NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Let your voice be heard!

 

TODAY, September 18, Virginians can begin voting in one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. Thanks to recently passed laws, Virginia is one of the easiest places to cast your ballot. These laws include:

• No photo-ID requirement
• No-excuse absentee voting
• 45-day early voting period
• Election Day is a state holiday

Additionally, the General Assembly recently approved measures to ensure voting by mail is even safer and secure this year, including:

• Pre-paid postage on absentee ballots
• Secure ballot drop-off locations in every locality
• Notifying voters if their absentee ballot was rejected because of an error and allowing them to correct the error

Early In-Person Voting

If you choose to vote in-person, you may do so starting tomorrow at your local registrar’s office or satellite voting location. Early in-person voting runs through Saturday, October 31. You can look up your registrar’s hours and information here.

Remember to bring an acceptable form of identification, though you will still be able to vote without an ID if you sign a sworn ID Confirmation Statement.

Absentee Voting By Mail

Registrars will begin mailing absentee ballots on September 18 to voters who request them. You may find your Registrar’s contact information here. Mailed ballots may be returned via USPS or other mail delivery service, or by dropping it off in person at your registrar’s office or at an official ballot drop-off location in your locality. For more information, go to www.voteva.us

However you choose to cast your ballot, it’s critical that you vote and make your voice heard!

How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering

In the 1930s, federal officials redlined these neighborhoods in Richmond, Va., marking them as risky investments because residents were Black.

Today, they are some of the hottest parts of town in the summer, with few trees and an abundance of heat-trapping pavement.

White neighborhoods that weren’t redlined tend to be much cooler today — a pattern that repeats nationwide.

 

2020 Virtual March on Washington

For generations, African Americans in this country have faced an anti-Black pandemic. From the unjust killings of innocent African Americans to the disproportionate impact of a global health pandemic, Black people have been getting attacked on all fronts. This moment has exposed the inequality embedded in the underlying fabric of our nation.

Join the thousands – virtually-who will March on Washington to set forth a bold new Black agenda restore and recommit to the dream. The Commitment March, convened by Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., for an inclusive day of action.

The 2020 Virtual March on Washington and the Commitment March will take place on the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

How to Vote in the 2020 Election

There are three different ways you can vote this year!

What’s your plan?

 

1 Vote by Mail

Click here to apply online to vote absentee by mail. The deadline to apply is Oct. 23.

 

2 Vote Early In-person

You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning Sept. 18 and ending Oct. 31. To check that you are registered to vote, click here. To find the location and hours for early voting in your county,  call your local registrar’s office, click here. You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early. You will need to show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, click here. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

 

3 Vote In-Person on Election Day

The polls will be open from 6 AM until 7 PM on November 3. Find your polling location here.

 

Need more help? Call the Virginia Department of Elections (804) 864-8901

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The head of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP said Friday that the organization is demanding that lawmakers advance measures to reform policing and the state’s criminal justice system and declare “racism as a public health crisis” during next week’s special session.

In a virtual press conference, Robert Barnette, the president of both the Virginia State Conference NAACP and the Hanover County NAACP, called on legislators to address police accountability and racial bias in law enforcement.

“What we’ve witnessed across the nation is an unprecedented response to the killing of George Floyd. His death has awakened in all of us the necessity of now to make lasting and meaning reform to policing and our criminal justice system,” Barnette said in his opening remarks. “That along with the effects of the coronavirus, a historic pandemic, has exposed the institutional and systemic racism pervasive in our systems within our criminal justice system. The Commonwealth of Virginia is not immune to the effects of racism and it must be addressed now.”

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

Absentee Ballot Alert

In the last two weeks, many Virginia voters received absentee ballot applications in the mail even though they didn’t request one. This was done by a non-partisan organization whose intent was to increase voter turnout.

The easiest and most secure way to request an absentee ballot is to go online to the Virginia Dept. of Elections website – LINK:

vote.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation

The Virginia Department of Elections has a dedicated Citizens Portal for all matters related to voting and elections. You can register to vote, update your voter registration information, and verify the correct addresses of your registrar’s office and your polling location. Most importantly, to protect our election, we encourage you to use this secure channel to apply online to vote by mail in the November 3, 2020, General Election.

