Cheshire County Democratic Committee Monthly Meeting Minutes

05/07/2024, Tuesday 6:30 – 8:00 pm; Attendance: 20 in-person; 7 on Zoom

  1. Mohammad called the meeting to order at 6:31pm
  2. NH Democratic Convention is on Saturday, 5/11; Cheshire Co. will have a table
  3. Deep Canvassing – Winning in 2024 – (Sue Hay) Our job as Cheshire Co Dems is to get NH Democratic candidates and Exec Councilors elected; we need an army of canvassers, especially in the purple towns. We need to sweep the tables in Cheshire Co to win the state; we are capable of winning most of these seats but we need canvassers!June 15th – 3 hour training in Deep Canvassing
  4. If anyone in Keene has a secure place where we can store signs and such, we could use it.
  5. Guest Speakers:
    1. Former State Sen. Melanie Levesque – Exec. Council, Dist. 5 candidate – She is running against incumbent David Wheeler. Issues: gerrymandering, misinformation, isolation since COVID – losing the sense of community. Women’s issues, light rail and funding are all important issues to her. This is not a time to be shy or afraid. We need to speak up, educate people, and urge people to vote. We need to take action.
      1. Education – Edelblut will be up in 2025 and he will not be coming back! Planned Parenthood and other women’s health organizations have been slashed by the current Executive Council.
      2. As for the Primary, Melanie suggests that she and Shoshana have similar beliefs on issues, but Melanie feels that she has more experience than Shoshana and has the stronger track record of doing the work.
    2. State Sen. Becky Whitely – US Congressional, Dost 2 candidate – From Peterborough originally, currently a State Senator from Concord (4 years). Becky is running to promote the full range of women’s health care. Her background as a disability rights attorney, a climate change community organizer for the Environmental Defense Fund, and work on mental health. She has served on the HHS Committee and the Judiciary Committee – always has been in the minority. All that has been tried in Texas, has been tried here. The Republicans keep trying.
      1. How do we tackle the enormity of the problem when there are so many other problems such as the economy? We need to connect on values and bring it local. Works well across the aisle. To activate young people, they care about the climate, college costs, costs of housing, and about democracy.
  1. Reports from Town Chairs:
    1. Alstead – wanting to have a gathering, Jim Gruber running for a Joe Shapiro’s seat
    2. Nick Germana – Keene – Jodi Newell had a house fire; there has been good support; work going on at the Community Kitchen – help if you can. There is one more House seat connected to Keene that is still not nailed down
    3. Karen Sebastian – Chesterfield – lots of calls for the spaghetti dinner; planning an informal event June 2nd at the town hall, 3:30-5:30.
    4. Jim Speaks – Swanzey – preparing for the Old Home Day July 20th, looking for one more House candidate
  1. Elected officers’ Reports:
    1. Anna Tilton, Registry of Deeds – enraged by the situation in the state: Sununu, PUC are awful. We need more reporters looking into the reality of what is going on behind the scenes.
    2. Terry Clark, Co. Commissioner – spoke to community power
    3. Nick Germana – killed the latest Senate version of the parental rights bill (SB341), killed mandatory minimum sentencing bills, killed a nasty immigration bill as well. House passed 3 landfill bills trying to address the issue of out of state trash coming in – all were killed instantly in the Senate. “Freedom to Read” bill (HB1311) is now being considered by the Senate committee. Fenton has been a strong ally with this bill – this bill puts limits on what can be banned and on the process itself. Visibility event, a read-in, planned in case it fails.
    4. Lucius Parshall – frustrated by the Senate killing good environmental bills
    5. Jodi Newell – SB376 gives funding who are incarcerated and it would put together a planning group to coordinate a way that the incarcerated could get vocational training for jobs that are in need; this would reduce recidivism; it passed!
  1. Sub – Committee Reports:
    1. Election Support – Sue Hay – spoke on Deep Canvassing – 3 hour training on June 15th
    2. Expenses are covered; same balance as last month, about $26,000 of which $10K is in a CD that will be maturing soon
    3. Recruitment – Mohammad Saleh – still need
      • Cheshire 10 – Richmond & Swanzey
      • Cheshire 17 – Fitzwm, Richmond, Swanzey, Troy, and Winchester
      • Ch 14 – Rindge
    4. Spaghetti Dinner – Kathy O’Donnell – Friday, May 31st, same location, costs will be the same; if you’d like to sponsor people to attend or put an ad in the program, please do so. Becca Balint from VT will be our guest speaker; ticket sales are going well.
  1. Meeting Adjourned – 8:02

Upcoming Dates:

May 31st – Spaghetti Dinner

June 4th – Next Cheshire Co. Democrats meeting

June 15th – Deep Canvassing Training