[COMM-ORG] Virginia Organizing Project July Newsletter

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Mon Aug 2 10:07:07 CDT 2010

  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 
Wall Street!

Balance Virginia!

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

Donate Now

*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 
reform implementation.

*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

Local Chapters





*Northern Virginia

*Newport   News/Hampton Roads

*South Hampton Roads


*Shenandoah Valley

*Washington County

*Lee County



*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."

©2010 Virginia Organizing Project, 703 Concord Ave. Charlottesville, VA 
22903 434-984-4655

More information about the Colist mailing list