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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.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Friday, May 21, 2010

    VIRGINIA FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Energy and Agriculture, Veterans for Peace, Groups and Events

    Rating Virginia's Lawmakers: Click here to see how Virginia's Congressmen rated on Americans for Democratic Action's Scorecard.

    Krystal Ball for Congress (VA-1)

    KB from Shannon Prasad on Vimeo.

    From Bloggers for Ball:

    This year, Democrats will select a nominee to take on Rep. Rob Wittman, a politician who has voted 92% of the time with Eric Cantor and John Boehner, against the economic recovery act, against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, and against strong health care reform legislation. In short, Wittman is a cookie-cutter, lockstep, knee-jerk Republican loyalist who apparently has lost the ability to think and reason for himself. Instead, Wittman just votes "no," "no," and "no" to everything, along with the rest of his party.

    Obviously, it's time for a change in the 1st CD. Fortunately, there's an excellent Democrat running who will work to bring that change. Her name is Krystal Ball, the clear choice for a large number of reasons. Aside from her energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence, Krystal Ball is a strong "pro-growth progressive" who I believe is clearly "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Among other things, Krystal believes in "strong environmental and financial regulation," "a robust public option," "strong unions," "government’s basic role as a social equalizer, " "civil liberties, the right to choose for ourselves in marriage, reproduction and self-defense," " full LGBT equality at every level," and "aggressive mandatory renewable energy standards for vehicles, appliances, etc."

    Find out more about Krystal Ball at her campaign website.

    Tom Perriello for Congress (VA-5)

    Tom Perriello, though a Blue Dog, is one of the best Congressmen elected from either party. From his website:

    Fighting for Solutions in Conflict Zones

    After receiving his law degree from Yale University, Tom accepted an assignment working to end atrocities in the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, which had suffered long civil wars fueled by blood diamonds. Tom’s work with child soldiers, amputees, and local pro-democracy groups in Sierra Leone played a significant role in the peace and reconciliation process that ended twelve years of violence in that country. Tom then became Special Advisor and spokesperson for the International Prosecutor during the showdown that forced Liberian dictator Charles Taylor from power without firing a shot. After this success, Tom served as a national security analyst for the Century Foundation. He has worked inside Darfur and twice in Afghanistan.
    Changing the American Debate on Faith in Politics

    Since 2004, Tom has helped to launch a political and social movement in this country that is credited with shifting the national debate about America’s moral priorities. He helped found FaithfulAmerica.org and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which bring together faith communities to fight for children’s health care, supporting a higher minimum wage, environmental stewardship, and responsible solutions in Iraq. Inspired by the prophetic vision of Dr. King, Wilberforce, and Micah, Tom believes that America must reverse the erosion of our commitment to the common good and restore our understanding that our nation rises or falls together.

    Check out Perriello's website for more information.

    Rick Waugh for Congress (VA-7):

    Rick Waugh is challenging one of the most obstructionist of Republicans, Eric Cantor. Here is Rick Waugh's statement on running:

    My name is Rick Waugh, and I’m running for Congress in the 7th Congressional District of Virginia. I am a pragmatic progresive, and I am running for one simple reason – I feel that my voice and the voices of many of my fellow citizens are not being heard in Washington. While there are once again record profits on Wall Street, Main Street has been left high and dry. Even worse, I can think of little Eric Cantor has done in his 10 years in Washington to support the regular folks of this district...

    I am running for Congress because I believe the citizens of Virginia have not been getting a fair shake from Washington, D.C. I am running because of the clients whom I have seen as a counselor. I am running because I know that our education system is still leaving children behind; I am running for the citizens of our District who cannot find the work they need to support their families; and for the citizens who have gone to Eric Cantor for help only to feel ignored. I am running because I know we can do better.

    I am proud to have the nomination of the Democratic party. I believe that the Democratic Party is more about solving problems than blind partisanship and ideology. The attitude I intend to bring to Washington is that of listening to the voters; not party bosses, special interests, or those who are entrenched in Washington. I will bring solutions to the daily struggles we all endure.

    This campaign isn’t about me, it is about every citizen of the 7th district. We are building a movement, but we need your help. If you believe, like I do, that we need a government in Washington of, by and for the people, and not a government of, by and for the lobbyists and special interests, I need your support. I need you to sign up to volunteer with this campaign, I need to tell your friends and neighbors about what we are doing here, and I need you to write a check. Together, we can build a campaign that will make us all proud!

    Visit Rick Waugh's website for more information.

