Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Newsletter - June 18, 2019

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Richmond Office:
Pocahontas Building
900 East Main Street, Suite E208
Richmond, VA 23219
804.698.1045

Alexandria Office:
301 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
571.234.8481

Last Tuesday, June 11, was Primary Election Day. I want to congratulate the Democratic Primary winners across the Commonwealth, especially the three strong progressives whom I endorsed to represent people in the 45th District: Greg Parks for Alexandria Clerk of Court, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Arlington County and Falls Church Commonwealth's Attorney, and Steve Descano for Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney. I look forward to working with all of them.

I also want to congratulate my colleagues in the General Assembly who won their primaries in the three localities I represent:  Senators Barbara Favola and Dick Saslaw, and Delegates Kaye Kory and Alfonso Lopez.

As I have done every Election Day since I was elected in 2015, I visited every one of the 23 polling locations in the 45th District I'm so proud to represent (see "In the Community" for pictures from Primary Day)

Thank you to everyone who voted last Tuesday and to all the candidates who put themselves out there because they wanted to serve their community. 

With the Primaries behind us, we now must turn our attention to November, where we have an opportunity to reshape our Commonwealth with a truly representative legislature. 


US SUPREME COURT
UPHOLDS NEW VIRGINIA DISTRICTS

Virginia Republicans Violated US Constitution with their Racial Gerrymander of Virginia House Districts

House of Delegates Will Have New Districts
This Fall in Richmond and Hampton Roads Areas

25 of Virginia's 100 House Districts
Will Have New Boundaries

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that will have huge implications for the November elections. On June 17, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court dismissed Virginia House Republicans' attempt to preserve their illegally racially gerrymandered voting districts. 

In March 2017, the United States Supreme Court found unanimously that Virginia engaged in racial gerrymandering so severe in the Virginia House of Delegates that it violated the Constitution. (Republicans openly admitted in 2011 to "packing" Virginia's African-American population in a few districts so as to diminish Virginia's power to elect Democrats.)

House Republicans then spent millions of your taxpayer dollars trying to keep their illegally gained majority and subvert the will of the Virginian people. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, rejected their "standing" to sue, arguing that the Virginia House of Delegates "as an institution has no cognizable interest in the identity of its members."

I've read the entire decision and dissent. The dissent was scary, arguing that even though the Republicans violated the Constitution to diminish Black Virginians' voting rights, they could still use their illegally-gained majority to challenge threats to that majority and, if prevailing, thereby thwart the will of the people forever. The dissent compared the Virginia House of Delegates to a string quartet, a basketball team, or the CEO of a major corporation and asked whether the other members of the quartet, team, or board of directors had an interest in who else was on their team.

Ginsburg deftly showed the flaw in the dissenters' logic. A string quartet, a basketball team, and a board of directors select their own members. But Virginia's House of Delegates are chosen by the People of Virginia and NOT by the other members of the House of Delegates.

No doubt Virginia Republicans were shocked by the ruling that the People of Virginia should actually have more power over the voting process than the Republicans ruling Virginia under the very rigged system they created. In 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017, Virginia was ruled under this rigged system. But better late than never. In 2019, we will have fair districts that no longer have illegal racial gerrymandering. The June primaries had new district lines in 25 districts in Richmond and Hampton Roads, 1/4 of the 100-district total.

The ruling is a victory for democracy, voting rights, and racial justice. Virginian voters must choose their elected representatives; elected officials shouldn't choose their voters

 

Virginia League of Conservation Voters,
Praising My Perfect Environmental Record,
Declared Me a 2019 "Legislative Hero"

I am honored to have been named a Legislative Hero by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VALCV) for "getting the conservation vote right every time." They gave me a 100% on their 2019 legislative scorecard because I always vote and advocate for a clean environment.

What's one thing you'll find that all of the Legislative Heroes have in common? We're all Democrats. In fact, not a single Democrat in the Virginia House received a lower score than 85% (a "B") and not a single Republican scored a score higher than 57% (an "F"). Unfortunately, Republicans just can't be counted on to protect Virginia's environment. 

Climate change is one of the biggest crises facing our Commonwealth, nation, and global community. Through their votes and words, Republicans have made it painfully clear that it'll take Democrats winning a majority in both the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate this November for the state legislature to start passing bold, ambitious policies to combat climate change and pollution.

If you agree that we need to take protecting our climate, air, and water seriously, please join me in Mission 51: winning a Democratic majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Speaking of taking the majority, you are invited to join me at my house on Saturday, July 13 at 7:30 pm for ...

My annual tradition of hosting friends and supporters for a fun night of food, drinks, and fireworks at my home in North Old Town continues on Saturday, July 13, 7:30-10:30 pm. Mark your calendars now!

