October 2018 Meeting Minutes

October 2, 2018
Approx.  30 in attendance
Meeting opened @ 7:30 pm

A) President Report – Sue Geckle

Lots of new faces tonight.

Introduction of candidates
    John Zirschky representing Natalie Zeigler, Delegate 9A
    Elizabeth Fitch, Orphans Court
    Cynthia Williams representing China Williams, CC D5
    Sabina Taj (BOE)
    Steve Bolen, Delegate 9A
    Dawn Popp representing Liz Walsh, CC D1
    Rich Gibson, States Attorney
    Marcus Harris, Sheriff (stopped in to drop off yard signs)

Introduction of first time attendees

Encouraged members to take & distribute club promotional palm cards.

Ned Tillman’s information, not in the newsletter but it is in the minutes and Sue will put   the information out as promised.

B) Treasurer’s Report

Balance as of 9/4/18: $5484.09
    Dues collected $90.00
    Expenses  Donations to candidates: - $1200.00
    Fees for Festivals: - $115.00
      Korean $100.00
      Harriet Tubman $15.00
    Promo Cards – Sue: - $223.50
Balance as of 10/2/18: $4035.59

Rich is selling hats $5 and shirts $5 (1/2 dozen of each available), Rich will donate some to the club

C) Program

Decided to let the candidates talk to the club about what they need.

Cynthia Williams - representing China Williams, candidate, County Council District 5
-- Precinct Captain Information

  • Serves as the main communication source between the Howard County Democratic Committee and the constituents in the district
  • Take the map and walk the district
  • Canvas for candidates
  • Welcome new neighbors who have registered Democrat
  • Participate in party meetings, events and activities
  • Display yard signs
  • Recruit new volunteers
  • Find a way to connect with people – invite neighbors to talk about candidates
  • Get the vote out!!
  • Work at the polls
  • Write postcards
  • Phone bank
  • If you don’t know which precinct you’re in we can find out!

-- China Williams candidate for County Council District 5

  • China did really well in the primaries and this is a big deal
  • She got more votes than the two Republicans in their primary
  • Want to keep the momentum going
  • We have a chance to flip this district
  • Please reach out if you want to volunteer/pitch in

-- John Zirschky representing Natalie Zeigler, candidate for State Delegate in 9A

  • Social events are picking up
  • In 2014 Republicans way outnumbered Democrats and Independents in District 9A, a 10% advantage in turnout
  • Turnout is very important in this race
  • Trump won 9A by 5600 votes
  • Many Rs didn’t vote for Trump and may be open to D’s this time
  • A lot of folks who say they’re Ds don’t vote D at the polls
  • Call your neighbors in 9A and ask them to vote
  • Improved turnout can make a huge difference in the outcome of this race
  • Steve Bolen and Natalie working well together
  • Natalie has been door knocking every day
  • Put out a yard sign
  • Assuming a 67% turnout for Rs, 57% for Ds, 40% for Is – lining up that it’s close and Natalie has a real shot at winning
  • Can’t depend solely on Ds, must have Is to win
  • Joint mailer coming out (Natalie and Steve Bolen)

Q. Lean Dem or Lean Rep?
A. Lean R

Q. What percentage of Independents vote?
A. 40%

Q. Why are there two?
A. District 9 was divided and gerrymandered (9B), all the Rs were gerrymandered in to smaller districts

Q. What can we do to help?
A. Write postcards, door knocking, phone banking, yard signs

Rich Gibson – the gubernatorial race matters because districts will be redrawn (2020 census)
Cynthia Williams – we used to be a blue state but now we’re being referred to as a purple state and we don’t want to become a red state

Q. Did you factor in the Ds that vote R in the election?
A. From talking to folks, they register as Ds in order to vote in the primary, but many are anti-Trump

