March 2017

March 7, 2017
In attendance: 58
Meeting opened @ 7:35 p.m.
Glory Days Restaurant, Rt. 40, Ellicott City

1. President – Daniel Medinger

  • The February 2017 minutes were approved.
  • Tonight's group activity – break into groups to and determine future direction and action plans for club
  • We need to move forward to win District 9 for Democrats
  • We will ask Sen. Chris Van Hollen to speak at a joint meeting of Howard County Democratic Clubs. His staff says he is very interested.
  • March 16 – Club presidents and vice presidents are meeting with Central Committee.
  • March 25 – Central Committee is hosting Desserts for Democrats – at the Medinger’s - $50 pp. The Club committed to have 5 people attend, as a sponsor. If interested, please pay the Club.
  • Dan acknowledged the elected officials in the room.
  • Dan addressed a rumor that he is considering running for office – 9B. Yes, he is and he clarified his position on “choices for women.”

2. Treasurer's report – Rich Corkran

Balance - $2,145.88 (there were no expenses in February and we collected $230 in dues.)

3. Program:

Guest speakers: Mavis Ellis and Kirsten Coombs, two newly elected Howard County School Board members who are Democrats.

Kirsten Coombs – on school board since Dec. 5, 2016. The superintendent lawsuit is five percent of what she focuses on. Also concerned with school calendar, the governor’s request to start school after Labor Day, and school resources. State education board attendance last week – school choice and voucher issues are front and center. We need to protect public education as it’s for all children. Needs to remain accessible for all children. HoCo Board is against charter schools.

Mavis Ellis – Worked in Chicago inner city schools – has background in education. Works as a school social worker in another county. Grew up in a union family, so she’s naturally a Democrat. The new group, "Emerge" provides Democratic women with resources to run for office. She tends to be quiet and the peacemaker. Ran for a National Education Association position and served on its board. Worked with children who have gone through trauma, i.e. refugees. We’re dealing with gender identity issues as young a elementary school. HoCo budget – come to a board meeting if you’re concerned.

Issues to focus on: Too much testing, underfunding of the school budget when the county is growing in population and poverty (i.e., reduce central office staff or freeze salaries), high- end marketing materials, racism, over crowding and class sizes, re-districting to the west instead of the east since the capacity is there and we will never have the housing density that we have in the east, charter schools are not accountable to anyone and take money from the public school system.

4. Old and New Business

We broke into 9 work groups and answered the following questions:
1. What is the major reason you joined the Club?
2. What do you see as the biggest goals for the Club?
3. What are the most important activities that the Club can do?
Each group's leaders provided a synopsis. Caroline Feil collected all the questionnaires, will analyze and provide a report at the next meeting so we can define our action items.
Next meeting April 4, 2017, at Glory Days. Our guest will be Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on the topic of taxes.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10.
Respectfully submitted by Lisa B. Coster, secretary