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Message from the Chair

FCDC Mourns the Passing of Laverne Taylor

FCDC Dine Out Events Continue

Special Reports

  • Pull Out the Stops for Election Day

Campaign Reports

  • Update from Moran for Congress Campaign
  • Update from the Barnett for Congress Campaign
  • Update from the Connolly for Congress Campaign
  • Update from Delegate Sickles

Congressional District Reports

  • 8th Congressional District Report
  • 11th Congressional District Report

Standing Committee Reports

  • National Affairs Standing Committee
  • Election Protection
  • Finance Committee
  • Seniors Committee

Local Issues and Reports

  • Hunter Mill Report
  • Lee Report
  • Mason Report
  • Mt Vernon Report
  • Providence District Report
  • Sully District Report

Sustainers Honor Roll

Upcoming Events

  • Democrats Dine Out – Vespucci

About The Democrat

Message from the Chair


In an interview with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, former President Bill Clinton said the fate of Democrats in the November election comes down to whether the election is a referendum or a choice. Republicans want to argue that after 21 months Democrats have failed to refill the hole they dug in 8 years. Republicans say Democrats have spent $800 billion to create jobs and failed, although only about a third of that spending went toward job creation and it ended the 19-month downward economic spiral that started in December 2007. They want the election to be a referendum on Democrats.

Democrats need to remind voters that while more work remains, Republicans are only offering up a return to the same ideas that caused the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression and a loss of respect for America throughout the world. This election is about choices. Here are the choices that Republicans offer:

  • More tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations who ship jobs overseas and the addition of $4 trillion to the nation’s budget deficit over the next decade.
  • More talk about deficit reduction with no action.
  • More deregulation of Too-Big-to-Fail Banks and Wall Street hustlers like Bernie Madoff.
  • Going back to energy and environmental policies written by Big Oil, such as British Petroleum.
  • A return to unrestrained Defense spending with no-bid contracts for the likes of Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton.
  • Another lost decade without middle class wage increases.
  • Another attempt to enact the failed idea to privatize Social Security and doom future generations to poverty when they can no longer work.
  • Repeal of health care protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • An end to health insurance coverage for young adults under their parent’s policies.
  • Reopening the donut hole in Medicare prescription benefits for senior citizens.
  • Obstruction of efforts to provide health insurance to over 30 million uninsured Americans.
  • A retreat from global respect for America.
  • A government that turns its back on American values by torturing our enemies and illegally wiretapping its own citizens.
  • A slide toward Third World status by the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

Let’s make sure voters know the choices. Here in Fairfax County, Democrats have three terrific candidates for voters—Congressman Gerry Connolly in the 11th congressional district, Congressman Jim Moran in the 8th congressional district, and Jeff Barnett in the 10th congressional district. They offer a real choice to take our region, state, and country forward and away from the failed and discredited ways of the past. Get fired up Democrats! Let’s move forward!


FCDC Mourns the Passing of Laverne Taylor

By Sue Rosenberg, former chair of Dranesville District Democratic Committee

LaVerne Taylor was a lifelong Democrat. She was chairman of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee from 1974 to 1976 and treasurer of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee from 1978 to 1992. Her precinct operations and her voter file were legendary. Her home precinct, Salona, demographically should be solidly Republican, but under LaVerne’s leadership is solidly 60%+ Democratic. As Paul Begala has said, “nobody can say ‘no’ to LaVerne.”

In addition to serving as treasurer of FCDC, LaVerne was also treasurer for at least one of the late State Senator Clive DuVal’s campaigns. DuVal was pro death penalty, and LaVerne told DuVal that she would not be his treasurer unless he came out against the death penalty. So he did. This, according to his daughter-in-law, was a remarkable achievement and typical of LaVerne who politely but fiercely, achieved her goals.

While LaVerne Taylor grew up in Virginia on a farm in Arlington she did spend some time in Montana where she was the first woman elected Missoula County auditor. As auditor, she rooted out corruption in the county commissioners, causing the entire commission to be sent to jail. And here’s something that I found just the other day:

A town in Missoula County needed to build a new school. The old school, which opened with 12 pupils, now had 110. But there wasn’t enough money for the new school. From Love’s “Early history of schools in the Seeley Swan”:

  • Missoula County Auditor, LaVerne Taylor, volunteered to help secure Federal Aid for the new school by asking the federal government to qualify it as an “impacted school.”
  • Her request was denied because that aid applied only to growth from a government activity such as a dam or military installation.
  • Auditor Taylor, at her own expense, flew to Washington, D.C. to appear before a joint house and senate committee meeting on April 14, 1956.
  • When she asked if anyone wanted to see pictures the Committee Chairman said, “No, Mrs. Taylor I can practically smell that hoss barn now.”
  • As of a result of her testimony several schools in Montana, Idaho and Washington were able to receive federal aid as “impacted schools” due to the Spruce bark beetle infestation.
  • Seeley Lake received $13,000, which they used to purchase desks and to equip the school kitchen.


FCDC Dine Out Events Continue

These events are proving to be loads of fun as we move from district to district. By joining us, you can enjoy Democratic fellowship while you are supporting FCDC. Check out the FCDC calendar for our Dine Out schedule.

