NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

An Open Letter to the Members of the Culpeper School Board and Board of Supervisors

October 23, 2020

Dear County School Board and Board of Supervisors Members:

The members of the NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058 are concerned about the most recent efforts by our Board of Supervisors (BOS) and CCPS School Board to politicize the operations and funding of our public schools. Various members of the BOS seem to see the difficult decisions made by the School Board relative to the safe operation of schools during the pandemic as an opportunity to score political points by diverting county funding away from our public schools.

During the budget process last spring, the school system was asked to propose a minimal operational budget in part because the county was unsure of its ability to fund the schools and other essential services throughout the pandemic. This request was honored by the school system but the BOS shaved an additional $1.4 million from the proposal. Perhaps the motivation leading the county at the time was to consider how they would move forward if tax revenues dropped due to lower sales tax collections. However, only a few months later the county finds itself with no such sales tax deficit; in fact, revenues are ahead of last year. In spite of this, several supervisors have expressed a desire to reduce school funding not for the sake of our community, but for their own political gain.

If left unchecked, the BOS (with both the implicit and explicit consent of a majority of the CCPS School Board) would like to cripple the public school system to the point of only being able to provide the bare minimum Standards of Quality (SOQ) requirements mandated by the State. What would this type of funding and (by consequence) educational scenario mean for our children?

What is being haphazardly suggested by certain members of both the BOS and CCPS School Board flies in the face of both the professionals who have made it their life’s work to educate as well as our community members who have overwhelmingly made their choice in favor of the virtual learning model. This ill-advised course of action will cause the elimination of many popular educational programs that exceed the State’s minimum requirements. In addition, it will cause overcrowding of classes/school buildings inconsistent with CDC and VA guidelines. It may also inadvertently cause an exodus of great educators (educators who are both a part of our community and who commute to it). These valued professionals need not travel farther than a couple of counties over not only to make more money but to make that money in a safer and more supportive environment. This is not the quality of education nor the educational environment that the Culpeper NAACP wants for our students or for our community; nor is it the quality that you should afford said community and our students.

Nearly 60% of parents have opted to have their children attend virtual classes per the State and order of the Governor; it is also their right. It is the responsibility of the School Board to honor this request and the responsibility of the BOS to ensure the adequate funding of these initiatives. As a side note, it is also the responsibility of the School Board and BOS to follow all CDC and State Department of Health guidelines pertaining to COVID19 pandemic safety. We will not sit by passively as some School Board and BOS members push for a dangerous “herd immunity” strategy that is rooted in political doctrine more than science and data. In the words of William Hasseltine, President and Chair of ACCESS Health International, “Herd immunity is another word for mass murder.” Our community is highly susceptible to the virus and our economy, easily influenced by its effects on small businesses—we don’t have the time or resources, or people to waste.

In light of all of these concerns, we’d also wish to point out the lack of diversity on both the BOS and CCPS School Board. The abrupt and untimely resignation of Board Chair Michelle North leaves a vacuum in terms of steady leadership and we are asking that the process of filling the vacated seat include more of a concerted effort on the part of the BOS and CCPS School Board to reach out to an expanded pool of applicants. We wish for applicants who will provide more diverse and inclusive perspectives to augment the current board’s makeup. In order for the voices of the entire community to be heard, we must have a representative on the Board who understands both our background and ideals.

Sincerely,

Culpeper NAACP Branch #7058

NAACP Culpeper 2021 Freedom Fund Donors

Donate to our Freedom Fund fundraiser by November 30 and you will be eligible for our prize drawings! Thanks to the generous contributions of members, friends, and local businesses, we have several wonderful items for our drawings, including a handmade afghan by member Marsha Boyd and gift certificates to local restaurants, salons, and businesses! With your tax-deductible donation, you will automatically be eligible for the drawing! All donations can be mailed to Culpeper NAACP, P.O. Box 687, Culpeper, VA 22701 or call Rosie Herrity at 540-219-8909 or Sandra Reaves-Yates at 240-461-1612 for pick-up.

 
2021 Freedom Fund Donors:

Marsha & Harold Boyd

Susan and Peter Bramley

Chrysler of Culpeper
11030 James Monroe Highway
Culpeper, VA 22701

Culpeper County Board of Supervisors
302 N. Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

Culpeper County Democratic Committee (CCDC)

Culpeper County Human Services
P.O. Box 1355
Culpeper, VA 22701

John J. “Butch” Davies & Marty Moon

Pam Davis

Fauquier Health
500 Hospital Drive
Warrenton, VA 20186

Grass Rootes Restaurant
195 E. Davis Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

Full Services LLC
Donald Haight
P.O. Box 776
Culpeper, VA 22701

Rosie & Michael Herrity

Michele & Charles Jameson

Heidi & John Lesinski

It’s About Thyme/Thyme Market
Thyme Inn/The Copper Fish
128 E. Davis Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
540.825.4264

Mane Street Hair Salon
Corrie Quinn Gyory, Owner
102 N. Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

Joan McBride, Realtor
Long & Foster – Culpeper Sales
15169 Montanus Dr.
Culpeper, VA 22701
(804) 450-2778
joan.mcbride@longandfoster.com
JoanMcBride.LongandFoster.com

Tracy Neely

Nicholas, Jones & Co., PLC
301 S. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

Lisa Peacock

Keith D. Price, Culpeper Town Council Member, & Felecia Chavez

Quail-at-the-Woods Antiques
Sara Hayes
205 N. Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

The Rev. Sanford Reaves, Jr.
Board Member, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

Nan Roberts & Friends

David E. Reuther

Michelle A. Stinger

Cynthia Taylor

This Election is the Most Important in a Century

While COVID-19 has killed 225,000 people in the U.S., from all racial and socio-economic backgrounds, it has been twice as lethal for Black Americans. The resulting economic recession cost 22 million people their jobs, but disproportionately impacted people of color. And the slow economic recovery is playing out along racial lines, too: by September, only 7% of white workers were still unemployed, compared to 12% of Black ones. Meanwhile, police violence and its aftermath has an uneven impact on communities of color

NAACP President: Will This Democracy Be Recognizable?

NAACP Derrick Johnson on the stakes of this election and what his organization is doing to turn out the vote

Help Support Our Freedom Fund!

In lieu of holding our annual Freedom Fund Banquet, we are appealing to our members and friends to send a donation to support this important cause. Tickets to the event would have been $50 each; we welcome any contribution you can make to further our efforts to advance racial justice through advocacy, education, and outreach. In particular, this fund helps support our annual high school scholarships. All those who contribute by October 31 will be eligible for our raffle drawings of gifts from local merchants and businesses! Donations should be mailed to NAACP Culpeper Branch, P.O. Box 687, Culpeper, VA, 22701.

Download (PDF)

The Deliberate Suppression of the Black Vote

Have you ever wondered where felony disenfranchisement and other voter suppression tactics derived from or who are most affected?

On Monday, Oct. 19, the Right to Vote Coalition in partnership with the Richmond Public Library will launch an online interactive exhibit Block The Vote: The Deliberate Suppression of the Black Vote that dives into Virginia’s history of voter suppression. Learn about the systemic disenfranchisement of the Black vote from Reconstruction to today. Explore modules on voter suppression tools, a timeline of voter disenfranchisement, and hear the voices of the disenfranchised, plus more. To explore the virtual exhibit visit: rvalibrary.org/block-the-vote.

-Block the Vote – Richmond Public Library

Block the Vote The Right to Vote coalition and the Richmond Public Library welcome you to Block The Vote: The Deliberate Suppression of the Black Vote. This exhibit traces the history of voter suppression and felony disenfranchisement in Virginia and throughout our nation.

