Red Wine & Blue launches year-around VA program mobilizing suburban women against extremism

Jun 15, 2023

Red Wine & Blue Launches Virginia Program With Year-Round Investment to Organize Suburban Women Against Extremism, Including “Parents’ Rights” 

Suburbs across Virginia, June 15, 2023: Today, Red Wine & Blue launched a year-round Virginia state program to organize and mobilize suburban women against extremism—including “parents’ rights”, gun violence, attacks on public education and DEI, book bans, and attacks on LGBTQ+ people and reproductive healthcare. Virginia joins Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania as states where Red Wine & Blue has permanent, year-round staff on the ground.

Founded in 2019, Red Wine & Blue has quickly grown to half a million members as suburban women reject extremism. Expanding into Virginia represents an extension of this momentum with over 3,000 members already in Virginia.

Red Wine & Blue reaches out to people who are ignored by traditional political organizing – and does so in nontraditional ways. They use microtargeted digital media to engage suburban women who may not have been political before, provide women with the tools and training to organize their communities, and empower them to reach out to their own circles: family, friends, and neighbors. They have a best-in-class relational organizing (also called friend-to-friend organizing) that proves that talking to someone you know is more effective than talking to strangers.

“In Virginia and across the country, the so-called ‘parents’ rights’ movement is about trying to control what our kids read, believe, and learn. Red Wine & Blue was on the ground in Loudoun County in 2021 and now we’re building on that work with long-term, year-round investment in Virginia for 2023 and beyond. Mainstream moms are fed up with a loud, vocal minority trying to control how we raise our children. We want to end book bans, gun violence, and attacks on reproductive healthcare. We’re organizing and speaking up—just like we have in other battleground states—because suburban women are on the frontlines fighting extremism in their communities every day.” – Katie Paris, Founder of Red Wine & Blue

“Virginia has been a hotbed of extremism for too long. We are sitting in the birthplace of this latest iteration of ‘parents’ rights’ extremism, which has nothing to do with rights or the freedom of parents at all. Organizing against extremism in Virginia and making sure voters know what and who is on the ballot is more crucial than ever. We are now the only access to abortion in the South and extremists are continuing to try to ban books, attack public education and DEI, and target reproductive healthcare. Red Wine & Blue is building permanent infrastructure to mobilize suburban women in Virginia—and extremists at every level of government should be worried.” – Penny Blue, Red Wine & Blue Virginia Program Director

Red Wine & Blue targets state legislative, ballot initiatives, and school board races – investing in making sure people know who and what is up and down the ballot. Last month, Red Wine & Blue launched “Freedom to Parent”, a campaign going on offense against the “parents’ rights” assault on kids and calling out them for undermining the majority of parents’ freedom to decide what’s best for their kids.

Some more information about Penny Blue, the Virginia Program Director, and Lara Bury, the Virginia Deputy Program Director, is below.

Before joining Red Wine & Blue, Penny Blue served as a Virginia School Board member for 8 years, leading the effort to ban the confederate flag in the district’s schools. Initially, she was the sole vote, but the ban passed unanimously after the murder of George Floyd. Penny also owned a consulting/training company, worked at IBM, taught math in the Virginia secondary school system, and served as an adjunct professor at Virginia Western Community College. Penny is the author of A Time to Protest; Leadership Lessons from My Father Who Survived the Segregated South for 99 Years.

Lara Bury, a suburban woman, baseball mom and military spouse in Northern Virginia, brings her decades of marketing, technology and leadership expertise to ignite and propel women in community-driven mobilization.

Red Wine & Blue, headquartered in Ohio, is an empowered community of half a million diverse women working together to defeat extremism, one friend at a time. They train and connect women across the country with a network of half a million suburban women of all political backgrounds – including many who have never been political before – to organize in their communities and address the growing threats of extremism to public education, reproductive freedom, and democracy.

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