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General Meeting Minutes

Grand Dems

Wed., June 26, 2013


Meeting was called to order by President, Susan Wally-Ledbetter at 6:30 pm. 


Pledge of Allegiance was led by Barry Bridges


President welcomed everyone and thanked her 2013 Board for all their help and guidance.


President then introduced attorney Don Peters who spoke on the education funding lawsuit, the difference between private and public schools and how groups like GrandDems can help the cause by being informed and writing to their legislators. 


After break, President Susan continued with agenda items

Approval of 5/22/13 General Meeting minutes; motion by Jack Hitchcock, 2nd by Sharon Forbes, unanimous voice vote of yea.


President Susan then read a letter sent to Obama For America and Democratic National Committee informing them that since neither of the checks sent to them in September and October 2012, that the Grand Dems have cancelled the checks and will use the $1100 for local 2014 Democratic candidates. 


President Susan also read a letter to the Fundraising Committee stating that the $85 discrepancy from the April Italian Night has been forgiven, but that closer monitoring will take place for all future events.


Treasurer Ilene Flynn read the treasurer’s report stating a balance of $6608.55 as of June 26, 2013.  The report was accepted as read.


Sharon Forbes suggested that we might want to look at donations to candidates sooner rather than later.  Motion to donate $500 to Felicia Rotellini, candidate for Attorney General, be was made by Mariana Hartman; seconded by Barbara Nelson and voice vote of yea was unanimous. 


President Susan made a plea for volunteers for the Membership Drive which she will be coordinate for GrandDems with LD22’s Frank Copple and NW Valley Dem’s Mark Johnson. 


Under new business, Frank Copple suggested we show support of Texas representative Wendy Davis for her heroic filibuster stand on women’s rights.  Sharon Forbes and Susan Wally-Ledbetter will be drafting a letter. 


The Summer Schedule, as seen on the website, was reviewed noting that no July or August General Meetings nor Board Meetings would occur.  See website for full schedule at


President then read an appeal from David Duval for volunteers for Fred Duval’s 2014 Gubernatorial race.


President Susan then introduced the founder of Kids’ Grand Hand Program, Dave Farrand who thanked the group for their participation and support.


50/50 drawing was done by Dave Farrand and the winner was Barry Bridges. 


Motion to adjourn by Jack Hitchcock, 2nd by Sharon Forbes, unanimous yea vote.  Meeting adjourned at 7:40pm.


Respectfully submitted



Susan M. Wally-Ledbetter

Acting Secretary








May 22, 2013


The meeting was called to order at 6:37 p.m. by President, Susan Wally-Ledbetter.


The Pledge of Allegiance was led by President, Wally-Ledbetter.


Motion to accept the minutes of the April 24, 2013 meeting was made by Sharon Forbes.  Seconded by Ilene Flynn and motion carried.


The President welcomed everyone and thanked many volunteers for their services. Special thanks went to our Webmaster, Joe Williams, John and Sally Neurenberg for coordinating Adopt-A-Street, Ethel Brown for her work on the Nominations Committee and to Ilene Flynn for stepping in as Treasurer upon the medically induced resignation of Doisey Landry.


The Treasurers report was accepted as presented.  The current balance is $6,454.51.



The President introduced Mary Melling and Alicia Vitacco, counselors from Willow Canyon High School, who are working with Liz and Dave Ferrand of the Kids’ Grand Hand program to provide assistance to needy students in the Dysart Unified School District.  They stressed that these are students who “fall between the cracks” and sited many examples of the type of assistance they are able to provide because of this program.  It was further stressed that every cent that is donated goes directly to the students in need.

Our group has pledged to assist this program by providing a “Bucket-of-Change”, whereby members who wish to may donate their loose change.  The accumulated change will be turned over to Dave Ferrand for distribution to the needy students of the Dysart District.

The President announced the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on volunteers.  Its purpose is to promote more participation and involvement by our members.  Please email Susan with any ideas that you wish the committee to consider.



Ruthanna Battilana representing LD22 spoke to the group on a variety of issues from this, our Legislative District.  She indicated that there is still need for PC’S.  She stated that the District has a 2/1 ratio of Republican to Democratic voter registration and stressed that a major drive would be made to increase the Democratic voter registration numbers.  She also thanked the group for the $500.00 that the Board of the Grand Democrats voted to contribute to LD22 to help defray expenses.  The next LD 22 meeting will be on June 20, 2013.  Check the Website for location.


Sharon Forbes gave a brief report on the Heritage Dinner which she recently attended on behalf of the group.


The scheduled speaker for the meeting was Michelle Steinberg, Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood in Arizona.  However, due to a scheduling mix-up she was not in attendance for the meeting.

In lieu of a speaker, time was spent discussing issues of interest to those in attendance.


Larry Goldberg moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:31 p.m.  Seconded by Ilene Flynn.  Motion carried.


Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie






April 24, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 6:31 p.m. by President, Susan Wally-Ledbetter.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jack Hitchcock.

Motion to accept the minutes of the March 27, 2013 meeting was made by John Landry.  Seconded by Larry Goldberg and motion carried.

The President welcomed everyone and thanked the many volunteers for their services. Special thanks went to the Fundraising Committee for their excellent work in planning and executing the April 7 Italian Dinner and fundraiser, and to Judy Niegoff for hosting the event. 

The Treasurers report was accepted as presented.  The current balance is $5,367.72 checking, $1,233.75 savings, and $20.00 petty cash for a total of $6,621.47. 


            FUNDRAISING:  President, Wally-Ledbetter reported net proceeds of $220.10 from the April 6 garage sale.  Sharon Beard reported a net of $2,034 from the April 7, Italian Dinner.  This included $1,625 in ticket sales and $600 from the silent auction.

            MEMBERSHIP:  John Landry reported membership is currently 133 paid members and 9 donors.  An email has been sent to all non-renewing former members encouraging them to renew their membership for 2013.


            An email blast containing a list of the most needed items for our monthly collection of food items for the Valley View Food Bank was sent to all members and is also on the club website.

            President Wally-Ledbetter indicated that volunteers are needed to conduct the raffles at our monthly Blue Breakfast, and Blue Monday dinner.  She also reported a need for a Program Chairperson for the remainder of the year.


            President, Wally-Ledbetter informed the group on a new Drive-a-Dem program that is being instituted to provide transportation to and from our meetings for those members who may need a ride.  Anyone wishing to either be a driver or who needs a ride may sign up on the club website or call the telephone number provided for this service.

            A decision was made at the last Board meeting to cooperate with Dave Ferrand, who already has in place a program called Kids’ Grand Hand, in collecting school supply items for our local schools.  More specific information on this program will be forthcoming.

            Tom This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has a terrific website that provides anyone who is interested with a wide variety of topics and links.  A recent article of interest concerns the use of drones to protect the movement of nuclear waste from the Palo Verde Nuclear facility. 

            Ilene Flynn reminded members of our weekly volunteer day, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Valley View Food Bank.  She urged members to get involved.

            Frank Copple reported that LD 22 meets on Thursdays and our members are encouraged and invited to attend these meetings.  He also reported that OFA has a new State Director and that on May 3rd a gun violence prevention rally will be held from 1-3 p.m. outside the Mesa office of Senator Flake.  All are welcome.

            Carol Wiklund reported that APS appears to be planning to get rid of its net metering solar panel program.  This issue bears watching as it moves through the Corporate Commission.

            President, Wally-Ledbetter introduced our speaker for the evening, Laura Copple, Chairman of the Maricopa County Democratic Party.  She spoke to us on non-election year activities for the Democratic Party.  She indicated that Districts 18, 20 and 21 are all districts that could produce winners for Democrats in the State House.  She will stress team-building and organizing during her tenure as County Chairperson.  Phone calls and knocking on doors are the two most effective methods of getting out the vote according to research conducted on this issue.

            Jack Hitchcock moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m.  Seconded by Charles Grayson.  Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie


Minutes of the

General Meeting

Grand Democrats

March 27, 2013

President Susan Wally-Ledbetter called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

Barry Bridges led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Susan Wally-Ledbetter pointed out that as part of a focus on service to the community, members of the Grand Democrats have been bringing food donations to the general meetings, which in turn are brought to the Valley View Food Bank.  Its founder, Jesse Ramirez, was in attendance and gave a brief overview.

After being part of the Westside Food Bank for 22 years, Jesse started a food shelf in Youngtown in March of 2007 with a space of 500 square feet.  The food bank now occupies a 6,500 square foot space in Sun City.  Valley View Food Bank is an independent, community-based organization serving 500 people a day with food boxes.  Volunteers are always needed and welcomed.

Debra Boehlke, a familiar democratic figure in our state, asked for our help in signing petitions: one in support of Fred DuVal, who is running for governor, the other for Felecia Rotellini, running for Attorney General.  Debra extended an invitation to a brunch on April 20 sponsored by the West Valley Citizens for Education.  The brunch will be held in Debra’s home and a guest speaker will focus on the topic of education.

Ilene Flynn reported that she and a few members of our club have been volunteering at the Valley View Food Bank on Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and asked that others please join them.

Ilene asked for support in signing a petition on ending gun violence, which will be presented to Senators McCain and Flake on April 5.

Frank Reed, Program Chair, introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Linda Lederman, Professor of Human Communication in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University and immediate and past Dean of Social Sciences and Director of the Institute for Social Science Research.  Dr. Lederman is also a long-time friend of members, Marty and Jane Cohen.

Dr. Lederman spoke on the topic of Politics & Power of Words by reviewing the story of Scott Prouty, the person responsible for taping Mitt Romney’s “47%” remarks.  She pointed out how Scott’s courage to release the tape anonymously put the focus on Mitt’s “words” which impacted the 2012 campaign.  A question/answer period followed.

