The Newsletter of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee

March 2013

Download and Print The Democrat – March, 2013 (PDF)



  • Calls to Convention – VAYD, Congressional Districts


  • Mark Herring for Attorney General
  • Justin Fairfax for Attorney General
  • Aneesh Chopra for Lieutenant Governor


  • Update from Senator George L. Barker


  • National Affairs


  • 8th Congressional District


  • Braddock
  • Hunter Mill
  • Providence
  • Mason


  • Honor Roll
  • Renewal Form



Message From The Executive Director

by Frank Anderson

Old The Democrat Banner

Archived Issues of The Democrat Now Available Online  

TheDemocrat 1972 banner

At FCDC Headquarters, we have issues of The Democrat dating back to 1962. Volunteers have begun working to scan and upload these historic documents which can now be viewed by the general public at  Archiving is currently in progress.  We invite you to take a look and learn more about the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s rich history!

New Co-Chairs for Braddock & Springfield

Two new Co-Chairs were recently elected to the Braddock and Springfield District Democratic Committees.  Please welcome Tom Johnson, who joins Chris Wade at the helm of Braddock District, and Hank Thomassen who will be Co-Chair of Springfield along with Mark Itzkoff.  Both Tom and Hank are longtime active Democrats who will bring unique organizing and leadership abilities to their districts and to the Steering Committee.  If you’d like to send them a welcome message, you can email or

New Editors for The Democrat

This issue marks the first edition under our new Editor in Chief, Jayne Byrnes! You can send her a message or submit content to  I also would like to thank our new Digital Editor, Susan Bogan.

return to top


Call to Convention – Virginia Young Democrats

Isaac Sarver, VAYD President

Pursuant to Article VII, Section 5, of the Virginia Young Democrats Constitution, I hereby call the members of the Virginia Young Democrats to assemble in annual Convention for the purpose of considering charter applications, resolutions, and constitutional amendments; electing officers; and conducting such other business as the Convention directs. The convention will be held in Norfolk, VA, and will be hosted by the Old Dominion University Young Democrats and Norfolk State University Young Democrats. Convention activities will begin the afternoon of Friday, April 19th and will conclude on Sunday, April 21st. Critical information about this year’s convention including registration details, can be found at the convention website.

You can find information about chartering your VAYD chapter at

Calls to Convention – 8th, 10th & 11th Congressional DistrictsDPVA logo

According to sections 4.2, 4.3 of the Virginia Democratic Party Plan (State Party Plan):
The twenty members of the Central Committee from each congressional district shall be nominated in congressional district conventions and shall be elected by the State Convention in each gubernatorial election year, each member to serve a term of four years. The members of the Central and district committees shall be equally divided between men and women.

8th District:

Pursuant to the authority provided by the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Committee (District Committee) hereby calls a Convention to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Robert E. Lee High School (6540 Franconia Rd, Springfield, VA 22150).

Click here for the full Call to Convention and Filing Form, or visit for more information.

10th District:

Pursuant to the authority provided by the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, the Tenth
Congressional District Democratic Committee (“District Committee”) hereby calls a Democratic
Convention to be held at 10 a.m., May 18, 2013, at Clarke County High School (627 Mosby
Boulevard, Berryville, VA). The doors to the convention will open at 9 am.

Click here for the full Call to Convention or visit for more information.

11th District:

Pursuant to the authority provided by the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, the Eleventh Congressional District Democratic Committee (“District Committee”) hereby calls a Convention to be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 2013, at the following location:
Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA  22042

Registration shall start at 11:00 a.m.

Click here for the full Call to Convention or email for more information.

return to top


Mark Herring For Attorney General

Campaign Update

Thank you Fairfax County Democrats, volunteers and elected officials for your support. Our campaign was honored to win the first Democratic straw poll in Virginia last month, taking home the Mt. Vernon Straw Poll with the strong support of Virginians like you.

We are equally honored to have the support and endorsement of so many Democratic elected officials in Fairfax County including Senators George Barker, Adam Ebbin, Barbara Favola, Janet Howell and Dave Marsden, and Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn, Ken Plum, Mark Sickles and Vivian Watts. Additionally, as someone who got my start in local government, I truly appreciate the support and endorsement of Fairfax Supervisors John Foust, Penelope Gross, Gerald Hyland and Jeff McKay.

