February 2017

February 7, 2017
In attendance: 40
Meeting opened @ 7:35 p.m.
Glory Days Restaurant, Rt. 40, Ellicott City

A. President & Treasurer Reports

  • Dan Medinger – The January 2017 minutes were approved.
  • Annual dues are due. Only members with paid dues will be eligible to vote for candidate endorsements. Consider being a Super Dem for only $50 per year.
  • Thanked those who sent pictures of the Women’s March. We would like to do a monthly slideshow of our members active in the community. A reminder will be sent to forward your photos for inclusion each month.
  • Recognized Rich Meyer who has been appointed to a state position on the Property Tax Appeal Board
  • Sanctuary Bill update – Passed the council but a veto by the county exec. Is expected. Councilman Jon Weinstein voted against the bill. When Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty voted yes, there was applause as it was unexpected.
  • Sue Geckle will reach out to other county Democratic clubs to learn how else we can work and get together. It has been suggested we try to conduct four events a year as a group.
  • Feb 25 - Black History Month event - Carol Fisher will have table at WLHS – providing political information focusing on 2018
  • Dan recognized elected officials in the room and the representative from Sen. Van Hollen’s office

Treasurer's report -
Income - $416.74
No expenses
Balance as of 2/7/16: $1915.88
Rich thanked Carole Fisher for soliciting all clubs for payments for the holiday party.

B. Program

Meg Boyd, executive director of Howard County Conservancy

  • Conservancy is 27 year old, 232 acres, open dawn to dusk every day
  • Construction of new environmental education center will soon be completed
  • Expanded to Belmont in Eldridge in carriage house
  • Environmental education a large element of its mission
  • Seeing fewer field trips due to school bus expenses
  • Kids are energized when they visit
  • It remains apolitical
  • It currently employs a part-time teacher (.5) but is always in danger of losing, please advocate
  • Contact: Meg.boyd@hcconservancy.org

C. Old and New Business

  • Doug Miller spoke about Referendum A (Fair Elections Howard – Citizens’ Election Fund) along with Marilyn from MaryPirg – need to keep working. Petitions for the County Council were passed around.
  • Discussion on gerrymandering ensued
  • A few spoke about the energy of the Women’s March. Go to Womensmarch.com for follow-up information about 10 actions in 100 days.
  • Discussion to make Howard County bluer, maybe form committees, want Gail Bates and Bob Flanagan out of office. We will use the March club meeting to form committees to start an action plan
  • The Johnson amendment (preaching politics from the pulpit can force religious institutions to give up tax exemption) - against repealing
  • Death with Dignity Act - check out https://www.deathwithdignity.org/states/maryland/ - Sen. Guy Guzzone filed in the state senate
  • Idea to gather all clubs to work on agenda - invite Sen. Van Hollen to take a leadership role.
  • Democratic Central Committee identifies and encourages candidates – runs workshops over the summer

Next meeting March 7, 2017, at Glory Days. Our guests will be the two new school board members.

The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lisa B. Coster, secretary