Then continue your journey by joining us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, for virtual screening of “Suppressed 2020: The Fight to Vote.” Suppressed documents how voter suppression tactics were used in the 2018 midterm election in Georgia to successfully prevent hundreds of thousands of voters from casting their ballot. The film uncovers the insidious voter suppression tactics that politicians across the country use to stay in power – poll closures, voter purges, understaffed poll locations, and more to block the votes of African American and poor communities. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about Voting in Virginia – from the positive impact of recent legislation to our confusing election season (itself a suppression tactic) to the continued fight to end felony disenfranchisement.

Suppressed: The Fight to Vote

Join us for a virtual film screening of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A. Registration is required. This program is in partnership with the Right to Vote Coaliti…

A free and accessible voting system is as important today than ever before. Today one in five Virginians cannot vote because of felony disenfranchisement. That’s nearly 300,000 Virginians who will not have a voice in who governs them but are expected to pay taxes. Visit Block the Vote: The Deliberate Suppression of the Black Vote and join us for the screening of Suppressed to see how you can take action to ensure every Virginia citizen over the age of 18 the right to vote.

Race, Media, and the 2020 Election

Speaker Series panel at the Robertson School: Samantha Willis (top left), Kym Grinnage (top right), Elliott Robinson (bottom left), Calvin Anthony Duncan (bottom middle), and Danita Rountree Green (bottom right).

Elliott Robinson, the news editor at Charlottesville Tomorrow and a member of the board of SPJ Virginia Pro, will be on a panel discussion at 5 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 6) on “Race, Media, and the 2020 Election.”

The free online event is part of the virtual Speaker Series sponsored by the Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. The other panelists are:

  • Kym Grinnage, vice president and general manager, NBC 12
  • Danita Rountree Green, author, and Co-CEO of Coming To The Table-RVA
  • Calvin Anthony Duncan, pastor and founder, Faith and Family Church
  • Samantha Willis, independent journalist, and writer

Moderating the panel discussion will be Dr. Aloni Hill, assistant professor of journalism in the Robertson School, and Robb Crocker, podcaster, digital journalist, and doctoral student in VCU’s Media, Art, and Text program. The event is co-sponsored by the new VCU student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

You can watch this Speaker Series event as a Zoom webinar on the Robertson School’s website — https://robertson.vcu.edu/news/speaker-series-panel-debates-race-media-and-the-2020-election.html — or as a live stream on the school’s Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/TheRobertsonSchool — at the time of the event.

At 6 p.m. on the following Tuesday (Oct. 13), SPJ Virginia Pro has organized an online event featuring Dorothy Butler Gilliam, the first Black woman reporter at The Washington Post and author of a recent memoir. Details on that event are at:

https://spjva.com/2020/09/25/oct-13-a-conversation-with-trailblazing-journalist-dorothy-gilliam/

https://www.facebook.com/SPJVa/posts/2764854190466114

The Oct. 13 event will be moderated by Diane Walker, an anchor at NBC 12, and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. It is co-sponsored by the VCU Robertson School and the BND Institute of Media and Culture.

 

Jeff South | Associate Professor Emeritus | Virginia Commonwealth University
President | Virginia Pro Chapter | Society of Professional Journalists
Freelance journalist | Newsroom trainer | Fulbright scholar | jeff-south.com
804-519-1062  | JeffSouthRVA@gmail.com | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

Response to Sheriff Scott Jenkins’ Post of Violent Action of Antifa & Black Lives Matter

NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058 General Meeting Time: Oct 1, 2020, 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89894541503?pwd=RnZuUE5SRTh3TUVLcmFVdVRvcDhUdz09

 

As leaders and public servants in the Culpeper community, on behalf of the Culpeper NAACP, also representing Madison and Rappahannock Counties, I chose to delay our response to the recent controversial posts and remarks by our Sheriff to have an opportunity to confer with our NAACP officials, as well as an opportunity to go straight to the source for clarification and intent.

The Culpeper community has flourished in building a cohesive, communicative environment, and as such, I would like to feel that we can continue in that vein. The NAACP, particularly the Culpeper Branch, has always engendered that cooperation and, more importantly, stands for the uplifting of all people. We have never in the past, nor moving forward, condoned acts of threats or harm to any community.

