I SURF. I VOTE. Virginia Beach Edition

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Our 4th edition of I Surf. I Vote. in Virginia Beach, was a beautiful success, despite a few hiccups along the way. We’ve been following & supporting the fight in VA-02 from afar, but things started to get exciting when Elaine Luria’s campaign reached out to our team. Elaine Luria is an amazing candidate who really understands the needs of coastal and rural residents. She is a veteran and a local small business owner in VB–deeply connected to her community, her family and this country. It was an honor to spend time with her and to see her passion for the ocean community.

So, if you don’t know -- the Blue Uprising I Surf. I Vote. events are an all-ages, get-out-the-vote gathering to inspire the surfing and ocean communities to use their power to vote for progressive, ocean-minded candidates. We get together with a bunch of other rad surfers and ocean lovers, and use our boards to spell out VOTE on the beach, and listen to some inspiring words by a local candidate or community leader. We get some great footage, usually by drone, to capture the imagery and make our campaign visual.

This time around, our team, along with Elaine’s campaign, were hard-pressed to find a drone pilot, but the force was strong with Team Blue on that gorgeous Virginia Beach Sunday. From stacks of boards on loan from the amazing team at WRV, to a serendipitous meeting with an ocean-loving drone pilot, we were filled with gratitude at every turn. Even the League of Conservation Voters sent a couple of their field organizers to support the event. Other moments of inspiration include meeting 2 young gentlemen from NYC who were taking a gap year to focus on the 2018 elections. Seeing that kind of passion from the whole group–the ability to set aside your personal aspirations for the better good–was heartwarming to say the least.

Thank you to everyone for coming out, and especially to Elaine for sharing some heartfelt words of inspiration with the community. Virginia Beach is a special place, and our feeling is that the community understands that not only is their coast a precious resource and a source of beauty, but that for many it provides a real economic advantage. From real estate to small businesses to fishing, we are all reliant on a clean healthy ocean to move forward in this world.

If you want to learn more about Elaine’s campaign in Virginia Beach, you can read a little bit more about her experience and her drive to protect her community here. And as usual, please use your powers for good in November, and step up as an Ocean Voter, wherever you are.

William Rinehart