Hello Virginia Democrats!
I’m sorry I can’t be there in person, but I wanted to send a brief note to thank you for all you do for the Democratic Party and to let you know what I’ve been up to in my first week as Chair.
There’s no question that Virginia was one of our silver linings in a tough election year – and that’s because of you and the dedicated Democrats across the Commonwealth who worked to get out the vote. You delivered for Hillary Clinton and for Democrats up and down the ticket, and for that I am deeply grateful.
I’d also like to thank Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Chairwoman Susan Swecker, in particular, for your leadership and support, in both our Party and in my race for DNC Chair. It was a team effort and a hard-fought race, but through it all, our candidates never made it personal. We always made it about the Party, and that’s why I’m so optimistic about our future.
My first decision as Chair was an easy one – asking my friend Keith Ellison to join me and serve as our Deputy Chair. And that's because I could not feel more strongly that a united Democratic Party isn't just America's best hope, it's Donald Trump's worst nightmare.
In our first week we’ve brought the fight to Donald Trump non-stop. We’re holding this administration and its Republican allies all across this country accountable for their broken promises, we’re exposing their lies, and we are just getting started. As we begin the work of rebuilding and revitalizing the Democratic Party together, we’ll be focused on energizing the grassroots and supporting state parties like yours to make sure we get back to the business of winning elections at every level of government.
One of the most critical pieces of that strategy in the coming cycles will be our voter protection program. We have much to learn from the Democratic Party of Virginia, and your investments in continued voter protection efforts are as critical as they are commendable. The right to vote is sacred, but it’s also under constant threat by a Republican Party intent on keeping historically disenfranchised groups away from the ballot. That’s why I promised during my campaign to ramp up our national voter protection and empowerment efforts, and I hope I can count on your support as we undertake that work.
There’s no question that this was one of the most trying years in our Party’s history, but there’s a powerful movement forming across the country, and it’s giving me every reason to believe our future is bright if we listen, learn and lead.
Again, thank you for all that you do for the Democratic Party. I look forward to hearing from you, working with you, and fighting by your side as a fellow Democrat in the days and months ahead.
Tom Perez, DNC Chair