Now that the legislative session is ending, our campaign will once again hit the road to talk with voters all across the Commonwealth. However, highlighting and talking about the issues and Democratic principles that we’ve been fighting for in the General Assembly is truly important. As of writing this update,

UntitledSenator Herring and Democrats in the General Assembly are fighting to expand Medicaid and working to pass a comprehensive transportation plan.

Additionally, during the GA session Senator Herring sponsored legislation to implement the Affordable Healthcare Act, worked for better protections against domestic violence, and made improvements to our mental health system.

Senator Herring also stood to fight against the attacks on women’s health care by Ken Cuccinelli, Bob McDonnell and the Republicans.

In closing, we are continuing to build our campaign, relying on the help and support of Democrats like you. If you are interested in volunteering and joining our effort, please email Adam Zuckerman at Please visit for more information and for the latest content and to connect with Mark on Facebook and Twitter.

return to top

Justin Fairfax For Attorney General

justin_fairfax WM

Attorney General Candidate Justin Fairfax recently spoke with students at two Virginia campuses. The William & Mary Young Democrats hosted a “Meet and Greet” for Fairfax on Thursday, February 21. And, on Tuesday, February 19, Justin spoke with political science students at Hampton University.

At both campuses, Justin focused on key issues he wants to address if elected Attorney General – including increasing access to higher education by improving transparency in the private student loan market and increasing economic opportunities for families and veterans. And, Justin, a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Law School (Columbia Law Review), shared how access to education has been important in his life. At Duke, Fairfax was a recipient of the Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship. Today, he and his wife, Dr. Cerina Fairfax, have endowed an opportunity scholarship at his alma mater.

Joshua Perrin, a Hampton University junior, who covered the event for the Hampton Script, captured why Fairfax is running for Attorney General. “If I had the opportunity to make communities safer for kids like me, I would do it … I am 100 percent for changing the odds for people,” Fairfax stated in the article.

Zach Hardy, a student reporter who covered Thursday’s Meet and Greet for William & Mary’s The Flat Hat, noted that of the four candidates running for Attorney General, Fairfax is the only former federal prosecutor. “I think that brings us a unique set of skills and experience. As attorney general, you are the chief law enforcement officer for the state. Having had experience in actually enforcing law is incredibly important and helpful.”

Justin is running for Virginia Attorney General to help protect families and businesses, to keep our communities safe, and to ensure that all Virginians have more security, opportunity, and access to the American Dream. Political supporters include former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, former American Bar Association President Robert Grey, Jr. and prominent Virginia Businessman and Campaign Treasurer for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Warren Thompson. For more information on Justin’s campaign for Attorney General, please visit

Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor

Campaign Update

Aneesh Chopra’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor has been building momentum across the Commonwealth. Earlier this month, Chopra won the Mount Vernon Democrats straw poll — the first straw poll in Virginia. This week, Aneesh received the endorsement of Congressman Tom Perriello. Citing Chopra’s “great energy and vision,” Perriello said Chopra is the best candidate for “creating a stronger Commonwealth for future generations.” Perriello joins Congressman Jim Moran and former Congressman Rick Boucher in endorsing Chopra. The endorsement comes on the heels of a downstate tour, where Chopra met with supporters in Bristol, Danville, Roanoke and Harrisonburg. You can stay updated on Chopra’s campaign by visiting his newly-launched website at For questions or to learn more, please contact Jamie Lockhart at or call 804-514-7409.

return to top


Senator George L. Barker 

The 2 1/2 weeks that follow “crossover” in odd-numbered years are very hectic in the General Assembly. I was able to successfully shepherd 22 of my bills through the Senate and into the House, which makes for some interesting mornings where I am required to be in three or four places at one time. While some of these bills have met their end in House committees, I’m diligently working on the rest of them in the hopes that practical solutions will trump party politics.

