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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

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

March 26, 2014

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

 

A moment of silence was observed in memory of a beloved, long time member, Ken Monefeldt.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by President, Marty Cohen.

motion to accept the minutes of the February 26, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Ilene Flynn, seconded by Jane Cohen and passed.

 

The Treasurers Reports was accepted as presented.   The current treasury balance is $4,720.09.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

President Cohen thanked Margie Thompson for this month’s theme table observing St Patrick’s Day.

 

President Cohen reiterated the need for committee chairs for fundraising, elections, nominations, and newsletter.

 

There will be no General Meetings during the months of July and August. 

              

NEW BUSINESS:

 

Marty introduced Terry Goddard who is running for the office of Secretary of State.  His first order of business was to wish our long time member, Ethel Brown, a happy 96th birthday.  In his brief remarks he stressed the need for a large voter turn out to make changes to what he termed “the worst legislature ever”!  He stated that one of his primary objectives as Secretary of State would be to assure that everyone who is eligible to vote, can vote and also that “laundering” of out-of state PAC money must be stopped.

 

Our April 23rd meeting will feature a roundtable discussion with Laura Copple and Jon Ryder on the topic of AZ Democratic Party organization and process.

 

Marty reported that the recent membership renewal drive conducted by the Board was successful in exceeding our goal of 20 returning members.

 

Frank Coppel, Team Organizer for Maricopa County LD 21 & 22, gave a brief power point presentation on plans to get-out-the-vote.  He stressed the need for Team Leaders and other volunteers for phone banking and other activities to achieve successful results in the upcoming election.

 

Members were reminded of the LD 22 fundraising event to be held on April 6.  Tickets are available at $25 per person. 

 

Darlene Martinez spoke briefly on behalf of Sharon Thomas who is running for the office of Supt. of Public Instruction.

 

Marty introduced our guest speaker for the evening, Paula Pennypacker.  Ms. Pennypacker is a candidate for State Congressional seat representing LD 23.  This seat is currently represented by John Kavanaugh, a co-sponsor of SB 1070 and 1062.  As a life-long Republican, she realized that the party she knew had moved radically to the right and no longer represented the values she held.  She found the Democratic Party, with its “big tent” mentality, a welcoming place which closely mirrored her own values.  In 2012 she cast her first vote as a Democrat for President Obama.  She is a strong advocate for Public Schools and does not believe the State should fund for-profit charter schools.  She echoed Mr. Goddard’s belief that this is the worst ever legislature, and though she recognizes the tough, uphill battle she faces, she pledged to work tirelessly for success in advancing our Democratic principles.

 

Ilene Flynn was the winner of the 50/50 raffle.

 

Roger Rhodes moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.  Graham Hayes seconded and the motion passed.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie

     

             

                       

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING

GRAND DEMOCRATS

February 26, 2014

 

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

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Neil Lester, our guest speaker for the evening.

 

A motion to accept the minutes of the January 22, 2014 General Meeting as published on the GrandDems Website, was made by Jane Cohen, seconded by Ethel Brown and passed.

 

The Treasurers Reports was accepted as presented.   The current treasury balance is $4,446.59.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

President Cohen thanked Margie Thompson and others who contributed to the February theme table featuring items commemorating Black History Month, Valentines Day and President’s Day.

 

President Cohen repeated the crucial election year issues for the club including fund raising, participation, and volunteering for committee chairmanships.  We have an urgent and critical need for the following committee chairs:

            FUNDRAISING:  Paula Moorad resigned as chair having accepted an opportunity to study at Oxford University in England.  Without a chairperson and committee volunteers, the club will be unable to meet one of our major goals of contributing toward Democratic candidates running in Local, State, and Federal elections.

 

            ELECTIONS:  a chairperson is needed to organize support for our candidates, including securing yard signs, arranging for coffees for candidates and an election night gathering.

 

            NOMINATIONS:  a chairperson to search for and present a slate of candidates for officers to serve the Grand Dems in 2015.

 

            NEWSLETTER:  The Blue Notes has been a highly informative and effective method of communicating timely information pertaining to club activities, interesting tidbits and political information in general to our membership. 

 

Vice-President Rhodes reiterated the urgency and importance of volunteering and participating if the Grand Dems is to remain a viable organization.  

              

NEW BUSINESS:

The guest speaker for our March 26 General Meeting will be Paula Pennypacker, a former Republican activist turned Democrat, and now running for the State Senate in LD23.

 

Our April meeting will feature a roundtable discussion with Laura Copple and Jon Ryder on the topic of AZ Democratic Party organization and process.

 

Ruthanna Battilana shared information from LD22.  It is time to organize and run for Precinct Committee Chairperson to represent our various neighborhood precincts at LD22 meetings.  We currently have only 22 of maximum 270 seats filled.  She also informed us that Michael Weisser will run as a Democrat in US Congressional District 4 which is the District currently represented by Paul Gosar.

 

Judy Neigoff presented information on behalf of Sharon Forbes regarding a LD22 Fiesta dinner to be held at a SCG residence on April 6.  Reservations for this event will be accepted through March 30.  See our Website for additional information on this event.

 

Archangel Muscato and his campaign manager were in attendance seeking signatures and $5.00 donations for his candidacy for State Senate representing LD22.  Further information on his candidacy will be forthcoming at future meetings.

 

Doisey Landry introduced our guest speaker for the evening, Dr. Neil Lester.  His topic was Nappy Edges and Goldy Locks:  The Race and Gender Politics of Hair.  Dr. Lester is a Professor of English at ASU, specializing in African American literature and cultural studies.  In his presentation, Dr. Lester showed how a national controversy was generated around the issue of African American hair in a children’s book, Carolivia Herron’s Nappy Hair, and how the issue of hair is central to certain ideals of beauty and femininity. 

   

Bill Flynn was the winner of the 50/50 raffle.

 

Ethel Brown moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m.  Ilene Flynn seconded and the motion passed.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie