New Harford Democratic Club Endorses Havre de Grace Candidates; Assists Formation of African-American Democratic Club

From the New Harford Democratic Club:



President Ann Helton called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm

Ann led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

Ann welcomed guests, including David Garrison, Carolyn Brooks, Kevin and Cheryl Fainsler, and Caledonia Henry.

Joe Smith spoke for the Democratic Central Committee: Upcoming events include The Earth Day activity at Aberdeen’s Festival Park. A democratic booth will be manned and volunteers at needed. Also upcoming the Barbeque Bash in Bel Air and the Farm Fair at the Equestrian Center. Volunteers also needed. Planning is proceeding for a fund raising breakfast in the fall, details to be announced at a later time.

Mark Szczcpaniak spoke for the Young Dems. He announced that he has been chosen the new secretary. The club will be working on efforts to support candidates for the fall elections. They meet next on April 18 at Sean Bolen’s in Bel Air

Jowanda Lucas spoke for the African-American Democratic Club. She said the club is in the formation stage but that they will be working with the NHDC on voter registration this summer.

George Harrison reported that the current treasury holds $13,846.65 in operating funds and $6707.07 in the club’s PAC. Members unanimously approved the report.

Ann requested approval of the March minutes. Approved unanimously.

Ann Helton was the featured speaker this month, reviewing the book “The Warmth of Other Suns”, by Isabel Wilkerson, a non-fiction account of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the agriculture fields of the South to the industrial factories in the North, as told through the trials and tribulations of three of those migrants, representing the six million men, women and children who made the trip, mostly on the railroads.

The Great Migration began as the First World War broke out in Europe and Northern factories, faced with a labor shortage due to the restrictions of European immigrants, looked to the south to encouraged subsistence farmers to come north. At first the southern landowners let them go, but with the ending of the war and the pace of the economy picked up, northern factories needed even more workers. Those workers who had gone ahead earlier encouraged their families and friends to join them, and the southern landowners began to realize they were losing those who would work the fields at low rates and there was no way to replace them. The result was a massive effort to restrict the migrations, resulting in many creative methods to get around restrictions on migration established by the white governed southern states. From the early 1920s to the mid 1930s more than three million black workers left the south and reestablished themselves in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and the many other cities in the industrialized north.

Ann announced that the Havre de Grace city election would be held May 8, with 7 candidates for three seats. The candidates run without party identification but there are two Democrats seeking seats: Joe Smith, treasurer of the Democratic Central Committee and a NHDC member, and Fred Cullum who has served on the City Council for a number of years.

Joe Smith spoke to the club about his candidacy, offering his expertise in human resources and management efficiency, especially with governments. He will be appearing before several candidate forums and will be doing door to door campaigning, particularly in Bulle Rock, where he is a resident. He said he would bring a fresh perspective to the council.

Fred Cullum was unable to appear, but Art Helton spoke on his behalf, pointing out that Fred has long time experience on the council and has proven himself as a hard working councilman.

Art moved that the Club endorse both Joe Smith and Fred Cullum for the Council. The motion was approved unanimously.

Ann announced that she is working on future speakers to discuss efforts to approve the Dream Act and Marriage Equality act that will be on the ballot as referendums.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm

Submitted by George Harrison


  1. Otto Schmidlap says

    Word on the street is that John “Two Americas” Edwards is pushing for a local Icelandic-American Democratic Club.

  2. David A. Porter says

    Sean Bolan’s. And Otto, they are inclusive, and the common theme among them is they are American.

  3. overtaxed says

    Why do we have to have separate afican-American clubs, groups, etc…. I thought we are all just Americans. They continually don’t want to be segragated yet turn around and don’t want to belong to any group unless it has african in the name.

  4. David A. Porter says

    As a gentile who was interested in dating a nice Jewish girl I can tell you first hand how much I dislike the partitioning of people into comfortable groups of their own creation. And they didn’t want me there. I agree this is not the way to diversity or understanding. My point was, and remains, we are all Americans – no matter how much people would like to divide us with push button issues.

    • Arturro Nasney says

      David, you have hit upon another area for us to agree. The hyphenated American stuff leads to division not cohesion. I have maintained, all along that the only prefixes to American are pro or anti. My read is the “African-American anything” is divisive and anti-American. It does fit very well withing the Helton club however.

  5. voter says

    why do we have to have an african american democratic club? Do ya all know we have an african american president. I’m thinking that separation is alive and well in harford county. There are some dumb ideas and this is one of them! We are americans and not separated by color……..Why don’t we start a african american community in harford county. You democrats need to get a life. This is why people go live elsewhere.

  6. Phil Dirt says

    So let me get this straight…

    There will be two clubs – New Harford Democratic Club and African-American Democratic Club. White folks can join the first, and black folks can join both. Yeah, that sure sounds fair and just.

    Or maybe you could form a European-Americ… – oh no, don’t even think about it! That would be somehow… wrong? Racist? Do we need clubs that are ‘separate but equal’?

    I’d love to see somoeone explain and try to justify this to a mixed class of first graders. They would cut through the crap and see this for just what it is.

  7. Bel Air Fed says

    sounds segregation veiled behind the mask of liberal piety and arrogance. try setting up a European American Democratic club – people would be called klansmen. separation is separation – so call it what it is – division along lines of race. I thought this is what this country was supposed to be moving away from .

  8. Democrat says

    For those of you who don’t know, the African American Democratic club is a club that furthers African American cuases. It is open to members of all races. This was made clear at the meeting.

    • Bobbie P says

      What are the African American democratic causes as opposed to white democratic causes? I may want to join if I know your African American causes.

  9. jtownejeff says

    quit beating around the bush. i’m starting a white club. plain and simple. just a club for a bunch of whities to get together and drink budweiser. hahaha