All year long, I spoke about Mission 51, a multi-year plan to take the Virginia House of Delegates. We talked about our progressive priorities and how and why we needed 51 Democrats in the Virgina House to pull it off. I thought we would do well this November. I thought, with hard work and dedication, we could get 10 seats. Maybe, in my wildest dreams, a couple more. I never dreamed we'd be on the cusp of actually taking a majority in the House of Delegates. But that's where we are now: we won 15 seats! We have 49 seats. And we are on the verge of taking over! And we're not done!
I cannot stress enough how important this election is on Tuesday. The polls are neck and neck, and we need every vote we can to make sure that we sweep the statewide ticket this year. Winning Virginia depends on a huge Democratic turnout in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County. People across the Commonwealth are depending on you to show up on Tuesday and make sure that Ed Gillespie doesn't turn us into the next North Carolina.
Want to chat? Meet me tomorrow, Sunday, September 24, for September's Mark's Monthly Meetup from 2-4 pm at Los Tios Mexican restaurant in Del Ray (2615 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria). Come join us to eat, relax, and discuss policy and politics. And if you miss September, there's always October, November, and December. Every month, I make sure to be available in this informal setting for any constituent who wishes to discuss a problem or just say hello. Help me get to know you better, so I can better determine your priorities in Richmond. I always strive to be as accessible to you as I can possibly be.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29, an election will be held throughout every part of Fairfax County. Yet only a tiny percentage of voters are expected to vote in the Special Election for Fairfax County School Board scheduled for that day. On the last day of May, a Republican Member of the Fairfax School Board resigned. But rather than wait a few days longer so as to put the election of her successor on the November general ballot when a wide swath of Fairfax voters could make the choice, this Board Member purposely decided to force Fairfax County to spend a quarter of a million dollars so as to hold an election when she hopes very few people will vote and her designated Republican successor can sneak in. Don't let these machinations succeed! If you live in Fairfax County -- or know people who do -- make sure to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29. Don't forget. It's in small-turnout elections like these where your vote can really make a difference.
As most of you know, the Honorable Patsy Ticer, Former Mayor and City Council Member of Alexandria and our former State Senator for four terms, died Monday at the age of 82, after living in Alexandria for 70 years and serving us for nearly 30. Patsy, who was State Senator when I moved to Alexandria in 2001, was known throughout the City and the Commonwealth for her kindness, her strength, her wisdom, and her heart. She was a trailblazer and out-spoken but always tempering her views by listening carefully to others. And she was a strong advocate for children and families. Even after retirement, she continued to be quite active in our community affairs.
You are cordially invited to my home for my annual riverfront bash. Have a drink and enjoy the fireworks' dazzling display. We will meet at my home at 805 Rivergate Place on Saturday, July 8 from 7:30-10:30 pm, and watch the fireworks from my back porch and the hillside which borders Rivergate Park on the Potomac River in North Old Town Alexandria. Note the date: it's July 8. Not July 4.
With the primary behind us now, we have a fantastic statewide ticket with Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring, along with a slate of at least 88 House candidates that I'm proud to run alongside. I don't have an opponent this year, so I'll be able to devote my time to helping these great Democrats win their races. And we'll need you out there helping us if we're going to stop Ed Gillespie from bringing Trump's disastrous policies to Virginia. So get out and make phone calls, knock doors, and give money. You can donate to my campaign here, and I can then contribute more to competitive Democratic House candidates around the state.
Today is a sad day for the City of Alexandria and the wonderful community of Del Ray.
No doubt you are aware that this morning, a gunman with powerful weaponry shot several Members of Congress at a public ballfield in the heart of our city.
We are grateful none of the gun victims were killed, and we pray for their speedy recovery and for the recovery of those brave injured first responders that rushed to save them.
If you have any questions or run into any issues at the polls, you can call the Virginia Democratic Party's Voter Hotline at 844-482-8683 or tweet them at @dpvavote. I'll be out visiting every polling place in my district, so hopefully I'll see you tomorrow! Virginia law does not require that the address on your ID match the address on your voter registration. If you don't have a valid photo ID, you can get one at your local registrar's office; they'll be open all day on Election Day.
The 2017 Primary is coming up on Tuesday. We'll be voting for Democratic nominees for both Governor and Lt. Governor. I spoke about these races more generally in my last newsletter, but today I want to talk more about why I support Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam is no stranger to Virginia fights. He’s been here fighting to build a Commonwealth that works for everyone—no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from—for the past decade. And before that, he was serving our Commonwealth as a pediatrician and an Army doctor.