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Eastern Shore Democrats 

Accomack County & Northampton County Democratic Committees
August 2018

1. Accomack Meeting
2. Northampton Meeting
3. Meet The Candidate Events
4. Help Get Out The Vote
5. Elaine Luria's New Sea Change TV Ad
6. Miss Emmy Votes
7. Voting Information
8. Tom Steyer plans to register 100,000 millennials to vote
9. Kaine vs. Stewart Debate
10. Editorial: Voters deserve better in 2nd District
11. Michelle Obama's Voter Registration Initiative
12. Online Voter Registration at Community Events
13. Political Canvassing Tips for your Door-to-Door Campaign
14. Tim Kaine Runs First TV Ad
15. National Democrat Profile - Stacey Abrams for Georgia Governor

Accomack County Committee Meeting

The July ACDC Meeting got off to a big start as Debra Wharton led a fantastic training session on the Accomack County Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot processes. Everyone learned so much!.

There was a lot of excitement around the upcoming special events in both Accomack and Northampton. There is an "Action Saturday" scheduled for Aug. 25 where our volunteers will make phone calls and do some door-to-door canvassing to build enthusiasm and participation in the Nov. elections.

There was much discussion about candidate yard signs and larger roadside signs. David Washington, Outreach for Luria Campaign, was in attendence and he listened to all the feedback and suggestions. Even better, it appears that the ACDC will be getting in 500 yard signs and a couple dozen roadside signs to distribute. David's Outreach focus is on the African-American community, churches and small businesses. He is very personable and helpful.

You can sign up to campaign for Elaine & Kaine with the Democratic Coordinated Campaign on the Shore. The next Eastern Shore canvass event is from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, August 25. There will be staging locations in Accomack and Northampton Counties.

We need your help! Please call Jacob Dafoe at 757-797-5015 or e-mail him at to volunteer.

On Sunday. Aug. 26th, ACDC is hosting a Meet & Greet with Elaine Luria from 2 pm - 4 pm at the Island House Restaurant in Wachapreague. You must RSVP to attend.

Also on the 26th the Chincoteague Keep In Touch Democrats will hold their Annual Picnic and Luria Meet & Greet from 5 pm - 8 pm. Click for more info on this event.

ACDC members at this meeting were also briefed on a planned Eastern Shore rally Oct. 27th that is being organized by a group of private citizens not connected with the Committee. More on that later.

We were blessed to have Kara Moran speak to the group about Emerge Virginia, a wonderful program that trains Democratic women to run for office with a seven-month program. Kara is a recent graduate of the program and she was very engaging and informative in talking about the great opportunities for women in Virginia politics. She admitted that we may see her running for office in a few short years and there is no doubt that Kara will be a very formidable and skilled candidate.

Northampton County Committee Meeting

The July NCDC Meeting was very lively and informative. David Washington from the Luria Campaign and Ivanna Hall from the Virginia Coordinated Campaign gave very informative talks regarding their different programs and how they are reaching out to assist local Democratic Committees better connect with local voters. Both David and Ivanna have been extremely helpful.

Bill Payne emphasized the need for yard signs and big roadside signs. The Luria Campaign has agreed to having 500 yard signs and a couple dozen roadside signs printed and will make them available to NCDC very soon.

Linda Schulz talked about the Aug. 25 "Action Saturday" canvassing and phone bank plans. You can sign up to campaign for Elaine & Kaine through the Democratic Coordinated Campaign on the Shore.  

You can make phone calls, knock on doors and register voters. The next Eastern Shore canvass event is from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, August 25. There will be staging locations in Accomack and Northampton Counties. Call Jacob Dafoe at 757-797-5015 or e-mail him at to volunteer.

Linda also provided some details about the special Northampton County Meet & Greet with Elaine Luria. The event is being held from 6 pm - 8 pm on Aug. 25 at the home of Louise Fitchett, 21265 Huntington Rd., Cheriton. Click here to RSVP or by phone at 757-771-2766. Please RSVP early.

NCDC members at this meeting were also briefed on a planned Eastern Shore rally Oct. 27th that is being organized by a group of private citizens not connected with the Committee. More on that later.

Meet The Candidate Events

RSVP for Accomack Event
RSVP for Northampton Event

Elaine Luria Accomack Meet & Greet

Help Get Out The Vote

Want to help turn Congress blue? All hands are needed on deck to help Elaine Luria sink Scott Taylor and win the battle for the Second Congressional District seat and to help Tim Kaine keep his seat in the Senate.

You can make phone calls, knock on doors and register voters. The next Eastern Shore canvass event is from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, August 25. 

