- Governor Kaine to Keynote May 8 JJ Dinner
- President Obama Hosts Town Hall at NOVA Annandale
- Democrats Who Made a Difference
- 8th Congressional District
- National Affairs
- Hunter Mill
- Mt Vernon
- Adam Ebbin Announces Campaign for State Senate
- Honor Roll
- Renewal Form
- JJ Dinner
- Braddock Derby Day
- Providence Mayfest
- Diversity Committee Tapas Night
- Rally Against Citizens United
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Rex Simmons, FCDC Chair
Now is the time to get off the sidelines and get involved in the important issues for our nation. I was honored to be there when President Obama delivered that message at the Northern Virginia Community College on April 19. He spoke about how we should go about getting the nation out of its $14 trillion-plus debt.
The President reminded us that President Clinton left office just over 10 years ago with a budget surplus. The next administration then cuts taxes, especially taxes for the wealthiest Americans, while not cutting expenses. In addition, we got involved with two wars paid for entirely on the nation’s credit card. And then, an expensive health care prescription drug benefit was put into law with no additional funding or offsetting budget cuts. Finally, the nation plunged into the Great Recession which made necessary the bailout of the nation’s financial system and fiscal stimulus to avoid a worldwide depression even as tax collections plummeted. The result is the record budget deficits we have today, accumulating debt, and budget breaking interest payments.
The good news is that we have competing plans to resolve the nation’s fiscal crisis. The president and the Republican House of Representatives have both offered plans to trim about $4 trillion in added deficits, compared with current policies, over the next decade. But the way they would go about it is vastly different.
The president acknowledged that spending must be cut, but he would do it with a scalpel without “sacrificing the America we believe in.” The president believes his plan would put the nation on a solid financial footing, but still continue investments in education, research, and infrastructure that grow our economy and keep America competitive. He said we needed to make cuts in the defense budget as proposed by Secretary of Defense Gates. He also said if people are sacrificing with fewer services in their neighborhoods and at community colleges like NOVA, then the wealthiest in America should make some sacrifice too. He noted that we need to repeal the Bush tax cuts and to return to tax rates paid when President Clinton had a balanced budget.
By now, many have already heard that the other party’s plan would turn Medicare into a voucher plan and Medicaid would be a block grant to states without any minimum requirements (how much lower can Virginia go?). The other plan makes the Bush tax cuts permanent and significantly rolls back almost every item of domestic spending from education to federal law enforcement. Their plan radically reshapes America by wiping out much of the social safety net established during and since the Great Depression.
The choices are starkly different. Make your preference known by writing a letter to the newspaper; posting on the blogs; talking with friends, family, and neighbors; sending your congressman or senator a message; or RSVPing at Facebook.com/WhiteHouse. Get involved to keep America great!
Governor Kaine to Keynote May 8 JJ Dinner
FCDC is pleased to announce that the Honorable Tim Kaine will headline the 2011 Jefferson Jackson Dinner. This is FCDC biggest event of the year.
On May 8, the ballroom at the Tyson’s McLean Hilton will be filled with excited Democrats ready to kick off an important state and local campaign season.
Tickets are on sale at the FCDC web site at fairfaxdemocrats.org/jjdinner2011/ or by mail – see the flyer below.
President Obama Hosts Town Hall at NOVA Annandale
From Blue Virginia blog, photos courtesy of Kenton NGO
FCDC Chair, Rex Simmons, with the president:
For more pictures of the event, go to:
Democrats Who Made A Difference Have Passed Away
Jo Ann Chew
From the family of Jo Ann Chew:
Jo Ann Chew passed away quietly following her extended battle against breast cancer. While we were both aware of the terminal nature of the disease, the end came faster than anyone expected.
Services were held on April 17, at 3:00 pm at King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church. The family is asking that contributions be made to the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure (see Jo Ann Chew).
Al Moseke, member of the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee died in February of a brain tumor. There will be a memorial service on May 21 from 8-9 pm at the Moseke home on Belmont Boulevard in Lorton.
From the friends and family of Stan Bromberg:
This is the last e-mail from Stan’s e-mail address. If you would like, you can send e-mail to email@example.com or you can call me at (202)370-7725.
Stan was buried on Sunday March 13, at 1:30 pm at Shalom Memorial Park (Section Jacob) Lower Moreland , PA. It was a respectful, heartfelt ceremony with approximately 30 of Stan’s family members, relatives, and friends in attendance. Prayers and brief tributes were offered in Stan’s memory.
You are welcome to sign an online guest book at www.legacy.com (please note that no registration is required and your message will appear after 24 hours–please do not post it a second time).
