Engage in Your Democracy- nonprofits

Engage in Your Democracy- nonprofits

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Virginia onAir is US onAir’s model of a curated state Hub. Over the past two years, George Mason University alumni, faculty, students, and staff through their GMU onAir chapter have led the development and testing of this Hub.

Major Projects:

Contact: Kerrie Thompson, Outreach Director

Active citizen participation is an integral part of a functioning representative democracy. Members of the General Assembly want and need citizen input when crafting laws. As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is your right to voice your opinion regarding pending legislation. There are many ways in which citizens can communicate with their legislator; phone calls, letters, email, or through visits to their legislative offices.

Major Projects:

The Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

Jennifer Victor, Organizer
Email: jvictor@gmu.edu
Websitemagnifyyourvoice.com/organization/democracysquad

Major Projects:

We are a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government. We work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and we influence public policy through education and advocacy.

Anu Sahai & Nancy Roodberg, Co-Presidents
Email: Contact form
Websitelwv-fairfax.org/

Major Projects:

Virginia onAir

There are many ways to engage with Virginia onAir. All that is required for most projects is to become an onAir member with your first name and last name, email address, and zip code. It’s free to join!

OnAir members will be able to participate in discussions in both livestreamed, online Zoom meetings which we call aircasts as well as engage in projects as onAir Curators. Elected politicians, candidates, and nonpartisan organizations will also be able to host aircasts supported by onAir Producers and Curators as well as co-curate their Virginia onAir posts.

Some of the ways you can engage with Virginia onAir are listed below. For more information, see posts in the “Engage” drop down menu in this Hub’s header.

Read and Discuss

Read about who represents you and Discuss.

Make a suggestion. Ask a question. Add a forum comment. Give your endorsement.

You can find your representative by going to va.onair.cc and select the “VA Representatives” billboard and the “Who Represents Me” choice. Type in your street address, city and state.

To learn more your delegate, select the three dots next to the post’s title and navigate the tabs. To view all the content at one time, select the feature image or the post’s title.

To add to a discussion, login and select the speech balloon.

Moderate Discussions

Moderate the discussions in a committee post

Help insure that Virginia onAir comments on committee posts meet our moderation guidelines.

Moderators will become co-authors of a committee post and will have reserved seats to any aircast related to the post(s) they are moderating.

Moderators can also assist with curation of a post’s content collaborating with other their co-authors and interested viewers.

Watch an Aircast

Watch and Participate in Aircast Forums on issues

Learn about issues important to you & ask the politicians and experts questions.

Aircasts are Zoom meetings with featured guests and audience participation that are livestreamed to the public. Aircasts are recorded and archived in onAir Hubs and YouTube channels and shareable on social media and websites

To be part of an audience during an aircast, contact the aircast’s Host.

Curate an Aircast

Curate aircasts w/ your representatives.

As an onAir Curator, you coordinate and introduce aircasts on representatives you want to support. 

You will curate aircasts that feature   Virginia representatives. Slide presentations and short videos can be part of an aircast to introduce the representatives. The representatives will decide on who can participate in the aircast’s Zoom audience.

You may consider using slides or a short video to share information with attendees.

Aircasts are also conducted with the support of aircast producers who manage all the technical aspects of the aircast. Contact Shuaib.Ahmed@onair.cc to become an aircast producer.

Intern with VA onAir

Democracy onAir welcomes any US citizen to apply for an internship. We require a minimum commitment of 6 hours per week.

We have a special interest in working with undergraduate students majoring in government, communications, media, or a related field with a passion to improve democracy in the US.  Students (and other US citizens) who want to intern with Democracy onAir this fall can submit their resume with an introductory email articulating why you are interested in being a Democracy onAir intern and include a link, if appropriate, to your relevant academic program (internship, capstone project, research project etc.) to: internships@onair.cc. 

To learn more about interning, go to this post.

Become a VA onAir Donor

If you are interested in creating a more trusted source of political information and more civil political discussions, donate to Democracy onAir.

Donations can made by any individual or foundation that wishes to support the mission of Democracy onAir. Donors can choose to support the entire organization or state Hub, as well as specific operations, such as a District and all the posts within it, an individual politician Post, or a specific Issue Post. Donations, at the donor’s request, can be displayed on the appropriate Hub with links to social networks and/or websites.. Anonymous donations are accepted as long as they are verified as US residents or US-based foundations with no foreign affiliations.

