Difference between revisions of "New Virginia Majority"

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'''New Virginia Majority''' is affiliated with [[Freedom Road Socialist Organization]]/[[Liberation Road]].
 
'''New Virginia Majority''' is affiliated with [[Freedom Road Socialist Organization]]/[[Liberation Road]].
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[[Category:Liberation Road]]
 
[[Category:Liberation Road]]
 
==Legislative work==
 
==Legislative work==

Latest revision as of 23:22, 26 March 2020

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New Virginia Majority is affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Liberation Road.

Legislative work

From the New Virginia Majority website;

Recognizing that voters are not just voters, but potentially active community leaders with the capacity to mobilize their neighbors and sustain issue-based advocacy outside of an election, NVM integrates our members into local and statewide legislative campaigns. The most powerful voice is that of a constituent. NVM’s members play a critical role in shaping our issue campaigns and educating elected officials through constituent meetings, legislative visits, and testimonies at public hearings. As advocates for a fair and just Commonwealth, we monitor and support legislation that supports the well-being of all Virginians.[1]

New Virginia Majority Training: Solidarity Spring

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From Liberation Road newsletter June 2019:

New Virginia Majority Training: Solidarity Spring. Two Liberation Road cadre attended a training that was coordinated with the Inside/Outside Project and New Virginia Majority (NVM). The training focused on learning about the analysis, strategy and methods of NVM because of their long practiced and developed electoral centered strategy. Cadre got to meet and build with members of CPUSA, DSA, and LeftRoots. It was an enriching experience for all with budding political relationships that will exist beyond the training.

NVM flips Virginia

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On election night November 5 2019 New Virginia Majority claimed credit for flipping Virginia.

From a New Virginia Majority press release:[2]

Tonight, voters across Virginia made one thing clear: real power in the state comes from its people. With a remarkable turnout for an off-off election year, Virginians elected a majority of Democrats to the General Assembly. For the first time since 1993, Democrats govern all three legislative bodies.
“When we engage voters on the issues impacting their lives, we empower entire communities to affect change. In 2019, we knocked on over 500,000 doors, and we talked to voters about protecting their healthcare, and ensuring their children are safe in their neighborhoods and schools, regardless of where they live or where they come from,” said Maya Castillo, New Virginia Majority’s Political Director. “Voters want to see themselves and their communities reflected in the people they elect to govern Virginia, and were very clear in making that choice at the polls.”
Voters and organizers like Shana Boston were key to the Democratic victory. “This is my life’s work: going back to people who have had their rights restored to ensure they are registered to vote.” Boston voted absentee and she’s “excited to see the numbers come in, to see our team watch this victory.”
Virginia voters came out to the polls to show that they wanted their governing bodies to take a direction that will move us towards a more inclusive, reflective, and just democracy. A Virginia for all of us will enact legislation to ensure that our families are strong, that our democracy works for us, and that our communities thrive.

Of the 23 candidates endorsed by New Virginia Majority 15 won. They were:

Tram Nguyen on Virginia victory

Tram Nguyen in the NYT on Democrats flipping Virginia November 5, 2019 "Democrats could learn a lot from what happened in Virginia"[3]

On Tuesday night, Virginia Democrats won their most consequential election in decades. After obtaining a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly, Democrats now have a governing trifecta for the first time since 1993. This is no accident. It comes in the midst of a generational political shift that was put in motion years ago. Virginia’s Democrats got where they are today as a result of year-round community organizing and voter engagement.

For decades, Democrats allowed the prize of an Electoral College victory to blind them to electoral opportunities elsewhere, staving off funding and failing to provide meaningful support for candidates, campaigns and local parties in places they had written off as unwinnable. The national Democratic Party spent millions in Virginia this year, but the state wasn’t always such a priority. From its position in the South to its prominent role in America’s legacy of oppression, Virginia was long considered reliably conservative — unbreakable. As recently as six years ago, Republicans controlled the office of the governor and the General Assembly.

