BADASS Briefing, August 17, 2023

27 mins read

We must win big in Virginia this year! Between now and the election, the Friday Power Lunch will be highlighting what you can do to support our candidates. This week’s Every Which Way to Win will start with a conversation on Virginia’s favorite activity, writing postcards. Coastal Virginia is crucial! Please encourage all you know in this area to join the newly formed COVA Coalition’s Conversations event: Beyond the Slogans. Story Telling that Makes a Difference on Wednesday, August 23 with guest speaker Tiffany Van Der Hyde of We the People for Education.  ALL IN,


PS: Please encourage all to join the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington – I’ll update on meetup locations early next week.

Friday Power Lunch

Every Which Way to Win From Postcards to Polls August 18, 2023, 12 NOON ET

 We know there is no silver bullet to winning elections. We need to try everything. Be innovative. Be creative. Be smart. Be bold. This week we will be looking at every which way to win this November. 

Nancy Zdunkewicz (pollster & founder of Z to A Research) is leading the next generation of Democratic pollsters and strategists. She will share her 8 lessons learned for activists and candidates to win BIG in 2023. 

Between now and the election, we will be highlighting what you can do to support our candidates. We are launching this new weekly segment with a conversation on Virginia’s favorite activity, writing postcards. Robbin Warner (co-founder, Postcards4VA) will present the many postcard writing campaigns active right now for supporting local, Delegate and Senate candidates.

 Andrea Miller (president, National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia (NWPC-VA)) will talk about their partnership with Postcards4VA writing postcards to women voters about women candidates. Susan Labandibar (co-Leader, Swing Blue Alliance) will announce a major postcard study being conducted in Virginia to measure whether postcards increase rural voter participation and help rural candidates get more votes. Andrea Miller, as Founding Board Member of the Center for Common Ground and Executive Director of People Demanding Action will talk about the importance of getting the word out about early voting and debut a new early voting tool*.  

Sam Shirazi (social media political pundit) will join us to discuss candidates, districts and Republican distractions. We will end with a candidate spotlight conversation with Puja Khanna running for Dulles Supervisor, Loudoun County.


Postcards4VA has a new resource for postcard writers, a directory of postcard writing groups in Virginia. The purpose of the directory is to help existing and potential postcard writers find nearby writers. We know that writing with friends is more fun and productive. In this inaugural edition, there are over 20 groups listed. View the directory – GET YOUR GROUP LISTED

School Board Candidates Need Our Support!  The Virginia Grassroots Coalition Education Working Group put together a list of school board races of interest, with the candidates who are in need of help if they are going to defeat their MAGA opponents.  The criteria for making it onto a list of high priority candidates needing attention include factors such as: the seat has the potential to flip a school board or school board seat in our favor,  the candidates are running against far right extremists, and the seat is in a locality with long term potential to build municipal-level power. There are additional factors listed in the table, and candidates are classified into 3 categories according to priority and how they were nominated. They all need funding, and they need it now, not later.  Also, they could use volunteer help with canvassing, postcard writing, and phone banking.  Also, since the ballots will not list D or R by school board candidates’ names, it is important for us to get involved at the polls to hand out sample ballots because people will not know who is who. Contact Marianne with any questions:

Medicare for All. Democratic Socialists of America, NoVA  and Grassroots Alexandria are working to get a resolution passed by the Alexandria City Council.Our Revolution Virginia and Tenants and Workers United are also part of this local coalition. The goal of this effort is to contribute to a national effort demonstrating support for M4All. They are now close to success in Alexandria, which would be the first place in Virginia to pass a resolution, and are now looking at Arlington. Please contact Jonathan and Scott if you are willing to help with this effort in Arlington. They are specifically looking for expertise on the Arlington legislative process. Jonathan Krall, and Scott Gruber,

Mountain Valley Pipeline. The Supreme Court recently lifted the stay so MVP has started destroying SWVA’s environment by continuing to build the pipeline. The MVP is facing greater scrutiny since Congress mandated permits be issued for them to resume work while exempting the MVP from judicial review. Many articles have been published questioning the economic need for the MVP and expressing concern about the integrity of the pipe. One article concluded that the MVP would be a phantom pipeline with only 35% predicted capacity. A powerful way to amplify that the MVP is in trouble is to call for a Senate Finance Committee hearing to investigate MVP’s partners: Equitrans Midstream, NextEra Energy, Con Edison, Alta Gas and RGC Resources.  Please use this easy email portal to contact Senators to demand a hearing.

