Dec 22, 2022

An Almost Return to Normal in 2022, the Work for Equal Rights and Protection Continues

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by Maggie Sacra

When I sat down a few days ago to write this letter, I looked at letters from the past. I read through them thinking how different our 2022 was from our 2019, 2020, and 2021. So many things have changed in our lives over the past few years. Now that things are getting back to ‘normal’, with the exception of continuing vaccinations and recommendations of when and where to continue to mask, we have almost completely gotten back to our previous activities. Hopefully, by next year we will be back to pre-pandemic schedules and events!

As you know, this year was a huge election year, and I can’t say how glad I am that for the first time since 1934, the President in power did not lose one Senate seat in the election. This historic year will allow the Democratic Party to control the Senate, including the placement of people on committees and judicial appointments. We did not fare as well in the House, but we still lost way less seats than was expected in a mid-term election for a first-term president. We will have many fights ahead as the Republican Party wastes time holding hearings over Hunter Biden’s laptop, or other inconsequential things, while the American people’s time and money are wasted with their inaction and pettiness, but we should be able to get some legislation through even with the loss of the House.

We did have some bad news, though, as we lost a huge supporter of the LGBT+ Democrats of Virginia just this month when Congressman A. Donald McEachin passed away. Even though many of us knew that he had been battling colorectal cancer and the terrible side effects of the treatment for years, it still caught most of us by surprise as he had only been elected a few short weeks before. Maintaining this seat is something I know he would want all of us to fight to do, even as we are still struggling with the great loss and void that his absence will leave for so many of us. He was a true champion of this caucus and helped us work through the steps to get approved as the official LGBT+ Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia over a decade ago. His support will always be a part of this organization, and we are forever indebted. When we had our last Equality Breakfast, we were finally able to honor the Congressman with our Political Leadership Award, and it was very overdue and very deserved. Thank you again to a great friend, a ”gentle giant,” and steadfast supporter! You will always be a part of our caucus and our hearts!

In 2022, our work almost got back to normal and included fundraising for candidates, door knocking, phone calling, voter registration, education, and more! Here are just a few things that we did in 2022 with your help:

  • We raised thousands of dollars for great candidates. We held a fundraiser in Arlington to raise money for Congresswoman Luria and Congresswoman Spanberger. It was a great event that we held with the Veterans and Military Families Caucus, and we greatly appreciate all who came and gave.
  • We endorsed a number of candidates at varying levels! This included all of our incumbent Congressional representatives and a number of other candidates from Congress down to City Council and School Board.
  • We knocked doors across the Commonwealth to support candidates. We did multiple canvassing and phone calling activities for Congresswoman Luria and Congresswoman Spanberger throughout the election season from June until Election Day. We were very happy to be able to partner with the Veterans and Military Families Caucus and the Asian American Caucus for some of these events.
  • We attended over a dozen Prides, festivals, fairs, and extravaganzas across the Commonwealth. We spread the word about our great candidates, registering voters, and educating folks about LGBT+ issues and concerns. We attended events in every corner of the Commonwealth from April until late October, and hope that 2023 will allow us to attend more.
  • We ran the State Fair booth for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Again, this year we brought committees from across Central Virginia together to fund and staff the State Fair booth. For all 10 days of the fair at least one member of our Board was present at the booth registering voters and talking about our great Democratic candidates!

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 2023! You can become a member or donate. Our Board elections are coming up in 2023, so be sure to renew your membership by 12/31/22 at midnight so that you can participate in the election. Thanks again, and have a wonderful Holiday Season and an outstanding New Year!

Maggie Sacra
LGBT Democrats of Virginia