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APRIL 22, 2015


The meeting was called to order by President Frank Reed at 6:32 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance was led by Barbara Nelson.


A motion to accept the minutes of the March 25, 2015, meeting as published on the Grand Dems website was made by Tony Ortiz and seconded by Sharon Forbes.


President Reed reported that the fundraising event of April 11 resulted in an income of $2,145.75.  Currently the balance in our checking account is $5,668.70 and savings balance is $1,239.30 for a total of $6,908. 





Membership:  Paula Parkel reported we now have 102 members.  She reminded any attendees who have not yet renewed membership to do so and also encouraged attendees to invite new members.  Paula also announced that nametags are available for only $10.00.


Social:  Diane Miller reported that there were 11 attendees at the breakfast on April 2 and 18 for dinner on April 13.




President Reed provided a handout explaining the results of the recent election for LD22.   He informed attendees that LD22 had the best voter turnout in the entire State, which was 54.5%.  He attributed these results to the hard work done by our volunteers to reach voters by placing bags on 13,500 doors mostly south of Bell, Surprise Farms area and Peoria.


President Reed reminded attendees to pick up the flyer expressing what we believe--our elevator message. 


President Reed reported that our "Kids Grand Hand" collections resulted in a check for $472.41 being delivered on April 10.  We helped 22 kids last year with school supplies and clothing.


President Reed reported that the Maricopa County Democratic Party fundraising event was a success; however, both the State and County are running lean.   President Reed encouraged support to the County and the Grand Dems.




President Reed encouraged membership renewal and asked everyone to solicit new members.


President Reed announced the upcoming Nadaburg Education Foundation Golf Tournament on May 2 and encouraged participation.




President Reed introduced Kathryn Chandler, Executive Director and Mobility Manager for Northwest Valley Connect.  Prior to accepting this position she was a paratransit and mobility manager in Flagstaff, AZ. 


Ms. Chandler indicated that she is the only employee at this time and all others assisting her are volunteers.


She explained that Northwest Valley Connect assists persons needing rides.   They use their resources to direct people to existing rides and when necessary (no one else can assist) they provide the rides.  There are several resources around to assist persons needing rides. 


Ms. Chandler explained that their Call Center became operational in September of 2014 along with a call log.  She provided a handout showing what percent of their calls within a 6-month periodcame from which neighborhoods.  Sun City West was the largest at 27%, while only 10% came from Surprise and only 1% from Sun City Grand.  Ms. Chandler further indicted that 77% of their calls come from persons over 70 years old.   Most calls are from persons in their 80's and 90's.   Further, she indicated they are not able to find a ride for 43% of their calls. 


The lack of public transportation in this area has made this service so valuable to residents in the northwest area.   When other ride services can't or don't provide the service and a person cannot afford a taxi, then Northwest Valley Connect can fill the gap.


Ms. Chandler fielded many question from the audience about trips, costs, how they are funded, how large are their vans and how can persons volunteer to drive or help out with their Call Center. 


Ms. Chandler provided flyers about the Norwest Valley Connect for our information and encouraged attendees to volunteer and/or donate funds to keep this program going.  Their funding is from grants and donations.

President Reed thanked Ms. Chandler and presented her with a Grand Dems coffee mug.




The 50/50 raffle collected $57.00.  Harriet Kahn won the raffle and donated her 50% back to the Grand Dems.


President Reed reminded the audience to put their loose change donations in the jar for the Kids Grand Hand project.


Tony Ortiz moved to adjourn and on a unanimous vote the meeting adjourned at 7:28 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Linda Cotton, Secretary




MARCH 25, 2015


The meeting was called to order by President, Frank Reed at 6:32 p.m.

The pledge of allegiance was led by John Landry.

A motion to accept the minutes of the February 25, 2015 meeting as published on the Grand Dems Website was made by Sharon Forbes and seconded by Ethel Brown.

President, Frank Reed, reported income received this month was $603.86 and dollars spent were $300.00.  Income this year is $1,403.88 and $1,603.08 has been spent for a negative balance of $199.20.  Our treasury balance currently is $5,156.61.  The report was accepted as presented.


