Core Values of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Democrats believe that the lives and concerns we share with our fellow Americans must be the cornerstone of democratically-elected governmental institutions at the local, state and national levels. These institutions, at their best, can be instrumental in sustaining and promoting opportunity, equality, freedom, and justice for all. Accordingly, Democrats share and actively protect these core values:

Democracy:
We believe that the people participating with equal voices in public decision-making are the fundamental source of legitimate government authority in a democracy.

Freedom:
We believe the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness means freedom from arbitrary government or economic power, and from unjust barriers to each person’s ability to live a productive, fulfilling life.

Equality:
We believe that every human being deserves to be treated equally, with dignity and respect regardless of national origin, religious belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, skin color, ethnicity, immigration or economic status.

Public Good:
We believe it is the responsibility of government at all levels to efficiently protect and promote the public good as determined by the people working through our democratic political institutions, and ensure that the economy creates enough jobs that provide a living wage for all.

Justice:
We believe government at all levels has an obligation to design and administer laws that apply equally to all, with concern for those at the margins of society.

Citizenship:
We believe an active, informed citizenry, supported by strong public schools, and informed by a free and responsible press, is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Government officials have an obligation to promote civic education and expand participation in public decision-making.

Natural Environment:
We believe the land, air, water, and other resources of the natural environment are the very conditions for the lives we share in common. We are the stewards of those resources for future generations.

Democratic Party of Virginia Unanimously Passes Resolutions in Support of 100% Clean Energy, Green New Deal, $15/Hour Minimum Wage

BlueVirginia, September 21st, 2019 – Great stuff; just three days after Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) Chair Susan Swecker announced that the party would no longer be taking campaign contributions from Dominion Energy or Appalachian Power, DPVA today unanimously passed resolutions endorsing the “Green New Deal Virginia” and a “net-zero carbon emissions” clean energy economy for Virginia by 2050. In addition, the DPVA unanimously passed a resolution in support of a $15/hour minimum wage for Virginians. Read the Article >>

Stray Bullet Incident

Contact: Lissa Savaglio
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee
Chair@Loudoundemocrats.org
571-278-7159

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
chair@loudoundemocrats.org
571.278.7159

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, http://thebullelephant.com/loudoun-schools-endorse-mental-illness/). 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
chair@loudoundemocrats.org
571.278.7159

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.

Resolution asking the Virginia Governor to affirm​ ​that transgender troops may serve openly in our National Guard, Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force

WHEREAS, On July 26, 2017, President Trump announced via Twitter that the United States government would reverse the existing policy of allowing transgender service members to serve openly in order to implement a ban on transgender people from serving in the United States Armed Forces;

WHEREAS, The Virginia Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia National Guard, Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force;

WHEREAS, The Trump Administration’s transgender military ban went into effect on April 12th, 2019 and military academies will begin to refuse transgender students in 2020;

WHEREAS, Transgender servicemembers have served openly since 2016, bravely defending our Nation with distinction while preserving unit cohesion and contributing to military readiness;

WHEREAS, A 2016 study by the RAND Corporation found that allowing transgender Americans to serve openly in the Armed Forces would ‘‘have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs’’ and ‘‘little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness or readiness’’;

WHEREAS, Thousands of transgender Americans currently serve actively in the Armed Forces and in the Reserves throughout all branches and military occupational specialties;

WHEREAS, The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and three former military Surgeons General each have affirmed the medical efficacy of transition-related care and have expressed opposition to President Trump’s discriminatory ban;

WHEREAS, The claims attempting to justify President Trump’s ban are based on flawed scientific and medical assertions;

WHEREAS, There is a global medical consensus that transition-related care is effective, safe, and reliable;

WHEREAS, All five military Chiefs of Staff have testified publicly that the existing policy has had no adverse effect on military readiness;

WHEREAS, At least 18 nations allow transgender people to serve openly and effectively in their armed forces;

WHEREAS, On August 1, 2017, fifty-six retired generals and admirals released a statement affirming, ‘‘This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy’’;

WHEREAS, Transgender members of the Armed Forces have fought in defense of our freedoms with honor and distinction since our Nation’s founding and have been bestowed with such commendations and awards as the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for their courage and sacrifices;

WHEREAS, President Trump’s ban on transgender members of the Armed Forces targets and stigmatizes an entire class of people;

WHEREAS, President Trump’s ban on transgender members of the Armed Forces would affect all transgender members of the Armed Forces and force them to serve under a policy that stigmatizes and devalues their contributions to our Nation’s defense;

WHEREAS, Six states (California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington) are allowing transgender troops to serve in the National Guard despite the Administration’s order.

RESOLVED, On this, the 6th day of June 2019, The Loudoun County Democratic Committee—
(1) strongly opposes President Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender members of the Armed Forces; and
(2) strongly urges Virginia Governor Ralph Northam affirm that transgender troops may serve openly in our National Guard, Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force.

Statement on Rockwool Factory

Contact: Alfonso Nevarez
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee
chair@loudoundemocrats.org
202.286.5096

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.

Resolution in Favor of Holding a Climate Debate

WHEREAS the climate crisis is real, is supported by scientific evidence, and is a threat to our planet and to our existence; and

WHEREAS our elected officials and other leaders have ignored the warnings of scientists for decades regarding the climate crisis; and

WHEREAS many communities are already suffering the effects of the climate crisis, including flooding, forest fires, droughts, more intense storms causing more extensive damage, sea-level rise, and shifting of plant and animal ranges; and

WHEREAS we need to make drastic reductions in greenhouse gasses by 2030, and the longer we wait, the harder the solutions become to implement, and yet emissions are still going up; and

WHEREAS we are still building new fossil fuel infrastructure and giving special tax treatment to fossil fuel companies, despite the fact that renewables pricing is now competitive with fossil fuels; and

WHEREAS the 2016 presidential election debates essentially ignored climate, and the first Democratic debates for 2020 seem to be following in this vein, having spent just 13 minutes over the two nights/4 hours, and only 10 of the 20 candidates were able to respond; and

WHEREAS the adverse effects of the climate crisis have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable members of society; and

WHEREAS the climate crisis affects just about every aspect of our economy, including energy usage, transportation, building construction, food production, availability of potable water, and therefore cannot be equated with a single issue; the impact of the climate crisis is too broad and the issue is too complicated to be properly addressed in a couple of debate questions; and

WHEREAS at least twenty Democratic presidential candidates and a strong majority of Democratic voters support having a debate on climate change; and

WHEREAS the candidates have proposed a broad range of solutions to the climate crisis, and a discussion is needed to highlight the differences in each candidate’s approach; and

WHEREAS American voters deserve to hear from the candidates who are asking for their votes to lead our country as to how they would address this overarching crisis; therefore

RESOLVED on the first day of August, 2019, the Loudoun County Democratic Committee joins the Sunrise Movement and other activists in calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to host a presidential primary debate that is wholly about the climate crisis in all its aspects, and urges in the strongest possible terms that all DNC members, and in particular the Virginia delegation to the DNC, and all DNC Resolutions Committee members, to vote for and support a presidential primary climate debate.