I was happy to be one of several Democrats from around the Ninth District who met at the Highlands Democratic Resource Center in Abingdon to count petition signatures for Anthony Flaccavento and Justin Santopietro, who will be on the ballot in the June 12th Democratic Primary in the Ninth District, which includes Bristol Virginia, and most of Southwest Virginia. This is the first Democratic Congressional Primary in the Ninth District in my long memory!
The news release on the Ninth District website says, and I can personally verify, that both candidates have been reaching out to voters across the district for months, and that it is apparent that people are recognizing the genuine care they have for folks in the district and the serious issues we face.
Democrats across the Ninth are energized and excited about these candidates! I hope that you can come out and meet them and get to know them if you have not already. Check out our April calendar newsletter that will be posted tomorrow for opportunities to meet the candidates. If you want to be included in notifications on the calendar, meetings and candidate visits, send e-mail to BVDCCalendar@gmail.com
Times and locations have yet to be announced, but there will be four candidate forums with the candidates for nomination for Virginia’s Ninth District seat in Congress. Save these dates so you can attend one or two of the forums:
- January 27 (Pennington Gap, Justin Soto moderator),
- February 24 (Clifton Forge, Sen. Creigh Deeds moderator),
- March 24 (Martinsville, Carmen Forman moderator),
- April 21 (Wytheville, David Bailey moderator).
These area events are on the calendar, celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr Day and the legacy of Dr. King:
- Thursday, January 11, 4:30 and 6:00 pm: Unity Project, a conversation about community and diversity at Bristol YWCA.
- Friday, January 12 at 5:30 pm. Movie, Hidden Figures and “Talk Back”. E&H Wiley Auditorium.
- Saturday, January 13, 1:30 pm: Annual MLK March from Charles Wesley UMC to Abingdon UMC
- Saturday, January 13, 2:00 pm: Annual MLK Celebration at Abingdon UMC
- Sunday, January 14, Lee Street Baptist Church, 4 to 5:30 pm
- Sunday, January 14 Emory and Henry College Memorial Chapel, 6-9:00pm. Tunnel of Oppression
- Monday, January 15, Kingsport, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Parade participates will need to assemble at 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of E. Sevier & Center Street (Rikki Rhoton Allstate Insurance Co.’s Parking Lot). Kingsport: 11:30 Parade, lunch at community center, 6 pm candlelight vigil.
- Monday, January 15, Johnson City 12:30th a 1:30 celebration at Greater Love Church.
- Monday, January 15, Bristol The Legacy Lives! Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. Bristol TN/VA will hold a community-wide march and celebration on Monday, January 15 in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Legacy Lives will begin at 1:30 pm with gathering at the YMCA, Bristol TN or First Christian Church, Bristol VA. The groups will walk to the Bristol Trainstation, meeting under the sign for photos before entering the station. A program will begin at the Trainstation at 2:30 featuring video interviews, readings from Dr. King, and music. Refreshments will follow. Handicap and senior parking will be reserved in the Trainstation parking lot. Call the YWCA, 423-968-9444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- Monday, January 15 at 9:30am. MLK keynote speaker for Emory and Henry. E&H MCA Kennedy-Reedy Theater – other workshops and events follow on that day.
Again, thank you to all who attended the reorganizational caucus! We have our membership and officers for the 2018-2019 term, as listed in an earlier post. Our committee remains small, and new membership interest is still welcome.
Many thanks to Anthony Flaccavento for coming to be with us at our last regular committee meeting. We had a good turnout and a lively discussion, and there is energy behind his campaign for U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia 9th District. Make a donation or volunteer here.
Congratulations to our new Virginia team, Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring. They know that we expect great things! In addition, we elected many Democrats to the legislature this past November, which is hopeful news for Medicaid expansion in Virginia!. In May 2018 we will have an opportunity to elect local officials who will work on issues important to Bristol residents, and in November 2018 we will re-elect Tim Kaine to the U.S. Senate, and elect a Democrat to represent the Ninth District in the U.S. House of representatives.
Here are our events for January 2018:
- Saturday January 6: Thank you to VA 9th CD Chair Deb Baum for this information. “We’re celebrating our 2017 election victories just before the events in Richmond on the 13th. Proceeds to support the election (and re-election) of Democrats in Virginia’s Fightin’ 9th CD.”
- dress: blue jeans & ball gowns (casual to dressy)
- Saturday, January 6, 2018 7-10 pm
- Virginia Ballroom – The Community Center of Abingdon (300 Senior Dr NE, Abingdon, VA 24210; map, click here)
- tickets $25/person, click here, other contribution levels appreciated (ticket includes admittance, appetizers & light fare)
- cash bar (wine & beer)
- flyer, click here
- Facebook, click here
- Monday, January 8: Committee Meeting at 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., in Bristol, VA.
