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.

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Q & A on Reorganization at BVDC

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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
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Reorganization 2017

The Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee invites Democrats registered to vote in Bristol Virginia to a Caucus for Reorganization on December 11th, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse. Details here. New and returning members will be elected to the committee for membership during the period from January 2018 through December 2019.

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November reminders

The election pretty much erased all other matters from my mind, so I am sending the reminder early this month. First the election, then the reorganization, then the meeting dates in November:

The Election

Thank you to everyone who helped facilitating the election and supporting candidates! My appreciation of folks who give their time on Election Day grows each time I observe this process. I saw many of you at the polls as candidates, Officers of Election, staff workers, campaign volunteers, and voters. Many thanks to all who participated.

Congratulations to our state and local Democrats for strong campaigns and significant wins. We are returning a powerful team of caring and talented leaders to Richmond, along with a group of Delegates who will stand up for people. This election gives hope to Virginians on many issues, including among others health care, clean air and water, changing technology, adequate income from work, education of children and young adults, training for employment, fair representation in redistricting in 2021, continued advance of diversity and recognition and inclusion, and healing of divisions. Here locally we elected an experienced and capable person to the Commissioner of Revenue office.

  • Ralph S. Northam was elected Governor of Virginia.
  • Justin E. Fairfax was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
  • Mark R. Herring was re-elected Attorney General of Virginia.
  • Cloe Eva Barker was elected Bristol Virginia Commissioner of Revenue
  • Joe R. Mink lost his bid for Bristol Virginia Sheriff. A campaign loss is always disappointing, but we look forward to working with Joe in the future. We appreciate Joe’s willingness to serve and his courage in placing himself on the ballot.

We have much to be thankful for this holiday season, and we look forward to local elections in May for 3 Council seats and 3 School Board seats.


As we previewed in September, the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee has a reorganizational meeting every two years in odd-numbered years, so we will be doing reorganization at our December meeting in 2017. The November meeting will include planning for reorganization, so we need all voting members to be present.

At reorganization we will elect new members and new officers in the committee. Our committee sends delegates to the regional, state, and national conventions and events, meets for social events and a monthly business meeting, organizes special events, hosts visiting candidates for state offices, and supports Democrats for local offices. We also cooperate with other local and regional organizations in support of candidates and issues. All Bristol Virginia voters who would like to work with us to nominate and elect Democrats are encouraged to attend and apply for membership. Reply to this e-mail if you have questions.

Meeting Dates:

  • Monday, November 13: BVDC Committee Meeting at 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., in Bristol, VA. This is an important planning meeting, and we will need voting members to be present.
  • Saturday, November 18: Breakfast with Democrats, at 9:00 a.m. at the Golden Corral, Exit 7 in Bristol, Virginia. No agenda, guests welcome. Attendees order and pay separately.
  • Monday, November 20: TN-VA Democratic Social at around 5:00 p.m. at the State Line Bar and Grille, 644 E. State St., Bristol, TN, 37620. An informal meeting of Democrats, Progressives, Liberals. Attendees order and pay for food and drinks individually.
  • Monday, December 11: (tentative date, subject to change) Reorganization meeting at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse.
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Calendar for November

The election is just days away! If you can’t be at the polls on Tuesday Nov. 7, there is still time to vote in person absentee. In Bristol, to vote in person absentee you need to show up at the City Hall on Lee Street, stop at the Registrar’s window, and certify that you meet one of the 20 or so reasons that you must be absent on Election Day. Your vote for our candidates in this election is critical, and I hope everyone receiving this e-mail will vote, and call your friends to be sure they do not forget to vote.

Thank you to folks who have volunteered to work at the polls as Officers of Election, campaign support for candidates outside the polls, and providing rides to the polls.

Bristol folks and people from surrounding areas are invited to a Covered Dish Swing Through Dinner hosted by the Washington County Democratic Committee on Saturday November 4th at 5:00 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia 4-H Center on Hillman Highway in Abingdon. Admission is free, just bring a tasty dish to share. Candidates and There will be guest speakers, bluegrass and country music from local musicians and friends of Heartwood. Washington County constitutional officers and Candidate Joel Harte will be there.