Also, below is a list of organizations where Stan was making cash donations. If you would like to make a donation in Stan’s honor to any these organizations or to any of your favorite organizations, please feel free to do so.
- www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animal/donations.htm or your local animal shelter.
His friend Dmitriy with family support
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT REPORTS
8th Congressional District
Pixie Bell, 8th CD First Vice Chair
The 8th District will hold its next meeting on May 26, at 8 pm at the Falls Church Community Center, 233 Little Falls St., Falls Church. The April 18 meeting was cancelled due to the Passover celebration. Fairfax will celebrate its J.J. dinner on May 8, featuring the Honorable Tim Kaine; Arlington will hold its dinner on June 11, honoring retiring Senators Patsy Ticer and Mary Margaret Whipple; Alexandria will hold its dinner on June 16 at the Carlyle Club. The next meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee will be held Friday/Saturday, June 3 and 4, in Blacksburg. We will be voting on the formula to be used to determine the number of delegates allotted to each jurisdiction (City/County) to thestate convention, where we will elect delegates to the national convention.
Our Congressman, Jim Moran, stated on the anniversary of the BP oil spill that the Deepwater Horizon blowout is a sad reminder of the dangers of offshore drilling to our economy, environment, and our people. Those who claim we can drill our way toward energy independence are misleading the public. “The truth is that we will never achieve energy independence by drilling for more oil from domestic sources. The United States holds less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, while we consume more than 22 percent of the global annual supply of oil.”
Jim has introduced “earth-friendly” legislation to encourage reusable bag use. The Trash Reduction Act, H.R. 1628, would place a 5 cent fee on single use bags from grocery stores and provide a tax credit to businesses who implement bag recycling programs. Currently, Giant and Shoppers Food give customers a 5 cent refund when they bring their own bag.
Jim announced on April 21 that the Department of Defense Inspector General, had released a damning report on the Army’s Mark Center move. The report provided evidence that the Army mishandled its legal obligation to prepare adequate environmental analysis prior to its decision to purchase and construct the Mark Center facility (BRAC recommendation #133 was endorsed by then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and signed into law by President Bush in November 2005). The Department of Defense Inspector General recommended that the Army begin from scratch to complete a “more technically robust standalone traffic impact analysis.” Congressman Moran feels there is now a credible foundation for a legal challenge – it is one of the only remaining options. He has encouraged the City of Alexandria to take legal action. Alexandria Mayor Euille has spoken to Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova and will discuss the issue with Arlington Chairman Zimmerman shortly. He feels if legal action is taken, it should be done jointly. As noted by Senator Mark Warner, there will be huge challenges if you transfer 6,400 defense workers to an already congested location not served by mass transit. The Pentagon chose the Mark Center location in September 2008. In April, 2009, a Virginia Department of Transportation study disputed the Army’s claim that traffic won’t be a problem. Sept. 15, 2011, is the deadline for the move and the Army must respond to the Inspector General by May 6, 2011.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Rose Chu and Lina Orr, Co-Chairs
Diversity Committee Tapas Night with international food on Saturday, May 21st, 5:30 to 8:30pm. Meet elected officials, candidates, and community leaders! Flyer below and details on FCDC Website at http://archivefcdcsite.fairfaxdemocrats.org/tapasnight2011/.
Sandra J. Klassen and Dan Walsch, Co-Chairs
It’s Time to Leave Behind “No Child Left Behind”
A Commentary by Pat Hynes
Public K-12 education in the accountability era looks and feels much different than it did even five years ago. Students in every grade, even kindergartners, now take a battery of standardized tests several times a year. Teachers spend countless hours crunching data and struggling to develop curricula that prepare students for bubble tests while somehow also stoking their curiosity and love of learning. Parents get envelopes over the summer with standardized test scores from the year before and wonder what they really mean. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known since 2002 by the name “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB), made all this possible.
Its good intentions for equitable access to a good education notwithstanding, NCLB has been controversial from the start and it may at last be getting the overhaul it needs. At Kenmore Middle School in Arlington last month, President Obama called on Congress to amend and reauthorize NCLB by September, an ambitious deadline. The President proposed a blueprint for reauthorization in 2010 and the Senate has been working on a similar bipartisan plan that may be ready by summer. Movement in the House, however, appears stalled by budget distractions and fundamental partisan disagreements over the proper role of the federal government in education. Meanwhile, virtually every education pundit and advocacy group in the country is weighing in on how to fix NCLB.
