Minutes of the New Harford Democratic Club Wednesday, DEC 4, 2019 at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
Call to Order: Acting Chair George Harrison called meeting to order at 7:00 pm. He welcomed the members and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Agenda provided in hard copy.
Introductions: George introduced two new board members and requested membership approval for Dr. Stacey Venable and Tori Lynch [bios included in agenda].
Moved, seconded and approved new members w/o comment.
Minutes: Secretary Barney Michel presented the minutes from the prior meeting, noting that a copy was available on the NHDC website http://www.newhardforddemocraticclub.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.
Treasurer’s Report: George presented NHDC account balance and noted that we had no new expenses to report this month.
“Kirwan Study” Discussion: Jack Barham
Lots of misinformation on this subject, much from our Governor. He has added a “Special Counsel [former State Delegate Andrew Cassilly] to work full time to block implementation of this study.
Implementation of the “Strong Schools” commission will add ~$3.6B to Maryland economy. About $2M of “dark money” raised by Gov [and others] to oppose this.
Suggested that NHDC go through local PTA’s to get the accurate info out on the “Kirwan Study” and implications: E.G.
o $20M to Maryland charter schools; 80% of vouchers going to parochial schools
o $8.6M in grants to Harford County over 3 years
Focus is for poverty schools [80%]
Pre-K, Special Ed, teacher pay; student support counselor
Much of the funds actually go to tuition support for students already in private or
Report available on-line at Maryland state web site.
Massachusetts has already done a form of Kirwan; only state schools recognized
Harford’s per pupil expenditure ranks 24th out of 24 subdivisions in Maryland (counties and Baltimore City) when including federal, state and local sources of revenue.
Comparison of data from school websites (number of classroom teachers and pupil population) provide a ratio of teachers to students in the school but do not accurately reflect class sizes in each school.
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. Baltimore Sun reports that under Maryland “Star Rating” worst schools are on S end of I-95 and Rt. 40 corridor [4 schools].
Voter Registration efforts: Art Helton
It is hard to get non-voters out, especially along Rt. 40 corridor
This voter patter drives school [and other] funding away from this area to the areas with higher voter turnout [Fallston/Bel Air/northern Harford]
Recognizing this, we are collaborating with the African American Democrats [AADems] to help drive voter turnout in key areas.
Have already seen some successes with election of three  Dems to B el Air Town Council [out of three vacancies].
Guest Speaker – Steve Johnson: Delegate, Dist 34A Steve.Johnson@house.state.md.us 443-756-2029; 8 N. Parke St., Aberdeen, MD 21001 www.FriendsofSteveohnson.com Steve gave a 2020 General Assemble Session Preview; highlights follow:
The first time in over 20 years that both houses will have new leaders.
Noted that Andrew Cassilly resigned his seat to lead the Governor’s “attack” on Kirwin Report
o Education is still the #1 voter issue in the state; that includes higher taxes. Majority polled willing to pay more taxes for better schools.
o Governor’s agenda seems to be more vouchers and privatization of schools.
o We need to get to the legislative committees to effect change here. I have had a great response to my new Constituent Office in Aberdeen.
o Location is very convenient; it will be open Saturday for the Aberdeen Xmas parade. 2020 Legislative Items:
o Human Trafficking Education – propose to add this to school’s “Health” curriculum. o Interrogation of minors w/o a parent/guardian present.
Presently this is allowed; this proposed bill fixes that
Has been shown that minors fail to understand their rights; i.e., the “free to go” right
if not charged or the right to have a parent present.
o A “Cure Bill” that would incentivize medical cures over just treatments in research;
the last real cure was polio
this would establish a new model to incentivize research for cures
Propose a multi-state “compact” to award a prize of 5 years of documented cost
avoidance to the winner; potential for billions in savings over long-term treatments
Similar measure passed 91-6 in Ohio
o Active Military who are also local law enforcement get a 5 yr. credit toward retirement. o Revise “Lien Laws” for HOA fees; currently only 4 months fees are sufficient cause for a
lien by HOA; this would expand that.
o Home-Town Heroes; keep them in Maryland after retirement from public service:
Already have tax incentives for retired military
Expand to include Corrections Officers, law enforcement, fire fighters/EMTs, etc. o Prescription Drug coverage; would allow hospital to serve as pre-authorization for
issuing a prescription to patients; avoids need for second doctor’s authorization
o I-95 Express Toll lanes-make speed limits match for toll/non-toll lanes; avoids penalizing
choosing the free lanes.
o $8 Cashless tolls-presently Hatem Bridge gives a discount [$12 w/o EZ Pass; $7 with]
o Tax breaks for grocery stores in “Food Deserts”-must have a certain minimum % of stoc
as nutritious choices; we will define those
o Health Facility public notice requirement; e.g., Joppa presently underserved for emergency care; free-standing medical facilities don’t address this need. These are the “Lexus Lanes” of medical care while local ERs are frequently over capacity and must close temporarily.
Guest Speaker – Faye [Fabienne] Dorceus: MD DEMS, Regional Field Organizer, Harford & Baltimore Counties, 275 West St., Ste. 303, Annapolis, MD 21401, firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-269-8818 (m)443-447-0605, www.mddems.org
Ms. Dorceus spoke about the MD Delegate selection process for 2020 Presidential election.
What will the Maryland Delegation look like?
122 delegates now; up from 102 in prior elections
o 67 Congressional District-Level Delegates
o 22 at-large
o 23 automatic party leader/elected official [PLEO] o 10 pledged and 7 alternates
Go to: www.mddems.org/DNCdelegate or www.elections.maryland.gov for more info.
We are conducting local voter registration drives most Sundays.
For info on how to participate go to www.mddems.org/volunteer
A hand card “MD-DEMS; 2020 at a glance” was also distributed with this information.
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IX. Announcements/Closing Remarks:
Eric Lane – District 1 Congressional Candidate [vice Andy Harris] spoke briefly
North Harford resident/farm owner; former Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur.
I am a Moderate Democrat.
I see Andy Harris as our “non-representative” in D.C.; he is out of touch with his district.
I see District 1 as “Centrist leaning.”
I have 15 years in community sports volunteerism.
o My campaign will ask voters questions to get to consensus and foster discussion on critical issues for our district: E.G., Health Care, Education, Senior Services
My web site is up now: www.eriklane.us email: email@example.com
X. Next meeting Weds, January 8th, 7pm at Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express – BRING A FRIEND! Adjourn: 8:26pm
Respectfully submitted by Secretary Barney Michel