For Immediate Release

March 8, 2017

Contact: Jasmine Leeward. press@newvirginiamajority.org, (804) 250-6514

Increased Climate of Harassment Prompts Groups to Launch  “Hate Free Virginia” Campaign

On International Women’s Day, women call on community businesses to band together for services, security, and resistance

A group of women convened in Alexandria on Wednesday to launch “Hate Free Virginia” and lift up the urgent safety and security needs of the communities being harassed with hate speech or under attack at the hands of law-enforcement agencies, white supremacy groups, and more. The “Hate Free Virginia” campaign is a response to the climate of harassment and hate that had been present before November but has accelerated since the November presidential election. seeks to increase for services and security for targeted communities, resist and challenge the structures that are stoking fear in these communities.

On International Women’s Day, members and allies of New Virginia Majority, and sister organization Tenants and Workers United - Inquilinos y Trabajadores Unidos rallied and marched to neighborhood businesses to raise awareness and condemn the hateful xenophobic climate that has been on the rise since the presidential election in November.

"I am here to support “Hate Free Virginia” to stand with my brothers and sisters and to advocate for safety and security for immigrants," said Flor Chavarria of Alexandria, who's called Virginia "home" for over 25 years. "As a mother I refuse to allow my children or anyone else’s children to live in fear and be harassed because they believe differently or look differently or come from a different country. They don’t deserve that.

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New Virginia Majority Statement on Today's Defeat of Sen. Norment’s Vote Suppression Bill SJ223

Virginians won an important victory today as Sen. Tommy Norment’s bill, SJ223, an attempt to write voter suppression into Virginia’s constitution, was defeated in committee.

“The proposed measure does not belong in Virginia’s Constitution. Preventing citizens from voting because of their past mistakes or their inability to pay does not reflect Virginia’s values,” said New Virginia Majority co-executive director Tram Nguyen. “We thank Virginians for all the calls, letters, and visits to lawmakers to oppose this modern-day poll tax and are grateful that the General Assembly responded by not carrying forward a Jim Crow-attack on voting rights.”

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.


New Virginia Majority Applauds Gov. McAuliffe’s Actions to Protect Virginians

New Virginia Majority Applauds Gov. McAuliffe’s Actions to Protect Virginians

We applaud Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s announcement today to veto “anti-sanctuary” bills that would have prevented localities from exercising reasonable and appropriate discretion in how they interact with immigrants and immigrant detainees.

Anti-sanctuary bills, such as HB2000 and SB1262 risk public safety and enshrine discrimination. At a time when many Virginians are struggling, our elected representatives must focus on issues that matter most to working families — good jobs, quality public schools, affordable health care and housing, and more.

“Sanctuary prohibition bills won’t create one job or educate one child,” said New Virginia Majority’s Co-Executive Director Tram Nguyen “Instead, it makes intolerance the law of the Commonwealth, and it will open our localities up to legal liability. Virginians want policies that make us more, not less, welcoming to newcomers.”

Today’s announcement came the day after Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney affirmed the city of Richmond’s commitment to protect all its residents, regardless of status, and its refusal to participate in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement programs.

“We won’t stop working to make Virginia fulfill the promise of its residents to be a just, welcoming and democratic place.” Nguyen said.

 

Contact: Jasmine Leeward, press@newvirginiamajority.org, (571) 208-2784

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New Virginia Majority organizes for progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing of communities of color, women, immigrants of all statuses, working people, LGBT people, youth and progressive people to create a Virginia that is democratic, just and sustainable.


New Virginia Majority Applauds Virginia Legal Action Against Donald Trump

We applaud the recent announcement by Attorney General Mark Herring that the Commonwealth of Virginia is joining the lawsuit against Donald Trump for his unlawful and unconstitutional executive order banning entry into the United States to people from certain countries.  The executive order, which targets our communities -- refugees, immigrants, Muslims, and other vulnerable people — has resulted in an escalating climate of bigotry and xenophobia, and people living in fear and confusion throughout the state.

"My family came to this country in 1981 as refugees, fleeing a war-torn Vietnam,” said New Virginia Majority Co-executive director Tram Nguyen. “My family’s story is not unique. For many, like my dad, to not leave is to face certain death. The current exodus of Syrian refugees cries for the same humanitarian response that saved my family. Politicians who would reject families who seek safety from terror don’t represent my values or the values of those who welcomed me and my family to Virginia.”

We thank Attorney General Herring for this announcement, which is a critical step to protect democracy and the people of the Commonwealth.


Hundreds March to General Assembly Building and Lobby for Civil Rights

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jasmine Leeward. press@newvirginiamajority.org(571) 208-2784

Hundreds March to General Assembly Building and Lobby for Democratic Rights

At General Assembly building, worker leaders train, march, and lobby for 2017 goals

More than 300 Virginians convened in Richmond on Monday for New Virginia Majority’s Day of Action 2017. The group marched to the General Assembly Building to lobby legislators for protection and justice for immigrants, affordable education, rights restoration for returning citizens-- and more.

On the day commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., New Virginia Majority members and allies met with 65 legislators and asked them to support legislation that makes Virginia more democratic, just, and inclusive for all. Most members were lobbying for the first time. Members and allies were predominantly working class people of color, immigrants, returning citizens, students, and women. People came from all over Virginia for Day of Action: Alexandria, Manassas, Woodbridge, Fairfax, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, and more.