Our next event is Wednesday, October 13th, at Vespucci restaurant on Route 50 in Fairfax.

See flyer below for more information.


Special Reports


Pull Out the Stops for Election Day

By Glenda C. Booth, Chair, Hollin Hall Precinct

This is the fourth of several articles on basic precinct work, how Democrats working in their precincts at the grassroots level can help fulfill our fundamental mission to elect Democrats.

“The whole state must be so well organized that every Whig can be brought to the polls. So divide the county into small districts and appoint in each a committee. Make a perfect list of the voters and ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote. Keep a constant watch on the doubtful voters and have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence. On Election Day see that every Whig is brought to the polls.”

– Abraham Lincoln, Letter to a friend, 1840

Aspiring president Abraham Lincoln summed up better than I can the task ahead for all Democrats in October.

October is the time to move into high get-out-the-vote (GOTV) mode, to persuade people to vote for our candidates, to motivate volunteers, and to remind people of the coming election and their responsibility to vote.

Wearing party or candidate t-shirts and insignia is often a good way to remind people that an election is approaching and to generate conversations.

Identify and Encourage Absentee Voters

Identify voters who are not likely to vote in person on Election Day, for example, college students, people confined to their home, people who commute long distances, people who travel frequently, people in nursing homes, and people attending local colleges and universities. As you see people in your community, ask if they will be here on Election Day. Give potential absentees an absentee ballot application (available at the libraries or at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb/absentee.htm), candidate information, deadlines and your recommendations.

Pay close attention to the deadlines. People voting absentee by mail need to allow time to get the application, send it in, receive the ballot and return the ballot by Election Day. You can download an application form from the county’s Office of Elections website, but it must be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service or faxed to the Office of Elections. Go here for all the rules and deadlines: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb/absentee.htm

Many people like to vote in-person “absentee” or ahead of time. Some call this “early voting.” At http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb/absentee.htm, you can see the list of 13 circumstances that the Office of Elections says allows you to vote early, for example, “working or commuting for 11 or more hours between 6 am and 7 pm Try to identify people who are likely to be in those circumstances and give them the information and deadlines in writing and candidate literature. Call and remind them before the early voting period ends. Many people prefer voting ahead to completing paperwork and having a paper or mail transaction. Also, many older people prefer to vote early rather than stand in long lines on Election Day.

Know Our Candidates

Collect the candidates’ literature from their headquarters and study their positions. If you are unsure about their views or a vote, call their campaign offices and ask. Never, never try to explain a candidate’s views or position if you are not certain. You can also ask the campaign staff to call voters and answer their questions.

Ask people on the most heavily traveled streets to put up a sign for the Democratic candidates. Get signs from the campaigns and tell the campaigns of those who agree.

Organize Volunteers; Give Them Tasks

Start organizing your volunteers, sooner rather than later, to do the following:

In delivering materials, if people are not home leave the materials visibly in the front door or the door used daily, preferably in plastic bags. It is illegal to place materials in mailboxes. Be sure to stress this to your workers.

Work at your local polls on Election Day, inside from 6 a .m. to probably 3 pm; outside, from 6 am to 7 pm. Inside workers mark off names of voters as they vote. Outside workers greet voters and hand out sample ballots. The Office of Elections can tell you how many workers each party will be allowed to work inside near the official election workers.

Most volunteers have strong preferences about where they like to work on Election Day. Inside workers need good hearing. Outside workers generally need to be able to stand for two hours or so and be comfortable greeting voters.

Prepare a schedule of all workers, inside and out, and give the schedule to each volunteer and party and campaign officials. Be sure to put your contact information on the schedule.

Call people who have not voted on Election Day. Committee officials will tell you the time to stop taking down names inside the polls and when to start calling. You will probably need three people to call the non-voters, roughly between 3 pm and 6:30 pm. One person, usually the precinct chair, should collect the lists from workers inside the polls and take the lists and instructions to the people who have agreed to call those who have not voted.

Recruit several people to be available on Election Day to drive people to the polls. These should be individuals who will commit to being available all day on Election Day.

The committee or your district chair or the campaigns will give you more specific instructions, information, and materials, such as sample ballots, before Election Day.

Election Day

The committee and campaigns will give you a list of Election Day materials that you will need at your voting place. Prepare for all kinds of weather and prepare yourself for a long day that will stretch into the evening. Put your cellphone in your pocket or on your belt and put all contact information such as campaign headquarters and committee officials’ telephone numbers in your pocket. The night before Election Day, pack your car so you can leave home by 5 am or so.

The most important task on Election Day is for your inside workers to mark off all voters as they vote and to call or visit Democrats who have not voted and urge them to vote. Ask your election officials in your precinct on Election Day to show you a list of all absentee voters if you ask. Mark them off the list.

Get to your polling place by 5:30 am at the latest. Set up your table and materials; put up signs. Give the list of voters in your precinct to your first inside workers and a supply of permission slips to keep at the inside table. The Democratic committee will provide these.

Plan to spend the entire day managing your get-out-the-vote effort in your precinct. Check in frequently and support your volunteers. Provide them with snacks and beverages. If a candidate comes to your polling place, introduce him or her to all of your volunteers and arriving or departing voters. Take a picture.

