Minutes of the New Harford Democratic Club
Wednesday, February 7, at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
President Steve Johnson opened the meeting at 7:05 pm
Johnson greeted those attending and asked Art Helton to lead everyone in a pledge to the flag.
Johnson asked those present to stand and identify themselves
Treasurer George Harrison submitted the financial report. Johnson asked for and received unanimous approval.
He also asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the January meeting. Approved unanimously.
Johnson then asked for reports for any other clubs. It was noted that the African American Democratic Club was working with the TWW organization on an event at Ames Methodist church on Saturday from 11a to 1p
Committee reports: Art Helton reported he is working with the Central Committee and TWW to stage a voter registration drive as soon as the weather permits.
Steve Johnson introduced the night's speakers.
The first was Steve Worton, a candidate for Congressional District 1.
Worton said he is retired federal worker, worked at APG since 1983. He has worked in a number of agencies in the defense establishment. Everybody worked together after 9/11, but today there is too much polarity. Too little gets done in Washington because no one works together. He said the best thing to happen for Democrats was Donald Trump because he is energizing Democrats. He says he is bipartisan and can work with all parties. One of his issues is the tax plan just passed. It will cause a huge deficit which will result in cuts to many social programs. Andy Harris supports cuts to Medicare, that is wrong. He opposes off shore oil drilling and supports off shore wind energy. It is Democrats time to take over the House.
He then he took questions from the audience. On the Affordable Health Care act, he said he supports the program but it needs improvement, not repealed as the Republicans want. There needs to be improvements to the insurance side, including being able to negotiate drug prices.
He was questioned about his opinion on Republicans. He responded that there are some good Republicans and he feels he can work with Republicans. He was challenged on this assumption. He responded that he was a moderate and bipartisan in nature and he thinks there are Republicans he work with. He was told that such a view point would not do him well in a Democratic primary.
He was asked about his issues. He responded that the Republican tax cut will benefit the rich and do little for the middle class. More money for the middle class will improve the economy, whereas money to the rich stays with the rich Medicare must be supported as well as Medicate, our social programs and efforts to protect the environment. We need to take care of our people and our land.
President Johnson then introduced the nights other speaker, Sarahia Benn, who is running for House of Delegates in District 34A.
She noted she lives in Aberdeen and came from well-known families in Havre de Grace. She studied at the Berkley College of music. She said she is concerned about voter apathy, especially in Edgewood and also in some areas of Aberdeen. She said people feel there is no purpose in voting because it can change anything. But that is wrong, she said. We need to go into neighborhoods to talk to people, to educate them, to engage them and convince them that voting will make a difference. We can do better as a party. We can do things in a different way.
I believe the way to economic prosperity is fair wages.
I believe in more accessible transportation. It is limited in our district. We need to do better. Many people don't have cars and many who don't want to drive all the time.
We need more business, and we need to have fairer lending practices to encourage business.
We need educational facilities for those who don't want to go to college. She advocates and additional Vo Tech school in the Route 40 area.
This election could affect redistricting and that would impact our future.
President Johnson thanked the speakers for coming out tonight.
President Johnson noted that Baltimore County Executive, a candidate for governor, will be the speaker at the next meeting on March 7.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:11pm.
Submitted by Acting Secretary George Harrison