February 1, 2006 Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Longmont Area Democrats, February 1st, 2006

Submitted by Rich Hansen

Chairperson Deb Gardner called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm. The first subject she mentioned was the Congressional vote on the budget cuts, particularly the fact that if we had only won the Colorado Congressional seats the vote would have been different! The budget cuts passed 216 to 214, what a difference just a few votes would have made. The Republicans should be forced to pay for cuts to entitlements in an election year!

Deb read the Treasurers report; we now have $1550.00 in the small donor fund, and $490.00 in the general checking account. She again stated that the annual dues are only $10.00 and the fact that as a paid member you get to vote on organizational matters.

Deb discussed future meeting and the guest speakers: The February 8th meeting of the Boulder County Democratic Party will include Erin Minks the Community Liaison person from the office of Ken Salazar, April’s meeting will feature Brandon Shaffer speaking on a bill that would require employers with over 3,000 employees in Colorado to pay a certain percentage of their earnings toward healthcare. She also mentioned the upcoming Democratic caucuses on March 21st. There will also be a training session on June 10th and 11th and a film showing on the Wal-Mart issue Wednesday the 8th at the public library.

The main speaker for the evening was Rich Jones, director for Research and Policy issues for the Bell Policy Center. The main issue was the effects of immigration on the Colorado economy. He presented data that showed what effects of both documented and undocumented immigrants have on the Colorado economy. The Bell Policy Center is also against the Colorado ballot Initiative that may be on the November election ballot.

Also speaking were Lisa Duran with RAP and Manolo Gonzaleiz-Estay with Keep Colorado Safe. Both speakers are strongly against the proposed ballot Initiative. They both gave short presentations on why the proposed Initiative doesn’t solve the immigration problems and answered questions from the audience.

There were many questions from the audience and because of time constraints they had to be held to a minimum. Among the questions asked were: (1) what part does the Our Center play in supporting the immigrant population? (2) What are the legal issues involved with the proposed ballot Initiative-what about proving your citizenship? (3) What about the issue of businesses that pay immigrant worker in cash thereby not having to collect FICA taxes? (4) Someone asked about the anchor baby issue and what it meant? (5) There were several questions about the Bi-lingual dilemma, why do we have to basically present everything in two languages? There was also a question as to why we need to have Bi-lingual education in our schools. It is apparent that the Immigration problem is a hot button issue and brings out a strong public emotional response on both sides of the issue!

All the guest speakers stayed after the meeting and answered more questions; Chairperson Deb Gardner adjourned the meeting at approximately 8:40pm.

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