Democratic Primary Candidates’ Forum, Friday, May 31, 7-9 PM, Manassas City Hall
MMPCDC Monthly Meetings
Unless noted otherwise, the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee will hold its monthly membership meeting on the third Wednesday of each month at Manassas City Hall in the Council Chambers, from 7-8:30 pm. At each meeting, we collect canned goods to donate to the Northern Virginia Family Service food assistance program (SERVE). All Democrats are welcome at all of our meetings.
Our scheduled meeting dates in 2019 are as follows: January 16, February
20 27 (snow date), March 20, April 17 23, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16, and November 20. For December, we typically have a potluck holiday party in lieu of a business meeting.
An ad hoc MMPCDC By-Laws Review and Update Committee, including Co-Chair Cheryl Macias, Outreach Chair Gretchen Almstead, and Past Co-Chair Allen Muchnick, has recently reviewed MMPCDC’s current By-Laws and proposed extensive updates.
The proposed By-Law revisions were presented for discussion by the membership at MMPCDC’s February 27th membership meeting, with a vote on adoption planned for MMPCDC’s March 20th membership meeting. In response to a member’s comments received at, and subsequent to, our February 27th meeting, the proposal was further modified. The revised By-Laws were adopted unanimously at our April 23 membership meeting.
Three relevant documents for these By-Law revisions are linked below:
- MMPCDC’s Previous By-Laws, which were last amended in September 2015,
- A marked-up document, showing the previous text in black and the revisions in red, and
- A clean copy of the revised By-Laws.
The most substantial change to the By-Laws is the addition of a new Article IX that outlines procedures for MMPCDC to endorse (not nominate) candidates for either partisan or non-partisan (i.e., school board) elected office. The language for this new Article was closely adapted from a similar, recently adopted amendment to the Prince William County Democratic Committee’s by-laws. Because the various procedures for nominating diverse candidates for elected office are already prescribed in great detail by Virginia election laws and regulations and by the Democratic Party of Virginia Party Plan, the MMPCDC By-Laws do not explicitly discuss nomination procedures, which we ordinarily use.
A second change to the By-Laws, in Section 6.1, concerns the composition, authority, and duties of the MMPCDC Leadership Committee, formerly called the Executive Committee. Currently, our By-Laws do not authorize the Executive Committee to take any time-sensitive executive actions, only to hold discussions and recommend actions for the full Committee.
Article III (Membership) was revised to 1) clarify, strengthen, and simplify our member-election procedures (Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.4); 2) remove two unnecessary sentences related to membership diversity (Section 3.3); 3) clarify quorum determinations during the final nine months of each biennium (Section 3.5); and 4) add the relatively new Executive Director for the Prince William County and the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committees as an ex-officio member of MMPCDC (Section 3.7).
Revisions to Article IV (Officers) affirms the Democratic Party ban on secret ballots (Section 4.1) and modifies a few of the duties of our Secretary (Section 4.4) and Treasurer (Section 4.5).
Lastly, Article XI was revised to clarify how proposed future By-Law Amendments should be presented before adoption.
In addition to the substantive changes described above, the By-Laws update adds unique section numbers and headings to each section of the By-Laws, to make the document easier to read and reference. Finally, the By-Laws were closely reviewed to ensure that various references, terms, capitalization, and font sizes and styles are accurate and/or consistent throughout the document.