If left unaltered, NCLB would require that, by 2014, every child in every school in the U.S. pass state assessments in reading and math, a benchmark universally considered impossible. The law is projected to give 80 percent of U.S. schools a failing grade at the end of this school year, up from 34 percent last year. NCLB’s reliance on standardized test scores as the measure of school performance has always had vocal critics. President Obama’s blueprint for reauthorization would retain annual test scores in reading and math but would allow states some flexibility to include other measures of student achievement.
That change does not go far enough for some reform advocates, including Fair Test, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. In a joint organizational statement, Fair Test and 154 other organizations have called for broader local flexibility in measuring student progress and less frequent testing. Diane Ravitch, Assistant Secretary of Education under the first President Bush, has become an outspoken critic of NCLB’s focus on standardized tests. She leads a chorus of bloggers, many of them teachers, in calling for an end to high-stakes tests. A nascent movement of parents opting their children out of standardized tests has garnered recent national media attention. “Save Our Schools,” a national movement of teachers and parents, is planning a July march on Washington to protest the proliferation of high-stakes tests and their consequences and reclaim local control of schools. Certainly, all of these voices will continue to press for further changes in the law.
The consequences under NCLB for schools failing to make “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) in reading and math scores are at the root of the conflict. The law has been criticized for being punitive, rigid and focused on short-term results, rather than long-term goals of college and work force readiness. Schools whose test scores fail to make AYP are subject to increased scrutiny, sanctions and even closure. The president’s blueprint for reauthorization would do away with the AYP trigger, focus on longer-term and broader measures of student progress and give states more flexibility in their reform efforts. It would call on states to identify only their lowest-performing five per cent of schools for strong measures like laying off principals and staff.
Education policy experts and advocates generally support the president’s proposal to scrap AYP and its punitive effects, though some would like the blueprint to go further. Teachers’ unions, in particular, feel the president’s blueprint continues to rely too heavily on standardized tests and continues to scapegoat teachers and push top-down reforms.
While much of the debate about NCLB’s reauthorization focuses on tests and their consequences, advocates for particular reform initiatives are working to influence NCLB reauthorization in many other ways. A prominent example is the public pre-k movement. The New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative calls for changes to NCLB that would fully incorporate early education and strengthen federal support for pre-K initiatives. Early learning advocates point out that, unlike many currently fashionable reform initiatives, investments in pre-K have been proven, in decades of research, to pay off many times over the course of a child’s school years and beyond.
The challenges to reform of NCLB are many. House Republicans continue their internal debate over the role of government in schools, the federal budget ax continues to threaten NCLB’s already woeful underfunding of mandates on states and localities and teachers’ unions stake out their positions in a hostile political environment for organized labor. But there is much common ground. We now have ample evidence that the punitive, high-stakes test model of school reform does not work – it does not achieve equity in public education. The Texas miracle never happened. It is time to loosen NCLB’s grip on our classrooms.
DISTRICT COMMITTEE REPORTS
Ron Bleeker, Chair
The DDDC held its regular meeting on April 7. Among other issues, we discussed the recent re-districting proposals and heard from several of the candidates for the at-large School Board nominations and other positions.
Our next regular meeting (and Spring Social) will be on Saturday, May 7 at 1:30 pm at the McLean Government Center. The focus of this meeting will be the School Board nominations, and all of the School Board candidates running in Dranesville or at-large are invited to attend and participate. DDDC members who attend the FCDC meeting on May 24 will be entitled to vote on the at-large nominations.
The DDDC expects to have several tables at the upcoming J-J Dinner on May 8 but there is always room for more Dranesville Dems to join us. And don’t forget to visit our booth (with Democratic cupcakes and cookies!) at McLean Day on Saturday, May 21 from 11 am to 4 pm in Lewinsville Park.
Finally, we are happy to report that long-time DDDC member (and last year’s winner of the FCDC Lifetime Achievement Award) Aggie Wolf is recovering from her recent illness and has been able to return to her home at The Jefferson in Ballston.
Bettina Lawton and Robert Haley, Co-Chairs
The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee holds its meetings on the 2nd Thursday, at 7:30 pm, every month, alternating between locations in Reston and Vienna. Typical meetings include guest speakers, campaign information, and notice of HMDDC – FCDC events. Recent events in which many Hunter Mill members participated included Supervisors’ Sunday.
Candidates for the Hunter Mill District School Board endorsement, including Pat Hynes and Kathleen McKee, made presentations at the April HMDDC meeting. Maria Allen, a Hunter Mill member who is an At-Large candidate for the school board, also made a presentation as did Ted Velkoff and Greg Brandon.
