Thank You Loudoun Democrats

Loudoun County Virginia, November 5th, 2019 – The people of Virginia awoke this morning to a new reality. A reality where women will be treated as equals. A reality where criminals will no longer be able to purchase weapons of war to terrorize our schools, movie theaters, churches, and synagogues. A reality of inclusivity for all people regardless of the color of their skin, their sexual / gender orientation or their religious affiliation. A reality where our schools prioritize the needs of children over decreasing the tax rate by a couple of pennies. The people have spoken loudly and clearly and have insisted that Virginia join the majority of America in the 21st century by MANDATING policies that just make sense. This morning Virginians awoke to find themselves living in a Blue State.

You made this happen. The countless volunteers who knocked on a stranger’s door and announced, “My name is … and I represent the Loudoun County Democrats.” You, who called people and asked your neighbors to please come out and vote in record numbers in an “off-off year” election. You, who wrote postcards imploring people to support the candidates of the Democratic Party and reject the gun lobbies and other special interests that act against the will of the people. You, who woke up at 4 a.m. to set up and staff ALL of the precincts across Loudoun County to hand out sample ballots and elect our endorsed candidates. Thank you to all of the unions such as the 602 Chapter of Steamfitters, the SEIU, the International Association of Firefighters and the Brotherhood of Carpenters without whom this would not have been possible. Thank you to the thousands of volunteers across hundreds of grassroots organizations that came out to volunteer. Thank you to 350 Loudoun, Mothers Demand Action, Indivisible, NOVA Grassroots, and MANY others We would also like to thank the NAACP and League of Women Voters for energizing, educating and informing the residents of Loudoun County on the local issues that really matter. To the thousands of everyday, ordinary Americans that came out to volunteer and to make their community a better place — we say THANK YOU. Thank you for making Virginia a better place to live, to grow up, to raise a family, and to retire. Thank you for making Virginia and America a safer place. Thank you for all of your time and your effort to turn Virginia Blue.

And THANK YOU to our amazing candidates and elected officials. Thank you for being decent, honest people with integrity whom we could stand behind and support. Thank you for representing the best of Loudoun County. Thank you for organizing and operating the best campaigns. Thank you for your campaign staff and volunteers that enabled this historic victory.

The real story of Virginia can be told through the diversity of our elected representatives. We not only flipped the House, the Senate, the School Board and the Board of Supervisors — they now better represent both men and women with diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. We elected the first African American woman to the Soil and Water Board and the first Indian American to the General Assembly. Our elected officials look like us, speak like us, share our religious views, and have a wide range of ethnic backgrounds like us, and REPRESENT Loudoun County.

Thank you to Congresswoman JENNIFER WEXTON, State Senators JOHN BELL, BARBARA FAVOLA, and JENNIFER BOYSKO; House Delegates WENDY GOODITIS, DAVID REID, KATHLEEN MURPHY, KARRIE DELANEY, IBRAHEEM SAMIRAH and SUHAS SUBRAMANYAM for providing the leadership and guidance needed to bring about real change in Loudoun County and across Virginia and the United States.

A very special thank you to PHYLLIS RANDALL, Chairwoman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and BUTA BIBERAJ, Commonwealth’s Attorney for all of your organizing, fundraising, and campaigning to make this happen for us in Loudoun County. Thank you to the Crew and the Firefighters for getting it done!

Thank you to our new and returning MAJORITY members of the Board of Supervisors: Phyllis Randall, Chairwoman; NEW member Juli Briskman of Algonkian; NEW member Mike Turner of Ashburn; NEW member Sylvia Glass of Broad Run; Kristen Umstattd of Leesburg; and Koran Saines of Sterling.

Thank you so much for our new and returning MAJORITY members of the School Board: NEW member Denise Corbo representing all of Loudoun County At-large; NEW member Atoosa Reaser of Algonkian; NEW member Harris Mahedavi of Ashburn; NEW member Ian Serotkin of Blue Ridge; NEW member Leslee King of Broad Run; NEW member Beth Barts of Leesburg; and Brenda Sheridan of Sterling.

Thank you for keeping the focus on the natural resources of Loudoun County on the Soil and Water Board John Flannery and Michelle Thomas.

We also need to thank Justin Hannah, Sri Amudhanar, and Kannan Srinivasan for fighting extremely difficult countywide races for Sheriff, Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer, respectively. These races were always going to be the most difficult, and they clearly indicate the path ahead for Loudoun County Democrats. These positions are critical to Loudoun County residents in terms of governance, and we will be fighting for them in the future. You will be hearing their names and seeing their signs again!

