[link removed] [[link removed]]My fellow Young Democrats-
If you would have said a few years ago that Virginia would be leading the way on critical issues, most people would have said you were being ridiculous. But in 2021 here we are. Virginia is in fact doing just that.
On July 1, all of the laws enacted by the Virginia General Assembly and then signed by the Governor came into effect. And a number of milestones and sweeping reforms started to take shape that were historical for our Commonwealth and our Country.
Virginia became the first Southern State to abolish the Death Penalty officially on July 1, putting an end to an overused and inhumane practice, which was long overdue.
Virginia became the first Southern State to repeal the marijuana prohibition, and thus starting us down a road to full legalization. Our hope is that all use privately and publicly will become legalized and that all of those who have been incarcerated on non-violent possession charges will have their sentences vacated and/or expunged.
Virginia also continued to be the leader in the South for voting rights. While other Southern states continue to repeal and restrict voting rights, the Commonwealth enacted the Virginia Voting Rights act, which creates comprehensive protections against voter suppression, discrimination, or intimidation. In addition to this, Virginia also continued to put into place policies that will continue to expand voting access, because everyone, no matter who they are, deserves to be heard at the ballot box.
This is what Democrats do when they are in power. We deliver. This is what we knocked on all of those doors for and this is what we lobby for every year when we drive down to Richmond. True, progressive, sweeping reforms and justice-oriented policies.
I want to thank our delegation to the State Senate and House of Delegates: Senator Adam Ebbin, Senator Barbara Favola, Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Delegate Mark Levine, Delegate Patrick Hope, and Delegate Rip Sullivan for their continued work on the issues that matter most to our party, to our county, and to our commonwealth.
But now our eyes turn towards November. There are a few words that I do not want to hear in the same order come November 2nd.
That’s "Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and most importantly Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert."
And if there is one thing we cannot do this year, it's go backwards. We have fought too hard and too long over the past several years to go back. The people we are up against would rather take us back to the dark ages than to treat Virginians with the dignity they deserve. They would rather eliminate your right to vote than to expand it. They would rather have you choose between your health and putting food on the table and a roof over your head. They would rather force kids into arbitrarily gendered bathrooms than to allow children, CHILDREN , to be allowed into those that they identify with.
We can’t go backward, but we have to show our commonwealth how we will move FORWARD. We need to show these voters how we can do better and how we will deliver for them. We can deliver on our platform and help progress Virginia past where we thought was possible 4 years ago.
So what I am asking you to do now is to come and help. We may have had a hard battle during last year in 2020 and one of the biggest challenges in our lifetime for our democracy, but I promise that the war is far from over. We need you to continue to knock on those doors, make those phone calls, send those texts, and be out there vocal about electing Terry McAuliffe as our next Governor, Hala Ayala as our next Lt. Governor, re-electing Mark Herring as our Attorney General, and not only holding onto our majority in the House but EXPANDING the majority in the House.
I promise you we have only just begun to make the changes we need to. Racial Justice is on the ballot. Social Justice is on the Ballot. Environmental Justice is on the Ballot. Economic Justice is on the ballot.
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We cannot do this without one another. There is more that unites us than divides us. It’s all on the line for Virginia on November 2. Join us.
Remember to join us for our annual Membership BBQ on July 24 [[link removed]] and also join us for our Meet the Arlington Ticket Event on July 27. [[link removed]]
Have a happy Fourth of July and stay safe.
Alternate text [[link removed]]Until Next Time,
AYD President [email protected]
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Arlington Young Democrats
Arlington Young Dems
1235 S Clark St
Arlington, VA 22202
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