Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"What Can We Do To Help?"

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking to a Young Democrats club at a local high school. It was 8:30 in the morning, and the students were just getting into their day before classes began. I gave them my pitch for helping the Democrats in Leesburg out, and in doing so discovered that this group of engaged young people wasn't even aware that our own Supervisor was the excellent Democrat, Kelly Burk.

After giving my initial little speech, I asked if there were any questions for me about the Party, or campaigns or Democracy in general. The students looked at me, and the President of the Club asked the only question from among them:

"What can we do to help?"

These students did not care that we had lost on the first Tuesday of November in 2010, in spite of working for Jeff Barnett. They did not care that the President was considering compromise with a side that showed no signs of respecting him or any compromise he might offer. They did not care that recrimination was being tossed across blogs and emails from great Democrats seeking to make sense of the last year of politics. All these young Democrats cared about was what they could do, next, to try to win.

It is from them that I take my inspiration as I continue to make phone calls to my fellow Leesburg Democrats, inviting them to our next meeting on December 9th (join the Google Group for more information). It is from them that I hear hope and fortitude. It is through them that I remember why I still think electing Democrats matters.

Most of these kids cannot even vote, and it's not a Presidential election year, and it's not even three weeks after a major election - and they still want ways to help!

So shame on us if we feel uninspired. Shame on us if we feel apathetic. Shame on us if we cannot find it within ourselves to continue to fight for the future of our Town, our County, our Commonwealth, our Country. Because if high school Young Democrats can find that time with their overscheduled lives, surely we can.

Fight on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sen. Webb in Leesburg for Veterans Day

Sen. Webb will be speaking here in Leesburg on Veterans Day.
Senator James Webb and Rear Adm William Cross (ret.) will be speakers at a Veterans Day Commemoration on Thursday, Nov 11 at 10:15 a.m. a ceremony to honor the courage and sacrifices of our Vietnam War veterans.

Participants will include members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 227, Leesburg VFW 1177, Sterling VFW 9478, VA Hospital of Martinsburg WV, American Legion, Virginia Defense Force, Virginia National Guard and Loudoun County High School NJROTC.

The free event will be held at the George C. Marshall International Center, Dodona Manor, 217 Edwards Ferry Rd., Leesburg, VA. Dodona Manor was George and Katherine Marshall's residence from 1941 until the General's death in 1959.

Tours of the manor and refreshments will follow the event.

Parking is available at the Shops at Dodona Manor (310 East Market Street) and the Loudoun County Government Building parking garage (entrance on Loudoun Street, between Harrison Street and Church Street). For more information and directions, contact Dodona Manor at 703-777-1301 or info@georgecmarshall.org or go to: http://www.georgecmarshall.org/AboutUs/Contact_Us.asp

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Costs of Fiscal Conservatism

Fiscal Conservatives(tm) are agitating to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts.

To do so will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 trillion dollars over ten years.

That is $1.3 billion a day. Every day. For ten years.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2011 Starts Today

2011 starts today.

We will have a half-dozen races in 2011 that directly impact Leesburg, and those races start today.

I choose to focus on that this morning, because yesterday did not turn out the way we would have liked. As good Democrats, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I take heart in the fact that Harry Reid won and we retained the Senate. I choose to see Tom Perriello not as a former Congressman, but as a future Governor. I recall the dedication and energy of our fantastic Leesburg volunteers and smile in the knowledge that the return of the Democratic Party in Leesburg rests on a solid foundation.

2011 starts today. Kelly Burk is running once again for the Board of Supervisors, and Leesburg Republicans have their eyes on that seat. Mark Herring is running for re-election to the Virginia Senate, and the odious Dick Black is likely to oppose him. (For those, like me, who were not here when Mr. Black last served in public office, all you really need to know is that he mailed plastic fetuses to people in his zeal to oppose the right to choose. And he did this while serving in the Assembly.) I strongly suspect that great Democratic candidates will emerge to challenge for our Assembly seats and the countywide Constitutional offices that are also on the ballot in 2011. Rebuilding our Democratic base in Leesburg will be essential to stopping the negatives to which Republican governance tends, as Loudoun counts on Leesburg being a bright blue beacon in a fog of Republican red.

So, today, take heart. Stay strong and true. Talk to your neighbors about what is important, and have them stay informed and get involved. Plant the seeds of Democratic action early. Proudly advertise your affiliation on your car. There is no place in Leesburg where Jeff Barnett, out-spent 3:1 in a strongly Republican year, did not get at least 30% of the vote. That is a strong core from which to build. And you, each, are part of that effort. The first step to reasserting our majority here is letting our fellow Democrats know that they are not alone. That we are in this together.

Politics and elections in Leesburg are constant. That's one of the great things about living here. There is always another chance to make things better just around the corner. The only question is whether we take that chance.

I know my answer. 2011 starts now.