Forward VA Newsletter - Dec 2022
Hello and welcome to our final newsletter of the year! We hope you've had a great year and are looking forward to starting a new one.
In this newsletter, we've included updates on exciting things that have happened in Virginia with politics, ranked choice voting, and Forward Party events. We’ve also included a summary of our priorities for 2023, upcoming events, and how you can get involved with Forward Party and your community.
But before we get into all of that, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for being a part of our community, for supporting us, and for helping us to make this year a success. We couldn't have done it without you. Furthermore, thank you for your support for the coming year since we couldn’t accomplish all that we have planned without your continued support.
We look forward to working with you to achieve a brighter future for Virginia and our country as a whole. Opportunities abound to match your interests and talents with working groups on topics like research, communication, policy, fundraising, candidate selection/endorsement, and more.
This newsletter will serve as a regular way to connect members to the Forward Virginia website, with alerts on important news and policy updates, events, and volunteer opportunities. If you have not already, we invite you to join our Virginia community on the website, update your profile, fill out the policy survey, and sign up to volunteer. We are excited about your participation in our efforts in Virginia to move our state and our country Forward.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy our final newsletter of the year. We can't wait to see what the next one brings.
Issue Updates & News 🔔 👇
U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger Reelected
We are proud that Rep. Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th District for the U.S. House of Representatives was the first candidate to be endorsed by Forward Party in Virginia, and we are proud to have had her as our only endorsed Virginia candidate for the 2022 election cycle. She has a solid record of cooperatively working with members of all parties to get things done for the American people. Since her reelection, she has continued her efforts to hold members of the House of Representatives to a higher ethical standard. We wish her much success and hope to work with her in the future on other issues.
What is RCV? Ranked Choice Voting is a method for casting and counting votes that helps better address traditional concerns of spoilers, wasted votes, negative attacks, and other common issues of our traditional system.
Arlington County Vote:
With a combination of votes in November and December, Arlington has decided to use RCV on a pilot basis in its primary elections for the Board of Supervisors in June 2023. This use of RCV will be the first use of RCV in a government-run election in Virginia.
Richmond rejected moving to RCV in September. However, since that time, some on City Council have expressed a willingness to reconsider the issue in the future.
In November, the county Board of Supervisors decided that RCV is something that they want to discuss further.
State Board of Elections:
The BOE is working on guidelines for municipalities that are interested in implementing RCV.
Virginia 4th Congressional District:
The unfortunate passing of Rep. Donald McEachin has necessitated a special election for his replacement. The Republican Party is again using RCV for its party-run (not government-run) primary process, as it did for its nominations for candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. This repeated use of RCV in internal party politics is helping to normalize the use of RCV for many Republican partisans in Virginia so that hopefully the task of rolling out RCV for government-run elections will face less resistance.
What RCV Needs from the General Assembly Click here to read
Recent Forward Virginia Events
Meet-ups were held in October, November, and December, respectively in Ashland, Crozet, and Richmond. They were great opportunities to get to know one another and engage in conversations about how Forward can make a difference here in Virginia and around the country.
2023 Virginia Forward Priorities 🔝1️⃣🙅
- Advance RCV in at least one jurisdiction in each region (there may be multiple, depending on region)
- Promote nonpartisan primaries in all jurisdictions as a good complement to RCV in the general elections
Candidate identification, initial vetting, etc.
- Set up regional groups dedicated to that and coordinate with a statewide candidate selection team. Candidates could be from other parties, independents, or those that choose to run specifically identified as from the Forward Party.
- Hold forums and other events to raise public awareness of RCV, nonpartisan primaries, and Forward Party
- Get volunteers lined up to engage in signature drives in relevant Congressional districts (getting prepared for what’s to come)
State Party Apparatus Setup
- Ongoing: Coordinating with national Forward Party about next steps
- Early 2023: Establish a state political action committee and negotiate an affiliation agreement with national Forward Party
- Early 2023: Set up regional chapters
- Several months later (state-mandated waiting period): Get candidates on ballots
Policy Working Group
- Currently have a few dozen respondents
- Continue to gather responses for next couple months
- Analyze surveys for key issues for potential platform expansion
- Divide survey respondents into three issue subgroups broadly identified as Free People, Thriving Communities, and Vibrant Democracy based on issue preferences expressed by survey respondents and by the overall number of respondents
- Schedule policy subgroup meetings for Spring 2023
- Issue Recommendations to Virginia Forward and to the national Forward Party for consideration at the Summer 2023 national convention
Forward Events 🏆 🍺 🙌🏼
To learn more about our past events and view pictures, click here!
- Online Statewide Meeting: January 12, 2023, at 6:30 pm click here to RSVP
- RCV Forum with Forward, FairVote, & Invited Speakers; Richmond: January/February 2023 (details to be announced)
- Richmond Region End-of-Month Chill out; Richmond: January 28, 2023, at 10:00 am (details to be announced)
- Fredericksburg Regional Information & Strategy Meeting; Fredericksburg: February 9, 2023, at 6:00 pm (details to be announced)
- Southwest Va. Regional Information & Strategy Meeting; Roanoke: February 9, 2023, at 6:00 pm (details to be announced)
- NoVa Regional Information & Strategy Meeting; Fairfax: mid-February 2023 (details to be announced)
- Hampton Roads Peninsula Regional Information & Strategy Meeting; Williamsburg: February 11, 2023, at 10:00 am (details to be announced)
- Charlottesville Regional Information & Strategy Meeting; Charlottesville: February 13, 2023, 7:00 – 9:00 pm (details to be announced)
Bookmark our upcoming events page to see all future events, click here
Ready to jump in? 🤝 💪
Volunteer to speak in favor of RCV and nonpartisan primaries at your local county board of supervisors or city council, and write letters to your representative and senator in the General Assembly and local media to encourage support for those initiatives. Guidance is available as needed.
Attend local meetings to coordinate and plan volunteer activities, discuss issues important to you, and establish personal relationships with other Forwardists
Volunteer for signature campaigns to get candidates on ballots
Please check out the following pages on our Virginia website to signup and keep in touch:
Join a Volunteer Working Group 🧢 👷🏼
Join our Social Media 🤣 ✌️: Discord is our primary communication channel within forward party. Let's chat..!
Tell Your Personal Network 📢 🙋♂️: Share your support for the Forward Party with friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.
Donate 💸 💰: Forward Party is gearing up for big progress in 2023. Please consider giving us a strong boost heading into the new year. Whether one donation or a recurring small donation, individual financial support provides a huge support for our efforts.
Partner Organization Involvement
Please consider becoming involved with other organizations like FairVote Virginia, UpVote Virginia, and Veterans for Political Innovation that also are advocating for RCV and/or other voting reform issues. In particular, consider joining some of the upcoming events of FairVote Virginia.
Charitable Organizations: Please consider marking a contribution of time and/or money to charitable organizations in your community. Here are a few suggestions.
Richmond Fisher House and Foundation
Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore
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