Two constitutional amendments are on the ballot

October 20th, 2016

Voters know that the Nov. 8 ballot will contain the names of candidate for president, vice president and member of commerce, but the two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution are less well understood.

The “Right to Work Ballot Amendment” would mean that an employee in Virginia would have a constitutional right to work for an employer without being a member of a union.

The “Tax  Relief Ballot Amendment” would give local jurisdictions the power to exempt the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel or emergency medical services personnel who is killed in the line of duty.

Complete explanation of the proposals and the pros and cons of each is available from the League of Women voters by following this link.

 

Authors say it’s time for changes in U.S. Constitution

September 28th, 2016
Jack Trammell and Guy Terrell

Jack Trammell and Guy Terrell

The writers of a new book advocating for changes in the American democracy to make it more relevant to the 21st century will present their ideas at a public forum at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 in the LOW Community Center.

The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by The Lake of the Woods Democratic Club.

Jack Trammell and Guy Terrell are the authors of “The Fourth Branch of Government: We the People,” published in July by Brandylane Publishers Inc. of Richmond, Va.

In the book, Trammell and Terrell make the argument that certain fundamental changes in the framework of our democracy — the U.S. Constitution — may be necessary, changes that include eliminating the Electoral College, implementing electronic voting, perhaps even changes leading to a broader and more direct participation by citizens in our governance.

In Chapter 3 of the book, entitled “Our Unfinished Nation,” the authors write: “The Constitution was created to establish a republic, balance the power of the three branches, and establish the mandate to allow governance of a new nation. Changes to the Constitution were then and remain the key to guaranteeing our future. No one wants to destroy the Constitution, but it no longer matches the times we live in either.”

The influence of the Internet and social media, the writers say, has given American citizens greater access to information that ever in our history, but has left many feeling disconnected from the very mechanisms and people who are supposed to represent their interests.

Trammell,  who ran for Congress from Virginia’s 7th District in 2014, is an associate professor of sociology and director of disability support services at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. He was a political science undergraduate at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He holds advanced degrees or certificates in education, special education, history education, and research methodology, including master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Terrell, holds a master of business administration degree from George Mason University in Fairfax and a masters degree in information systems from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He is a published poet and past president of the Poetry Society of Virginia.

Copies of the book are available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

See why Clinton is our choice

September 23rd, 2016

hillarypromoGet together with others to watch the first presidential debate at the home of Jim Donovan at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. Support Hillary Clinton as she demonstrates why she is the only candidate with the knowledge, experience and temperament to lead our nation in the next four years.

Snacks will be provided, but bring your own beverage.

Please RSVP to 540-412-1337 or jamiestoy@hotmail.com

Eileen Bedell to returns to LOW to meet voters

August 22nd, 2016
Eileen Bedell

Eileen Bedell

Eileen Bedell, candidate for Congress from Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, is coming to Lake of the Woods Sept. 15 to meet with voters at a reception sponsored by the LOW Democratic Club.

Bedell is an attorney and mother of two who lives in Bon Air in Chesterfield County.

The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the LOW Community Center. Fancy pastries and beverages will be served.

The candidate will make brief remarks and will be available for questions. As at all club events, visitors are welcome without regard to political affiliation.

Bedell earned a communications degree from Virginia Tech before getting her law degree from the College of William & Mary. She has been a general practice attorney for nearly two decades and is solo practitioner at the McNeil Law Group in Richmond’s Church Hill.

“I do everything but criminal defense — custody cases, contract dispute, estate litigation, wills,” she said. “It transfers well to having that broad spectrum of expertise you would need sitting on different committees of Congress. On some level, I have been representing people and small businesses in the 7th in another branch of government for almost 20 years.”

At the time Rep. David Brat, a former college professor, was elected to represent the 7th District in 2014, it included all of Orange, Culpeper, Goochland, Hanover, Louisa and New Kent counties and portions of Chesterfield, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties, as well as portions of the city of Richmond. But legal challenges to congressional district lines in Virginia based on representative inequality resulted in a court-ordered redrawing of some district lines, eliminating Hanover and New Kent County from the 7th District. Brat and two other Congressmen appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and lost, leaving the reconstituted district in place for the Nov. 8 election.

Go to Bedell for Congress

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Catch up on the campaigns

August 6th, 2016

clinton-logoSara Jezior, who represents the Democratic co-ordinated campaigns for our area, will be guest speaker at the club’s August 18 meeting.

This is your chance to be informed about what is being done locally to maximize the votes for Hillary Clinton for president and Eileen Bedell for Congress. It’s also an opportunity to find out what you can do to support our candidates with canvassing, phone banking and voter registration.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the LOW Community Center.

