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Lawmakers consider changes to Maine's Clean Election law, Florida offers a big no comment over "arranged" migrant flights to California, and the Global Fragility Act turns U.S. peacekeeping on its head.

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Celebration of 15 Years of Change in VA

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Friday, August 6, 2010   

RICHMOND, Virg. - Whether it's knocking on doors or standing up to politicians - community organizers say their efforts do work and are an important tool to affect change. That's the message from the Virginia Community Organizing Project as they celebrate birthday number-15 tomorrow in Richmond. The statewide grassroots group with thousands of supporters will reflect on their history and the causes they've championed - from worker's rights, to opposing Attorney General Cuccinellis's law suit to oppose health care reform.

Denise Smith is one of the founding members and sits on the board.

"If we start dealing with issues that are important to us, and we make an effort to join together with other organizations like Virginia Organizing Project, and like community organizations, then there is something you can do to make this world a better place."

Whether it's high taxes or polluted water, Smith says many people feel powerless when it comes to issues in their communities, but she has seen many changes over the years from community development projects to voter registration and turnout.

"It doesn't mean that you have to go to Richmond. You can write a letter to your senator about your concern; you can write a letter to your delegate, it's the cost of a stamp; you can make a phone call. You can talk to your neighbors and friends and find out to what's concerning them."

Prior to the Virginia Organizing Project's formation, no statewide organization existed in Virginia to encourage civic engagement on a variety of issues, she says. Hundreds from Norfolk, Abingdon, Roanoke and elsewhere are expected to gather in Richmond on Saturday to celebrate the 15 Years of Organizing Change in Virginia Event from 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m. at Linwood Holton Elementary School, 1600 West Laburnum Avenue, Richmond.




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