Other Group

Virginia Democracy Forward

Website:

www.vademocracyforward.org

Founded:

2016

Founder:

Lori Boerner

 

Virginia Democracy Forward is an organization that was formed in 2016 to support left-of-center policies and candidates in congressional, state, and local elections in Virginia. [1]

Background

Virginia Democracy Forward, also known as VADF, was founded in Northern Virginia in December 2016 with 12 members to promote progressive-left causes and help elect Democratic candidates to congressional, state, and local offices. [2] [3]

The organization says it has grown to more than 400 members and has organized more than 220 events to protest, raise money, for canvassing and phone banking, to hear guest speakers, and register voters. [4]

VADF meets monthly and has several committees, such as elections and youth committees. In 2017, the organization endorsed Democratic House of Delegates candidates, statewide candidates, and Fairfax County School Board candidates. The organization operates in the Northern Virginia towns of McLean, Arlington, and Falls Church. [5]

Virginia Democracy Forward connects Democratic voters and activists. [6] VADF members are primarily from Northern Virginia, but some come from neighboring areas in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. [7]

Leadership

Lori Boerner is the founder of Virginia Democracy Forward. [8]

Chris LeMenestrel is the co-leader of the Virginia Democracy Forward. [9]

Policies and Advocacy

Virginia Democracy Forward partnered with other left-leaning groups to put together the Cross-Grassroots Survey of Virginia Congressional Candidates for the Democratic primaries in 2018. [10]

The organization co-signed a letter in March 2021 to support the passage of the controversial HR 1, dubbed the “For the People Act.” The legislation would have nationalized many election laws by banning most state voter ID laws, mandating universal mail-in voting, requiring all states to allow Election Day voter registration, expanding ballot harvesting, and placing bureaucracies in charge of drawing congressional maps instead of state legislatures. [11]

Virginia Democracy Forward was also among 23 Virginia organizations that in July 2021 wrote a letter to Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) to urge them to back President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. [12]

Virginia Democracy Forward joined with dozens of other left-leaning groups in the state to sponsor the Virginia’s People’s Debates in the 2021 statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. [13]

Virginia Democracy forward helped found the Virginia Grassroots Coalition teaming with other left-leaning groups working in the state, which included Swing Left, Huddle, and Sister District Project. [14]

Virginia Democracy Forward has also backed lowering the voting age to 16. [15]

References

  1. Welcome. Virginia Democracy Forward. 2017-2020. www.vademocracyforward.org/who-we-are ^
  2. Virginia Democracy Forward. Act Local. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.actlocal.network/organizations/virginia-democracy-forward-vadf ^
  3. Virginia Democracy Forward. Virginia Grassroots. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.virginiagrassroots.org/org-profile.php?id=18 ^
  4. “Who We Are.” Virginia Democracy Forward. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.vademocracyforward.org/who-we-are ^
  5.  Virginia Democracy Forward. Virginia Grassroots. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.virginiagrassroots.org/org-profile.php?id=18 ^
  6. “Who We Are.” Virginia Democracy Forward. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.vademocracyforward.org/who-we-are ^
  7. “Who We Are.” Virginia Democracy Forward. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.vademocracyforward.org/who-we-are ^
  8. Edson, Dana and Sunderhauf, Skye. “VA turns blue in 2019 election.” The Highlander. November 11, 2019. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://thehighlandernews.com/20593/news/va-turns-blue-in-2019-election/ ^
  9. Olsen, Charles. “Letter From 23 Virginia Organizations in Support of the ‘American Jobs Plan.’” Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund. July 9, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://ccanactionfund.org/letter-from-23-virginia-organizations-in-support-of-the-american-jobs-plan/ ^
  10. LeMenestrel, Chris and Costantino, Francesca. “New survey lets voters compare N. Va. Congressional candidates.” Blue Review. May 3, 2018. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.blueview.org/2018/05/03/new-survey-helps-voters-choose/ ^
  11. Lofgren, Zoe. “For the People Act of 2021.” Just Facts. Vote Smart. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://justfacts.votesmart.org/public-statement/1506290/for-the-people-act-of-2021 ^
  12. [1] Olsen, Charles. “Letter From 23 Virginia Organizations in Support of the ‘American Jobs Plan.’” Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund. July 9, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://ccanactionfund.org/letter-from-23-virginia-organizations-in-support-of-the-american-jobs-plan/ ^
  13. “The Virginia People’s Debate.” Henrico Citizen. March 2, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.henricocitizen.com/events/government-1/the-virginia-peoples-debates/ ^
  14. Boyarski, Luisa. “Harnessing Virginia’s Grassroots Resistance.” The Forge. March 4, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://forgeorganizing.org/article/harnessing-virginias-grassroots-resistance ^
  15. Conner, Brian. “NYRA-Fairfax Secures Voting Age Endorsements.” National Youth Rights Association. October 30, 2018. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.youthrights.org/blog/nyra-fairfax-secures-voting-age-endorsements/ ^
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