Membership:  Paula Parkel reported we have 93 members and encouraged attendees to please renew their membership or join if not already a member.

Social:  Diane Miller said we had good turnouts for both the Blue Breakfast and the Grand Dems dinner this month.  She asked anyone interested to contact her to assist with cookies for the upcoming meetings.

Fundraising:  Judith Bridges announced the upcoming Mediterranean Fundraising Dinner is April 11 at the home of Judy Neigoff.  She said the food would represent various Mediterranean cuisines.  There will be a silent auction with art and a round of golf among the silent auction items.  Live entertainment is included.  So far they have 32 reservations and can accommodate up to 60 persons.  She is encouraging more attendees.  Some members have already indicated they could not attend but have sent in a donation.



President Reed introduced Ben Goodman, Superintendent of the Nadaburg School District who announced a Golf Tournament the Nadaburg Education Foundation is sponsoring to support the Nadaburg School District.  He said the Nadaburg School District is about halfway between Sun City Grand and Wickenburg.   This is the Foundation's  first fundraising event and they are a 501.c.3 corporation set up last year.  He welcomed participation from everyone and said the $50.00 fee per person to play also included a lunch and award ceremony.  He also stressed that the majority of funds from this event are going to the educational programs of the school district.  Only the fee they need to pay for the use of the golf course will come out of funds received.


President Reed introduced Doisey Landry, Chair of Programs and Public Liaison who introduced our speaker Dan Nowicki, National Political Reporter for the Arizona Republic.

Mr. Nowicki began working for the Arizona Republic in 2002 as an editorial writer.  He then moved to political reporting in 2007 and 2008.  He spent two years on the presidential campaign trail covering U.S. Senator John McCain's unsuccessful bid for the presidency.  He was also part of the Arizona Republic's news team covering the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords,D-AZ.  He has a weekly Sunday column on National politics for the Republic.  He indicated that he mostly covers the U.S. Senate and Congress.
He will be reporting on the upcoming 2016 Presidential and Senate races which he predicts to be interesting.  This week Scott Walker announced he is running in the Republican race to become the presidential nominee. Mr. Nowicki said ScottWalker visited Phoenix this week but allowed no press at the functions.  Mr. Nowicki said there were numerous potential candidates on the Republican side.  As of this date, Senator McCain has not announced but according to Rick Davis, the Senator's Advisor, he is 99% sure that the Senator is running.  As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is definitely the one to beat.
Mr. Nowicki briefly spoke on redistricting and indicated the current map may stay for the 2016 cycle depending upon Supreme Court action.   Even if the decision is overturned to declare the Independent Redistricting  Commission as unconstitutional, he questions whether there would be enough time for the decision to have an impact.

Mr. Nowicki then conducted an extensive question and answer session with the audience on a variety of subjects.  President Reed thanked Mr. Norwicki and presented him with a Grand Dems coffee cup.


President Reed informed the audience that the Board has agreed upon a brief message that we believe expresses what we stand for as Democrats.  The message has been printed on small flyers and are available at the entry table.  He encouraged attendees to please feel free to pick one up. 

President Reed announced a Forum on Election Protection to be held tomorrow, March 26, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.   It will be held at the Dysart Education Center in Surprise, AZ.  Yavapai and Maricopa County election officials will be discussing ways to make voting more accessible to voters.

Also, President Reed informed attendees that April 10 will be the last day for this season to donate to Kids Grand Hand.  We were able to assist 22 students throughout the Dysart School District this year and plan to continue this worthwhile program in the future.   He informed everyone that all of the contributions are spent on the children.  They receive any items they need to be able to attend school--clothes, personal hygiene items, school supplies, etc.  The jar for donations was passed around at the meeting. 


The 50/50 raffle collected $77.00.  Patsy Gates won and donated her share (50%) back to the Grand Dems. 