After the polls close at 7 pm, each party is allowed at least one person to observe the count. The committee will give you instructions and rules. You may be asked to call in the vote count. The time it takes the election officials to count votes in each precinct varies tremendously. You could be there for several hours if there are problems.

On election night, go to the victory party, whether our candidates win or lose. And pat yourself on the back for all of your hard work.

Campaign Reports


Congressman Jim Moran recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan. Dan Duckworth on Jim’s left in the photo, worked a full-time internship at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) in the summer of 2008 and now serves in Afghanistan with the 374th Financial Management Company.

FCDC has adopted Dan’s company and is collecting donations to send care packages to help support the troops.  Please contact Bruce Neilson c/o info@fairfaxdemocrats.org for more information or to donate goods.

Update from Moran for Congress Campaign


We are in need of volunteers!  Amanda Lynn Holmes is the Fairfax County field organizer and would LOVE to have you as a volunteer- please contact her at amanda@moranforcongress.org or 757-660-2531.  We especially need volunteers to help out on October 9th with the in person absentee polling places in Fairfax County.  Help us get the word out about what a great congressman we have to re-elect.  We have phone banking regularly out of Don Beyer Volvo- Route 1 in Alexandria, canvassing out of Susie Warner’s house, and are getting the Reston office up and running with the help of Tom Goldsmith as our volunteer canvass lead.  Right now we are canvassing there every Saturday from 1-4 pm.  This past week we received the results back from a poll we did. Our own polls show the national wave swamping Democrats is now also hitting our race. The message: No incumbent, regardless of accomplishments, proven track record, and dedication, is safe. Jim’s support is strongest among those least enthusiastic about voting. On the other hand, Republicans are energized and have rallied behind a very conservative candidate. If Democratic intensity remains on life support, this will be a close election. We need your help to turn out Democrats and avert electoral disaster for the party.  Make sure to keep October 29-November 2 open. We WILL need YOUR help to Get Out The Vote.  Thank you to everyone who has volunteered with us thus far and I look forward to working with many more of you over the next month.

Volunteer Opportunities:

In Mt. Vernon/Lee:

  • Canvassing: Saturdays 10:45 am, Susie Warner’s House (6229 Edison Drive, Alexandria)
  • Phone banking: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 6-9 pm, Don Beyer Volvo- Route 1 (7416 Richmond Highway, Alexandria)

In Hunter Mill/Reston:

  • Canvassing: Saturdays 1 pm, Reston Office (1675-F Reston Parkway, between the dry cleaner and barber)
  • Phone banking: Tuesdays, Thursdays 6-9 pm, Reston Office  (1675-F Reston Parkway, between the dry cleaner and barber)

In Mason/Providence:

  • Canvassing/Phone banking: Saturdays and Sundays 11am-2 pm, FCDC HQ (2815 Hartland Road, Falls Church)

For all volunteer opportunities, PLEASE contact Amanda before showing up.  amanda@moranforcongress.org or 757.660.2531 cell

Debate: Arab American Institute Candidates Forum

  • Sunday, October 10 7-9 pm
  • Tysons Corner Marriott
  • 8028 Leesburg Pike, Vienna

Debate: Fairfax Chamber of Commerce

  • Tuesday, October 12  noon
  • George Mason University Campus

Debate: Hayfield Farm Citizens’ Association Candidates’ Night

  • Wednesday, October 20 7:30 pm
  • Hayfield Elementary School (cafeteria)
  • 7633 Telegraph Road, Alexandria

Campaign Manager Mary Moran

Fairfax County Field Organizer Amanda Lynn Holmes

Field Director Atima Omara-Alwala

Update from the Barnett for Congress Campaign


Marc Abanto, Campaign Manager

What a month it has been for the campaign! From an 80-mile walk across the district in early September to a flurry of Back-to-School Night activity at the end of the month, the campaign is out in full force. Read on to see what we’ve been doing and how you can get involved.

80 Miles, 13 Towns, 6 Days

On September 3, Jeff took a right turn out of the post office parking lot in Gore, Virginia and began his journey across the 10th District. Along the way, Jeff greeted thousands of voters, talking to them about our campaign and ideas for moving Virginia forward. Six days later, after walking more than 80 miles, Jeff finished his journey in front of one of his favorite local pizza places in McLean. Everywhere we went, people were impressed with Jeff’s openness and his interest in returning accountable leadership to the 10th District. They bought into Jeff’s ideas and some even said they would vote for him despite disagreements on policy issues. Why? Because he took the time to come to their communities and ask them for their vote directly and it’s been a long time since their congressman has done that. People respect candidates who play it straight. Jeff’s trek across the district generated a great deal of excitement for our campaign. A huge thank you to everyone who walked with Jeff, hosted an event, or supported us along the way.

Back to School Nights in Full Force

In mid-September, volunteers in the Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Springfield, and Sully Districts began handing out campaign literature at 10th District Back-to-School Nights. Talking about education with the many voters who are committed to protecting and improving our world class public schools is a great way to generate strong grassroots support. Back-to-school nights run through the middle of October so we still need your help! If you are available to pitch in with our Back to School Night efforts, email Jesus Altamirano at jesus@jeffbarnettforcongress.com, and he will put you in touch with the district coordinator in your area. Thank you to everyone who has helped with Back to School Night thus far.

