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MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

October 22, 2014

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

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bonnie Boyce-Wilson.

 

Candidates Boyce-Wilson and Muscato spoke briefly, thanking all the volunteers who have worked for their campaigns and inviting all Grand Dem members to join them at Briarwood Country Club on election evening to celebrate what is hoped will be victories for them, as well as victories for all Democratic candidates on the ballot.

 

A representative of Valley View Community Food Bank announced that the food bank is sponsoring a benefit dinner on November 22.  Tickets for the dinner are $20.00 each with proceeds going to purchase groceries items for the food bank.  The $20.00 ticket includes dinner and 1 drink.  An auction and a band will also be part of the evenings festivities.  She indicated that the lines for food are long and have grown even longer since the ending of long-term unemployment benefits.  She will have tickets for the dinner at available at a table in the back of the meeting room.

 

A motion to accept the minutes of the September 18, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Jane Cohen, seconded by Sharon Forbes and passed.

 

Frank Reed reported a Treasury balance of $3,491.00.  The report was accepted as presented.

 

OLD BUSINESS: 

  • Campaign Report – Barbara Nelson-Reed. Barbara read a list of all who volunteered for bagging, walking and driving during the campaign which began in May and will culminate on November 4. She again thanked those who volunteered and reiterated that all the time money and effort was to support the election of our Democratic slate of candidates.
  • Slate of Officers, 2015 – John Landry. John reported that he is still looking for someone to come forward for the office of Treasurer. A full slate of candidates will be brought forward for voting at our November meeting.
  • Membership – Paula Parkel. Paula reported that we have 154 paid members for 2014. She also stated that members can begin paying $20.00 dues for 2015.
  • Oktoberfest – Marty Cohen. This was a very successful event, with all of our LD 22 candidates and most the State candidates in attendance during the day. The candidates were able to shake hands and speak with a large number of people. Yard signs were available, as was literature on all of our candidates and Grand Dems merchandise items.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

  • Adopt-a-Street cleanup group will meet on Saturday, November 1 at 8 a.m. at the usual Mountain View location.
  • Anyone having questions relating to the Judges on the November ballot should see Sharon Forbes. She has done some extensive research and has a list of recommendations should anyone wish to see it.
  • A sign up sheet for the November 8 Garage Sale was available at the back of the room. Volunteers are needed to work designated shifts during the day. Items are still needed for the sale and can be dropped off at the home of Harriet Kahn on the dates designated which was also available at the table. The list of items preferred as well as the drop off dates and times are also available on our website: www.granddems.org.
  • An election night party hosted by our LD 22 candidates will be held at the Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. A sign up sheet for those wishing to attend was available at the back of the room, and open to all paid members of the Grand Dems. The cost for this event is $15.00. The Grand Dems will pay $5.00 toward the cost for each member wishing to attend.
  • A Christmas gathering will be held on December 10 at the home of Karen Flynn. Further details on this event will be forthcoming.

 

Doisey Landry introduced Paul Bender, the featured speaker for the meeting, who spoke to us on recent Supreme Court decisions.  Mr. Bender is a Professor of Law and teaches courses on US and AZ constitutional law.  He has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.  He spoke extensively about the recent Gay Marriage issue, which he reminded us, has been decided by the various State Supreme Courts without the U.S. Supreme Court acting upon the issue.  He offered his opinion that he believes that the current majority in the Supreme Court is not interested in the further development of equal rights and constitutional rights of citizens.  Mr. Bender also fielded numerous questions from the audience.

 

The 50/50 Raffle was conducted by Jane Cohen.  She reported that the total collected for the raffle was $86.00 with the winner receiving $43.00.

Joe Weintraub moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.  John Nuerenberg seconded the motion and it carried

.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Secretary

     

             

                       

 

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

September 18, 2014

 

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

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Arky Muscato.

 

President Cohen announced the following upcoming meetings and events:

 

  • The Sun City Grand Oktoberfest is scheduled for October 11.
  • Dr. Paul Bender will be the featured speaker at our October 22 General Meeting.
  • An Election Night gathering/fundraiser will be held at the home of Karen Flynn on November 4.  Further details to follow.
  • Our General Meeting for November will be held on 19th due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • The new slate of officers for 2015 will take over at the January 21, 2015 meeting.

 

CANDIDATE FORUM

 

Sharon Forbes introduced the eight Democratic candidates in attendance.  Each candidate gave a brief statement of their reasons for running and some of the major issues they will pursue if elected.

   

Monica Goddard spoke on behalf of her husband, Terry Goddard, who is running for the office of Secretary of State.  Mr. Goddard has held several previous positions of note including Mayor of Phoenix and Arizona Attorney General.  Major issues for him will include protecting voter rights for all eligible voters, stopping dark money from trying to buy our elections, and stopping the political games at the Secretary of State office.

