Home Virginia Politics Mayor Jones, Just Say No

Mayor Jones, Just Say No


Mayor Dwight Jones photo 140311MayorJones_zps3245b2ae.jpgOr agree to resign as Chair either if the federal appeals court overturns Judge Wright Allen in Bostic v. Rainey (and/or the Harris case) or if the federal court ruling is appealed to the Supreme Court. In the unlikely case where the ruling is upheld and not appealed, stay on.

Citing an order by the U.S. Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages in Utah as a federal court ruling allowing them is pending appeal, Brown said “the stay gives us hope that it will be overturned” and that “it is not all lost.” – reported in the Richmond Times Dispatch

Come May, there is small doubt that the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) will be called upon for a strong statement of support for same-sex rights. A Party Chair whose views are “evolving” won’t carry that water. The Chair must be as dedicated to same-sex equity as those who have vowed to continue the fight against it.

Or, lie. Say you genuinely support marriage equality. You have to decide whether being a hypocrite or a liar is the greater sin; clearly you have to commit one. You do have some experience which will inform your choice. You didn’t bat an eye when you spun a tale of success regarding the training camp blunder.

Your choice. But “evolving” isn’t leading; it’s following. The DPVA deserves a leader who can be honest about where the Party is, be certain where it should go, and be able to deliver tangible results.  

  • *Ryan Nobles (‏@ryanobles) tweeted about an hour ago: “BREAKING: #RVA Mayor Dwight Jones is the only candidate to file for @VADemocrats chair as of 5pm deadline. He will be the next chair” and “A good lesson in party politics.. as we said at the beginning.. When it comes to picking a party chair a sitting guv gets what he wants.”

    *‏@ryanobles tweeted about 30 minutes ago: “JUST IN: VA Beach School Board member @joelmcdonald tells me that he has filed for @VADemocrats Chair. The Party is now checking to confirm.”

    *Catherine Read has confirmed that she is NOT a candidate.

  • Dan Sullivan

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve accepted Governor Terry McAuliffe’s request that I run for chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Most folks know me from my time in the General Assembly or in my current capacity as the Mayor of Richmond. I wanted to write to you today and tell you why I’m a Democrat and how fighting for social justice and economic fairness has shaped my life in and out of public service.

    I grew up in Philadelphia where I delivered newspapers to the home of the Rev. Leon Sullivan, my father’s great friend and my mentor.  He helped organize those of us in our city who were unhappy with discriminatory hiring practices to withhold our buying power. He first instilled in me the belief that, in the face of injustice, we have the tools to fight for fairness.  I carry that core principle with me each day and am a Democrat because our Party stands for social justice and equal treatment.

    I still remember, as a teenager, taking the train from California to DC during the March on Washington and being moved by the passion and conviction of those who dared to stand up for justice. There was an incredible aura of anticipation as we were realizing a new day was coming. It changed my life. It is also what has kept me open to change all these years and to reach for more in my life.

    As a young man, I moved to Richmond to attend Virginia Union University. That’s where I grew in my faith and knew that I had to get myself involved in the community. I was later called to pastor First Baptist Church of South Richmond, a politically active church. We took the church to a new level of social activism. There was a severe lack of affordable housing on the south side, so I worked with community partners to create housing options for low-income residents. This has led to sustainable development on a previously depressed corridor. We bridged the racial divide by working with a multiracial coalition of pastors to create the South Richmond Senior Adult Daycare to fill unmet services to some of our community’s most vulnerable people. I was so honored to celebrate my 40th anniversary of ministry just this past year and we continue that work today.

    I served on the Richmond School Board and then became a Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. I had the honor to Chair the Legislative Black Caucus and stood on the front lines to fight predatory lending. Recognizing the need to develop leadership and build succession, I was also honored to work with Governor Mark Warner and other great friends to create the Minority Political Leadership Institute and establish its legacy at VCU. I then decided to run for Mayor because while we are experiencing incredible growth here in the capital city, I saw some of us being left behind. That’s why I established the first Mayoral Anti-Poverty Commission, which continues its work today bearing the name of one of my personal heroes, Maggie L. Walker. We’ve built four new schools since I took office, because our children deserve to learn and grow in  safe and state-of-the-art buildings. We are about to open a new Justice Center, centered on new and innovative alternatives to incarceration. And we’ve done all this while also strengthening Richmond’s finances, earning six bond rating upgrades from Wall Street in five years. We’re demonstrating that social justice can go hand-in-hand with responsible business practices.

    We are the party that fights for social justice and equal treatment under the law. We are the party that stands up for economic fairness. We are a party that finds our strength in acceptance of all, without regard to race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We’re the party that fights discrimination. We are the party that has a big enough tent to allow others to evolve in their own beliefs and understandings. We pull up a chair to those who don’t have a seat at the table.

    I have been a Democrat all my life. I have had the privilege of campaigning and working with so many great Democrats from the local to federal level. I know the power of a strong local committee and active and engaged grassroots, because I’ve relied on them in every campaign.

    We need to continue to build the party and hire a strong Executive Director and support staff. We need to make sure that we have openness and transparency at the core of our decision making. We need to make sure we build a strong rapid response and research program. We need to focus on candidate training to make sure that anyone carrying our party’s banner can go forth confidently. We need to make sure that we’re always using the time and talents of our incredible grassroots army efficiently and effectively. I believe that a strong and sustainable party will keep Virginia blue for generations to come.

    On election night in 2008, I remember taking some time from tracking my own results to reflect on the historic night. I thought about how it had been 44 years since Virginia went blue and how we led the way to elect the first African American President. I still have the front page of the Times-Dispatch hanging in my office. I feel blessed to share a little piece of history on that night.

    I humbly ask for your support on March 15. Let’s keep making history together,

    Dwight C. Jones