GROUP MEMBERS EXCITED, REACT TO VISIT
For Immediate Release: July 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C.- One hundred and thirty five community and small business leaders converged on Washington today for a special White House briefing for Virginia Organizing, a statewide grassroots organization. Advocates travelled from all over the state of Virginia, from as far as 10 hours away, to the nation's Capitol to be briefed by senior-level advisors.
Virginia Organizing leaders were welcomed by Brad Jenkins, associate director for the Office of Public Engagement, and then briefed by four White House officials.
"It really impressed me how intelligent these guys were. The briefing was really informative and it struck me how everyone in the United States needs to take responsibility to get this information about where our nation has been, where we are, and where we are going," said Richmond small business owner David Shea.
"It was nice to be heard. The White House staff were very intent on listening to what we had to say and hearing our voice. I felt energized, and like I helped energize them too," said Lorraine Ortega of Chesapeake.
Martha Coven, associate director in the Office of Management and Budget, began the day with a discussion on the Ryan budget and what affect it would have on Virginia. Greg Nelson, chief of staff of the National Economic Council, provided information on economic recovery. The National Economic Council also provided a health care briefing by Liz Fowler, special assistant to the President for Healthcare.
The briefing concluded with Jon Carson, deputy assistant to the President and director of the Office of Public Engagement. After the briefing, leaders participated in breakout sessions on tax fairness, women's issues, health care, and environment.
“Bringing stories about people in communities from all across the Commonwealth is important in these situations,” said Sandra Cook, Chairperson of Virginia Organizing. “Policy-making can't be rooted solely in ideology; it needs to be connected to the reality of what people live every day. Today, we were able to hear some ideas from people who make decisions about policy and let them know the real effects in our lives. Virginia Organizing’s essential philosophy is to have real people work toward real change.”
Community and small business leaders traveled from Abingdon, Arlington, Alexandria, Batesville, Bland County, Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Danville, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Lee County, Leesburg, Louisa, Martinsville, Norfolk, Petersburg, metro Richmond, Staunton, Surry, Vienna, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.
To interview a Virginia Organizing spokesperson that attended the White House briefing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.