Minutes of the Delaware County Democratic Party Executive Committee
January 20, 2022 Via Zoom
The meeting was convened by Chair Peg Watkins at 7:05 PM. There were 38 participants which was a quorum. Melanie reminded everyone that people who are not on the Executive Committee cannot vote. Peg said that Zoom meetings have been working well for us and that we have a professional team helping out conducting the Zoom meetings. She reminded us to be kind to each other as everybody was stressed out due to Covid and other restrictions.
Nancy Cline led us in the pledge of allegiance.
Parliamentarian Liz Osorio reviewed procedural rules prior to the commencement of business. Slides showed detailed instructions on how the discussions and straw votes will be handled.
Chair’s Report: Peg requested that members turn in their applications for Central Committee to the BOE on or before February 2nd so that their name would be on the ballot for the Primary Election on May 3rd 2022.
October and November minutes have been posted on the website. However it has been brought to our attention by Brian Jaffe that the verbiage used in the October minutes wasn’t a perfect reflection of what was said.
Original said “should we continue Executive committee or should we elect an Executive committee similar to the Republicans that will make important decisions rather than be involved in the mundane and rather trivial stuff i.e reports”
Update should read “ should we continue the current “large” Executive committee structure or should we elect a more “compact” Executive Committee, similar to other Ohio county Democratic parties, that will focus on the detail work of managing the party governance and advising the Chair on key decisions”
Motion to accept the October 2021 minutes was proposed by Steve Schottel and seconded by Roo Dirrig. A poll showed that we had a majority vote for the motion to pass. Melanie Farkas motioned for the November 2021 minutes to be accepted. Seconded by Kate Harrington and a poll showed that we had a majority vote for the motion to pass.
Brian requested that if a motion is passed, the exact words of the motion be captured in the minutes. This didn’t happen in October and so we have to make changes to the minutes.
Treasurer’s report was given by Roopande Dirrig.
$41,895.47 in unrestricted funds available balance 12.31.21
$1356.35 payments this month
$984.59 net deposits from ActBlue
$294.79 in restricted checking
$421.42 in the Parker Scholarship.
Roo said that ActBlue donations had slowed down due to the holiday season and are expected to pick up this month with the push for membership. Regional event was well attended and we received a couple of new memberships. Mindy wanted to know how much is paid for the storage space and Roo said it was $146 per month. Peg mentioned that the storage unit is full and needs to be reorganized this Summer.
Indu Rajan motioned to accept the treasurer’s report and Steve Schottel seconded. We had a majority vote for the motion to pass
Redistricting for State and Federal legislative districts was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Ohio. There is talk about moving the filing dates for these affected positions to March. The dates of the Primary will not however be impacted. Latest information can be obtained from https://act.redistrictingaction.org . ODP is staffing up and people interested in applying to ODP positions, please let Peg know. We have a new chair for the communications team – Don Swartwout.
Since Barb Berry has stepped down, party secretary nominations are invited after obtaining the permission of the person being nominated. This will be for the period January 2022 to around May/June 2022 as we are required to have a reorganization 6 to 15 days once the results of the Primary elections are finalized by the BOE and a new Secretary will be nominated at that time. Barb will still be in charge of the membership drive. Date for reorganization will be determined after the May3rd Primary. We have several people reaching out to volunteer with us and we are getting them connected with the right people. The Secretary will be in charge of taking the minutes of the meeting and publishing them on our website and sending reports to the BOE and the Secretary of State on the Central Committee appointments made.
Next, was the nominations for the Executive Committee as at-large members . Melanie Farkas nominated Don Swartwout. Linda Diamond nominated Chandler White. Melanie Farkas nominated Tamara Wilson . These nominations were seconded by Louise Douce. We had a majority vote for the motion to pass
Candidate Support Committee report given by Joyce Bourgalt. The committee has been busy. They have received good feedback from several candidates and will be implementing changes to their process. They are thinking of splitting the committee into two so one can handle State/ Federal positions and another can handle local positions. Looking for candidates for County Commissioner (against Barb Lewis) , County Auditor (against George Kaitsa) and Common Pleas Judge (against Randy Fuller). We are in conversion with prospective candidates,ODP is also helping us find good candidates. It has been a rough year for everyone with locating candidates. Get your Central Committee forms in before the deadline.
Peg said if you turned your form in and don’t see your name on their website, please get in touch with Barb Berry at the BOE. You will receive a receipt (yellow) once the BOE has received your form.
Anti-racism Committee :
Jenny Yoder and Sara Narayana couldn’t be present at this meeting. They are actively working and would like additional volunteers to help them. The MLK Celebration did not have anything in person this year and we were not able to support them. If you would like to support the scholarship fund, you can mail a check to the OWU Chaplain’s Office. They also have an online donation link.