The remarks, as they were written and interpreted by many in our community, were harmful, hurtful, divisive in nature, and highly disappointing. As leaders, we are held to a higher standard, and whether intended or not, the comments have produced a great deal of hurt and pain to many who call Culpeper home.

We have met with our Sheriff and representatives of his office and will continue efforts to find resolve in recent issues that have impacted our community in such an astounding way. We have worked to build bridges leading to a better, more inclusive Culpeper, and are going to collectively shore up those bridges now in need of repair.

While Culpeper is not perfect, we have built, together, a safe community filled with love, support, hard workers, respect, and yes, believers. We will continue the work needed, not just talk, to participate in building a community we can all be proud of; one worthy of fighting for today, tomorrow and the rest of our lives, well beyond November.

GET OUT AND VOTE OR MAIL IN YOUR BALLOTS!!

Sandra Reaves-Yates, President

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

 

Over the first few days of early voting, a number of Virginians who had previously requested absentee ballots but had not received those ballots appeared at registrar’s offices and satellite locations across the Commonwealth to vote in person. The statute governing this situation, Va. Code § 24.2-708(B), was unclear, so we sought clarification.As the ELECT guidance explains “[i]f the voter states either they have not received their mail ballot or have lost their mail ballot,” the voter should be directed to sign SBE-708 (the “Gold Form”) and be allowed to vote a regular ballot after doing so. Please confirm that your registrar has seen this guidance and is in conformity with it.

(NB: This only applies to the early voting period; on Election Day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot. However, unlike other provisional ballots that require the voter to take further action to “cure” an issue, these provisional ballots will automatically convert into a regular ballot once the locality’s electoral board confirms that the absentee ballot was not cast.)

Additionally, the guidance notes that “it is not appropriate for election officials to question a voter who states that they have not received or lost their mail ballot.” So long as the voter “has [1] applied for and has [2] been sent an absentee ballot,” § 24.2-708(B) applies if “for any reason . . . [the voter] does not receive the ballot[.]”

If a voter has received their previously requested absentee ballot but prefers to vote in person, they should bring the ballot with them to the early voting location to exchange for a regular ballot. If they do not bring the ballot with them, they will have to vote a provisional ballot—but that provisional will automatically convert after the electoral board confirms the absentee ballot was not cast.

Questions? Please contact your local Registrar https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PublicContactLookup

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

Wanton endangerment.

That is what the reckless murder of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was reduced to by a Louisville grand jury earlier today.

For nearly 200 days, we have demanded accountability and justice, but instead, today, we were patronized by Kentucky’s Attorney General, Daniel Cameron. One officer was charged for the wanton endangerment of others in connection to the death of Breonna Taylor, but nobody was charged for actually killing her.

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

This is not justice for Breonna Taylor. This is an insult to her memory, and a disregard of Black lives.

Make no mistake, the unsubstantial charges against officer Brett Hankinson are an attempt to placate the Black community and those who have rallied on Breonna’s behalf all summer long. But we will not be silenced, and we will never stop demanding real justice. It is unacceptable that, once again, culpability has eluded those guilty of state-sanctioned murder.

The system failed Breonna Taylor and, as such, failed us.

We know that justice is a proper indictment and conviction for all 3 officers involved in the shooting. We know that justice means a complete overhaul of policing within Black communities, not just in Louisville, but across the country. We know that justice is protecting Black lives at all costs, and not treating us as collateral damage in botched arrests. We know that justice is leaders in our state and local governments who put people over politics.

Friend, now is the time to use our voice louder than you’ve ever used it before. If we want real justice for Breonna Taylor, we must fight for it in the courts, we must fight for it in our very own communities – online and offline – and we must fight for it at the polls.

We are upset, and rightfully so, but we must take our anger from protest to power.

In Solidarity,

Derrick Johnson
@DerrickNAACP
President and CEO
NAACP

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