Arlington Dems Flock to Jefferson Jackson Dinner
Calling the state a "battleground," speakers worked to rally Democrats in Arlington for upcoming elections on local, state and national tickets.
The Arlington Democrats hosted its annual fundraiser, the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, to high turnout Friday night at The Westin Arlington Gateway.
Hundreds showed up to hear the key speakers: Anne Holton, former first lady of Virginia, R.T. Rybak, the Democratic National Committee vice-chairman and a “rising star” in the Democratic party, and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran.
Speakers worked to rally Democrats in Arlington for the upcoming elections on local, state and national tickets. Speakers concentrated on the re-election of President Barack Obama and the election of former governor Tim Kaine to the U.S. Senate, calling the state a battleground.
“We need to prepare ourselves for battle,” Moran said. “They want a winner-take-all economy. [Republican donors] know Mitt Romney will do their bidding. They are going to blanket the air because they know that it’s going to come down to this community. We don’t have that money. We don’t need that money. We have the people power.”
Other speakers continued to encourage Arlington Democrats and call on the importance of the upcoming election.
“It’s important to recognize that this isn’t bologna that you are Ground Zero,” Rybak said. “You really are Ground Zero here. Virginia — and this county exactly — is Ground Zero for this presidential race.”
Drawing off his background of heavy support for Obama, Rybak praised the president’s healthcare reform that allowed 6 million young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance and mentioned the bailout of the auto industry.
“He stuck his neck out,” Rybak said. “That wasn’t popular. That’s leadership.”
Holton has been behind the scenes previously in her husband’s political runs because of her appointment as judge on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for the City of Richmond. Saying she “thrilled to be all-in,” Holton gave remarks supporting her husband’s campaign.
She called on his support of early childhood education and improvements to transportation.
Holton joined the dinner from a recent tour across the state to support small business.
She also spoke to her husband’s support of pay equality for women and mention of the recently failed pay equality measure solicited hisses and boos from the crowd.
“We need to be supporting our veterans,” Holton said. “We need to be supporting our seniors. We need to be supporting our women.”
Speakers also honored Peggy Fisher, wife of the late Rep. Joseph Fisher, who recently passed away. The couple worked to build foundations in Arlington for diversity, education and community, according to speakers.
“Arlington today is a result of their vision,” Moran said. “We’re fighting for the foundation that the Fishers and so many of you have laid out.”
Money raised from the event will go to supporting phone banks, outreach to youth voters and printing campaign literature, according to Mike Lieberman, Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
“We are making sure every dollar that you donate is going toward everyone from the School Board to the president,” he said. “Arlington, Virginia is going to be a battleground this year. You’re sitting smack dab in the middle of a battle state and it feels damn good to say it.”