From the :
Minutes of the New Harford Democratic Club
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
Vice President Wendy Sawyer, filling in for President Steve Johnson, opened the meeting at 7:06 pm
Sawyer greeted those attending, noting many first timers in the room and welcoming Doris Perry, an HCC Board of Trustees alum. She then lead everyone in a pledge to the flag.
Sawyer asked those present to stand and identify themselves.
She then asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the June meeting. Minutes approved unanimously with no comment.
Treasurer George Harrison submitted the financial report. Report received unanimous approval.
Democratic Central Committee meets Aug 23.
Art Helton then reported on the club work for the upcoming 2018 election cycle
– We need a serious press to get out the vote this year
– Public is upset and ready to act.
– HARCO Dem turnout typically low in Rt 40 corridor and high in upper county.
– If we can grow Rt 40 turnout, could gain 4 council seats, 2 delegates and one senator
– We have an exceptional slate of Democrats this year
– The recommended strategy is:
– Direct market “D” and “I” voters with materials that will excite and maybe upset them enough to get out the vote – get from 2% to 4%
– Focus-all of District 34 plus council Districts A, C, E and F; all of District 2 and much of 1
– Plan to do 2 flyers; one just prior to early voting; 1 before regular voting
– Do mass distribution in competitive districts listed above
– Seeking feedback and approval of this approach
– Focus on “prickly’ issues that touch everyday peoples’ lives daily
– Will NOT endorse specific “D” candidates; purpose is to raise awareness and then candidates can make their specific pitch to their constituents.
– Will have support of state democratic committee with a local office
– Final product still working, want to include most up-to-date issues; plan for 2 versions
Brochures won’t have names of individual candidates
– Will lead with local issues to present a clear message vis-à-vis our positions; National par3ty won’t do that.
– We will coordinate with local candidates “ground games”; in fact several candidates already collaborating in D34
– Female vote a critical element in this cycle; was over 60% last time
– Early voting starts 10/25, so we target late October for initial flyer
– Need our candidates to get out into community and BE SEEN!
Guest Speaker: Jansen Robinson, incumbent candidate for School Board, District A
– Chairs Edgewood Community Advisory Board
– Running unopposed this term
– During his tenure he has seen many Board decisions made w/o regard to all parts of our county
– Board of Education a critical job as it touches on the entire community and covers @50% of county budget
– Question is, “How can we3 distribute funds to ensure each child is successful?
– I see a lot of “factionalism” within current board; this needs to change
– New Superintendant is a good choice…he listens. He polled board for issues.
– Many on board put off by his “progressive” background from Montgomery County
Need to increase board transparency:
– Traveling board meetings
– More public input
– Spending $70M+ on facilities but little community engagement on process
– Like to see increased vocational educational opportunity
– Increased engagement with APG, county’s largest employer
– Not only about more funds, also better use of current funds
– Look at “legacy” programs using a Zero-Base budget [ZBB] process
– Hire an ombudsman; also a legislative aide to assist in working with Legislature
– Board needs more independence from county council.
Central Committee meeting 8/23
André Johnson fundraiser 8/14, 7-9pm at Joppatown grille