On April 2, HMDDC held its very successful Hunter Mill Dems Annual Lasagna Dinner. Kudos to the Lasagna Dinner Committee – Ed Robichaud, Bridget Murphy, Sue Merk, Carrie Bruns, Sharon Heaton, Kathleen McKee, Adam Beattie, Meg Copernoll, JoAnne Norton, Pat Hynes, Maria Allen, Jerry Welch, Jim Southworth. The surprise guest speaker was former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe.
The next HMDDC meeting, devoted solely to the endorsement of a Hunter Mill School board candidate, will be help on Thursday May 12, at 7:30pm, at the North County Government Center Community Room in Reston. The June HMDDC meeting will be held at Flint Hill Elementary 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.
Steve Bunn and Hugh Robertson, Co-Chairs
The next Lee District Democratic Commitee meeting will be on April 28th at 7:30pm in the home of Susie Warner. We will voting on a School Board candidate for Lee District to recommend for endorsement to the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. We hope you all can attend, meet our candidates, and vote. We will also be finalizing plans for our Lee District Luau which will take place on July 23rd. As always, watch your emails and visit our website at www.leedems.org for more information and upcoming events.
Rachel Rifkind, Chair
Mason District Democrats met on April 19. We offered an opportunity to the at-large school board candidates to speak to the committee and then take a few questions. It was an informative session and MDDC members will be well equipped to make a decision at the May 24 FCDC meeting.
Grant Herring attended the meeting on behalf of Senator Saslaw. He invited all of us to the May 21 kickoff of the Senator’s campaign at Kilroys. He also discussed the status of the redistricting and the veto by Governor McDonnell. The General Assembly will reconvene the week of April 25 and will vote again. We will have a large number of state house and senate district changes which will require an enormous effort on our part to get the message out to our voters. Mason District precinct changes will be minimal and the BOS proposed plan will also be voted on the same week.
The Mason District Thank You Party is on May 15 at the home of Hal and Penny Gross. Invitations will be mailed out the end of April. Remember to sign up on the Google doc to bring a dish or to volunteer to help set up or clean up.
The filing deadline for Mason District School Board was April 28. As of this writing we have one candidate filed and that is our current school board member Sandy Evans. At the MDDC meeting on May 18, we will have the time to hear from our candidates and vote endorsement. Please plan on attending this important meeting.
Plans are moving forward for the FCDC JJ Dinner on May 8 at the McLean Hilton. I am very pleased that we have three full tables and are working on a fourth. Thanks to Mary Tycz for coordinating the silent auction baskets and for our generous contributors with special mention of Bob Schwaninger for his contribution of fine wines and to Sue Clark for the donation of several days at the Clark cabin. If you want to attend the dinner or if you have yet to pay for your ticket please RSVP/pay soon.
We will also be honoring our volunteers of the year at the JJ Dinner. Be sure to wish all of our awardees your hearty congratulations: Trevor Smith (The Charles Robb Young Leaders Award), Robert Schwaninger (The Lynda Robb Community Service Award), Anne & Neale Baxter (The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award), and Rose Chu (The Outstanding Committee Member of the Year Award).
We will meet on May 18 at the Mason District Government Center at 7:30pm. FCDC will be meeting May 24 at 7:30pm at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church, VA.
Janet Myhre, Chair
At the May meeting of the Mt Vernon District Democratic Committee (MCDDV), Susan Stillman of the Sierra Club, made a presentation on the prospects of offshore wind power in Virginia and encouraged members to advocate for state legislation to require energy companies to use a percentage of renewable power and to provide incentives for wind power while eliminating $45 million in subsidies for coal.
She said that giant wind turbines 30 miles off Virginia’s coast could generate clean, renewable power and create jobs if the windmills are built in Virginia. Massachusetts, Delaware, and New Jersey are pursuing offshore wind power, mainly because their state legislatures require utilities to draw a percentage of their power from renewable sources. Virginia’s legislation is voluntary.
Many members signed a petition to Dominion Power saying they want offshore wind in the mix of renewable options.
Members also heard a presentation on state redistricting by Treasurer Jack Dobbyn and held a lively discussion on its effects on our district. The House of Delegate districts show little change, but the Senate district map shows considerable change with the 30th District (Sen. Patsy Ticer) plunging south along the Potomac River as far as Ft. Belvoir and the 36th District (Sen. Toddy Puller) moving further south as far as Stratford County. The MVDDC executive committee had sent a letter to the Senate Privileges and Elections Commission when the plan was released recommending that the 36th District retain more precincts in Mt. Vernon to keep it anchored in the district.
MVDDC nominated Vic Bremenkamp at its Member of the Year and Les Sonnenmark as Volunteer of the Year.
At its May17 meeting, MVDDC will hear from school board candidates and at its June 21 meeting, it will hear from the three primary candidates for senate in the 30th District. Meetings are held from 7-9 p.m. at the South County Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria.
