Fredericksburg Democratic Committee Monthly Meeting Minutes 10/12/16

Fredericksburg Democratic Committee
Rappahannock Central Library
October 12, 2016

Call to Order. Jason Graham, Chair. Attendance list distributed for sign in.

1. Rowe/Wittman Debate. 10-24-16 at UMW Dodd Auditorium. At 7:30 PM. Turnout is crucial because it also reflects to the press coverage. During the debate, FDC will live tweet and use solid stream on social media, like Facebook. No signs are allowed in the auditorium. Sue Sargeant volunteered to set up a table with signs and to volunteer outside Dodd if Young Dems get the permit. Jason will contact YD President re: permit.

2. Get Out the Vote (GOTV). Mary Bassis distributed GOTV sign up times on behalf of Coordinated Campaign CD1 Lucas Munson. Rachel, website coordinator, will post the times on the FDC website. These sign ups were also distributed at the Blue Action Network BAN meeting on 10-5-16.

3. Election Day. Fred has 5 precincts. We need 4 people/shift. Sign up sheet distributed.
Harold Bannister will get a tent from member Ron Smith to set up at Walker Grant the night before. He will set up Sue Sargeant’s tent at Hugh Mercer by 4:30 or 5 AM on Election Day. Sue asked which door will be used at HM because the door closest to the playground has a long sidewalk that is not user-friendly for those who use wheelchairs or walkers. She will check with the Electoral board. The polling sites will have orange cones set up for the 40 ft ‘no poll workers allowed’ zone. This should be an improvement over the orange tape or chalk that has been used to mark off the 40 ft. Fred Dems will print up sample blue ballots for distribution at the precincts.

There is a lawyer available in person or by phone on Election Day for Voter Protection, such as to ensure that valid IDs are accepted. We need poll watchers to be inside the polls. Contact Jason if interested. The poll watchers observe how poll workers answer questions, note if there are voting machine problems (they’re new this year). The new machines produce a paper tally. At the end of the day, it has receipts and gives a count. It also produces the ‘write-ins’.

The schools will be closed for students. Sgt Sullivan will be visiting each precinct throughout the day. Virginia Organizing will be providing transportation to the polls.

4. Post – Election. Mary Bassis volunteered to book a room for the ‘Post-Election Watch
Party. Mary hopes to reserve Irish Brigade.

Question about ‘The Canvas’. The Canvas is held the day after the Election to certify the vote count. The Electoral Board (which has 1 Rep and 2 Dems –majority Dem because Governor is Dem) will go through the provisionals and make sure they match the precincts’ numbers reported. Jason has the option to appoint ‘observers’. Ethel Hellman agreed to serve in this capacity.

Other news: 80-90 people attended the First Unity Day 2016 which was held in 100 degree heat on 8/6/16. FDC will have a Spring fundraiser to provide funds to local and CD1 candidates. Jason is working on getting big name speakers at the VA or National level to attend the first Kennedy-King Dinner sometime in March 2017. See Jason to volunteer.

Gov Terry McAuliffe will appoint a senator to fill Tim Kaine’s seat. Then there will be a Special VA. Election in Nov 2017 to fill TK’s seat.

Those present were encouraged to vote absentee, if there is any question about ability to get to vote by 7 PM on Election Day 11-8-16. Absentee voting started on 9/23/16. Register to vote by Monday 10-17-16. A voter can apply by mail until Nov 1. Or go ‘In Person’ to Registrar’s Office (if 22401 resident) at 601 Caroline Street, M-F 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM or on Sat 10-29 or 11-5-16 in person, 9 AM – 5 PM. For more information on voting. Go to to see a sample ballot or your own voting record. Brochure distributed ‘Virginia is for Voters’ as well as a list of area Voter Registrars.

The Fred NAACP is a non-partisan group. LaBravia Jenkins, Commonwealth’s Attorney will speak on Monday 10-17-16 at Shiloh Old Site, 801 Sophia St. at 7 PM about the Constitutional Amendments on the ballot. There are two amendments. #1 ‘Right to Work’ which sounds fine but it is anti-union. The Dem Party of VA advises to vote NO to #1. Question on who to get the message out about VOTE NO on #1. Please read the FLS Letter to the Editor by Stafford Dem Kandi Hilliard on reasons why to vote NO.

The DPVA has not taken a position on Amendment #2 which provides a tax break to surviving spouse of fire, police, rescue, emergency personnel.

Jay Brock will get info to Jason about viewing the PBS documentary on ‘Redistricting’. OneVA21 will hold seminars at Germanna CC and UMW.

The Stafford Dems are gathering tonight 10-12-16 from 6-9 PM at the Paradise Diner on Rt 17. for dinner and welcome other Dems. Peter Fields will play classical guitar.

8-foot signs. Contact Harold or Lucas if you know a site to place them.

Shirley Johnson is working on an event with Senator Mark Warner and area ministers on Friday 10-14-16 at 10 AM.

The last debate ‘Watch Party’ will be on Wed 10-19-16 at 9 PM. . Florence Bailey requested that FDC use a city restaurant because it supports our own businesses and tax base. (rather than go out to Spotsy county as was done for a Debate Watch Party). All members agreed that this was a good idea.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 PM.
Respectfully Submitted, Sue Nelson-Sargeant,, FDC Secretary