 Patsy Gates moved to adjourn the meeting which was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Linda Cotton, Secretary


























FEBRUARY 25, 2015


The meeting was called to order by President Frank Reed at 6:30 p.m.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vice President Roger Rhodes.

President Reed announced the restructuring of today's meeting by having our speaker begin her presentation.  He introduced Doisey Landry, Chair of Programs and Public Liaison who introduced our speaker, Mayor Sharon Wolcott of Surprise.

Mayor Wolcott began by saying that she feels "at home with this crowd".   She  was elected Mayor in 2011 and will be serving for 5 years until December 2016.   She indicated pleasure to serve at the local level where the residents of Surprise are her Special Interest Group. 

The Mayor touched on many topics during her speech including the fact that many West Valley cities are bearing the burden of being developed as bedroom communities.  She stressed the importance of having a well-balanced community with jobs, education, transportation and the arts all being important to this sought after balance.

The Mayor told us that she has 8 building blocks for achieving a  world class, global community and they are:

 (1) A unified city government.  She indicated that her work with the City Council has been very positive.  She also stressed the importance of everyone within her office being on the same page and delivering the same message.

(2) A business friendly environment.  Through much hard work she has recently attracted a Japan-based company to build a Western U.S. headquarters in Surprise, IRIS USA, Inc. This new facility represents $33-$40 million investment with 100 new jobs and $800,000 in new city revenues in the first year of operation.  Despite her continued attempts, Costco does not have Surprise in its 5-year plan at this time. 

(3) Top rated schools and skilled workforce.  Surprise has A-rated schools (Dysart)  and is one of largest per capita for charter schools.  85% are educated in public schools in Surprise.   The Mayor also talked about the Western Maricopa Education Center (WESTMEC) building a campus at Grand and Dysart that will offer 12 to 17 programs where students can prepare for careers in many different areas. 

(4)  Plentiful supply of clean water.  There are currently 120,000 single family lots to be built.  Builders will have to offer more than just building.  

(5) Efficient transportation system.  We now have the 303 and need rapid transit.  Transportation equals economic development.  

(6) Safe and attractive community.  Surprise has recently been recognized by Parenting Magazine as one of the safest communities to live in.

(7) A commitment to providing quality of life amenities.  She spoke about Arts HQ (the new showcase for the West Valley Arts Council) and invited everyone to check it out.   Also mentioned WHAM (What's Happening Art Movement) which is a renovated space providing art studios on Dysart.   Also mentioned was the first  Fiesta Grande held this year where there were some 14,000 attendees.   She said that she is committed to making sure that art is a part of our community and wants to hear ideas from residents to help make this happen.  Especially mentioned by the Mayor is the new construction for the Bell/Grand Avenue exchange.  She believes this is the "front door" to Surprise and wants to have an attractive front door.  All Ideas Welcome! 

(8) Ongoing capital improvements to attract business (domestic and foreign).   The Mayor said we are currently on sound financial policy as we are now operating in the black.  However, we currently have no secondary property tax--meaning bonds.  The Surprise City Council approved the creation of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee, which will be meeting for several months to develop capital improvement projects to be funded by a bond.   Public input will be sought and meetings will be held in the months to come.  The Mayor stressed the importance of these capital improvements to improve our infrastructure, which brings business and resources to Surprise.  Currently, 91% of working Surprise residents leave Surprise for jobs.  We would love to have them stay in Surprise.

There was some discussion about the Education Override, which did not pass in the recent election and the fact that north of Bell voted 2-1 against the bond while those south of Bell didn't vote.   This is a big problem and the issue must be better presented to voters.

Questions from Audience:  From a gentleman who said he felt Sun City Grand is a step-child of Surprise.  Cited roads and markings on roads not being attended to.  The Mayor said she also lives in Sun City Grand and our roads are old and some of the worst in Surprise.   She also said markings on the roads by companies doing work here are to assist them from doing damage to other services and are on the public right of way.   Without sufficient funding these infrastructure items get delayed.

Another question was concerning the recent advertisements in the paper about businesses coming to Surprise.  The Mayor said this is a matter with a developer and they are currently in discussion and litigation with this developer.

