August 3, 2005 Minutes

Minutes of the August 3, 2005 LONGMONT AREA DEMOCRATS monthly meeting

Submitted by Deb Gardner and Kathy Simon

7 pm at 375 Airport Rd, Longmont

President Lee Springer called the meeting to order at 7:09 pm. About 35 people were in attendance.

He reminded everyone to support the troops with more than a yellow ribbon. Visit www.anysoldier.com, then buy Post Office boxes at a flat rate of $7.70 and mail needed items to soldiers in Iraq.

Thanks were sent to Pat Davis and Fay VanBuren for running the two garage sales in two years. This year they earned over $1,100.

Baron Beshoar invited everyone to attend the First Annual Swing Festival 12-8 pm Sat. Aug. 13, 2005 at the Roosevelt Park in Longmont. There will be five bands and a crowd of about 400. LAD could do a booth for free. There will be music and swing dancing and lessons.

Shari Malloy reminded people of the 60th anniversary of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There will be a candlelight vigil Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 8:30 pm at 6th and Main in Longmont.

City Councilman Tom McCoy is running for Mayor of Longmont. He thanked Main Street press for the interpretation of his interview. He would appreciate support and he brought along a petition to sign. He is not accepting any money, nor will he spend any money on this campaign. He asked people to write letters to the editor in support of no spending. Tom said, “Try to think outside the big box.” People can make their own yard signs as long as they do not spend any money.

City Councilwoman Karen Benker is running for the Ward 2 City Council seat, the one she is currently holding. She will declare sometime next week. She has a petition here for people to sign.

Bill VanDusen is running for Tom McCoy’s At Large Seat on City Council. He supports Tom for Mayor and Tom has endorsed Bill for the At Large seat. Currently Bill is Chair of Longmont Planning and Zoning. In 1998 he ran for State Rep. for House Dist. 12 against Bill Swenson. Petitions are here for people to sign. Bill is strong in support of revitalization of downton business, the FasTracks hub, and integration of FasTracks with the revitalization of Main St. Longmont. Bill thinks there are really good things happening in Longmont and wants to be a part of it.

El Comite will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary 11 am to 5 pm on Sun. Aug. 14, 2005 at the Roosevelt Park in Longmont. LAD will have a booth there. This committee helps the Latino community and relieves the tensions between various groups in town. Work with El Comite was one of the the first commitments made by Longmont Area Democrats. Everybody is welcome to attend the celebration and help at the booth.

County Clerk Linda Salas had surgery on Friday, but expects to be back to work next Monday. There is a card here for people to sign.

Our resolution to support Referendum C and Referendum D was read and passed without opposition by dues-paying members of LAD. It reads as following:

Be It Resolved:

Longmont Area Democrats support the Economic Recovery Act of 2005.

The Longmont Area Democrats do hereby resolve to support and actively solicit fellow citizens of the Longmont Area to vote in favor of the Economic Recovery Act, a ballot initiative, in November, 2005.

The Economic Recovery Act was approved by a bipartisan vote of the Colorado General Assembly, which placed it on the ballot for voter approval. The State of Colorado has a financial crisis as an unintended consequence of the 1992 voter approved constitutional amendment, “The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” (TABOR).

The Economic Recovery Act will remove a legal restriction from “TABOR” causing this financial crisis.

The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights will remain otherwise unaffected and in full force.

State Sen. Ken Gordon is sponsoring the Colorado Walk to support Referenda C and D. Visit www.thecoloradowalk.org and consider walking the section from Berthoud to Longmont on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005, or the section from Longmont to Boulder on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005.

Treasurer David Ahrens said it is a great time to be treasurer because of our financial successes. The Second Annual Yard Sale held in July was a great event to make money and to build a good image. Again, thanks to Pat Davis. Our account has $2,336.38. Membership dues are $10 per person per year. (January to December) We now have about 50 or 60 members.

Guest speak Pat Waak is the Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. She holds a doctoral degree and is Executive Director of the High Plains Environmental Center at I-25 and Hwy 34 near Loveland. On this Friday, Aug. 5, 2005 she will retire from High Plains to become a full-time volunteer chairperson of the Colorado Democratic Party. This morning at 7:30 in Longmont her car registered 30,000 miles after one year of travel. She is trying to get to every county in Colorado this year. Most counties in this state are similar to Weld County: one-third Republican, one-third Democrat, and one-third unaffiliated registered voters.

