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DPVA Winning Weekend

The Democratic Party of Virginia’s first-even NoVa JJ was a big success on friday night at George Mason – great speeches by Sen. Kaine, Sen. Warner, Gov. McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton, 2,000 people attending at the Patriot Center, and $1M raised for the party.

On Saturday, the DPVA State Central and Steering Committees met at Woodson HS in Fairfax – we didn’t do anything as big as selecting a primary, instead of a convention, to allocate delegates to the National Convention in 2016 – because we did that months ago, but we had some very useful meetings.  Our new Chair, Susan Swecker, assisted by new Executive Director, Becca Slutsky, has had an very productive first first 90 days and  set a welcome tone of professionalism, dedication, and effectiveness.  Some highlights:

  •  Susan’s election as chair was confirmed (and she received a well deserved standing ovation).
  • Becca and other new staff were ratified, including Communications Director Stephen Carter and Shyam Raman (deputy IT); see here for DPVA staff info.
  • We heard from Congressman Connolly and State Sen Donald McEachin and Delegate Charniele Herring discussed our critical 2015 efforts to win back the State Senate and pick up seats in the House.
  • The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, which met Friday, gave Virginia’s 2016 Delegate Selection Plan conditional approval – there are some minor changes required and we corrected the initial allocation of delegates among CDs.  I’ll post the final revised version shortly.
  • Although Democrats will vote in a primary to determine the percentages of delegates allocated to presidential candidates, we still need to hold a state convention to elect the actual delegates to Philadelphia, and conduct other business, including electing two mail and two female members of the Democratic National Committee.  The Chair appointed a technical advisory committee to start planning for that convention.  We don’t do conventions often and we will need to do a much better job in 2016 than we did in 2012, so this is a great idea.
  • DPVA Voter Protection Council Chairs Matt Weinstein and Georgina Cannan were introduced – please go to to sign up to help our efforts.
  • Technical Communications improvements continue with a new Logo and planned Website improvement; thanks Dave Leichtman and Brenner Tobe.
  • The DPVA’s new budget committee is taking shape and the Chair appointed Mark Bowles as temporary acting Vice Chair for Finance.  I’ve known Mark since YD days and he will be terrific.
  • City and County Democratic chairs are currently elected in December of odd years or the following January.  A proposal was considered to move that to December of even years and extend the current chairs two year terms.  The Chair will appoint an ad hoc committee to consider this and related concerns and report back in September.
  • A new Chairs Handbook will be prepared; under Vice Chair Gaylene Kanoyton’s leadership, training has been ongoing.
  • DPVA has instituted new fiscal policies and is updating our Human Resources manual, as part of the increasing professionalism of the organization.
  • DNC Parliamentarian Helen McFadden, who was in town for the RBC meeting, was kind enough to join us and act as parliamentarian.  We used to have one at our meetings until Dick Cranwell took over as Chair, and decided he didn’t need one.  But we do.  Please let me know if you want to serve as DPVA Parliamentarian and I will pass that on.
  • Thanks so much to Atima Omara, who is completing her term as YDA President and therefore leaving the Central Committee (for now).
  • The DPVA disAbility Caucus is holding an ADA 25th Anniversary lunch on July 25, 2015 in Springfield – please join us!