New Harford Democratic Club
Sept 4, 2019
George Harrison called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm
Harrison announced that President Bridgette Johnson has resigned and three of the board members who joined the club with her, have also submitted their resignations. He said he did not know what their plans were for the future but wished them well.
Harrison moved to approve the minutes from the June minutes (there was no meeting in July). It was moved and seconded and was approved by voice vote.
Harrison provided the treasurers report, noting that the current balance was $6,270, with about $200 yet to be paid for the upcoming fund raiser.
Harrison then asked Director Art Helton to give an update on the fundraiser. Helton noted that the fundraiser would be held at Ripken Stadium on Sept 21 and that Congressman Elijah Cummings would be the speaker. He noted that tickets for the event were still available.
Harrison noted that this is an important fundraiser and Cummings is a great speaker who has been a major player in the congress dealing with the Trump administration. He stated that the money raised at the event would be used for generating local support for the next election, which could include working for Democrats in other states crucial to a Democratic victory next year.
There being no New Business or Old Business on the agenda, Harrison introduced the night's speaker, Ann Helton, who has been a Democratic activist for many years, including a stint as an Anne Arundel County Councilperson, a former candidate for Lt. Governor, a former candidate for Harford County Executive, and a former President of the club. She has been active in a number of organizations, including the Harford Land Trust, CASA and other social agencies.
Ms. Helton spoke about how no one really knows what awaits them in this world. She grew up in western Maryland and learned to appreciate her environment. She went to college and went out into the world to earn a living. Then she joined the League of Women Voters, serving as a lobbyist in Annapolis. She went on to run for AA County council which gave her an opportunity to actually create legislation that would enhance people's lives.
She ran for Lt Governor with Ted Venetoulis in the Democratic Primary. She said she traveled throughout the state and learned one thing: Listen to what people had to say and try to learn what they go through and what they believe.
She said she was fortunate to work for people who were great teachers and mentors which allowed her to work in environments that respected people and not denigrated them.
She became involved in child advocacy programs, both In the state government and with private business. She still actively involved in CASA in Harford County.
She said she knows that politics is hard in Harford County for Democrats. She said it is hard to stick together in such a harsh environment, but that we must embrace each other even though we might not always agree on certain issues. We must resist being pulled into the maelstrom created by Republicans.
This club for me is a platform for diversity of opinion, she said This club gives us power in members. I believe in volunteerism and I am a believer in civil disobedience when it is necessary to preserve our democratic society. I point to the Women's March right after the election as an example what we can do to set an example for others.
Following her talk, there was discussion about the current political situation created by the Trump presidency and what needs to be done to get rid of Trump.
Harrison noted whoever wins the Democratic primary he or she needs a congress as support. Although Maryland is not a target state, those states that are need our help. That's where we come in as support for Democratic candidates who need help in their districts. We did this for Obama and we can do it again this time around.
Art Helton noted tickets were still available for the fundraiser and that volunteers would be needed tomorrow night for making calls to solicit ticket purchases.
Harrison recognized Mia Mason, a candidate for First District Congressional race. Mason, a military veteran, said she believed there was fertile ground for a Democrat on the Eastern shore, and we need to make a good showing in Harford. She was thanked for coming to the meeting.
With no more comments, the meeting was adjourned at 8:08pm
New Harford Democratic Club
3 S. Rogers Street Aberdeen, MD 21001 410-272-7139