MMPCDC Adopts Resolution, in Support of Increased Energy Efficiency and a Rapid Transition to a Renewable Energy Economy, on March 20, 2019
RESOLUTION OF THE MANASSAS & MANASSAS PARK CITIES DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND A RAPID TRANSITION TO A RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY
WHEREAS, as global citizens, we all have a moral, economic, public health, and security imperative to act expeditiously and decisively to protect our fellow human beings, future generations, and our planetary ecosystems from the looming climate crisis caused by fossil fuel combustion;
WHEREAS, we must act, and act together at every level, as individuals, businesses, organizations, towns, cities, counties, states, nations, and a global community;
WHEREAS, climate action taken by localities in the United States and around the world can produce 40% of the pollution reduction needed globally to limit warming to only 1.5 degrees Celsius;
WHEREAS, climate action by localities can also address economic inequality; access and mobility via walking, bicycling, and public transit; infrastructure maintenance and investments; and other major community challenges;
WHEREAS, investments in clean energy and energy efficiency are shown to save localities money in the long-term, proving that a transition to an economy based on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy resiliency is also good stewardship of taxpayer dollars;
WHEREAS, one of the core values of the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee is promoting environmental protections and sustainability and energy independence;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the Manassas & Manassas Park City Councils to work with the Manassas & Manassas Park delegation to the Virginia General Assembly to craft and help enact laws and regulations to encourage energy users to consume less dirty energy and to encourage energy producers to convert to fully renewable resources by 2035;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the Manassas & Manassas Park City Councils to review current zoning and land use policies and plans to minimize environmental impacts and to promote walking, bicycling, and public transit to reduce personal vehicle use;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the Manassas & Manassas Park City Councils to develop a plan to increase energy efficiency, reduce dirty energy consumption, and begin converting publicly-owned facilities and transportation fleets to run on hybrid and renewable energy sources; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the Manassas & Manassas Park City Councils to incentivize individuals, businesses, and organizations to increase energy efficiency, reduce dirty energy consumption, and maximize their renewable energy potential and net zero capacity;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the Manassas & Manassas Park City Councils to encourage the General Assembly, in future legislative sessions, to pass legislation that allows localities to further develop renewable energy infrastructure and clean energy production and that requires state-regulated utilities to avoid future investments in dirty-energy infrastructure
Adopted unanimously by the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee on March 20, 2019.
MMPCDC Adopts Resolution, Supporting Ratification by the Commonwealth of Virginia of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, on January 16, 2019
RESOLUTION OF THE MANASSAS AND MANASSAS PARK CITIES DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF RATIFICATION BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA OF THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
WHEREAS, the United States Constitution does not explicitly guarantee equal rights and equal protection for the sexes; and
WHEREAS, for 47 years, the Commonwealth of Virginia State Constitution has protected Virginians from discrimination by the Commonwealth on the basis of sex; and
WHEREAS, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and state constitutional statements of equality generally do not provide the strict scrutiny for sex-based classifications that is provided for classifications based on race, religion and national origin; and
WHEREAS, state laws are not uniform and federal laws are not comprehensive, and these laws can be repealed or reduced; and
WHEREAS, the people of the United States continue to experience the negative effects of lack of political parity between men and women, workplace discrimination, health care inequities, disparate rates of poverty, rape, and domestic violence assaults; and
WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment would provide the “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and the Amendment would help ensure women and men have the same constitutional protections; and
WHEREAS, without the Equal Rights Amendment, the statutes and judicial decisions that have led to major advances in women’s rights are vulnerable to being ignored, weakened, or even repealed or reversed; and
WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment would help ensure that women and men have the same constitutional protections; and
WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, and has been ratified by 37 states, the most recent being Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 and the time limit for the ERA appears only in the preamble and Congress presently is considering a bill that removes the time limit for ratification of the ERA; and
WHEREAS, constitutional equality for women and men continues to be a timely issue in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States and worldwide, and 134 other nations have achieved constitutional equality for their women and men;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee hereby supports the passage, ratification, and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment so that women are guaranteed equal rights under the law and so that these rights shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee urges the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, as proposed by Congress in 1972, during the 2019 Virginia legislative session.
Adopted unanimously by the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee on January 16, 2019
Democrats Win 9 out of 10 Manassas and Manassas Park Elections in 2018!
November 6, 2018 was another banner day for Manassas and Manassas Park Democrats, as 6 of our 7 Democratic nominees and all 3 of our endorsed candidates for the Manassas School Board won their elections to public office.
At the top of the ticket statewide, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D) handily won re-election against his Republican opponent, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. Moreover, Kaine’s vote shares in Manassas Park (69.07%) and Manassas (62.88%) exceeded his statewide vote share of 56.95%.
Similarly, in the contest for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia State Senator Jennifer Wexton (D, SD-33) soundly defeated second-term Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R), and Wexton’s vote shares in Manassas Park (67.47%) and Manassas (60.28%) exceeded her district-wide vote share of 56.12%.
