“I am not a member of any organized political party — I’m a Democrat. ”
This quotation is frequently attributed to Will Rogers, well-known humorist and social commentator, who died in 1935. Whoever said it, it’s been quoted. A lot. Speaking for myself, “I am a member of an organized political party – I’m a Catawba County Democrat.” I can say this because of all the hard work Democrats have done over the years to organize our county party. Current party leadership is standing on the shoulders of giants. To everyone who has made phone calls, knocked doors, donated to the party, worked at the polls, planned events, run for office, cleaned and helped at headquarters, registered voters, organized precincts, served as a party official, handed out literature, or done any of the many things that help elect Democrats: Thank you! All your work has laid the foundation for a stronger party. Which brings me to 2021. Odd-numbered years in politics are less hectic – yes, there are municipal and school board elections, but nothing near as intense as 2020, a presidential-election year when North Carolina had the third-longest ballot in the nation. Odd-numbered years are intended to be a time for planning, organizing, and building. And, that is exactly what the Catawba County Democratic Party is doing. We’re doing this three principal ways: organizing precincts, launching standing committees, and developing a strategic plan to guide us. The attached newsletter will go into more detail about these precinct organization and the standing committees, but here’s the 30,000-foot preview.
The NC Democratic Party requires each county party to hold precinct organization meetings every year. The guidance for 2021 is to hold these meetings between March 6 and March 20. We’ve been reaching out to current precinct leaders and working to identify leaders in precincts that are not organized. We are sending each precinct lead a precinct organization packet. And, while many current precinct chairs may have already received a packet from the state party, our team put together a packet that is clear and suits our needs for holding these meetings virtually on Zoom. We’re sending this packet out to precinct leads the week of March 1. In addition, on Feb. 27, the NC Democratic Party approved our Alternative Plan of Precinct Organization, which means we are allowed to cluster adjacent precincts. For example, Oxford precinct is organized and there is at least one Democrat in the neighboring Claremont precinct who wants to be involved, so the two can be organized as a cluster with the Claremont Democrat aligned with Oxford while providing a “toehold” in Claremont.
Launching Standing Committees
It’s true. Many hands do make light work. We held an organizing meeting on Feb. 23 to launch standing committees to help us expand our presence and visibility in Catawba County as well as demonstrate our values of service, inclusion, and equal opportunity. There’s more detail on these committees in the newsletter. If you missed the meeting and want to get involved, reach out to a committee leader. The committees and their leads are: Candidate Recruitment: Nicole Jacobs Civic Engagement: Teresa Reichard Community Outreach: Tommie Abernethy Events: Kim Naff Voter Outreach: Delene Huggins and Melissa Snyder
Another committee launched on Feb. 23 is the Strategic Plan Committee. Per the NC Democratic Party’s guidance, county parties are tasked with developing a strategic plan in odd-numbered years to identify goals for the following two years and outline strategies to achieve them. Deborah Hollingsworth is leading this effort.
If you missed the Feb. 23 committee launch meeting and want to be involved, reach out to the committee lead. Since March is for precinct organizing and April 10 is our annual county convention, we anticipate updates from the committees at our May 25 meeting.
April 10: Save the Date
We’ll be holding our annual county convention on April 10 at 1 p.m. Like last year, it will be virtual using Zoom. Participants may also call in to the convention. We’ll elect delegates to the convention during the March precinct organization meetings. Delegates who attend the April 10 county convention will be voting on CCDP officers, CCDP members of the State Executive Committee, and members of the two congressional district Executive Committees (5th and 10th districts). In closing, here’s something Will Rogers did say: “It takes nerve to be a Democrat, but it takes money to be a Republican.” It does take nerve, especially in a county like ours where there are more than two registered Republicans for every Democrat. Catawba County Democrats have the nerve, the will, and the team. We can make a difference.
I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming precinct organization meetings and then at the April 10 county convention.
Lynn Dorfman, chair
Catawba County Democratic Party