So much has happened since the 2020 election. On the national level, we’re relieved that Democrats won the presidency and control of the U.S. Congress and that a certain level of sanity has been restored to our federal government. There’s a huge amount of work still to do, but those are victories worth celebrating!
In the Mon County election, Democrats also did well, electing Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Danielle Walker, and John Williams to the West Virginia House of Delegates; Mike Caputo to the West Virginia State Senate; and more to county offices. Mon County Democrats continue to stand strong.
But overall, sadly, the West Virginia election results were dismal. Republicans won all the Congressional and statewide offices and a super-majority in the legislature. Democrats in our state face a daunting, uphill climb.
Following the election, our Democratic Executive Committee made some leadership changes. Shane Assadzandi was elected to serve as chair after Kathleen Abate stepped down from the role last fall. Kathleen remains an active committee member. Here are a few words from our new chair:
“I want to thank Chairwoman Abate for her work leading the committee over the past two years, and her decades of support for our candidates and our state,” Assadzandi said. “We will continue to benefit from her work and her knowledge as we move forward.”
Rachel Byrne was elected to serve as our new vice chair, saying, “It’s more important than ever to reach out to our community and work to build our base. We suffered some huge losses around the state and it’s clear that we have a lot of work to do over the next few years.”
Democratic Legislative Action Workgroup (DLAW)
The legislative session is under way at the Capitol in Charleston, and Mon County Democrats has formed a Democratic Legislative Action Workgroup (DLAW) to support our legislators and Democratic initiatives. We can’t afford to not be involved.
While Republicans hold the majority, Democratic legislators, including our county delegation, are taking active roles in leadership and policy development. They are also making their voices heard on GOP proposals to weaken the state’s educational system, dismantle health protections, and pass other regressive laws.
To help you keep up with what’s happening in the legislature, each day DLAW is posting an updated list of what’s happening at the legislature on our website – http://moncountydems.org. Check the site daily to see what committees are meeting, what bills are being discussed, etc. We expect the session to move quickly, so stay informed.
Follow our legislators
Another way to keep up with the ever-changing situation in Charleston is to follow our legislators on social media. The Legislature is operating under COVID procedures that make in-person participation difficult, so follow our representatives online for alerts and tips on how to be involved.
Delegate Danielle Walker
is on the Education Committee. She regularly goes live on Facebook
Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer
notes that citizens can view copies of all bills on the WV Legislature’s website, www.wvlegislature.gov. She’s invited constituents to visit the Capitol – but reminds us that access is by appointment only – contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll notify the Capitol Police who will let you in.
Some other key legislative links:
Other sources of information about what’s happening at the legislature include:
House Minority office: https://www.facebook.com/wvhouseminorityoffice
House Democrats: https://www.facebook.com/WVhousedems
Senate Democrats: https://www.facebook.com/wvsenatedemocrats/
In Other News
Morgantown City Council Election
For voters in the city of Morgantown, the nonpartisan City Council election is coming up very soon. Here are the important dates:
Mar. 2 – Drawing for Ballot Positions
Apr. 6 – Voter Registration Deadline
Apr. 14 – 24 – Early Voting
Apr. 27 – Election Day
Most of the information on this election is on the City website at http://morgantownwv.gov/157/Election-Information
Absentee voting – Applications for absentee ballots can be found at https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/AbsenteeVotingInformation.aspx. Read the instructions carefully. If you have not voted in West Virginia before, you may need to attach a copy of your driver’s license or other identity verification to the application.
To vote absentee, you must fill in and sign this form – https://sos.wv.gov/FormSearch/Elections/Voter/Absentee%20Ballot%20Application.pdf.
Then, mail the form to:
Morgantown City Clerk
389 Spruce Street
Morgantown, WV 26505.
As Mon County Democrats, one of our main goals this year is to identify new members and leaders in our community to help us strengthen our work at the county and state level, and to get organized and activated for the 2022 election, when we expect continuing challenges.
Here are some ways you can help:
Attend a monthly meeting – Our monthly meeting (on the second Monday of every month) is open to all Democrats and friends. These days, the meetings are held on Zoom, but you can also join by phone. The next meeting is Monday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. To receive the login information for the meeting, email email@example.com.
Join a subcommittee
Monthly meetings are where we set priorities and report to each other on the work we’re doing, but much of our actual work happens in various subcommittees, and those subcommittees need your energy and talents. All are welcome. Join one of our teams today!
Democratic Legislative Action Committee (DLAW)
See above in legislative update, and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Community Service Committee
Our Community Service Committee focuses on supporting our neighbors in need, cleaning up our roadways, and otherwise serving the community. This committee currently needs new leadership and members to set priorities and make them happen. Email email@example.com.
Organizing costs money, and although we don’t have another election for a year, we still need funds to carry out our work. Do you have talents in this area that you’d like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications Committee – Our dynamic and active communications team coordinates social media posts, our website, email announcements (including this newsletter!), press releases, and more! Do you have talents in strategic communications, writing, graphic or web design, email newsletters, etc.? Our Communications Committee is great but more hands are always welcome (and this newsletter editor wouldn’t mind retiring)! Email email@example.com
Next meeting – Our next monthly meeting is Monday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. If you received by newsletter by email, you’re on our mailing list and will receive an invitation a few days before the meeting. If you’re not on our list, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the meeting login information.