Democracy onAir was chartered in Virginia in 2018 and has obtained 510(c)(3) status. Checks or wire transfers are made out to Democracy onAir. All donations are tax deductible.

Become a VA onAir Sponsor

Sponsors can choose to support the US onAir Network or as specific state Hub, as well as specific operations, such as a District and all the posts within it, an individual politician Post, or a specific Issue Post. We are particularly interested in sponsoring organizations that seek to support student civic engagement, democratic and civil discourse, and the intersection of technology and government. Foreign owned or affiliated organizations are not permitted to be sponsors of any US onAir Hub.

Hub sponsors will be displayed throughout an onAir Hub and its posts. Hub sponsors will have the option to create their own US onAir post or sponsors can have links to their websites or video.

For further information about sponsoring, contact scott.joy@onair.cc.

Fairfax League of Women Voters

We are a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government. We work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and we influence public policy through education and advocacy.

  • We discuss and study issues of local, national, state and regional concern. We inform ourselves, legislators, and the general public about the results of our research.

  • We monitor elections and government activities.

  • We sponsor candidate debates and community forums about vital issues.

  • We testify at legislative and administrative hearings to insure citizen input in policy making decisions.

  • We publish and distribute issue-oriented material.

  • We advocate, occasionally go to court to help clarify and enforce laws in the public interest.

  • We produce and distribute Voters’ Guides to help citizens to choose a candidate and to be prepared to vote on ballot questions.

  • We get INVOLVED!

We Never Support Nor Oppose Candidates For Office. We Never Support Political Parties. Any Use Of The League Of Women Voters Name In Campaign Advertising Or Literature Has Not Been Authorized By The League

Monthly calendar of events
Action Alerts

Anu Sahai & Nancy Roodberg, Co-Presidents
Email: Contact form
Websitelwv-fairfax.org/

Voting Registration Drives

Upcoming Voter Registration Drives

Drives During The Pandemic

Volunteers the Farmer’s Markets, Food Drives and more. Have an idea or question? Write to Bob Meredith.

We have completed our voter registration drives for the fall of 2020. See you in 2021!

Registering Voters Requires Official Training.

The Virginia Department of Elections requires online Voter Registration training to be renewed each year after July 1st. 

https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/registration-drives/voter-registration-training-video/

 1. Watch the online training video (Updated 7/1/20). Certification expires on June 30th each year. Online training must be retaken annually after July 1st.

2. Once you have watched the ELECT certified training video, submit the voter registration application request and affidavit.

Interested In Organizing A Voter Registration Drive Or Have Questions About Volunteering?

The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area seeks volunteers to register voters at various locations across the county.

For any voter registration question, contact Bob Meredith, our Voter Registration Chair.

Serve as an Election Officer

Election Officers Needed!

The Fairfax County Office of Elections is currently recruiting voters to serve as Election Officers a few days a year. To learn more, go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/working.htm

In order to be an Election Officer, you must:

  • Be fluent in English

  • Be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia

  • Be able to fulfill the Federal I-9 employment eligibility requirements

  • Attend a 3-hour training class

  • Arrive at the polling place at 5:00 am and remain until all work has been completed after the polls close at 7pm

  • Have basic computer skills

The Election Officer’s main priority is to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the election process. A typical Election Day consists of:

  • arriving one hour before polls open to set up voting equipment

  • hanging up pertinent signage

  • preparing the polling room for voting

  • processing voters throughout the day

  • assisting with operating voting equipment

  • securing voting equipment and closing down the polling place at the end of the day

Election Officers are offered a stipend of $175 for serving a full day.

We especially encourage bilingual citizens to serve as we need language assistance in many precincts. Residency in Fairfax County is not required.

It is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in the election process or public service, and we need civic-minded individuals to help make Election Day a success!

To apply, call the office at (703) 324-4735. You can also email elect@fairfaxcounty.gov or visit the Fairfax County Office of Elections for more information.

Webpage

Condo and Community Center Elections

If you are interested in having the League come to facilitate your condo or community center elections, contact our co-presidents, Anu Sahai and Nancy Roodberg.

Condo and Community Center Elections are one of the League’s biggest fundraisers.  If you are interested in volunteering to help out, please see the election calendar below for individual elections.

Webpage

Join the League’s National Lobby Corps!

Join the League’s National Lobby Corps!

Do you love to learn about national public policy? Now’s your chance to serve our country and get a deep dive about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. Become a national League volunteer lobbyist! Learn more about the issues impacting our country and help the League bring bills to U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives. You can bring education to the offices at the capital!

