Speaker Profile: Susan Platt, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor


Until now, Susan Platt has been hard at work behind the scenes to make Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family. She’s decided to run for Lieutenant Governor to use her life experience plus her energy, vision and commitment to grow businesses and create job opportunities in the Commonwealth.

 Her commitment to Virginia families goes back 25 years – beginning in Winchester working for Delegate Al Smith’s son’s political run. In 1994, U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb tapped her to be campaign manager to head up his successful re-election effort against Oliver North. For her efforts, her peers awarded her Campaign Manager of the Year Pollie Award that year.

As a member of the Virginia Tourism Corporation Board, Susan Platt helped jumpstart community and corporate transit work to create better transportation options for tourists, business and commuters in the Commonwealth. During her tenure on the board, she helped position the Commonwealth as an attractive destination, luring visitors to spend time and money with local businesses as they enjoy the wonders Virginia has to offer.

Over the last 6 years, Susan Platt has traveled across Virginia organizing, educating and engaging folks about the importance of their civic participation and the difference it can make in their lives by founding two statewide organizations – The Farm Team and EmergeVA. She has also served on the board of NARAL Virginia.

In early 2013, she received a special appointment as a Board Member of the Bi-Partisan Election Process Improvement Commission for Fairfax County, which developed recommendations for making voting a simpler, faster and more secure process.

In her professional life, Susan Platt served on Capitol Hill, most recently as Chief of Staff for Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s Senate office. Then she turned to legislative work helping Virginia businesses, ranging from new emerging small companies to international Fortune 500 firms with interests ranging from Hi-tech to Agriculture. Her work helped companies grow and prosper so they hire more Virginia employees and pay higher wages.

An avid runner, Susan Platt and her husband of 37 years, Ron Platt, live in Great Falls with their dogs. Susan and Ron’s blended family consists of her stepmom Barbara Smocer, 2 siblings, 3 children, 4 grandchildren, 2 nephews and 2 nieces.

[Bio from www.susanplattforva.com]


Speaker Profile: Gene Rossi, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor

14022151_227255054343649_6993543203457580017_nAs a United States prosecutor for close to thirty years, I fought to give voice to those who could not speak:  victims . . . those who lived in fear . . . the forgotten. As your Lieutenant Governor, I will continue this fight. I vow to be your strong voice for justice.

As a former career prosecutor, I have strong views on the criminal justice system. My views might surprise you. For instance, Virginia and the entire nation are in the throes of an opioid abuse epidemic. But being blindly “tough on crime” is not our answer. Instead, our justice system must be fair and compassionate to those caught up in this opioid crisis.  Similarly, we must be fair and compassionate to those who are trying their best to reenter our communities after confinement. And we must also give voice to those who cannot vote–but surely have earned that right after paying their dues to society.

In today’s Virginia, the Lieutenant Governor’s reach extends far beyond criminal justice.  We cannot ignore those who are striving hard to get jobs in a challenging economy—and those vital small Virginia businesses that are trying to create them. I will speak about ways to ease the burdens they both face. We are stewards of the environment and our neglect has economic and moral consequences. I will not let down future generations who will inherit this natural legacy. Our public educational system at all levels needs our support in order to improve—especially during the crucial early years. And Virginia can do much more in providing adequate health care to all. These are a few of the difficult battlegrounds on which I will always fight for you. Justice is not doing what is easy—it is doing what is right.

I recently left my dream job as a Justice Department prosecutor to run for Lieutenant Governor. Why?  Simply put, I love Virginia. I am also a former gubernatorial aide, a teacher, a husband, a father of three, a survivor of a life-threatening illness, and a volunteer youth basketball coach. Every one of these roles has given me insights into the issues that affect us all—and has fueled my deep passion for public service and my community.

Ever since my wife Diane and I moved to Alexandria nearly thirty years ago, I have worked tirelessly to make Virginia a better place to live, to work, and to raise our three children.  But along the way, I have also seen how systems can fail many of our most vulnerable citizens.  I will always be their voice.  We can make this great Commonwealth an even better place for all Virginians–regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, or economic status—by recognizing that we are in this together.  Virginia cannot advance unless we all do.  As your next Lieutenant Governor, I make you this one solemn promise as we move forward together:  I will be nobody’s voice but yours.

[Bio from generossi.com]

University Area Accommodations

The room block at the Quality Inn (1881 Evelyn Byrd Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801) has been filled. Please refer to the following list to locate additional accommodations in the same area:

Quality Inn (1881 Evelyn Byrd Ave)

(540) 442-1515

King Bed $99/night+

Sleep Inn & Suites (1891 Evelyn Byrd Ave)

(540) 433-7100


Courtyard by Marriott (1890 Evelyn Byrd Ave)

(540) 432-3031

Two Queen Beds  $139/night+

King Bed $129/night+

Hampton Inn (85 University Blvd)

(540) 432-1111

Two Double Beds $129/night+

King Bed $119/night+

Recognize a Young Democrat

Each year, at annual convention, the Virginia Young Democrats recognize the work of young democrats across the Commonwealth. Nominations should be made using this form by March 15, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Due to the highly confidential nature of the awards committee and its function, nominations should not be publicized and should only be submitted using the online form. Awards will be presented at the awards banquet on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Harrisonburg, VA.

The awards are as follows: Club of the Year, Up and Coming Club of the Year, Male Young Democrat of the Year, and Female Young Democrat of the Year.

Submit a nomination here.

Questions should be directed to Awards Chair, Charlie Bright, at charles.bright@ymail.com.

Reserve your room!

A room block at the Quality Inn (1881 Evelyn Byrd Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801) has been reserved for our group.

Double Bed Rooms are $93.50/night+. Rooms may be reserved by calling (540) 442-1515 and indicating you are with Virginia Young Democrats. This rate is good for the evenings of March 17 and 18.

Amenities include free hot breakfast and wifi.

Call to Convention

Pursuant to Article VII, Section 5, of the Virginia Young Democrats Constitution, I hereby call the members of the Virginia Young Democrats to assemble in Annual Convention for the purpose of considering charter application; electing officers; and conducting such other business as the Convention directs.

The Convention will be held at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, VA, and will be hosted in partnership by the Virginia Young Democrats and the James Madison University College Democrats. Convention activities will begin the evening of Friday, March 17, 2017, and will conclude Sunday, March 19, 2017. Critical information about this year’s convention, including registration details and hotel information, can be found online here.

Sponsorships help our organization to keep registration to a minimal cost for our members, and are critical to every successful convention. If you are interested in purchasing an advertisement in our program, or becoming an event sponsor, get more information online here. All sponsors are recognized throughout the weekend and in Convention materials.

The following individuals will chair the committees of this Convention,

Credentials: Tavarris Spinks (tavarris@gmail.com)

Rules: Michelle Sanderson (michelle.sanderson28@gmail.com)

Resolutions: Sadie Gary (sadieg1@vt.edu)

Outreach: Maggie Davis (outreach_chair@vayd.org)

Awards: Charles Bright (charles.bright@ymail.com)

Information on chartering your chapter can be found online here. You may contact any of the following with questions in regards to chartering:

Praveen Meyyan, Membership Director (membership_director@vayd.org)

Joe Russell, Secretary (secretary@vayd.org)

Tavarris Spinks, Credentials Committee Chair (tavarris@gmail.com)

If you have any additional questions or would like more information contact me at president@vayd.org.

See you in Harrisonburg!

Democratically yours,

Jamie Nolan