News and Recent Activities

Below are selected recent events and activies in which the Washtenaw County Democratic Party has been involved.

Senator Debbie Stabenow Fundraising Reception

Please join Janis Bobrin & Mike Allemang, Fred Blanck, Lori Carpentier Nell Dority, Jenifer Martin & Mark Fendrick, Barb & Nelson Fuller Leigh Greden, Leah Gunn, Wanda Hammoud Caitlin Klein & Joe Malcoun, Kristie Martin, MI List, Tom O’Brien Marianne Udow-Phillips & Bill Phillips, Sharon & Kirk A. Profit Caroline Blaum & Chuck Wilbur, Lisa Wozniak
(Host Committee in Formation)

for an evening reception honoring

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow

Friday, March 24, 2017 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Home of Sharon & Kirk A. Profit
4370 Stonemeadow Ct. Ann Arbor, MI

Suggested contribution:
Host: $1,000
Sponsor: $500
Friend: $250
Activist: $100

To RSVP, contact Matt Phelan at mphelan@stabenowforsenate.com or (810) 923-2307.
Contributions or gifts to Stabenow for U.S. Senate are not tax deductible.
Paid for by Stabenow for U.S. Senate.

Click HERE for a printable flyer. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Message from the Chair: The New Washtenaw County Democratic Party

In the days since November 8th, 2016, people across the country are rising up to say that Pr*sident Trump does NOT represent our values as Americans. Nowhere is that more true than in Washtenaw County. Since election day, our mailing list has grown by nearly 400 people and our general membership meetings have gone from being attended by 40 or 50 people to over 200 at our last meeting where Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said that the WCDP is the model for County Democratic Parties in our state:

Washtenaw County Democrats are fired up and ready to #resist.

On Saturday, January 28th, the WCDP Executive Board met for a 7+ hour strategic planning retreat. The ideas that came out of that meeting are transformational and we are poised to make enormous strides both in Washtenaw County and beyond. The common theme during the meeting was an “83 County Strategy”. We are not content to simply organize in Washtenaw County. We know that we must expand our reach, share our vision and resources, and evangelize to spread our best practices to other County Parties (and to learn from them, as well.)

When I first ran for Chair, I did so on an “Activist Slate”. The dream I had for the WCDP to become a force for activism is becoming a reality due to the hard work, passion, and dedication of our current and past Board members.

In addition to our four officers, our Board is comprised of 12 co-Vice Chair positions. Around each of these positions we are building teams of people to help them accomplish the goals set out for them in our bylaws. You can sign up to be on one of these teams HERE. And, of course, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our email list HERE.

Here are some highlights of what is happening with each group and what they, with YOUR help, will be focusing on in the days and months to come:

Membership TeamCo-Vice Chairs Susan Baskett and Anne Brown
The Membership team is focused on both increasing the number of active members in the WCDP as well as ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our members. They will work closely with our Outreach and Programs teams (among others) to ensure that people are getting signed up and engaged. They are working to create reusable WCDP name badges available for a nominal fee. Finally, they will be encouraging people to become members of the Michigan Democratic Party. The reason for this is two-fold. First, we get some of the proceeds from memberships when people become members of the MDP. Second, in order to vote at WCDP meetings and conventions, you must be a member of the MDP which, in turn, makes you a member of the WCDP if you live in Washtenaw County.

CommunicationsCo-Vice Chairs Satish Ramade and Julie Baker
The Communications team has several items on their list. First, they are going to do a makeover of our website. This includes the exciting and important development of Spanish and Arabic language versions so that as many Washtenaw Democrats as possible are able to access and read it. Second, they will begin to do profiles of members, volunteers, and elected officials so that we start to know more about the people who are getting things done. They will also be working on developing a regular flow of tools for activism, as well as calls to action, in concert with Legislative Programs, etc., and create a plan for disseminating them via email, social media, and our website. The Communications team is largely the group responsible for building our “brand” and that will be a common thread running through everything they do.

Social MediaCo-Vice Chairs Jeremy Glick and Allie Van Zoeren
The Social Media team will work closely with the Communications team (along with others, of course) to make sure our message gets out through our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter account, and our future Instagram account. But just putting the message out on these platforms is not enough if they aren’t seen by large numbers of people. That requires encouraging others to share our social media posts. To that end, their team will be working to increase the visibility of our posts themselves. In addition, the Social Media team will be doing trainings for WCDP members on how to best maximize their use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help push that even further.

