By Karen Kirk:
Several hundred Democrats turned out for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) Reorganization Meeting Tuesday night and chose new leaders, revised bylaws and approved a resolution not to support a “flawed” Virginia redistricting plan.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring kicked off the meeting at Madison High School in Vienna by thanking Fairfax County Democrats for all that we do. “Year in and year out, you’re a committee that really delivers,” he said.
“There is so much going on in the General Assembly, he said. “I was so proud yesterday when Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.”
“We have had measures that haven’t even gotten a hearing in the past few years that Republicans have been in control. Now these bills are going to pass and we’re going to work to keep our community safer.”
Herring said that gun safety legislation is now passing committees, real criminal justice reform is finally getting traction with a measure to decriminalize marijuana, and laws to finally crack down on predatory lending and combat the rise in white supremacist violence will pass.
Outgoing FCDC Chair Dan Lagana opened the meeting and thanked several volunteers who went above and beyond in contributing to committee. Among them were Treasurer Nadja Golding, new FCDC Chair Bryan Graham and Tom Goodwin.
Vice Chair for Technology Bryan Graham is the new FCDC chair, replacing Lagana. In the only contested race, Paul Berry was elected Vice Chair for Technology, beating candidate Marc Greidinger. Other officers are Julie Shepard, Vice Chair South; Manisha Singh, Vice Chair Central; Paul Davis, Vice Chair North; Christopher Schaffer, Vice Chair for Precinct Operations; Janice Yohai, Vice Chair for Voter registration & Education; Tina Barchik, Vice Chair for Finance; Denver Supinger, Vice Chair for Outreach; Matt Bell, Corresponding Secretary; Cathy Gruber, Recording Secretary; Nadja Golding, Treasurer; and Andrew Scalise, Assistant Treasurer.
One of the more controversial topics at the meeting was a resolution urging adoption of nonpartisan anti-gerrymandering reforms and rejecting a proposed redistricting amendment, Senate Joint Resolution No. 18. The resolution was approved after much discussion on the pros and cons of rejecting what some called a “flawed” redistricting amendment. Many members said a fairer process for redistricting is needed. Joanne Collins said the amendment could set us up for Republican gerrymander. “We are redistricting in 2021, we are in the majority now and we need to give our legislators the leeway to take a look at what’s available,” Collins said.
“There’s other better redistricting by Marcia Price (D-95) and Mark Levine (D-45) and Price’s legislation is backed by Eric Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee,” Collins said.
FCDC members also approved several amendments to the Bylaws including:
- Requiring a caucus of eligible voters for endorsement votes for nonpartisan offices such as Soil and Water Conservation District director and school board members.
- Changing the way membership works at FCDC, adding responsibility of voting members to come to at least one general or district meeting every 120 days and adding a new membership level, associate membership, which doesn’t require attending meetings, but includes participation in standing committees and volunteering. If a member doesn’t meet the meeting requirement, she or he will be reclassified as an associate member.
- Adding an Environment standing committee.
- FCDC Chair shall appoint the chair of the Central Communication standing committee.
- Creating rules regarding a conflict of interest where someone on the nominating committee or a magisterial chair of a district committee is involved in an endorsement and should recuse themselves if they have a professional, financial, familial or romantic relationship with the candidate.
The committee set the fee for associate members at $40. The current fee for voting members is $75. A handout describing the authority and responsibilities of FCDC elected officers and standing committees was also made available at the meeting.
Main Photo: Attorney General Mark Herring had encouraging news for FCDC members at the reorganization meeting on Tuesday.
Karen Kirk is the Deputy Editor/Photo Editor of The Blue View and a retired journalist who worked for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, which later became the McClatchy/Tribune News Service.
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