As usual, everyone is welcome.

 

 

Eileen Bedell welcomed at Flag Day Picnic

June 16th, 2016
Eileen Bedell, candidate for the U.S. Congress from Virginia's 7th District, spoke at the club's annual Flag Day Picnic June 15 at the LOW Clubhouse. The event was well attended and resulted in a robust discussion of the important issues facing our area and our nation.

Eileen Bedell, candidate for the U.S. Congress from Virginia’s 7th District, spoke at the club’s annual Flag Day Picnic June 15 at the LOW Clubhouse. The event was well attended and resulted in a robust discussion of the important issues facing our area and our nation.

Click Here to view Slideshow

 

Flag Day Picnic is June 15

May 23rd, 2016
Eileen Bedell

Eileen Bedell

This year marks the 239th anniversary of the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.

The Lake of the Woods Democratic Club will celebrate the birth of Old Glory at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at its annual Flag Day Picnic at the LOW Community Center.

Eileen Bedell, the Democratic candidate for Congress from Virginia’s 7th District, will be special guest speaker at the picnic. Bedell is a native Virginian who has practiced law in Central Virginia for 20 years. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. She and her husband Colin have two children.

Everyone is welcome at the picnic without regard to political affiliation.

There will be fried chicken and a groaning board of other all-American fare, such as potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, casseroles, side dishes, homemade desserts and beverages.

Tickets are $7 per person. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free.

There will be a door prize and a raffle featuring two large gift baskets.

Seeking the truth about Islam

May 19th, 2016
The club's own Lalli Omar gave a presentation and led a discussion at our May 19 meeting about Islam, which means "surrender to the will of God." The fastest-growing religion in the world is not as it is often depicted in today's society.

The club’s own Lalli Omar gave a presentation and led a discussion at our May 19 meeting about Islam, which means “surrender to the will of God.” The fastest-growing religion in the world is not as it is often depicted in today’s society.

Redistricting is the topic of the April meeting

March 21st, 2016
Brian Cannon of OneVirginia2021

Brian Cannon of OneVirginia2021

Citizens of all political persuasions agree that gerrymandering — the deliberate manipulation of legislative district boundaries to benefit a particular party or to disadvantage an opposing party — undermines the democratic process.

Independent authorities have ranked Virginia as the fifth most gerrymandered state based on the lack of compactness and contiguity of its districts.

In the interest of learning more about this important issue and what is being done to address the problem, the Lake of the Woods Democratic Club will conduct a public program April 21, featuring Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021. The organization is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group whose goal is an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to establish an independent, impartial commission to apply a fair and transparent process in drawing political districts after the next U.S. Census in 2020.

The program will be held at 1:30 p.m. on April 21 in the meeting room of the LOW Community Center. A meet-and-greet sessions will begin at 1 p.m. Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, is welcome.

In Virginia, state legislators redraw district lines for the U.S. Congress, the House of Delegates and the State Senate after every 10-year census. Under the current system, the party in power in the House and the party in power in the Senate can draw the lines to serve their own interests. As a result, 56 candidates in the House of Delegates faced no real competition in the general election in 2013, with 22 Democrats and 34 Republicans facing no major-party challenger. Of the remaining 44 races, only 19 were considered competitive to some degree. In the end, only two seats changed parties.

In 2013, a group of concerned citizens came together in Charlottesville to discuss redistricting in the Commonwealth. From that meeting OneVirginia2021 was born. The group partners with individuals and organizations to raise awareness, provide information and work with legislators to implement meaningful reform. Members of the coalition range from progressives and independents to Tea Party conservatives.

Mr. Cannon has been executive director of OneVirginia2021 since January 2015. He has more than a decade of experience in non-profit leadership, community building, fundraising, and bipartisan advocacy for state policy issues. Previously, he worked as a consultant with startups and high-growth companies.

Mr. Cannon received his bachelor of arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the College of William and Mary. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Richmond with their son. When not working on redistricting reform he serves on several non-profit boards and plays rec league football.

 

Learning about Mr. Madison

March 14th, 2016
Historian Jayne Blair, The speaker, president of the Board of Directors of the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, poses with James Madison's Compeche chair, which she brought to the club's March 13 program at the LOW Clubhouse.

Historian Jayne Blair, The speaker, president of the Board of Directors of the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, poses with James Madison’s Compeche chair, which she brought to the club’s March 13 program at the LOW Clubhouse.

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Flag Day Picnic
Our Flag Day Picnic was held June 15 at the LOW Community Center. The speaker was Eileen Bedell, candidate for U.S. Congress.
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