 

Sandra Kennedy is a candidate for the Arizona Corporations Commission.  She has previously served a term on the Commission and as such was a very vocal advocate on behalf of consumers.  She is a strong supporter of solar energy and for keeping rate increases as low as possible for consumers.  During her term on the Commission, 10,000 jobs were created in the Solar Industry.

 

Jim Holway is also a candidate for the Arizona Corporations Commission.  He is a Board member for the Central Arizona Project canal system, a director of the WesternLands and Communities program at the Sonoran Institute and a former professor at ASU. He is a strong advocate for energy efficiency and believes our state should be a leader in solar technology and solar energy.  He would work toward a solution to the EPCOR Water issue that would be in the best interests of all constituencies.

 

Archangel (Arky) Muscato is a candidate for State Senate.  He is a small businessman and retired teacher.  He is on the Executive Board for Peoria Education Foundation, Arrowhead Kiwanis, and serves AARP as Chapter President and National Advisory Team member.  His issues as a candidate include protection of vulnerable children and seniors, public education, and economic development.

 

Bonnie Boyce-Wilson is running for the State House of Representatives.  She has been active in the Arizona League of Women Voters, Benevilla, and as a social worker for Hospice of the Valley.  Her campaign is focused on protecting voter rights, increasing the minimum wage, a strong public education system, and more effective protection for children and seniors.

 

Larry Woods is also a candidate for the State House of Representatives.  He is a resident of Sun City West and served as President of PORA for three years.  He is a retired Computer Scientist and has served on the Advisory Council on Aging, and the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.  His campaign goals are the licensing and regulation of home healthcare providers, reinstatement of childcare subsidies for needy working families and public education.

 

David Garcia is a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.  He is a native Arizonan and a product of Arizona’s public schools.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the Teachers College at ASU.  He has also served as the state Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction for Standards and Accountability and as a peer consultant for the U.S. Department of Education.  He believes that as a state we must begin to reinvest in our Public Education System and as Superintendent he would advocate for full funding of our public schools.  He is also an advocate for Common Core Standards.

 

Geoffrey Jacobs is a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Hassayampa Justice Court, MaricopaCounty.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a former police officer and pilot with the Department of Safety, and an owner of a local limousine service.  He has a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from ASU.  He has dedicated his life to public service and as Justice of the Peace would continue this service in the best interests of the citizens of Arizona.

Following their individual statements, the candidates participated in a question and answer session, taking questions from note cards submitted to moderator, Sharon Forbes, by members of the audience.

  

A brief Business meeting followed the Candidates Forum.

      

A motion to accept the minutes of the June 25, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Sharon Forbes, seconded by Jack Hitchcock and passed.

 

Frank Reed reported a Treasury balance of $4,054.86.  Contributions totaling $2000.00 have been made to candidates Fred DuVal, Felicia Rotellini, David Garcia and to the Maricopa County Democratic Party.  The report was accepted as presented.

 

Diane Miller reported the following participant numbers in the recent Blue Breakfast and Dinners:  August 11 Dinner – 10; September 4 Breakfast – 14; September 8 – Dinner – 13.

 

Barbara Nelson-Reed reported on activities conducted in support of our LD 22 candidates.  Volunteers have been busy stuffing bags with information on our candidates and delivering them to homes of Democrats and Independents in the area.  She reported that 6,000 bags have been hung on doors and another 6,000 is planned prior to November.  She thanked the volunteers for their dedication and repeated her request for more volunteers.

Sharon Forbes presented a report from the recent State Democrats Meeting.  The following resolutions were voted upon: 

 

  • Employer of the Year Award acknowledging businesses that contribute to AZ growth, innovation and leadership was passed.
  • Request for Internal Revenue Service investigation of ALEC asking whether ALEC has violated federal tax law by making substantial misrepresentations on its sworn tax returns was passed.
  • Opposition to the Death Penalty in AZ calling for an end to capital punishment because we can not be sure that it is fairly applied and it costs more than life incarceration. Resolution passed.
  • Resolution to President Obama asking that he stop deportations and extend Deferred Action status for undocumented residents. There were two main oppositions to the resolution. First, that it seemed to be critical of President Obama when he is not the problem with the lack of action on immigration reform. Second that passing this resolution just before the election could be harmful to many Democratic candidates who are in tight races in AZ. The resolution was tabled. 

 

Ms Forbes also reported that there will be a Hall of Fame Dinner on October 11, 2014, to honor retiring Congressman Ed Pastor.  Congressman John Lewis will be the keynote speaker.  She will be taking reservations so that we can have tables together.  Please contact her at cindersfm @ aol.com or 623/544-8721 for costs and other details.  This event will be held at the Talking Stick Resort.

 

The 50/50 Raffle was conducted by LD 22 Raffle Chair, Stephanie Rogall.  She reported that there was $100.00 collected.  The winner of the raffle was Joan Kroll who indicated that she would be donating it to David Garcia.

