Minutes of the New Harford Democratic Club
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express

I.  President Bridgette Johnson opened the meeting at 7:07 pm.  She welcomed the members, noting that there were 4 new applications tonight.  She then led the Pledge of Allegiance.

II.  Treasurer George Harrison reviewed the financial report and provided a hard copy for the record.  Report approved unanimously.

III.  Secretary Barney Michel presented the minutes from the prior meeting. Minutes approved unanimously without comment.

IV.  Updates:

Young Dems of Harford & Cecil Counties has been created. We aim to build a greater presence in the 18-39 demographic.
Bridgette addressed the club position regarding Del. Lisanti.  Specifically, the NHDC Board took the public position that Del. Lisanti should step down.  This was published on our social media.
She then proceeded to update the club on recent board activity.
     Four new subcommittees are proposed and we need volunteers to serve on all four: 
          Public Relations and Marketing
Fundraising, Membership, Voter Registration and GOTV.-
              This is a continuous effort, not just during elections

          Volunteerism – We need to build a community presence county-wide
          Public Education and Policy – both state and local.  This includes voter education.
Starting this month new membership fees are $30-individual and $40-family.

V.  Guest Speakers:
Together We Will [TWW] – Helen Mann presented for Delane Lewis
    The TWW mission statement was distributed at the meeting. It contained info on how to                  reach out to join TWW. The URL is <TWWhcuc.org> from there you can request information on joining.
     TWW HCUC was formed in 2016; first action was to support the women’s march in JAN ’17 were we sent two busses.  Today we are over 700 members.
     We conduct Town Halls on issues of interest.  We also have a Racial Justice group that works with HCC Voices Raised for Change and others.
     We have a speakers series, a film series and coffees to bring like-minded people together to exchange ideas.
     We attend ALL Board of Education and County Council meetings.  We believe we are the only local group to do so.
     We all need to stay aware and be visible.  We need to hold our elected officials accountable.

Harford County Democratic Central Committee– Mike Bracknell for Denise Perry
     Mike recognized Chris Boardman and Donna Kahoe as fellow DCC members attending.

​     In 2018 DCC raised $12k in 6 months to support mid-term election.  It was all well spent on campaigns and related activity.
     It’s now time to build ideas for the NEXT ELECTION-2020
     DCC is looking to partner with other organizations and get out into the community.
          Communicate our shared values via actions and service
          We want to team build across all local Dems.
          To quote, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!”

Harford County Caucus of African-American Community Leaders– Jim Thornton
     Our background; Cassandra Beverly, Phil Hunter, Larry Diggs and I started this club one year ago, using the Anne Arundel County Caucus as our model.  We have 30+ members and meet the first Saturday of the month at the Med Star Center in Bel Air.
     We are a Non Partisan club, having D, R and I members. For example; Andre Johnson, a recently-elected Democrat, and Curtis Beulah, a Republican, are both members.
     Our issues cross parties; e.g., access to the local education system for the minority community – both students and employees.
          ~33% of our student body is youth of color but less than 7% of our teaching/classroom instruction population is.  This despite findings that student achievement improves when they have role models they can relate to. We are looking at how to address this shortfall.
          We held two judicial forums in 2018 on Public Safety and Law Enforcement.
          Asking “How do we increase economic activity in the Rt. 40 corridor?” Met with Len Parrish/HC OED to discuss this and fostering minority entrepreneurship.
          We continue to work to get County government to recognize the void in minority participation in the county.  We see three Harford Counties; North, Central and the Rt. 40 corridor.
Question asked, “How many R and I members of your club?” We don’t ask the members but by observation at least 5-6.

African-American Democratic Clubs of Maryland – James Sweeting, Esq.
     I have lived in Florida for about 20 years and have watched it go from blue to dark red. If we are not smart and fail to work together Maryland could go the same way.
     There is room for ALL Dems in our party; conservative to radical.
     Del. Lisanti issue will pass; the Dems must stand together through this.
     I  began my activist career as a young lawyer for the NAACP in central Florida – a very conservative Republican region.  I recognize your challenges locally.
     There are two parts to our group; a statewide umbrella to organize all clubs/activities and the local club to work local issues.  We also have a youth arm.
     All elements need your support

VI.  Closing Remarks:  Bridgette noted that tonight’s guest speakers were invited before the issue of Del. Lisanti came up.  It is important for us to get to know our fellow Dems.  We, as a club and a community, have chosen to move forward.

  VII. Next meeting Weds, April 3rd, 7pm at Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express – BRING A FRIEND!

Adjourn: 8:07pm

Respectfully submitted by Secretary Barney Michel