Virginia Organizing is a group I have volunteered with since its beginning. It is non-partisan, though it’s accused of not being so by those that don’t understand the organization. At the grassroots event, I was asked a series of four questions. I thought I would post them and my answers here.
1. How did you get involved in Virginia Organizing?
I got involved with Virginia Organizing at the very, VERY beginning, before there was a Virginia Organizing. I was looking for a way to change the way the system works and responds to people when they get sick or lose a job, or need an education.
2. What has been the high point of your involvement?
Learning so much, watching people get involved, and how they learn so much and watching it work and the organization grow. It was a different kind of model, no membership, but a great diversity of people across the state and their relationships to one another.
3. What have you learned since you became active with Virginia Organizing?
That change comes slowly because all issues are connected. That issues like race, gender, LGBT, immigration, heath care, the economy, the environment, energy, every single issue you can think of, are community issues and connected to one another. I have learned I can’t be single issue oriented if I want to make my community better for my people.
4. What excites you most about being a Virginia Organizing member?
The future. People learning that we have to work together to find solutions and make the changes needed. I’ve seen Virginia Organizing giving us the vehicle to do just that. What I have seen happen over the last twenty years is that we all have, all across Virginia, more in common than we do differently and if you don’t let the differences stop what we can agree on, we solve problems and get things accomplished that help us all.
The organization was even working with Governor Bob McDonnell on the restoration of rights issue. How people who have been involved with a crime, did their time and paid their fines, and not in any more trouble get restoration of their rights. Bob McDonnell was actually working with us trying to help find a solution for it.
With this organization, I have volunteered to work on so many issues over the years. Next year is the 20th anniversary. I hope to do what I can and volunteer some more for Virginia Organizing.