Campaign Finance Reform. Money Out Virginia is anticipating 5 campaign finance bills and have identified champions for all of them. In addition, they hope that candidates and voters check out the good governance scorecard which, when filled out by candidates, signals their commitment to transparency and accountability to citizens.

Save Urban Parks: Fishburn Park, Roanoke, VA
Should the proposed rezoning application go through, Roanoke City is basically giving aways an acre of Fishburn Park and an historic house that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars rezoned commercially for only $10! This sweetheart deal is for a privileged white couple, so they can use the equity to launch their private business on this property where they could have a bar/restaurant in a pastoral, residential area that isn’t near other commercial businesses. Read more about the racism behind the Fishburn Park deal: valuable urban public parkland and an historic house from being destroyed for a commercial development! Now more than ever, we need to protect our public parks and green spaces to prevent urban heat islands and to help with flood resilience. Wherever you live please use this one click action to send an email to the Roanoke City Council to save Fishburn Park.

Gender Equality in the Constitutionsign the petition put together by Grove fellowship students at Hunter College in New York City to demonstrate for the ERA. Read the Ms. Magazine article that explains in more detail why signing the Petition is important.

Thursday, August 17th, 5:00pm
Virtual Phonebank  for Schuyler VanValkenburg

Join Team VanValkenburg for our virtual phone bank! We will get together virtually to talk about the calls we are making, and get started.

Thursday, August 17th, 6:00pm
Let’s Learn About Public Financing of Elections
Join this discussion during which Aaron McKean, Legal Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, will review the types of models currently operational in jurisdictions around the country and comment on the factors that ensure their success. Public financing programs allow small donors to feel that their voices matter, broaden participation among the public at large and encourage new and diverse candidates to seek public office. Organized by BigMoneyOutVA, this is part of a series of discussions focused on campaign finance reforms which, if implemented in Virginia, could enhance the integrity of government and allow Virginians to regain their voices over those of corporations and special interests.

Tuesday August 22, 6:00 PM

Texting Tuesdays with Black Voters Matters

Whether you texted with Black Voters Matter before or are new to texting, this event is for you! Texting Tuesdays is an opportunity to learn about our latest text campaigns while taking action by texting residents across the US about the power that they have to make a change in their community. They were very successful in their recent efforts for Ohio. 

Thursday, August 31st, 5:00pm
Legislative Working Group Meeting
If you are interested in helping get legislation passed, please join the Legislative Working Group.  Email Luisa to join: Here is the timeline:

Legislative Priorities by October 2nd for sign-on letters to legislators.Priority Bills by January 3rd for sign-on letters to legislators and to share at press conferences.Press Conference January 10-12th in Richmond.

Thursday, September 14, 7:00 – 8:15pm EDT
NOPE Meeting with Abigail Spanberger
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger will explain Dems’ strategy for taking back control of the Virginia Assembly in 2023 and flipping the US House of Representatives in 2024. We’ll also hear from a state legislative candidate. Sign up now and invite a friend to join you!

Thursday, August 17, 6:00pm  – 7:30pm
Wine Down with Congressman Scott

Boss Queen Social Club, Norfolk, VA

Thursday, August 17, 6:00pm  – 7:30pm
Meet & Greet for Travis Nembhard (HD-22)ArlingtonYou are invited to join Travis and Delegate Sickles, Senator Favola, and Adele McClure for a private reception at JD Spain’s house where Travis will discuss his plans for the campaign, the national importance of this race, his policy positions, and how you can further help the campaign secure the District 22 seat and a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates. Travis Nembhard is running to represent Prince William County residents.

August 19th Team Up training in RichmondJoin Swing Left for an in-person training about how to start a local group and organize to elect Democrats in your community! We will also match you with 2-4 co-leaders during the training so that you can work as a team. This is a great opportunity to share with folks you know in the Richmond area who are new to grassroots organizing.  

