This week, the Virginia Counts Coalition successfully hosted its Accountability Viewing in tandem with the Redistricting Commission’s hearing on March 30th. This meeting was attended by nearly 60 guests, including many of our partners as well as representatives from three press outlets. In addition to this successful event in which we provided comments (listed here) to the commission, we also released an op-ed that specifies our criteria that we believe the commission should recognize in conducting its operations. While the commission might change its meeting schedule, it currently has three imminent meetings slated throughout the next two months, for which we have Accountability Viewingspaired with each.
2021 Election Protection
Early voting for the 2021 June Primary will be April 23-June 5 and we are recruiting volunteers to help protect Democracy! The Virginia Civic Engagement Table works year-round to ensure Virginians have unencumbered access to the ballot and can cast their votes without confusion or intimidation. Volunteers are needed for rapid-response during the early voting period as well as on primary election day. Volunteers work to help us protect the voting rights of all Virginia voters. We do this work in close partnership with community members and state and national organizations.
Voting Rights Act of Virginia
“Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law Wednesday [March 31] a measure that fills some of the gaps in voter protections created nearly a decade ago when the Supreme Court gutted federal voting rights oversight. A key piece of the Virginia law is a requirement that state election officials get prior approval — or preclearance — before making changes to voting rules, a provision that aims to blunt would-be voter suppression efforts.” [The Hill]. Read more.
Death Penalty Abolition
On March 24, “Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill that ends the death penalty in Virginia. The legislation will go into effect this July. Northam held a ceremonial bill signing at Greensville Correctional Center just outside of Jarratt, Va., where the state houses its execution chamber.” [VPM]. Read more.
Eviction Halt Extension
The Biden administration announced on March 29 an extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. This is a necessary step to keeping Virginia residents safe and housed. You can see if you qualify by checking the Eviction Protection Declaration.
TCI’s New President & CEO
The Board of Directors of The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, a research organization advancing state policy that improves the lives of people of color and people with low incomes, has named Ashley C. Kenneth as the organization’s next President and CEO. Kenneth, most recently TCI’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Legislative Affairs, has served as the Institute’s Interim President and CEO following the departure of founding president Michael Cassidy after 15 years of service.
Join Us Welcome Leaders of VAPLP Cohort 7!
Join the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project for its 7th cohort kick-off next Friday, April 9th at 6:30 PM ET on Zoom or Facebook Live. We are honored to have Sean Perryman, VAPLP’s very own alum of Cohort 4, to welcome leaders from across the Commonwealth to our very first virtual Cohort.
The Future of Democracy: Envisioning a More Equitable Society
April 7 – The annual Virginia Student Democracy Summit will take place via zoom from April 7-10th. There will be 2-3 sessions each day. The summit will focus on the importance of community building as a strategy for addressing inequities within our political system and governing power structures. Learn more and register here.
Stop Wage Theft Car Rally
April 12 – The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenter and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy will be leading a car rally with other local labor, faith and community leaders to spread the word about wage theft and the misclassification of workers in Virginia.
Start location: Monroe Park – 620 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
End Location: Back at Monroe Park
Gathering time: 1:30 PM
Kick-off: 2 PM (Payer and Speaker)
End: 2:30 PM