No Show, No Surprise.

On September 17, all of the congressional candidates from Northern Virginia’s three congressional districts attended a political forum sponsored by the Coalition of Asia Pacific Americans of Virginia – all of the candidates, that is, except for one. Just as he has been doing for much of the campaign, Frank Wolf dodged the tough questions and refused to appear in public with his opponent – opting to send a surrogate instead. Maybe that’s because Frank Wolf doesn’t want to be held accountable for his failed economic leadership. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t want to answer for voting against Virginia jobs. The choice this November could not be more clear: we need accountable and accessible leadership in the 10th District.

Volunteer with the Campaign!

Our field efforts are starting to pay dividends. People are excited about the leadership and accountability Jeff will bring to Washington. We’re running a grassroots, people-powered campaign – that means we need your help! Join us for phone-banking and door-knocking as we contact tens of thousands of voters, sharing our ideas for Virginia’s future. Fairfax County is one of the population centers of the 10th District, and significant turnout here will help us win. If you’ve got a few hours to help move Virginia forward, head to www.jeffbarnettforcongress.com and click on the “volunteer” button.

Get Your Campaign Materials!

Want a yard sign? How about a bumper sticker or some campaign literature? Tell us what you need, and we’ll send it to you.

Contact the Campaign

If you have any questions about a particular aspect of the campaign, please contact one of our staff. We’d love to speak with you!

Report from Gerry Connolly for Congress Campaign


By James Walkinshaw, Campaign Manager, (703) 267-6888

October is here and our campaign is poised for victory on November 2. We know the climate is tough, and it is no secret that the Tea Party is zeroed in on the 11th. district. We will not be successful if we do not have every Fairfax Democrat motivated and energized.

Close campaigns come down to the little things. That’s why we need your help to knock on doors, make phone calls, and put up yard signs. This is the final lap of our sprint to November 2. We cannot afford to let up now, especially when there is so much riding on the outcome of this election.

If you do not make that extra phone call or knock on that one last door, we could wake up on November 3 with Speaker John Boehner. If we do not give this race everything we have, we will hand Congress over to the Tea Party.

President Obama needs allies in Congress to solve the challenges facing our nation. If Fairfax Democrats fail to act in these final weeks, the president will be handcuffed and forced to battle the right wing every step of the way. The time to act is now. Please contact our campaign at 703-375-9374 or email us at volunteer@gerryconnolly.com to get involved.

We already know what the Republicans have in store for us as we move closer to Election Day: negative ads that distort the truth and twist the facts. The only way to combat these false attacks is to make the person-to-person connections by reaching people over the phone and at their doorstep.

The stakes this year are too high to sit on the sidelines.

Gerry is counting on you to tell your friends and family what this election is all about. This race is about a choice between the failed policies of the previous administration and the wise decisions to put our country back on track. If the Tea Party hijacks Congress, then they will work day and night to turn the clock back on the progress we have made over the last two years.

This will be the last article in The Democrat before November 2. Please visit our website, www.GerryConnolly.com, for more frequent updates.

Update from Delegate Sickles


By Delegate Mark Sickles

Elected Officials at Mark Sickles' BBQ

I write as the fall semester at Virginia’s colleges and universities is just getting started. You might have recently dropped off your son or daughter at UVA, Radford, Norfolk State, Longwood, Mary Washington, Virginia Tech, James Madison, George Mason, Virginia State, VCU, or another one of Virginia’s 16 public four-year schools.  Or, as many more students are now doing, your favorite child may be heading to NVCC to better discover her/his interests, get an in-demand technical degree, or to simply save some money. For many parents, college is something you are still saving for, or should be saving for.  Some parents may be helping their children pay back their student loans. No matter what stage of preparing for higher education you find yourself, you are likely aware that tuition has risen substantially in recent years.

Virginia is now on the high side with regard to in-state tuition rates. In the early part of the Great Recession, the General Assembly was forced to cut funding for higher education. In the two-year budget that just went into effect on July 1, however, we were able to hold higher education harmless from further cuts.  That does not mean that tuition will not rise over the biennium.  The Commonwealth does not have a state college system like North Carolina but instead a separate governing body appointed by the Governor–a Board of Visitors–for each school. These boards are given the autonomy to make policy and to set tuition and fee rates. They have followed different strategies, some planning on steady, modest, year-to-year increases, while others have tried to hold back but then allowed tuition to skyrocket. Virginia is home to some of America’s finest public universities. It is not just William and Mary, UVA, and Virginia Tech that attract students from across the United States–our out-of-state populations are growing at JMU, VCU, UMW, GMU, etc. Every year I hear from parents who are disappointed that their well-qualified child did not get into one of our better known, premier schools while the out-of-state population may reach 35 percent. Unfortunately, the only way to make the numbers work is to welcome a larger than necessary cohort of students that pay more than the cost of their education. While an out-of-state student may keep a qualified student from Virginia out, they are keeping the cost of tuition for Virginians down. It is a terrible trade-off.

