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New Virginia Majority Newsletter: Summer 2020

Thank you for your continued support for New Virginia Majority. This year we are launching quarterly newsletters to stay up to date on all the events, actions, and advocacy from our organization. Here are a few updates about the work our organization participated in this summer. 

Donate here to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to support our community during the pandemic

Housing Justice 

On International Workers Day, May 1st, New Virginia Majority partnered with Tenants and Workers United, Asian American Civic Engagement Collaborative, and the Virginia Student Power Network in a statewide action, #CancelRentVA, calling for federal, state and local governments to cancel rent collection and prohibit eviction proceedings for unpaid or accrued rent for the duration of this public health and economic crisis. On July 1st New Virginia Majority partnered with community organizations to rally at courthouses in Virginia to demand Governor Northam to stop evictions and properly fund a rent relief program.

  • Read an Associated Press article where Organizing Director Thomas Assefa discussed the thousands of renters, especially people of color, in Virginia at risk of eviction. 
  • Sign and Share New Virginia Majority’s petition to protect renters from evictions.
  • Watch New Virginia Majority, Tenants and Workers United, and the Virginia Student Power Network organizers speak on the current eviction crisis at the Stop Evictions, Rent Relief Now Rally on August 18th calling on Virginia Legislators to stop evictions through April 2021.

Racial Justice 

Our communities have taken to the streets to protest against the death of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis and countless others who have been murdered and brutalized by police. But the problem isn’t just other cities, it exists in Virginia too. In the City of Richmond, Marcus David Peters, an unarmed high school biology teacher, was shot and killed while experiencing a mental health crisis in 2018 by a Richmond police officer. New Virginia Majority worked with the Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project, a coalition that was started to force the Richmond Police Department to be more transparent and accountable.

  • The family of Marcus-David Peters recently submitted demands to Richmond officials. One of the demands, the Marcus Alert System, would mandate mental health professionals be the first responders in a suspected or confirmed mental health crisis, rather than armed officers. 
  • Watch our Speak Out In Defense of Black Lives online rally in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives in celebration of Juneteenth, a day that honors Black freedom
  • Co-Executive Director Tram Nguyen recently wrote an opinion piece about what lawmakers need to address in the General Assembly Special Session beginning on August 18th.

Voting Rights

As we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act this summer, several new state laws to expand voting rights and access, endorsed by New Virginia Majority, went into effect on July 1st. In Virginia, now you do not need a photo ID to vote, election day is a state holiday, poll hours are extended to 8pm, you can vote in person up to 45 days before an election, and you do not need an excuse to vote absentee. It’s more important than ever that everyone votes. As voter suppression efforts ramp up and the challenges of COVID-19 continue, it is vital that Virginians know their rights, are registered to vote, are prepared to vote by mail, and summit their Census questionnaire. 

  • Click here to watch the #VirginiaVotes virtual event, featuring Kerry Washington, to kick off our voter education and election protection program for the 2020 cycle.
  • Add your photo today to show your support for #VirginiaVotes
  • Check out a recent Forbes article where New Virginia Majority was highlighted for our work in mobilizing communities of color to participate in the electoral process in 2019.
  • Complete the census
  • Register to vote or request an absentee ballot

We would once again like to thank you for your donation to New Virginia Majority in 2020. Your donation big or small helps support many initiatives, projects, and actions organized by New Virginia Majority staff, volunteers, and community members. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates. Together, we can lead the way towards a more just Virginia for all of us. 

In Solidarity, 

The Development Team

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