Dec 14, 2023

Thoughts and an Ask as We Close 2023

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by Joel McDonald, Chairperson

As we celebrate the Holiday Season and bring 2023 to a close, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a few thoughts, and make an ask of you, as chairperson of LGBT+ Democrats of Virginia.

It’s been quite the year as we battled for the soul of the Commonwealth. Maintaining Democratic leadership over the Virginia Senate was critical in continuing to thwart the efforts of Glenn Youngkin to delegitimize, demonize, and restrict freedoms of individuals who don’t share his right-wing ideology. We did more than maintain control of the Virginia Senate. We won control of the Virginia House of Delegates as well.

I am so amazed by, and grateful for, the work of the candidates, campaigns, volunteers, and supporters who worked together, at all levels, to keep Virginia from becoming just another regressive southern state. I’m especially proud of our LGBT+ candidates who won their elections to the General Assembly, including State Senator-elect Danica Roem who served as Virginia’s first openly transgender state delegate, and will serve as our first openly transgender state senator. I am thrilled that we will have the continued representation of Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegates Mark Sickles, Kelly Fowler, Marcia Price, and Joshua Cole. I am excited to have Adele McClure, Rozia Henson, and Laura Cohen joining the House of Delegates. Our community will have strong representation in next year’s General Assembly session and beyond as a result of this year’s election.

I am also grateful for many other LGBT+ candidates and allies who ran in races at all levels of government. Thank You.

As we have for many years now, LGBT+ Democrats of Virginia provided the opportunity for all Democrats running in the general election to earn our endorsement to signal to equality-minded voters that their campaign was worthy of support. We updated our endorsement questionnaire to be responsive to far-right attacks on our community. We crisscrossed the Commonwealth to represent Democrats at Pride events throughout Virginia, registering new voters and connecting potential volunteers to local Democratic committees and campaigns.

Our Executive Board has been discussing how we can better support the candidates we endorse, and how we can more effectively organize ourselves across the Commonwealth to ensure LGBT+ Democrats continue to have a voice and impact on the Democratic Party and elections. This is important work, and this brings me to my ask…

Using this link, you can complete a brief survey about our efforts. Please take a few moments to complete the survey. Your responses will assist us in organizing our efforts in 2024 and beyond.

I wish you a Joyful Holiday Season and the Happiest of New Years.