ProgramsCo-Vice Chairs Mary Thiam-Hall and Ashley Hall
Our programming has improved greatly over the past two years. However, we want to take this to the next step. The Programs team is planning to hold at least TWO programs per month instead of just the one program each month at our General Membership meetings. They will be working with other groups throughout the County to make sure we’re offering relevant and current programming content that is responsive to the interests and needs of our members and prospective members. This will include programs related to issue advocacy, voter education, potential candidate education, and candidate forums. We understand that it’s not what we say we’re about that defines us as a County Party. Rather, it’s what we DO that truly defines us and making sure we are offering quality and timely programs is a crucial part of that.

FundraisingCo-Vice Chairs Bill Worzel and Kelly Tebay
We understand that Democratic and progressive groups are constantly begging you for money and we try very hard not to be part of that noise in your email inbox and on your phone. However, we simply cannot accomplish our goals without adequate funding. As you probably know by now, we now have a permanent office so, in addition to paying for all of the things the other 11 groups are doing, we must also pay rent and utilities along with purchasing supplies and services to keep the office open and up & running. This means that Bill & Kelly (a former fundraising staffer for the MDP) and their team will be incorporating an element of fundraising into everything we do (i.e using messaging and legislative outcomes to drive fundraising asks to specific groups and people to support our efforts financially.) Again, we don’t like having to ask for money but we will never be able to accomplish our goals without it and we know that Democrats in Washtenaw County are generous and supportive of what we are doing.

OutreachCo-Vice Chairs Kathy Wyatt and David Greco
The WCDP leadership knows that, unless we deliberately reach out to other groups to form relationships and partnerships with them, we’ll never achieve our goal of being a party that’s responsive to everyone. The goal of the Outreach team is to engage in the process with a new and determined focus. Our Outreach team will be meeting with members and leaders of issue groups, ethnic groups, and groups of a wide array of demographics to start this important coalition-building work.

Precinct OrganizingCo-Vice Chairs Catherine Daligga and Jane Forman
The Precinct Organizing Committee (POC) is the model on which all of the other teams are based. This is the team that has been around the longest and it has expanded its influence and effectiveness in ways we only dreamed about in the early days. The POC has three components. The first is Team Precinct Delegates. This team’s focus is on increasing the number of elected Precinct Delegates in Washtenaw County. However, it’s more than that: it’s ensuring that the people in Precinct Delegate positions are ACTIVE and fulfilling their roles as the bedrock, grassroots organizers of the Democratic Party. This team will also oversee the work of the WCDP County Committee. The second is Team Statewide. This team will work with County Parties throughout the state as well as the MDP itself to spread our knowledge, resources, and best practices so the successes that we are achieving in Washtenaw County can begin to spread throughout Michigan. The last team is Team Data. This team has developed and is continuing to refine a database of our local activists – people who have proven they are willing to show up and make calls or knock doors or do some other activity to further the goals of the Democratic Party. Additionally, they will eventually be creating a local voter database to help us with our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts in election years. Finally, the POC has given themselves the ambitious goal of talking to at least 50% of our identified Democratic voters this year at their doorsteps, at house parties, and at events to get them informed and engaged.

Resolutions, By-laws, and PolicyCo-Vice Chairs Eli Savit and Denise Kirchoff
Our bylaws are there to help guide our efforts as well as to provide direction when problems or questions arise. While our current bylaws are functional, there are still some major flaws and areas for improvement. Over the coming year this team will be working to fix the known flaws, revisit our resolutions and endorsement policies and rules, and to ensure that the document is both accurate and useful as a guide when we need it, all while ensuring transparency. In addition, this team will oversee the creation of resolutions, assisting those wishing to submit them in getting them into the right format and introducing them properly.

Legislative ProgramsCo-Vice Chairs Justin Hodge and Solomon Rajput
Once a position held by a staff person from Congressional or legislative offices, this team has developed into one of the main centers of energy and excitement within the WCDP. The main focus of this group is to turn WCDP members into citizen activists and citizen lobbyists. Working with state and Congressional elected officials, they are developing tools to learn about impending legislation and policy and then creating easy ways for our members to reach out our elected officials to make their voices heard. This will be through regular phonebanking (they are currently holding two phonebanks per week at multiple locations throughout the County), letters to the editor, and other means. Because our County enjoys a largely Democratic group of lawmakers (with a few notable exceptions), this team will also be reaching out to other County Parties to help engage them and to use our capacity to help their members become more involved as citizen activists and citizen lobbyists, as well. This is where we will have our biggest impact. Our primary focus is on the state legislature because this is where we have the most knowledge of upcoming legislation and, more importantly, where we can have the biggest impact. However, they will also be working to #resist Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues in Washington, DC, too.

VisibilityCo-Vice Chairs Melinda McCabe and Amanda Mayer
Our Visibility team is in charge of making sure that the WCDP has a visible presence at as many local events as possible. Festivals, fairs, and other events are all places for us to reach out to people in the community to let them know we’re here and to get them involved. This team is also in charge of selling Democratic swag – buttons, bumperstickers, t-shirts, etc. – a source of income for the WCDP.

Social EventsCo-Vice Chairs Steven Kwasny and Jelani McGadney
We can’t be serious and hardworking ALL the time, right?! The Social Events team is tasked with coming up with ways for us all to get together to have some fun with a purpose. Picnics, bowling nights, cocktail mixers – these and other things will let us share relaxed, enjoyable times together and build us as a Democratic family. They have some VERY fun things planned that we’ll be rolling out soon.

Administrative AffairsCo-Vice Chairs Susie Catherman and Nathan Longhofer
The Administrative Affairs team maintains the calendar on our website, a central place to learn about all things progressive and Democratic in our area. In addition, they will be overseeing the running of our new office, making sure it has all the resources it needs and is staffed and available for use by our community partners.

This is your NEW Washtenaw County Democratic Party. It’s being led by a diverse group of talented, passionate Democrats and we encourage YOU to get involved. If you’d like to join one of these teams, please click HERE to get involved.

In solidarity,
Chris Savage, Chair
chrissavage123@sbcglobal.net
734-358-9276

*Donald Trump is the largest loser of the popular vote in history to become the President of the United States of America.

Message from the WCDP Vice Chair & Chair on the Election of DNC Chair Tom Perez and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison

Message from the WCDP Vice Chair & Chair on the Election of DNC Chair Tom Perez and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison
Saturday’s very close Democratic National Committee (DNC) election was disappointing for many Michigan Democrats. Given that all but one of the Michigan DNC electors voted for Keith Ellison in the first round of voting and all voted for him on the second ballot, it’s clear that our DNC representatives saw him as the top choice. However, we can see from their support that Democrats in Michigan have a state party, elected officials, and Labor leaders who are listening and open to moving in a more progressive direction. In other words, the goal of making the Michigan Democratic Party a more progressive, grassroots-oriented organization is succeeding.

We are encouraged and thankful that in his first act as DNC Chair Tom Perez appointed Keith Ellison as Deputy Chair, ensuring that he will have a strong, ongoing influence on the direction of our Party. This also means that our Chair and Deputy Chair are both from minority communities. Both are strong progressives with track records of successful organizing and actions on behalf of issues we as progressives care deeply about. And, perhaps most importantly, both are good friends. These are signs of important progress.

But this does not mean that we, as progressive Democrats, will not hold both of them accountable to us. They may be our leaders, but we are the Party they lead and our voices and our values matter every day.

One final thought: what happens at the national level is, without question, important in terms of the direction of our Party. However, what we are accomplishing here at the local level in Washtenaw County, is being done despite the DNC, not because of it. We are making transformative, progressive change by “just doing it”. We are leading from the grassroots and it’s making a difference. That won’t change with changing leadership at the national level and it’s a tribute to the passion, energy, and talents of Washtenaw Democrats.

In solidarity,
Hedieh Briggs, WCDP Vice Chair
Chris Savage, WCDP Chair

Washtenaw County Democratic Party Statement on Immigration Raids in County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Savage 734-358-9276
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Washtenaw County Democratic Party Statement on Immigration Raids in County

Washtenaw County, Michigan – Members of the Executive Board of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) have learned that U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officials have arrested as many as 16 Washtenaw County residents in the past 24 hours as part of aggressive anti-immigrant actions being taken by the administration of President Donald Trump. The Executive Board condemns these actions and stands in solidarity with the local immigrant community.

“Our country is founded on the idea that immigrants are not only welcomed here, they make us a stronger and more vibrant country,” said Chris Savage, Chair of the WCDP. “These actions taken by ICE officials are designed to terrorize the immigrant community and serve only to tear apart families looking for a better life in America. The WCDP stands by them during this terrible time and we will provide whatever resources we have at our disposal to resist these ‘military state’-type actions.”

People wishing to assist are encouraged to visit the Facebook page of the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigration Rights (WICIR) at https://www.facebook.com/WICIR for updates as events unfold. If you see any sort of actions of this nature by immigration officials, contact WICIR’s urgent response line at 734-355-2707 immediately with details on the location, the time, and the specifics of what you observed.

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Black History Month Forum

Black History Month Forum 2.27.2017

WCDP Executive Committee to pick County Committee members THIS SUNDAY

On Sunday, February 12th, the WCDP Executive Committee will meet to select the members of the 2017-2018 County Committee. This meeting will take place from 2-4 p.m at the Pittsfield Township Hall at 6201 W Michigan Avenue in Ann Arbor.

From our bylaws:
——
Section 3. WCDP County Committee.

a. Membership. Within forty-five (45) days of January 1 of each odd-numbered year the Executive Committee determines the membership of the County Committee. Membership of the County Committee shall include 2 party member representatives from each precinct in the county nominated and elected by the Executive Committee and any additional members the Executive Committee may nominate and elect. The total number of County Committee members may not exceed the total number of precinct delegates allocated for Washtenaw County.

b. Purpose. The main purpose of the County Committee is to foster and support the grassroots precinct organization.

c. Budget Review. The County Committee shall also review WCDP budget approved by the Executive Committee and may review the activity of the Executive Committee.

d. Between meetings of the County Committee, the Executive Committee has all the powers and performs all the duties of the County Committee, including the filling of vacancies in nominations as prescribed by law.

e. The Statutory Vice-Chair shall convene and preside at all County Committee meetings.
——
In the past, the WCDP County Committee has served little to no purpose because we never fully realized its potential. That is about to change. We are putting this group under the purview of the Precinct Organizing Committee so that they can activate this grassroots organizing group within our county. Here’s a message from Precinct Organizing Committee Co-Vice Chair, Catherine Daligga:

Washtenaw County did a great job in 2016, thanks in part to our Precinct Delegates. But in 2018, we will need to do even better. Our county could make the difference in the statewide offices, which are of utmost importance to us. YOU can be part of our success as a member of the County Committee. We plan to deploy teams of active Democrats to talk with their neighbors (face to face or over the phone) to discuss what issues matter most to them and what will motivate them to vote and to become politically engaged themselves. County Committee members will be an important part of that effort, working with Precinct Delegates and the rest of the WCDP committees to build an aware, accountable, and effective canvassing and voter turnout team.

If you would like to be on the County Committee but are unable to attend the meeting, please email at chrissavage123@sbcglobal.net to indicate your interest before Sunday, February 12th.

Black History Month – Annual African-American Veterans Dinner

February Black Veterans Month[6285]

UCAN Training

UCAN Training

Call to Convention – 7th District members only

Call to Convention

Fellow Democrat,
The Washtenaw County Convention for members of the 7th District will convene at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 29h at the Chelsea Public Library (221 S. Main Street in Chelsea.) Registration will begin at 2 p.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m. The purpose of this Convention shall be to elect a male member to the Credentialing Committee and a female Alternate to the Resolutions Committee and to consider resolutions to be forwarded to the State Party.

Article IV Sections B & C of the MDP Rules stipulate the following qualifications for candidacy and eligibility to vote:

In order to hold Party office or vote at any Convention, Caucus, or meeting at any unit of the Michigan Democratic Party at any level, a person must be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for at least thirty (30) days prior to that Convention, Caucus, or meeting. A Party member must be a qualified elector in order to vote on nominations for public office.

