Whom Do You Endorse?

It’s that time again. This Saturday, Charlottesville Democrats will hold their primary at Burley Middle School from 9am–7pm, where people will be voting for the Democratic nominees for City Council and Clerk of Court. Any Democrat can show up at any point in the day and cast their ballot. (Note that Democrats use an instant runoff voting system now, which is a really great voting system that ensures that the most popular candidates win, rather than just the candidates that crack some incredibly low percentage required in a race with a lot of candidates. To see what the somewhat unusual ballot will look like, visit the Charlottesville Democrats’ website.)

This is your chance to convince people to support your candidates of choice. For Clerk of Court, the candidates are Llezelle Dugger, Paul Garrett, and Pam Melampy. And for City Council, the candidates are Paul Beyer, Colette Blount, Brevy Cannon, Kathleen Galvin, James Halfaday, Satyendra Huja, and Dede Smith. A lot of people haven’t made their mind up for clerk, and there are plenty of people who know one or two people who they want to support for council, and are looking to round up their list. Make a pitch for the candidates you’re passionate about. (For them, not against the other candidates. You do your candidate no favors attacking the opposition at this point.) Don’t support any of the Democrats? Then this as a chance to persuade people to sit out the primary and support one of the independent candidates.

34 Responses to “Whom Do You Endorse?”

  • Kathy Galvin, I believe, understands how many of the moving parts of running a city fit together into a cohesive whole. Her vision for Charlottesville is very well balanced between equity, economic development, and environmental stewardship, and she has found creative ways to connect these goals that too often conflict.

    I like that she can use the work “infill” without cringing, and she has the design background to know what works and what doesn’t for neighborhoods. The ideals all of the candidates aspire to, such as walkability, affordable housing, and career-ladder jobs, depend on our community living up to its name: the CITY of Charlottesville. That’s our role in this region, I believe Galvin has the experience and willingness to help us live it out.

  • This Saturday, I’ll be enthusiastically supporting Dede Smith, Colette Blount, and Brevy Cannon. They are three very different people, and I believe that each of them would bring something special to Council. As a n’hood president, I’ve been around the Council block quite a few times and have a pretty good BS detector.

    Dede is perhaps the only candidate who has mentioned historic preservation in her platform. She has also been a strong supporter of the Woolen Mills during the pumping station debacle. She truly understood what we were up against, and she does her homework. I have no doubt that she would protect the citizens and neighborhoods who needed her help. I also greatly appreciate the many hours she’s already logged as a citizen activist.

    The community leaders and neighborhood presidents I know are generally pretty savvy about how things work in Charlottesville (and sadly, how they don’t). Many of them have been at the receiving end of broken promises from Councilors and other gov’t officials. We’re looking for Councilors who aren’t afraid to take some heat, if that’s what it takes to help the folks who need it. Dede fits the bill. I’ve always found her to be totally approachable, incredibly helpful, and tireless in her efforts to make sure that people don’t get stomped on.

    Colette Blount is amazing. She’s brilliant and one of the staunchest environmental stewards among the candidates. She’s nobody’s fool, and will always vote her conscience. I’m 100% certain that she’ll be a Councilor the people can count on, and she’ll make Cville a far better place.

    I really like Brevy Cannon’s enthusiasm, and that his platform is centered on bringing middle class and clean energy jobs to Charlottesville.

    All three candidates should be lauded for running clean and dignified campaigns, and for not whining, lecturing, or hectoring the other candidates and their supporters. That’s a refreshing change that I will happily support.

  • Like Victoria I have also been a n’hood president, as well as a planning commissioner. I too am looking for candidates that will be accessible to the citizens, and have the spine to represent those in the city who often go unheard.

    I will be voting for Dede Smith, Colette Blount, and Brevy Canon.

    Dede, Brevy and Colette already have impressive resumes of service to our community.

    I have had the good fortune to know each of them personally and have witnessed their abiltiy to see thru the spin to the core of a problem, and then reach out to others, as well as doggedly research the data for the best solution.