-- Steve Bolen, candidate for State Delegate, 9A

  • We need to work together
  • Moderate Democrat – there’s a lot of right leaning people in our district
  • Steve finds that he and Natalie can pull people in from the right
  • Get out and vote
  • Friends don’t let friends vote Republican, get them to vote Democrat
  • Knocking on doors – people might vote Hogan but vote Democrat down ballot
  • Seeing pockets of support for Calvin (red resistance), more and more signs meaning that people might be tired of Trump
  • Some people can’t be persuaded, but a lot can
  • Tariffs hurting farmers
  • Some people don’t like him because Trump uses twitter
  • Keep the Dems, snag some Independents, might have a chance
  • Thanks to John
  • Endorsements – Education Association, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water and The People’s Voice
  • Endorsements speak to candidates’ values
  • GOTV for Steve and Natalie
  • Share campaign literature
  • Put out a yard sign
  • Like our Facebook pages, respond to the snarks, Share pages, Share tweets
  • Map that outlines district 9A in the Go Kit

Q. Do you know through your email lists and friends, people that would be willing to put yard signs out? Personally put a lot of yard signs out in public places but disappeared after a week. Needs to be in people’s yards. Encourage them to go to campaign headquarters?
A. Team Howard County has a location (same location that Obama used) 5560 Sterrett Place suite 105, and Carroll County as well.

Q. Are you attending the Egyptian Coptic Christian Festival? 10/6
A. Yes, we will try to make it

Q. Would it be useful to run on a slate?
A. Don’t have a lot of money so a slate isn’t helpful since it costs more, 9A, 9 and 9B all work together as well as CC D5

Q. How do absentee ballots look at this point? For example college students.
A. No insight in to that yesterday/ Team Howard has a dedicated person working on getting out absentee ballots

-- Dawn representing Liz Walsh CC D1 (attending a forum/debate for District 1)

  • Liz sorry she couldn’t be here
  • Everything you heard already is similar to what we need
  • We’re doing a lot of door knocking
  • Need people to do post cards
  • Can sign up for our email list
  • Car magnets – feel free to take a magnet if you drive around Howard County
  • Teacher Endorsement, Mobilize Howard County, Sierra Club, The People’s Voice
  • Watch the League of Women voters debate – she knows the issues and she cares about the issues and her opponent does not

Q. How do we contact you for further information?
A: Dawn@walshfor1.com, Liz@walshfor1.com

Q. Opponent signs are where they’re not supposed to be?
A. Campaign strategy putting up illegal signs, they’ve been reported, county isn’t very aggressive about enforcement but public works is supposed to take them down

Signs can’t obscure line of sight

Q. How do you feel the campaign is going?
A. I believe it’s going well, we are the poster child for every vote counts. Haven’t seen any signs for her opponent. We’re not taking anything for granted.

Q. Is the video from the forum being shared?
A. We’re working on clipping it down so that we can more easily share specifics.
Q. There’s a forum tomorrow between Kittleman and Calvin Ball at the Dancel Y
A. Fliers available

-- Rich Gibson, candidate for State’s Attorney

  • Unified Democratic Ticket – running on a slate with Wayne Robey, Marcus Harris and Byron MacFarlane
  • Values under attach every day
  • Laws affect everything
  • Critically important that Democrats get elected
  • Been a prosecutor for X years
  • Tried every kind of case you can try and want to bring that experience to Howard County
  • Prosecutor of the year in 2016
  • Proactive approach to get ahead of the issues – such as the opioid crisis. We won’t incarcerate addictions.  We can incentivize the process of getting on the proper path.  We don’t want to hold convictions over someone’s head.
  • For those that are distributing drugs we’re going to come down hard on them
  • Marcus Harris running for Sheriff – business owner, was called by Officers on duty now under current sheriff due to systemic racism (remember Fitz). Current sheriff tapped with what we have now.  Too many baked in issues.  Running for office is hard work.  He wants to make a difference in his community
  • Byron MacFarlane, incumbent Register of Wills– shares our values
  • Wayne Robey, incumbent
  • Need help knocking on doors, spreading the word
  • Endorsements – Thurgood Marshall, AFL-CIO, Almost every elected democrat in HC.