The Mayor's presentation ended and we took a 5 minute break at 7:48p.m.

Meeting resumed at 7:53p.m.

A motion to accept the minutes of the January 28, 2015 General Meeting as published on the Grand Dems website was made by John Landry and seconded by Ethel Brown.

Treasurer Harriet Kahn reported our balance of $4,858.75. 

Next item on the Agenda was the election of a Secretary of the Board.  Linda Cotton's name was presented and a motion was made by William Shield to elect Linda Cotton Secretary.  The motion was seconded by Sharon Levinson.   Any nominations from the floor were requested.  None presented; and a vote by show of hands voted Linda Cotton as Secretary.

Committee Reports:

Membership - Paula Parkel reported 88 members so far this year. 

Social - Diane Miller requested interested persons to please sign up to donate goodies for meetings,

President's Report:

President Frank Reed informed attendees of an email sent recently reminding them to renew their membership as soon as possible.  The email was sent to 343 addressees.

Also, a new Chair for ADP was announced.  She is Alexis Tameron from Superior, AZ,

The President also announced a March 26 event on "Election Protection:  Creative Solutions for Increasing and Sustaining Voter Participation" to be held from 9:30 - 11:00a.m.  at the Nathaniel Dysart Education Center in Surprise, AZ.   This is a forum where Maricopa and Yavapai County Election Officials will discuss ways to reach voters.  This event is hosted by the League of Women Voters of NW Maricopa County and we are one of the Co-Sponsors of the event.   Flyers about the event were available at the meeting and members and guests were encouraged to attend. 

New Business:

A fundraising event was announced by Judith Bridges.  They have re-formed their Fundraising Committee and will be sending out a notice to "Save the Date" of April 11 from 5-8:00 p.m. for an event to be held in a local home.  Event will include a Mediterranean dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction.   The cost is $25.00.   Look for the flyer this week.

Other Business:

The 50/50 Raffle collected $86.00 and the winner of half the monies collected ($43.00) went to Matthew Lewanduski.

A donation jar was passed around for Grand Kids and a member of the audience wanted to know what that was about.  Jane Cohen explained that monies collected go to homeless or needy children within the Dysart School District to help buy clothes and other needed items for school.

Motion to adjourn was made by Tony Ortiz and seconded by John Landry.  Motion passed unanimously and meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Cotton




















January 28, 2015


The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President, Frank Reed.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Roger Rhodes.

A motion to accept the minutes of the November 19, 2014 General Meeting as published on the Grand Dems Website, was made by Sharon Forbes, seconded by John Landry and passed.

Frank Reed reported a treasury balance of $2,908.22. The report was accepted as presented.

President Reed called for someone to come forward to fill the office of Secretary for 2015. The office is currently being filled on an interim basis. Please notify the President if you are willing to be considered for this office.


  • Membership: We have 42 paid members and 2 donors. Memberships are being accepted at each meeting and all previous members are encouraged to renew their memberships for 2015. The yearly dues are $20.00 per person.
  • Program/Communications: Doisey Landry announced the speakers for February 25, Mayor Sharon Walcott and for March 25, AZ Republic political reporter, Dan Nowiki.
  • Social: Diane Miller requested volunteers to make cookies for future meetings.


  • President Reed reported the following actions taken at the January Board meeting:
  • The Board adopted the 2015 budget with projected income of $7250.00 and expenses of $4971.00. The membership goal for the year is 150.
  • A request from the League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County to co-sponsor a program on “Voter Enablement” was accepted by the Board. The program will feature innovations adopted and implemented in Yavapai County to increase voter registration and facilitate ease of voting. The program will be held on March 26 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Surprise. Consult our website for further information on the program.
  • The Board voted to approve a request to provide a scholarship in the amount of $300.00 to Emerge Arizona. Emerge Arizona offers a six month training program for Democratic women who wish to enter the political arena. The training includes topics such as fundraising, public speaking, field organization and political influence.
  • Dates for the Adopt-A-Street cleanups for 2015 were approved for posting on our website. Please see the website for these dates.


