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Minutes of the Delaware County Democratic Party Executive Committee

Regular Meeting

February 17, 2022 via Zoom

The meeting was convened by Chair Peg Watkins at 7:05 p.m. There were 42 participants, constituting a quorum.

Chair Watkins began the meeting with a review of the rules and methodology for conducting a digital meeting. Following, a technical review of Zoom functions was given by Don Swartwout, and Parliamentarian Louise Douce gave an overview of the procedure. Chair Watkins presented to the committee a pair of slides highlighting procedures for Roberts’ Rules of Order. Rayna Patton led the committee in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chair Watkins presented to the committee an overview of new and old business and informed those in attendance that Corey McCaffery would be taking meeting minutes.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Chair Watkins asked the committee for any comments, changes, corrections, or additions to the January meeting minutes. Brian Jaffe noted that, in the first paragraph, the term “Central Committee” should be amended to state “Executive Committee,” as well as a similar amendment in the Chair’s Report.

Mr. Jaffe moved to accept the January meeting minutes as corrected and was seconded by John Helwig. A poll showed a majority vote for the motion to pass.

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer’s Report was presented to the committee by Roo Dirrig.

$43,364.25 in unrestricted funds available; balance ending January 31, 2022.

$264.76 in payments for the month.

$1733.54 in ActBlue donations were received.

Other accounts include:

$9,000 CD

$294.81 in restricted checking

$425.26 in the Parker Scholarship.

Ms. Dirrig explained that there was little activity on the accounts in the previous month, with a few reimbursements and an ACH deduction of $14.88. She further explained that ActBlue donations and check deposits were higher than the previous month.

Heather Karr moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report and was seconded by Steve Schottel. A poll showed a majority vote for the motion to pass.

Ms. Dirrig presented the Budget for 2022. Chair Watkins explained that an email was sent out with incorrect figures and a revised email would follow.

Ms. Dirrig explained that total expenses were projected to be $20,500, with an estimated revenue of $20,000 in fundraising and member donations. She explained that these figures were based on past expenditures and revenue. Ms. Dirrig stated her desire to grow the party’s budget and maintain $15,000 in reserve. She noted that only $4,000 would be spent on candidate support in 2022. Chair Watkins explained that $10,000 was spent in 2021 and that number would be reduced by $6,000 this year. Ms. Dirrig clarified that $2,000 in matching funds was set aside for both candidates based on their fundraising efforts.

Mr. Jaffe stated it would be helpful to see previous years for comparison.

David Simmons moved to approve the 2022 budget and was seconded by Cheryl Luce. A poll showed a majority vote to approve the budget.

New Members—Oath of Office

Chair Watkins led Don Swartwout and Tamie Wilson in their Oath of Office.

Chair’s Report

Chair Watkins delivered her Chair’s Report to the Committee. She explained that Democrats would appear on the ballot in both the 60th and 61st Ohio House seats, as well as the Ohio 19th Senate District. Chair Watkins thanked Vice Chair Holly Hanson for her assistance in organizing petition drives.

Chair Watkins informed the committee that campaigns were beginning to hire organizers and that the Board of Elections was seeking poll workers, seasonal workers, and a Democratic part-time staff member.

Chair Watkins noted that Rachael Morocco and Louise Valentine are both running in the 61st Ohio House race and that the party would support the winner. She informed the committee that two Democrats would appear on the ballot for the 19th Senate District. 

Chair Watkins reminded the group that voter registration would close on April 4th and that members could request an absentee ballot for both the Primary and General elections. After the primary, she stated, the committee would hold its reorganization meeting.

Chair Watkins noted how hard committees and party officers work between meetings and informed this group that Democrats Pam Foster and Stacey Neff had been appointed to the Orange Township Board of Zoning Appeals.

Introduction of Candidates

Chair Watkins introduced Tiffany Bukoffsky, who is running for County Commissioner.

Ms. Bukoffsky greeted the committee and introduced herself. Ms. Bukoffsky explained that she had served as an advocate for registered nurses for nine years and felt called to advocate for Delaware County, noting that she has lived in the county since 2004. She further explained that she would fight for fair, equitable, and just services for all residents of the county and thanked the committee for having her.

Chair Watkins thanked Ms. Bukoffsky and introduced Louise Valentine, who is running for State Representative in the 61st District.

Ms. Valentine greeted the committee and reminded the members that her 2018 campaign was a close race. She explained that she was running for the State House for the seat vacated by Representative Carfagna. She explained that not much had changed in the legislature since her last run, and that she seeks full and equitable funding for Ohio’s public schools.

Chair Watkins thanked Ms. Valentine for her attendance.

Candidate Support Committee Update

Joyce Bourgault delivered an update on the Candidate Support Committee. Ms. Bourgault explained that her committee helps candidates by supplying them with a Candidate Notebook and that candidates answer a questionnaire and are interviewed both by the whole group as well as individual members of the committee. She noted that the committee refers candidates to training programs held throughout the year. She further explained that Vote Builder and the Board of Elections website serve as great sources of information, and the committee provides guidance on running. In addition, she stated, $2,000 in matching funds are available.

Anti-Racism Committee Update

Jenny Yoder delivered an update on the Anti-Racism Committee. Ms. Yoder informed the committee that a Stand Against Racism challenge would be held in April, with 5-10 minute readings and videos available for a period of 21 days. She explained that Zoom meetings would be held to discuss the materials.

Tamie Wilson added that a rally would be held at the Historic Courthouse on March 20th to commemorate International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Communications Committee Update

Don Swartwout delivered an update on the Communications Committee. He explained that the party has 1,778 Facebook followers, with 14 of them being new. He added that posts from the party reached 2,942 users and received 605 instances of engagement.

Mr. Swartwout informed the committee that six tweets were sent out in the last 28 days and had received 484 impressions, with 834 profile visits. Mr. Swartwout explained that website visits had doubled over a 30 day period, with a bounce rate of 54.45%, which was near the 50% target. Mr. Swartwout noted that a dozen or so Facebook users were actually citizens of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Swartwout informed the committee that ⅔ of party Facebook followers were female, while ⅓ were male, adding that the majority of followers are between the ages of 35 and 54.

Parker Scholarship Committee Update

David Simmons delivered an update on the status of the Parker Scholarship. Mr. Simmons informed the committee that applications were being accepted and one had been received thus far. Mr. Simmons stated that the scholarship is not endowed and is funded by the party.

Mr. Simmons explained that the student applicant’s support for progressive values was added as a criterion and that the committee was considering removing the party affiliation of the applicant’s parents as a requirement.

Multiple questions and comments followed, and Mr. Simmons provided answers and thanked all for their input, and noted that the committee would welcome a few new members.

Upcoming Events

Chair Watkins presented a list of upcoming events:

  • Requests for absentee ballots are available through the end of April
  • Orange and Powell/Dublin regional candidate Candidate Meet & Greets will be held March 1
  • Regional meetings will take place on various dates through the month of March
  • The last day to register to vote in the May Primary is April 4
  • Early Voting starts April 5
  • An Executive Committee meeting will be held April 21
  • Get Out the Vote will take place the weekend prior to May 3

Chair Watkins asked if there was any further business and, finding none, asked for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Simmons moved to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by Roo Dirrig. The meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Corey McCaffery