To all of our candidates who did not win, you represented the best of Loudoun County. To Ronnie Ross, Mavis Taintor, Tia Walbridge, Forest Hayes, Sree Nagireddi and Zerell Johnson-Welch we love you and believe you were the better candidate! You fought difficult battles, sometimes against multiple opponents or dug-in incumbents. We will be there for you in the future as you were there for us in 2019.

The Loudoun County Democratic Committee would also like to specifically thank Chairwoman Lissa Savaglio for challenging us to knock on over 20,000 doors. When they said it could not be done, she did it. And Precinct Operations Chair Jackie von Wodtke, who wrangled over 500 volunteers to staff ALL 98 precincts, and ALL of the shifts at the three absentee polling locations over the last few months. You, alongside all of the members of LCDC, have shown us the strength and the power of the Democratic Committee in Loudoun County. You have challenged us, cajoled us and begged us to do our best, and the members have risen to meet the challenge. To all the members and volunteers of the LCDC, THANK YOU for making Loudoun County the amazing place it is today to live and work, and to grow up, raise a family and retire!

Stray Bullet Incident

Contact: Lissa Savaglio
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Stray Bullet Incident

Hamilton, VA, September 10, 2019 – Due to insufficient county ordinances, unfortunately, Loudoun County is yet again dealing with another stray bullet incident as a result of reckless shooting of guns in our neighborhoods. We, at the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, are thankful that the woman who was struck by a bullet yesterday only sustained minor injuries and wish her a speedy recovery. It is a miracle that the numerous stray bullet incidents that have occurred in Loudoun County have only resulted in minor injuries and property damage. The county can no longer wait to address the negligent shortcomings in our county shooting ordinances. If we fail to make the needed changes, we are inviting a tragedy.

The Republican members of the Board of Supervisors have consistently blocked simple changes to our ordinances that would have made us safer. They have blocked the following changes:
● Increasing the no-shoot zone around homes; and
● Increasing the no-shoot zone around roads; and
● Requiring owners of backyard shooting ranges to install safety berms or other impermeable barriers; and
● Extending the no-shooting area in the county west of the Suburban Policy Area.

The current ordinances pretend that Loudoun is a county that is as rural as it was 30 years ago. That is simply not the case as our population has grown from about 87,000 in 1990 to well over 400,000 today. We have changed as a county, and our ordinances need to change as well. “The time has come for Republican members of the Board of Supervisors to live up to their responsibility to work in a bipartisan manner with Chair Randall and Supervisors Umstattd and Saines to pass real protections for Loudoun residents,” said LCDC Chairwoman Lissa Savaglio.

In the last year, we have had multiple instances of stray shootings of occupied homes, including one that occurred during a baby shower last October. Yet as recently as February 2019, the Republican-led Board of Supervisors denied updating ordinances to match surrounding areas in Virginia because “it would be too expensive for homeowners,” even as law enforcement has been unable to charge anyone because the ordinances are inappropriate.

It is abundantly clear why the GOP refuses to update out-of-date ordinances; they care more about what the NRA wants than what will make Loudoun residents safer. Why do they follow the NRA’s lead? Perhaps it has something to do with the $215,000 the NRA has given to VA GOP leadership in 2019 alone.

Today we call on all elected officials in Loudoun County to work together to update our local ordinances and better protect our children, families, and community.

LCDC Statement on Trump’s Racism

With a president who prides himself on being controversial, we realize we can’t respond to every tweet.  Besides being a waste of time, it would be impossible. But we also realize there are times when it’s important to stand up and speak out. This is one of those times.

Let us be clear when we say that racism is an evil that divides our nation and makes us vulnerable to internal violence from white supremacists and external threats.  This vulnerability played out in real-time on the morning of Aug. 3 in El Paso, Texas.

Over the past two years, Loudoun County Democratic Committee members traveled to Charlottesville to face off against the KKK; we met with Delores Huerta to discuss the plight of the undocumented and abused workers; we protested at Dulles Airport in opposition to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban; and we regularly protest at his local golf course.  Those are just a few of the many ways we have demonstrated our collective outrage of his racist actions, policies, and comments. As a committee, we want to do more.

Just as we have many members who were born, raised and continue to live right here in Loudoun, many of our members were born abroad or have lived in other countries.  Many of our members have served as diplomats or soldiers. Collectively, these experiences have helped us understand that our county and country are great – not because we are a territory with strong borders and a massive military, but because we are a county and country made up of different cultures, languages, religions, and ideologies. Our diversity is what makes us great.