    Some Virginia News:

    Republican Corruption Alert: Ken Cuccinelli must resign...more here: Top Cuccinelli Contributor Under Investigation for Fraudulent Charity Scheme

    U.S. Navy May Save Virginia from Offshore Drilling

    Does Eric Cantor believe in Rand Paul's "private racism"?

    Krystal Ball to Convention Delegates: “Democratic values are American values”

    Congressman Tom Perriello: Clean energy key

    Buy Fresh, Buy Local

    "Drill, Baby, . . " Not so fast there, Virginia!!...more here: Gulf Oil Rig Disaster a critical part of the Bush/Cheney Legacy...and more facts: Oil Rig Fact Check

    ABA and Interfaith Alliance Support Repeal of DADT...and more here: Necessary Action on DADT

    What Would Gulf Coast Oil Spill Look Like Off Virginia's Coast?...more here: The Risks of Drilling Off Virginia’s Coast


    Loudoun Progress: A community for Democrats, progressives and other open minded neighbors in Loudoun County, Virginia.

    Blue Commonwealth is a community forum for the discussion of political issues of interest to Virginians.

    LeftyBlogs Virginia is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Virginia.

    The Virginia Public Access Project is a non profit group that demonstrates how technology can improve public understanding of money's role in Virginia politics. This is one of the best resources to use to find out who takes money from whom in Virginia politics.

    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!

    Virginia Coalition for Open Government: formed to promote expanded access to government records, meetings and other proceedings at the state and local level. Our efforts are focused solely on local/state information access. While we do some lobbying (within limits imposed by IRS rules), our primary work is educational. The Coalition was formed in 1996, after a year-long organizing effort. Our 23-member board of directors represents the state's access activists and friends of open government, including Virginia's librarians, genealogists, broadcasters, newspapers and the public at large. Also check out their blog for recent news.

    Ox Road South: Chap Peterson's website

    Fight for Healthcare reform in Virginia: sign up here to volunteer for the Health Care for America Now campaign in Virginia. About Health Care for America Now:

    Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is a national grassroots campaign of more than 1,000 organizations in 46 states representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care we all can count on in 2009. Our organization and principles are supported by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and more than 190 Members of Congress.

    We are building a national movement to win comprehensive health care reform by helping mobilize people in their communities to lobby their U.S. Senators and Representatives in Congress to stand up to the insurance companies and other special interest groups to achieve quality, affordable health care in 2009.

    Sign up to fight for health care reform in Virginia now. Or contact:

    Brian Johns, Virginia Organizing Project (NWFCO/CCC)


    It took nearly 7 years living within a few blocks of one of the biggest food co-ops in America before Joy and I joined it. We were definitely reluctant. But, in the end the lack of good produce and the decline of our local supermarkets led to us joining. And the result is a slighly more inconvenient shopping trip each week, but much healthier, higher quality and cheaper food. I recommend joining a co-op if there is one nearby. You will save money and eat healthier. So I will list some local food co-ops in Virginia:

    Eats Natural Foods Co-op
    708 North Main Street in Blacksburg (new location)
    Phone: (540) 552-2279

    (email doesn't work? If anyone has any info on this co-op, let me know)

    Crozet Natural Foods
    PO Box 634
    Crozet, Virginia 22932
    Phone: (434) 823-5583

    Healthy Foods Co-op
    110 W Washington Street
    Lexington, Virginia 24450
    Phone: (540) 463-6954
    FAX: (540) 463-7213

    (email doesn't work?)

    We are a community-based cooperative, dedicated to offering products, services and leadership which reflects our membership's commitment to healthy living, nutritional awareness and environmental responsibility.

    Healthy Foods Market is a cooperative business, meaning that we are owned and democratically controlled by our members. We are proud of our experienced and knowledgeable staff that can assist you with your regular purchases, as well as with special inquires and needs.

    They also have a cafe, something I wish my local food co-op would do.

    Fare Share Cooperative
    2132 W. Main Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23220
    Phone: (804) 355-5919

    Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op
    1319 Grandin Road SW
    Roanoke, Virginia 24015
    Phone: (540) 343-5652
    FAX: (540) 343-5711

    Incorporated in 1975, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op– or the Co-op as it is more commonly known – provides our community with nutritious food choices and earth-friendly products. Operating from cooperative principles, we support sustainable environmental practices, local organic farmers, local businesses, and our community.

    We are the largest cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store in Virginia, and though we're member owned, ownership is not required to shop. Our products are many, our selection diverse, and our promise unwavering – that you will find quality items for sale in our store with no artificial colorants, preservatives, or additives.