Don Swartwout will be heading the committee. People who will help out with this committee are:
Twitter- Sharon Avis
Facebook – Melanie Frakas, Holly Hansen, Peg Watkins, Caleb Lohr, Felita Moran, Mary Kate Pembroke, Jayna McDaniel and Don Swartwout
Website – Don Swartwout, Melanie Frakas and Katie lovell
Newsletter – Dylan Parks
Data – Steve Hanson and Don Swartwout
More volunteers are welcome and the committee is working on a definitive strategy. The data team is making sure that there is data integrity between ActBlue and the Action Network.
This is a scholarship funded by our party so any graduating High School Senior can be awarded a scholarship to pursue a higher degree. From its inception, this scholarship has been limited to the children of registered Democrats living in Delaware County. It is proposed that the Delaware Community Foundation manage this scholarship fund. This Foundation does not let party affiliation become a factor hence David Simmons is proposing that the parental party affiliation be removed as one of the criteria and be replaced by an evaluation of student activities and programs in Delaware County and address diversity, economic disadvantages, LGBTQ issues, as well as racial equality and reconciliation. Jack Berlacamp asked if we could include activities they did to help the party out such as campaigning. Peg said partisan activities would not be permitted by the foundation. Colleen Huckabee is also on this committee. She said the $421 is skimpy and we need to make some other arrangements to award a bigger scholarship. John Schmarr said he had looked into the requirements of the foundation earlier and they required a large dollar amount in the fund. Peg said they had endowed funds and non- endowed funds and we have enough money to participate in a non-endowed fund.
Peg suggested we bring this back to vote when David Simmons is here. Meanwhile people can contact David if they need further clarifications.
PROD Committee Report:
Jack Berlekamp said we had a good election cycle in November 2021. We were able to ramp up a lot of precincts and get out information about the candidates. We have CC members or volunteers in 140 of the precincts out of 167.
Preparing for March training to Central Committee members.
Constitution & By-laws Committee:
In November we had a discussion about a 4 years versus 2 year term and a majority voted for a 2 year term. When we reorganize, usually all the central Committee Members are voted in the Executive Committee and then we add on more people to the Executive Committee. The next question was what it would look like if we had a smaller Executive committee? Peg said we are not voting on this during this session but are looking at ideas.
Valerie explained that a small (compact) EC is functioning in Lake, Fairfield, Montgomery, Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties. These counties have three components in common:
- EC composed of 2-3 member groups:
- Those elected from across the County
- Those elected as members at-large
- Those who become members ex-officio (members of qualifying Democratic clubs, State and Central Committee members, County wide Democratic elected reps or people who have run in the past two years)
- The County is divided into ”political subdivisions”, composed of precincts, wards, municipalities, regions, or combinations of the same. The election takes place during the reorganization meeting by caucus of the CC members within their respective political subdivision.
- CC members are not automatically assigned to the EC.
Peg sent out a longer version of this to the EC last Friday. Peg said 86 people (72%) had opened this email.
Brian said that our current model is the “boiler plate method” which is followed by several counties. There are other counties which have a “streamlined” version such as Lake and Fairfield.The CC still maintains authority in this “streamlined” approach to governance. Brian suggested that we could elect EC from the six subdivisions we currently have. We could place a limit on the number of members a subdivision can elect and it could be based on the population residing in the subdivision. This isn’t definitive but are examples on how the EC members can be picked.
We are not voting on this today. Mindy wanted more details on how the members are selected for the EC. Peg said the comments will help guide the committee on their next steps. Barb McBride asked for an explanation on how the EC would work in conjunction with the CC. Valerie said that the people on the EC will meet more regularly with their smaller group and the EC meets at a lesser frequency. John Schmarr said the EC will run things and will not bring things to the CC for decisions. The CC is the controlling committee and will have to retain some power (examples would be endorsing candidates, nominating candidates to offices). We have to decide what powers will be retained by the CC. John Schmarr said the constitution has to be amended to include these details. Ed Helvey said that ODP has a larger EC than CC and there are times the CC is the final authority. Valerie said that the CC can still vote on certain things and make decisions. Richard Bradley asked if we wanted this committee to pursue a detailed plan. Colleen Huckabee said that roughly a third of the CC will be in the EC and the other 2/3rds in the CC, so who handles fund raisers, who can nominate at-large members so it becomes a morale issue. The next step is if there is a majority vote to change the current EC structure, the issue will be referred to the constitution and by-Laws committee to develop specific options for including it in our Constitution. Steve Schottel and Louise Douce said streamlining is the right way to go but specifics are needed to approve it. Tamie Wilson said that she would like to see diversity on the EC. Brian clarified that members can still participate in other committees even if they aren’t on the EC.
Colleen Huckabee made a motion to direct the Constitution and by-Laws committee to look at ways to streamline the Executive Committee. Louise Douce seconded and the majority voted for this motion (Peg abstained from voting).
Campaigns to Support:
Tamie Wilson for House of Representatives
Chelsea Clark for Secretary of State
Meeting was adjourned by Jonathan Chu and Tamie Wilson seconded.
February 2 Deadline to return 2-M petitions for Central Committee
February 17 Regular EC meeting
March various dates– Regional gatherings
April 21 Regular EC meeting
May 3 Primary
Late May or early June – DCDP Reorganization meeting.
Respectfully submitted by