State and Local Democrats on the Nov. 7 ballot in Bristol, Virginia:

    • Ralph S. Northam for Governor of Virginia
    • Justin E. Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
    • Mark R. Herring for Attorney General of Virginia
    • Cloe Eva Barker for Bristol Commissioner of Revenue
    • Joe R. Mink for Bristol Sheriff

Our scheduled meetings in November:

  • Saturday November 4: Covered Dish Swing Through in Abingdon, as described above.
  • Thursday, November 9: Washington County Democratic Committee Meeting at 6 p.m. at The Southwest Virginia 4H Center, 25236 Hillman Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210. More information is on their website at
  • Monday, November 13: BVDC Committee Meeting at 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., in Bristol, VA. This is an important planning meeting, and we will need voting members to be present.
  • Saturday, November 18: 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.
  • Monday, November 20: 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.

Hope to see you in November, especially on Election Day November 7, 2017.

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October calendar reminders and additions

Thank you to the folks who came out to Shanghai Restaurant in Bristol for our October meeting, and to the wonderful friends at Shanghai ( ) who took such great care of us in October!


Be sure to remember the TN-VA Social this evening, Oct. 16, at 5:00 at the State Line, and Breakfast with Democrats at Golden Corral this Saturday, Oct. 21 at 9:00 a.m. The Newsletter with more information is on the web page, through the link in the signature below.

Please attend the Meet and Greet for our local candidates, Cloe Eva Barker for Commissioner of Revenue, and Joe Mink for Bristol Sheriff. This will be Thursday the 19th at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library. There will be cookies and tea, and an opportunity to hear from and speak with the candidates about the needs of Bristol that they want to serve.

The Fish Fry – Advance tickets are required for this Sullivan County Democratic Committee fundraiser, and funds will go to elect Tennessee Democrats. The Fish Fry will take place at Warriors’ Path State Park, Saturday, Oct. 28th  at 4:00 p.m., and will be catered by PRATT’S BAR-B-QUE. Ticket price is $25.00. To get your tickets, call Jean Lusardi, 423-989-3953 by Thursday, Oct. 19.  Warriors’ Path State Park is located at 490 Hemlock Rd., Kingsport TN.

Thank you for all that you do for Democrats and for the community, and for being interested in our newsletter!
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Voter Registration Deadline is October 16, 2017

RICHMOND, VA – The voter registration deadline for the upcoming Gubernatorial election is October 16th.  Successful registration enables all eligible Virginia voters to cast their ballot in the upcoming election on November 7.  To register to vote or update voter registration information:

  • By mail:  Applications must be postmarked by October 16th.
  • In-person:  Applications must be submitted by 5:00pmon October 16th.
  • Online:  Applications must be submitted by 11:59pmon October 16th.

Any Virginian can check or update their registration information or register for the first time at the Department’s Online Citizen Portal, available at  Registered voters can also preview their ballot and request an absentee ballot through the website.  “The Department of Elections offers the convenience and security of online voter registration to make voter registration more accessible for our citizens,” said Edgardo Cortés, Virginia’s Commissioner of Elections.

To register to vote in Virginia, one must:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be a resident of Virginia
  • be at least 18 years old by the upcoming November 7general election
  • have had voting rights restored if convicted of a felony
  • have had the capacity restored by court order if declared mentally incapacitated.

In addition to registering online at, eligible Virginians may register at their local voter registration office.  Voters can find additional information about local general registrar’s offices at Voter registration opportunities are also available at DMV customer service centers and social service offices.

For more information about voter registration or casting a ballot in the upcoming general election, visit the Department of Elections website at or call toll-free at (800) 552-9745.

Note: The local voter registration office for Bristol Virginia voters is located at Bristol Virginia City Hall, 300 Lee Street, Bristol, Virginia.

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