Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

William Ferguson Reid and Andrea Miller on Indy Media Live!

William Ferguson Reid (1925- ) was the first African American elected to the General Assembly in the twentieth century. A medical doctor and community leader in the city of Richmond, Reid was one of the founders of the Crusade for Voters, organized in 1955 and one of the most formidable political organizations in the state. It lobbied for voter registration among African Americans, conducted get-out-the-vote drives, and enabled Reid to win a seat in the House of Delegates from the city of Richmond in 1967 on his second try. Reid served three terms in the assembly. Afterward he was a regional medical officer for the United States Department of State. Reid was the only African American in the General Assembly when he took office in 1968. In 2000 there are fifteen.
Black History Month is a remembrance of the events in the history of the African diaspora. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States of America and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as African-American History Month.

Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. The goal of Black History Week was to educate the American people about African-Americans' cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements.

16 February 2011
Virginia Residents: Tell Governor NO to Proposed Farm Animal Cruelty Exemptions!
VA SB 1026 and HB 1541 Seek to Legalize Total Cruelty to Farm Animals. Don’t Let This Happen!
Two bills are being quietly pushed through the Virginia General Assembly that if signed into law by VA Governor Robert F. McDonnell will effectively relieve farm animal owners (farmers and corporations) of all humane care obligations. It will be legal for owners to deprive their animals of food and water right up the point of “emaciation” and “dehydration.” Farm animal owners will be exempt from providing shelter for their animals in bad weather (“an act of God”) and will be legally permitted to hurt and neglect farm animals so long as the abuse is a “customary” farming practice or claimed to be.
At this writing, SB 1026 and HB 1541 have been approved by committees in both chambers and are now in subcommittees. There is still time – limited time – to stop these bills from enactment into law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please act now!
What Should I Do?
If you are a Virginia resident, please contact your state legislators and Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and urge them NOT to give final approval to this legislation. Even if these bills are approved by the VA General Assembly, the proposed legislation must be signed by Governor McDonnell to become law. He can choose to veto the legislation Urge him to veto the legislation if it comes to his desk.
Contact Governor McDonnell through his website at:
To learn who your VA state legislators are and how to contact them, please click on and follow the simple instructions.
For legislative history and updates on these bills, click on Bills & Resolutions at
If you have time, please contact your local news media in Virginia explaining why this law exempting farm animals from protection should not be enacted. Ask them to cover the issue. When contacting lawmakers and media, be sure to use your own words, and briefly and politely make your points. Always request a reply. Thank you for speaking up for millions of farm animals in Virginia.
United Poultry Concerns’ Letter to VA Governor Robert F. McDonnell:

February 16, 2011

Robert F. McDonnell
Governor of Virginia
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Dear Governor McDonnell:
I am writing to urge you please to veto Virginia Senate Bill 1026 and House Bill 1541 if and when these bills come to your desk in the form of proposed legislation for your signature. The proposed law seeks to reduce the level of care for Virginia’s farm animals to a level that would permit extreme cruelty without penalty to the owners of these animals.
SB 1026 and HB 1541 seek to amend the Code of Virginia relating to the care of agricultural animals by reducing current requirements to provide adequate food and water, to a provision that owners need only provide their animals with food and water sufficient “to prevent emaciation” and “to prevent dehydration.”
The proposed law seeks to weaken penalties from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 4 penalty with a token $250 fine. Even this nominal penalty would be waived to allow an owner to withhold food, water and shelter from farm animals if such denials of basic sustenance and care were deemed “customarily withheld, restricted, or apportioned pursuant to a farming activity.” There is no definition or guidance here as to what might be “customary” and nothing to protect farm animals from hunger and thirst to the point of prolonged, pathological suffering resulting from legalized neglect and mistreatment. Please do not let this happen.
The proposed law amounts to total legal and moral abandonment of farm animals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If SB 1026 and HB 1541 become law, there will be no standards of accountability whatsoever for owners of farm animals. It will be legal for them to starve their animals to the point of “emaciation” and to deprive them of water to the point of “dehydration.” Owners will have no responsibility to provide shelter for their animals. This is unacceptable.
Please do not sign this proposed legislation into law. It is being pushed through the Virginia legislature without being adequately addressed. Please do not authorize a law that would strip farm animals of all protections against cruelty and allow their owners to mistreat them with impunity. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your response.
Karen Davis, President
United Poultry Concerns
Note: On February 6, 2011, Virginia resident Marianne Roberts published a letter in The Daily Progress, “Bill weakens animal cruelty law,” and on February 7 The Daily Progress published an editorial, “Bill starves protections for animals.” These informative opinion pieces can be read at and

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don't just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.

Order Today: Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (2009 Revised Edition)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Courtney Jones and Chelsea Harnish on Indy Media Live!

Courtney Jones is the manager of grass roots organizing for Planned Parenthood of VA and Chelsea Harnish works with the Chesapeake climate action network

Whole Foods RECYCLES #5 plastic! 11173 West Broad Street Glen Allen Short Pump

The DEQ Public Hearing on a draft permit that will allow surface water impacts associated with the construction of a new nuclear reactor at North Anna. (This hearing is scheduled for Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Louisa Middle School.)

