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DPVA Chairman’s Update – 4/1/2011

Among the good things that DPVA Chairman Brian Moran is doing is providing regular updates on his travels, the party’s activities, and important issues.  The DPVA’s new leadership is active and open.  Below is the Chairman’s Update, which makes the point that the DPVA favors bipartisan redistricting, but not unilateral action which will undermine the Senate’s ability to protect the Commonwealth from Republican extremism.

Chairman’s Update: April 1, 2011

Remarks to Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council
I want to thank Steve Shannon for his invitation to speak to the NVDBC this morning.  There was a great crowd and I thought the discussion was strong.  During my remarks I focused on laying out our party’s message for growing jobs and protecting middle class families through investments in public education.  I also emphasized the importance of the progressive business community making their voices heard in the coming elections.  I look forward to many more opportunities to work with the NVDBC as we build toward November.
Two days of Travel
As part of my ongoing commitment to travel as much as possible for the party, I spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week in Richmond.  I was able to make candidate recruitment calls, raise money and cultivate new donors, discuss our Delegate Selection Plan for the 2012 National Convention, and consult with staff on a variety of other projects.  The highlight of my trip was meeting with a group of progressive leaders including representatives from the Virginia New Majority, Planned Parenthood, the Virginia Education Association, Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Virginia Interfaith Center.  It’s imperative that the DPVA build and maintain strong relationships with these groups.  We can make a lot of progress by sharing ideas and information, and this initial meeting was really exciting.  I finished my two days of travel by attending the DCCC Policy Conference in New York City.  I got the opportunity to discuss issues with some of our top Congressional leaders.
Upcoming Political Travel
Here are a few upcoming events I’m planning to attend:
–       Sunday, April 3rd: Falls Church JJ Dinner
–       Saturday, April 16th: Equality Virginia Dinner
–       Wednesday, April 27th: Keynote for Staunton Democratic Committee JJ Dinner
Redistricting Session is Monday, April 4th
This week the House and Senate unveiled their plans to redraw the state’s legislative lines to conform to the changes in population from the 2010 census. On Monday the General Assembly will convene to consider the plans and vote on the legislative maps for the next 10 years.
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the inherently political nature of this process. As a member of the House of Delegates I submitted legislation year after year to make the process more bipartisan by appointing a commission to devise the plans that the legislature would ultimately approve. The Democratic Senate passes such a plan every year, and the Republican House kills it. When Governor McDonnell was campaigning for his current job, he pledged to support meaningful bipartisan redistricting reform, but since taking office he has not said a word or lifted a finger to keep House Republicans from killing the legislation after it passes out of the Senate.
There is no question about which party has been more dedicated to changing the law and making this process more fair and transparent, and I am confident that Democrats will continue the fight for years to come. However, until the law is changed both chambers will follow it as written. Republicans did not bat an eyelash before drawing Minority Leader Ward Armstrong and Delegate Paula Miller out of their seats and designing a map that some say puts them in a position to safely hold and expand their majority.
Senate Democrats used their legal authority to draw a legislative map that increases our opportunity to accomplish a very important goal this year. Preserving the Democratic majority in the State Senate  is the only firewall against a radical Republican agenda coming from the Governor and the Republican House majority.  We should continue our efforts to reform this process, but we should not do so unilaterally when the very future of our Commonwealth is at stake.
Recognizing our Grassroots Efforts
This week I released the following statement regarding the success of our grassroots training program:
Richmond, VA – Two weeks into a three-week run of grassroots trainings for Democratic and progressive activists, the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Virginia chapter of Organizing for America released the following statements, thanking the hundreds of participants who have given up their weekend hours to learn and prepare to support the Democratic agenda.
“We are inspired by the energy and enthusiasm that we have encountered across this Commonwealth from Virginia Democrats who are hard at work in their own communities advancing our agenda of job creation, quality public education and real opportunity for working families,” said DPVA Chairman Brian Moran.
“Anyone who has doubts about the energy level on our side of the aisle should spend a few hours learning community organizing tools, new media and political event building with the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who have turned out in Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Richmond and Fairfax over the past two weeks. We are building a better, more effective party from the ground up and that will turn into better campaigns and better public policy for Virginia.”
Our Executive Director Defends Middle Class Families
This week our Executive Director David Mills posted on Vivian Paige’s blog, defending working families.  I encourage you to take a look here

Brian Moran