In Manassas Park, first-time candidates Alanna Mensing (D) and Haseeb Javed (D) were both elected to the City Council with 2,738 votes and 2,042 votes, respectively. Incumbent Preston Banks, a Republican running as an Independent, was also elected with 2,392 votes, while incumbent Michael Carrera, another Republican running as an Independent, placed fourth and was thus not re-elected.
In the race for three seats on the Manassas City Council, Democratic incumbent Ken Elston was re-elected with 5,998 votes, while three-term Republican incumbent Marc Aveni came in fifth and was defeated. Also elected were first-time candidate Michelle Davis-Younger (D), the top vote-getter with 6,168 votes, and second-time Republican candidate Theresa Coates Ellis, the third-place finisher with 5,900 votes. Regrettably, second-time Democratic candidate Rex Parr polled fourth, just 487 votes shy of winning election.
Lastly, Sanford Williams, Tim Demeria, and Ken Nixon–the three candidates that the MMPCDC endorsed for Manassas School Board–were each elected with 6,717, 6,569, and 5,784 votes, respectively.
Elsewhere in Virginia, Democratic women won two additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from Republican incumbents. Elaine Luria won CD-2 from first-term Republican Scott Taylor with 51% of the vote, and Abigail Spanberger won CD-7 from second-term Republican Dave Brat with 50.3% of the vote.
Nationally, the Democratic Party picked up a net of 40 (and possibly 41) seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (the largest Democratic gain in a mid-term House election since 1974), producing a 235-199 Democratic House majority.
Although the U.S. Senate Democratic caucus lost a net of two seats, resulting in a 53-47 Republican majority, only 9 of the 35 Senate seats contested in 2018 (<26%) had been held by Republicans, whereas the Democrats were faced with defending 10 seats in states that Donald Trump had won in 2016 and retained six of them. In light of that unfavorable Senate map (the most unfavorable for Democrats in a midterm since at least 1914), the net loss of only two Democratic seats confirms the 2018 Blue Wave and places the Democrats on a path to regain control of the U.S, Senate in 2020 when about 64% of the contested seats will be Republican held.
Manassas & Manassas Park Democrats Reorganized for 2018-2019
The Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee held its biennial reorganization meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Forty-five members were elected to the Committee at this initial meeting.
Congratulations to the following individuals who were unanimously elected as Committee officers for the 2018-2019 biennium:
Co-Chairs: Mike Freeland and Cheryl Macias
Vice Chair: Donald Shuemaker
Secretary: Stewart Davis
Treasurer: Patt Fields
The Committee expresses its gratitude and best wishes to Allen Muchnick who served as co-chair with Mike Freeland for the 2016-2017 term. Allen will remain an active member of the Committee.
New Voting Precinct, Precinct Boundary Changes, and Optical Scanner Voting Machines for City of Manassas Now in Effect
Beginning in 2017, the City of Manassas has a sixth voting precinct, with its polling place at George C Round Elementary School at 10100 Hastings Drive. At the same time, the boundaries of the City’s five other voting precincts have been adjusted, to better balance the number of registered voters within each precinct. These changes were prompted by continued residential development and population growth within the City and the requirement under the Code of Virginia that no precinct have more than 5,000 registered voters or 4,000 votes cast in a presidential election.
On February 13, 2017, the Manassas City Council adopted a new City of Manassas voting precinct ordinance that sets the boundaries and designates the polling places for all voting precincts (including the central absentee voting precinct in the Old Town Hall building at 9025 Center St).
Below is a map of the new voting precinct boundaries. In Spring 2017, the Manassas Voter Registrar’s Office mailed a voter registration letter to all voters registered in the City to inform them of their polling location.
Also in 2017, the City of Manassas has begun using the OpenElect Voting System from Unisyn Voting Solutions to scan and record votes made on paper ballots. Voters now mark their votes on a paper ballot and then insert the ballot into an optical scanner that reads the selections and takes a digital image of the ballot. After the polls close, poll workers run a tally report on the scanner to obtain the precinct results.
