Trust Women, Respect Choice

Just a quick update: the Trust Women, Respect Choice license plate pre-orders are being delivered now! New orders should be available through the DMV within a few weeks, maybe as soon as December 1.

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Legislative Task Force Meeting & Priorities Survey

England Run Branch LibraryYou are invited to Virginia NOW’s annual Legislative Task Force meeting on Saturday, December 4th. We’ll have a great time discussing the issues we care about and our plans for the coming Virginia legislative session.

To help get us ready, please spend a few minutes filling out our online survey. Even if you can’t join us at the Task Force meeting, the survey is important in charting our course. Your responses will help determine the issues that Virginia NOW will focus on in the coming session of the General Assembly.

Virginia NOW Legislative Task Force
Saturday, December 4th, 2010
11 am – 3 pm, delicious lunch included
England Run Branch Library
806 Lyons Blvd, Fredericksburg

To help us plan, please RSVP to Marj Signer or respond on our Facebook event. You can RSVP on Facebook if you are attending OR if you complete the survey.

Directions to England Run Branch Library from I-95:

* Exit I-95 at exit 133B to merge onto US-17/Warrenton Rd toward Warrenton.
* Follow US-17 for about 1.4 miles, then turn right at Plantation Drive.
* Continue on Plantation Drive for about 1 mile, then turn left on Lyons Blvd.
* Turn left into the library parking lot.

The Election is Over, Time to Get to Work

Rosie the RiveterBy Diana Egozcue, Virginia NOW President

The election is over, and we have a lot of work to do. There will be fewer women of both parties in the United States Congress–the first time in 32 years that female representation has fallen. Before this election, we were tied with Turkmenistan and ranked behind 88 other countries for female legislative representation. What a giant shame!

Obviously, both parties are not recruiting women or supporting women as they should. In 2008, 57% of women voters supported the Democratic party, and we have to make ourselves heard. Unfortunately, too many women feel they are not qualified or don’t have the money to run for office. When men are asked to run, they immediately say “Yes” and then “Where’s the money?” Do you know that women control a lot of the money in the U.S.? I wonder all the time what we are waiting for…directions from someone else? From on high? Why not from ourselves? Stop being afraid and know that women, as a group, are more informed because we care about our families’ welfare and other people. That’s who we are. It’s time to WOMAN UP!

Virginia NOW is stepping up to the plate in January. We are getting the Equal Rights Amendment introduced in the Legislature again after more than 20 years. Yes, the original ERA is alive and well! This where we step forward together and make our voices heard. Together, we will send e-mails, lobby state senators and representatives, and write letters and newspapers in support. Women can demand civil rights under the Constitution, and men can demand those rights for mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and grand-daughters. Put January and February on your calendar…more information will come as the time approaches. Don’t sit on the side lines because this will be a hard fight. Gov. McDonnell campaigned saying he believed in women’s rights, and now he can prove it.

Vote for Jim Moran & Krystal Ball

I VotedThe National NOW PAC urges NOW members in the 1st congressional district to vote for candidate Krystal Ball and in the 8th congressional district to vote for incumbent Representative Jim Moran. Virginia NOW PAC is convinced that these candidates are solidly supportive of NOW’s key issues and can be counted on to work actively to pass laws that promote women’s equality. Election Day is November 2.

Jim Moran has served the 8th district since 1991. His opponent, Republican Patrick Murray, moved to the district little more than a year ago and does not support our issues. He has called Roe v. Wade “…the worse decision ever handed down by the Supreme Court.” He pledged to repeal health care reform, supports Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and attacked his primary opponent for supporting gay rights. Moran has always supported a woman’s right to choose, opposes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, worked to pass health care reform, and supports fiscally responsible and tax policy. See Moran’s voting record.

Krystal Ball, a certified public accountant (CPA), has focused on building healthy communities through economic prosperity, an educated citizenry, and a safe, healthy environment. She is an entrepreneur and a mother who is very knowledgeable about issues of concern to NOW members. Her opponent Rob Wittman has consistently received a 0 rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America because he has NEVER voted in favor reproductive rights. See Wittman’s voting record.

The 8th Congressional District includes: Arlington County, parts of Fairfax County, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church.

