Working with Virginia Organizing
To the editor:
My name is Vonita Williams. I have lived in Suffolk all of my life. I have been volunteering with Virginia Organizing since 2019. Ever since I have lived in Suffolk, I don’t recall any grassroots organization getting things done in the community. Virginia Organizing is a grassroot organization geared to empower, educate and inspire the people of the community. Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization founded in 1995, dedicated to promoting social and economic justice for all Virginians. Virginia Organizing started a chapter in Suffolk in 2018. On June 29, 2021, the state governing board for Virginia Organizing declared our Suffolk group a chapter. The Suffolk chapter is unique because we believe that people are the experts of their own circumstances and should be empowered to take action in local, state, and national policymaking.
Since getting involved, I have attended Virginia Organizing’s workshops on leadership development. The workshops included learning about how the General Assembly works, working on voter registration and restoration of rights, learning about systemic racism and/or institutional racism and internal racist oppression, recognizing that flooding and other environmental issues are always in the African American and brown people communities, going to City Council meetings and meeting with state legislators. I just attended National Night Out. I wore my Virginia Organizing T-shirt. I was proud to wear my shirt. I spoke to a lot of people. Some people said, “I know about Virginia Organizing; you all do good work.” Some people wanted to hear more about the organization.
Virginia Organizing was one of the frontrunners organizations working on Medicare expansion. We believe that everyone should have access to health insurance. We worked on lowering the cost of prescription drugs. We protested for affordable vaccination for everyone when the pandemic first started. We did not want the big pharmaceutical companies to try to price gouge the vaccine. We worked on improving Suffolk public bus transit. Those improvements are not limited to purchasing new buses, adding more bus shelters, improving better routes, and extended hours to ride the bus. When the George Floyd murder happened, the Suffolk chapter had dismantling racism workshops. One thing I know is Virginia Organizing is a grassroots organization that empowers its members and leaders. I encourage everyone reading this letter to get involved with Virginia Organizing. If not you then who? Virginia Organizing is bringing change.