There will be staging locations in both Accomack and Northampton Counties.   Research shows that person to person contact is the most effective way to make voters aware of candidates, to persuade them to support a specific candidate and to get out the vote.
SIGN UP NOW! to knock doors or make phone calls. Call Jacob Dafoe, 757-797-5015 to volunteer, or e-mail him at

Elaine Luria's New Sea Change TV Ad

Miss Emmy Votes

Emma Edwards
Story by: Al Mc Kegg
Voting Assistance by: Debra Wharton

Using her cane, Emma Frank Edwards–Miss Emmy to her family and everyone in her Parksley neighborhood on Leslie Trent Road–makes her way to the kitchen, where a chicken is thawing in the sink. Her granddaughter Karen White, probably not for the first time, says "Grandma, you really ought to get one of those quad canes." "No, I get along fine with this one."
A scanner radio crackles police and fire calls in her living room. She counts on it to keep her in touch with what's happening around the county, and warns any visiting relative (many visit) "Don't touch my scanner!"

One hundred years old, Miss Emmy is preparing to vote in November's election, as she has in every election since 1965. She's completed her Absentee Ballot application, and a ballot form will be mailed to her.  
Miss Emmy's lived her entire life on the Shore. Walking–with or without a cane–was her main way of getting around. Born in Hopeton, and after moving to Mears, she walked–there were no buses for Black children–three miles to the two-room elementary school in Macedonia, outside Bloxom. And seven miles to the First Baptist church in Mappsville. And later, after moving to Parksley, walking to services at Adams United Methodist Church. 

"Easy" isn't a word that comes to mind when you listen to Miss Emmy's life. She was born Emma Frank Downing–Frank after her great-grandfather, Emma after her great-grandmother, who was born into slavery. Her childhood homes had no electricity, running water, or central heat. Clothes were scrubbed on a washboard, hung on a line, and ironed with a flatiron heated on the stove.

At age ten, she went to work in the fields, stripping fodder, digging potatoes, picking string beans, strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes. The workday was sunup to sundown, 6 am to 8 pm.

If you could do an adult's work in the field, you earned $3 a day. The children and the babies came into the field with you. Children who were too young to work played in the shade. Babies lay in a basket which you pushed along as you worked the row. You took your lunch and theirs with you; there were no food trucks.

When Miss Emmy left the fields, she took a job at Jay Cee cleaners, working there until she was 73. Then she worked at the Perdue Poultry plant, in the Evisceration Department, where she and another woman gutted chickens coming at them via conveyor belt at the rate of 100 birds per minute.

No, "easy" isn't the word that comes to mind.

Leaving Perdue, she worked for the Carlton Byrd canning factory, cleaning the facility until it closed, then took a job at the home of D.L. and Elsie Webb. She cleaned for the Webbs until she retired at age 94.

Family is a huge part of her life. The daughter of Sally Warner Downing and Norwood Downing, she's personally raised four generations, has 7 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 18 great-great-grandchildren, with a 19th on the way. And she's not the first centenarian in her family: her great-grandmother Emma Warner, ("Granny Lady,") a midwife who birthed all Miss Emmy's children, lived to 106.

Miss Emmy gives credit for her health and longevity to God and to not drinking or smoking. She married Preston Edwards in 1934. Preston died 30 years ago; their 3 sons are all now dead.

At 100, Miss Emmy has a lot of memories. Some of segregation, when Blacks could work in Shore restaurants, but not eat there. When Shore restrooms and movies and buses were segregated. When Jim Crow restrictions made it virtually impossible for a Black person to register to vote. Though John Kennedy is her favorite President, she could not vote for him due to Jim Crow. She cast her first vote as soon as the 1965 Voting Rights Act took effect, and has voted in every election since, usually walking to the polls, often with her children in tow, emphasizing the importance of the vote and the sacrifices it took to achieve that right.

She doesn't shy from speaking out locally. The children in the Leslie Trent Road neighborhood were expected to walk to school when the Parksley high school first opened, though most other kids rode buses. Miss Emmy called the School Board, and the neighborhood kids got a bus.

Many of her memories are warm and joyful, of family and a strong supporting community.
Of butchering time, an all-day event, the men killing and butchering the hogs, the women cleaning chitterlings, making sausage, cutting pork chops and tenderloin, making souse cheese, cooking and talking up a storm. Even today, on Leslie Trent Road, the community watches out for Miss Emmy. If her screen door is banging, someone fixes it. If her lights are on when they should be off (or vice versa,) a neighbor notices.

Having lived through Jim Crow, she's very positive about the country today. She says she's been a Democrat "since I could scratch a pencil." Asked about Donald Trump: "I don't look at him."