    In addition to providing families with high-quality organic and natural products, the Co-op supports local efforts to preserve the integrity and health of our natural resources and community.

    Valley Market
    PO Box 23
    Staunton, Virginia 24402-0023

    Valley Market is a food co-op currently forming in Staunton, VA. It is our vision to open a cooperatively run, retail grocery store-front in the Staunton area.

    Valley Market is a community-owned and democratically run business. We are an excited group of volunteers who are interested in making a difference in the health and well being of our community. Though we are in the development stages, our vision is to open a retail natural food co-op emphasizing locally grown and produced food and products.

    We are presently in the planning, organizing and fundraising stages of our development.

    This gives you a chance to be in on the beginning of a tradition. To get involved, go here.

    Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture in Virginia:

    Some stats from Repower America:

    * The recently passed Virginia Energy Plan will aim to reduce Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025 through energy efficiency education and investment in state renewable energy projects.

    * A 39-megawatt wind farm recently gained approval in Highland County and is expected to power 15,000 homes with clean energy

    * Virginia's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) enourages public utilities to generate 12% of their electricity sales from renewable energy sources by 2022.

    Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Virginia, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.

    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.

    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.

    Veterans For Peace: DC, Maryland & Virginia Chapter

    Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. There is an annual convention each year attended by our members, families and supporters from across the nation.

    We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others to:

    1. Increase public awareness of the full costs of war.

    2. Restrain our government from intervening, overtly or covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations.

    3. End the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.

    4. Seek justice for veterans and victims of war.

    5. Abolish war as an instrument of national policy.

    Go here to become a member.

    To find out more, contact: vfpdc_at_vfpdc.org

    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, location switches between the Bayside Area Library and the Greak Neck area Library. Those interested should check the VBDC website for the location.

    The VBDC also hosts a Third Thursday Dinner at Kelly's Hilltop Tavern at 7:00 PM every third Thursday of the month.

    There's also a VBDC Breakfast every fourth Saturday of the month at Bubba's Deli & BBQ.

    Those interested in these, and other, events hosted by the VBDC should check out the upcoming events on the VBDC website

    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

    Equality Loudoun has been working since 2003 to make Loudoun County, Virginia a welcoming place for all its residents - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight.

    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
    location in transition...email for more info
    Casual get-together of like minded Democratic Activist
    For more info contact: jac_at_j2power.com

    Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Virginia Chapter: Keeping America Free, Secular and Jeffersonian. Church-state separation stands as one of the foundations of our nation. Because of it, Americans enjoy unparalleled religious liberty and nurture one of the most vital religious communities in the world. Separation guarantees the freedom to worship or not to worship as you choose. Northern Virginia Chapter and Southern Virginia Chapter.

    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
    o When? Every Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    o Where? Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, 5880 Leesburg Pike
    o Hosted by Bev Wright | Quinn Jones | Michelle Elliott

    * Charlottesville
    o When? Every Thursday of each month, 6:00 pm
    o Where? South Street Brewery, 106 W South St
    o Hosted by Chris Dumler

    o When? Every Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    o Where? Colonial Tavern, 406 Lafayette Blvd.
    o Hosted by Amy LaMarca | William Salinger

    * Harrisonburg
    o When? Second Thursday of each month, 6:00 pm
    o Where? Clementine Cafe, 153 South Main Street
    o Hosted by Daniel Chavez | Rachel Fulk

    o When? First Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    o Where? Glory Days Grill, 9459 Lorton Market St (To the right or outside)
    o Hosted by Alan Salisbury | Chris Ambrose

    * Norfolk
    o When? First and Third Thursday of each month, 6:00 pm
    o Where? The New Belmont, 2117 Colonial Ave (upstairs at the bar, or outside if the weather is nice)
    o Hosted by Patrick Hester | Clint Dalton

    o When? First Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm
    o Where? Flanary's Irish Pub, Jefferson Street (Downtown)
    o When? of each month, 6:30 pm
    o Hosted by Hank Bostwick | Tom McKinnon

    o When? First Tuesday of each month, 6:00 pm
    o Where? Irish Alley Restaurant & Pub, 19 West Johnson St
    o Hosted by Riley Murray | Mai-Linh Hong

    Virginia Beach
    * When? Fourth Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    * Where? "CROC's" 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th St & Cypress Ave, (One block from the VA Beach Convention Center)
    * Hosted by Chris Jaramillo | Josh Bolotsky


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