They join fellow 2021 candidates, Rep. Don Beyer, Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Ken Plum and more special guests paying tribute to Democratic change makers
Saturday, September 25, 2021, ARLINGTON, Va.—The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) will welcome Senator Tim Kaine and former impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-8) as speakers for an event honoring the contributions of Tom and Mary Margaret Whipple. The event, Honoring a Distinguished Democrat, is the second event in the 2021 Gold Card series and will highlight the significant contributions the Whipples have made to the community over more than four decades of civic engagement.
“We are excited to recognize the significant contributions of both Tom and Mary Margaret Whipple to the Arlington community and Democratic Party,” said Arlington Dems Chair Jill Caiazzo. She continued: “It is particularly fitting to recognize former Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, the first woman to serve in leadership in the Virginia General Assembly the same year Virginia is poised to elect our first woman Lieutenant Governor, Delegate Hala Ayala.”
Mary Margaret Whipple was first appointed to the Arlington County Board in 1976 and later elected to the board in 1982. In 1995, she was elected to the Virginia Senate, becoming the first woman to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly when she became chair of the Democratic caucus in 1999. Retiring from the Virginia Senate in 2011, Mary Margaret continued her civic engagement as Vice-chair of the Virginia Women’s Monument Commission, serving on the Virginia Board of Health in 2014 to repeal targeted regulations of abortion providers, and currently serves as the regional director for Community and Member Outreach for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
Tom Whipple began his civic engagement with Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC), where he served as newsletter editor and began analyzing election statistics. In 1996, he began a daily Virginia newsletter, compiling stories from across the Commonwealth. His interest in data-informed election work led Tom to begin the Campaign Support Center in 1997, where he worked with a close set of volunteers to produce the Registered Voter List for the state Democratic Party. In 2011, Tom transferred his Virginia newsletter to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). Currently, Tom is a fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, writing articles for the Energy Bulletin on climate change, renewable energy, and other topics. Tom and Mary Margaret met in 1958 as students at Rice University and married in 1960 before purchasing their first home in Arlington in 1965.
The 2021 election is high-stakes for Virginia, as it will decide control of the Governor’s Mansion and the House of Delegates. Under unified Democratic leadership over the past two years, Virginia has enacted commonsense gun reforms, abolished the death penalty, expanded access to healthcare, safeguarded voting rights, responded to the pandemic crisis, and begun rebuilding an economy that works for everyone.
“Everything is on the ballot this year -- from leading Virginia out of a global pandemic to protecting voting rights and reproductive rights in the Commonwealth. Early voting is already underway and all voters are urged to come out in support of the full Democratic ticket,” said Caiazzo. She continued: “Every single race on the Arlington ballot is contested, which means that we need every single Democratic voter in Arlington to show up this year. Democrats can take nothing for granted.”
Early voting in the 2021 election began on Friday, September 17 and continues through Saturday, October 30. For the first time, early voting also will take place on one Sunday (October 24). Election Day is Tuesday, November 2. More information about early and Election Day voting is available at arlingtondemocrats.org/vote. To volunteer in support of Democratic candidates, please visit arlingtondemocrats.org/start-making-difference-now/take-action.
The Honoring a Distinguished Democrat Event will take place on Sunday, September 26, from 2-5 p.m., both in person and virtually. For more information and to purchase tickets to this and all of the Arlington Dems fundraising events in support of the 2021 campaign, please visit arlingtondemocrats.org/goldcard.
Rebecca Theim 702-622-8154 (cell)
The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) is the official county organization for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Arlington Dems is open to anyone interested in advancing Democratic candidates, policy priorities and values in Arlington and beyond. Learn more at the Arlington Democrats website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.