If you have already applied for an absentee ballot and are wondering why you haven’t received it yet, the first day that absentee ballots will be mailed to voters is September 18, 2020. No need to submit a new application–just track the status of your application using the Citizens Portal.

After you complete your ballot and mail it back to be counted, track the status of your ballot using the Citizens Portal. The return envelope has a tracking label unique to your voter registration information to protect your vote.

While the Virginia Department of Elections has no official affiliation or coordination with any third-party group, it has issued an official statement letting voters know that if you used a third party to mail your application, any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded immediately to the correct registrar’s office for processing.

 

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
1716 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23223

Malfeasance in the handling of the Lenn Park flag issue?

The divisive issue of Confederate imagery saw action in Culpeper County on various fronts this past week, coinciding with a Washington TV station’s exposé that accused local officials of malfeasance in the handling of the Lenn Park flag issue.

NBC’s team interviewed Stevensburg District Supervisor Bill Chase at the end of his farm drive. The news broadcast reported improper procedure and mismanagement by county supervisors and the county in handling the battle-flag issue, as previously reported by the Star-Exponent.

Mistake Allowed Confederate Flag to Fly on County Property for Years

This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted

SELMA — This time, the Alabama state troopers saluted.

The late John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time Sunday in a triumphant celebration of his tireless fight for civil rights, often in the face of violent resistance.

Mourners cheered, sang, and cried as a horse-drawn carriage carried Lewis’ flag-draped casket over the Alabama River and toward Montgomery.

DeVos Sued by Public School Parents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 22, 2020

Contacts:

Marc Banks / dbanks@naacpnet.org

Ashley Levett, (334) 296-0084 / ashley.levett@splcenter.org

Sharon Krengel, (973) 624-1815, x24 / skrengel@edlawcenter.org

 

NATIONAL – A rule issued by the U.S. Department of Education this month coerces school districts to use an illegal process to inflate the amount of federal COVID-19 aid they must share with private schools. The rule will drastically diminish the resources available to support public school children and historically underserved student populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a lawsuit filed today by public school parents, districts, and the NAACP. The lawsuit seeks to block the rule.

The lawsuit, NAACP v. DeVos, explains that the rule imposes illegal and harmful requirements on the emergency relief funds allocated to public school districts under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the rule, school districts must divert more funding for “equitable services” to private school students than the law requires or face onerous restrictions on the use of those funds in their public schools. Both options violate the clear language and intent of the CARES Act and will undermine district efforts to adequately serve students who desperately need services and supports due to the impacts of the pandemic.

The CARES Act directs public school districts to calculate the amount they must set aside for private schools based on the number of low-income students enrolled in private schools. However, DeVos’ rule forces school districts to comply with one of two illegal options, either: (1) allocate CARES Act funds for private schools based on all students enrolled in private school, which includes students from affluent families, or (2)  allocate these funds based on the number of low-income students at private schools, but face severe restrictions on how the rest of the district’s CARES Act funds can be used, including a prohibition on their use to serve any students who do not attend Title I schools.

The rule was first introduced in April as non-binding guidance from Secretary DeVos and received widespread criticism from education leaders and lawmakers that the guidance violated the CARES Act and would leave districts without resources essential to address the impacts of COVID-19. Several state attorneys general have also filed suit to challenge these new rules.

“Amid a national health crisis, Education Secretary Besty DeVos is robbing public school children of desperately needed relief and diverting it to private schools,” said Derrick Johnson, president, and CEO, NAACP. “This is a new low, even for an administration intent on promoting inequality in education. Children and families across the nation are facing unprecedented risks to their safety and educational opportunities. COVID-19 has magnified the hardships for children from low-income households and diminished access to quality instruction, digital technology, nutrition, social development, and other vital resources. These are consequences that will last a lifetime.”