 

Frank Reed moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m.  Margie Thompson seconded the motion and it carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Secretary

     

             

                       

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

June 25, 2014

 

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

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Shirley MacAllister.

 

A motion to accept the minutes of the May 21, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Sharon Forbes, seconded by Barbara Nelson and passed.

 

Marty reported that the Board has accepted the resignation of Ilene Flynn as Treasurer and introduced Frank Reed who will serve as interim Treasurer.  The Treasurers Reports was accepted as presented.   The current treasury balance is $7,117.88

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

Roger Rhodes reported on the recent phone banking and canvassing efforts on behalf of our local candidates.  He thanked all members who participated in these activities.  The next phase of our efforts will involve getting-out-the-vote.  Additional volunteers will be needed to canvass the neighborhoods and gain support for our entire slate of candidates.

 

Barbara Nelson reiterated Roger’s call for volunteers.  She stressed that door-to-door canvassing was the most effective method of making voters aware of our slate of candidates and urging them to vote.  She reminded members of the numerous opportunities for volunteers that has been posted on our website and urged all members to choose at least one activity for participation.

 

Doisey Landry reported that the recent Pledge Drive has exceeded the fundraising goals set for the year and thanked all who contributed to this effort.

  

NEW BUSINESS:

 

Marty reported that the Board had considered a suggestion that we hold general meetings in July and August during election years.  After discussion by the Board, it was decided to bring the suggestion to the general membership for a show of interest.  He then asked for a show of hands of those who would likely attend if meetings were held during these months.  The show of hands indicated very little interest thus meeting status will remain as currently scheduled.

 

Marty also reported that the Board had also considered weather or not to renew membership in the “County Democrats Circle of Friends”.  Membership dues are $1,000.00 per year.  He reported that the Board had voted to make membership renewal contingent upon their opening of an office to provide services in LD 21 or 22 during the election cycle. 

 

Arky Muscato, LD 22 candidate for State Senate and Larry Woods, LD 22 candidate for State House of Representatives, spoke briefly thanking the Grand Dems for their tremendous support in getting them qualified for the ballot.  They both qualified as Clean Elections candidates and their campaigns will be in full swing very soon.  They continue to need our support from now through the election.

 

Shirley MacAllister addressed the group briefly regarding support for Fred Duval, our Democratic candidate for Governor.  She circulated a petition requesting volunteers to work on his behalf. 

 

There will be an election night gathering.  Details will be announced later.

 

Doisey Landry introduced our guest speakers for the evening, Sharon Thomas, candidate for Supt. of Public Instruction, and Steve Brittle who spoke on behalf of Sandra Kennedy, candidate for Corporations Commission, who was unable to attend due to a family emergency. 

Ms. Thomas is a teacher, mother and former small business owner.  She has taught at the elementary, high school, and college levels, and has written and taught curriculum aligned to the Common Core Standards.  She is a strong advocate for increasing funding levels for our public schools believes that all Arizonans share in the responsibility of educating our students and that all students deserve an equitable education.

 

Speaking on behalf of Sandra Kennedy, Mr. Brittle stressed the importance of the Corporations Commission which regulates utilities, small water companies, railroads, pipelines, securities and corporations.  Ms. Kennedy narrowly lost a bid for a seat on the Commission in a previous election.  She is a strong consumer advocate, keenly aware of the need for a drought management program and a promoter of solar energy and the jobs that come from that industry. 

 

The 50/50 raffle was won by John Landry and was donated back to the Grand Dems.

 

Frank Reed moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m.  Sharon Forbes seconded and the motion passed.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

May 21, 2014

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

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jane Cohen.

A motion to accept the minutes of the April 23, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Jane Cohen, seconded by Ilene Flynn and passed.

The Treasurers Reports was accepted as presented.   The current treasury balance is $6,958.47.  Ilene also reported the to-date results of the pledge drive.  The initial request made at the April general meeting produced a total of $450.00.  This was followed up with a mailing to 114 households resulting in an additional $1,240.00 for a total, to-date, of $1,690.00

In addition to the Treasurers Report, Ilene offered the following suggestion/idea as a possible solution to the lack of volunteers for committee chairs and club offices:  That the Grand Dems dissolve as an official political entity which requires adherence to specific rules and responsibilities set down for political organizations by the State and instead become a social club, thus requiring no time or money from it’s members.

A motion was made by Sharon Forbes that this should be brought before the Board prior to any action being taken.  Barbara Nelson seconded the motion.  The motion was not voted upon by the membership. 

Ilene notified members of her intention to submit her letter of resignation as Treasurer as soon as the 2nd Campaign Finance Report of this election year to the State and County has been filed.  She hopes to have it filed by June 2.

