Jose Padua: Thank You for the Stars and All the Things That Slowly Drift Away in the Distance

Originally posted on Vox Populi:

When I gave the panhandler some spare change
he looked at me and said Thank You then he
looked at the person next to me and said
Thank You again. I was alone, at the time,
and this was thirty years ago, but ever since
that moment I’ve been waiting for the day
when I can see that other person beside me—
the person the panhandler said Thank You
to right after he thanked me. I know there
will be days ahead when I’ve taken a break
from knowing things. When things stop
coming to me and instead begin slipping away
like the sound of voices sliding through a city’s
blank spaces, or long goodbyes that never
seem to finish and never bring an end to things.
I think by then it will be good to see that person
no one else sees now. Because I’m sure that person

View original 46 more words

Virginia NOW ENDORSED Candidates 2015

Virginia NOW rarely endorses candidates in a primary election but this year is different. There are two outstanding women running for the General Assembly who deserve your support – and they need it now:

Julie Jakopic
  is running for delegate from the 45th delegate district (Alexandria and part of Arlington). 

Emily Francis
is running for the state senate from the 10th senate district (portions of Richmond and Chesterfield County along with Powhatan County).
Only 13% of the Virginia legislature is comprised of pro-choice women. No wonder the mandatory ultrasound bill sailed through and the ERA gets killed in committee. We need a legislature that represents US – more pro-choice, pro-ERA, pro-equality women.
Both Jakopic and Francis face well-funded opponents in their Democratic primaries. Elections are June 9 – so delaying is not an option. Go to their websites to learn why they deserve your support: and And then make a contribution to the VA NOW Political Action Committee and ask your friends to do the same.

Julie Jakopic

Julie Jakopic works tirelessly for women’s rights, mental health reform, quality education, and economic opportunity. She’s a leader with a clear vision who gets things done. She built a business. She’s led commissions and non-profit boards fighting for early childhood education, economic opportunity, social services, and housing. She’s forged coalitions by focusing on real needs.She has been endorsed by Delegate Rob Krupicka, the incumbent.

Emily Francis

Emily Francis has built her career fighting for what’s right. As one of Virginia’s leading conservationists, she worked with scientists to devise plans to protect the Chesapeake Bay and with non-profit organizations to preserve our treasured landscapes, strengthen public health standards and protect consumers’ rights. The daughter of a nurse, she is firmly committed to protecting women’s access to reproductive health care and has earned the endorsement of Emily’s List.



WHAT A DAY!! Over the weekend, Prince William County NOW celebrated their first anniversary with over 60 women and men in attendance! They collectively came together for the good of the cause, which is to support women and encourage them to lead! We are so proud of such an amazing, humbling and powerful day!

A big round of applause to PWC NOW’s President, Hala Ayala, whose incredible trailblazing continues to light the way!  Also a very special thank you to PWC NOW’s board members who made this remarkable event happen: Sadie Barrera Mike Beaty Nancy Waltz Michael Bizik and Ginger Maddamma Jabs, who graciously hosted the event in the courtesy of her beautiful home!! You all rocked it!!!

Jeremy McPike, Debbie O’Day, Amy Laufer, Noah Kim, Rima Vesilind and Steven Hall at Celebration of our 1st Year-Women’s Leadership Luncheon. (Photo by Mike Beaty)

Hala Ayala at Celebration of our 1st Year-Women’s Leadership Luncheon. (Photo by Mike Beaty)

Kandy Hillard ROCKS IT! (Photo by Cydny A. Neville)

Amy Laufer, Jeremy McPike, Debbie O’Day, Noah Kim and Elizabeth Amy Miller at Celebration of our 1st Year-Women’s Leadership Luncheon. (Photo by Mike Beaty)

Hala Ayala and Amy Laufer (Photo by Cydny A. Neville)

Photo by Cydny A. Neville


Click HERE for more photos of the celebration!



Vive la feminine!

Paradise Kendra
Communications VP
Virginia NOW

Social Media and Issues Survey


Since we’re gathering this weekend, we thought we’d use this moment to ask you:

How do you want to engage with us? What issues are most important to you? What do you think about our social media strategies?

This survey takes about 5 minutes to fill out. Please, let us know what you’re thinking!

Not Only for Young Feminists Conference

Not Only for Young Feminists Conference.

Feminists of all generations are welcome and wanted!
Read on for details and an apology from your web editor for phrasing that was agist and exclusionary.

#VaYFCon2015 on a buget? Read on and join us!!

The Details :: Come for Free

First Come First Served 

For College/Graduate attendees on tight budgets:
3 rooms are available for free Friday andSaturday night to young feminists who need them. Rooms accommodate up to 4 guests.
10 conference registrations are available for free.
To register, please email Simone at to get your name on the sponsorship list. I will get your request recorded. Then, register at the link on the left, and mark Pay At The Door for payment. When the 10 registrations are taken, I will send another email with that announcement.
For the hotel rooms, email Simone at with your request. I will get your message to our president forthwith. Same here. When then hotel rooms are all taken, I let you know.
Announcements will also be made on our blog and other social media.
Again, you may register for one day, or two, or the whole conference. But register. We need Saturday lunch orders and a chair count!
Other fees can be found at the registration page, here. Full details at the webpage, here.
VA NOW is thankful for the members who donated these sponsorships. Your support for new generations of dedicated feminists is a great inspiration!!!
Come on over — or down, or up — to Richmond. Come for the whole meeting, or just the day that most interests you.
 Young Feminist Conference Logo
For women!
Simone Roberts
VA NOW Web Editor / Historian / ERA Coordinator

VA NOW Young Feminists Conference: Speakers Announced!

Simone Roberts:

This is going to rock. We’re so proud of the work Richmond NOW has done on this conference. They are an amazing crewe!

Originally posted on Virginia ERA Network:

SPEAKERS & PANELISTS  ::  Registration Extends to April 3  :: Sponsorships

About #VaYFCon2015
  1. Local organizing team. We are not pulling in national figureheads; we focus on change in communities can make, here and now.
  2. Many conferences are put on by groups who have already planned out everything and just need volunteers. Richmond NOW created these panels, found experts and professionals, and pulled together our personal hours, resources, and ideas. This is a community conference.
  3. The YFC recognizes and acts on the serious nature of intersectional oppression. Discussions and panels are specifically designed to check privileges of race, class, sexuality, and ability status, conciliate, and build towards our future feminist movement.

Saturday Keynote Speakers

Vida Williams
Managing Partner at The Axis Partners & Founder, GirlsFit! In Richmond, VA
Delegate Charniele Herring
46th VA House of Delegates District

Panels will invite discussion and collaboration. Opening remarks by…

View original 471 more words

Sponsorships for Young Feminists Conference, Hurray!

A Few Sponsorships with more on the way!
Tight budget? Generous long-time members of NOW in Virginia have offered to sponsor some rooms, and some fees. More may be on the way, but here’s what we have now:
  • 2 rooms are covered, rooms sleep  up to 4.
  • Student members of Women Matter at VCU, fees can be covered. Email Simone,,  and I’ll get you in touch with the donor.
  • A donation of $200 has been made for rooms or for fees.
  • More may be on the way, we are beating the bushes! I’ll keep you updated.
Again, this offer is for young feminists, on a tight budget (in school / underemployed).
To contact us about these sponsorships, email me at the address above (or just reply to this email). Let me know how to contact you, and I’ll get your request to the executives at VA NOW in charge of these sponsorships.
It’s late notice, I know, but we’re working on it!!
Hotel registration deadline
is tomorrow, March 27th! 
For the $119 price, 4 occupants.
You can still reserve a room after this date, but the conference price will expire on Friday.
We know many of our members are used to registering on arrival, since all our schedules are difficult to predict.

Please, don’t wait this time.
The planning and logistics of this conference are far more complicated than in recent years. For our planning purposes, having your name on the list early will help us a lot!

Address: 1021 Koger Center Blvd., Richmond, Va. 23235.

Mention that you are reserving as part of the Virginia National Organization for Women. Please be prepared to indicate the number and names of guests staying in your room.

Telephone: (804) 379-3800 or

Rooms: Rooms can be shared. All the rooms are doubles and allow up to 4 guests per room. $119 per night (Friday and Saturday). We have 40 rooms reserved for attendees.

Register NOW. Pay at the Door.Come for one day, or two, or three. 
Scaled fees to meet most needs.
Fun + Feminism = #VaYFCon2105
Film! Poetry! Music! 
Come for the fun, and stay for the knowledge.
Session Topics
Running for Office * Diversity in Queer Politics * Dismantling Privilege *
Cultural Competency in a Globalized Country * Advocacy 101 *
Communication in the Communication Era * Mental Health is Health – Period *
Fair Housing * Better Anti-Poverty Policy * Moms are Feminists Too *
Body Positivity
Please register before
March 30, 2015.
Come on over — or down, or up — to Richmond. Come for the whole meeting, or just the day that most interests you.
For women!
Simone Roberts
VA NOW Web Editor / Historian / ERA Coordinator
Happy Women’s History Month!!
Great Reading at Virginia NOW Online.

BIG!, HUGE!, ERA News Coming this Week

UpDate: Take backsies! The Big Huge ERA News is NOT NOT NOT Coming. Postponed. Indefinitely. Watch this space.

BIG!, HUGE!, ERA News Coming this Week.

Hop over the Virginia ERA Network Blog: Pay close attention to your feminist news feeds and sources on Wednesday, around 12:30 pm EDT or so. Maybe tune in to C-Span or MSNBC. You might have to hunt around. It is the ERA after all, and the mainstream press is not hot on that particular trail.

Training and Management Resources for Our Chapters

Every nonprofit and advocacy organization needs training. We have staff who need to refresh their tech skills or messaging approach. We have new staff who need to their way around, and fast. At live long last, the progressive community has its very own nonprofit training and management organization: The New Organizing Institute (
I attended a two day training in graphic design with them. The training was great. Instructors always moved from objectives to instruction and through to hands-on practice. They offered loads of one-on-one as needed. It was an intense two days, and as a total novice with Photoshop and Illustrator I had to learn fast, but all trainees are given access to the presentation slides, so it’s easy to go in and refresh or practice more later. Totally a +1 in my book.

The trainors they invite are at the top of their game. At least, they were for this graphic design module. Jessica Teal of a was the head of design for the Obama ‘08 campaing. She did nearly the whole first day on design basics. Revolution Messaging went into the deeper mysteries of the software. They’ve worked for Ultraviolet, Senator Cory Booker,, Run Warren Run, Emily’s List, and Lady Parts Justice. So, you’re learning from people of that caliber.
They two registration levels for those who are gainfully employed, depending on the size of your organization: big $800, and small $550. Since VA NOW is all volunteer, I got a scholarship. and we paid a much smaller fee. Worth it. The staff there have to make to a living, and the presenters are serious pros. Also, they feed you breakfast and snacks, and are very into building community and networking — they want to get to know you and for you to get to know others.

They offer free online training modules in the Toolbox on a range of essential topics:

⦁ Organizing And Leadership
⦁ Online Organizing
⦁ Data Management
⦁ Van
⦁ Campaign Management
⦁ Voter Registration
⦁ Voter Contact
⦁ For Trainers
⦁ Organizing Your Career
⦁ Election Administration

So, if you want to expand your skill set, or that of your group or chapter, here’s a good place to look.

Also, more.

Here’s a great article from Social Anarchism on dealing with interpersonal friction in your organizations. It will happen, and we all need bright-new-world strategies for dealing with it.

Lots of tips and advice from Grant Space on managing your organization’s board (executives or officers) and membership.

Blue Avocado is a blog and newsletter full of useful topics for people who run or work for nonprofits.

This Pintrest board is full of fun and non-food fundraising and fun-raising ideas. Money does make a difference.

Idealware is just one of many companies that offer lots of useful softward to help your officers and staff do the work.

Frankly, there is a ton of free advice out there on the ‘net. Go find more of what you need.

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