At last year's Fireworks on the Potomac, almost 200 progressives came out to support turning the legislature blue, and I know I can fit even more folks in my house and on my back lawn this year. (Maybe not in the house but definitely on the lawn!)

RSVP for my Fifth Annual Fireworks on the Potomac


In the Community...

Thank you, Mayor Pete!

 
Speaking with Presidential Candidate and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

I thanked him for sending a video greeting to my Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza.
We talked about the importance of flipping Virginia and how he could help us.


With Alexandria Democratic Committee members and my colleagues,
Delegates Paul Krizek, Alfonso Lopez, and Kathy Tran, at a Pizza and Politics fundraiser. 


With Stuart Milk, openly gay nephew of Harvey Milk, at the
Department of Defense's Pride celebration at the Pentagon.
I was the only member of the Virginia Government to attend.

At a time when the Trump Administration is actively discriminating against
America's Rainbow Communities, I felt it important that our military be praised
for continuing its outreach efforts and that Virginia be represented there.


I met with members of We of Action Virginia to discuss
the July 9th special session on gun violence legislation.


Primary Election Day 2019

Photos from my tour of the 45th District on Primary Election Day.
You can also view photos from my precinct-by-precinct tour by clicking here.
 
Started my day at Maury School with my devoted aide Barrett Fife and her father,
graphic designer extraordinaire/Deputy Precinct Captain Terry Fife.

Barrett accompanied me to every one of my 23 precincts on Election Day.
These are her photos: 

With a first-time voter at Mt. Vernon precinct!


 Abingdon with some wonderful Democratic precinct volunteers!


At the Alexandria Fire Department. I love my furry (and non-furry) constituents. 


Bringing family (and fake moustaches) to the polls makes voting more fun in Fairlington. 


At the newest polling location in my district, Alexandria Renew,
with the always, lovely, hard-working and passionate PJ Johnson. 


Belle View


City Hall, with Hazel Rigby and Mario Velasquez


Cora Kelly, with another furry constituent...


Durant Center. (Hint: there's a clue to my location in the picture.)


George Mason


Grosvenor


At Ladrey, my home precinct, with my home Precinct Captain Mary Shine.
 Mary wins my Best Kept Precinct Award this year for her wide variety of treats
She even included dog biscuits!


Here I am at Lee Center. Where are you?


Lyles Crouch


Agudas Achim


Aurora Hills

George Washington Middle School


Oakridge


Shirlington


Blessed Sacrament


Charles Houston


Potomac Yard


Upcoming Events

Please Join Me!
(I will be speaking at events in red.)

TONIGHT
Tuesday, June 18
7:00 - 8:00 pm
BE SMART, Hosted by Parents for Safe Alexandria Schools
Home of the Zands
203 W Masonic View Avenue, Alexandria
 
Wednesday, June 19
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Pizza and Politics Fundraiser for VA House Democrats
New District Brewing Company
2709 S. Oakland Street, Arlington
 
(Gonna attend both events Wednesday, running from one to the other)
 
Wednesday, June 19
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Pride Celebration with Senator Tim Kaine
Freddie's Beach Bar
555 23rd Street South, Arlington
 
Saturday, June 22
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Loudon County Democratic Committee Pride Celebration
Twinpanzee Brewing
101-D Executive Drive, Sterling
 
Sunday, June 23
1:30 - 3:30 pm
Energized for Change PAC Launch Party 
St. James Sports, Wellness, and Entertainment Complex
6805 Industrial Road, Springfield

Sunday, June 23
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Dining for Delegates for Wendy Gooditis

Home of Roberta Randolph
14 E Howell Avenue, Alexandria

Saturday, June 29
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Refugee Community Dinner hosted by Christ Church Refugee Ministry
Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill
3606 Seminary Road, Alexandria
 
Tuesday, July 9
12:00 pm
Special Legislative Session 
Virginia State Capitol
1000 Bank Street, Richmond
 

SAVE THE DATE! RSVP HERE!

SATURDAY, JULY 13
Fifth Annual Fireworks on the Potomac

My House!
North Old Town, Alexandria

GET TICKETS HERE

Pictures from last year's celebration...

Serving frozen grapes to the almost 200-person crowd...
 

The lime peach-minT-rum-punch
 

Pointing out empty spots to sit to folks standing in the back...

Let the fireworks begin...

Trump's out to ruin July 4.
So come celebrate July 13 with us!

Join us in a toast to Trump's Impeachment
with our signature lime peach-minT-rum-punch!


It is always my honor and privilege to serve you.

Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax in Virginia's 45th District