- Saturday, January 13: Ralph Northam Inaugural Ball in Richmond, VA. Before they sell out, click here to buy your tickets to Governor-elect Northam’s Inaugural Ball on Saturday, January 13, at 8 p.m. in Richmond! They’re going fast, so hurry!
- Monday, January 15: TN-VA Democratic Social at around 5:00 p.m. at the State Line Bar and Grille, 644 E. State St., Bristol, TN, 37620. This is an informal meeting of Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, and our political friends and cousins. Attendees order and pay for food and drinks individually, but the conversation is free.
- Saturday, January 20: Breakfast with Democrats, at 9:00 a.m. at the Golden Corral, Exit 7 in Bristol, Virginia. Good food, great conversation, no agenda, guests welcome. Attendees pay separately for breakfast.
Thank you for your responses to the Calendar e-mail! Hope to see you at one of our events in January!
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Reorganization yesterday evening. We now have our membership for the 2018-2019 term. Our new Chair is Carl Williams, and Bernard Via is returning as Vice Chair. It is still possible to join the committee during the term by attending a regular meeting and submitting a membership form.
Current members of the BVDC hope that local Democrats will attend the 2017 Reorganization and become members or renew their membership. We especially need new members at this time. If you are a voter in Bristol Virginia who wants to work with us, please come and take part in the Reorganization. It is at this local level that you can have the most effect in local, state, and national politics. New members will be eligible to be nominated as committee officers in January and to apply as delegates to state and national conventions where future nominees for office are elected.
Here is information on exactly what the Reorganization is and how it works:
- What is the Reorganization? In local Democratic committees, the Reorganization Caucus, a mass meeting where old memberships are renewed and new members are accepted, happens every two years. New officers will be elected at the next regular committee meeting, in January of the new year, or if time is available and nominations are ready, at a called meeting immediately following the Reorganization Caucus.
- What is special about this particular Reorganization? The new and continuing members and officers elected will serve during 2018-2019, will be on board for the presidential election year activities, and will be able to apply to represent the committee at the state and national conventions.
- What if I am not a Democrat? You do not have to be (or become) a member of the BVDC or any Democratic Committee to be a Democrat. In Virginia, it is impossible for you to be a registered Democrat, because voter registration is not by party affiliation. We understand you to be a Democrat if you believe as we do in human rights, economic justice, equality under the law, education, health insurance and health care, gender equality, conservation and environmental issues, and several other important issues related to how government is supposed to work for people. As the BVDC, we represent at local, regional, state, and federal all people who share our perspective in these issues who reside in our city. You don’t have to agree with us on everything, and we sometimes have lively discussions among ourselves on the issues. However, as a group, we have respect for people, data, science, history, and government that works for people. You are welcome to join, or just to visit, contribute, and work with us for these important shared goals.
- How can I get the details and participation form? Read, download, and submit the Participation form or attend the Caucus. Read the details here: Call to Caucus and the Participation form
- When is the Reorganization? It will be at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., Bristol, Virginia. The location is ADA accessible. Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. Doors will close at 6:30 p.m., but all persons standing in line to register at 6:30 will be admitted for registration.
- What will happen at the Reorganization? Democrats residing in Bristol Virginia will come to the meeting, fill out a registration form, introduce themselves, and be voted in as members of the BVDC. After members are elected, the agenda for the January meeting will be distributed and the Reorganization Caucus will be adjourned. You can download the Caucus Temporary Rules and Agendas. The rules and agendas are temporary, and may be amended at the caucus by the newly-elected members before becoming the permanent Rules and Agendas.
- Who is invited to the Reorganization? All Democrats who registered to vote in Bristol Virginia are invited and encouraged to attend. (You can register to vote at City Hall, 300 Lee St, Bristol Virginia. Go in the front door and turn left, and you will see the window of General Registrar Penny Limburg’s office. Go to the window, and someone will assist you with voter registration.)
- What does the BVDC do? We have regular monthly business meetings, at which voting members are expected to attend. We also have a monthly social at the State Line Bar and Grill on State Street,attended by Democrats from Tennessee and surrounding Virginia locations along with BVDC members and friends. We have a monthly breakfast at the Golden Corral in Bristol, where guests and visiting speakers are invited. We open a local headquarters during presidential election years, make phone calls to voters, distribute literature, set up a booth at Border Bash, participate in Ninth Congressional District, State, and national party events and initiatives, and work together to keep up with the issues, find people who are interested in running for elected office, and help Democrats get elected to office.
- How can I find out more about the BVDC? Visit our Facebook page (“Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee”), or attend Reorganization or any announced meeting, social, or breakfast, using dates available on our Calendar. You can place your name on our e-mail newsletter distribution by sending a request to email@example.com.