VOICE volunteers encourage Westgate voters to get to the polls Tuesday

Nonpartisan VOICE volunteers, the Rev. Kenneth Nixon, left, and Mary Ann Hammond, right, ask Westgate resident Eli Bass if he plans to vote on Tuesday.

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Nonpartisan? Perhaps, but so many partisan groups today claim to be "non-partisan," that I now always personally check on the validity of the claim. In the case of VOICE, the issues on which they dwell are more often associated with the Democratic party than non-partisan groups. Their website states the admirable goal of uniting "across racial, religious, ethnic, income, and partisan lines," yet the specifics seem to be a bit more partisan than indicated.

Based on their own website, the organization seems to be much devoted to Community Organizing, with an emphasis on a "Training and organizing immigrant leaders to win" on the issues. Those issues include:
-- "Holding the CEO’s from [various banks] accountable for the foreclosure crisis in Prince William County"
-- "Expand [free] dental care for NOVA low-income adults at the expense of the Commonwealth and Prince William County."
-- Organize with tenants to replace "upscale development" with "1,000+ new affordable housing units" on land owned by non-profits and the public.
-- "VOICE will organize to increase ANNUAL local [housing] investment to: $100 million in Fairfax County... $51 Million in Arlington...[and] $30 million in Alexandria City... and Prince William County"
-- "Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to Combat the climate of intolerance, especially toward Muslims"
-- "Address Gun Violence"
-- "Compel gun manufactures.. to reduce gun violence."
-- "Tackle the Roots and Effects of the Unjust and Inequitable Criminal Justice System."
-- Correct a system "which incarcerates minority youth and adults at disproportionate rates, destroying lives while others who are wealthier...often avoid arrest..."
-- "Change Virginia’s inequitable and unjust criminal justice system that arrests and imprisons a disproportionate number of African-Americans"
-- "Discrimination persists in policy and practice in this region"
-- "Organize...to build a power base to ...win on specific local and county issues that school/community teams identify"

People can decide for themselves whether this organization is as non-partisan as they claim to be, but a quick look at their website might be in order.

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