In Gunnison County they carried every Democratic race last fall even though they have that same split. They solidified the base, worked hard, and went out to unaffiliated people and “rhinos.” Who are we as Democrats? It is not enough to win the races. There are stories of Republicans who feel that their party has left them. What are our values? How are we different? Each candidate for any office has to ask him/herself, “Why am I running as a candidate? Democrats have always been there for the average person: caring about decent wages, health care, education—not paying attention to special interests.

Politics is about building community, not just showing up three weeks before the elections.

Referenda C and D are partly about supporting our Democratic legislature. These referenda are about providing services to people who need it, and getting health care and education to the people who can’t afford to pay. We need to keep in place the safety net. How do we help support Referenda C and D? Go to the C and D website www.VoteYesonC-D.com What is the role of the State Party? They help county parties be the best they can be. They will be investing in a larger voter file that everyone would have access to, so it is up to date. They provide efficient communication channels. A poll of Colorado dems shows that public education, state economy, and health care are the top three issues. This information was sent to the DNC, or Democratic National Committee.

The listening campaign is important. We need to take note of the language people use to describe the issues.

Colorado Democratic Party: The Week in Review. Go to this website to sign up for the review: www.coloradodems.org

We are hoping to do some focus groups which target communities where we haven’t done so well in the past.

Training is taking place, including training Chair to Chair in Salida, How to be Interviewed, and How to Write Letters to the Editor.

During the weekend of August 26, 27, 28 in Colorado Springs we will hold issues forums with more training, fund raising, compliance, and media topics.

There is a fund raising dinner on Saturday with guest Al Sharpton.

We will give as much support to the grass roots as possible. In the end it is the State Party that nominates the candidates and does most of the message.

The Chairs Council meets Sept. 22, 2005. Pat Waak’s e-mail is pwaak@coloradodems.org

Governor Howard Dean’s appearance in Denver on July 14, 2005 at $100/person drew a great turnout–about 600 people. The normal crowd is 40. He is talking about issues we care about. He is very truthful, saying this is what I believe in, this is what I care about. He produces a very energizing effect on a crowd. We will see a continuous stream of people coming to the state.

The Colorado Democratic Party now has a partnership with the DNC (Democratic National Committee). The Colorado Democratic Party has four paid staff working now; we never had this before. They are all under Pat Waak’s direction.

The audience then asked questions addressed to Pat Waak.

One man was concerned about Sen. Ken Salazar’s voting record. Pat Waak said we need to start anticipating issues coming to the floor and let the elected officials know ahead of time what we think on each issue. One man mentioned the Mainstreet newspaper and an article about Salazar and Udall saying we need more troops. He said this was bad and he was concerned about Democrats moving too far to the right.

Campaign finance reform may be at the heart of the problem. One man said Republicans wrap themselves in the flag. Most of us make our voices heard when we deeply care about something. We need to contact our representatives and senators over and over again so that we are heard because our voices do count. Tom McCoy thinks Howard Dean is doing a good job of speaking out.

Karen Benker asked what Democrats are doing to help support Referenda C and D. Pat Waak said it is a bipartisan campaign, endorsed by the Democratic Party. The State Party is making sure that people are getting the information and skills they need to work on Referenda C and D. 43 per cent of people support them, 41 per cent oppose them, and 15 per cent are undecided. The Longmont Area Democrats (LAD) will be having a booth at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market in Longmont every Saturday morning from Aug. 20, 2005, until it closes the last Saturday in October. If you are interested in volunteering at the booth please contact Shari Malloy at 303-678-8215.

Fund raising by the State Party is doing fine, but there is a lot of competition for funds out there, according to one woman in the audience. Visit www.coloradodems.org to get a credit card that contributes money to the State Party.

Pat Waak said anybody who has the guts to run for office should have some support from the State Party. Not money, but support. But the State Party will not take a position where there is a contested race within the party. Anyone can write a check to the Colorado Democratic Party.

Next month’s meeting will be on Wednesday, September 7, 2005, at 7 pm at 375 Airport Rd, Longmont.

Guest speakers will include Sheriff Joe Pelle, Supt. of Schools Randy Zila, City Councilwoman Karen Benker, and from Bounty County Health, Chuck Stout.

If you are not on the e-mail or snail-mail newsletter list, please sign up tonight. (Or call 303-774-1953.)

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm and everyone enjoyed home-baked goodies.

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