In the past two weeks, the General Assembly took action on a number of large issues. One of these is reform and expansion of Medicaid. The Commonwealth faces a critical decision. Currently, in Virginia, people between the ages of 19 and 64 do not qualify for Medicaid, even If they have no income, unless they are severely disabled. In the Senate budget adopted last week, we agreed to provide Medicaid coverage to such persons if they have income below 133 percent of the poverty level, subject to certain conditions regarding reform of Medicaid.

It is recognized that such an expansion would be good for people gaining health care coverage, enabling them to go to doctors’ offices, stay out of emergency departments, improve their health status, and increase their life expectancy. What is less understood is how important this expansion is for Virginia businesses, for jobs, and for the Virginia economy. Virginia businesses now pay a “hidden tax” when obtaining health insurance for their employees, paying for not only the cost of care for their employees but also part of the cost of care for the uninsured. If we do not expand Medicaid while other states do such expansions, Virginia businesses will be at a competitive disadvantage with competitors not having to pay that large “hidden tax.” In addition, such expansion will create 30,000 jobs and boost the Virginia economy significantly.

You can watch my Senate remarks on this issue last week by clicking here, but the final point I made then bears repeating. For the past 47 years, Virginia has gotten $1.70 from the Federal government for each $1.70 spent on Medicaid. For the past 15 years, we have gotten about $1.70 for each $1 spent on health care for children. For the people newly covered If we expand Medicaid now, however, we will get $1.70 for every $0.01 spent. You read that right. That’s a one dollar seventy cent return for every penny. This matter will be decided over the next week or so as our budget is finalized. We would be foolish to turn down such an opportunity.

A major development this week was Senate passage of a large transportation funding package. There has been no meaningful investment in transportation since the gas tax was last raised in 1986. While we are still far from a final product, I am hopeful we will reach agreement on major long-term transportation investments. I urge you to follow this debate closely, as it affects us in Northern Virginia acutely. As if we didn’t already know it, this week we were again ranked as the region with the worst traffic in the country. The final issue that I will tell you about is legislation brought to me by students at Centreville High School. Knowing what their classmates do, two students proposed prohibiting minors under the age of 15 from using tanning beds and requiring parental consent for those aged 15 through 17. My Senate Bill 1274 was supported not only by the students but also by the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Medical Society of Virginia, the Society of Dermatology, and by a woman who used tanning beds when in high school and college only to get aggressive melanoma at age 23. With the help of the students and their supporters, we got this legislation through the Senate before it was killed in the House of Delegates. While the measure did not pass this year, I couldn’t have been more pleased with what the students accomplished, and I have pledged to try to get such a bill passed next year.

With only a week left [at the time of this writing] until the General Assembly adjourns sine die, we are in a mad dash to complete our work. Stay tuned as we hit the final stretch and as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office if there is anything I can do to be of service.

Barker Signatore





return to top


The National Affairs Standing Committee (NAC)

Sandra J Klassen, Chair

Why Democrats Lose

Commentary by Jeff Barnett, Dranesville District NAC Member


What is the #1 political issue of our time? Easy answer: America’s ailing economy.

What is the Republican prescription for America’s ailing economy?
Another easy answer: Lower Taxes, Less Government.

What is the Democratic prescription for America’s ailing economy? ___(???)________

Voters see empty shelves in America’s job markets. They see an economy on life-support through massive debt. Voters are afraid. They want remedies.

Republicans sell a clear, concise and unified remedy: cut taxes and de-regulate corporations. Democrats argue (correctly) that this prescription kills the patient. It produces massive debt plus financial disaster. Unfortunately, Democrats have not gone beyond this accurate-but-negative message. We tell voters what is bad but not what is good. We spell out the toxic side-effects of Republican economics without writing a specific prescription ourselves.

When their #1 fear is the economy, voters look for an economic life raft. As Mark Shields notes, “When the economy is bad, the economy is the only issue.”

The 2012 election is a case in point. Mitt Romney and George Allen were extraordinarily weak candidates, yet each received 47% of Virginia’s vote. Why? Because voters wanted someone to hear their economic fears, and only Republicans clearly answered.

