“Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed / A nation that isn’t broken / But simply unfinished.”
Wasn’t Amanda Gorman and her poem remarkable? Not to mention the sheer wonderfulness of national leaders with dignity and integrity. It was great to “attend” the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with so many Catawba County Democrats. On Zoom. From my living room.
We Zoomed – again – with some 60 Democrats at our Jan. 26 executive committee meeting. I must admit it was exciting to have State Senator Jeff Jackson launch his 100-county campaign with us after announcing his U.S. Senate campaign just that morning. Former State Senator Erica Smith is also running. We’ve asked her to join us at a future meeting.
As a party, as you may know, we cannot endorse candidates if there’s going to be a primary. I explain it by saying it would be like me choosing one daughter over the other. Yet, it’s great to have so much energy already for the 2022 election. That energy will help us do our work to expand the electorate and get more people excited about electing Democrats.
We hadn’t had an executive committee business meeting since September 2020. You may recall how busy we were then. Thanks again to all our volunteers who helped with phone calls, working at the polls, distributing literature, curing ballots, and so much more. And, thanks, too, to ALL the people who made donations. We were able to fully fund a $19,000 Get-Out-the-Vote effort.
But, as Amanda Gorman reminded us, our work is unfinished. This brings me to 2021 and the work of the Catawba County Democratic Party. This is a year with a lot of required milestones.
First, a brief primer on North Carolina Democratic politics. We are a part of the state party, which means there are certain rules and requirements and a prescribed timetable for when things have to happen. We’re in an odd-numbered year, a time designated for county parties to get better organized to be better positioned for even-numbered major-election years.
Some things are required to occur every year, like precinct organization, which is vitally important. On Jan. 26, we approved a proposed alternative plan of precinct organization, which we hope to have approved before this year’s March precinct organization meetings. There’s more about precinct organization in the attached newsletter.
Other milestones only happen in odd-numbered years, such as the election of officers at the state and the county level as well as the election of our county’s representatives to the State Executive Committee (SEC), the governing body of the State Democratic Party.
A few words about SEC: Our county is allotted six SEC members – three women and three men. Deborah Hollingsworth, Delene Huggins, and I were elected in 2019. At our Jan. 26 meeting, we elected Cliff Moone to complete Ric Vandett’s term and join Steve Ivester and Gabriel Sherwood. These six serve until a new election at our April 10 county convention. Prior to that, your SEC representatives will attend the Feb. 27, 2021, SEC meeting. A big item on that agenda is to vote on the state Democratic Party officers. The good news is that one of our own – Highland Precinct Chair and longtime Democratic activist Shannon Auer – is running to be 3rd vice chair of the State Party.
That’s the state party. The election of your county party officers for 2021 to 2023 will be at the April 10 county convention, a Zoom session like last year. I am sad to report that Nancy Miller, who has ably and nobly served as treasurer for the past eight years, announced she will not seek reelection. When I think of Nancy’s considerable contributions, well, the Hamilton lyrics “right hand man” come to mind. Her assistance to this rookie has been invaluable.
Nancy’s not getting off easily. She agreed to chair the nominating committee for the 2021 – 2023 officers: chair; first, second, and third vice chairs; secretary; and treasurer. You will receive another email from the nominating committee this evening explaining the process, the positions, and the next steps.
In the meantime, there’s work to do. Based on our experience and what we heard from you at our Dec. 7, 2020, debrief, the officers want to establish standing committees to help with the work of the party. The proposed committees are: fundraising/events, community outreach, civic engagement, candidate recruitment, strategic plan, voter outreach, and HQ building. See the newsletter for draft descriptions of the committees. Our plan is to have the focus of our Feb. 23, 2021, meeting be on launching the committees.
I look forward to “seeing” you on Feb. 23.
For there is always light / if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.
Lynn Dorfman, chair
Catawba County Democratic Party