After a short break, the business portion of the meeting resumed.

A motion to accept the minutes of the February 27, 2013 meeting was made by Sharon Forbes and seconded by Ken Monfeldt.  Motion carried.

In the Treasurer’s absence, Susan Wally-Ledbetter reported that our current treasury balance is $4,242.43.  The report will be filed as submitted.

Susan reminded attendees to pay their dues of $20 for the 2013 year.  John Landry, Membership Chair, reported that we have 142 paid members to date.

Judith Bridges, representative of the Fundraising Committee, reported that 41 tickets have been sold for the Italian Dinner to be held on Sunday, April 7; a fun evening of delicious food, drink, and silent auction.  Selma Stoorman added that “Valley Harmony,” whose music is a combo of big band hits with a country twist has been booked for the event.  Susan Wally-Ledbetter pointed out that one can donate towards the event, even if unable to attend.


A ticket was drawn for the 50/50 raffle and the holder of the winning ticket was Charles Grayson, who took home an extra $28.


Susan reminded attendees that the Garage Sale will be held Saturday, April 6 and to bring “slightly used items” between 5:30-6:00 a.m. to be sold that day.   All proceeds go to the Grand Dems.

President Wally-Ledbetter announced that the newsletter, “Blue Notes,” would no longer be published.  Items of interest will be posted on our website.

Susan Wally-Ledbetter and Marty Cohen will be manning our booth at the Newcomer’s Breakfast on Monday, April 8.

Ken Monfeldt moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.  Frank Reed seconded and motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ilene Flynn

(Acting Recording Secretary in Jan Ashton-Beazie’s absence)




FEBRUARY 27, 2013


The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by President, Susan Wally-Ledbetter.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Larry Goldberg.

Motion to accept the minutes of the January 23, 2013 meeting was made by Sharon Forbes.  Seconded by Jack Hitchcock and motion carried.

The President welcomed everyone and thanked the many volunteers who so generously give their time for the causes and needs of the Grand Dems.



1.  Margie Thompson reported on her attendance at the inauguration of President Obama.  She thanked the group for their support of her participation in this event as well as at the Democratic Party Convention.

2.  Steve Brittle reported on the status of the Incinerator that was being planned for the City of Surprise.  He said the project was not moving forward at this time and urged members to speak out in objection to this project being located in Surprise.  Steve has been an activist against these projects in other areas of the State and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

MOTION:  Motion was made by Larry Goldberg to form an Ad Hoc committee of three people to work with Steve on this issue.  Second by Nancy Williams and carried.

3.  All Veterans in attendance were asked to put their names in a hat to win tickets for two to the Wounded Warrior Dinner.  Audrey Dinnell was the winner of the tickets.


The Treasurers report was accepted as presented.  The current balance is $3,987.31.



FUNDRAISING:  Judith Bridges reported that an Italian Dinner will be held on April7, 2013 at the home of Judy Niegoff from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Tickets to this event are currently available through the fundraising committed and are $25.00 per person.  50/50 raffle tickets will also be available at the event which will also include a silent auction and entertainment.


MEMBERSHIP:  John Landry reported that 2013 membership dues are now due.  Dues are $20.00 for the year.



President Wally-Ledbetter reported that all Blue Breakfast’s and Dinner’s will be held at Coco’s for the remainder of the year.



Larry Goldberg was commended for his recent letter of opinion published in the Surprise Today.  The president continued to urge members to submit letters to the local news sources.

The Sun City Grand Spring Garage Sale will be held on April 6.  The Grand Dems will have a table there but will not conduct the usual full-scale garage sale.   Members may, however, bring a limited number of their own items if they wish, and must be there by 6:00 a.m. to drop them off.  All proceeds will go to benefit the club.  The Grand Dems tables will be located in spaces 52 and 53.

The President announced an invitation to attend a “Circle of Friends” event presented by the Maricopa County Democratic Party and hosted this year by artist Beth Swartz at her home in Paradise Valley on March 17 from 4–6 p.m.  Sharon Forbes and a guest will attend this event.

Carol Wiklund requested opinion pieces of 100 words or less for the next issue of The Blue Notes.  The topic is drones or no drones, why or why not. The deadline for submission is March 10.

Doisey and John Landry will take the food items donated at this meeting to the

Valley View Food Bank.

The 50/50 raffle was won by Doisey Landry.

Frank Reed introduced our speaker for the evening, Anne Mardick.  Ms. Mardick substituted for the scheduled speaker, Richard Miller who was ill.  Her power point presentation highlighted issues of Women’s Rights and the continuing war on these hard won rights by the current Republican Party.

Nancy Williams moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.  Second by Ilene Flynn and carried.


Respectfully Submitted,

Jan Ashton-Beazie