Meeting Minutes – June 2021

Cheshire County Democratic Committee Meeting

6/1/21, Tuesday 6:00 – 7:30 pm

  1. Meeting called To Order
  1. New Committee Introduction

Mohammed Saleh — Chair 

Kathy O’Donnell — Vice Chair 

Amy Hathaway– Secretary

Shaun Filiault– Treasurer 

DELEGATES: 

Sue Hay Keene 

Ed Sheldon, Swanzey

Conor Hill, Winchester 

Natalie Quevedo, Winchester 

Andrew Maneval, Harrisville 

  1. Introductions-Members, Guests (Name and Town only) 

People were invited to post their name and town  in Chat on Zoom . 

  1. Reports From Those Serving In Elective Office

Cinde Warmington -Executive Council 

a. derailed one worrisome nomination  for  the superior court 

b. troublesome developments such as Governor and other Executive  appointing people to positions for which they are unqualified

c. Focus on education — policies are being pushed to dismantle public ed.  

and replace State Board of Ed members  

d. Contract Funding for homeless shelters reduced– by almost 1 million dollars and we are fighting to get that back 

e. -Funding for health care provider cut as well 

f. -ED (Emergency Dept) boarding issue — asking Commissioner for status at every meeting 

g. Governor putting items on Council agenda as informational only — therefore no opportunity to review /vote– calling him on that as it is an abuse of power

h. Focused on educating voters on value and importance of exec council 

Rep. Joe Schapiro — looking grim at end of session

  • restrictions on abortion
  • right to work legislation
  • defunding of reproductive health care 
  • divisive concepts bill now embedded in state budget
  • Bright light — Adult dental benefit for Medicaid recipients — put in the budget- hoping it will survive 
  • Important to gear up for a take back seats in House , Senate , Governor

Rep. Lucy Weber

We are working hard to make progress, more negative things coming 

Concerted effort by R’s to insert bad health policies — re: masks, vaccine, et   

This budget used for every piece of bad policy that has no impact on state finances  

Rep. Cathy Harvey

Agree with others– tough with bills and behavior of others — we’ll be there Thursday and Friday, and do what we can. — Never seen it this nasty– more than just partisan 

Rep. Lucius Parshall- Echo previous statements– very nasty in the House– they don’t seem to care if the ship goes down. Doing what we can to keep the wolf at bay 

Rep Jennie Gomarlo– 

On ways and Means Comm. some good news — up from 2019– but may be sent back to businesses —  bill just passed in the Senate was to conform with Fed Forgiveness program Payment Protection– so  may have to pay back if SB 3 passes. 

Free Staters’ cavalier behavior challenging

Rep Amanda Elizabeth Toll — just hear to listen 

  1. Reports From Town Chairs And Other Elected Officials

Sheriff Eli Rivera — just listening in 

Terry Clark– County Commissioner –– County will get $14.7 million from federal covid relief — for lower income, POC. Getting guidance from US

Treasury on how it can be used

Allowing us to address other needs, 

  • broadband
  • wastewater issues
  • other infra-structure improvements 

Putting together get wish lists etc. let other towns know they also have money coming 

Hired Will Pearson for help with regulations re: money use, with lists for smaller towns

Finishing up energy program — on county level  we are founding member of NH Aggregate Power– County will be able to provide own power via this bill 

–Just passed new program to allow up to $2k for staff hiring — to help with getting qualified staff — around county

May be able to also raise wages with relief money 

Another exciting project– more info coming! 

Town Chairs–

Carol Leger/Swanzey-– Co-chair with Ben Tilton .We will table at Old Home Days in Swanzey on July 17 — we are looking for literature /signs etc that can be shared. Let us know Please contact me — info on NHDP site 

Shaun Filiault— Keene — Caucus March 31 –over 150 We have a full committee more than in a decade

— including Chairs for each of the 5 Wards 

— all delegate seats

Amanda Elizabeth Toll, Vice Chair also heading up Education committee

  • held event on Immigration Law and Rights early May  with guests Sebastian Fuentes, Rep Maria Perez and Susan Hay along with music offered by Lucius Parshall
  • Listening Circles in each Ward to hear concerns, visions, questions , will guide platform development for KCD
  • June events for Pride Month /LBGTQIA issues 
  • Canvassing around the state 
  • Event on June 6 organized by Amanda Elizabeth Toll around Reproductive Rights, tabling there 
  • Looking to fall to help get candidates elected in Keene City elections

Mary Ewell — Chesterfield — trying to contact other Chairs in CHeshire 1 towns and get work done together to lessen the load and collaborate 

  1. Secretary Report – Amy Hathaway
  1. No report to submit, as we did not have a meeting on Monday.  But this meeting note will be posted on our website, and announced on Facebook as well
  1. Treasurer Report – Shaun Filiault

May 3, 2021– balance in account=$17,872.37

May 9 — $15,600 spent, leaving Balance= $2037. 20

Minutes from mtg in April when the spending was approved noted this to be customary to spend down the account once an election cycle has been completed

Reviewed 10 years of bank statements of CCD– this spend down may be a misspoken piece of info as it was found to never have happened previously in the 10 year history 

We are left with the lowest account balance ever. 

