2017 Feb Minutes

Grayson County Democratic Party, February 24, 3017

Monthly Meeting, Minutes

Chair Lander Bethel called the meeting to order at 6:00pm

Lander welcomed all and asked new attendees to introduce themselves.

Lander announced that former chairman, Jack Kennedy passed away.  His funeral will be in Pottsboro at Lakeway Baptist Church at 1:30 on Monday, February 27th.

Items from the Agenda:

Report from Executive Committee:

Lander will submit his resignation in a letter to precinct chairs who will appoint a new chairman.  Glenn Melancon has offered to serve as Chair.  Any others who want to be Chair are welcome to announce their candidacy.

Lander will be out of town in March and will miss the monthly meeting.  He has asked Glenn to conduct that meeting.

The new chair will take office in March or April.

Judy Baker is resigning as Treasurer and Debby West is resigning as Secretary.  There were discussions about duties and job descriptions for the positions.  No call for elections for these positions.

Newly appointed precinct chairs are:  Debbie Burns – precinct?, Jan Fletcher – precinct 305, Amy Hoffman Shehan – precinct 101, Barbara Speer – precinct 409, and Pam McGraw – precinct 204.  Precinct chairs serve on the Executive Committee.

Report from Action Committee:  Mark Ewig

Mark Ewig, Lander Bethel, Tony Beaverson, and Debby West met with a staffer, Michelle, in Congressman Ratcliffe’s office who stressed that her position is non-partisan and federal.  Staffers are not allowed to speak for Mr. Ratcliffe, but can take notes from constituents and relay them to the legislative aid in Mr. Ratcliffe’s office.

Jan Fletcher held a sign-making party and organized the marchers outside the courthouse.

Barb Rush spoke to the Herald Democrat and provided research materials which are available on our website www.graysondemocrats.org.

Tony Beaverson spoke to KTEN and KXII television news.

The march was from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on February 23rd.  It was a peaceful, joyous event with more participants than anticipated.

The Action Committee will meet on March 6 and are planning an event for March 15.  Contact Jan Fletcher if you want to work on the committee.

Report from Recruitment Committee:  Pam McGraw

Their goal is to have a Democratic candidate for every open seat.

Andra Petrean is running for the Sherman ISD Board of Trustees against a strong Republican opponent.  Andra said she is everything Republicans fear most.  She is female, an immigrant, and a scientist.  The election is May 6.  Early voting starts April 24.  All voting is at the Sherman ISD building on Loy Lake.

Members of the committee attended a candidate training in Dallas.

Pam McGraw stressed that we need full slate of candidates to communicate our Democratic vision and that we need to get behind Democratic candidates.

Pam spoke about fundraising and the need to form a PAC to help candidates financially.  We need to hire a vendor to locate progressive Republicans.

Report from Communications Committee:  Terri Rodeffer

Their goal is to coordinate communication between committees and be the eyes and ears to inform members.

They are writing letters to the editor of the Herald Democrat and are planning to have at least one a month published.  Fred Meyer is writing one now.

Report from the Outreach Committee:  Jeremy Posadas

If one in three non-voters join Democratic voters we can defeat John Ratcliffe in 2018.  The committee’s goal is to convert the non-voter not change the Trump voter by providing spaces and events where the uninvolved can come together with the involved.

The committee will meet on March 7th and begin planning an event for April or May.

Reports from Huddles:

Randi Tanglen reported that both Huddles were well attended.  She also mentioned Facebook group Women Unite: Texoma whose focus is to foster democracy and protect the vulnerable following steps from the Women’s March.  Nearly 40 people attended Rachel Giordano’s Huddle with Democrats.  The Women Unite Huddle is planning a march and singing event for March 8 inspired by Suffrage Movement to celebrate International Day of Women and a Day Without a Woman at the courthouse.

Report from Sign Making Party:

Jan Fletcher we will hold sign making parties before each event.

Report from Indivisible 4 – Liberty Tree:

Pam Pyle joined other Liberty Tree groups to assemble outside Governor Abbott’s fundraising dinner on February 12 in Collin County.  Over 100 people and carried signs and got along with police.  Jeff Leach, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Collin County met with the protestors for conversation.  One protestor was rude and unruly.  Rep. Leach posted on his Facebook page the next day that the protestors were out of control.  However, others shared videos made at the event contradicting his description.  WFAA television in Dallas broadcast those videos debunking Leach’s claim. In addition, the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle reported that Leach’s version was untrue.

Report from Immigrant Defense Protest:

Aaron Job reported that Standing in Solidarity with Immigrants was a spontaneous event starting on Texoma Pkwy and moving to the courthouse covering about a quarter of the grounds.  Local TV stations gave good coverage. A teenager whose mother has been deported started it.  Her effort received attention from national media, including US News & World Report.

Herald Democrat Article:

Mindy Landeck contacted the Herald Democrat about Rep. John Ratcliffe’s avoidance of his constituents.  The newspaper interviewed her and Debby West about their experiences trying to get Ratcliffe to make himself available locally.  Mindy reminded us that the press (the 4th estate) is our friend and encouraged us to write letters to the. Herald Democrat and contact them about our issues.

Minutes:

The minutes were read and approved.

Treasurer’s Report:

The report was read and approved.

Old Business:

Ides of March postcards.  Write as many postcards as you can to arrive at the White House on March 15 to let the president know what a poor job he is doing.

New Business:

Impact of repealing ACA/Obamacare – Barb Rush shared information she put together on the ACA that was used at the February 23 march at the courthouse.

Election for Treasurer and Secretary – no action taken.

ACLU Training – Jan Fletcher called for a volunteer and Dru Thomson agreed.

School Board Candidate – Andra Petrean – Candidate support (fund raising, etc.)

Announcements:

Glenn Melancon – His talk on Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act at United Way on February 23rd.

Bob Slagle – Gilbert Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, will be speaking in Sherman, at the courthouse on Saturday, March 18 from 9:00 – 11:00 am.

Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned.  The next meeting is March 23rd.