    I am supporting them because I have observed, that they all possess good people skills: a sense of humor ( so important when dealing with the public), a kind disposition, humility, mature judgment, commitment, experience, and skills to use up to date information to solve the many challenges that lie ahead for our city.

    I am thrilled, as a 40 year resident of Charlottesville, to have 3 excellent candidates to vote for this Saturday.

  • As a Woolen Mill N’hood board member who also has a good BS detector, I’m voting for the three and only three folks who will get things done, not keep spinning our wheels in the mud: 1. Kathy Galvin (all of the school board members who served with her, except the one who is running against her in this race, came out to stand behind her at her announcement–Kathy has the chops for this job, she’ll study each issue, frame the debate, vote, and move on); 2. Satyendra Huja (I’ve lived here for 20 years and like the place; Huja deserves a lot of credit for that); 3. Paul Beyer (I like his message regarding small business and the arts, I like that he’s young and smart).

  • Actually Waldo, you do not have to sit out the primary to be able to support the Independents in the general election. The pledge you are asked to sign when you vote in the democratic primary only says, at this time you intend to support democrats. It has not bearing once the primary is over. If your chosen candidates do not win you can support whomever you chose.

  • Regarding the Dems primary, I know two whom I wholeheartedly support, and one whom I cannot support at all. That makes for a very interesting ballot situation–because those middle four rankings in an instant run-off situation could make a Very Big Difference.

  • Dave Norris and others are hosting tonight —

    “Rally for Charlottesville! with Dede Smith, Colette Blount and Brevy Cannon”

    You’re invited! Please join City Council candidates Dede Smith, Colette Blount and Brevy Cannon on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6:00-7:30pm at Escafe on the Downtown Mall for one final meet & greet event/Get Out The Vote rally before the Democratic Primary on Saturday, Aug. 20 (9am-7pm at Burley Middle School on Rose Hill Dr.).

    Dede, Colette and Brevy have been running hard for the past couple of months, meeting thousands of voters and each sharing their own ideas for making Charlottesville a better place. If you have not decided who you’re voting for in the primary, this will be a great chance to meet three dedicated individuals who may not always vote the same way on Council, but who will work hard & stand firm in protecting Charlottesville’s greatest assets – our human and natural resources. Dede, Colette and Brevy will be strong advocates for our taxpayers, our ratepayers, our schoolchildren and our low-income families; will be responsive to our neighborhoods; will work to promote middle-class job creation in our City; and will push for creative and innovative solutions for making Charlottesville a truly “Green City.”

    Whether it’s support for our schoolteachers, support for our small businesses, support for our local arts community, support for our bike/ped trails or support for our parks, trees and green spaces, Dede Smith, Colette Blount and Brevy Cannon are just the kinds of advocates that Charlottesville needs in the critical years to come. Vote Smith/Blount/Cannon on August 20!

    For more info. on each of the candidates:


    More on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110004305767422

  • This saturday its important to vote for candidates who are independent and have proven experience of excellent public service. Its clear from the candidates running that Kathy Galvin and Mr. Huja are the most qualified of all the candidates in terms of depth of service and quality of service. As for the third spot I would have voted for Blount had she not been a part of the lame ticket Norris is trying to put forward to control Council and reverse the MCP and Water supply decisions-so I am bummed about that. So I am still weighing whether to vote for Beyer or Halfaday who are independent of the ticket shenanigans.

    Galvin has had superb service on the elected school board (and remember why we had to have an elected school board). She has proved herself as an effective member of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Redevelopment Committee and the the Capital improvement program committee. She will move the City forward on jobs, economic development, anti-poverty, affordable housing, neighborhood development,improvement of race relations and equity, and transportation. She will protect our interests and be a tough negotiator with the County when need be. She will bring a sane balance to the tradeoffs between sound ecological and green policies and policies that will promote reasonable and sound growth for our City. She is trustworthy and dependable, not a narrow-issue ideologue.

