The 2018 Virginia legislative session is underway. The session only lasts 60 days, and ends March 10th. The Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox (R Colonial Heights), despite promising to institute proportional representation, has not kept his promise. The VA House Rules Committee, to which Delegate Cox can send any bill he chooses is dominated by Republican Delegates (11R-8D). This committee can (and probably will) kill all progressive legislation unless they hear from us. Similarly, the Virginia Senate continues to dominate the agenda, since it did NOT implement any changes to its lopsided control of all Senate committees.
We want our legislators to do the right thing and follow their moral compass. Do not lie, do not cheat, and do not play by unfair rules. Governor Ralph Northam spoke eloquently in his inaugural speech about the importance of having a moral compass.
Small Group Activity
Create a house party with the theme of THE MORAL COMPASS. The goal is to remind VA legislators that they should follow (or find) their Moral Compass. Do this for both your local Republican representatives and the GOP leadership as well as your local Democrats and the Democratic leadership.
- Buy some cheap compasses to mail to legislators. https://www.amazon.com/…/B005DS…/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_468_bs_t_1…
- Write letters and postcards targeted at GOP legislators, especially Speaker Kirk Cox who is killing bills in the partisan Rules committee of the House of Delegates. Write all of the GOP members of that committee. We want Cox and other to get flooded with mail containing compasses and notes about his moral compass (or lack thereof)
- Make some Posters on the Moral Compass theme for Democrats. Have your people sign the posters and write message of encouragement. Ask our friendly repesentatives to post the posters in the Capitol building, perhaps on their office doors. Also ask the to take pictures and post on twitter @steve_Landes @delterrygilgore @SpeakerCox #MoralCompass
- Social Media exposure
- Press. Take photos and send a press release to your press contacts.
- Energy for your group of activists!
The first 1-hour rally on the Moral Compass theme is taking place Thursday, January 25th in Richmond.
- Organize carpools to Richmond.
- Encourage activists in and around Richmond to attend
- Share it in social media
Ralph Northam on the Moral Compass
Here is what Governor Northam said in his inaugural speech. Speaker Kirk Cox was sitting just to Ralph’s left in his Morning Coat.
“I was blessed to grow up on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and to call it my home.
As a kid I spent hours behind our house, crabbing and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. To this day that is where I find peace.
When I was just old enough to take to the water myself, my dad helped me build a rowboat and launch it, with strict instructions: stay close to home.
As I grew and became more comfortable, I began to take longer trips away from the shore, until I was ready to head out into the open water.
I remember standing with my father as I prepared to embark, and like all good Dads, he knew I was nervous even before I did.
He said, Ralph, remember—when you get out there, you can always trust your compass.
If things get dark or foggy, if you can’t find your way—keep your eye on the compass.
It’ll always bring you home safely.
He was right about that compass.
As I got older and took various jobs on the water, working on a deep sea fishing boat and as the captain of a ferry to Tangier Island, I came to trust that compass to guide me when the way ahead was not clear.
My dad’s advice stayed with me when I reached the Virginia Military Institute and was given a different kind of compass, in the simple words of the VMI honor code:
“A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.”
Those words have stuck with me all these years because they’re so clear.
They have become a kind of moral compass for me.
They always call me back home safely.
Virginia and this country need that more than ever these days.
It can be hard to find our way in a time when there’s so much shouting,
when nasty, shallow tweets take the place of honest debate,
and when scoring political points gets in the way of dealing with real problems.
If you’ve felt that way, I want you to listen to me right now:
We are bigger than this.
We all have a moral compass deep in our hearts.
And it’s time to summon it again, because we have a lot of work to do.”