by Kim Drew Wright
In 1963, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, was the year President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Beatlemania was newly beginning in the states with the release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the US Post Office began using zip codes, the cost of a gallon of gas was 29 cents, and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at Lincoln Memorial — just two hours north of Chesterfield County.
I wasn’t born until almost a decade later, so I have never seen the type of passion and civil engagement that is now boiling over in my county, throughout the state, and across the country. I founded Liberal Women of Chesterfield County a mere two days after the 2016 presidential election results. What started as a plea for like-minded folks to support each other, rapidly turned into 2,300 county residents actively participating in their government. For six months, I have been working full-time with no pay, despite those Republican rumors circulating, to gather strength for the Democrats in Chesterfield County so we can ensure our progressive values of equality don’t get abolished with the current administration. Many tough and talented, like-minded people, have joined the effort and we have created a force to be reckoned with in our area. LWCC has brought in candidates to speak to us, written letters to the editor of our local papers, advocated for bills in our General Assembly, attended rallies, protests, and marches, and mailed thousands of post cards to our representatives from Board of Supervisors to State Senators.
We have also worked with our candidates early on, many of which, are ordinary citizens like me or you, that felt compelled after the presidential election to run for office. They need our excitement, passion, and dedication to help them win these districts. LWCC works with, not only, those candidates in Chesterfield County who are running against long-seated Republicans, but, also candidates in surrounding areas that have a good shot in this historical year to usurp the incumbent.
Our next strategy to help our VA House candidates is an LWCC Money Bomb — we’ll spotlight one candidate running for this November’s VA House race — ask for donations and volunteers for their campaign and precinct work. We’ll be sharing articles on Blue Virginia about the spotlighted candidate and asking Democrats from across the country to donate to our cause here in Virginia. One thing I’ve learned from the 2016 fiasco is that our local-level government is critical, and that each House seat counts regardless of if it’s in “your” district or not. LWCC slogan is “Each of our causes, is all of our causes.”
This can apply to the House seats, too, and, also, each of our states. None of us in this country that care about our basic civil rights and the freedom that America stands for, can afford to lose any ground — anywhere. We have to protect each other’s back. Virginia and New Jersey are the first states to test this with 2017 elections. We must win these seats. It is about more than these seats — it is about our basic human rights and what we are willing to do to stand up for each other.
We need your help to turn VA races blue and win back this country from the Tea Party that is holding Americans hostage. Please follow Voice of Virginia these next few months, meet our candidates that matter in VA this year, and GIVE so that we can impact these races and gain strength in numbers. Monday 5/15, I’ll be introducing Larry Barnett, for House District 27, to you. You’re going to love him!
Current VA House Districts that fall (at least partially) inside Chesterfield County: