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July 21, 2009 Published in Non-Profits

Kaine Listens To VOICE

By James Cullum and Carla Branch
alexandrianews.org

Various religious leaders from Virginia shared the stage with Governor Tim Kaine at TC Williams High School. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

Various religious leaders from Virginia shared the stage with Governor Tim Kaine at TC Williams High School. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

Congregation-based community organizing has made some fast, yet influential, friends for Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement. Last night, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine met with Virginia clergy and more than 1000 VOICE members and discussed justice issues in the areas of housing, immigration and health care. The meeting was held at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.

Governor Kaine addressed nearly 1000 constuients at a VOICE meeting in Alexandria. (Photo: Regan Kireillis)

Governor Kaine addressed nearly 1000 Virginians at a VOICE meeting in Alexandria. (Photo: Regan Kireillis)

Kaine has met with VOICE representatives on multiple occasions since their first public meeting last fall. That meeting, held October 4, 2008, was attended by Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) and a number of local politicians.
“I met with the local members of VOICE when they first organized last year and told them how pleased I was to support their efforts,” said Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille. “Government cannot solve every problem. We need the help of the nonprofit community and, in particular, the faith-based groups that make up VOICE.

The TC Williams High School auditorium housed nearly 1000 Virginians to hear Governor Kaine and local religious leaders speak. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

The TC Williams High School auditorium housed nearly 1000 Virginians to hear Governor Kaine and local religious leaders speak. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

“This spring, VOICE asked us to support the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic. We give the clinic $25,000 a year and, given the economy, I told VOICE that I didn’t believe we could do more. As it turned out, we got an additional $40,000 from stimulus funds and gave that to the dental clinic.

Virginia Muslims shared their stories with the Governor and the audience at the VOICE meeting at TC Williams High School. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

Virginia Muslims shared their stories with the Governor and the audience at the VOICE meeting at TC Williams High School. (Photo: Regan Kireilis)

“As for affordable housing, we already do a great deal in that arena and VOICE expressed their thanks for our continued work there,” Euille said.

VOICE is a non-partisan group made up of more than 40 local, multi-faith congregations from the City of Alexandria, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties. The organization’s goal is to bring its agenda to the attention of state and federal political leaders. VOICE represents hundreds of thousands of constituents and aims to correct social injustice issues such as: affordable housing, immigration, child care and poverty, all of which affect the lives of low and middle-income residents in those Virginia jurisdictions.

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