“Forcing districts to spend even more funding on private schools exacerbates existing inequities in Arizona,” said Beth Lewis, Title I school parent and teacher in the Tempe Elementary School District and co-founder of grassroots advocacy group Save Our Schools Arizona. “Our public schools have been defunded for decades and already lose hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools via vouchers every single year. Secretary DeVos’s binding rule forces our neighborhood schools to give desperately needed federal aid to private schools that have already accepted small business bailouts. Meanwhile, Title I public schools like mine have to rely on local charities and donors to help us feed students and stock classrooms. This rule will harm the students and families who need resources the most.”

The coronavirus pandemic has focused the nation’s attention on the essential role public schools play in the lives of families and communities. Since closing buildings in March, public schools across the country have worked tirelessly to maintain instruction and provide students with meals, access to technology, health services, and social and emotional supports. Public schools now need more – not fewer – resources. Yet, Secretary DeVos continues to exploit the pandemic to promote her political agenda of funneling taxpayer dollars to private schools.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented pro bono by the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, as well as Education Law Center (ELC) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The organizations collaborate on Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS), a national campaign to ensure public funds are used exclusively to maintain, support, and strengthen the nation’s public schools.

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About NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organization known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.

 

About PFPS 

Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS) is a national campaign that works to ensure public funds for education are used exclusively to maintain, support, and strengthen our nation’s public schools.  The campaign is supported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC Action Fund, Education Law Center, and Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. For more information, visit www.pfps.org.

The post DeVos Sued by Public School Parents, NAACP, and School Districts to Block Illegal Rule That Diverts Critical COVID-19 Aid from Public Schools to Private Schools appeared first on NAACP.

Anti-racism Resoultion Passes in Madison

The Madison County School Board passed this resolution on a 5-0 vote at their July virtual meeting. Since then, we’ve been informed that Culpeper has adopted it and that Rappahannock is in the process of building support to do the same. A anti-racism task force is being convened to begin the work of turning the resolution into official policy.


Resolution condemning racism and affirming the division’s commitment to an inclusive school environment for all.

Whereas, the Madison County School Board has, in the initial section of its policies entitled “Foundation and Basic Commitment,” affirmed its commitment to nondiscrimination and noted that that this commitment “prevails in all of its policies and practices concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals and entities with whom the Board does business.”

Whereas, there is ample anecdotal evidence that this commitment, particularly with respect to race, has been more of an aspiration than one we have steadily and fully accomplished,

WHEREAS, members of the Madison County School Board, as well as the Madison County Public Schools staff, are saddened and outraged by recent events that demonstrate the prejudice and injustice that persists in our country;

WHEREAS, racism and hate have no place in our schools or our society, and we must protect the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;

WHEREAS, recent events and realities require us to LISTEN  to those who have endured discrimination and to LEARN through a deeper engagement with our community in meaningful and honest conversation about racial inequality.

WHEREAS, because of these events and realities we cannot be silent. We must act urgently to stop the racial injustice that harms and anguishes black people, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members and fellow Americans;

WHEREAS, we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address and prevent racial bias that occurs as a result of division policies, practices and actions; and WHEREAS, we must do better. Our school division can be and will be a sanctuary of safety in our community and a beacon of light for the world, as we build and strengthen trust with those we serve, and we model the acceptance of all people.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, members of the Madison County School Board, stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, teacher, support professional, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect, as well as our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School Administration’s commitment to confronting racial injustice and making equity central to our work. This will involve continuing to take a closer look at our policies, our curriculum, and our daily interactions.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School’s formation of an Equity Task Force involving concerned students, parents, staff, and community members to help us fulfill our commitment to nondiscrimination.

Approved by the Madison County School Board this 13th  day of July  2020.

Signed:

Karen Allen
Vice Chair
kallen@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Nita Collier
School Board Member
nitacollier@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Angela Eichelberger
School Board Member
aeichelberger@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Arthur Greene
School Board Member
agreene@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Barry Penn Hollar
Chairman of the Board
bpennhollar@madisonschools.k12.va.us

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