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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, November 07, 2008

    VIRGINIA FOCUS: Blogs, Energy and Agriculture, Groups and Events

    Virginia continues to be a key state in setting the political tone in America. I have believed since 2004 that Virginia is a state that can be slowly turned blue. The elections of 2005 and 2006 support my belief. This year the trend continued with a win for Obama, a win for Warner for Senate, and at least two (maybe three) House pickups. Virginia is consistently trending blue year after year. Here is a rundown of the Virginia house seats I covered:

    VA-5: Tom Perriello, running for Congress in the VA-5 district against Republican Virgil Goode, may be a particularly important person for us to get into Congress because of his excellent diplomatic record. After 8 years of Bush’s failed foreign policy, we need some people with excellent diplomatic skills in government to help clean up the mess. Goode is stuck in the Bush/McCain thinking. By contrast, Perriello has a record of diplomatic success in difficult regions. Back when Sierra Leone was one of the world’s most violent hot spots, Tom worked with child soldiers, amputees, and local pro-democracy groups, and played a significant role in the peace and reconciliation process that ended twelve years of violence there. He then became Special Advisor and spokesperson for the International Prosecutor during the showdown that forced Liberian dictator Charles Taylor (who was also responsible for the violence in Sierra Leone) from power without firing a shot. THAT is the kind of diplomatic skill America needs after years of Bush/McCain blunders. After this success, Tom served as a national security analyst for the Century Foundation. He has worked inside Darfur and twice in Afghanistan, so he knows about the hot spots of today. This is the kind of leadership we need in Congress! He is raising record amounts of money to defeat the incumbent Republican. For me, this is a critical pick up opportunity. To help out, you can volunteer through Tom's website. We seem to be winning this one, but the final count is still uncertain. But VA-05: PERRIELLO DECLARES VICTORY!!! Let's hope it holds!

    VA-10: Judy Feder is our candidate in the VA-10 district. We lost this one.

    VA-2: Glenn Nye is our candidate in the VA-2 district and, just like Tom Perriello, he brings some excellent diplomatic experience to the table…JUST what America needs right now. WE WON THIS ONE!

    VA-11: This district is fairly evenly split Dem/Repub, so there is a good shot at flipping this seat. Gerry Connolly is our candidate in the VA-11 district. WE WON THIS ONE!


    The Virginia Organizing Project is a statewide, multi-issue citizens' organization committed to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives.

    Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) is a not-for-profit organization concentrating in the areas of law that affect low-income families.

    The Virginia Young Democrats blog has links to local Young Democrat groups and college clubs, and has information of interest to young voters in Virginia. This is Virginia's political future!

    Raising Kaine: a community forum to discuss political issues of interest to Virginians.

    Some stories of interest:

    This is from awhile back, but now that the election is over, it is worth remembering because the attitude towards community organizers represents a clear difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties: Community organizing is no joke 9-11-08. Reminds me of a joke (bumper sticker?) someone told me about: "Jesus Christ was a Community Organizer. Pontius Pilate was a Governor." Interesting given Palin's statements.

    Advocates Say State's Grad Plan Doesn't Quite Make the Grade

    Obama's Economic Recovery Plan for the Middle Class

    Wise or unWise Energy for Virginia? Good options exist

    Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture in Virginia:

    Algae Key to Greenhouse Gases Solution? This is a topic I have been skeptical of, but have recently read up more on the topic and feel it is well worth looking into. This article comes from the Roanoke Democracy for America website. They also have a good rundown on Palin's problems.

    Living Green DC/MD/VA:
    LIVING GREEN DC/MD/VA works to send a message to the community and influence small changes in everyday actions that can have a big impact on our world. As a group we look for ways to make small changes in the way we live, enjoying the support and friendship of other like-minded people. This meetup can only grow if lots of members become Assistant Organizers and provide fun and creative ways to socialize, learn, spread the word, volunteer, network, do fun things. Suggestions are seeing films with environmental themes, dining where organic and locally purchased produce is promoted, visiting farmers markets and socializing afterwards, volunteering for Earth Day activities, meeting in cafes to discuss books and articles, etc.. Whether it's a movie screening or eating a meal with freinds at an environmentally friendly restaurant, you are sure to make an impact, so join the group and volunteer. Go here for more information.

    Alternative Energy Resources in Virginia: a short summary of alternative energy resources for Virginia. For more information on each technology, visit the State Energy Alternatives Technology Options page.

    Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Organizations and Publications: Whether you're a beginning farmer, or an experienced agricultural producer interested in transitioning to more sustainable practices, you may want to start by learning more about the principles of sustainable agriculture and some of the "systems" approaches associated with it.

