Accomack & Northampton County Democratic Committees
The August ACDC Meeting will be at 6 pm on August 7th at the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Building, 19056 Parkway Road, Melfa, VA 23410. Click here for map to meeting address. The committee normally meets on the First Wednesday of each Month @ 6 pm. Check out the ACDC website and the Facebook Page.
The Accomack County Committee met on Wednesday, June 5th at the ESCC Building in Melfa. The minutes from that meeting are provided by Laurie Chamberlin.
Introductions and Call to Order -- Parker Dooley, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. And asked attendees to introduce themselves. He asked for a motion to accept the minutes from the May 2019 meeting; Al McKegg so moved, Lisa LaMontagne seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report -- Treasurer Al McKegg reported that as of June 3, 2019, the balance in the account was $3,982.71, with $35 in expenses and $334.66 in income. Parker asked for a motion to approve the report, and Debra Wharton so moved, with Lisa LaMontagne seconding; the motion passed unanimously.
Outreach -- Bob Toner reported that both Democratic committees will have a tent at the Juneteenth celebration in Exmore, noon to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 15. He asked for volunteers.
Candidate Introductions -- Deborah Midgett, Accomack Commissioner of Revenue, spoke about running this year for another four year term. Her office is in charge of personal property taxes, business taxes, transient occupancy tax (5% of revenue), business licenses, public service tax on utilities, bank franchise tax, state income and estimated taxes. Disabled vets, rebate on house and property . Confidential reports for taxpayers. Important vote to know integrity of local/state %. Comply with state policies and schedules. Ask Board of Supervisors for funding. Treasurer - takes in income, reviews assets.
Voter Registration. Marcie Fields reported via Debra Wharton that election official training has been scheduled. Absentee voting has been low so far. There have been 25 walk-ins. The registrar sent out approximately 100 applications by mail. They are expecting a low turnout for the primary election on Tuesday, June 11.
VAN and Membership Reports -- Margaret Andrews reported that a District Captains’ meeting on VAN had been held just prior to tonight’s ACDC meeting. There are three new members of the ACDC this month.
Campaign Activity Updates -- Lynwood Lewis. Campaign manager Jonah Scharf reported yard signs are available tonight and through his office. Phil Hernandez. Lisa LaMontagne reported that Phil’s meet-and-greets had finished. The most recent were the Temples and Laura Mays. After June 12 round tables will commence: private conversations between Phil and teachers about their concerns. Debra Wharton reported that her initiative, Be My Guest, was a hit with Phil. Volunteers are stepping up to take him to church with them as a guest, with no campaigning, but just to meet people. Last Sunday he attended Metompkin Baptist. He was introduced and it worked. Sundays are being booked for Friendship, Jenkins Bridge, Jerusalem, Ebenezer, Gaskins AME - all sympathetic. 5 church members canvassed for the Dems in 2018. Phil is encouraged by this as he likes to come to the Shore. It was suggested that the Committee use the tourism website events calendar to find venues Phil can attend. Al McKegg mentioned that all poll volunteers will be stationed outdoors at the primary. Debra said there is still one polling place lacking observers.
Ideas for attracting new members -- Larry Brantley suggested veterans’ groups. Lisa added that esdems.com brochure is/be available as a pdf, with a bulleted series of statements.
General discussion -- Proposed Saturday morning breakfast meetings. Charles suggested a picnic in the park, Ruta Vaskys and Martin Freed described their history of Friday breakfast meetings. Lisa asked if Fridays are a good idea as we are trying to attract working people. There could be a conflict with the Market Street Grill men’s meeting .
The August NCDC meeting will be held at 7 pm on August 6th at the Northampton Social Services Building, 5265 The Hornes, Eastville, VA 23347. Click here for map to meeting address. Normally the NCDC meets on the First Tuesday of each Month @ 7 pm. Check out the NCDC website and the Facebook Page.
The Northampton County Committee met on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at the Social Services Bldg. in Eastville. The minutes from that meeting are provided by JoAnn Clark.
Members Present: Elaine Beall, Sandra Beerends, Betty Bibbins, Beth Calder, JoAnn Clark, Albert K. Doughty Jr., JoAnne Fitchett, Paul Gammell, Arlene Joynes, Ginger Olson, Bill Payne, Metty Pellicer, Willie Randall, Linda Schulz, Leonard Spady, Susan Stinson, Bob Toner, Verne Wood, and Carrie Wynder
Candidate Updates -- Willie Randall, Candidate for Virginia Senate. Willie said that his campaign is receiving a lot of traffic online and his numbers look good. He will be holding a meet-and-greet event on June 7.
Jonah Scharf, Finance Director for Lynwood Lewis, said that there are plenty of opportunities for phone banking and knocking on doors before the election.
