Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

AUGUST MEN'S FORUM will meet

We are in the final stages of organizing a Men's Forum for August.  Please be on the lookout for an email that will note the date and time of the next forum.  Stay safe.

RIP Fred Hodnett

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Fred Hodnett, husband of longtime HDC member Lyn Hodnett, passed away recently. Fred was a man of great humor and integrity. He could make us laugh. But, he also kept us grounded. His obituary can be found here. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund at DUMC. The Ashland Kiwanis is offering a scholarship in his honor. We could talk at length about the many great things that Fred has bestowed upon us. But, his own words convey his successes best. You can access an interview with him here. The interview is about an hour in length, and well worth your time. We will miss Fred, but his legacy continues with us.

Support Qasim Rashid

Our candidate for the First Congressional District is Qasim Rashid. Due to many rules and regulations governing federal election years, the HDC is limited as to what it can contribute. But, individuals can contribute much more. Please consider donating to Qasim's campaign. All amounts are welcome from $5 to $500, or more. Another way to contribute to Qasim's efforts to help nominate him for national recognition. Here is the signup link – share if you can:  https://act.indivisible.org/signup/endorsement-signup. Registering will make you eligible to participate in this vote supporting Qasim. This endorsement provides an opportunity for Qasim to receive support on a national level. You do not have to be a member of an Indivisible group to vote. If you have any questions, please send an email to Heather Allen at WilliamsburgJCCIndivisble@gmail.com and she can help.

Apply to Vote by Mail/ Absentee

Several of our member volunteers will be hand delivering applications to vote by mail/ absentee to people across the County. We will use PPE to deliver these applications to the doors; no interactions. We will not be able to deliver to everyone. If you receive an application and have already applied, please share it with a friend. If you would like to apply to vote by mail/ absentee online, you can learn more here.

Opportunities with the Coordinated Campaign

The Virginia Victory coordinated campaign is looking for paid Fellows to work with Joe Aguilar, the regional field director. 
Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScncDmwkxnf0FurVatDugUMzLCKGEmN2Vg_RAFE2bOqs0Fl0w/viewform.

People may also sign up for phone-banking with the Coordinated Campaign here: https://www.mobilize.us/vavictory/event/280220/.  For more information contact Joe Aguilar at joe.aguilar@virginiavictory.org

LEARN ABOUT VOTER PROTECTION AT OUR AUG. 8 MEETING

Please join us for our next meeting of the Hanover Democratic Party at 10 a.m. on Aug. 8  We'll be hearing from a Democratic leader on the critical issues of voter protection and vigilance at the polls.

Alyssa Pooler is the Voter Protection and Expansion Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia. She has a strong background in voter protection and improper purging of voter rolls. She will bring you up to date on what you can do to remain vigilant about the right to vote, both inside and outside of the polls. Click here to learn more about Alyssa.

Once again, this meeting will be conducted via Zoom. If you do not have the Zoom app, you can download it for free at zoom.us. Make sure your computer does not block it. There's also a "Join a Meeting" button at the top of the Zoom home page.

The login information is as follows:

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87613615335?pwd=TStvSHlPaEV4NEV6M2hrcFN2bXl2Zz09
Meeting ID: 876 1361 5335
Password: 542229

If you prefer to do audio by phone:
Dial by your location:  +13017158592
Meeting ID: 876 1361 5335
Password: 542229

Some of you have had difficulties in the past. If this happens, contact Steve and he will try to walk you through it.

If you want to watch the Zoom meeting live on YouTube, follow this link.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK8XYH_xdXqcH1xE4kBoXiA

black lives matter too!

By Daniel W. McGraw, Ed.D.

On Sunday, July 26, I joined a group of people on the lawn in front of the Town Hall in Ashland to discuss ways to improve our community. Noah Peterson had organized this group under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter. He placed signs, encouraged masks, respected social distancing, and had water available in the shade of a few trees. It was pleasant until a man, who seemed agitated, approached.

He demanded to see a permit. His volume escalated from a soft talk to nearly shouting. “Do you know what you are supporting,” he said. “Read the website; they are Marxists… Communists… their Socialist ideas are trying to brainwash everyone…” I had heard enough and interrupted him to ask one question before I would listen to any more of his opinions. It took several minutes before he calmed down enough to listen to my question. This man was genuinely agitated by the idea that a group of people was peacefully gathering to discuss community improvement next to the sign, “Black Lives Matter.”