Over the past several weeks, the president has used the word “invasion” in more than 2,000 ads on Facebook and countless other media outlets. The use of that word is intentional. Its connotation directly contributes to the escalation in violence toward minorities. This is identical to language and context used in the manifesto written by the El Paso shooter.  As recently as August 9, his campaign doubled down and stated they would continue with the ad campaign. These words, in the context in which both the shooter and the president used them, are racist.

President Trump’s recent attacks on the city of Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings are an assault on every African-American and minority in this country from Loudoun and Baltimore to Chicago and beyond.  These attacks were also racist.

Unfortunately, over the past two and a half years, there are many more examples we can point to. His inflammatory rhetoric has not only eroded the foundation of inclusion upon which this country was founded, it has weakened our economy and our standing on the world stage. Refusal to call out and denounce racism when and where it exists only serves to enable it.

Immigration formed this nation. Immigration grew and strengthened this nation. We are a nation defined by our diversity and a commitment to tolerance and inclusion. His recent acts are counter to what we believe is foundational to being American. We view these acts as not only racist but antithetical to what makes America great.

This statement by us is only the beginning.  In order to more effectively push back on this outrageous behavior, we need your support.  There are three key ways you can get involved:

VOTE: It’s not good enough to show up every four years.  It’s important to make your voice heard in every election, both primary and general, from town council to president.  On Nov. 5 you will have another opportunity to make a statement. We are going to resoundingly reject hate and racism with our votes.  We hope you will join us. You can view all of the candidates we have running for office on this page: Loudoun’s Local Democratic Candidates.

VOLUNTEER: If you can dream it, we need a volunteer to do it.  We have opportunities to canvass voters, make phone calls, hand out sample ballots, write postcards, and to support our candidates and our committee between now and November.

DONATE:  If you’re not able to volunteer your time, please consider donating money. Even a small gift helps.  A recurring gift of just $5 per month will help us reach 50 voters between now and November, and will help us combat racism on the state and local level. Donate Here!

Finally, we want the nation to hear us when we loudly and directly challenge the president to stop his racist attacks on people of color. Join us in making our voices heard through our actions. Vote with us for a more diverse, stronger America.

Republicans Switch Ashburn District Supervisor Candidate with Right-Wing Extremist

Contact: Lissa Savaglio
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Republicans Switch Ashburn District Supervisor Candidate with Right-Wing Extremist

Leesburg, VA, July 16, 2019 – The Loudoun County Republican Committee has proven how out of touch they are with voters by replacing Rich McMunn with former Supervisor Mick Staton for the Ashburn District Supervisor seat. Staton shares the same right-wing extremist values as his father-in-law Senator Dick Black.

Staton served on the Board of Supervisors from 2003-2007, at a time when reckless growth was approved – fueled by special interest donations and conflicts of interest, to such an extent that the FBI investigated the County.

In coordination with Senator Black, Mick Staton has lobbied against the ERA, against raising the minimum wage and protections for workers, against gun safety, and other core values a majority of Loudoun voters share.

This year when the School Board added a non-discrimination policy for LGBTQ students, Mick Staton, as an author on The Bull Elephant, wrote an article titled “Loudoun Schools Embrace Mental Illness.” (The Bull Elephant, February 28, 2019, This is one of several hate-filled blog posts on The Bull Elephant by Staton.

“Residents in Loudoun do not want someone who symbolizes divisiveness and hatred representing them,” stated Chair Lissa Savaglio, “Mick Staton shares the values of Senator Dick Black, Corey Stewart, and Delegate Dave LaRock. Loudoun deserves more in a representative and we will do better.”

Loudoun County Democrats Elect a New Chair and Vice-Chair

Contact: Lissa Savaglio
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Loudoun County Democrats Elect a New Chair and Vice-Chair

Leesburg, VA, July 12th, 2019 – At the Loudoun County Democratic Committee’s July membership meeting LCDC elected Chair Lissa Savaglio and Vice-Chair Rey Cheatham Banks. For the first time, LCDC will now have three women leading the Committee with Lissa and Rey joining Vice Chair Shelley Tamres and the other Officers. At a time when women are still fighting on local, state, and national levels for protections against domestic and sexual abuse, equal pay, and equal rights- LCDC’s women leaders are in touch with an energized base of the Democratic Party who are ready for major change in November.

