17 May ICYMI Photos and Summary of the April 18 Monthly Meeting “State of the State Party”
The Lincoln County Democratic Committee (LCDC) held its regular monthly meeting on April 18, 2019 in the Newcastle community room with a theme of “State of the State Party”. Chairman Chris Johnson welcomed guest speakers Kathleen Marra, Chair of the Maine Democratic State Committee (DSC), and Lisa Roberts, the Executive Director of the Maine Democratic Party (MDP), who offered their thoughts and plans for the Democratic Party in the State, as well as comments on plans for County Committees.
Chair Marra began her remarks with a summary of her compelling life story. She said that she was quite complacent prior to the 2016 election and that she was one of the women who became energized and involved in the political process as a result of that election. She started by organizing the Kittery Dems, and then she became Vice-Chair of the York County Democratic Committee. Last year she attended a program on women’s campaigns at Yale Law School, even driving to Connecticut in a blizzard to specially ask the Dean for admission. She went on to run a State Senate campaign and was then elected to follow Phil Bartlett as Chair of the MDP. Ms. Marra told the group that we absolutely must keep Jared Golden in office. We need to keep Maine state government in Democratic hands. We must keep an eye on local elections, not only to “build the bench” but also to ensure good communities. She made a plea for strong financial support of the MDP, because it is “the store that sells the candidates.”
Ms. Marra answered several questions from the audience from how to encourage more local candidates to run for municipal offices to how to unseat Susan Collins.
Lisa Roberts, MDP’s Executive Director, introduced herself. She said that, prior to being hired as Executive Director, she was the field director for the coordinated campaigns in the last cycle. She congratulated Lincoln County’s efforts in 2018. The County had 800 volunteer shifts and 2500 volunteer hours preparing for and during the Get Out the Vote campaign. Detailed statewide election analysis will be available in May. Ms. Roberts said that she is currently working with County Chairs to ensure that the State party enhances local party activities. Five areas have been identified where State and County efforts overlap. These include:
–Local elections. The MDP can assist in supporting candidates through the Run Local program.
–Training. There is a T3 training program available through the DNC that is a train the trainer program. The State party can deliver additional training if asked.
–New ways to reach voters. Texting and new canvassing tools, such as the Mini-VAN mobile app will also be used.
–Increasing engagement at the local level. The MDP can support these efforts.
–Preparing for the 2020 coordinated campaign. The goal is to start early (in 2019) with a summer field program to find out what issues really matter to voters. In summary, Ms. Roberts said that the more we communicate, the better.
Ms. Roberts was asked about the Republican narrative and answered that the MDP is revamping the communications shop along with doing early field work and supporting canvassing efforts in order to engage with voters one-on-one. When asked how the MDP’s core values will be articulated, she responded that the 2020 Party platform, which will be developed by a new committee will do that. Chairman Johnson added that the LCDC will elect members for the platform committee at the May meeting. Ms. Roberts also addressed efforts to engage our younger voting population stating that although millenials are more politically active in Maine than in other states, we still need additional organizers to reach them. When asked about primary process, Ms. Roberts said that the Party is planning for a caucus even though LD 245, a bill to provide for a Maine presidential primary is under consideration in the Maine legislature.
The agenda also included a vote to approve proposed revisions to the LCDC Bylaws. The suggested changes were distributed to members at least one week in advance of the meeting, as required in the Bylaws. A motion to amend the suggested revision of Article 4 was made and seconded, and it carried by a wide margin. After additional explanation of the other proposed revisions, a motion to approve all suggested Bylaw changes, with the previously described amendment to Article 4, was made, seconded and unanimously approved. The current Bylaws can be seen on the Committee page here.
The next meeting will be held on May 16, 2019, same time, same place!