Call to order by Chair David Bottenfield at 7:00 PM. Democrats from Staunton and Augusta County in attendance for the joint portion. Notes reflect discussions at both segments, joint and Staunton.
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the Called Meeting of 11 October. Minutes were passed unanimously.
Young Democrats: Laura Kleiner reported that the YDs had written a resolution in honor of Elizabeth LaGrua. The YDs intend to meet in the near future, possibly at the Depot Grill Restaurant. A group of YDs plan to carpool to Richmond in order to lobby legislators on pending legislation, including a sales tax increase in support of education infrastructure improvements.
6th District Information: Laura reported that the 6th District would be holding its third annual fund raiser at Harrisonburg’s Bethel Congregation Temple on 26 January at 6:30 PM. A $20 fee would be charged for those attending the dinner. She provided phone numbers for making reservations. She also informed us that Joe Fitzgerald would be stepping down as District Chair on 15 January. The election to select his successor will be held in May 2017.
Presidential and Kai Degner campaigns: Julie Scofield bemoaned the fact that local Democrats had not met after the election to conduct a post mortem and process lessons learned. She suggested that a strategic planning session to make assessments and plot the way forward was needed.
Beverley Street Campaign Office and Coordinated Campaign: The Treasurer Ken Venable reported that the Joint Campaign Office on W. Beverley Street closed its books with total revenues of $2818.50 and a disbursement of $1400 to the Degner campaign ($700 each attributed to SDC and ACDC.) Expenses of $244.75 left a sum of $1173.75 to be divided equally between SDC and ACDC. Comments were made on the success of the Office and thanks were extended to SDC Chair David Bottenfield for generously providing the facility at no cost to Democrats.
Treasurer’s Report: At the SDC-only session, Ken reported a $1045.35 balance on the December 2016 Bank Statement. A motion was made and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report.
Old Business: Chair David Bottenfield read a poem about President-elect Trump in the style of Dr. Seuss. David expressed thanks for Terry Holmes’s hosting the election night event at the White Star Tavern. He also stated that LT Governor Northam was very impressed with the reception at the Tavern and by the Christmas Parade on November 28th.
New Business: David Bottenfield proposed that area Democrats hold a rally in the vicinity of the County Courthouse on Inauguration Day in order to reflect a positive image of the issues Democrats support. Many expressed enthusiasm for the idea. David also raised the idea of doing future separate or combined events during the second quarter in support of Mr. Northam’s campaign for Governor and AG Herring’s reelection bid. He felt that Robin and Linda Williams would seriously consider providing the entertainment. Donnella McGreer-Minez observed that campaign events had put a positive light on Staunton and Augusta County and the commitment of local Democrats. General agreement was reached that local Democrats need to start planning immediately for upcoming elections, as candidates need to be identified, and filing deadlines met. Julie, Phyllis, and Clint agreed to meet in the coming days to develop a way forward. ACDC Chair Frank Nolen expressed concern with the announcement by Tom Periello of his intent to run for the Democratic nomination to the office of Governor, suggesting that such a candidacy would hand the Governorship to the Republicans. He made a motion that his draft resolution requesting termination of Periello’s candidacy, on behalf of the Augusta County, Waynesboro, and Staunton Democratic Committees, be approved. The motion failed to pass. David Bottenfield suggested that all Democrats call Dickie Bell to express non-support of a “bathroom bill” under review in Richmond. Julie Scofield suggested that monthly meetings should be placed as an “event” on Facebook. Finally, Laura reminded all that good candidates were needed for the Staunton School Board, and applications were solicited.
Next Meeting: 14 February, 7 PM meeting, at Staunton City Hall. Nancy Pyle was kind enough to volunteer to take notes at the next meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.
Phil Minez, Acting Secretary