As you know by visiting our blog, The Family Foundation has taken seriously our pledge to not only use the "New Media" to communicate our traditional values message, but to lead the way in it (click here to read what we've done with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter). As an example, we now take our own video and place it on YouTube and on our blog. More exciting is the power of the Internet to involve grassroots activists directly and increase our effectiveness at influencing policy, especially during the incredibly fast pace of the General Assembly — where legislators read their constituents' concerns over specific bills on their laptops at their desks on the House and Senate floor! 

With that in mind, we are going full force with our annual Virtual Lobby Day on February 5. If you have ever been to Richmond for our "in-person lobby day" you know face-to-face contact with your legislator is important. But you can leverage that by staying in touch with him or her throughout session. So on February 5 we are modeling our Virtual Lobby Day as we would a conventional one.

First, instead of meeting with your delegate and senator on a given topic, we will provide a topic for you to e-mail them about. Hint: February 5 is Planned Parenthood's lobby day here, so that gives you an idea of what our topic will be. Imagine the power of several thousand e-mails arriving in legislators' e-mail boxes as Planned Parenthood activists meet with them! Although in-person meetings such as our lobby day and Pastors Day (also on February 5) always will be important, new technology creates a whopping impact as well; one that can't be ignored.

Also, instead of hearing speakers, you will be able to follow two interviews on our blog with two very interesting lawmakers, one from each party. Names forthcoming. Additionally, you can watch or listen to both the House and Senate proceedings from the Internet every day. (See link on the blogroll.)

But we are especially excited to have Attorney General Bob McDonnell participate for the second straight year in a live blog interview. All you have to do is leave a question on this thread or our original thread (click here and see who's already asked what). He will then answer the questions posted on that thread live at 2:00 on February 5. You can read his answers as he posts them or read them later at your convenience. 

While we thank everyone who attended our Lobby Day in January, we look forward to your just-as-important participation in Virtual Lobby Day on February 5! Look for our e-mail alerts with more specifics and check back here as well throughout this important week at the General Assembly.

We also encourage you to forward this link to friends and family who you think are interested in issues affecting traditional family values and encourage them to sign up for alerts at the link at the upper left corner.