The lack of a clear and concise Democratic narrative energizes Republicans and alienates Independents. Republicans see the void as “proof” that Democrats have no business leading our government. They flock to the polls to vote against us. Independents are confused by Democratic silence on their #1 issue. They hold their noses and vote Republican because we don’t give them a clear economic alternative. Democrats have become the minority party, not because of our stance on social issues, but because of our silence on economic issues.

It’s time for Democrats to restate the obvious. Without government, there would be no internet, no map of the human genome, no highways, no public education, no national security, no level playing field that gives everyone a shot. FDR’s “New Deal,” Harry Truman’s ”Fair Deal” and LBJ’s “Great Society” invested in science, people and infrastructure. The results? The world’s greatest middle class and most powerful economy. What is wrong with this proven record? Absolutely nothing.

Our Democratic parents, grandparents and great-grandparents showed us the way. Government investment and regulation produce economic growth. It’s time for our generation to regain the political high-ground with this clear, concise and unified economic message. Until we do, elections that should be easy victories will stay nail-biters – and close contests will stay in the loss column.

return to top



Pixie Bell,  1st Vice Chair The 8th District Convention will take place at Lee High School on May 18, 2013.  Sign in will be 9 to 10 AM.  Voters will go to their City/County Caucuses to vote for the men and women on their ballots that have pre filed to be nominated to the 8th District Convention and Democratic State Central Committee.   Prefiling deadline is May 10, by 5 PM.  Resolutions must be filed with the 8th District Chair at by 5 PM on May 5.  The Call will go to DPVA on March 1, and then sent to the local Committees in the 8th CD, including filing forms.  In the 8th, Fairfax will nominate 5 females, and 4 males; Fairfax also has 6 seats on Temporary Rules, Credentials and Resolutions.

 return to top


Lisa Daniel, Communications Chair

Braddock District Democrats are undergoing leadership changes as Co-chair Jan Hedetniemi stepped down in February to accept a position on the non-partisan Fairfax County Planning Commission. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova appointed Hedetniemi, who has chaired or co-chaired Braddock District Democrats since 2009. “It’s her background and passion and she will do a phenomenal job on the planning commission,” Braddock District Co-chair Chris Wade said. “Her work there will benefit future generations in Fairfax County.” From her time leading the district committee, Hedetniemi said she is most proud of its membership growth – now at 96 – and an improved structure of having vice chairs to work directly with precinct captains. The committee voted at its February meeting to appoint Tom Johnson, a precinct vice chair, to replace Hedetniemi, and for John Boyer to replace Johnson as precinct vice chair. In other Braddock District news, the committee: -Led a successful Day of Service on Jan. 19 with a cleanup of Guinea Road and participation in a blood drive and a letter-writing campaign for military families; -Will take part in the 11th District fundraiser, tentatively scheduled for April 14; -Will participate in the district and state Central Committee’s call to convention; -Is planning for its annual Derby Day party – its largest fundraiser – to be held Saturday, May 4, starting at 4 p.m., at Kilroy’s in the Ravensworth Shopping Center. Break out your fancy hats and mint juleps and come out for the best Kentucky Derby event in Northern Virginia! Ticket information to be announced.

Robert Haley, Chair

The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee holds its meetings on the 2nd Wednesday, 7:30PM, every month, at the North County Government Center in Reston.  Typical meetings include guest speakers, campaign information, and notice of HMDDC – FCDC events. At the FCDC meeting on January 9th, the agenda and discussion included Vote Builder training, Precinct  Captain Status, Standing Committees, the 2013 Annual Lasagna Dinner, and new members.  Martin Taylor was elected Vice Chair, and Mike Collins was elected Vice Chair for Precinct Operations.  Shodi Razavi volunteered and accepted the position of Precinct Captain for Colvin Precinct.  Also noted was that Hunter Mill had maxed out its membership at 119, and the approved FCDC membership 20% increase will give HMDDC opportunity to take in additional 20 plus new members. The February HMDDC was held Wednesday February 13th with similar subjects reviewed and discussed. New members approved included Ellen Bussey, Dogwood, Mary Jo Nichols, Vienna 1, and Patricia Hagan, Reston 3. Next HMDDC meeting will be March 13th.   The 2013 Annual Hunter Mill Lasagna Dinner event will be held on Saturday April 6th, with the Early VIP Reception at starting at 5PM, and Dinner at 6PM. Please refer to the Hunter Mill web site calendar at for other local area political events, and to the FCDC web site calendar at for Fairfax County wide events.

