Top Ten Virginia Organizing 2010 Highlights
1.) Health Care Reform Victory: The Affordable Care Act. After two years of organizing rallies, town halls and lobby visits, we finally have health care reform that was 80 years in the making. Thanks to the health care law, health insurance companies will be held accountable and Virginians will not be denied care or go bankrupt trying to pay for the care they need.
2.) Holding Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli Accountable. There is no question about it, the McDonnell/Cuccinelli administration has kept us busy. This year we held press conferences at the Attorney General’s health care trials and spoke out on budget austerity measures. We also spoke out against “Confederate History Month,” attempts to undermine the Voting Rights Act, denials of climate change, encouraging colleges to ignore anti-discriminatory statutes and the list goes on. And on!
3.) Our 15th Anniversary! Over 200 community members came together in Richmond to celebrate Virginia Organizing’s fifteenth anniversary of grassroots community organizing.
4.) Bake Sales for the Budget. We held “Bake Sales For the Budget” statewide to send the message that a cuts-only approach to the budget shortfall is irresponsible and will hurt public systems at a time when Virginians need them most. Teachers, social workers, police officers and other community leaders dropped off baked goods to support the effort. Proceeds were delivered to the Governor’s office in the form of a giant $921.01 check.
5.) Holding Big Banks Accountable: Wall Street Reform Now.We joined with 250 organizations from across the country to fight for financial reform legislation. Consumers now have an independent advocate on their side to prevent tricks and traps related to mortgages, payday loans and checking accounts.
6.) Protecting Your Vote. We worked with the members of the Virginia Verified Voting Coalition to stop attempts to overturn legislation enacted three years ago that helps provide a “paper trail” for election voting results.
7.) Victory on Car Title Lending and Flooded Cars. The Virginia General Assembly passed compromise legislation that will enact reforms to car title lending that helps protect consumers from the car title-lending trap. We joined with the Virginia Poverty Law Center and other consumer advocates to defeat bad legislation that would have resulted in water-damaged vehicles being sold to Virginia consumers without those consumers being informed of the past damage.
8.) Drug Courts in Southwest. After years of tireless organizing, the I-81 southwest corridor is now home to five drug courts which are proven to save local governments money and provide more effective and compassionate rehabilitation for those with substance abuse problems.
9.) 2010 Civic Engagement. Hundreds of Virginia Organizing supporters distributed 4,000 get-out-the-vote door hangers, knocked on over 2,000 doors and made more than 13,000 get-out-the-vote calls. Regardless of who wins or loses an election, our efforts during the 2010 election were not in vain. Real organizing takes time and happens every day, not only on the first Tuesday in November.
10.) What’s in a name? We think a lot! This year we dropped the “project” from our name and became Virginia Organizing. We want our name to reflect our mission, which is long-term change in Virginia. The word “project” sounds temporary to some and make no mistake about it, we are in this for the long haul.
We accomplished some huge victories this year thanks to hard-working, dedicated members and supporters like you. Whether it was health care reform, fighting predatory lending or supporting immigrants’ rights, thousands of people got involved and made their voices heard.
Would you help us make sure our 2011 list is even better? We cannot do our work without your outstanding support. We are at 94 percent of our grassroots fundraising goal for the year! Please support our work with a donation today. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation. We greatly appreciate all that you do to help us bring people together to create a more just Virginia.