Carrie Nixon, Chair
Providence’s next Dinner & Discussion will take place on Monday, May 2 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Clydes of Tysons Corner (8332 Leesburg Pike, Vienna). Ivy Main of the Sierra Club will be leading our discussion on the topic of “Renewable Energy Alternatives for the Commonwealth: The Campaign for Off-Shore Wind.” The only cost to attend is the cost of your meal. The D&D series is part of our outreach strategy in the Providence District. This month, we will be reaching out to Dems in Tysons and Magarity precincts to invite then to attend. Please join us for a great discussion and please join the Providence Dems “group” on Facebook for information on next month’s Dinner & Discussion!
Directions: From Chain Bridge going south, turn off at the sign for Route7 and go on the service road to the restaurant. You will past Da Domenico Restaurant and find Clyde’s just past the water tower.
Mark your calendars for the annual Providence MayFest, which will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 pm at the home of Susan Weltz. We will feature food from the best restaurants in Providence and live musical entertainment by the Ruins. Please join us!
Ruth Miller, Chair
Springfield is looking forward to honoring its 2010 Volunteer of the Year, Dorsey Chescavage and 2010 Member of the Year Ed Jaffee at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on May 8.
On April 9, members and volunteers from Springfield took to the waters of the Occoquan River to clean up the shoreline as part of the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Day. We picked up an assortment of items that definitively do not belong in the river, like lawn chairs and bowling balls, and went home feeling like we had made at least a small positive impact on our environment.
Springfield members will be voting on our recommendation for the Democratic endorsement for the Springfield District School Board seat at our meeting on May 3. Check SpringfieldDemocrats.org for more info.
Dana Cimino, Chair
Sully Democrats meet monthly on the first Tuesday, 7:30pm at the Sully Governmental Center in Chantilly. Meetings typically involve discussion of what’s going on in our district, as well as county and statewide. Information about us can be found at our website: www.sullydemocrats.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook.
Our May 3rd meeting will involve discussion of the At-Large School Board process, as well as the nomination of our Sully School Board Candidate, current School Board Chair – Kathy Smith.
Redistricting and how it affects Sully will be another topic of our meeting. We were very happy to find that our committee will remain “Sully” as we know it. We did not lose or gain any precincts in the Board of Supervisors redistricting plan voted on in late April. Looking forward to continued great work with our current precincts!
As the JJ Dinner approaches, we are honoring some of our members. We are happy to announce our Sully Member of the Year – Larry Baldwin. Larry is a lifelong democrat, he has been an avid supporter of, and hard worker on the Sully Dems since its inception. We are also excited to announce our nomination of Alice and Jerry Foltz for the Lynda J. Robb Community Service Award for their work and leadership on the Centreville Immigration Forum.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the JJ Dinner on May 8th.
Adam Ebbin Announces Campaign for State Senate
Thank you to the many friends from Fairfax who attended my campaign kick-off in March. Your support as the race for the 30th Senate District begins means a great deal to me.
For eight years, I’ve had the honor of representing parts of Fairfax, Alexandria, and Arlington in the House of Delegates. During that time, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting and working alongside many Fairfax leaders. Pending the final resolution of the new Senate maps, we expect that many precincts from Mt. Vernon and Lee Districts will be in the 30th District, and I am committed to being your voice in our Senate.
Fairfax residents of the 30th District deserve a Senator who understands the unique issues that affect their communities, as well as one who shares their progressive values. My voting record in Richmond—in favor of working Virginians, on the side of our seniors, in defense of a woman’s right to choose, and against the extremism of Ken Cuccinelli—speaks for itself. My commitment to being a voice for residents of Fairfax is why I’ve won the support of Delegates Scott Surovell, Mark Sickles, David Bulova, Eileen Filler-Corn, Mark Keam, Ken Plum, Vivian Watts, and Senator Chap Petersen.
The race for the 30th Senate District seat will be an exciting one. I will be knocking on the doors of your Democratic neighbors, holding events in the community and having real discussions about the challenges Northern Virginia faces. I hope you’ll become a part of my campaign team and help me reach out to and hear from Fairfax voters. You can get involved by coming by my upcoming campaign open house on May 21, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, at 1427 Powhatan St in Alexandria. To learn more, visit www.AdamEbbin.com or call 703-739-4330.
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ABOUT THE DEMOCRAT
Peggy Grisham, Editor, Capitaloutreach@gmail.com
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
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 Editor Peggy Grisham at Capitaloutreach@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. FCDC charges $35 for each flier from non-FCDC organizations. Please contact the Editor with any questions about how to submit material or fliers.