  • Roger Rhodes reported on a movement being conducted by former Attorney General, Terry Goddard to expose “dark money” contributors in politics. Mr. Goddard is soliciting volunteers to work on this effort to require complete, accurate and timely disclosure of the original source of every contribution or political expenditure made to influence an election in Arizona with the objective of allowing Arizona voters to make more informed choices.


  • No old business items were presented for discussion.

Doisey Landry introduced the featured speaker for the meeting, Surprise Fire Chief, Tom Abbott. Mr. Abbott came to Surprise in May, 2014 after serving more than 38 years with the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department where he began as a firefighter and rose to become Assistant Fire Chief for Administrative Services. He spoke about the many services currently provided by the Surprise Fire Department and about plans for future services. He conducted and extensive dialog with the audience, answering questions and soliciting feedback.


The 50/50 Raffle was won by Bill Shields.

Joe Weintraub moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m. Sharon Forbes seconded the motion and it carried.


Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Interim Secretary






November 19, 2014



The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President, Marty Cohen.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tara Jackson.

A motion to accept the minutes of the October 22, 2014 General Meeting as published on the Grand Dems Website, was made by Sharon Forbes, seconded by Jack Hitchcock and passed.

Frank Reed reported a treasury balance of $4,069.39.  The report was accepted as presented.


  • John Landry presented the following slate of officers for 2015:
    President – Frank Reed
    Vice President – Roger Rhodes
    Secretary – Vacant
    Treasurer – Harriet Kahn
    Members-at-large – Diane Miller, Doisey Landry, Marty Cohen
    MOTION: A show of hands motion was taken and the slate of officers was accepted as presented. Mr. Landry stressed the need for a secretary and urged that someone from the membership contact him regarding willingness to assume this position.
  • Membership – Paula Parkel reported that we have 154 paid members for 2014. Thirty five members have paid dues for 2015.  Dues for 2015 remain at $20.00 per person.
  • Diane Miller reported attendance at November Blue Breakfast 10 and at Blue Monday Dinner 27.
  • Marty reminded members that there is no meeting scheduled for December.  The annual Grand Dems Christmas Party will be held at the home of Karen Flynn on December 10, from 5pm – 8 pm.  Members attending are asked to bring either an appetizer or a dessert.  A sign-up sheet is available at the refreshment table.  Soft drinks and water will be provided by the club and those wishing to may BYOB.  See the Grand Dems website for address and phone number for the event.


  • Marty reported that the November 8 Garage Sale was a cooperative endeavor with LD 22 and the NW Valley Democratic Party. The Grand Dems raised $328.00 at this event. Marty also commented on the results of the November 4 election. He stressed the need to unify the state-wide Democratic Party organizations. We must accentuate the successes of our party with a simple and coherent message that resonates with our electorate.
  • Bonnie Boyce-Wilson also spoke briefly, thanking all those who worked on her campaign. Although she did not win, she was gratified by the positive reception she received and by the opportunity to communicate with so many people in the district.
  • Ben Goodman, Superintendent of the Nadaberg School District, spoke on behalf of the school district. He reminded members of the Arizona Tax Credit program that allows individuals to donate up to $200.00 and couples to donate up to $400.00 to a local school and receive a direct credit against any state tax liability. He, of course, urged members to consider his school district for their tax deductible contributions. Contributions go toward funding supplies and after school programs for students.


Doisey Landry introduced the featured speaker for the meeting, Tara Jackson, President of Arizona Town Hall.  ArizonaTown Hall is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring together a diversity of Arizonans to discuss critical, often divisive issues and build bridges, develop leaders and engage citizens in constructive dialog.  She spoke to the membership on civic leadership and how to build the type of leadership required to lead in today’s environment.


The 50/50 Raffle was conducted by Jane Cohen.  Frank Reed, winner of the raffle, received $23.50 which he donated back to the club.


Roger Rhodes moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m.  Frank Reed seconded the motion and it carried.


Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Secretary