Saturday, August 19, 9:00am – 11:00am
WofA and Friends Postcards and Prizes! 
Kaldi’s Social House – 3100 10th St N, Arlington, VA 22201 

Saturday, August 19, 10:00amDoor Knocking for Jessica Anderson in VA HD-71
It’s door knocking season! Choose a convenient date and time to begin from the Historic Triangle Democrats’ Campaign HQ in Williamsburg as we start off our campaign door knocking for Jessica Anderson, candidate for the Virginia House of Delegate 71st District!

Saturday, August 19, 10:00am
Monthly canvassing in Leesburg, VA for State Senate 31, with SwingLeftHoCoMD 
The meet up location is Russet Perry headquarters: 25 E First St SE, Leesburg VA 20175

Sunday, August 20, 3:00-5:00pm
Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC & Michael Feggans, Candidate for Delegate in HD 97
MJ’s Tavern, Norfolk
Ensuring pro-reproductive rights majorities in both the State Senate and the House of Delegates is the only way to ensure that reproductive health care — including abortion —remains legal and accessible in the Commonwealth. 

Sunday, August 20 at 3:00pmWrite Postcards with Dulles Dems for Candidates in Loudoun County
Gum Spring Library
24600 Millstream Drive Stone Ridge, VA 20105 

Monday August 21 7:30am
Dulles Area Democrats Breakfast: Pivotal Races in Fairfax & Loudoun
Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern, Herndon 
Join DAD for a breakfast panel with Fairfax and Loudoun Candidates:
– Saddam Azlan Salim – Senate District 37, Fairfax County
– Chris Falcon – Clerk of Court, Fairfax County
– Albert Vega – Springfield District Supervisor, Fairfax County
– Craig Buckley – Sheriff, Loudoun County

Welcome first time candidates who are in pivotal races in Northern VA. If elected, we will see significant changes for the constituents and the region they represent. Although their races are winnable, this year’s election cycle proves to be a challenge to turn out voters without a statewide candidate on the ballot. Local candidates will not be designated with a “D” next to their name on the ballot. Educating voters is critical this year while energizing them to vote in these important races. John Block, LCDC Joint Campaign Director, will join the discussion as to what’s at stake this year. 

Wednesday, August 23rd at 6:30pm
COVA Coalition Conversations Meeting

Beyond the Slogans, Story Telling that Makes a Difference
MEO Library, Virginia BeachJoin guest speaker Tiffany Van Der Hyde of We the People for Education and let’s talk. 

Wednesday, August 23rd, 7:00pm
Blue Drinks Kickoff & GOP Debate Watch Part
Mission-Navy Yard, DC
Join Network For Progress and Blue Victory 2024 for the kickoff of our new “Blue Drinks” Networking Event Series and to watch the first GOP Presidential Debate of the 2024 cycle with the DMV’s Democrats, Progressives, Hope Mongers and Change Makers!  To encourage attendees to make connections and learn about new ways to defend democracy in 2023 and 2024 starting at 7:30pm we will begin a networking hour including 1-minute introductions, a “Networking Potluck” Bucket and Name Tags.

Thursday, August 24 · 6:30pm
Justine Barron Book Discussion: THEY KILLED FREDDIE GRAY
Bards Alley Bookshop 110 Church Street Northwest Vienna, VA 22180
Join Bards Alley as they host debut author and award-winning writer and journalist Justine Barron for a conversation with DC-based journalists Wesley Lowery (author of They Can’t Kill Us All and America

Thursday, August 24, 6:30-8:00 pm
Women for Feggans Fundraiser
Virginia Beach
Hosted by Former Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Pamela Northam, Honorable Nancy Guy, Councilmember Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond, School Board Member Staci Martin, Sandra Brandt, Little Neck Moms for Progress, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, & MotherBoard. 

Friday, August 25, 6:00-8:00pm
Celebrate Banned Books
Join a fundraiser to help VA Senate candidates Stella Kakissis Pekarsky and Saddam Azlan Salim, calling attention to what is on the ballot on November 7 in Virginia. Freedom to read, learn, speak and agency over your own body is on the ballot. We need to keep a strong brick wall (book wall) to stop the crazy bills that the GOP in VA plans to unleash! We need to get up, speak up, act up = VOTE! Not able to attend, out of state, you can donate at any level! Thank you!

