October 2009 Insider
WIN is in full swing this Fall! As
the weather cools down, the Virginia races are heating up. Read below
to see how WIN is doing her part to keep Virginia blue, and how you can
Note from the Chair...
I love Fall! This October, WIN's Networks are hosting three fun Fall-inspired events: apple picking with the Travel and HWR Networks, a ghost tour with the Arts and Culture Network, and a Halloween-esque Book Group selection of Pride, Predjudice, and Zombies. And with Halloween only two weeks away, its time to start the ever-important costume-planning process.
I actually have a scary-costume suggestion for you: be Bob McDonnell as Governor as Virginia. That scares me far more than fictional flesh-eating zombies. With everything going on nationally right now, it's easy to forget that a critical election is taking place right here in our own backyard.
As a quick reminder, McDonnell's 1989 graduate thesis contained extremely conservative views about working women, feminism, and homosexuality. Specifically, he writes that working women and feminists are "detrimental" to the family, that government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators," and the Supreme Court's legalization of contraception by unmarried couples was "illogical."
What's worse is that right now, the Democratic candidate, Creigh Deeds, trails McDonnell by seven percentage points among likely voters. Seven.
So what is WIN doing? Under the leadership of Caitlin Horrigan, WIN's Political Director, and Carly Katz, Chair of our VA is for WINners GOTV initiative, we've got three big efforts already underway:
- Phone Banking. VA is for WINners has teamed up with NARAL and Planned Parenthood to phone bank, with more events on the way.
- Party for Progressives: Keep VA Blue at Current on October 22nd. We're teaming up with eight different Democratic organizations in DC to rally supporters for two big weekends of canvassing in Virginia.
- Two "Keep VA Blue" Canvasses. WIN is headed to VA for two big weekends of canvassing. Please join us!
Alayna Buckner, 2009 - 2010 Chair
Virginia is for WINners is Going Strong! Come Join Us!
At the first WIN phone bank with NARAL Virginia, 6 WINners teamed up with 4 NARAL-VA volunteers to call a grand total of 866 voters; ID 40 new pro-choice voters; ID 29 new voters supporting the Democratic House of Delegates candidate, Stevens Miller (D-VA-86). We found 26 new voters that we can persuade to vote Democratic. It was a great start to VA is for WINners.
At the second phone bank, we partnered with Planned Parenthood and five WINners and two Planned Parenthood staffers made a total of 862 calls and identified 102 supporters of Creigh Deeds for Governor and Greg Werkheiser for Delegate.
Do you want to help out? Our next event (after the big Happy Hour on October 22nd) is a canvass on October 24 for the entire coordinated campaign: Deeds for Governor, Jody Wagner for Lieutenant Governor, and Steve Shannon for Attorney General. We'll knock doors in Falls Church in the afternoon, followed by a debrief and relaxation over drinks. Don't worry if you've never knocked doors before-- it's a great way to enjoy the fall weather, and we'll provide all the training you need!
Lastly, look out for our additional upcoming events, including our Election Day Weekend final push: a Get Out The Vote canvass on 10/31, a House Party/GOTV Phone Bank on 11/2, and an Election Night Watch Party on 11/3.
PDS Kicks Off with Communications Workshop
new Professional Development Series kicked off this month with a
workshop from the WINning Communications track, titled "Working with
the Media." Guest speaker Carolyn Fiddler, Director of External Affairs
for Media Matters for America, provided valuable tips on how to write a
short, effective press release and the best way to pitch reporters.
The next PDS workshop, "Move, Shake and Succeed in DC" will be co-sponsored by the WINning Professionally track and the Government Relations network on Wednesday, October 14th. Click here for more information on the PDS and upcoming workshops.
Vaishalee Yeldani, 2010 YWA Chair
Chicago native Vaishalee Yeldani joined WIN in July 2008 after hearing being encouraged to do so by her friend and colleague, Political Director Caitlin Horrigan. It wasn't long before Vaishalee joined the 2009 YWA leadership team as a Fundraising Coordinator. She enjoyed the experience so much that she also served on the 2009 WODW team as the Keynote Speaker/Volunteer coordinator.
Vaishalee says her most rewarding WIN experience has been giving back to new WIN members by helping them get involved in leadership opportunities and pointing them to helpful resources. "I know that I was helped immensely by WINners who wanted to see me and other members succeed, and I hope to be able to do the same for my fellow WINners," says Vaishalee.
with being a pro-choice, Democratic woman, Vaishalee also enjoys
watching all Chicago sports, exploring the neighborhoods of DC, and
volunteering at Georgetown University Hospital's pediatric intensive
Vaishalee received a B.A. in Government from Cornell University and a M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. She is presently an External Affairs Associate with the Center for Progressive Leadership, but will soon take on a new position as Staff Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin
Network Spotlight: Campaign Network
Network provides WIN members the opportunity to network with other
campaign professionals and to learn about Democratic, pro-choice
candidates, issues, and grassroots organizations. From social events
and panel discussions to career guidance and training programs, the
network works to engage WIN members to be part of the political process
by volunteering, supporting, working, and voting for pro-choice
Campaign network is partnering with VA is for WINners on a number of
activities and events leading up to this November's elections. Check
the WIN Events Calendar for details on upcoming events and GOTV opportunities; and contact Campaign network Co-Chairs Rachel Colyer and Melissa Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. AC Member Spotlight: Janette Hoston-Harris
The Campaign Network provides WIN members the opportunity to network with other campaign professionals and to learn about Democratic, pro-choice candidates, issues, and grassroots organizations. From social events and panel discussions to career guidance and training programs, the network works to engage WIN members to be part of the political process by volunteering, supporting, working, and voting for pro-choice Democratics.
The Campaign network is partnering with VA is for WINners on a number of activities and events leading up to this November's elections. Check the WIN Events Calendar for details on upcoming events and GOTV opportunities; and contact Campaign network Co-Chairs Rachel Colyer and Melissa Sullivan at email@example.com for more information.
AC Member Spotlight: Janette Hoston-Harris
AC Member Janette Hoston-Harris became an activist for civil rights at a young age. A native of Louisiana, she attended Southern University in Baton Rouge. When she attempted to desegregate a lunch counter in 1960, she was expelled from the university and prohibited from attending any school in the state of Louisiana.
Undeterred, Harris took her case challenging segregation to the Louisiana Supreme Court, while also completing her education at Central State University in Ohio. Her case eventually became part of a larger court challenge that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961. That case, Garner v. Louisiana, was argued and won by future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall in 1962.
Since living in Washington, Harris has served as a professor, consultant and public servant in District government. She was formerly Director of Educational Affairs and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations in the Mayor's office. In 1998, she was appointed as City Historian for Washington, DC, the first person to hold the post.
Harris continues to serve as City Historian and has been the recipient of numerous awards for her civic and educational commitment. In 2004, Harris, along with her fellow sit-in students, was invited back to Southern University to receive the degrees they were denied in 1960.