As the chicken thaws in the sink, Karen reminds us that Miss Emmy still prepares dinner for the family Sundays and holidays. The meat may be turkey or ham or chicken, but the real highlights of the meal are her chicken and homemade dumplings, sweet and white potato pies, and sometimes homemade ice cream. In accommodation to her age, she now uses an electric ice cream churn instead of her hand-cranked one.

Karen says "She pretty much does it all. She'll let me bring something if I insist." 

Voting Information

If you cannot vote at your polling place on election day, you can vote using the Absentee Ballot option. There are many reasons for voting absentee such as business, school or vacation out of town; disability, or college students. Absentee Ballot applications are available at any Registrar's office. The Accomack Registrar  is at the Circuit Court Building on Courthouse Avenue in Accomack, The Northampton Registrar is on Court House Rd in Eastville. Everyone can also use the resources available online at : 

There is a full set of voting information resources available online for your convenience. You can access the Virginia Department of Elections website to register to vote online, to review your current voter registration status, and/or submit updates to your voter registration.

We would encourage you to browse the complete explanations and access information for all Virginians who are planning on voting. We have created a web page just for you that will help in learning about the process at:

Tom Steyer plans to register 100,000 millennials to vote

Alexi McCammond, Axios

Tom Steyer NextGen America

Tom Steyer's NextGen America organization is working to register 100,000 students in one month at college campuses across 11 states as part of its "Welcome Week" program launching this week. Why it matters: This is the group's biggest voter registration effort yet,  

focused specifically on the most crucial bloc of non-voters, and it's happening just three months before the 2018 midterm election.

They've already registered 80,000 millennials and now they want to register 100,000 more through mid-September. 

By the numbers: NextGen will deploy 765 organizers to 420 campuses — including 135 community colleges and 14 historically black colleges and universities — to engage with students during "Welcome Week" as they're headed back to school.

In 2016, their youth voter registration effort sent 500 NextGen organizers to 300 college campuses.

There are 70 million eligible voters between the ages of 18-35.
NextGen will pledge 40,000 young people to actually show up and vote in November.
The group is also launching a $250,000 digital ad campaign across these campuses.
The 11 targeted states include Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

What they’re saying: “Young voters ... are essential to propelling progressives to victory in 2018 and beyond,” said NextGen America President Tom Steyer. “In November, young people can take back the House and take a stand against the divisive policies of Donald Trump.”

Be smart: Voter registration might be a non-partisan effort, but Democrats will certainly be the ones to benefit from this. Steyer has been an outspoken advocate of impeaching President Trump, and he's now the biggest individual sourceof money and resources for Democrats.

Kaine (D) vs. Stewart (R) Debate

Editorial: Voters deserve better in 2nd District

By The Virginian-Pilot Editorial Board

The race for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat took a serious legal turn on Tuesday when a special prosecutor was named to investigate possible forgery and violations of election law.
The move adds even more intrigue to a strange tale of political scheming that involves U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor’s campaign staff and its help in getting one of his opponents placed on the November ballot.
Start with this fact: A man who died in April is among the “voters” who supposedly signed a petition in June to enable Shaun Brown to be on the ballot as an independent candidate — even though she is facing federal corruption charges and has virtually no chance of winning.

Brown barely qualified to run, and might not have done so without the generous support of Taylor’s campaign team. At least four paid staffers collected signatures for her at the last minute.

Taylor insists that the unusual support from his campaign was not aimed at splitting the Democratic vote between Brown, who ran as a Democrat against 

Taylor in 2016, and this year’s Democratic candidate, Elaine Luria. Taylor says that the paid help — from people he prefers to call “volunteers” — had no other motive for their efforts than ensuring fundamental fairness in the democratic process. 
“They wanted to volunteer to get Shaun on the ballot, and that’s cool, man,” Taylor said. “That’s democracy.”
The notion that his campaign supporters would, on their own, rescue a struggling opponent in an unselfish defense of democracy does more than strain credulity. The fact that they were subsequently paid by the Taylor campaign provides a better clue as to their motives.
Making a bad situation worse, a number of the signatures gathered by Taylor campaign workers and other supporters on behalf of Brown appear to be fraudulent. Without a doubt, R. Stuart Cake did not sign the petition, because he died two months before June 9, the date given beside his name.

His widow, Elizabeth, spoke on WHRV’s “HearSay with Cathy Lewis” radio show on Monday and called the use of his name “hurtful” and “disappointing.”

Eileen Eady said she didn’t sign the petition either, though her name was listed three lines below Cake’s. Eady moved to Nevada, registered to vote there in 2014, and recently ran for the local school board.