Thanks to the Manassas Voter Registration Office, one of the new voting machines was demonstrated at our March 6, 2017 Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee meeting.
Has Your Voter Registration Been Purged?
Every two years, the Virginia Department of Elections removes inactive voters from the voter registration rolls of every Virginia locality.
Reportedly, a voter’s registration is purged only after an inactive voter fails to respond to repeated mailers from the Virginia Department of Elections requesting an address verification and then fails to vote at all during two Federal Election Cycles following the initial mailer.
In January 2019, the Virginia Department of Elections removed 721 inactive voters from the City of Manassas voter registration roll and 302 inactive voters from the City of Manassas Park voter registration roll.
In February 2017, the Virginia Department of Elections removed 1,592 inactive voters from the City of Manassas voter registration roll and 196 inactive voters from the City of Manassas Park voter registration roll.
You might want to check if your name is on one of the four lists linked above.
These lists of purged voters are organized by numbered voting precincts, and for the City of Manassas those numbers reflect the new (starting in 2017) voting precinct boundaries, not the precinct boundaries from prior years. The precinct codes for each city are as follows:
PCT Manassas Polling Location
0001 Dean Elementary School
0002 Weems Elementary School
0003 Metz Middle School
0004 Haydon Elementary School
0005 Baldwin Elementary School
0006 Round Elementary School
PCT Manassas Park Polling Location
0001 Manassas Park High School
0002 Costello Park Community Center
0003 Manassas Park City Hall
The best and easiest way to verify that your voter registration is still valid is to review your voter record at the Virginia Department of Elections voter portal, after entering your name, date of birth, locality, and last four digits of your social security number.
Paul J. Reid, April 13, 1951 – February 23, 2017
Paul Reid, a stalwart member of our Committee and a good friend to many of us, passed away on Thursday, February 23, following a bout with cancer. He died at home in his wife’s arms.
Paul was born April 13, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the late William F. and Marcella M. Reid. He retired from the Central Intelligence Agency, then worked for General Dynamics and Geospatial Solution Inc., finally retiring in 2015.
After leaving federal service, Paul became an active volunteer for the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee.
EJ Scott, MMPCDC’s Immediate Past Chair, summarizes Paul’s service to our Democratic community as follows:
Paul Reid was the true embodiment of Democratic values. He believed in equality and justice and was dedicated to making this country live up to its ideals. He was a quiet man, except when talking about the craziness exhibited by the other side. No one worked harder and longer than Paul. He knocked doors, made phone calls, worked the polls and was always the first one onsite to help set up for events. He was given MMPCDC’s second Blue Victory Chair’s Award for his service and commitment to getting Democrats elected.
Paul spoke fluent Spanish and loved to dance the salsa with his wife Betsy. At our festival booths, it was reassuring to have him there to converse with our Spanish-speaking visitors.
After the House of Delegate Districts were redrawn, and we could not find anyone to run against Jackson Miller, Paul even agreed to be our write-in candidate for the 50th District Delegate. We called and handed out write-in ballots, and he received a good vote showing.
Paul was generous. He often offered to assist with financing events, and he sponsored tickets to our events, so the less fortunate could attend. He gave to Democratic candidates and then continued to give his time and energy to getting them elected.
Paul Reid was a participant. Paul was a soldier in the fight to turn Virginia Blue. And recent past elections have shown the rewards of that battle.
When his widow was asked what can we do, she responded simply, “Take back Congress.” Nothing would please him more.
Paul also volunteered as the Vice President of in-line hockey for the Prince William Hockey Club from 1998 to 2006, where he also coached two of his sons, Andrew and John. In 2006, he purchased a second home in Capon Bridge, West Virginia, where he spent the weekends experimenting with home brewing recipes, reading, kayaking, fishing, biking.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Elizabeth F. (Betsy) Reid, three sons, Peter Reid of Falls Church, VA, Andrew Reid of Manassas, VA, and John Reid of Austin, Texas; one granddaughter, Mia A. Reid, and one grandson Luke M. Reid; daughter in-laws Alix Reid and Elizabeth Gonzales.