Minutes: MCDC Post Meeting 5-24-19

MUSCOGEE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

MEETING AGENDA

May 14, 2019

1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6:09 PM.

2. Roll Call and Verification of Quorum: Roll Call was conducted by Pam Parker, Recording Secretary. A sign in sheet was also made available to the Post Members. Between the two sources of attendance there were 32 Post Members present, 7 Post Members were absent but excused and 12 Post Members were absent/unexcused. There were also four MCDC non-Post members who attended the meeting as well. A quorum was declared, and the meeting proceeded.

3. Inspirational Message: Laura Walker, Chairperson, presented an inspirational message entitled “Always proceed with the Best Intentions.”

4. Reading/approval of minutes: Copies of the minutes were provided to the group and they were given 5 minutes to review them. The following corrections were made from the floor Claudya Muller’s, Post 5, name was misspelled. The Minutes were corrected to reflect the correct spelling of her name.

Claudya Muller made a motion from the floor to approve the minutes as corrected. A second came from the floor. There was no discussion. The Minutes were approved as amended.

5. Correspondence (Corresponding Secretary): There was no correspondence to report to the Post Members.

6. Chair’s Notes: Mrs. Walker elected to spread her remarks throughout the meeting as they are relevant to Post Member discussions.

7. Treasurer’s Report: A financial report was presented to the committee by Treasurer Marjorie Jackson and is as follows:

Bank balance: $6,944.06.

Total Unpaid Debt: $367.00.

Beginning Balance: $12, 288.64.

Ending Book Balance: $6,577.06

Questions were solicited by the Chair.

*Doug McLeod: What about funds from the Blue Gala? He stated that an audit is needed to determine how the proceeds were spent from the Blue Gala.

*Laura Walker: Stated that a certified audit is very expensive between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars. She deferred to Ms. Jackson who responded that she will conduct an audit of the financial records before January of 2020.

*Question from the floor: Is the Balance sheet available on the web site? Mrs. Walker stated that she will check to see if it can be published.

Ms. Jackson indicated that going forward she will e-mail the financial report to all Post Committee members.

David Smith, Post 2, made the motion that the Treasurer’s Report be accepted as presented. A second from the floor. The budget sheet was approved unanimously by the Post Members.

8. Committee Reports: Mrs. Walker called on Committee Chairs that held meetings during the time period between the last Post Committee meeting (3.5.19) and this meeting for their reports.

Bylaws Revision: Rick Parker, Post 10, informed the Post that his committee met Monday 5.13.2019. Their task was to make sure MCDC’s By-laws are consistent with those of the state and national party. They identified a few issues and inconsistencies that they would like to review to make things more streamlined. According to information provided by members of the By-Laws committee, the DPG has not met to write their by-laws. Mr. Parker informed the Post that the By-Laws committee will have a report to present in the fall. Mr. Parker encouraged everyone to contact him if they have any suggestions for the committee.

Discussion: Mrs. Walker would like the By-laws to be formatted in commonsense language and easy to read.

Financial Strategic Planning: Ms. Jackson, Post 9, did not present a report.

Fundraising: Chris Parker, Post 5, stated that his committee met on April 24, 2019. They would like to have three fundraising events.

  1. A BBQ cookoff in the summer. They plan to invite community members to participate in the BBQ cookoff and to bring in celebrity judges. This will be a ticketed event where you purchase small plates of BBQ. Additional tickets will be available for purchase at the event.
  2. The True Blue Gala in the fall.
  3. A spring event with a focus on environmental issues. They hope to make this a joint event with the Muscogee County Republican party. The proceeds will go to a local charity.

Mr. Parker presented some smaller events: A weekly or monthly pancake breakfast at either TGIF or Applebees with a speaker and a Make/Bake/Serve silent action.

Comments from the Post:

Harry Underwood, Post 6, volunteered the members of the Events Committee to help with Fundraising efforts.

Susan Stephenson, Post 2, suggested encouraging a continuing donation program using the MCDC’s ACT BLUE account.

Judy Brouillette, Post 8, suggested selling t-shirts. She has the contact information of the vendor who the party used before last time they sold t-shirts.

There was a discussion among the Post members about the need for an Online ad to promote ACT Blue. It was suggested that concern should to go to the Membership Committee.

Mrs. Walker would like the committee to put together a plan and present it to the committee.

Membership and Outreach: Shawn Gatewood, Post 3, stated that his committee has met but the turnout was not as expected. Mrs. Walker was the only Post member to attend. Mr. Gatewood sees the focus of Membership and Outreach to be making the MCDC more than just a Post Committee. He would like to see the general membership outnumber the Post Committee members. He plans to try to get the committee out in front of folks at community events around town. He would also like to coordinate with Communication and Fundraising.

Discussion from the Post Members:

Mrs. Walker stated that this committee needs more membership because their role is huge. She encouraged Post members to join this committee and their efforts.

Communications: Harry Underwood, Post 6, had a meeting by conference call. The committee discussed some work that is needed on the MCDC Web site. They are considering changing the theme and getting a plug-in to make the web site interactive.

Newsletter: The committee will continue to publish a MCDC newsletter using MailChimp. Naeisha Patterson, new member of the MCDC, volunteered to write some articles for the newsletter but the committee would like to encourage members of the Post to contribute articles, news items as well.

Social Media- Volunteers are needed to manage the various MCDC social media accounts, i.e. Facebook and Twitter. Help is needed creating event pages, monitoring accounts and providing information about the MCDC.

Twitter – There is a need for someone or a group of people to monitor the account.

Finally, the Communications Committee requested that Tammy Bailey, Corresponding Secretary, attend their meetings.

Affirmative Action: No report

Events and Education: Walter Nesbit reported that this committee has not met. They have a large group and are looking for a place to hold a meeting. There are plans for the committee to meet in August. Mrs. Walker asked Mr. Nesbit to plan a program for our August 13 meeting.

Campaign and Candidate Support: David Smith, Post 2, held a meeting on May 12. He stated that the purpose of his committee is to elect Democrats. The group is targeting seat that Republicans hold and non-partisan races, for example, Muscogee County School Board. Their specific targets for the 2020 election are; Randy Robertson, Richard Smith and Vance Smith. Mr. Smith solicited the Post for people who might be thinking about running for these seats.

The committee is also looking to sponsor debates for candidates running for office in 2020.

Sub-committee: Mr. Torbert,1st Vice Chair, spoke to the group about cross over in subcommittee work and encouraged Post Members of the various committees to work together as needed if projects support one another.

Actionable items:

A motion was made from the floor to give the Fundraising committee permission to move forward with planning for the BBQ Cookoff competition. Teddy Reece, Post 9 provided the second.

Discussion: Mrs. Walker explained how the BBQ would work but that there are many details that need to be worked out

The Post members voted unanimously to allow the Fundraising Committee to move forward with the BBQ Cookoff Competition.

9. Post Committee District Reports:

District 1: Gail Daniels stated that her Post met on April 23. They are planning a debate watch party, voter education, and outreach activities for the Hispanic members of the MCDC. Her Post also considered holding a pancake breakfast at TGIF. The breakfast is provided at no cost but a gratuity for the server is encouraged. According to TGIF policy, groups can have 1 meeting per month. Attendance is limited to between 15 to 25 people. Gail agreed to be the point person for the MCDC. The month of October is not available.

District 2: David Smith met with Post 2 members in April. The Post discussed the composition of the voting districts within Post 2 and formulated plans for reaching out to strong Democrats in their Post.

District 3: No report.

District 4: No report.

District 5: No report.

District 6: Harry Underwood stated that they did not meet but also need help because their district is in a Republican controlled area of the city.

District 7: No report.

District 8: No report.

District 9: No report.

District 10: No report.

10. Unfinished Business: There was no unfinished business to discuss.

11. New Business:

Columbus Pride Weekend, 5/31 to 6/2: We have supported them in the past. If we pay $150.00 we can have a table where we distribute information and display our MCDC banner.

Actionable item:

Harry Underwood made a motion that the MCDC continue to support the Columbus Pride Weekend by making the $150.00 donation. Walter Nesbitt seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Further Discusssion in the Post:

Mrs. Walker: People will be needed to man the tables and she called on the Post members for a volunteer to serve as the team leader. She stated that we will have a table with information cards.

Patricia Lassiter, Post 4: Ms. Lassiter suggested that instead of trying to man a table for the entire weekend the time that would be best to concentrate our efforts would be 11 – 3 / 4 on the Saturday of the weekend. Additionally the LGBTQ liaison for the DPG will send a rep to the event. Mrs. Walker will send an e-mail with all of the particulars to the Post members. Ms. Lassiter suggested that Post Members encourage people in their posts to volunteer.

June MCDC General Membership meeting, 6/11/19, “Outreach!”: Ms. Walker discussed the June meeting plan. She plans to have a Democratic city-wide outreach using phone banking and/or canvassing. Each Post will decide which activity they would like to conduct. We will only target strong Democrats for contact. The plan is to introduce the committee and provide information about the BBQ cookoff. Groups will be given cards to hand out with the MCDC web site, Facebook page, and meeting schedule. She plans to develop the list of people to contact using Vote Builder. One week prior to the June 11 event, Mrs. Walker will provide a training to one person from each post and give them the list of strong Democrats. When the Post meets at a location within their Post District the group will either set up a phone bank at that location or canvass the area. Mrs. Walker has selected someone from each Post to be the leader of the event. She will be contacting them.

Discussion from the Post:

Laura Walker: Vote Builder will provide that information.

Harry Underwood: Have we made any progress finding an off-year location for the party headquarters.

Laura Walker: We need to improve our finances before we can consider looking for a headquarters.

Board of Elections Information: Mrs. Walker informed the Post that Linda Parker is our representative on the election board. We have several Post members who want to attend election boards as observers and Mrs. Walker encouraged members to attend. The election board meets the 2nd Thursday of each month. Stacey Abrams’ group, Fair Fight was at the 2nd congressional district meeting in April and told everyone in attendance that the Voter rolls would be purged in May. Ms. Parker has the list of purged voters for Muscogee County.

There is a push for each county to get an attorney to represent the Democratic party as a representative. Mrs. Walker reached out to Rick Parker, Post 10, to be our representative. Rick, a retired attorney, has agreed to serve as our representative.

Discussion from the Post:

Teddy Reece, Post 9: Mr. Reece indicated that he served as the liaison for the past 6 years. He is no longer able to perform the job. He stated that our election systems are vulnerable, and this is an important job for someone in the party.

Claudya Mueller, Post 5: Ms. Mueller stated that she has met a reporter from the Ledger who is interested in election integrity and she will be coming to our meetings.

Fair Fight Action Event: Fair Fight reached out to Ms. Walker to let her know that they are coming to Columbus to collect stories from voters with respect to election problems. They are scheduled to come down late afternoon on Friday June 14. They have requested that we push that information out.

Mrs. Walker asked the group if anyone had connections with CSU it would be good to distribute this information to those students. Fair Fight has also asked that we give this information to the Democratic committees in our adjacent counties. Fair Fight would like to have a social event after the meeting somewhere other than the library. Details will be sent to the MCDC membership as soon as they are available.

12. Announcements: Mrs. Walker would like to have a contest to design a new logo for MCDC. The logo could put used on t-shirts if we ask for donations to pay for them (t-shirt sales are not allowed by the DPG) Mrs. Walker would like to find judges and plans to put the details of the contest it on Social Media.

Discussion from the Post:

David Smith: Mr. Smith suggested that the winner be given a small cash prize.

Actionable item: Chris Parker made the motion that we hold the contest to redesign the Logo and award the winner of the contest a cash prize of $100. There was a second from the floor. There was no discussion. A vote was called, and the motion was accepted unanimously.

Actionable item: It was brought to the attention of the Post that Post 1 Member Ella Lewis is recovering from an illness. This prompted a discussion about who is responsible for sending cards to various Post Members.

David Smith made a motion that the Membership and Outreach committee assume the responsibility for any correspondence for the members. The motion was seconded from the floor. A vote was called but the measure did not pass.

Pat Hugley Green made the motion that the Corresponding Secretary would be responsible for this type of correspondence on behalf of the MCDC. A second was provided from the floor. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

The Post was reminded that the next meeting would be June 11, 2019. Details will be forthcoming.

Deborah Davis Post 2: Ms. Davis invited the Post Committee to participate in the Better Angels organization workshop on Saturday May 18, from 11 – 2 at North Highland Assembly of God. The workshop will have a training on how to productively talk to people of differing political views. The workshop is free, please consider attending.

Val Almonard, Post 10, informed the committee that the DPG is holding a workshop June 1 in Macon to provide training and information for anyone who might be thinking of running for office or helping with a campaign.

13. Adjournment: Darien Torbert made a motion to adjourn to adjourn the meeting. A second was provided from the floor. There was no discussion. A vote was called, it was unanimous. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

MINUTES: Post Committee Meeting March 5, 2019

Muscogee County Democratic Committee (MCDC)

Post Committee Meeting Minutes

3/5/2019

Welcome:

The meeting was called to order at 6:09 by Laura Walker, MCDC Committee Chairwoman. Ms. Walker welcomed the post members and explained the purpose of the meeting (see agenda). Members of the Executive Board in attendance were introduced; Darien Torbert, 1st Vice Chair; Tammy Bailey, Corresponding Secretary; Pam Parker, Recording Secretary; and Deborah Davis, Parliamentarian.

