As Hecate is fond of remarking, Virginia loves elections so much, they have them every year.
After successfully flipping BOTH houses of the state legislature in 2019, Virginia is leading the way in the New (Blue) South. And, again quoting the wise Hecate, “elections have consequences.” What have those looked like in Virginia in the past two years?
- Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour
- Making It Easier to Vote
- ACA Medicaid Expansion
- Protecting LGTBQ+ Rights
- Protecting Reproductive Choice
- Raising Teacher Pay
- Abolishing the Death Penalty at the State Level
- Fighting Climate Change
- Sensible Gun Safety Protections
- Passing the ERA
In short, DEMOCRATS DELIVER!
Does all that sound good to you? It sounds pretty damn good to me, too.
Thing is, all that progress is in danger right now.
Despite the fact that the Republican candidate for governor is basically a mini-Trump, Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe is ahead but currently running within the margin of error. Which means he’s not – at least at the moment – pulling up the rest of the ticket.
In the meantime, many of the Dems in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are defending their seats for the first or second time, so their victories are far from assured.
And all the low hanging fruit in terms of flippable seats has already been plucked, so the remaining red seats are MUCH tougher targets. We can’t bet on a bunch of pickups this time around.
What can you do to help?
I’m so glad you asked!
This one is EXTREMELY time sensitive, as early voting is already underway, and the deadline to request mail ballots is October 22, two weeks from today. We’re pushing GOTV big time, because “if we vote, we win,” but to do that, we gotta get Dems and Dem-leaning Independents to the polls.
Ten minutes per day can net you five postcards written, which means in a week, you can write 35 postcards to encourage inconsistent voters to make their voices heard. Do you have ten minutes a day for the next week? Yes? Then you know what to do!
What ELSE can you do?
- Phone bank
- Text bank
Ah! But to/for whom?
I mean, there’s little point in putting your limited volunteer energy and dollars into Republican seats that WILL NOT flip, nor into Democratic seats that are a lock.
The Virginia Public Access Project has a handy-dandy listing of “lean” of current Virginia districts.
What you’re looking for is races in the Competitive or Leans Republican categories.
Hecate would definitely urge you to volunteer for and/or donate to Paul Siker, working right now to flip HD-33. The Republican currently occupying the seat is a total jackass, so this shouldn’t be as tough as it is, but a lotta folks are happy to vote against their interests for a candidate who gleefully enables their racism, sexism, and homophobia. Paul could use our help.
I’m personally working on Del. Joshua Cole (HD-28, the most “red” district currently represented by a Democrat, who is up for his FIRST re-election), Katie Sponsler (challenging in HD-66, the most “blue” district currently represented by a Republican), and Briana Sewell (running in HD-51, to hold the seat Hala Ayala vacated to run for Lt. Governor).
But honestly, any of the races in those Competitive or Leans Republican ranges is a good choice. Pick one – or more! – and dive in!
Virginia can keep making progress, or it can, in the blink of an eye, turn into Texas. Which way it goes is up to each of us, and the work we put in in the next 25 days.
Image from Network NoVA, which is another great resource for ways you can help elect Dems in Virginia this fall.
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.