Paul W. Jameson, Chair

Providence Democrats held a meeting of precinct captains on January 13, where our strategy for 2013 was laid out: We have developed spreadsheets showing Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in each precinct. The spreadsheets have been distributed to the Providence precinct captains. Each precinct captain is to: (1) determine, to the extent possible, the location and boundaries of each HOA in the precinct (expanding boundaries for areas outside of HOAs); (2) use VoteBuilder or other means to identify Strong Democrats in each such neighborhood; (3) recruit someone in each neighborhood to be a Neighborhood Team Leader or a member of the Neighborhood Team; (4) have the Neighborhood Teams canvass, starting in late Summer, focusing on those VoteBuilder shows as voting in 2012 but not in 2009 (removing Strong or Leaning Republicans from the list). Precinct captains are currently in Step 1 or 2, with some initial recruiting. For some areas where the precinct organization particularly needs to be strengthened, we will be organizing house parties in March to get active Democrats together.  

Rachel Rifkind, Chair
(703) 941?9574 E-mail:

Welcome back to The Democrat. FCDC has not had an editor for many months and The Democrat has not been published. We now have an Editor, Jane Byrnes, and this is the first article under the new management! If you are interested in writing this column, please let me know. I would really like to hand off this task to someone who likes to write and has a creative bent! Mason District Democrats met on February 20 at the Mason District Government Center. Many of the statewide candidates were there announcing the kickoff of their campaigns and their petition drives. If you would like to circulate a petition for Terry McAuliffe, Mark Herring (AG), Justin Fairfax (AG), Ralph Northam (LtG), or Aneesh Chopra (LtG), please let me know and we will get you connected. Likewise if you have not signed a petition for any of these candidates also let me know. Also MDDC Member Cynthia Bhatnagar (Walnut Hill precinct) is coordinating petition events from now until the petitions are turned in;she can be reached at 703-244-3548 or FCDC’s JJ Dinner will be later this year at the McLean Hilton. Let’s try to pull together a table or two or three for Mason District. I will be in touch with you about this soon. Also FCDC will be presenting several awards which will be selected from nominations from each of the magisterial district committees. More on the nominating process later. We have a lot of work ahead of us this next cycle. We need to continue working in our precincts identifying those Democrats who will come out in November and take us to victory in the many races this fall. We will be picking up again on voter registration later this year. Stay tuned! We will meet on March 19 at the Mason District Government Center at 7:30pm. FCDC will be meeting April 2 at 7:30pm at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church, VA 22043.

return to top

Sustainer Honor Roll

Click the image to enlarge




Click here to join the Sustainers today!





return to top


Below you will find information on some upcoming events.  For a complete listing of events, or to add your own event, go to the FCDC Calendar.

March 7th
Brigades Monthly Meeting
with new DPVA Exec. Director Lauren Harmon, Justin Fairfax for Atty. General, and House of Delegates Candidates

March 10th
Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor Fundraiser with Supervisor John Foust

March 17th
Congressman Gerry Connolly’s St. Patrick’s Day Fete   Sign up here!

April 2nd
FCDC March Meeting has been moved to April 2
7:30pm at Falls Church High School

April 6th
Hunter Mill Lasagna Dinner

return to top

About The Democrat

The Democrat is the monthly 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 reports, committee reports, news articles, campaign notices and flyers. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCDC unless specifically approved by an appropriate Committee Resolution. How to Submit Material E-mail text and/or photos to by 5:00 PM on the third Monday of each month for inclusion in the following month’s issue. Generally material submitted to The Democrat should be limited to 300 words. Advertising Ads are welcomed and accepted; however, we reserve the right to reject ads for any reason. No product, service, or event advertised herein is endorsed by The Democrat or the FCDC, unless otherwise noted.

return to top