Precinct Delegates, Democratic elected officials, and Democratic nominees to partisan offices are exempt from the thirty (30) days advance membership requirement. However, Precinct Delegates, Democratic elected officials, and Democratic nominees to partisan office must be member in order to vote and may join the same day as the Convention, Caucus, or meeting.

Agenda
A. Call to Order
B. Election of Permanent Convention Chair
C. Appointment of Convention Secretary
D. Credential Report
E. Rules Report
F. Election of Convention Committee Members & Alternates
G. Consideration of Resolutions
H. Good & Welfare
I. Adjournment

SCHEDULE OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
The Resolutions Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 & Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Hart-Kennedy House, 606 Townsend St, Lansing MI 48911

Agenda: The Committee shall meet to consider resolutions proposed by County and District Conventions for the State Convention’s consideration. A call in option will be provided to District Chairs for distribution to committee members.

The Credentials Committee shall meet at the call of the Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party at the convention if necessary.

RULES
A. Proceedings of the Convention shall be conducted according to the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party, the Convention Call, these Rules, and Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, unless otherwise provided.

B. Actions to approve the Credential Report, Rules Report, Election of Convention Committee Members & Alternates, and Resolutions shall require a simple majority.

C. The Chair shall have authority to reject consideration of a motion that is deemed improper or dilatory. A motion shall be considered improper when it conflicts with the DNC Charter, MDP Rules, or an action previously taken by the Democratic Party.

D. Eligibility and voting procedures at Convention:

  1. In order to vote as a Delegate at the Convention, a person other than a precinct delegate, Democratic elected official, or Democratic nominee to partisan office must be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for at least thirty (30) days prior to January 29, 2017. Precinct delegates, Democratic elected officials, and Democratic nominees to partisan office must be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party on January 29, 2017 and may become members that day when they receive their credentials.
  2. No less than forty percent (40%) of the enrolled Democrats registering at the Convention constitute a quorum for any business.
  3. No proxies may be used.
  4. The unit rule, or any rules or practice whereby all members of a party unit, delegation or caucus may be required to cast their votes in accordance with the will of a majority of the body, shall not be permitted.
  5. Voice votes shall be permitted on the floor of convention and may be used to address convention business properly brought before the body.
  6. If a voice vote is inconclusive or improper under the circumstances, a hand vote shall be used except where a roll call is properly requested or required.
  7. Roll Call votes where proportional voting is applicable shall require voting by hand vote and may be reported as the actual vote to the Convention/ Caucus Chair who shall then compute the proportionate vote on the question, or may be reported as the already computed proportional vote.

E. The Chair of the Convention shall be allowed to exercise discretion in presenting Democrats to address the Convention.

January 21st rallies and marches

List of some of the January 21st rallies and marches happening the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, both in Washington, D.C. and locally.

1) Washington D.C.:  77 organizations, including NOW,  are collaborating to host  this march. All the appropriate permits have been obtained. It will begin at 10 AM and start at Independence Ave and Third Street SW. For further information, go to:

https://www.womensmarch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/ 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/27/womens-march-on-washington-dc-guide.

The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice has arranged for buses: www.icpj.org

NOTE: Michiganders attending the Washington, D.C. March are having at meet-up at Hancock Park at 8 a.m. the day of the March so that we can all march together. Details HERE.

2) Lansing, Michigan:  Rally on the Capitol steps in Lansing from 1-3 PM on Saturday, January 21. There will be music and speakers, including gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, Lavonia Perryman, Dizzy Warren and Gretchen Driskell.

The march will be followed by The Women Organize Michigan Summit at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. Details can be found at marchonlansing.org.

3) Ypsilanti, Michigan: March for Love, Resilience and Action :  This ad hoc group plans a procession route that will pass by and honor Ypsilanti locales significant to the movements for civil rights, women’s equality and human rights. It will conclude in a performance space where our people power will be celebrated as WE inaugurate OUR vision for an interconnected future. The procession will begin at 1:00 PM.  For details, go to
https://www.facebook.com/loveresilienceactionypsi/

4) Ann Arbor, Michigan: Women’s March Ann Arbor. 2-4 p.m. Meet up outside the Federal Building at 5th & Liberty before marching across the city and rallying at The Diag. This is a march in support of women’s and human rights, with speakers ranging from elected officials to activists and community leaders from across SE Michigan. Learn more and RSVP at WomensMarchA2.com.