    Huja has proven service to the City. His recent transportation policy proposals are right on and will help keep the City green and improve the lives of our citizens, especially low income, who depend on public transportation. He has proven his ability to watch out for all City residents’ interest as he did when he voted against the western by-pass. Despite recent calculated attacks on his abilities to serve, we all know he is effective.

    Galvin and Huja have passed the “Schilling test.” He is adamantly against them, so we know they must be real democrats unlike others who are supported by Schilling who want to undermine the democratic party.

    As far as the comments above about people who are not democrats coming to vote in the primary with the intention to violate the pledge,I think its despicable and immoral behavior and I hope the Democratic party takes steps to fix their system to prevent this kind of behavior. If I vote in the primary I will have the integrity to not support any other candidates in the time period specified, even if my candidates don’t win. Otherwise what good is your word. If these people are so ticked off they should be independents or start their own party rather than try to destroy the democratic party.

  • I for one am glad we’ve had such an intense, dynamic campaign — good old American civic engagement, the real thing, the kind they write about in social studies textbooks. The past couple of months have been what democracy should look like: a group of candidates speaking passionately about issues that will significantly affect people’s lives for many years to come.

    No matter your perspective, pending decisions about the water supply and our road system MATTER, and I am glad that there are candidates whose positions on those issues are distinguishable from each other.

    Other issues matter too (I love, for instance, that the arts are a part of the discussion, and I am glad that several candidates are continuing to push on housing affordability), but the water and roads questions are particularly pressing at this moment. So I appreciate that the candidates have staked out strong positions — there’s no DC-style issue-ducking here!

    So, the table has been set by the candidates, and now the voters play the critical role, and we learn what direction we as a community want to take. And for those dissatisfied with the decision, there’s a whole crop of independents who will offer additional alternatives come November.

    This is the good stuff.

  • The pledge is bullshit as are I would suspect most proclamations of plans to honor the pledge no matter what. I find it hard to believe that anyone actually feels bound by that. Go if you can, sing the pledge and vote to get some decent councilors for a change. Smith, Blount, and Galvin for me. If they don’t win the primary, then I will happily vote a single shot for Fenwick.

  • Whoops, I edited out why I wasn’t going to vote for Galvin, (in brief she is a planner who doesn’t seem to be able to offer any plans for the future)and screwed things up in the process. Cannon’s opposition to the dam makes her my choice. I’m a single issue voter this time. I’m not usually, but the dam is a bad enough idea that I’ll do what I can to stop it. I’m pleased however that opposition to the Parkway goes hand in hand with opposition to the dam.

  • @skylark, I am in agreement with you about the pledge, but confused by your endorsement “but the dam is a bad enough idea that I’ll do what I can to stop it. ”
    Cannon is against the dam and in favor of dredging first and Galvin is for the dam and wants to stop all discussions about the water plan and move on. Maybe you could clarify your position.

  • No one would care who I endorsed but I will leave my predicitons here:

  • Perlogik

    I could live with that prediction.It has potential.

  • Ms. Smith's Neighbor

    Thank you Victoria and Karl, that was not only amusing about the BS Detector but revealing of which neighbors to not quite always take so dreadfully serious. Yeah, that side spliter is really an indicator that, those who be above the rest of us are likely to be the best BS Dishers as well.

    Betty (Dahling,) I’m still waiting upon you to acknowledge my RSVP for coffee sometime….. Oh, I’m sorry – did you revoke that without telling me?!!
    I do beg you pardon.

  • @MSN I would be glad to have coffee if you could
    please use your real name so I can contact you. I do apologize to anyone who tried to reach me in July. A close relative died and I had to be away most of the month.

    I welcome discussion of all points of view and any new information that will help solve the problems that face our city. I hope that using the best information available we can make good decisions for our community.