As the names on the petition are scrutinized, the number of questionable signatures continues to grow. Virginia Beach resident Tony Flores said he knows at least six people, including himself and his parents, who are listed but did not sign the petition.

If signatures were forged on an election petition, it’s against the law. That’s why the appointment of the special prosecutor — longtime Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell — is necessary to sort out what happened, and who is responsible.

Taylor initially said his campaign staff did nothing wrong, and he dismissed concerns about possible fraudulent signatures. He has since said that his campaign has zero tolerance for inappropriate activities and that it will cooperate with the investigation.

But Taylor’s campaign should never have gotten involved in helping to place Brown on the ballot, which was an underhanded move to hurt Luria and tilt the election more in the Republican’s favor. And once Brown learned of the Taylor campaign’s involvement, she should have realized that she was part of a crass ploy to undercut a rival and distanced herself from the lists immediately.

Maybe both sides thought no one would ever find out, but this is a good example of why so many people are disillusioned with politics today. And if all these allegations are proven, the shame of them will be that they further alienate an already disillusioned public from the government.

The truth is, Americans have a right to expect more from their elected officials and from those who hope to represent them in public office. And, as the facts stand, the people of the 2nd Congressional District can be forgiven if they feel they’ve been let down.

Michelle Obama's Voter Registration Initiative

Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw are calling on all of us to register and vote. Register to vote and volunteer at

Online Voter Registration at Community Events

Voter Registration

With an increasing number of states adopting online voter registration portals in recent years, community organizations like the League of Women Voters are taking advantage of widely available technology in order to help voters complete the registration process on the spot at community events, in schools, and on their way to work. For more info click here

Political Canvassing Tips for your Door-to-Door Campaign

Political canvassing always had a place in the campaigner’s arsenal. While modern tools changed the landscape of election campaigning, door to door canvassing has stood the test of time as a personal and convincing way to engage voters and persuade them to vote. For more info click here.

Canvassing Tips

Tim Kaine Runs First TV Ad

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine began running his first TV ad of the election cycle on Monday, Aug. 6th. In the ad titled ‘Skills,’ Kaine said he has supported career and technical skills throughout his career.

“Here in Virginia, we have to build an economy that works for all,” Kaine said in the ad.
Set to run in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke and the Tri-Cities markets, the ad is part of a strategy that includes $5 million in TV ad spending according to Kaine’s campaign.
As the candidates make their pitch to voters ahead of the Nov. 6 general election, Kaine has the advantage of campaign cash to help spread his message. For more about this click here.

Stacey Abrams Could Become America's First Black Female Governor—If She Can Turn Georgia Blue

Georgia Governor’s Race is a Defining Moment for a Southern State

People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why. On a Friday afternoon in May, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia is at a union hall in Augusta, telling a story about her father, a college-educated black man who was relegated by his race to working at a shipyard in southern Mississippi in the 1970s. The family had one car, so Robert Abrams would sometimes hitchhike home in the middle of the night. When he didn’t come home one time, the rest of the family set out to pick him up and found him half-frozen by the side of the road, having given his coat to a homeless man. They asked why he, a poor man on a lonely road at night, would do such a thing. And Robert said, “Because I knew you were coming for me.”

You can hear scattered sniffles in the union hall as his daughter pauses. Then she roars: “I am coming for you, Georgia! Help me get there!”

This kind of moment is one reason why Abrams, 44, has a chance to become America’s first black female governor. 

Describe someone as “commanding the room” and you generally conjure an image of gravitas–a man, likely white, in a suit, emitting soaring oratory. Abrams is a big-boned, natural-haired, youthful-looking woman with a quizzical smile and a gap between her front teeth. She’s as likely to geek out about tax policy or Star Trek as she is to summon the spirit of justice. Yet when she speaks, all kinds of people–from black folks in rural communities to yuppie “resistance” moms around Atlanta to this crowd of rough-handed electrical workers–go quiet and listen. In a Democratic Party divided and desperate for fresh faces, Abrams is already becoming a national star.

“I know talent when I see it,” says Valerie Jarrett, a former top adviser to Barack Obama, who tells me she sees the same kind of “unusual” skills in Abrams: “I see somebody who campaigns authentically, has character and integrity, is resilient and graceful, and who is able to take the long view and ignore a lot of noise.”

Click here to read the rest of this story about Stacey Abrams

Register To Vote

Access the Virginia Department of Elections website to register to vote online, to review your current voter registration status, and/or submit updates to your voter registration.


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Authorized and paid for by the Accomack County and Northampton County Democratic Committees