Local organizations like mine understood the political potential of Virginia when we got started 12 years ago. We are winning because we recognize the power of an electorate that includes and reflects the diversity of our state. We don’t talk to voters only when campaign season rolls around. We try to reach voters of all colors, women, low-income workers and young people where they are, which has made it possible for us to develop a robust base of support along Virginia’s so-called Urban Crescent, from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads. Long before Election Day, we registered more than 300,000 voters, knocked on more than 2.5 million doors, and organized within communities of color to help win significant policy changes like Medicaid expansion, which covered nearly 400,000 people.

I don’t say this to brag about our organization, but to make the case that this type of year-round organizing can pave the way for victory nationally. The restoration of voting rights provides another example. Virginia’s state constitution bars anyone with a felony conviction from voting until their rights have been restored by the governor. For more than nine years, we organized formerly incarcerated women and men to help them demand that their full civil rights be restored. The former governor, Terry McAuliffe, restored the voting rights of more than 173,000 Virginians during his term, more than any other governor in Virginia’s history. In 2016, of the nearly 20,000 men and women who registered to vote for the first time as a result of the restoration of their rights, a whopping 79 percent voted. They were a key voting bloc in Virginia, the only Southern state that Hillary Clinton won.

Part of the failure of the Democratic Party and many mainstream political organizations in the past has come out of their belief that these communities weren’t worth investing in. But trust is not built overnight. We don’t just sweep in and register voters before an election; we are registering people every day. That work is ingrained in our organization’s DNA. And we talk to people, all year, about issues that are important to them: affordable health care, access to a good education, reforming the criminal justice system, protecting voting rights and making sure our communities have clean air, water and public lands. That is what voters responded to this fall.

But changes in the shape of the electorate and rising enthusiasm among voters can only go so far, without campaign architecture that channels those changes into tangible political outcomes. Democrats can’t view these communities as a means to an end, without building authentic relationships with the people who live there.

Engaging meaningfully with voters of color means talking to tens of thousands of voters to make sure they have the information they need to cast their ballots even after receiving racist Republican campaign communications. It means listening to the changes voters want after a year of having to put up with blackface and sexual misconduct scandals among the state’s top leadership, swastikas and other symbols of hate plastered on the walls of community centers, and KKK recruitment efforts in broad daylight. We didn’t need to persuade voters to embrace our worldview — they were already there on the issues. They just needed to be convinced that their vote mattered. To give one example of how this works in practical terms, in precincts in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, turnout this year increased by 24 percent over 2017.

The lesson here is that Democrats must not write off entire geographies or communities. It took years of organizing and multiple election cycles that resulted in incremental progress for Virginia to reach the point where a Democratic sweep was possible. The same arguments once used to justify chronic underinvestment in Virginia’s progressive potential have been used to undermine the potential of similar states in the South, including other states that saw important shifts Tuesday night, like Kentucky, where the Democratic candidate for governor, Andy Beshear, appeared to beat the Trump-endorsed incumbent, Matt Bevin, in a state the president won by 30 percentage points in 2016.

States don’t become battlegrounds overnight. Democrats and national progressive organizations have the resources to take their case to the people and win, but they have to start early and organize relentlessly. When they lose, they have to stay in place and keep fighting for every political inch they can get. No place is unwinnable forever.

People's Convention 2019

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In July Christopher Rashad Green, Isamar Ortega, D'Elena Camacho, Thomas Assefa were among the New Virginia Majority activists attending the Center for Popular Democracy's People's Convention 2019 in Detroit. The delegates posed with Linda Sarsour and Rep. Rashida Tlaib among others.

Backing Tim Kaine

Faiza Abdulle was a New Virginia Majority volunteer door-knocking for Tim Kaine in 2012

With the Senate election in Virginia coming down to a photo finish, Mr. Kaine, a former governor, figured that a Democratic army of Faiza Abdulles would make the difference. Republicans, with their own army of door knockers, are hoping that their ground game can eke out a victory by one or two percentage points for George Allen, a former governor and senator. It is a street-level fight of neighborhood canvassing and phone banks conducted largely out of sight and distinct from the ad wars carpet-bombing televisions in Virginia.