Attendance and Roll Call:

Ms. Walker called roll. There were 29 Post members present. 16 Post Members were excused (Gayle Daniels, Charrise Woolridge, David Smith, Vivian Bishop, Linda Parker, Patricia Lassiter, Gloria Tyson, Adam Drucker, John Land, Doug McLeod, Adrian Chester, Saundra Ellison, Karen Huntspon, Marjorie Jackson, Teddy Reese, and Illene Kent). 7 Post members did not notify the Chair with a reason for being absent.

Ms. Walker asked the group if they would like a card sent on behalf of the MCDC to Karen Huntspon whose father passed away. All in attendance were in favor of doing so.

Ms. Walker reviewed the reason for calling roll and asking for excuses of Post members who cannot attend the meeting. The By-Laws state that Post Members should attend Post Committee meetings and submit excuses if they cannot attend. According to Ms. Walker the by-laws state that a Post member can be removed from their post if they have two or more unexcused absences in a calendar year. The chair additionally stated that, a Post member who misses two or more Post Committee meetings without providing an explanation must be notified and given an opportunity to come before the MCDC and explain the reasons for their absence.

Minutes from the State Committee Election 2/27/2016

Draft minutes were given to the group as well as the opportunity to review them. Ms. Walker asked if there were any additions or corrections to the draft copy. Since no corrections were indicated, Claudia Mueller made a motion that the minutes be accepted as presented, Chris Parker provided the 2nd. The minutes were approved unanimously. In the future, minutes will be distributed to the group via e-mail prior to the meeting. Printed copies will be available at the next meeting for those who do not use e-mail. When the group re-convenes the minutes will be reviewed and approved.

Correspondence:

Ms. Walker indicated that MCDC member and former State Delegate Ella Lewis submitted a statement to be read to the group. In the prepared statement, Mrs. Lewis expressed her sincerest thanks for the opportunity to serve as a state delegate. Post member Mrs. Booker asked that the group rise and give Ms. Lewis a round of thanks.

Action Items:

1. Tornado Relief – Ms. Walker asked the group if they would like to reach out to those affected by the recent tornado. All stated that they would like to support relief efforts. Tammy Bailey, Corresponding Secretary, has a contact for Georgia relief. Dominic Perkins has a friend who is a Pastor of a church in Talbotton. Both agreed to reach out to these individuals with offers of assistance from the MCDC. Ms. Walker will publish efforts and information on the MCDC web site, Facebook page, and MCDC distribution e-mail list.

Having determined that this would be an action item by the MCDC, Pat Hughley-Green made the motion “For the MCDC to collect individual donations and present them as a group for the tornado relief efforts on going.” Post member Walter Nesbitt provided the 2nd. The group voted unanimously to approve.

2. Calendar – The meeting calendar discussed with the group. There will be three types of meetings, Post committee meetings, Special event meetings and Executive Board Meetings. Post meetings and Special event meetings will occur on alternate months Post committee meetings will be mandatory for all Post members. Dates for all three types of meetings were provided in the agenda. Ms. Walker will post the dates of the meetings on the MCDC web site, Facebook page and e-mail distribution list. Post committee and special event meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month except for the April special event meeting which will be held on the 1st Tuesday in April. Executive board meetings will be held two weeks prior to Post Committee meetings. There was discussion about meeting locations. The offer of Revelation Missionary Baptist Church as a meeting place was discussed. Ms. Walker stated that the Main Library, Macon Road, has been reserved through May and she will keep the library as our primary meeting place. She would like to reserve the church for Special Events where we may more space and/or if the Library is not available as a meeting space. Ms. Walker will be in charge of booking the Library for the time being and locations will be listed as TBD on the published calendar because of library reservation rules (90 day time period). Post member Dominic Perkins suggested Iron Bank Coffee as a potential meeting place for the Executive Board meetings.

Walter Nesbitt made the motion that we approve the dates as presented. Aslean Florence provided the 2nd. There were no questions or discussion. The vote was unanimous, and the calendar was approved.

3. Subcommittees – Ms. Walker discussed narrowing the focus of our subcommittees to reduce duplication of effort between committees. She read a list of revised subcommittee titles, which are as follows: By-Laws Revision, Financial and Strategic Planning, Events and Education (formally Planning), Membership and Outreach, Communications, Affirmative Action, Campaign and Candidate Support. She stated that the Executive board decided these subcommittees reflect more of how they would like to move the party in the coming year. The Executive Board’s main goals are to be more visible in the community and to recruit and mentor good Democrats to run for office. Darien Torbert would like to see the focus of the MCDC to be more outward facing. Ms. Walker did not prepare a written definition of subcommittee descriptions prior to the meeting. She will send out committee responsibilities via e-mail and asks that subcommittee leaders and volunteers agree to a 12-month commitment.