“Sir,” I said. “I have not read all of the websites and documents to which you are referencing, but I can say this: I honor the ideals of the United States by the presence of our Flag (I was wearing an American Flag facemask). Does that mean that I have to support EVERYTHING that was EVER done under the banner of this Flag? Or, can we agree that the Flag stands for Freedom, even though there are many people both in this country and abroad who may say that the Flag (and even the National Anthem) represents oppression and tyranny?” He responded with, “I see your point… but do you know the history of this movement?” Since we were at a standstill, I encouraged him to have a conversation with me about his concerns at another time, and we could talk more after I read the things he referenced, but now was not the time. He agreed and left.

I do not know why the #BlackLivesMatter sign triggered him. However, I can go through a few points that he attempted to make. First, no one needs a “permit” to gather with friends/ neighbors on public property during daylight hours in Hanover County. Second, after the encounter, I did read through the blacklivesmatter.com website. I did not see anything that suggested the claims the man had made. It annoys me that so many people make false claims and then demand that other people disprove them. That is not how facts and laws work. The accuser must provide the evidence. Even if the website had communist or socialist undertones (which it did not), other thoughts would have arisen: Namely, it is just one website, out of many BLM movements, and the United States already has communist and socialist undertones in its tax structure, policing, public schools and housing, etc. (So what is the “revolution” he is referencing?). 

I dug deeper and watched some clips from activists from the past. I watched many of James Baldwin’s presentations. An interesting one is a conversation he has with a Yale professor who claimed that in 1969 the conditions of Black and Brown people were the same as White people. I read about many violent acts that were inflicted upon people of color. I did the best that I could to understand all sides of what the #BlackLivesMatter movement means. I concluded that when black lives matter, all lives matter.

I am not going to defend my full support for #BlackLivesMatter. I acknowledge that all lives matter. No one needs that reminder; we need to be reminded that the values which are supposed to be “self-evident… all men are created equal” includes LGBTQ+, foreign residents, American citizens, healthy, sick, rich, poor, women, men, et al.  That reminder starts with #BLM.

Furthermore, I am not going to allow someone to dictate to me what my beliefs mean to me. The fact is Black Lives Matter too. And, until we come together as a nation recognizing the significant contributions that Africans have made to the growth of America (North, South, and Central), “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter” will not equate to “all men are created equal” as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. We must right the wrongs of Jim Crowe laws, redlining, incarceration and the many other oppression tactics that make people feel unsafe growing up Black.

Supporting Black and Brown lives does not mean that I or anyone else is anti-White or anti-Police or anti-whatever. My birth father is Black, and my mother is White. But, I grew up in a White household after my step-father adopted me when I was six-years-old (My birth father gave up his parental rights to me).  I can relate to the words of young Barrack Obama. Growing up White is very different from growing up Black. But it shouldn’t be this way. It is not that we should stop seeing color. Instead, we must embrace the many colors with which our nation has been blessed.

Finally, no one has a “right” to hijack the show. When I spend money to see a comedian, I am not there to hear a heckler or listen to other people talk while the performance is underway. The heckler is not the show, the comedian is. When I go to the movies, I expect people to be silent because I did not pay to listen to them. Thus, when I attended the Black Lives Matter Community event, organized by Noah Peterson, I was there to hear, feel, and understand the Black and Brown experiences. I was not there to listen to the counter-argument to #BlackLivesMatter. I was there and will continue to be there in support of the community, which I love.

Dr. Daniel W. McGraw is the chairman of the Hanover County Democratic Committee

VIRTUAL COFFEE IN AUGUST

Twenty women ventured into virtual territory with a Zoom Coffee last month, some new to the Coffees, and some for the first time Zooming.It was great to be able to see and talk with so many old and new friends. The conversation was more stimulating than ever!

We'll be holding another evening Virtual Coffee in late August so be looking for more information on that.  There's plenty of room for a big group on Zoom. For more information contact Diane Neergaard at daneergaard@comcast.net or 804-304-1951.

Our Coffee Caucus is a group of Democratic women of all ages who, in non-Covid-9 times, meet monthly, sometimes in the day and sometimes in the evening, at the homes of volunteer hostesses at different locations around the county. Our goal is to enable as many women as possible to get to know one another so that we can better work together. We have no formal memberships or dues.

New friends are always welcome