On the periphery are separate get-out-the-vote, rally-the-faithful efforts motivated by Mr. Obama but carrying along Mr. Kaine’s message. Canvassing has been going on for months, financed by at least three unions, Planned Parenthood and New Virginia Majority, the group Ms. Abdulle was working for, which is aimed at an expanding immigrant community that has helped turn Virginia from reliably Republican to a battleground.

They may be reliably Democratic, but the women, immigrants and minorities targeted by New Virginia Majority are unreliable voters.

“We are focused almost exclusively on the voters who wouldn’t come out to vote without the attention,” said Rishi Awatramani, the communications director for New Virginia Majority. “If we hit that 2 percent vote share, then we’ve done a good job.”[4]

Supporting "Progressives"

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New Virginia Majority, November 28, 2013;

The local progressive community has a lot to be thankful for this year.

We delivered a stunning blow to the Tea Party by electing Terry McAuliffe as Governor, Ralph Northam as Lieutenant Governor and Mark Herring as Attorney General.

We're hoping that means big changes in Richmond!
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New Virginia Majority knocked on over 35,000 doors in a few day efore the election.

We're been knocking on over 35K doors since the weekend. Today's the big day. VOTE!

Backing state delegates

In 2014 New Virginia Majority our day of action with Jennifer Boysko for Delegate to knocking on doors for Elizabeth Miller for Delegate, Kathleen Murphy, Joshua King, John Bell, Dr. Jill McCabe, Dan Gecker, Gary McCollum and Jeremy McPike for State Senate we visited several thousand households this weekend.

And congratulations to Steve Heretick for Delegate, Kathleen Murphy, @John Bell, Boysko for Delegate, Senator Rosalyn R. Dance, and Jeremy McPike for State Senate - we look forward to working with you in Richmond. Thank you all for standing up for working Virginians. Forward together![5]

Felons voting

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New Virginia Majority, April 22, 2016;

Governor McAuliffe just signed an order restoring the civil rights of over 206,000 Virginians! All Virginians convicted of a felony, who have completed their sentences, including probation and parole, are now able to register to vote.

Vote fraud/felons voting

A former Virginia resident was charged with felony voter registration fraud after prosecutors say he fabricated voter registration forms by “inventing” false applicants, officials announced October 2016.

Vafalay Massaquoi, 30, a former resident of Alexandria, is accused of fabricating records this spring while working for a Democratic-aligned voter registration group, according to Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan L. Porter.

The applications were filed with the Alexandria registrar’s office, which forwarded the matter to prosecutors for review.

Massaquoi was an employee of New Virginia Majority, the progressive advocacy group confirmed in a statement released Friday. The organization said Massaquoi was fired in June and said it will “continue to cooperate” with authorities in the case.

“Protecting the integrity of our elections so they remain free, fair and accessible remains New Virginia Majority’s top priority,” the group said.

New Virginia Majority collaborated with Gov. Terry McAuliffe this year during his push to expand voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences. The group was given advance warning of McAuliffe’s April announcement that he was restoring rights to more than 200,000 ex-offenders. At the governor’s news conference, the group had representatives in the crowd ready to start registering would-be voters.

Massaquoi was arrested in early October in Philadelphia, extradited to Alexandria on Thursday and arraigned in court Friday. He faces two felony counts of forging a public record and two felony counts of voter registration fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

In a statement, Porter said he chose to release information about the case in part because of the upcoming presidential election, but he noted there was no allegation that “any illegal vote was actually cast.”

“Furthermore, since the fraudulent applications involved fictitious people, had the fraud not been uncovered the risk of actual fraudulent votes being cast was low,” Porter said. “However, any such offense is extremely serious and can degrade the confidence we as citizens justly have in our system of elections.”

Massaquoi is being held in Alexandria with a hearing date set for Dec. 13.

The case comes a few weeks after state lawmakers debated the possibility of election fraud at a joint hearing of the General Assembly’s election committees. Republicans have pointed to a similar case in Harrisonburg in which more than a dozen dead people were registered to vote as evidence that fraudulent activity exists and is a justification for voter ID laws. No charges have been filed in the Harrisonburg case, which remains under investigation.