    Northern Virginia Environment Meetup: Promoting alternative energy: Freedom's Renewable Energy Everyday/where/one. Sign up here to find out when and where they meet.

    Now some other groups and events:

    Arlington Democrats Meetup Group
    Meet other local Dems! Sponsored by the Arlington Democratic Committee, about 60 attendees meet to discuss local/national politics, listen to guest speakers and receive news on getting involved. Email jamesemcb_at_yahoo.com to join the ACDC listserv or sign up at www.arlingtonyoungdems.org.

    Monthly Charlottesville Democratic Breakfast
    This gathering takes place on the third Saturday of each month at 9:30a.m. and is usually held at the JABA building on Hillsdale Drive. Pay what you can.

    Virginia Beach Democratic Committee Monthly Meeting
    Held the First Wednesday of every month, 7 PM, at the Virginia Beach Central Library.

    Monthly Interfaith Pray for Peace Gathering
    Final Thursday of evern month, 7:15pm

    Location: Sojourners UCC Church, 1017 Elliott Ave, Charlottesville
    Sponser: Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia-URI; Gesher Center; Unity Church

    On the final Thursday of every month, the Interfaith Pray for Peace Gathering welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs to an inspired and inspiring flow of prayers, meditations and songs for peace.

    Contact Name: Heena Reiter
    Contact email: gesher_at_mindspring.com
    Contact Phone: 434-970-7836

    Vienna Hispanic Democrats:
    Meet with local Hispanic Democrats. To learn more, join here.

    Fauquier Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Third Tuesday of Each Month, 7:30 pm
    Warren Green Building
    10 Hotel Street
    Old Town, Warrenton

    Blue Mondays With the Stafford County Democrats
    Every Monday evening at 5 PM
    King Street Blues Restaurant
    Casual get-together of like minded Democratic Activist
    For more info contact: jac_at_j2power.com

    Democracy for Virginia:
    Here are the local Democracy for America chapters in Virginia. Click on the link for more info:

    * Arlington for Democracy (may be dormant...you can go here to contact the organizers and get more up to date info)

    * Roanoke DFA

    * Tidewater for Democracy

    * Virginia Grassroots Coalition (may be dormant...you can contact them here for more info: info@vagrassroots.org)

    Drinking Liberally:
    For the more social and fun-oriented (and booze oriented), there's Drinking Liberally. Here are the Virginia Drinking Liberally Chapters:

    Alexandria/Springfield, Virginia
    * Second Thursday of each month, 7:00-9:00 pm
    * King Street Blues, 5810 Kingstowne Center Drive, Alexandria (Corner of Kingstowne Blvd and Van Dorn Street)
    * Hosted by Brian Murray and Mike Sizemore, alexandria (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Arlington, Virginia
    * Every Thursday, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    * Capitol City Brewing Company, 2700 S Quincy St
    * We're usually in the back room at Cap City; check with the host station if you don't see us there!
    * "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world" - Margaret Mead
    * Hosted by David Swim, Quinn Jones, Michelle Elliott and Bev Wright, arlington (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Charlottesville, Virginia
    * Every Thursday, 6:00 pm onward
    * South Street Brewery, 106 W South St
    * Hosted by Chris Dumler and Clare Wuerker, charlottesville (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Lorton, Virginia
    * First and third Friday of each month, 6pm to 8 or 9
    * Glory Days Grill, 9459 Lorton Market St
    * First hour of the gathering is part of happy hour
    * Hosted by Alan Salisbury and Chris Ambrose, lorton (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Norfolk, Virginia
    * Third Thursday of each month, 5:00-7:00 pm
    * The New Belmont, 2117 Colonial Ave (upstairs at the bar)
    * Hosted by Tom Mitchell and Vivian Paige, norfolk (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Richmond, Virginia
    * Every other Wednesday, 7:00 pm onward
    * Chiocca's Downstairs, 425 N Belmont Ave (Museum District - corner of Kensington & Belmont)
    * Come join us for brews & news!
    * Hosted by Morgan Bailey and John Manall, richmond (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    * First Friday of each month, 7:00 PM
    * Studio For The Healing Arts, 1611 Colley Ave # D, Norfolk, VA, Norfolk (One block from the Naro theater)
    * Zeitgeist the Movie, DVD Door Prize
    * http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Virginia9-11Truth/ http://vbdems.org
    * One block from the Naro theater in Ghent
    * Hosted by Chris Jaramillo and Eileen Levandoski, vabeach (at) drinkingliberally.org


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