Virginians: VA Budget and NVM on MLK Day

New Virginia Majority invited community organizers and Virginian constituents to use the 2017 Martin Luther King day to approach their representatives and demand change in the following areas:

  • Voting Rights
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Affordable Higher Education, Lowering Student Debt
  • Economic Justice: Medicaid Expansion, Raising Minimum Wage
  • Climate Justice

This day of action will include lunch, an introduction to lobbying, and assigned teams of constituents organized around their primary issues of concern. This is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the basics of lobbying for change! You’ll have a great team to back you up.

If you’re interested in joining us you can find details and RSVP here. *Please* RSVP so NVM can budget for lunch and pre-assign teams.

This is a year of community action, and I can’t think of a better way to start it. I joined Art 180 on Wednesday at the Virginia General Assembly to talk about best use of this year’s budget. An incredible and brave group of people assembled to demand an end to interminable waits for disability services, mental health services, and juvenile criminal justice reform. It was deeply touching to hear their stories* and remarkable to see all the overlap in our concerns. In a country where over a quarter of the youth referred to detention, prison, or other forms of confinement are students with disabilities, we can’t afford to overlook the places where our concerns intersect. We can’t arrest our way out of our problems. We can’t remove children with heightened needs from their classrooms and pretend those classrooms are improved. Those spaces are impoverished by the loss of each child, and we are morally impoverished each time we pull back a family’s lifeline and label their child a criminal when they are unable to cope.

You can see coverage of that action at Channel 8 News and hear from currently incarcerated youth online at the Performing Statistics Website (and below).

On the 16th I’ll be joining a NVM on tackling criminal justice reform and rights restoration in the 7th, but I hope to see VCU faculty represented on the teams fighting student debt. Hope to see you there!

*apologies for the links out to my own twitter account, which is solipsistic, but I’ve yet to find good documentation of the full 4 hour session. It will be posted here if and when it materializes.

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