When I sat down a few days ago to write this letter, I opened the letter I wrote last year. I read through it thinking how different our 2020 was from our 2019. So many things have changed in our lives. Last year we all were planning our holiday travel plans, visiting with family and friends, going to parties and festivities, and rushing around for last minute gifts. This year we are social distancing, Zooming, determining if our masks are N95, and thinking about whether we should buy a festive color face shield. Many of us, if we are lucky, have been working from home for months. Some of us have lost jobs or had hours reduced, and unfortunately so many Americans have gotten sick with COVID-19, and sadly too many have died.
This year has been described as a dumpster (or Trumpster) fire by many. It has certainly been anything but typical. We have positive things to be grateful for though. Some of us are excited about having more family time, working from home in sweatpants (or no pants), or getting time to Netflix and chill. One thing I am thrilled about is that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are our president-elect and vice-president elect! In just a bit over a month we will say goodbye to the utter failure of the Trump presidency and get to inaugurate intelligent, steady, thoughtful leadership. Collectively we will be able to breath again and sleep well knowing that Uncle Joe and Mamala are working for all Americans. I can hardly wait!
This year has been a challenging one for politicians and staff. Our normal operations have all been turned upside down. That was really evident when I looked at last year’s letter. I realized that almost nothing we normally do during a year, including upwards of 40 live events, door knocking, or live fundraisers happened this year. Our entire outlook on the year changed dramatically overnight, and like everyone in politics, our way of doing things had to change dramatically too. Just like everyone receiving this had to rethink their lives, our Board had to rethink what we would do to make this year successful. I am very proud of the Board and the amazing work that we were able to complete in a very difficult year!
- Our already scheduled Spring fundraiser for Congresswoman Spanberger shifted from a golf course view to a Zoom view, but we still helped her raise almost $10,000.
- Instead of door knocking, we shifted to virtually training Biden volunteers. Over a period from June 1 through October 31, we trained new volunteers four times a week for a total of 843 volunteers, who conservatively would have made 50,000 calls after training.
- We joined with Beyond Arlington to make calls for Congressional candidates twice a week to add even more calls to the total.
- When the pandemic slowed in the summer and early fall, our volunteers hit the streets in masks and practiced social distancing to drop candidate literature at doors in the 2nd and 7th districts.
- Other volunteers focused on work at Black Lives Matter marches and safely registered at least 700 voters.
- Some other members took on postcard writing to motivate voters across the state and beyond.
- Knowing that our voice had to reach out in a different way we also started a new Instagram page and focused on connecting to LGBT+ people from ages 14 – 25 in order to bring up a new generation of excited volunteers and voters. In a few short months of operation, we now have 2,665+ followers.
- We also reinvigorated our efforts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as working to refresh our webpage to connect more with all ages.
I could not be prouder of the pivot that our often very hands-on face-to-face group has done at this difficult time and I just wanted to brag a bit about them, including our two member Electors that will get to cast their votes for Biden/Harris. The LGBT+ Democrats of Virginia didn’t miss a beat. Thank you to everyone that helped!
Thank you! Without your help none of this work could have been possible! We hope that you will be there to support us again in 2021! You can become a member, renew your membership, or donate at our website found at https://lgbtvadem.org/ or directly at ActBlue located at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/lgbt-democrats-of-va-1.
Don’t forget elections for officers occur in 2021 and you will need to be a member by December 31, 2020 to participate.
Thanks for all you do to support us and make us successful!