OLD BUSINESS:

Roger Rhodes reported that the neighborhood walks for signatures and $5’s for our candidates had been successful, indicating that they are 90 – 95 % completed in this important phase.  Bonnie Boyce-Wilson has reached the threshold, Arky Muscato is very close and Larry Woods still requires an additional 40 signatures at this time.  He thanked all members who participated in this effort.  The next phase of our efforts will involve getting-out-the-vote.  Additional volunteers will be needed to canvass the neighborhoods and gain support for our entire slate of candidates.

Barbara Nelson reiterated Roger’s call for volunteers and reminded the group that only three more Democrats are needed to take control of the State Senate, emphasizing that we have hope and that we can make a difference.  She also stated that we need people to run for Precinct Committee positions in the GraniteFalls, Grand, and La Salana Precincts. Precinct sheets are available and the deadline for filing is May 28th.  Only 10 signatures are required to run for the position.

  

NEW BUSINESS:

John Landry has volunteered to serve as Nominations Chair.

There will be an election night gathering.  Details will be announced later.

Speakers for the June 25th meeting will be Sharon Thomas, candidate for Public Instruction, and Sandra Kennedy candidate for AZ Corporate Commission.

No meetings will be held in July and August.

Doisey Landry introduced our guest speaker for the evening, David Garcia, candidate for Supt. of Public Instruction. 

Mr. Garcia is a product of AZ Public School System, a first generationCollege graduate, and has served in the US Military.  He is a very strong proponent of PUBLIC school education and if elected he will advocate loudly for the restoration of State funding for our public schools.  He stated that the three R’s to improve our education system are Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships and that we need to “Measure What Matters” as opposed to teaching-to-the-test.  He is a strong believer in language diversity and suggested that a well educated and diverse population is one of the major factors in attracting good paying business’s to the State.

The 50/50 raffle was won by Rexford Stone and was donated back to the Grand Dems.

 Lloyd Cotton moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m.  John Landry seconded and the motion passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

April 23, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m. by President, Marty Cohen.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Laura Coppel.

 

A motion to accept the minutes of the February 26, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by John Landry, seconded by Sharon Forbes and passed.

 

The Treasurers Reports was accepted as presented.   The current treasury balance is $5,384.30.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

President Cohen reported that the club gave $1,314.53 to Kids’ Grand Hand in 2013.

 

The next meeting of the Grand Dems will be held on May 21st in the Gila Room at the Cimarron Center.

 

Marty reported that we currently have 151 members in our club.

 

The next Adopt-a-street will be on May 10th at the corner of Reems and Mountain View.

              

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

Barbara Nelson has volunteered to chair the Election Committee.

 

Doisey Landry addressed the group on the issue of fundraising:

 

She asked the question, Why are you a Grand Dem?

 

Is it to elect Democratic candidates?

 

Is it to socialize with fellow Democrats?

 

Is it to attend functions such as breakfasts and dinners?

 

If it is to elect Democratic candidates then, she stated, we need your help.  We need volunteers to step up to canvas and phone-bank and we really need your help in running for club offices.  She further stated that it cannot and should not be the same people year after year.  We need volunteers to step up and serve the club.  She also presented a pledge card for members to pledge a monetary amount for fundraising purposes.  In order to get our candidates elected in the fall, we need to have funds to support the Democratic candidates on the ticket.

 

Sharon Forbes introduced Candidates who were in attendance:

 

Arky Muscato is running for State Senate and Bonnie Wilson and Larry Woods are running for State Representative.

 

Each candidate spoke to the issues that were most important for their election to the legislature.  They all spoke on the need to support public education over private schools and the need to fund child and senior services.

 

Sharon Forbes introduced our guest speakers for the evening, Laura Coppel and Jon Ryder who are both County Democratic leaders.

Laura explained how the National Democratic Party works with the State, County, Local and the LD’s.  She explained how the county recruits candidates, works with voter registration, works with shared partners such as unions, etc.  However, in her view, the most important function is getting the newest program called Snowflake implemented.  Snowflake is a program led by a Field Coordinator that enlists volunteers to canvas, phone bank, get five dollar donations, sign petitions, etc. for local and state candidates.  In districts 21 and 22, we have five team leaders that work with the Field Coordinator.  This is a new program for the WestValley and hopefully it will get our candidates elected.

 

Jon spoke about voter suppression, public vs. private education and other bills pushed by our extremist legislature.  He emphasized the need to support public over charter schools, and how charter schools get funding from the state even though they are a private enterprise.  He also spoke of the need to work as a team through the Snowflake Program to get our candidates elected.

 

Sharon Forbes presented Laura and Jon with a Grand Dems Mug following their presentations.

 

The 50/50 raffle was won by Doisey Landry.

 

Frank Reed moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m.  Sharon Forbes seconded and the motion passed.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Roger Rhodes, acting Secretary