Southern Health Partners meeting with
Community Catalyst in Atlanta and presented on our work with health care
*VOP Charlottesville has been knocking on hundreds of doors registering
voters and garnering support for the Local Jobs for America Act.
Pass it on
Forward to a friend
*Newport News/Hampton Roads
*South Hampton Roads
*On Campus: W&M, UMW, VSU, UVA, CNU, E&H, U of R
http://twitter.com/vop411 Follow VOP on Twitter!
VOP Leader of the Month: Ernest Williams
One afternoon Ernest Williams received a knock on his door from
organizer Nik Belanger. Nik asked him about the issues he cared about
and Ernest resoundingly said jobs. As a longtime resident of Danville,
Ernest has seen the city booming and has also seen a decline due to the
loss of manufacturing jobs in the area.
Ernest put in 40 years driving a tractor-trailer and has seen much of
the country. His perspective is defined by his experience traveling the
open road but even more so by what he sees when he walks out his front
door. Ernest has seen many people unemployed locally and notes the
disastrous domino effect joblessness can have on an entire community.
That is what motivated Ernest to open his door to VOP and get involved
with the campaign for the Local Jobs for America Act. Ernest has been
highly active in the campaign and has addressed City Council, had an
op-ed published and has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the need
for jobs. "I work with VOP because it gets to the heart of things and
gets in the trenches," said Williams. "We can be the voice for people
who cannot speak for themselves. Because someone has to speak up or else
they will ignore us."
Â©2010 Virginia Organizing Project, 703 Concord Ave. Charlottesville, VA
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