“This is my first time being a part of the legislative process,” said New Virginia Majority member Christopher Rashad Green of Richmond, whose voting rights were restored last year. “Day of Action empowered me to fight for what my community needs and to take my civic engagement to new heights.”

"I am at Day of Action to stand with my brothers and sisters and to advocate for driver's licenses for immigrants," said Alba Rodriguez of Manassas, who's called Virginia "home" for over 20 years. "As a mother I would like to take my kids to soccer practice, to school, to church. I would like to get a job to help my family have a better quality of life."

In 2017, New Virginia Majority will support legislation that streamlines the voter registration process, gives driving privileges to immigrants, automatically restores voting rights to returning citizens, and promotes access to higher education.

Throughout 2017, the group will continue to mobilize communities to realize its vision of Virginia that brings full participation, democracy, and equality to working people and people of color across the state. New Virginia Majority is focused on building political power on campuses, small towns, the urban crescent, NOVA and more. Members are determined to make sure any attempts to roll back progress are met with strategic resistance.

 

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photo credit: New Virginia Majority

 

Statement by New Virginia Majority on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Plan to Improve Ethics Reform and Expand Voter Access

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2017

 

New Virginia Majority applauds Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s good government agenda for 2017 legislative session which seeks to strengthen Virginia’s ethics rules and expand and protect voter access for people across the Commonwealth.

The agenda includes the following:

  • Legislation to ban personal use of campaign funds

  • Repeal of SB 1256 to end the regressive photo ID requirement for voters

  • End barriers to absentee voting, including expanding access and eligibility to voters without transportation, caregivers, parents of young children, elderly, and rural voters

“The repeal of SB 1256 and expanded absentee voting gives more Virginians the chance to participate in democracy,” said New Virginia Majority co-executive director Tram Nguyen. “It ensures that citizens who have job conflicts, travel, childcare, or transportation challenges are still able to have their voices heard and their votes counted.”

Our democracy is strongest when everyone can participate.Prioritizing good governance and ethics, and a robust expansion of voter access are key components of a healthy democracy. Maintaining gratuitous barriers to voting, such as regressive photo ID laws, laws against absentee voting, and laws against early voting seek to limit access to the ballot. Those who oppose voter access oppose democracy.

Contact: press@newvirginiamajority.org, (571) 208-2784

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New Virginia Majorityorganizes for progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing of communities of color, women, working people, LGBT communities, and youth to create a Virginia that is democratic, just and sustainable.


New Virginia Majority applauds order to extend voter registration deadline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday October 20, 2016

New Virginia Majority applauds order to extend voter registration deadline 

“We’re pleased with today’s order to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline to ensure every eligible Virginian who wants to register to vote is able,” said New Virginia Majority co-executive director Tram Nguyen. “The right to vote is at the heart of what it means to be an American. For thousands of Virginians who recently had their right to vote restored, this order means they will have a voice in November, many for the first time. That’s something we can all be proud of.”

 

Under the order, eligible Virginia voters have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 21st to submit their voter registration application. All eligible Virginians will have the opportunity to participate in the 2016 November General Election by registering to vote online or submitting a voter registration form by Friday, October 21, 2016. Virginians can visit www.registerva.com to register.

Contact:  Jasmine Leeward, 804-250-6514, jleeward@newvirginiamajority.org
   Aruna Jain, 202-930-5334, justwordmedia@gmail.com

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New Virginia Majority organizes for progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing of communities of color, women, working people, LGBTQ people, youth and progressive people to create a Virginia that is democratic, just and sustainable.


Portsmouth residents to demand urgent action on city flood plan

Petition calls for immediate remedy to absence of storm drains in city adjacent to Elizabeth River

Who: Portsmouth residents, New Virginia Majority organizers

What: Press conference on urgent need for responsible flood plan followed by Portsmouth City Council Meeting

When: 6:30 press conference, 7 p.m. council meeting, Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where: Portsmouth City Hall, 801 Crawford Parkway, Portsmouth, VA 23704

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New Virginia Majority, Progressive Groups to Host Mayoral Forum On Criminal Justice Reform Saturday

At 2 p.m, Saturday, Sept. 24, New Virginia Majority, Richmond Branch NAACP, and Kinfolks Community Inc. will host a mayoral candidates forum on criminal justice reform called, "Creating Opportunities and Increasing Safety in Our Communities,” at Richmond Public Library’s Main Branch. Confirmed attendees: Jon Baliles, Jack Berry, Bobby Junes, Joe Morrissey, Michelle Mosby, Levar Stoney, Bruce Tyler, and Lawrence Williams, Sr.

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New Virginia Majority Statement on Del. Marcus B. Simon’s proposed constitutional amendment

Virginia continues to face challenges from an enduring legacy of depriving certain people of their right to vote. New Virginia Majority supports Del. Simon’s (D-Fairfax)proposed constitutional amendment, which recognizes the rights of all citizens to participate in our democracy. We must challenge restrictive voting measures wherever they exist which, in the case of felon voting rights, is as simple as deleting one sentence.

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