MONTHLY SPEAKER INFORMATION

The January 21, 2021 Luncheon Speaker will be
Richard Anderson, Chairman, Republican Party Of Virginia

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Rich Anderson is a native Virginian who retired from the Pentagon in 2009 as a highly-decorated 30-year Air Force Colonel.  Last August, Rich was elected to Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

During his military career, he accumulated senior executive-level leadership experience at leading complex organizations consisting of thousands of people. For the last 12 years, he has worked tirelessly as a local grassroots activist and leader in the Prince William County (PWC) Republican Committee to elect Republicans to federal, state, and local office.

From 2010 to 2018, he represented the 51st House District (PWC) in the Virginia General Assembly. While there, he chaired the House Science and Technology Committee and the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus.  As a legislator, he never voted for a tax increase and voted four times against Medicaid expansion.

Richard Anderson is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has been happily married for 34 years to Ruth Anderson, a retired 21-year Air Force veteran, local grassroots Republican activist, and former member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. They are the parents of three children, have seven grandchildren, and have lived in Woodbridge for 20 years.

 
The November 19, 2020 Luncheon Speaker was Jeff Ryer
Press Secretary, Virginia Senate Republican Caucus


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jeff Ryer grew up in nearby Beverly, home to the Lodge family, and, at that time, the only city in Massachusetts that could be characterized as reliably Republican. Jeff earned a degree in Government at the College of William and Mary. In 1995, he began managing political campaigns, specializing in local and state races in Virginia. He continues in that field today, working as a consultant to Republican candidates and office holders who are among Virginia's most severely politically-challenged. Jeff currently serves as spokesman for the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus.

Jeff spoke mostly about the election results and how the democrat predicted "Blue Wave" did not happen. The increases in house GOP members and the retention of governorships throughout the country were evidence that the voters were very seloctive in who they were voting for. Apparently straight ticket line voting did not occur in many states. A more detailed review of the luncheon discussion will be posted shortly.

 

The October 15, 2020 Luncheon Speaker Was Benny Zhang,
Attorney and retired Councilman for City of Williamsburg.

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Notes from CARMA Meeting on October 15, 2020 – Benny Zhang

Benny began his discussion with some basic biographical information as to how he came to the US, that his parents were here for research project, and that was during the time when the rioting occurred in China.  He said that all history of that has been scrubbed in China.  His first entry into politics was as an elections officer, and then he began attending City of Williamsburg council meetings as a college student at William & Mary.  Council members would ask him about how things were on campus.  He became a member of the public housing board.  He worked on the first Mike Watson campaign, and then on the Tommy Norment campaign.

When he ran for Council, he received some poor feedback from other students for not using his full legal name, and was accused of white washing.  The students on campus, he said, are very much energized to get the democrat votes out and aren’t tolerant of conservatives or republicans on campus.

He discussed the practice of fulltime students from out of state being allowed to vote in Virginia and how he doesn’t believe that the voter registration system is sufficiently smart enough to determine if they have also voted at home. 

He spoke of his directions when becoming a councilman; he wanted to do politics differently, and to do more listening of the citizens because he felt most of them to be very educated.  He said he felt the need to be very principled.  That he voted against various tax increases because he wanted specific plans on how the money would be spent, and that was never figured out in advance.  He said while the City council members are supposed to be non-partisan, it is pretty obvious who the liberal and conservative voices are. 

During the early stages of the racial unrest, he reached out to the leaders of the groups and found that they would speak to him, although they had very specific agendas.  The one leader he knew was forced out because she was found to have embezzled money.  He said that from what he knew, Richmond has much greater issues and has basically lost control over the “trying to keep things calm” and thought that it was a very bad situation. 

He spoke briefly about the WJCC school system, and said that since the City only has about 10% of the population of students, that the School Board representatives are cautious to follow the lead of the county members and to follow the culture of the county also. 

He spoke about the affordable housing mandate but did not think that the current projects in the City were going to be somehow forced into that type of construction.

Benny answered a number of questions, advised that he is working in the same office as Senator Norment, as an attorney, and is recently married and they have a baby girl on the way.

11/23/2020