In 2007 the greater Fredericksburg, VA region welcomed a new democratic blog, Fred2Blue, which was co-founded by a close personal friend of mine, Dan Smolen. Dan was ending a highly successful term as Chair of the Stafford County Virginia Democratic Committee and recognized the need for another outlet for progressives to get their viewpoints heard. This was not happening, due to a certain large local media company controlling nearly all outlets. As Dan noted on Fred2Blue,
Important stories don’t get covered well, if at all. New ideas don’t get fostered, or for that matter, challenged. And quite often opposing political views – mainly from moderates or progressives – hardly get any notice.
In April of 2008, I was elected Chair of the Stafford County Virginia Democratic Committee and quickly realized how real these challenges were and how difficult it was to get our message out in a town with only one major news source. I immediately implemented an aggressive web strategy to help us overcome these obstacles. This included revamping the committee’s website and embracing new social media such as facebook, twitter and youtube. This proved critical in preparing us locally for the 2008 election, which saw President Obama become the first Democratic candidate to carry Virginia since 1964 and saw Sen. Mark Warner become the first Democratic candidate in nearly a generation to win Stafford County. This new web strategy proved effective in helping to grow our membership (increasing by nearly 150%) and organize online in a way we had never done before.
As this chapter of my life comes to a close (my term ends in January), I’m ready to join Dan and offer another progressive voice locally on issues that matter: ensuring that practical and efficient transportation solutions are sought and realized; our schools are properly funded; the environment is protected; our families are strong and our communities safe; growth is conducted in a sensible way; economic development is strong and vibrant; and opportunities continue to be available to all. This blog will also explore other areas of interest from time-to-time such as technology, the arts, business or sports. No subject will be off limits.
Let the fun begin!