Charlottesville is the statewide headquarters of Virginia Organizing and also has an active local chapter.
Local residents work on a variety of issues including immigration reform, budget and tax reform, health care reform, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, and ending predatory lending — by civic engagement activities, constituent meetings with elected officials, public events, lobby days, phone banking and canvassing.
The Charlottesville/Albemarle Chapter famously fought for a living wage for city, county and UVA workers and continues to fight for local workers’ rights and social and economic justice issues, including the recently established Human Rights Commission in Charlottesville.
Since January 2017, our chapter has been active in a number of different arenas, including:
- Presenting a community workshop, Democracy 101, to teach basics of organizing.
- Providing a trip to the General Assembly involving young African Americans.
- Helping people write letters to the editor, both through regular meetings and individual tutoring.
- Attending a meeting with Congressman Garrett’s aide to urge him to protect health care through the ACA and Medicaid. (Although he promised to meet personally with us, he failed to show up.)
- Making a presentation at a local church to talk about Virginia Organizing.
- Presenting a workshop about community organizing to international students at UVa.
- Facilitating a forum, featuring candidates for Charlottesville’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, focused on mass incarceration.
- Conducting a round-table to discuss women’s issues that largely impact African-American women.
- Hosting a workshop to assist ex-felons in finding jobs.
- Conducting voter registration at the Eco Fair.
- Having a Black Caucus meeting to surface matters of concern to our African-American community.
We are now conducting voter registration at four sites on Saturdays and Sundays until the election, focusing in areas likely to have a large percentage of returning citizens who need to get their rights restored so they can vote.
We meet the first Tuesday of the month, 6:00 pm, at 1000 Preston in the Legal Aid Library. We invite you to be a part of our great chapter!
Virginia Organizing runs a major phone banking operation out of the Charlottesville office and welcomes volunteer phone bankers. Please contact Brian Johns at (434) 984-4655 x227 if you are interested in helping.
Since the office in Charlottesville also supports the growing field organizing staff across the state, we are looking for volunteers who want to provide additional support with database management, copying, mailings, and other tasks. Retirees are welcome, as are interns, community service volunteers (through the Offender Aid Restoration program) and the the Department of Social Services job training programs. Please contact Michele Mattioli at (434) 984-4655 x223.
Virginia Organizing also supports dozens of smaller organizations through its “Joint Plan of Work” program; we accept grants and donations on their behalf and provide administrative, bookkeeping and support services. Many organizations from Charlottesville take advantage of this program including Camping for All, Community Bikes, Community Action on Obesity, HYPE, and Open Source Computer Recycling, to name some.