Q. Are you familiar with Larry Krastner in Philadelphia and will you take a similar approach to end mass incarcerartion?
A. Krastner is taking a very aggressive stance, RG more in favor of a more cautious, nuanced approach and believes Krastner’s black line can be dangerous to communities.

Q. Sixty minutes Opioid crisis – going after the drug companies
A. 60 minutes highlighted a single doctor who was over prescribing opioids – the volume was so high and it creates a drug economy. Currently prosecuting cases and one of the cases that I can share a little bit about involved a Dr. in Baltimore doing something similar . Heroin is so cheap (single use $5), opioids are much more expensive, but if you give them more than they can consume then you’re encouraging them to sell what they don’t use. Drs have a fiduciary relationship with their patients and good Drs try to manage pain in a more conservative way.

Q. First exposure to Opioids is oral surgeons. The prescription far exceeds what you need after say having wisdom teeth pulled.
A. My wife would say, the American culture is unique in that we have a pain skill (1-10), and the average American is higher on the pain scale than a person in another country. Americans are uniquely susceptible for expressing they’re in great pain and Drs are responding to their patients. One of the things she would say that if the patients at the VA didn’t get what they thought they needed, they’d call their elected representatives and complain and it feeds a cycle. It prevents needed conversations between Drs and patients. Standards of care vary by state.

Q. How are statutes of limitation determined?
A. At the state level. Most rules enforced are at the state level. Statutes vary by state.

Q. Do you see MD looking at any of these statutes as a result of the current environment?
A. Sometimes it takes a long time for a person to become aware of their experience. MD is examining it’s statutes for child sex crimes. Vanessa Atterbury is on the committee that you can reach out to. Rich goes down to the state capital to lend his voice to these issues. Testified on a proposed law to track gun trafficking that did pass.

-- Sabina Taj, Howard County BoE

  • Background http://sabinataj.org/meet-sabina/
  • Worked at Columbia Foundation and understood how human service agencies play a role in public education
  • Went on to work in a foundation that supports K-12 education
  • Would like to further children’s health, nutrition
  • Running because something to add, been in the field for a long time
  • 63% student of color body and the BoE doesn’t look like the children we serve and I think I bring that to the table
  • Been in conferences with Betsy De Vos and she wants to dismantle the education system, and state and local policies mimic this and all of this concerns Sabina
  • School boards allowing guns in school
  • Every office matters, from the Democratic Central Committee and every office elevates another

Q. What other Dems are running for BOE?
A. Indivisible Howard County publishes the candidates by party, but a blurb about each as well

Q. Will you be at the Columbia Democratic Club next Wednesday, 10/10 (Jeffers Hill Community Center)
A. Yes

Q. Baltimore Sun claims all the candidates agree
A. We sound similar in the forums so the Indivisible Howard County is a good resource

Q. Hogan somewhat recently gave public money to a private school
A. Yes

Q. Are you concerned that so many incumbents don’t want to continue?
A. It’s a tough job, and you either have political ambitions or a concern. Yes, I’m deeply concerned. The BoE has been put through it is a hard job!

- Elizabeth Fitch, Candidate for the Orphans Court

  • Thank you for your support
  • No Republican opponents
  • Attending a lot of events
  • A lot of rules, ethical and otherwise, and judicial candidates are prohibited from endorsing, but can keep going to events and supporting
  • Thank you very much
  • Elizabeth won’t be able to attend the meetings for 4 years once she is elected
  • Campaign has shifted to education, why it’s important, how it relates to other agencies, making sure everyone has their information in place

Another forum this Saturday, St John’s Baptist Church on Tamar Drive.

Sue – Rich mentioned that if we elect Gov Hogan that will impact redistricting, they also get the majority on the board of elections. A good reason to support Democrats all the way down the line.

Pending constitutional convention is another reason to vote Democrats.

Brian Frosh is suing the pants off Trump with no support from Hogan. He’s trying to keep the junk happening at the Federal Level out of Maryland. We think he might be planning to sue the pharmaceutical companies.

Meeting adjourned at 9 PM.