How can you join? Print and fill out the application. Then scan, mail, and/or take a picture of your application. Email scans and pictures of completed applications to the national chair of the Lobby Corps: Jackie Coolidge — jcoolidge@schoolbench.com.

Lobby Corps Application

Opportunities for High School students

We have many opportunities for high school students to volunteer and engage in voter registration activities.  Webpage

Student Volunteer

Interested in volunteering with us? Great! Please write to HSVolunteers@lwv-fairfax.org.

For the March 3rd Presidential Primary, you could create social media.

FCPS Interns

For more about the internship program, write to Beth Tudan, director@lwv-fairfax.org.

More Projects

Learn more about the Fairfax League of Women Voters and their activities at their website

Virginia General Assembly

Virginia onAir posts:    VA Senate   VA House of Delegates

Citizen Involvement

As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of your greatest responsibilities is to help elect the legislators who represent all Virginians. But your role in the democratic process of government does not end at the polls. By sharing your opinions and ideas with your elected officials, you help them resolve issues and evaluate pending legislation.

Below are five projects you can do to become more involved in your democracy.

Democracy Squad at GMU

Why Democracy Squad?

There are three reasons it is important to organize the campus community to engage in politics:

  1. Over the past several years, partisan polarization has contributed to the decline of democratic norms. Political science has shown that democratic institutions fail when citizens and leaders fail to adhere to democratic norms. We can shore up democracy, its institutions and norms, by taking positive actions to reinforce them.
  2. Politics and policy at the federal level are are damaged and gridlocked. We can reinforce democracy by taking actions in our community.
  3. Modern American politics are ugly. Conditions are ripe for misinformation, conspiracy, and sometimes violence. As a campus community, it is important to be a model of positive civic engagement. Democracy Squad highlights partisan-neutral, positive civic participation.

What does Democracy Squad do?

Volunteers in Professor Victor’s Democracy Squad connect through Magnify, a social media application designed to facilitate collective action. Democracy Squad includes a collection of projects, big and small, to help facilitate positive civic engagement on campus. Democracy Squad members can join one another’s projects or event, or post their own. Examples include: attend an open panel or talk on campus, attend a local city council meeting, create an info-graphic about misinformation and post it on social media, create a chalk campaign to thank first responders and essential workers, and more!

Can small, individual acts really reinforce democracy?

Yes. How do I know that small, individual acts can reinforce democracy? Because it’s the only thing that ever has. When combined, small acts of individuals add up to collective action. When people reinforce democratic values, the democracy is strengthened.

What type of small acts are most effective at reinforcing democracy?

To support democracy, take actions that directly impact the sources of polarization: inequalityweak parties, and lack of shared information. The books listed below each category help to explain how trouble in these three areas have contributed to polarization. Taking action to correct these, can counteract polarization. Examples of current Democracy Squad projects that speak to these challenging areas are listed below.

1. Inequality (economic, racial, health, education, environmental, etc.). Polarization rises with inequality. Read more about how inequality contributes to democratic decline in these books:

2. Strong political parties have a moderating effect on political candidates. Strengthen parties that support democratic values. People are attracted to extremism and anti-democratic movements when they feel unrepresented. Change election laws to promote multi-partyism and generate more representation.

3. Bifurcated information environment contributes to polarization.

What has Democracy Squad done?

During the peak of the 2020 election season, George Mason University’s Democracy Squad boasted about 120 members who took more than 100 actions in 48 different local projects. Our movement was noticed by the Mason community and spread to other campuses, including University of Texas, Austin..

GMU Democracy Squad participants showed a 40 percent engagement rate with DS projects.

How do I join Democracy Squad?

Join Democracy Squad by creating an account on Magnify and joining the Democracy Squad organization on Magnify. You can then join a project that is already posted, or create your own project in Democracy Squad. Proposed projects will require approval from Professor Victor. Student generated projects are encouraged and should be consistent with the goals of Democracy Squad: encourage Mason Nation to take positive actions that reinforce democracy, reduce partisan polarization, and support democratic norms and values through civic engagement.

Click Here to Join Democracy Squad

You can also join Democracy Squad using Magnify invite code: “squadgoals.” Democracy Squad is open to any George Mason University student, staff, alumni, or faculty.

More Opportunities

Discuss

OnAir membership is required.  The lead Moderator for the discussions is .
We encourage civil, honest, and safe discourse.  See Terms of Service for curation guidelines.

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