Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

Time to Face the 21st Century

by Robert Barnette

President, Hanover NAACP

The Hanover Branch of the NAACP sued the County School Board and Board of Supervisors in August, saying that Lee Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School names violate the constitutional rights of black students and their families by making them feel unwelcome and creating an unequal learning environment. Specifically, the lawsuit claims; under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Compelled Speech claims under the First Amendment, and claims under the Equal Education Opportunity Act.

• The Equal Protection Clause protects African American members of the NAACP from being treated differently from others by Hanover County representatives.

• The First Amendment protects “free speech” but it also stops the government from forcing people to make statements they do not believe in—for example, wearing school uniforms or shirts that celebrate the Confederate soldiers and mascots.

• The Equal Education Opportunity Act requires schools to remove vestiges of segregation. The School Board has failed to do this since the 1960s when it chose Confederate names that told every African American student that s/he was not welcome in Hanover County.

The judge dismissed a motion by the School Board attorneys that the BOS did not have the authority to change the names of these two schools. Now the sole defendant of the NAACP’s lawsuit is the School Board. The School Board held a closed session meeting on November 22nd to consider resolving the lawsuit but chose to take no action.

The Hanover Branch of the NAACP held its November meeting on Tuesday, November 26th and the main topic of concern was to answer questions from the public concerning the litigation status. Kaitlin Banner and Azadeh Erfani, from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, were present and answered questions from the audience. Questions included; what are the next steps in the litigation process? What is the cost of the County’s attorney fees? Why did the judge dismiss the Board of Supervisors, when do you anticipate this lawsuit will be heard in court? And many other questions were asked.

Most people indicated that the Board of Supervisors should not have been dismissed because they appoint School Board representatives. Several people indicated that the cost figures for changing the name were inflated and not accurate due to other organizations such as the Band Boosters and PTAs contributing to the cost of purchasing uniforms and/or equipment.

It’s time Hanover begins thinking about what’s best for students facing the challenges of the 21st century, and not stay stuck in the past.

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Special Guest Speaker at our December Meeting--Don't miss this meeting!

State Senator Jennifer McClellan will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Hanover Democratic Committee on Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. at The Depot, located on the right side of the Cross Brothers Building, 107 S. Railroad Avenue in Ashland. Sen. McClellan, who represents Hanover among other jurisdictions, was overwhelmingly re-elected to the General Assembly. We are so fortunate to have her as a guest speaker as she begins her next four-year term in the Virginia General Assembly.

Reorganization Caucus Will Be Held

Following Sen. McClellan's appearance, the biennial reorganization meeting will convene at 10:50 a.m. The State Party Plan requires County and City committees to reorganize every two years, at which time members rejoin, bylaws are passed and new officers are elected for a two-year term. Doors to the reorganization caucus will officially open at 10:45 a.m. (following the regular HDC meeting) and will close at 10:50 a.m. All those in line by 10:50 a.m. will be admitted to the Reorganization Caucus. Please click here for the official "Call to Caucus."  The rules for the Call to Caucus are here.

For information about the by-laws check out the links below:

The proposed by-laws from the 2019 committee are here:  click here. click here.

To see what the proposed changes are:  click here.

To access the previous by-laws from the 2017 committee, click here.

Coffee Meeting

Coffee is brewing!

At the house of

Jen Chambers

901 South Center Street, Ashland

Wednesday, December 11 at 7 pm

Men's Forum

Returning in January 2020

 Mens Forum June 2019

Guest Speaker: TBA

Mens Forum

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There will be no separate Men's Forum in November, in lieu we are asking please everyone volunteer for our many candidates and then attend our Thank You Breakfast.

Because of the holidays, there will be no Men's Forums in December.  Please spend some time enjoying your families and the holidays.  The Men's Forums will resume in January.

The January Forum is tentatively set for January 22 with a First Congressional District Democratic Forum.  Professor Rich Meagher, Political Science Professor from Randolph Macon College will moderate as he did at our last First District Democratic Forum approximately two years ago.  Vangie Williams and Phil Cox are the only two Democratic candidates we know of to-date.  Rob Wittman most likely will be the Republican candidate.