Charlottesville is the statewide headquarters of Virginia Organizing and also has an active local Chapter.
Local residents work on a variety of issues including immigration reform, budget and tax reform, health care reform, strengthening Social Security and Medicare and ending predatory lending — by civic engagement activities, constituent meetings with elected officials, public events, lobby days, phone banking and canvassing.
The Charlottesville/Albemarle Chapter famously fought for a living wage for city, county and UVA workers and continues to fight for local workers’ rights and social and economic justice issues, including a proposed Human Rights Commission in Charlottesville.
Virginia Organizing runs a major phone banking operation out of the Charlottesville office and welcomes volunteer phone bankers. Please contact Harold Folley at (434) 984-4655 x231 if you are interested in helping.
Since the office in Charlottesville also supports the growing field organizing staff across the state, we are looking for volunteers who want to provide additional support with database management, copying, mailings, and other tasks. Retirees are welcome, as are interns, community service volunteers (through the Offender Aid Restoration program) and the the Department of Social Services job training programs. Please contact Michele Mattioli at (434) 984-4655 x223.
Virginia Organizing also supports dozens of smaller organizations through its “Joint Plan of Work” program; we accept grants and donations on their behalf and provide administrative, bookkeeping and support services. Many organizations from Charlottesville take advantage of this program including Camping for All, Community Bikes, Community Action on Obesity, HYPE, and Open Source Computer Recycling, to name some.
Danville Virginia Organizing leaders have begun working on education justice issues and examining the racial disparities in advanced placement classes.
The Chapter has been working with local community members to bring attention to the need for jobs in the area and call for the creation of a Community Jobs Program. Members have held information sessions, planning meetings and attended city council meetings, all the while bringing new people into the group and spreading the word around town.
The Chapter has also committed to working to bring information to returning citizens about restoration of voting rights.
The Fredericksburg Chapter is actively engaged in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline by reducing suspensions and referrals to law enforcement. They have met with local school officials and attended school board meetings to raise awareness and take action. Fredericksburg residents are continuing to push a large railroad companies — and the local city and county governments — to stop storing toxic chemicals in their residential neighborhood. Many letters to the editor have been printed in the local paper, and Virginia Organizing members are planning community meetings and actions aimed at stopping the dangerous practices of the railroad company.
Virginia Organizing Martinsville-Henry County was formed in early 2012.
The Martinsville-Henry County Chapter is working on health care reform, education issues, jobs and unemployment issues, and budget and tax reform.
South Hampton Roads
The South Hampton Roads Chapter of Virginia Organizing meets every other month at 7 p.m. at Thalia United Methodist Church, 4321 Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach. We have an organizing model which focuses on training and educating people through a leadership process that develops democratic skills and builds a sense of self-empowerment to help others in their communities, the state of Virginia and nationwide. We have created issue teams so that folks can address their specific passions while standing in solidarity together in supporting each other on all issues of social justice that have been agreed upon by the chapter supporters. We are currently working collaboratively with like-minded allies on the issues of Health Care, Economic Justice and Tax Equity, Immigration Reform, Affordable Housing, Jobs, Predatory Lending, Keeping the Ban on Uranium Mining, Transportation and Voter Protection/ Suppression Issues in the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. What’s the greatest need in your community? Please join us and find out how you can make a difference!
The Washington County Virginia Organizing Chapter is currently working on open government and accountability as well as sustainability issues.
The Lee County Chapter is one of Virginia Organizing’s oldest chapters. The chapter meets monthly at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Jonesville. Lee County Virginia Organizing is Currently working on Regional Drug Court Campaign with a coalition from Lee/Scott/Wise Counties and the city of Norton. We’re also working on education funding locally, and on statewide health care reform work.
The Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Virginia Organizing Chapter has been working on immigration reform issues including opposing anti-immigrant policies in the Virginia General Assembly and at a federal level, supporting comprehensive federal immigration reform and supporting the Dream Act. The Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Chapter completed a listening campaign to hear the stories of local residents affected by immigration policies and after a year of hard work, the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Virginia Organizing Chapter and other grassroots organizations urged the local Rockingham County Board of Supervisors to terminate the 287(g) contract with the Sheriff’s office and ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) and were successful. On October 24, 2012 the Board of Supervisors elected not to extend the local government’s 287(g) contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Currently, the Chapter is working on a diversity hiring campaign in Harrisonburg, as the city staff is not reflective of our diverse community in Harrisonburg. To protect immigrant communities and fight deportations, we must stop police from handing people over to ICE. The chapter is working to urge our local law enforcement agencies to stop honoring ICE holds that break families apart and discourages our immigrant communities from reporting crimes. The Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Chapter meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Lucy Simms Center.
The Augusta/Staunton/Waynesboro Chapter has been active in promoting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and working towards the expansion of Medicaid and closing the coverage gap in Virginia. The Chapter has organized vigils, rallies, and community forums to inform individuals about the ACA. Currently, the Chapter is working on issues affecting the deaf community. The Augusta/Staunton/Waynesboro Chapter meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Fishersville Library.