For the civic-minded business community, the future of higher education is the one issue, other than our lack of transportation funding, that most threatens Virginia’s high ratings as a place to set up shop. That is why Governor McDonnell has appointed an advisory commission to study the future of higher education. My colleagues and I are anxious to see if there are creative ways to improve our situation while not further raising the cost of higher education. Stay tuned.

As always, if you have ideas to make Virginia a better place to live, please contact us at delmsickles@house.virginia.gov or call us at (703) 922-6440.

Congressional District Reports


8th Congressional District Report

Pixie Bell, 8th CD First Vice Chair

The next meeting of the 8th CD will be Oct 18, 8 pm, Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls Road, Falls Church City.

When you read this, the DPVA will have met and amended the Party Plan to: Add to the State Central Committee (SCC) the General Assembly House and Senate Minority Leaders when Democrats; a caucus retains a seat on SCC unless it has a seat on the Steering Committee; set forth non-exclusive criteria for adding caucus representatives to the Steering Committee.  At the Next SCC in December there will be a vote to add the following caucuses: DLOV, DPVA LGBT, and VMFC.  The Resolutions Committee endorsed four resolutions: 1. Democracy Restoration Act (passed); 2. Comprehensive Immigration Reform (passed); 3. The Disclose Act, (passed) and 4. Amending the Constitution to Restore the People’s Right to Limit Corporate Influence in Elections  (failed, after very spirited discussion).  Also, a resolution was introduced by Chairman Cranwell, DPVA, expressing appreciation and thanks to Pixie Bell for her longtime and continuing contributions to the Party.  (I was presented with a lovely framed copy of the resolution – thank you Janet Carver and Margo Horner).

After adjournment, we headed for Mark Warner’s Almost Annual Pig Roast.  Mark was in fine form and people were still in line to greet and have their pictures taken past closing time.  Drawing lots of attention was the presence of our own former Delegate Gladys Keating.  Senator Warner left the line to go and speak to Gladys (who is in a wheelchair) and stayed long enough for her son-in-law, David Jones, to take pictures of Gladys with others who had come to visit with her – Delegate Mark Sickles, Delegate Scott Surovell,  and Senator George Barker.  You could see her eyes light up as each person spoke.

The Kennedy King dinner will also be over when you receive this.  Hope you were there to hear Congressmen Jim Moran and Bobby Scott, and enjoyed mingling with the crowd. Congressman Moran hosted a group of panelists representing the Department of Defense (charged with coordinating the BRAC moves), Virginia Department of Transportation, the City of Alexandria, and a Fairfax County representative. Also present were staffers from Senators Warner and Webb and members of the Alexandria City Council. The initial traffic study done by the developer concluded there would be no major impact on traffic on the I-395 corridor and surrounding neighborhoods. Since then, VDOT and the Army conducted their own studies and came to the conclusion that there would be a major impact – and existing infrastructure would not be able to handle it. Roads impacted will be: I-395, US Route 1, Telegraph Road, Duke Street, Seminary Road, Van Dorn Street, and other ancillary roads.  The audience asked for a delay in the move or opening until road improvements have been made and impact studies are completed.  The DOD said Mark Center was zoned for that number of people and they were in keeping with the zoning.  Kerry Donnely, Alexandria council member, said that what was approved by the City was a campus with lower buildings spreading out the aggregate square footage.  Instead, there is a single building and everything is coming all at once.  The question that was never answered was – why can’t the deadline be extended?

11th Congressional District Report


George Burke, 202-288-2104, georgeaburke@gmail.com

As we move into the final month before the November 2 mid-term congressional elections, Gerry Connolly’s campaign is operating at full bore. Gerry’s reelection race is not only important to Northern Virginia but to the entire nation.

Some pundits suggest the results could mean the difference between a Democratic or Republican House in the new Congress. We need to make sure that Gerry wins reelection.

The race is tight and turnout in mid-term elections is always lower than presidential years. It is no secret that Republicans are motivated by Tea Party smears and misinformation and backed by well-funded “astro-turf” operations. We need to make sure that Democrats and like-minded voters who view themselves as independents are equally-motivated to vote, whether it is because they want to see our nation continue to move forward or because they fear that Keith Fimian and extremist candidates in other districts will send our country back to the Dark Ages.

Many Fairfax Democrats are assisting the Connolly campaign but even more FCDC members need to step up to the plate and give the campaign any time they can to canvass or phone bank. Put a sign on your lawn. Signs on lawns show support and send a much more powerful message than those that are placed on public property. Get a bumper sticker and put it on your car for these final weeks. It is another powerful message and reminds other voters about the election.

If you have a few bucks you can spare, donate to the campaign via the website at www.gerryconnolly.com or bring a check when you come to the campaign office to phone bank. In these final weeks, the airwaves will be filled with negative ads against Gerry and they will come from many well-funded sources who want to turn back the clock and put extremists in power. We need to make sure the Connolly campaign has the money it needs to get its message out on television in this very expensive media market.

Gerry has represented our interests very well in Congress. He deserves reelection and it is our responsibility as Fairfax Democrats to make sure he has the help and resources to win. So call the Connolly campaign at 703-375-9374 and tell them how you can help or email them at volunteer@gerryconnolly.com.

A few hours of your time and a few bucks can make the difference.