The 1st Congressional District includes: the cities of entirety of: Fredericksburg, Poquoson and Williamsburg and the counties of Charles City, Essex, Fauquier, Gloucester, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland, and York and portions of Hampton and Newport News.

You can find complete voting and election day information at the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Love Your Body Day is Wednesday October 20

Love Your Body Day

2010 Winning Poster by Sarah Neuser

Since 1998, NOW’s Love Your Body campaign has fought back against unrealistic beauty standards, gender stereotypes, and harmful images from media and advertisers with a simple but powerful message to women and girls: Love Your Body. Today, in honor of Love Your Body Day, Virginia NOW is proud to announce our support of the 1st Annual Williamsburg NEDA 5K Walk/Fun Run.

The NEDA Walk, which will be held at the College of William & Mary on Saturday, October 30, 2010, will increase eating disorder awareness and raise funds for The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), a non-profit dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

We’d love to have you join us in Williamsburg. Virginia NOW officers and members from the Tidewater Chapter will be on hand to help with the event and table our booth. For details, contact Diana Egozcue.

Can’t come? Sponsor the walk with a tax-deductible donation. The NEDA Walk has raised more than $13,000, but they’re still short of their $20,000 goal. Your donation could make the difference.

Virginia NOW would also like to congratulate Emily McMillen and the Student Cares Team at William & Mary for organizing this event–which promises to be fun and inspirational—while helping young women to LOVE YOUR BODY.

Krystal Ball- Not Tarnished by Wittman’s Dirty Politics

By Diana Egozcue, Virginia NOW President

Krystal Ball is the perfect example of a young woman whom you would want as a member of Congress. She is smart with a capital S, approachable, savvy, an entrepreneur, a mother, and very knowledgeable about issues concerning Virginia and the United States. But in politics the operative word is WOMAN. The Republicans have put up a record number of women for office and called this year the year of the woman in politics, but these women do not represent the ideas or issues of feminists. Sarah Palin has co-opted the word feminist, but has no idea what the word means. Krystal Ball does.

Krystal’s opponent in the 1st Congressional District, Rob Wittman, has decided to play dirty politics. The photos of Krystal that were posted on a far right blog were private pictures from a party she attended with her then-husband. Many of us have done things when we were younger that we’d just as soon forget. We should not have to defend Krystal.

Why is it that women candidates have to be as pure as the driven snow to run for office? You have to wonder what pictures like these would have done to Rob Wittman. I would guess back slapping and wink wink from men. What is it that allows senators from Louisiana and Nevada to get away with paying prostitutes and mistresses with no outcry from the Republican party? They cried foul when Republican Nicky Haley was accused of having affairs and when Republican Meg Whitman was called a whore for taking bribes from the police fund, but then they turn around and call Krystal Ball a whore.

Krystal represents TRUE feminists in Virginia and women everywhere who want the U.S. to become more like the democracy we profess to be. If we are true feminists we need to support our women candidates with time and money and to be activists wherever we’re needed. Sitting home and being angry does no good. We need to enlist people to protest the inequality around us and demand our rights as women. Krystal Ball will be my congresswoman because I know she’s the right choice, and I will be proud to have the youngest woman in Congress bringing new ideas to Virginia. Lord knows we need them since our national image is that of Neanderthals!

Redefining the F-Word: Thursday, Oct 14 – Busboys & Poets, Shirlington

On Thursday, Oct 14th, 7-9 pm, Virginia NOW, in collaboration with the NOVA Women’s Center, presents The F-Word (Feminist) Happy Hour Fundraiser, featuring the fun and insightful documentary, “I Was a Teenage Feminist” (film starts at 7:30pm).

We’ll be at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington, 4251 South Campbell Avenue, Arlington.

We’ve lined up some great raffle prizes for you:

It’s all for two very good causes: Courtney’s House – for survivors of domestic sex trafficking – and The Women’s Center Emergency Fund at Northern Virginia Community College. You’ll have a chance to meet representatives from both organizations and learn about the work they do in our community.

RSVPs are not necessary, but they are much appreciated. So please RSVP at the Virginia NOW page on Facebook (and become a fan of our page while you’re there). The suggested donation at the door is only $10.