There was general discussion among the Post Committee members about the various changes to the subcommittees. Post member Claudya Muller suggested all discussion be tabled until the Post Committee sees the descriptions and has any additional information from the Chair.

Pat Hugley-Green made the motion “To accept the sub committees as presented.” Tonza Thomas provided the 2nd. There were no questions or discussion. The vote was called, and the post voted unanimously to approve.

4. Fees – Ms. Walker discussed membership fees. She asked the group to consider whether or not membership should be free and if we want to engage in activities to raise money (t-shirts, car clings, luncheons with fees, etc) or if we should rely on membership fees only. There was some discussion that membership may be more invested if you make the suggested donation when filling out your registration. Ms. Walker discussed the ACT Blue platform suggested by Post Member Harry Underwood. ACT Blue would make it easier for members to sign up, for the committee to get member contact information, and for members to make monetary donations to the committee. There was a discussion among the committee about a tiered membership program, for example, a suggested donation of $20 for most members and a reduced fee of $10 for students. The group felt that even if we have a membership donation program we should still engage in some fundraising activities. It was noted that ACT Blue does charge a 3% fee for handling the money, but all remaining money is deposited directly into the activity’s bank account.

Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, Post member Harry Underwood called for a motion about ACT Blue. He asked the committee to “Move to adopt ACT Blue as a means of fundraising.” Pat Hugley-Green provided the 2nd. There was no discussion. The motion passed unanimously.

Training:

The Chair presented a brief orientation to Post holders about their duties and responsibilities. She also discussed VoteBuilder uses including; canvassing, phone banking, and leaving flyers.

Announcements:

Post member Dominic Perkins, informed the committee that he was elected by the Georgia Democratic Party Committee to Chair the Affirmative Action committee.

Pat Hugley-Green informed the committee that the vote today in the Georgia Senate for tax payer funded vouchers for private schools failed. She encouraged the group to contact our Senators.

A motion was made by Pat Hugley-Green to adjourn. Darien Torbert provided the 2nd. The vote was unanimous. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

MCDC State Committee Election Minutes 2/27/2019

The purpose of this meeting is to conduct an election to select 5 delegates to the Georgia Democratic Party State Committee. The following persons submitted their names for consideration:

  • Val Almonor
  • Juanita Booker
  • Carolyn Hugley
  • Patricia Lassiter
  • Walter Nesbitt
  • Chris Parker
  • David Smith
  • Harry Underwood

Attendance: According to the sign-in sheet, 38 persons were in attendance.

Record of Proceedings

The meeting was called to order by the MCDC Chairwoman, Laura Walker, at 6:10pm. Ms. Walker welcomed everyone and encouraged those who had not signed in to do so, and for all Post members to grab a clipboard, pen and ballot.

The roles and responsibilities of members of the delegates were reviewed with the group. The election process was explained. All candidates would be given 1-2 minutes to give speech to the group. At the conclusion of the speeches, voting would take place. Once voting was completed, Deborah Davis and Ozia Scott would collect all the ballots and record the votes. Per GDP ruled (6.8) the candidate receiving the most votes would be seated first. The candidate of the opposite gender receiving the most votes would be seated second. The process would proceed in that fashion alternating gender until all 5 seats were filled. If there was a tie vote, a runoff election would be conducted between the two candidates also using signed ballots. Ms. Walker stated that according to GDP rule 6.9 all votes must be made by signed paper ballot, a show of hands or voice vote. Opportunities were given for the candidates to give a 1-2 minute speech to the group. At the conclusion of the speeches, Ms. Walker called the vote. The votes were collected, Ms. Davis and Mr. Scott left the meeting room to conduct the vote tally. The following were elected as representatives of the state DPG: Patricia Lassiter, David Smith, Carolyn Hugley, Walter Nesbitt, Juanita Booker. Vote totals: 39 votes were submitted. 3 votes were eliminated because they were not signed. All counted votes were signed and verified by the counters, however not all voters signed in.

Announcements

Next meeting: Tuesday March 5, 2019 at the Main Library Macon Road; Synovus Room B at 6:00pm. Post Committee Meeting. The Post Committee will be reviewing committee assignments and make recommendations to the MCDC of areas of overlap with the goal of streamlining committee roles. Ms. Walker indicated that after the Post Committee meeting, a calendar of meetings will be published for the membership. She also indicated that MCDC members Toyia Tucker and Reggie Thompson are checking with their church Revelation Missionary Baptist Church to see if their gym can be used as a permanent meeting place. For the April meeting, Ms. Walker has secured the Main Library, Macon Rd, Synovus Room B. The meeting was adjourned 7:10pm.