We must aggressively fundraise in 2021 to replenish funds and continue to get Democrats elected 

  1. Sub-committee Reports (appeal for joining)

Fund Raising Plan – Susan  

We need money, and we can do it — lots of opportunity to change face of elected in NH and win back seats.

there is a lot of energy for change the faces in Concord 

we are targeting in sept for Spaghetti dinner looking at venues, speakers, timing etc. working on this now. 

we ‘d love more committee help– fundraising exp most welcome help from town committees, residents 

We are looking for sustaining donations — commitment grows , all committee members are set to do , asking others to help– provides reliable income 

$5 /mo would be awesome, anything can help

we welcome any ideas, creative approaches etc. and let’s make this FUN!

Act Blue account info — once fully transferred will be made available, per Mohammed

Membership/Outreach-Natalie (FB, Web-Page update)

working on website, facebook, etc. 

Facebook changed over and up today

Revamping the web site in process

Working on getting the CCD an actual email address

Working on updating virtual presence– being more organized 

County wide voter database in addition to the NHDP list, so we can reach all voters in variety of ways not just email or phone 

Candidate Recruitments- Andrew 

candidate recruitment is crucial —

new members WELCOME to this committee 

We also look to town chairs/other for identifying candidates for state positions– 2022 

ALSO- with town and county positions, without creating unnecessary partisanship since many small-town positions that are non-partisan in nature

Ready to support candidates in efforts to seek office 

Youth outreach – Conor Hill

  • Echo digital outreach including a new Instagram page! 
  • Major focus on Town Halls with NHYM, (New Hampshire Youth Movement) 350NH.org, NHYD (NH Young Democrats), etc, make the process accessible to young people  while also getting out into the world. 
  • Working on door 2 door canvassing model, exploring how to focus on youth
  • also looking to KSC leadership, FPU, etc. 
  • Twitter account up and active as well 
  1. Old Business

None

  1. New Business
  1. Announcements
    1. Forum with Town Chairs and Elected/Candidate leaders – June 16th, 6:30-8:00

Mohammed sent out notice for this — 

    1. Next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, July 6th  

We are going to meet in July this year, as the new CCD Committee is just getting going and we want to continue our momentum 

    1. Open floor – Questions and comments for committee, elected leaders

Kathy O’Donnell moderating 

Q:  from Chris Coates–Will candidates be sought to primary current elected D Reps

A: from : Andrew Maneval– my own views — we’d like to talk to folks who are interested in running for office — we’ll look at background , and experience etc and in what ways people could fit. We are NOT intending to find people to primary current elected officials, but there were people who expressed interest in running we would look at how we as the committee could assist

A:LucyWeber– traditionally we’ve been forbidden by NHDP from taking position in primaries, except to vet people to ensure they truly subscribe to common democratic values. We need to encourage people to run, but vetting should happen and clarity may be needed on making sure one candidate is not favored over another in the primary. 

Redistricting will be very late due to census issues. One strategy to consider is encouraging every possible candidate to run– provision of informational sessions etc. Over recruitment needed due to this redistricting issue. 

Andrew Maneval–Should have been clearer. We are constitutionally prohibited from taking any position — we are interested in helping people learn about the process and run and, we will NOT be endorsing any single candidate until post primary. We want to support people in learning the process for running. 

Joe Schapiro– Thanks for the forward thinking and positivity in this meeting. 

Shaun Filiault –All Democratic committee in the state are vigorously committed to a neutral primary process. Our job is to identify people to run especially in areas where we often do not have a Democratic candidate. We need to assist in learning to run.  We are committed to fair and neutral primaries, regardless of the step in the process.  

Eli Rivera — Come up with different name for running — we need to be careful to not divide our own party, we have paid a price when a position has been taken, and lost seats. 

Tim B– there was the year the Free Keene person registered as D then came out to run in primary. At the time the Committee did not take a stand although individuals spoke out

Kathy– A couple of cycles ago in Ward 1 when someone ran as a Democrat and half way through the election officially came out at Libertarian. We need to be aware of this possibility, since it’s happened before. 

Natalie — Action– if you have a town page for your committee — share with Natalie. 

Facebook is back to being Cheshire County Democrats–

 check out our new fb page, and check Twitter, Instagram etc. 

Jennie Gomarlo– not running again 

  • all grateful for her service!
  • Mohammed asked if she’d be willing to do a forum for those who may be interested in running — would be very helpful 

  Ed Sheldon – recruitment question — Circle back to local and county positions of all varieties– MANY vacancies — let’s fill these with positive, skilled, energetic people in smaller offices that could make a lot of great changes in the County. 

Kathy O’Donnell — excellent point. Many positions are either empty or have people close to retirement. Local election year– really important. 

Shaun Filiault — want to address concerns on donations. Important to keep transparency , would like to address here vs. private conversations. 

  • Gifts made in early May were to very small number Democratic candidates. No names of recipients, they were acting in good faith in accepting the money
  • Unusual in that during 2020– hotly contested at every level– the greatest contribution to any individual candidate was $500, and the smallest contribution  was $1000 and another contribution was $9000. Unusual practice to do over 8 days– outpaces spending , and the type of spending in the 2020 cycle  Larger contributions to a smaller number of candidates  

          in the 2020 cycle

Kathy O’Donnell — asking for clarification, lots of number

Shaun Filiault –In the 2020 cycle, largest gift given to a candidate was $500 average gift was $150. During early May 2021, smallest gift was $1000, average was $1750, and largest was $9000. Largest gifts given by the Committee after a review o10 years of records

Mohammed Saleh — when this was discovered — we are trying to understand it all fully. At this point we are looking forward and we have a lot of work to do — let’s build up from here! 

Meeting Adjourned 

Thanks from all the committee for support, and please reach out to us with ideas, questions etc.

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