Dear friends,

Wow! I never realized that I’d love serving as VAYD president as much as I have over the past two weeks.

Together, we’ve fought back and killed the Republicans’ plan to strip 24 million Americans of their health insurance. Members of Congress didn’t do that – we did that. Thank you to everyone that called, emailed and tweeted at your Members of Congress. We helped flip Rep. Comstock and kept Republicans from picking up 3 other GOP votes for their terrible bill.

As a chapter leader/VAYD stakeholder, I want to make sure you know about these successes as they happen – hence “From the President’s Desk.” This new bi-weekly “update” will help keep you informed while providing helpful resources to you and your chapters.

If you know someone that might benefit from this email, please ask them to email me and I will add them to the list. If you’d like your entire executive board to receive these emails, please let me know.

Fight Back (your advocacy portal)
Earlier this week, every Virginia Republican voted to allow our Internet Service Providers (Comcast, Verizon, RCN) to sell our private Internet history. It’s clear they have no respect for us or our privacy. 

While the bill has already passed the House & Senate, Members are taking serious heat for their vote. To keep up the pressure and prevent worse bills in the future, call your Member and explain your anger at their lack of respect for our privacy.

  • Robert Wittman: (202) 225-4261

  • Scott Taylor: (202) 225-4215

  • Tom Garrett: (202) 225-4711

  • Bob Goodlatte: (202) 225-5431

  • Dave Brat: (202) 225-2815

  • Morgan Griffith: (202) 225-3861

  • Barbara Comstock: (202) 225-5136 

The Battlefield (your campaign portal)
In 16 days, we have a chance to elect an amazing Democrat – Jacqueline Smith – as the Prince William County Clerk of Courts. The Prince William YDs has done a great job organizing for her and this a major pick up opportunity for the party. 

Hopefully, you and your chapter can join the effort! The campaign has set up a virtual phone banking system to support Jackie. If you or your chapter can make calls, any support is greatly appreciated. Please report the total number of calls made to me & Campaign Director Robbie Bradshaw (campaign_director@vayd.org.)

Non-Virginia Battle Field
While Jackie is absolutely our top priority, there is another opportunity to strike back at Trump and undermine the Republicans’ control of Congress. There is a very close special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Trump only won the district by one point and an influx of national money and support has put the race on the map.

Our friends at the Young Democrats of America have set up a virtual phone banking system; the code is DA2D12I-8655. Please report the total number of calls made to me & Campaign Director Robbie Bradshaw (campaign_director@vayd.org.) 

Innovators (your new idea portal)
If you or your chapter is breaking new ground, let me know and I’ll share it here!

This week, the Loudoun Young Democrats launched their first podcast explaining the structure and operation of the 10th Congressional District Committee. Since all District Committee operate in a similar manner, this is a great resource for your members.

Additionally, Foreign Policy for America, a great group of experts formed to support Secretary Clinton & common sense foreign policy, has several Russia experts (and experts on other foreign policy topics) available if your chapter is interested in driving deeper into the Trump-Russian connection or the general threat posed by Putin's regime. Let me know if you'd like to arrange a speaker and I'll connect you. 

ICYMI

Meet the new VAYD e-board here and help us get off on the right foot.

Chapter Shout-outs:

  • Happy 20th birthday to the Metro Richmond Young Democrats! Good luck with your birthday partyon Sunday.

  • Wishing the George Mason Democrats great success with their 2nd Annual Pennies for Patriots eventon Saturday.

  • Congratulations to the Arlington Young Democrats on a successful 16th Annual Charity Auction. Thank you for welcoming Immediate Past President Jamie Nolan, EVP Alexsis Rodgers and myself.

  • Also, sending our love and best wishes to the Rural Caucus as they kick off their Rural Retreat this weekend.

Social Media Fodder (since maintaining an active account is really hard)

Democratically yours,

James Lewis
President, Virginia Young Democrats
@JimmyCLewis