“Democrats are poised to flip the General Assembly and Loudoun in November,” said Chair Savaglio, “Voters are frustrated and tired of backward thinking that doesn’t fund schools, doesn’t give equal protection to women, and doesn’t provide basic gun safety protections to families.”

“LCDC has a strong slate of nominated and endorsed candidates to compete across the board,” Vice-Chair Banks continued, “Our shared values and outreach into all communities across Loudoun County ensures we are in touch with voters and that extreme right values will not succeed.”

Vice-Chair Tamres stated, “I am thrilled to be joined by two other strong women leaders to lead this committee to win on November 5th.” David Bauer continues as Secretary and Robert Latham will continue as Treasurer of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee.

Statement on Rockwool Factory

Contact: Alfonso Nevarez
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Statement on Rockwool

Leesburg, VA, January 10th, 2019 – 33rd District House of Delegate candidate Mavis Taintor, Blue Ridge District Supervisor candidate Tia Walbridge, and the Loudoun County Democratic Committee have written a letter to Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring requesting intervention to protect Loudoun residents and agricultural businesses in Loudoun County from pollution coming from the Rockwool factory in West Virginia.

The new factory is a mere 8 miles from the Loudoun border. The residents of the Commonwealth have had no opportunity to give input on a factory that is likely to pour hundreds of tons of pollutants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide into our atmosphere annually.

“The health of our families should be the top priority, not the profit of a company. Residents are justifiably worried about the impacts to their lives, they want action from leaders in the community, and assurances of safety,” commented Mavis Taintor.

This region is home to a thriving small agribusiness community and a growing agri-tourism industry that ranked third in overall visits for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2017, welcoming more than 5 million visitors who spent $1.8 billion, an increase of 4.6% from the previous year. This region also supports 17,497 jobs, which in turn, generated more than $695 million in wages in 2017.

“Many farmers, both large and small in the region, who are raising families and crops that contribute to our community and our economy, will all be adversely affected by this factory opening on our doorstep. It’s important we address this issue now,” stated Tia Walbridge.

We commend the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for researching this issue of importance to Loudoun residents. Unfortunately, they found the County has no recourse. We are concerned about our water, our soil, and our children. As leaders and advocates for western Loudoun, we are asking Attorney General Mark Herring to step in and find a solution that protects our neighbors, our economy, and our environment.

Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment is the Right Thing To Do

Contact: Alfonso Nevarez
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment is the Right Thing To Do

Leesburg, VA, October 4th, 2018 – At the October 2, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting, several Republican Supervisors claimed: “partisan politics” when a vote to add the Equal Rights Amendment to Loudoun’s legislative agenda came before them for a second time. Although the 6-3 vote to reject inclusion of the ERA was split down party lines, the proposed constitutional amendment has widespread bipartisan support.

“The Equal Rights Amendment, which states that ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,’ is a necessary change to our constitution because America’s highest courts continue to be dominated by judges who are men,” said Alfonso Nevarez, Chair of the Loudoun County Democrats. “The persistent gender imbalance in our judicial system, along with the lack of explicit language in our constitution guaranteeing gender equality, sustains biased interpretations of the law which systematically deny the civil rights of people who have been discriminated against on account of their gender. Passing the ERA is long overdue, and it is the responsibility of every elected official to facilitate its passage.”

Historically, objections to passage of the ERA focused on preserving traditional gender roles, where everything from domestic responsibilities to career paths, and from attire to leisure activities, were strictly enforced along gender lines. In 2018, opponents of the ERA have a much harder time defining why they oppose it.

“The most common objection from opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment is that it is unnecessary,” Nevarez
continued, “To that, I ask, ‘Who is harmed by its passage?’ Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans support passage of an amendment that guarantees gender equality under the law. If anyone, Democrat or Republican, wants to oppose this change, they should be pressed to come up with something more articulate than dismissal of its necessity.”

Republicans on the Board of Supervisors have stated that the issue is one that is national in scope and that the County should focus on local issues exclusively. However, the issue of scope did not deter several of the Board’s current members from weighing in on the issue of immigration when they sought to direct the County’s staff to question the Federal Government’s unaccompanied minors policy in October of 2014.

“Supervisors Buona, Higgins, and Letourneau had no problem voting for a motion whose purpose was to launch a partisan debate over immigration when it suited their partisan bend. It is beyond hypocritical to oppose the inclusion of the ERA based on scope. Federal, state, local – we’re all impacted by gender discrimination. If they don’t like the ERA they should have the courage of their convictions to state what it is, precisely, that they don’t like about it.”