Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VIRGINIA: Update from the Virginia Organizing Project

Our partners in Virginia have been doing great work across Virginia, here's an update from the Virginia Organizing Project:

The Virginia Organizing Project, a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization, has been working hard all year to encourage people to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

"We have worked in hundreds of communities, distributing non-partisan voter guides, encouraging people to register to vote and performing a wide range of get-out-the-vote activities," said Janice "Jay" Johnson, chairperson of the Virginia Organizing Project.

"From the country roads in Scott County to African-American communities in Hampton Roads, from Latino neighborhoods in northern Virginia to working class communities in Danville, from suburban areas in Fredericksburg to middle class neighborhoods in Salem, we have been very busy encouraging people to raise their voices and participate in the democratic process," Johnson said.

"The message carried by our volunteer canvassers, our staff and our 72 interns is truly a Commonwealth message," Johnson said. "We each may have our own unique problems, but the solutions come from everybody working together."

"Drawing on my experience canvassing this summer, I've been working with other interns at the College of William and Mary in non-partisan canvassing," Addie Alexander, VOP Intern, said. "Last Saturday, for example, we covered a huge area of Williamsburg with 50 students who distributed informational door-hangers. On Election Day, we will be coordinating rides to the polls, helping those who’ve been turned away for lack of proper ID, and doing whatever else we can to ensure that everyone who registered to vote gets to vote!"

The Virginia Organizing Project is also involved in many other civic engagement activities throughout the year, providing leadership training to individuals and groups who want to make their communities better through changes in local and state policies.

"We have helped communities develop programs so that all school facilities are accessible for everyone," said Sandra Cook, VOP vice-chairperson. "We have worked with groups to get more affordable housing and better health care for children. Working for the common good is what we are all about."

"But right now, we are concentrating on getting everyone to cast their ballot on Election Day," Cook said.

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