Saturday, August 26th, 1:00pmAugust Volunteer Opportunity for Rachel Levy for Delegate

Join the awesome team of Freedom Virginia and Rachel Runs for Us volunteers to in-person phone bank, digitally phone bank and canvass to tell voters about Rachel Levy, the mother, teacher and leader with a PhD in educational policy, who’s running for the House of Delegates in the 59th district, which includes Northern Henrico, Louisa, Ashland and Western Hanover. To join us in-person for phone banking or canvassing, RSVP at To join to phone bank virtually, hop on this Zoom

Saturday, August 26th, 9:00am
31st St. Canvass for Russet Perry in Loudoun
Russet Perry’s Race May Well Be the Deciding Race for the VA Senate! Come canvass with us in key neighborhoods! We will provide training. And we will make arrangements for canvassing partners and carpools, if you like.

August 28 – Sept 2
Shenandoah County Fair
Visit Shenandoah County Democratic Committee booth – candidates SD-1 Emily Scott; HD-33 Bob Smith. Rural committees almost always represented at county fairs. 

Tuesday, September 5th, 7:00pm
Limiting Campaign Donations: Challenges in passing state-level legislation
Let’s explore why it is so difficult to pass state-level laws on campaign finance reform. 45 states have caps on money coming into their elections but not Virginia, nor Oregon. Let’s discuss with national experts the challenges involved in passing and enacting common sense legislation limiting campaign donations. Organized by BigMoneyOutVA, we hope that this dialogue will enhance citizens’ understanding of the importance of enacting campaign finance reform in Virginia and lead to legislation limiting contributions, which adopts national best practices, passing the Virginia General Assembly which starts on January 10th, 2023.
Thursday, September 7th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Fundraiser for Russet Perry for State Senate

Please join Virginia Democracy Forward (VADF) and State Senators Jennifer Boysko and Barbara Favola in supporting Russet Perry for State Senate. This race is anticipated to be the most competitive district in the Commonwealth this year, and will likely determine control of the State Senate! Russet Perry is an attorney running for Senate District 31. As a former prosecutor and CIA officer, she is a career public servant who is ready to advocate for our community in Richmond. This seat is one of the most important races of 2023, and Russet’s Republican opponent, who just moved to the district last year, is the son of a billionaire.

Friday, September 8, 6:00pm-8:00pmBook and Basket Fundraiser featuring Jennifer McClellan to Support Chesterfield School Board Candidates
Come hear about the importance of having public school advocates on the Chesterfield County School Board School Board!

Saturday, September 9th, 9am
Network NOVA’s Day of Canvassing with Natan Mckenzie, Herb Walke and Traci Franssen
8112 Hillcreek Dr Midlothian, VA 23112
Join Network NOVA for coffee and canvass to help flip Chesterfield blue. 

Sunday, September 10, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Fabulous Fundraiser for Lily Franklin
Join Network NOVA, Stair Calhoun, Barbara Selig and Ed Addiss for an event in support of Lily Franklin, Candidate for HD 41. This will be a stunning fundraiser at Barbara and Ed’s home on Lake Barcroft. Lily Franklin is ready to be a legislator. She has spent the last 7 years fighting for the citizens of Southwest Virginia. She began as a staffer with Delegate Sam Rasoul and learned how to be a savvy outsider that can wrestle legislative victories to get work done. Lily developed a bill writing program that put local constituents in charge of the legislative process.  She assisted in writing legislation that resulted in a grant program for local food and farming infrastructure being passed and championed legislation to establish maximum contaminant levels for the cancer-causing & deadly “forever” chemicals in drinking water. Lily is ready. Lily Franklin wants to make the 41st District a place for folks to thrive in all stages of life. That includes students, working families, parents, and seniors. Read about her vision and meet her on the 10th!

Sunday, September 10th, 6:00pm
Virginia Grassroots Coalition Meeting

Email Luisa with agenda items:

Saturday, September 23,  9:45am – 3:00pm
WofA Day of Action – Canvass for Josh Cole with Swing Left
Join WofA and Friends on our Day of Action as we canvass for Joshua Cole and help area university students get to Fredericksburg to canvass for our amazing HD 65 Candidate Joshua Cole! Save the Date: Grassroots Weekends of Action:

  • Sept 30-Oct 1: Virginia Beach
  • Oct 1 –  VanValkenburg-Gibson-Willet in Richmond (with MOMS)
  • Oct 14/15 – overnight to VA Beach Monte Mason-Feggans & Hernandez (with MOMS)
  • Oct 28-29 Virginia Beach

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