Elana Schrager, Campaign Manager for Phil Hernandez, gave an overview of their activity for the past month. They’ve raised over $49,000 with the average donation being $34, which indicates the grass roots nature of the campaign. Phil has been named one of the top ten “red to blue” candidates in the state and has received endorsements from outside our district. Elana said that one of their special efforts over the next few months is to get Phil to neighborhood churches throughout the summer.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report -- Motion to approve the minutes from the May 7 meeting was made by Bill Payne, seconded by Bob Toner, and unanimously approved. Arlene Joynes presented the current Treasurer’s Report. Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented was made by Verne Wood, seconded by Bob Toner, and passed unanimously.
Committee Reports -- Outreach, Voter Registration, Absentee Voting. Bob Toner reminded everyone of the upcoming Juneteenth Celebration on June 15 at the Exmore Town Park. We will share a tent with Accomack County. Bob asked for volunteers to assist with voter registration and introducing candidates to the crowd. Bob also asked for volunteers to participate in the July 4 celebrations in Cape Charles; he asked everyone to join in the parade and to staff the tent throughout the day.
Volunteer Recruitment and Coordination -- Beth Calder reported that there are about 160 people on the volunteer list; about half have volunteered in the past.
Electoral Board -- JoAnn Clark reported that the Logic and Accuracy testing of the voting machines had taken place earlier today and all machines are ready for Election Day. The three members of the Electoral Board will attend training in Midlothian at the end of the month.
New Business -- Hernandez Church Visits. Bill Payne said he thinks Phil should visit black churches throughout this summer. He said his goal is to get Phil into every church to meet church members.
July 4 Activities. Linda reported that Elaine Luria will be attending this event, as will Phil and probably Lynwood. We will meet on Washington Street at 9:30 to line up for the parade. At the booth throughout the day, we will be registering voters, distributing candidate information, selling chances on drawings for two gift baskets, and offering free lemonade. Bill volunteered to bring the lemonade and ice and to bring a golf cart. Linda, JoAnne Fitchett, and JoAnn Clark will assemble the gift baskets. Remember to bring candy to distribute to the children along the parade route. (Please bring your donations for the baskets to the next meeting on July 2—for example, wine, packaged snacks, napkins, glasses, etc. We CANNOT USE anything that will suffer in the heat.)
Mark Warner Donation. Ginger Olson reported receiving a solicitation from Senator Mark Warner for support in his upcoming campaign; Ginger made a motion that the NCDC send Senator Warner a donation of $250 for his campaign for reelection; Bill Payne seconded the motion. The discussion that ensued included the suggestion that the motion be amended to indicate “to be donated in 2020.” Motion as amended passed unanimously.
Chair’s Report -- Linda Schulz announced that she is unable to attend the Blue Commonwealth Gala to be held in Richmond on June 15 and offered her ticket to whoever can use it.
SIGN UP TODAY! WE NEED YOUR PARTICIPATION!
ONLEY (MID-ACCOMACK) CANVASS - July 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm in Onley, VA 23418 at the Crossroads Coffee Shop, 25514 E. Main St. Sign up here for Onley Canvass event.
NORFOLK CANVASS - July 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm in Norfolk, VA 23518
. This event’s address is private. Sign up here for more details.
NORTHAMPTON CANVASS - July 29, 2019 @ 12:00 pm in Cape Charles, VA 23310. This event’s address is private. Sign up here for more details.
FOR ALL FUTURE CANVASS EVENTS - Bookmark Phil for Virginia's page on Mobilize USA to get updated on his latest events in your area: https://www.mobilize.us/philforvirginia/
ACDC 2nd Vice Chair Debra Wharton went to Mrs. Emma Frank Edwards' house recently to assist her in completing her absentee ballot application for the November 2019 election. Miss Emmy will be 101 years young on September 10th.
Miss Emmy likes to say "Have Faith And Keep On Going." Al McKegg wrote a fascinating story on Miss Emmy voting at 100 years young, "Miss Emmy Votes." in our August 2018 newsletter: https://easternshoredemocrats.com/newsletter/august_2018.html
We have also included a wonderful video below featuring Miss Emmy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. John F. Kennedy and others. Enjoy the video.
ABSENTEE VOTING ELIGIBILITY
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 Circuit Court Building, 23312 Courthouse Ave., Accomac, VA 23301, The Northampton Registrar is at 16404 Courthouse Rd., Eastville, VA 23347.
If you have any questions, please see the Virginia Department of Election's absentee voting website. It is available online at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html
You can find out anything else about voting in Virginia at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/
ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL
In order to vote Absentee By Mail you have to apply to receive a ballot. You can get an application form here to mail in or you can apply online here. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm the Tuesday before the election. Your completed ballot must be received by 7:00 pm on Election Day. You can find a list of offices here.
ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON
Absentee voting in person voting is available starting 45 days before the election and will ends 3 days before the election. Your local registrar’s office will have Absentee In Person voting during their office hours and some offices will also have satellite voting locations. You can check the schedule by calling your local registrar’s office, a list of offices here, or by visiting their website.
Accomack Board of Supervisors
District 1, William J. Tarr, incumbent
District 2, Ronald S. Wolff, incumbent
District 3, Vanessa K. Johnson
District 4, Paul E. J. Muhly, incumbent
District 5, Harrison W. Phillips III, incumbent, and James D. Rich
District 6, Robert D. Crockett, incumbent
District 7, Miriam E. Riggs and Howard "Jackie" Phillips
District 8, Donald L. Hart Jr., incumbent
District 9, C. Reneta Major, incumbent.
Accomack Constitutional Officers
Commonwealth Attorney, J. Spencer Morgan III, incumbent
Commissioner of Revenue Deborah T. Midgett
Sheriff, W. Todd Wessells
Treasurer, James A. Lilliston Sr. and Brandy Custis Childress
Accomack School Board
DIstrict 1, Jesse W. Speidel
District 2, Edward F. Taylor
District 3, Lisa C. Johnson
District 4, Gary S. Reese and Connie C. Burford
District 5, Camesha A. Handy
District 6, Paul C. Bull
District 7, Janet Martin-Turner and Thomas E. "TJ" Johnson III
District 8, Ronnie E. Holden
District 9, Malcolm "Pep" White.
Northampton Board of Supervisors
District 4, Dixon Leatherbury and David L. Kabler Sr.
District 5. Betsy Mapp
Northampton Constitutional Offices
Commonwealth's Attorney. Beverly P. Leatherbury
Sheriff. David L. Doughty Jr.
Commissioner of Revenue. Charlene P. Gray
Treasurer. Cynthia S. Bradford.
Northampton School Board
At-Large. Charlena Jones
District 4. Jo Ann P. Molera
District 5. William P. "Skip" Oakley
In an ongoing effort to combat the rising flooding threat, members of the Hampton Roads congressional delegation are working to make the issues famous. “Really wanted to emphasize the impact that it has on our local economy and military installations,” said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-V irgina Beach.) following a tour of the area with Florida Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa.).
Castor is the chair of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which is charged with delivering climate policy recommendations to Congress “to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis,” according to a news release. Recommendations are due March 31, 2020.
Luria along with Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) met and toured with Castor areas including the Port of Virginia, Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic HQ, Norfolk Naval Station, Myrtle Park and the Fernwood Farms neighborhood in Chesapeake. “We’ve got to be ready to confront these risks and mitigate them,” Castor said.
The tour concluded with a meeting of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. In May, the group released a study highlighting concerns flooding could have on military readiness. The commission came up with 22 points of action. The top eight they find to be the most vital were laid out to the lawmakers. They include projects that would improve drainage, existing ditches, as well as raising sections of the roadways of Hampton Boulevard, as well as along Shore Drive near Naval Station Norfolk and between Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Castor told reporters it is clear the federal government must pitch in. “In this community, I see a significant roll for (the Department of Defense),” she said. The news is likely welcome to cities like Virginia Beach. While real estate taxes were recently raised to help with the eventual financing of billions of dollars worth of flood fighting infrastructure, leadership said it won’t be enough.
“There’s a huge price tag to being able to continue this,” Luria said. “Need to look at some of the (Department of Defense) programs…and how we can partner across federal, state, and local government to bring together the resources to help with these problems. Both for individual homeowners and main transportation corridors within the area.” The tour all occurred ahead of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act scheduled for a full House vote later this week.
14.3% of veterans in Virginia are women, the highest percentage in the nation, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Census Bureau Data.
Virginia, like most of America, has a racial inequity problem, and in many cases, this inequity disproportionately affects women.
The ERA is only twenty four words long, but those twenty four words aim to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.
72% of Virginians believe abortion should be legal; Virginia’s laws just don’t represent that quiet majority yet.
Women in Virginia make 79 cents for every dollar paid to a man, a difference that adds up to nearly $12,000 per year.
In 2017, 59% of the 70,000 workers earning the minimum wage or less in Virginia were women.
79% of black mothers, 48% of white mothers and 48% of Latina mothers in Virginia are the key breadwinners in their families, making affordable childcare critical for women in Virginia.
From 2004 to 2013, 37% of female murder victims in Virginia were killed by an intimate partner, and six out of every ten of those murders was carried out with a firearm.
290,133 low-income Virginians have enrolled in Medicaid and 60%, or 175,203 of them are women.
After a month of build-up, the Virginia General Assembly’s special session intended to look at gun violence prevention legislation lasted all of 90 minutes. State legislators and citizen activists convened in Richmond on July 9 in response to Gov. Ralph Northam’s June 4 call for a special session after a man killed 12 people and injured four others in a mass shooting at Virginia Beach on May 31.
Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in a decade. Democratic voters are still angry about President Donald Trump. And in Virginia, Republicans may have handed them an energizing issue for this fall, even as polls suggest the party’s hardline stance against any new gun regulation is out of step with most voters. The GOP appears to be gambling that the gun control fervor will die down enough by November to allow them to hold on. But no matter how this issue is spun, this session was lose-lose for the GOP,
Bills up for consideration during the special session ranged from universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons that would include suppressors and bump stocks to mandatory minimum sentencing and funding to renovate the Virginia Beach Municipal Center building where the shooting had taken place. Republicans in the General Assembly have pushed for a focus on mental health and stricter punishments for crimes, including mandatory minimum sentences, instead of the legislation on guns proposed by their Democratic counterparts. However, none of those bills made it to the General Assembly floor for a vote or even a debate, since the Senate and House of Delegates both moved to adjourn until 12:00 p.m. on Nov. 18 less than two hours after the session began.
A recent survey of Virginia voters finds widespread support for bread-and-butter gun safety laws that have divided the state legislature along party lines for years.
In the aftermath of the May shooting in Virginia Beach that left 13 people dead, including the perpetrator, and ahead of the General Assembly’s upcoming special session on gun control, Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy released a memo summarizing its polling on the issue to inform the debate.
“In 2016 and 2018 surveys, voters overall strongly supported several specific gun control proposals, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, limiting concealed carry, and banning assault-style weapons,” the researchers wrote in the memo.
According to a 2018 CNU survey, 84% of Virginia voters support requiring background checks on gun sales. In the 2019 legislative session, Republicans rejected four Democrat-backed bills to require that prospective buyers pass an instant background check before purchasing a firearm.
GOP lawmakers’ opposition to these bills are out-of-sync with their constituents, according to the poll; 76% of self-identified Republicans said they support background checks for private gun sales.
Survey respondents also opposed allowing anyone who carries a gun to conceal and carry without a permit, including 72% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats. But in contrast to public opinion, a bill that made it easier for out-of-state residents to secure a concealed carry permit was the only notable piece of gun legislation to make it to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk in 2019. Northam, a Democrat, vetoed the measure in February.
The CNU surveys also found that nearly two-thirds, 65%, of voters favor outlawing assault-style weapons. Republicans split evenly on the proposal, 49% – 49%, though 84% of Democrats strongly supported it.
Since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, Virginia Democrats have made many attempts to re-implement parts of the law at the state level. Those efforts include bills to ban the sale of extended capacity magazines, which were used by the shooter in Virginia Beach to fire as many bullets as possible without having to reload.
Republicans rejected most, if not all, of their proposals. In the past few legislative sessions alone, GOP lawmakers have killed over 50 gun safety bills.
On the general question of gun control, a majority overall said it is more important to control who can buy guns (54%-41% in 2018; 55%-41% in 2016) than to protect the rights of gun owners.
All 140 Virginia General Assembly seats are on the ballot this fall. In many of those races, the state’s gun laws will be, too. For Democrats on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the choices in the race for Delegate and Senate seats are crystal clear in 2019.
In the House of Delegates 100th District election, Democrat Phil Hernandez says “Rob Bloxom invited the gun lobby into our community just one month after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach — the worst mass shooting of 2019. This meeting was held behind closed doors, as the press was prohibited from covering the event. This secrecy does not serve our community. I attended public schools in the age of mass shootings. I participated in 'active shooter' drills, which became normalized after Columbine. And year after year, I’ve watched politicians like Rob Bloxom stand in the way of commonsense reforms to keep our kids and our communities safe," he said, adding, "We can respect the Second Amendment and take sensible steps forward together to reduce gun violence, which is fundamentally a public health crisis."
Incumbent Delegate Rob Bloxom continued his 100% NRA support as a featured speaker at a recent NRA event, held at the Exmore Moose Lodge in Belle Haven. He has historically voted to kill every gun safety measure before the House and also voted in favor of adjourning the Governor's Special Session after just 90 minutes with no votes taken.
In the Senate 6th District, incumbent Lynwood Lewis Lewis' has backed what he considers "very promising policies" that target firearm access, including background checks and a "red flag" law, or extreme risk protective order, intended to keep guns out of the hands of those deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Although opposition to a "red flag" law in particular typically stems from a feeling that it would empower government to impose on personal freedom, Lewis said Virginia should draw lessons from other states that have been able to pass these kinds of laws on a bipartisan basis. "There are always cases where you balance public safety to some degree with personal freedoms," he said. "We do that every day, and I just think those laws can be structured in such a manner as to give due regard to personal freedom and personal property rights, but at the same time, protecting the public."
Republican challenger Elizabeth Lankford hasn't announced any stance on gun control yet however it seems likely that she will be subservient to the NRA/Second Amendment lobby.