Standing Committee Reports


National Affairs Standing Committee

A Commentary by the National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC) (Sandra J Klassen and Dan Walsch Co-chairs)

The Year of Living Dangerously

With the election of Obama, there was a tremendous feeling of optimism in the country and people everywhere were sensing that the dark days of the Bush administration were finally behind us. The Republicans were having none of that and quickly transformed into the Party of “NO!” From stimulus to health care to Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination, Republicans blocked, whined, accused, incited, and outright lied in response to virtually every action the president took. Republicans were unprecedented in the frequency of their use of the filibuster, engaging in more filibusters in 2009 than were used from 1950-1969 combined – 20 years’ worth in just 12 months.

More importantly, they’ve managed their media message far more efficiently than Democrats have, largely due to the fact that times are bad and people want someone to blame and (more importantly) someone to punish. The public can’t punish those who are not in office – what are they going to do, vote against Bush? The other problem is the perception that things can be righted with the wave of a pen. From Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and closing Guantanamo to ending the war in Iraq, people believe that these things could have been accomplished within weeks, if not days, of Obama taking office. While technically true, prudence dictates a host of pragmatic steps be taken to ensure: that a sudden ending of DADT doesn’t endanger the health and safety of the GLBT members of the military; that we have somewhere to put the genuine prisoners of Guantanamo; and that we don’t leave Iraq in such a hurry that we leave behind for Al Qaeda heavy equipment and ammunition stores it took six years to stockpile. Things are rarely as simple as they seem.

Let’s review what Obama and our Democrats HAVE accomplished:

Obama has: provided for families of fallen soldiers to have their expenses paid to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB; ended the practice of censoring how the media reported the death toll in Iraq; increased the rate at which FOIA requests were honored; ended stop-loss (the practice of forcing soldiers to stay in Iraq after their enlistments ended); ended restrictions on stem-cell research; and ended the “compassionate conservative” policy of refusing Cuban-Americans permission to visit loved ones still in Cuba.

And that’s just in his first 10 months in office.

In addition, Obama and the Democrats have: passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; concluded a new treaty to reduce further the number of nuclear weapons in Russia and the US; passed an economic stimulus; passed health care reform; appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court; authorized another two million acres of land to be declared protected wilderness; expanded SCHIP; extended federal unemployment benefits; passed Wall Street reform; and passed the Fair Sentencing Act.

Obviously, there’s a lot of work yet to be done. But against the “I’ve got mine” Tea Party – driven media and the obstructionism of Republicans in Congress, only so much headway can be made. It would be a shame to threaten all those hard-fought victories for equality and social justice by allowing complacency and disappointment to open the door to a Republican control of the House and Senate, smothering in its infancy the progressive vision of health care, prosperity, and equal opportunity for all Americans, not just its wealthiest two percent.

Election Protection


Report of the Election Law and Protection Committee

by Kristin Cabral and Stephen Spitz, Co-Chairs

Fairfax County Election Protection needs volunteers:

Lawyers and law students to be inside poll watchers on Election Day, November 2.

If interested, please sign up at this link of the Promote and Protect the Vote program of the State Democratic Party of Virginia DPVA): http://www.vademocrats.org/page/s/promotethevote09

You will be later notified of training dates by DPVA and given an authorization form.

All Inside poll watchers must be trained. For non-lawyers, trainings are:

  • Saturday October 2 from 10 am to 1 pm. at the Mason District Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA
  • Sunday October 3 from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Sherwood Regional Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria, VA
  • Sunday October 10 from 1-3 pm at the Hunter Mill District Government Office, 12000 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston, VA 20190.

To sign up for training, contact Sue Langley at sue.langley@gmail.com

Inside poll watchers needed for in-person absentee voting (especially on Saturdays)

To sign up, please contact Stephen Spitz at kcnspitz@aol.com or Kristin Cabral at kriscabral@aol.com. **Please attend training at #2 above

a) At the Office of Elections in the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax:

  • September 17 to October 17, Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 6 pm (closed Monday October 11)
  • October 18 to October 30, Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 7:30 pm

Saturdays (October 9, 16, 23 and 30) from 9 am to 5 pm

b) At the seven satellite locations in the government centers for Franconia, Mason, McLean, Mount Vernon, North County, Sully, and West Springfield:

  • October 18 to October 30, Monday thru Friday from 2:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Saturdays (October 23 and 30) from 9 am to 5 pm

Democratic Party observers at the post election canvass, starting Wednesday November 3 at 9 am, Office of Elections at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax in order to ensure the accuracy of the vote counts before the election results are certified. Contact Kristin Cabral at kriscabral@aol.com.

Felon Voter Restoration Resolution Passed by the State Party

At the State Central Committee meeting in Fredericksburg on September 11, the DPVA unanimously adopted the Fairfax County Democratic Committee resolution that passed in May calling for 1) Virginia U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor and support the Democracy Restoration Act that would permit ex-felons to register to vote in federal elections upon release from prison, 2) members of the Virginia General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment to allow ex-felons to vote in state and local elections upon release from prison, and 3) Governor McDonnell to issue an executive order restoring the vote to all ex-felons who have been released from prison.

Finance Committee


On September 22, we had another successful Democrats Dine Out in Providence District at Luciano!

