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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

Roar Like McMorrow

 Just over a year ago this happened:



Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow gave a powerful speech that went viral and was an inspiration for many progressives including myself.

At that time, I had just retired as a health care provider for under-served members of our community and I knew I needed to get involved.  This speech kicked my rear end into gear so I joined the Staunton Democratic Committee.

So what was so special about her speech ?

There have been many individuals and communities in history that have stood up, spoke out, pushed back and bent but did not break.  This speech and her message of tolerance and caring for others while exposing and pushing back against the hatred and hypocrisy of others hit me at just the right time.  I had never heard of Mallory McMorrow but I will never forget that transformative moment.   

All of us have had those moments where something happens to shift our thinking, pushes us into action and makes us a better person.  Also, we have all been the source of this kind of change in other people whether we realized it or not at the time.  

We are seeing a lot of the McMorrow Roar recently:
  • Teens in Tennessee and March for Our Lives protesting for gun control
  • Gen Z fighting for the climate, gun control and their future and showing up to vote and become members of Congress and other legislative bodies.
  • The Tennessee legislators being supported and reinstated by their constituents
  • Kansas women, men and independents standing up for their right for abortion and bodily autonomy  in August 2022
  • Midterm trifectas for Democrats in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota 
  • Massive young voter turnout in Wisconsin resulting in a new liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court which will help reverse the gerrymandered cheating and guarantee reproductive rights
  • Abortion rights victories in deep red Nebraska and South Carolina just yesterday
  • Increasing Unionization (Starbucks as one example)
  • Zooey Zephyr in Montana and Danica Roem in Virginia
  • Staunton residents speaking out about the Hardy Lot and government transparency
  • Four Staunton City Councilors standing up last night to increase the tax rate so we can fully fund schools and keep promises to invest in Uniontown and the West End.
  • And many more both large and small
There are still many ongoing and future threats by those who want to deny rights and freedoms to you and your communities.   These efforts were quite evident in the most recent 2023 Virginia General Assembly session. 

In 2023, Virginia Republicans tried to pass bills that would:
  • Ban abortion and reduce reproductive rights, 
  • Stifle voting access and opportunities, 
  • Sabotage the Virginia Clean Economy Act and the environment, 
  • Promote weapons of mass destruction in houses of worship (I'm looking at you Ellen Campbell) and throughout our communities, 
  • Demonize minorities communities, 
  • Ban books (already happening in at least four Virginia localities)
  • Whitewash history, 
  • Promote biased policing, 
  • Cancel marriage equality.  
  • Demonize LGBTQ+ communities
  • Meanwhile, Youngkin declined a Ford $3.5 billion EV battery factory with 2500 jobs because of some fantasy about the Chinese Communist Party.  
These are just a few examples of the threats we face in Virginia.

These people are not stopping and will do anything to increase their power over you, your families and your communities.  It is all about their power and NOT about policy and ideas that promote the welfare of all.

Thus, it is vital to stand up and speak out in any way we can.  Most of us will not be able to give a speech before the Michigan Senate but we can all Roar Like McMorrow !

Do something and anything to help us win both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and put a stop to  MAGA and Youngkin:






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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

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