Democrats have emphasized that registration fraud does not necessarily result in fraudulent votes being cast and have suggested that people working to register voters may have financial incentives to turn in as many applications as possible.[6]

Flipping Virginia

Commenting on the November 2017 wave of Democratic electoral victories in Virginia, Freedom Road Socialist Organization leader Thomas Wayne Walker said;[7]

This wave of victories is not just about an upsurge, but about the strategic work that helped facilitated that upsurge into electoral wins. Take Virginia - We know that Virginia New Majority has done tremendous work to engage voters at a mass scale and build progressive electoral infrastructure, and thousands of disenfranchised voters were re-enfranchised after a campaign to restore voting rights succeeded. That amazing organizing is surely fundamental to the victories on Tuesday.
So is the electorate. While most of the elections happened in territories considered generally favorable for Democrats, many of those territories are also undergoing significant, longterm demographic reconstitution; the northern VA suburbs and suburban Seattle have changed from predominantly white to Asian American and Latinx, for instance. This is the demographic change that is restructuring the electorate more generally and that has gotten a lot of attention lately.

ADAMS Center

Tram Nguyen April 1, 2016.

Proud to have New Virginia Majority partner with the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) for an important event about naturalization and citizenship. — attending USCIS Naturalization Information Session at All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).

Comrades

Tram Nguyen September 12, 2015;

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On a rainy Saturday morning, New Virginia Majority members from across the state are gathering in Fredericksburg to strategize and work towards building a more just, sustainable, and democratic Virginia. — with Reena Singh, Jamaa Bickley-King, Evelin Urrutia, Jon Liss, Ingris Moran, Claire Boynton, Daniel Bart Hutchins and Jordan Butler.

New Virginia Majority 2017 Endorsements

September 12, 2017

New Virginia Majority has endorsed a slate of candidates who we believe are best positioned to push the state forward with an agenda that is inclusive of all Virginians, no matter who they are and where they live.

Statewide candidates:

House of Delegates candidates:

Tram Nguyen named to Ralph Northam Bipartisan Transition Committee

Tram Nguyen Co-Executive Director, New Virginia Majority, Washington, D.C. was named to the Ralph Northam Bipartisan Transition Committee, November 15, 2017.[9]

Liss/VPSN connection

Virgina Student Power Network works closely with Jon Liss and his New Virginia Majority.

People's Congress

In September 2015, Virgina Student Power Network organizers joined our organizational partner, New Virginia Majority, for their first annual People's Congress! It was incredible to build solidarity around the state, for campaigns fighting around mass incarceration, immigrant justice, and debt-free higher education.[10]

Communist Party infiltration

In a Janary 24 2018 article on the Communist Party USA website "Survey says, CPUSA members want to be heard" John Bachtell wrote;[11]

Most members are involved in their communities and in a range of labor, social justice, environmental and peace organizations.
Among the labor activists are trade union leaders and members of central labor councils, retiree organizations, Jobs with Justice and the Fight for 15.
Others are involved in feminist organizations including Planned Parenthood, defense of abortion clinics and the new #MeToo movement.
Many are involved in racial justice groups including Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, immigrant rights, LGTBQ organizations and disability rights groups.

Members were involved with Bernie Sanders campaign and are continuing their activism in Our Revolution, Swing Left, Indivisible, Working Families Party, statewide groups like the New Virginia Majority and local Democratic Party groups and 2018 electoral campaigns.
Several members are elected officials.

VNM and Team Virginia

Tram Nguyen June 7, 2018 ·

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Some of Team New Virginia Majority and Team VA - BLOC with Governor of Virginia (Ralph Northam), and Lt Gov Justin Fairfax #MedicaidExpansionVA #VAGov #HealthyVA — with Alex Bratton, Jasmine Marie Leeward, Tyrone S. Williams II and Justin Fairfax in Richmond, Virginia.

Personnel

NVM Staff

New Virginia Majority staff, as of November 2018;

As of December 2017;

As of 2015;[14]

Board

As of December 2017;[15]

As of 2015;[16]

ADAMS center connection

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VNM Organizing Academy April '13

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Virginia New Majority Organizing Academy April '13 closed Facebook group, accessed November 17, 2017.

Admin

Members

References