I arrived late from another commitment, just as the speaker was finishing. to find the back of the restaurant full of Democrats, with standing room only. The reviews of the speaker, Vincent DeMarco, were excellent, and he took many questions sparking interesting conversation. He traveled from Baltimore to be with us, and we are most grateful. A big thank you to everyone involved, making this a successful evening.

These events are designed to build our party, support our local merchants and raise some much needed funds for FCDC. Between 65 and 90 people have attended each event. The feedback is positive and enthusiastic.

We are set for October (date TBD) in Fairfax at Vespucci. This one will be a fixed price buffet, and is being sponsored by your entire Finance Committee, with Ginny Peters leading. You will get more information soon. Lee District will host in November.

Watch for these and join the fun.

Remember also that we have exciting events early next year. On January 2, we will again have our Road to Richmond Brunch at the Springfield Country Club. This event has sold out for the past 2 years, so watch the FCDC web site for your opportunity to get a table or a ticket.

Back by popular demand, on January 22, the return of the Blue Jeans Ball. This time we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Johnson Inaugural. Mark your calendar, you won’t want to miss it!

Seniors Committee


We will divide responsibilities for election day coverage at senior citizen facilities in all magisterial districts. If you would rather make calls, please let me know. All seniors are encouraged to contact charisseglassman@yahoo.com.

Local Issues and Reports


Hunter Mill Report

Bettina Lawton and Robert Haley, Hunter Mill Co-Chairs

The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee holds its meetings on the 3rd Thursday at  7:30 pm every month, alternating between locations in Reston and Vienna.  Typical meetings include guest speakers, campaign information, and HMDDC events.  Recent events in which the Hunter Mill members participated include Sue Langley’s canvass and party, the Webb Brigades August meeting, the Ron Oklewicz precinct captain party featuring Congressman Jim Moran, Democrats Dine Out at Magill’s and the Dulles Area Democrats Happy Hour for Congressional Candidate Jeff Barnett. Back to School nights begin Tuesday, September 14, with Madison High School.

On Thursday, October 21, the HM meeting will be held at the Flint Hill Elementary School in Vienna.  Please refer to the Hunter Mill web site calendar at www.huntermilldemocrats.org for other local area political events, and to the FCDC web site calendar at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org for Fairfax County-wide events.

Lee Report


Hugh Robertson Co-Chair

Steve Bunn Co-Chair

Our campaigns are going strong and we have many opportunities that need your help. We still have Back To School nights to cover and we have already started canvassing for our Congressional candidates. Visit our web site at www.leedems.org to see where you can help and watch for our emails on upcoming activities.

Mason Report


Rachel Rifkind, Mason Chair

Mason District Crab Feast

A huge thank you to all Mason committee members who stepped up to make the crab feast a huge success. Democrats from all over the Northern Virginia area joined each other on a beautifully comfortable evening (no rain – no heat – no humidity!) – the weather gods were with us that night. Senator Webb and Congressmen Moran and Connolly spoke eloquently about why it matters about what we are doing this fall and why we need to get our voters to the polls. No one could have said it better.

There is a two-pronged theme running through the speeches we are hearing at events all across the county this campaign season and in the reports in this issue of the online Democrat, and that is we win if we get the voters out and we need volunteers like you to help get that vote out. Without you, we will see Speaker of the House Boehner. Not a hard concept. Please step up and do what you can do – canvass – phonebank – volunteer for election day – whatever it takes. Now is not the time to sit this election out. It is a low turnout and we need you – the campaigns need you. I hope you will be there.

A special message from the Mason for Connolly Team and Kim Smith:

Did you know Mason District has a local Connolly campaign office? Kaye and Ross Kory have generously opened their home to serve as yet another campaign office.  Congressman Connolly is a true partner in Congress and he deserves our help.  Please consider volunteering for Congressman Connolly.

Address: 6505 Waterway Drive, Falls Church


  • Saturdays 10 am – 5 pm
  • Sundays 12 noon—5 pm

Phone Banking:

  • Wednesdays 5 pm – 9 pm
  • Thursdays 5 pm – 9 pm
  • Saturdays 11 am – 5 pm
  • Sundays 1 pm – 5 pm

Contact: Kimberly Smith  703.624.1182 or MasonForConnolly@gmail.com

Mt Vernon Report


Janet Myhre, Chair

All of Mt. Vernon District’s Democratic officials plus about 130 enthusiastic Democrats attended Mt. Vernon District Democratic Committee’s 133rd annual Ice Cream Social Sunday at the home of Joseph Tompkins, near George Washington Parkway.  The traditional social welcomes volunteers back from summer travels and kicks off the fall campaign season.

Representative Gerry Connolly, former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ chair, who is targeted by the “Tea Party” in his bid for re-election to the 11th Congressional District said, “This is the fifth time I have been on the ballot in Mount Vernon. I have carried it every time and I intend to do so in November.”

Connolly said he is “not running away from the Obama agenda – I am proud of my vote for healthcare and my vote to lessen dependence on foreign oil. I am proud that the Democratic Congress passed meaningful Wall Street reform; I voted for the Recovery and Reinvestment Act that sent $200,000 to schools here and completed the Fairfax County Parkway. It made a big difference in northern Virginia.”