  • failing to see the issue

    @perlogik, I too think Huja and Blount will succeed but find it hard to predict a third. Certainly seems like it will be either Smith, Galvin or Beyer. Should be interesting….

  • Am Your Neighbor Too


    Amazing, how nice you can be to those you once tossed away like used kleenex before. Oh of course though, now that you and yours are on the brink of having city hall lock stock and barrel….. well we see it’s all to advancing every bit of only yours (and yours alone)agenda.

    I suspect you know very well who this is. When I was willing to listen, you plain decided I wasn’t worth trusting and (worse) beneath you. Let us just leave this at we now mistrust each other. As often as you get around here and other prominent places, you’ll get the last word.

    “I hope that using the best information available we can make good decisions for our community.”

    It’s strictly in your best interests to be approachable and accessible hence on isn’t it, since you basically have city council about handed to you.

    But don’t get the totally wrong idea, I wish you every richly deserved success with our city’s government. Because you won’t be able to no longer hide behind that WAITING ON HAVING TO USE THAT BEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE……. we’ll be expecting you to have it pronto to use, since you already have enough of the next councilors in your own back pocket. Yes, we’re all happy that the RWSA will listen and cooperate toward dredging as enterprise to the tune of 3.5 million.

    Have at it and best of luck. Just be sure your bought councilors see that (by sustainable or unsustainable population) there is (as Mr. Huja said – and understandable I might add) water and not hot air comes out of our taps!

  • @amyourneighbortoo

    You pegged it elitist group after control of council, but don’t lose heart. Many in the community are on to them and they probably won’t win. They are too ideological and after power for narrow self interests.everyone in town knows this is just norris dam sour grapes and people are too smart to swallow it.

    On another related note, as a result of the dredger tactics, can we coin a new phrase in cville politics: “Schilling Democrats”?

    Is that not what dede smith (and the Norris ticket for that matter) is?
    BM doesn’t have the last word, the voters of cville do and they don’ want mayor Norris building his own city council. They don’t want schilling democrats running council.

  • “Make a pitch for the candidates you’re passionate about. (For them, not against the other candidates. You do your candidate no favors attacking the opposition at this point.)”

    It’s kind of sad that this thread seems to have strayed from the suggestion that it not turn to attacks. I have no dog in this fight. I don’t even live in the city. I don’t know any of the candidates. But, for Truthtopower to try to tie Dave Norris (who I do know and respect) to Mr. Schilling (“Schilling Democrats”) is both unfair and mean-spirited. Cut it out.

  • I support Galvin, Huja and Beyer in that order partly because they are not taking absurd anti-parkway positions. My support for Galvin and Huja is based on an appreciation of their pragmatism, thoughtful consideration of multiple issues, and overall intelligence and politeness in an election that has been characterized by rudeness and negativity. The anti-gay slurs sent to Halfaday are so disgusting that that alone may cause me to put his name down as number four. I can probably live with several of the other candidates, but I cannot write about who I will support without mentioning the one candidate I can never support. I will not put any number next to Smith’s name because of her role in the Scottie Griffin fiasco. In my mind she does not deserve a second opportunity to treat the citizens of Charlottesville as rudely and dismissively as she did the students, parents and teachers of the city schools.

  • Charlotte, David Brown made a career on council of treating citizens rudely and condescendingly if they happened to speak out in a way he didn’t agree with. Were you offended by that? Why such an obsession with Smith’s past?

    The Parkway simply isn’t going to do what it’s supposed to do and will have really bad unintended consequences to traffic between there and where 5th street meets I64. Meanwhile, traffic on Park Street will accelerate unless speed bumps are put in which is something that will never happen. Any councilor who would vote for the parkway is not putting the city’s best interests first.

    @ city democrat, If you look again, you will see that I made two posts. While writing the first, I cut and pasted to edit things and screwed up and mistakenly put Galvin’s name in where I didn’t intend for it to be. She is supposedly a planer, but can’t even articulate a plan for what she would like to see in the city’s future. Sorry, that doesn’t fly with me.

