Minutes of the New Harford Democratic Club Wednesday, NOV 6, 2019 at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
I. Treasurer George Harrison opened the meeting at 7:09 pm. He welcomed the members and then led the Pledge of Allegiance. Agenda provided in hard copy.
II. Introductions: George noted that we have a good turnout of elected officials tonight; District 34 Delegates Mary Ann Lisanti and Steve Johnson; Aberdeen City Councilman-elect Adam Hiob; Dr. Stacy Spencer, President of the African-American Democratic Club and our guest speaker Mia Mason, running against Andy Harris in Maryland Congressional District 1.
George noted that yesterday's election was a great one for local democrats winning three seats on the Bel Air City Council and one on the Aberdeen City Council. Dems now hold two seats on Aberdeen City Council.
III. Secretary Barney Michel presented the minutes from the prior meeting, noting that a copy was available on the NHDC website http://www.newharforddemocraticclub.org (in addition to the e-version sent to all members). Minutes approved without comment. NOTE: Members not getting club emails need to provide correct information to the Treasurer or Secretary.
IV. Treasurer George Harrison reviewed the financial report and provided a hard copy for the record. He noted that the club has sufficient funds for planned operations.
V. Chair introduced new prospective board member Sheila Tyson and called for a motion to approve as a new board member. It was so moved, seconded and approved unanimously.
VI. Voter Registration efforts; Art Helton The board discussed that it is a good time to build on current political energy and yesterday's wins. Last time we did this [2008, Obama's first campaign] we registered ~7k Democratic voters and drew even with "R's" in registrations county-wide. If we do that again, we will take the lead county-wide. We need door hangers and literature to distribute as we hit doors. Requesting approval for a sum NTE $1000.00 to get these printed, we have the text/message developed and ready. Moved and seconded. Question regarding availability of funds. Treasurer verified that sufficient funds are currently available. Motion approved w/o further discussion.
VII. "Kirwan Study" Discussion: Jack Barham Harford county ranked 24th in FY 2019 (last) among Maryland school districts when all three sources of revenue federal, state, and county are included. The County Executive often says that county funding provided to the school system is above the Maintenance of Effort level, but in reality it is only about 1.1% above this state mandated MINIMUM. The county executive refrained from voting on the Kirwan working group funding formula proposal, on which he was a member, citing additional costs it would impose on our county. The county school system also will receive $8.6 million in grants from the State/Kirwan funds for specific programs including improving teacher salaries and incentives, funds for poverty schools, troubled learning students and Pre-K expansion. This is a three year
program and the Kirwan Commission proposal has not yet been approved. If approved, it is projected Harford County will have to provide an additional $9.2 million to the school system by 2030; or less than $1 million/year. Meanwhile, we continue to lose our experienced teachers to surrounding counties/states-all of which pay better that Harford.
Discussion: Charter Schools are having a significant impact on public school funding as they draw funds away from them. School websites recently deleted student/teacher population numbers [i.e., studentteacher ratios]. Class sizes continue to grow due to lack of new hires/loss of positions. There was general agreement among the Club members that this is a good policy direction for us to pursue. Impacts on entire county population, especially along Rt. 40 corridor.
VIII. Guest Speaker - Mia Mason; Candidate for US Congress in District One vs. Andy Harris Miamason.us@Mia4MD or 410-94-MASON Redistricting has made this a "hard win" for Dems in recent years Mia is an Army Veteran who wants to "Move the Needle" and go forward Will run a traditional campaign, hitting doors, events, local meetings, etc. Get out and meet the district. The incumbent, Mr. Harris, has been notably absent in his district. o E.G. His Town-hall tonight very poorly publicized and attended. Almost like "hiding in plain site." His stand against ACA hurts us all. He skews proposed sensible gun control proposals as "gun confiscation efforts." Q. How do we afford Medicare for all" proposals? A. Modify the plan to tweak Sen. Warren's plan. Q. How do you propose to control guns? A. Ban certain types of guns [military assault rifles don't belong in the home] and high capacity magazines [don't need 30-100 rounds to shoot a deer]. As a military member I trained on these type weapons and they have no place in civilian/hunting settings. Her key issues/concerns include [in no particular order]: Reduce impact of school vouchers on public school funding. Location of third bay bridge and is it the best/environmentally conscious solution to traffic congestion across the bay? Lack of good broadband access on Eastern Shore. [COMCAST not the answer]. Access to Healthcare and insurance for all of us. One should not go BANKRUPT due to medical bills. She is a Progressive LBGT candidate.
IX. Guest Speaker - Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti, District 34A MaryAnn.Lisanti@house.state.md.us or 410-841-3331 She was the "Lone Harford Dem" for years ~2014-2018 - Not Anymore! 9 in County now; including 3 on Bel Air and 2 on Aberdeen City Councils, Andre Johnson on County Council and myself and Steve Johnson in Annapolis. National GOP targeted me in 2018 and will do so again in 2020. Have money to fund this. We need partners in Legislature to get things done in Annapolis and Washington. Recent elections are working to give us this. Take this new status of winning to the next level now By sharing resources, we Dems can leverage our influence to better serve our constituents. E.G., I will be launching a new legislative website in the next few weeks. Will include FB,
Twitter, and other social media. This will allow you to use this as a "one stop shop" to get to me and my team directly. We can do a lot to serve your needs on-line with the state now. This site will have the forms or links to get you to me for these services. I have pre-filed 20 bills to date. The cover the following areas; Health Care-4; Bus& Econ Dev-4; Veterans-1; Education-2; Local Law Enforcement & Public Safety-4; Transportation-3; Local requirements-3. Details on these are at my website. X. Announcements/Closing Remarks: Dr. Spencer - AA Dems thank you all for your outreach. Please come out to our meetings to continue this. We continue to grow; started the year with ~7-10 at meetings; next one had ~30; then ~45. Please come out and joins us. We meet at the Edgewood Precinct on RT 40 in Edgewood. Next meeting is NOV 26. December meeting will be our Christmas Party.
XI. Next meeting Weds, December 4th, 7pm at Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express - BRING A FRIEND! Adjourn: 8:29pm
Respectfully submitted by Secretary Barney Michel