The September meeting was called to order by Chair Peg at 7:34 pm at the Willis Bldg. There were 41 members and 11 guests, including some candidates, in attendance. She called upon David Simmons to lead our group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Secretary report – The minutes of the previous meeting have been posted to the website. Carol Young made a motion to accept them as read and David Simmons seconded. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s report – The report was read and David Simmons posed a question with regard to reporting. Contributions made by volunteers who are helping candidates with post cards and postage. John explained that any postage greater than $25 are in-kind and should be reported. Greg Hankins made a motion to accept the report and Emily Meck seconded. Motion carried.
Peg asked for anyone attending 3 or more meetings and there was no reply.
Peg made note of the table set up by Greg Hankins for the fair booth. He is seeking help. Anyone that is able to work will receive a pass.
Peg rearranged the agenda to accommodate and introduce the visiting candidates. Those in attendance included Sara Lee, running for Common Pleas Judge (Gormley’s current term), Ajay Satyapriha, running for Dublin City Council, Melanie Farkas, Powell Township Trustee, Vaughn Bell, Westerville Bd. Of Ed, Ken Wright and Aileen Wagner for Westerville City Council, Heather Karr for Powell City Council and Emma Jones, our only county wide candidate, for Municipal Clerk of Courts.
Vaughn Bell introduced Dr. John Kellogg, Superintendent of Westerville City Schools. He provided background on the need for a levy in the Westerville City School District, sharing information about community growth and needs for the 15,000 students in the system. He stressed the 3 S plan for safety, space and success. He said land is already secured, funds are also needed, especially for staff. Peg encouraged support of the levy. Motion was made by Suzanne Binau and seconded by Aileen to endorse Issue 8, a levy to support Westerville City Schools. All agreed and motion carried.
Peg called upon Joyce Bourgault to report on the results of the Screening Committee. She and her committee of Ed Helvey, Joydeep Gupta, Katherine Kuck, Roo Dirrig, David Simmons and Dave Martin contacted 18 candidates running for local offices. All were impressive and provided valuable information. The following candidates were interviewed: Emma Jones, Aileen Wagner, Ken Wright, Melanie Farkas, Heather Karr, Cory Hoffman, Craig Treneff, Drew Farrell, Sandi Allen, Sherri Dorsch, Jill Love, and Pat Monahan. Those who would like to be endorsed by Delaware County Democratic Party are: Emma, Craig, Aileen, Ken, Vaughn, Melanie, Heather, and Jennifer Aultman. Funding requests were considered and allocations in three different packages were determined based on criteria such as involvement with DCDP, number of voters affected by each candidate, and funds available for disbursement. Joyce also mentioned that some candidates did not want DCDP endorsement due to all of these races being non-partisan this year. Peg thanked the committee for their time and efforts on the project.
Peg went forward to describe three funding packages: A) $4500 currently available – B) $5000 would need fundraising to meet – C) $6000 – require more fundraising. Peg mentioned a “Bear’s Challenge” – Dave “Bear” Martin has already contributed $50 in cash, and he challenges others to follow. Treasurer John will have the complete record of those donors. These additional contributions made it able to meet option B. John will calculate the total collection. Motion was made by Dave Simmons to fund our candidates, seconded by Joydeep and motion was carried by all.
Peg then presented these candidates for our endorsements. Emma Jones – moved by Melanie Farkas, seconded by Cheryl Luce – all approved – motion carried. Aileen Wagner – “ by Emma Jones, “ by Amy Murphy – all approved – motion carried Ken Wright – “ by Ed Helvey, “ by Aileen Wagner – all approved – motion carried Craig Treneff – “ by Katherine Kuck, “ by Emma Jones – all approved – motion carried Vaughn Bell – “ by Pam Schkolnik-Warrick “ by Emma Jones – all approved – motion carried Jennifer Aultman “ by Aileen Wagner “ by Emma Jones – all approved – motion carried Melanie Farkas – “ by Heather Karr “ by Brian Jaffe – all approved – motion approved Heather Karr – “ by Melanie Farkas “ by Spencer Dirrig – all approved – motion carried
David Carpenter reminded that Saturday will be the first meeting of the Strategic Planning sessions. Peg commented that input is welcome from all, and thanked those who completed the surveys.
Greg Hankins offered his sign-up sheet for fair helpers.
Peg introduced Amy Murphy from the Bd of Elections. She said she is still looking for poll workers, especially in Powell locations and Lewis Center. Anyone interested should give her a call.
Emma Jones was appealing for help with postcard and canvassing events. She has fans to pass out at the Fair and also yard signs.
Peg stressed that early Voting starts in 26 days, and Election Day is only 54 days away. She shared information from a recent call with DNC Chair Tom Perez and ODP Chair David Pepper. The national party is working on Project Battleground, which emphasizes the importance of winning Ohio in order to win the Presidency in 2020. Part of this effort is encouraging supporting local candidates and building Dem strength. The national campaigns expect us to work at the local level to identify leaders, locations, and local stories to support whoever is the Democratic Presidential candidate.
Our current financial situation will not support the same kind of holiday gathering we had last year, so Peg suggested alternative activities, such as groups of Democrats volunteering in the community.
The Secretary of State has declared the Primary Election will be on March 17th next year. (earlier than in the past few years). Petitions to run in 2020 are due on December 18 of this year. Those who want to run for Central Committee can file their petitions now – NO signatures are required. Sarah Lee had her petition with her for Delaware County resident to sign. We will also encourage candidates to come to our November Central/Executive Committee meeting with their petitions to get signatures.
The next Democratic debates are going to be in Ohio but exact location has not yet been announced.
Melanie Farkas & Heather Karr thanked everyone for support and encouraged any possible help.
Highlights of upcoming events were reviewed. No further business at this time.
Motion to adjourn was made by Kathy Holdren and seconded by Brad Shimp.
Barbara Berry, Secretary