  • Wowza, some of the anonymous posters have certainly dragged this thread down into the gutter. Lowering the tone in your quest to make your candidates look good isn’t cool.

    I can’t even pretend to know what on earth “Ms Smith’s Neighbor” and “Am Your Neighbor Too” are talking about. That’s some surreal and weirdly angry stuff there.

    @Truthtopower– re the Schilling stuff, you do realize that pronouncements made on a conservative radio talk show have absolutely nothing to do with how Dems are voting in this election, right?

  • I am concerned about the possible election of a developer and two urban planners/designers to City Council. We have a whole department at City Hall (NDS) full of planners, designers and architects. On council, we need people who can see things from the perspective of City residents. People who will protect our residential neighborhoods and quality of life. That is why I support Dede Smith, Colette Blount and Brevy Cannon.

  • All I know is that Schilling appears on his blog to support Dede Smith against the Democratic Party and appears to be against Galvin, Beyer, and Huja and I find that disturbing. When you add the fact that Smith, according the the Hook, violated the Democratic Party Pledge in the last election, one has to wonder if she belongs in the Democratic primary.

  • This just in:

    Daily Progress supports Galvin, Huja, and Beyer.

    Vote today!!!!!!!!

  • Yes truthtopower, because people in Charlottesville take their marching orders from a sub-par newspaper!

    That’s about as rational as your weak Schilling analogy.

  • Can not vote because I am stranded at O’Hare in Chicago, but if I were there it would be for Galvin, Blount, and Beyer.

  • failing to see the issue...

    Word is it’s Huja, Galvin and Smith. Looking like Mayor Szakos and there will be some second guessing about Dave Norris’ political strategy

  • builditandtheywillwhine

    Has divided government come to Charlottesville??

  • failing to see the issue...

    No more divided than it was already. If Huja, Galvin and Szakos are a voting bloc, then there is a clear majority on council.

    The big winner last night was, of course, Szakos. By waiting until close to the primary to make an endorsement, she played what card she had very wisely. When the next mayor is chosen, it’s hard to envision that she won’t be rewarded.

    Dave Norris made his endorsement what seems like eons ago. Making such a big bet early diluted its impact. Most likely there was not a single voter that did not know what his preferences were. It’s hard to see this as anything but a repudiation of his leadership.

    Brevy, Smith and Blount’s “strategy” of asking each other softball questions at the candidates’ debate was perceived as disrespectful of the electorate and clearly backfired. That should be a lesson to anyone seeking office. Insulting the intelligence of the voters is a surefire way to lose an election.

    Smith, the former head of the school board and the most credentialed of Norris’ candidates, won third place on the fifth ballot by a whopping 31 votes. How this could not spell the end of Dave Norris’ tenure as mayor escapes me.

  • @ Victoria Dunham: Yes appears some took their marching orders from “from a sub-par newspaper,” the Hook other wise we wouldn’t need a recount.

    Yes the Norris strategy failed. The Democratic party really needs to take a look at itself.

    I have been a supporter of Mayor Norris on a lot of other issues except using Smith to help over turn the water supply decision. He has lost some political capital here no doubt. He may have to live with it now.

    I was surprised Blount didn’t do better. I think her alliance on the ticket and with Smith hurt her. Smith used the water issue and the ticket strategically to help her get elected. Now that there is no water issue it will be interesting to see what happens. At lease we can all sleep soundly that the ideological bloc nonsense has been stopped.

    A little difference of opinion on Council beats a bloc any day and Huja, Galvin and Szakos will never be a bloc like the one we could of gotten.

    Way to go Charlottesville voters.

  • That’s what passes for speaking truth to power? Does the writer don his Che shirt to work up his courage?

  • The crux of the issue

    Based on all of his posts to date, fawning over the candidates favored by the wealthy elite, I believe a more appropriate handle for him would be “Obsequiousness to Power.”

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