- The NRC request for public comments on the final EIS for the new reactor at North Anna. (deadline March 9)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
1-800-368-5642, 301-415-7000

HR3 – If you want your legeslators to know how you feel about this house bill, please call the congressional switchboard (202) 224-3121 or to learn more information please call (202) 730-9001

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Clair Guthrie Gastanaga, Andrea Miller, Gena Boyle and Steve Northup on Indy Media Live!

Andrea Miller is Co-Chair of PDAVA and part of the PDA National Field team.

Steve Norhtup is the executive director for the Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. (

Gena Boyle, an advocate for victims of sexual and domestic violence, joined our show today to talk about two important bills making their way through the General Assembly. The first are a set of bills that will improve access to protect orders for victims of dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. Currently, it is very difficult for non-family members experiencing violence to access these civil protections.

The second measure is one that will expand the Address Confidentiality Program, a program that helps victims of domestic violence relocate with a non-disclosed address. This is a program that is run through the Attorney General's office.

If you or someone you know needs help, there is a 24-hour hotline 1.800.838.8238. It is free and confidential.

the number of the protective order for dating is House Bill 2063/SB1222

ERA is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution first proposed in 1923, soon after the amendment providing for the right of American women to vote was adopted. Strong actions to achieve ratification of the ERA reached their height from 1972-1982, when 35 of the 38 required states had ratified. So, the ERA was not then ratified, but just slept. Until now!!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trieste Lockwood, Director of Interfaith Power & Light and Mary Rafferty the Grassroots Organizing Manager with the Sierra Club: Virginia Chapter!

Here is the quick story: Virginia Uranium, Inc, a Canadian owned company, is trying to repeal a nearly 30-year statewide ban on the mining of uranium, the milling of yellowcake, and the disposal of radioactive waste in Virginia. A proposed mine and mill in Pittsylvania County would generate over 28 million tons of mill tailings waste. This type of waste has been linked to increases in leukemia, kidney disease, and other severe health problems. Sounds gross, right? And this stuff has the potential to leak into the drinking water source for Southside communities and also Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and many communities in North Carolina.

The National Academy of Sciences is holding a town hall in Richmond and will hear testimony from the public about lifting this ban. At the last event, paid uranium lobbyists came out in force and we know they will again so a group of 40 citizens from Southside Virginia are taking the day off of work and driving 4 hours to get their voice heard. Will you help amplify the voice of these concerned citizens whose community is at risk?

Here are the details of the event:

National Academy of Science Town Hall
Date: Monday, February 7, 2011
Time: 5:00 – 9:00pm
Location: Richmond Marriot (500 East Broad Street, Richmond)

Don’t let Virginia Uranium, Inc jeopardize our heritage, our health and our future. Join me on Monday February 7th to keep the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia.

Staff from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance will be here next week to talk about legislation that is moving through the General Assembly that will improve access to protective orders for victims of dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. 42 states have passed laws allowing access to protective orders for victims of dating violence. The General Assembly is considering several bills this year that would ensure that victims of dating violence in Virginia would be eligible to petition for a protective order.

The first subcommittee hearing of these bills in the House of Delegates will take place this Wednesday afternoon. If you would like to call your legislator to indicate your support, visit to find contact information.

If you are listening today and you or someone you know needs help, please call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault hotline at 1.800.838.8238. The hotline staff is available 24 hours a day.

Dear Members,
At this morning’s meeting of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, Senator Obenshain's bill (SB 1200 – redefining what is commonly referred to as the “triggerman rule”) to extend the death penalty to accomplices in cases of murder in the commission of rape was carried over to the next meeting of the Committee, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. this Wednesday, February 2, in Senate Conference Room A.
The decision to carry over the bill was made on motion of Senator Saslaw to permit time to amend the bill to narrow the potential accomplices to whom the expansion would apply. Such an amendment would be an improvement on the broad expansion sought by the original bill. I believe a factor in the decision to attempt to narrow the bill was our opposition to the bill as drafted and the opposition of so many of you who contacted the Senators on the Committee and urged them to vote against it. Your opposition was concretely demonstrated at today’s meeting, when more than 30 of you came out to show your opposition to the bill. Thanks to all of you who took time out of your busy schedules to attend the meeting.
VADP will oppose the bill in its amended form. Particularly at this time of significant budgetary shortfalls, Virginia can ill afford the substantial additional costs that will be incurred by any expansion of the death penalty. Please contact the key Senators on the Committee and urge them to vote against the amended bill. See our Action Alert of last week for the names of these key senators and go to our website for their contact information:
With your help, each year we’ve been able to keep this legislation from becoming law. Let’s keep up the pressure and say NO to death penalty expansion in Virginia!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (804) 301-4920 or
Steve Northup, Executive Director

And remember! Tuesday, Feb 1st @4pm eastern time, repeated for night owls, at 1am!!!


The challenge is on! No meat, no milk, no animal anything. Oprah and 378 Harpo

staffers go vegan for one week. Could you do it?

For more information, please contact
Mary Rafferty
Grassroots Organizing Manager
Sierra Club - Virginia Chapter

Office: (804) 225-9113 ext 105
Cell: (401) 862-8749


Trieste Lockwood
Director, Interfaith Power & Light
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
804-643-2474 ext. 123