“We are going to win the November election. We will show the pundits something they have not counted on—a big Democratic turnout.”

Representative Jim Moran who is running for re-election in the 8th District said, “So what is this election really about? It is not about me or Gerry – or any congressman. It is about the man we elected two years ago. Obama is determined to realize the Democratic vision for America. The Republicans are scared because he might do it. They know that if they can take Congress and put John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in charge that nothing will get done.”

After listing the accomplishments of the House in health care, financial reform, education, and clean energy, Moran said, “This is their (Republicans) last chance. If they get a Republican majority, it will take away Obama’s ability to get anything passed and the country will go backwards. The people we care about will suffer. Democrats have to get energized. We can’t sit back. Politics is not a spectator sport.”

Mt. Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland, just back from an 11-day trip to China with other local officials from across the country, said, “The president has made change happen and it will be a travesty and a tragedy if we don’t allow our president’s wonderful vision to move forward by re-electing Gerry and Jim.”

Delegate Scott Surovell (44th), noted that “Gerry Connolly’s district is in the purple part of Mt. Vernon, but his Mt. Vernon precincts are some of the most Democratic in the 11th District. Connolly needs us to get our every single vote that we can for him.”

Other speakers were Ward Armstrong, minority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates; Senator Toddy Puller; Senator George Barker; Delegate David Englin (45th); Mt. Vernon School Board member Dan Storck; and chair of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova.

Several mentioned Governor Bob McDonnell’s plan to sell state liquor stores. Puller and Barker are on the committee that will consider that action. Surovell and Puller will hold a town hall meeting in a couple weeks on the matter.

Providence District Report


Carrie Nixon, Chair

The Providence District Democratic Committee is implementing a new outreach project targeting previously identified Democratic voters who are new residents of our District, arriving from Maryland, Pennsylvania, or elsewhere within Virginia.  These voters have not yet registered to vote in Providence so we are eager to get them registered and introduce them to the committee.,

Providence was pleased to host the September FCDC “Dems Dine Out” event at Luciano’s restaurant in Oakton. Vincent DeMarco, subject of the book “The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will into Political Power,” joined us as guest speaker and discussion facilitator. Thank you to Mr. DeMarco for a terrific presentation and thanks to all who attended.

Please join us on October 2 in the Vineyards of Providence. In the famous “Judgment of Paris,” depicted in the movie Bottle Shock, French judges rated a group of California wines higher than their French wine counterparts.  Now you can see for yourself how Virginia wines stack up against their French counterparts in this special event to raise money for the Providence District Democratic Committee.  PDDC Member Paul Jameson of the Jameson Wine Experience will lead you through a tasting comparing four Virginia wines matched with their French counterparts.  The wines will be served “blind”- meaning you won’t know which glass has the French and which has the Virginia wine.   We’ll give you hints of what to look for in tasting the wines and your job is to guess which is which and decide which one you like best. The tasting will be held at the home of Judy and Arnold Baker, 2825 Rosemary Lane, Falls Church, on Saturday, October 2 at 3:30 pm. The Bakers have the only vineyard in Providence District (or so we believe), right in their own backyard.  Bring a friend.  Tickets are available at www.fairfaxdemocrats.org, or by check payable to FCDC with “Providence Winetasting” in the memo line.

We still have a few PDDC “Progressive & Proud” stainless steel water bottles available.  Get them while they last.  Please ask for them at FCDC headquarters or at a PDDC event.  The water bottles are available for a minimum contribution of $20.

The next full PDDC meeting is on Tuesday, October 26 at 7:30 pm, FCDC Headquarters.

Sully District Report


At our September meeting, we were joined by our new regional organizer – Vasily Kisunko. He shared with us plans for some possible upcoming events including a Democratic house party at the home of Barb & Chuck Caputo on September 24. The special guest will be Jeff Barnett.

Through September, we’ve been working hard at Back to School nights with the help of committee members and high school students. As September finishes up, we’ll be concentrating on working with the Connolly and Barnett campaigns, phone banking and canvassing, as well as finalizing our election day plans.

We meet monthly on the first Tuesday at the Sully Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly.  Our next meeting is October 5 at 7:30 pm. Please visit our website at www.sullydemocrats.org or join us on Facebook – Sully District Democrat Committee – for updates and events.

Sustainers Honor Roll


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Upcoming Events


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About The Democrat


The Democrat is a monthly email publication of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. The purpose of The Democrat is to provide information to Committee members and other interested persons through district and committee reports, campaign reports, articles, and fliers. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate committee resolution.

How to submit material

Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words unless exceptions are made by the Editor or FCDC Chair. Please email material to Rachel Rifkind, rrifkind@gmail.com. Attach text file or photos, or copy the material into the email message. Deadline for submission is the third Monday of each month by 5:00 pm for inclusion in the following month’s issue.

One-page fliers advertising Democratic fundraisers and events will be included with The Democrat if submitted by the deadline. Limited numbers of The Democrat are mailed, primarily to those who do not have access to email. FCDC charges $35 for each flier from non-FCDC organizations.

Contact Rachel Rifkind, rrifkind@gmail.com, with any questions about how to submit material or fliers.