Note on Absentee voting: Absentee voting in Virginia for the November 7th General Election will begin September 22. Check your calendar, and if you will be unable to get to the polls on November 7th for any reason, contact the Registrar’s Office about absentee voting. If you have questions about absentee voting, reply to this e-mail and I will help you find answers.
Note on health care: Now is a good time to be looking carefully at U.S. healthcare, from economic and humanitarian viewpoints. Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare because it is the best health insurance program we have seen — but there is growing awareness of problems that exist with Obamacare, particularly its inability to stem the rising cost of private health insurance and prescription drugs. Currently a much larger percentage of people have health insurance, but many remain in the gap produced by the failure of states to expand Medicaid, as in Virginia and Tennessee. Keep yourself informed on health care, and see how details of the proposed bills would affect you and your friends and family. Here are suggestions for places to start informing yourself on the health care issue:
- In August NPR reported that Senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce a bill for Medicare for All in the Senate in September. Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, has joined as a co-sponsor.
- In the House of Representatives, a well-defined bill for Medicare for All (HR676) was introduced January 24th by Rep. John Conyers, Jr, D-MI, and referred to House committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Natural Resources. On February 10th, the bill was also referred to the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs. This bill currently has 117 cosponsors in the House.
- More facts and statistics in support of single payer are visible on Facebook and Twitter, and the topic is in the news. Search for Medicare for All, Single Payer Health Insurance, etc. on line to find articles in major and trusted sources.
- Look for local presentations on the topic.
State Democrats on the Nov. 7 ballot in Virginia:
- Ralph S. Northam for Governor
- Justin E. Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor
- Mark R. Herring for Attorney General
Local Democrats on the Nov. 7 ballot in Bristol VA:
- Cloe Eva Barker for Commissioner of Revenue
- Joe R. Mink for Sheriff
Our scheduled meetings in September, with a December reminder:
- Monday, September 11: BVDC Committee Meeting at 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., in Bristol, VA.
- Thursday, September 14: Washington County Democratic Committee Meeting at 6 p.m. at The Southwest Virginia 4H Center, 25236 Hillman Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210. Links to FB and contact information is on their website at www:WashCoVADems.org
- Friday, September 15: time and location to be announced, Tim Kaine Breakfast in Abingdon. This is not a fundraiser, but an opportunity to meet Senator Kaine.
- Saturday, September 16: at 9:00 a.m. at the Golden Corral, Exit 7 in Bristol. Good conversation, no agenda. Attendees pay separately for breakfast.
- Monday, September 18: TN-VA Democratic Social at around 5:00 p.m. Due to the Rhythm & Roots Reunion in town Friday-Sunday, a lot of Bristol’s restaurants, including the State Line, will be closed on Monday, Sept. 18. MACADO’ S will be open. and we will meet there. Hope to see Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, etc., at this informal monthly gathering. Whether you are a member of any party or none, drop in sometime around 5. It’s okay to come late, but we are usually heading for home around 7.
- Coming in December, time and date to be announced: We will be electing new members and new officers in the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee. Bristol VA voters who are Democrats, along with like-minded Bristol VA voters, are invited to apply for membership. Come to any of our meetings to socialize and/or get information about membership, committee activities, or issues of the day. Remember that the committee represents you, and the committee is composed of those willing to join together to seek and support candidates for public office.
Hope to see many of you in September!