Cheatham County Democratic Party
Regular Monthly Meeting
March 1, 2022, In Person and Phone at Pinnacle Bank
Present: Aric Storck (P), John Patrick (VP), Elena Roser (VP), Martha Wettemann (S), Lynn Newcomb (PP). Dist. 1, Prec. 1: Galen Gray, Rick Johnson, Roger Marriott. Dist 2: Mathew Binkley. Dist. 3: Lisa Walker. Dist. 4: Linda McGee, Dennis Barnes. Dist. 5, Joanne Jaworski, Beth Ervin. Dist. 6, Prec. 6-1: Gerald Dooley.
Excused: Karen Stell (T), Dist 3: Ryan Philipp, Lynn Seifert. Dist 5: Randy Fiedler, Kathryn Mitchem. Dist. 6: Jan Morrison, Michael Lottman.
Guests: Krystle James, Ken Rawn.
Committees: (committees are not limited to the Executive Committee):
Advocacy Committee: Martha Wettemann (chair), Rick Johnson, John Patrick, Linda McGee, Donna Baxter.
Elections Committee: John Patrick, Kathryn Mitchem (phone banking), Martha Wettemann, Jan Morrison.
Events Committee (including Forums): Randy Fiedler (chair), Michael Lottman, Roger Marriott, Lynn Newcomb, Ryan Philipp (event planning/coordination), Karen Stell, Linda McGee.
Social/Print Media: Michael Lottman (print chair), Karen Stell (web site chair)(advocacy posting on web site), Beth Ervin (social media).
Nominating: L. Newcomb, Elena Roser (co-chairs). Membership/recruitment- Ryan Philipp.
Federation of Democratic Women: Lynn Newcomb (chair), Joanne Jaworski.
Call to order: Chair A. Storck called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m., followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Attendance: A quorum was present. Motion by M. Wettemann/G. Dooley to excuse the people listed above as excused. The motion was carried.
Approval of Minutes and Agenda for the Meeting. J. Patrick/R. Johnson moved that we approve the minutes of the last meeting with corrections. The motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: The treasurer was absent and excused. Increase of $286.28 for a balance of $3887.26. Fundraiser results: Raised $395 in checks; additional amount from ActBlue.
- Wettemann reported on HB 2833 which would remove the ability for local school boards to decide whether to allow a charter school to operate in their district. The bill would bypass the local school board and go to a state Charter School Commission for approval. “Funding following the child” could give unlimited money to charter schools. The bill has been put off one week in the House Instruction Education committee. She asked that we continue to write to oppose the bill. The Tennessee School Boards Association is not supportive of the bill. The CCDP does support action on HB 2833 (opposition). In addition, the governor’s funding plan for the schools (TISA) has been introduced and was discussed. “Funding following the child” could mean unlimited funding for charter schools. D. Barnes said that the base amount, $6800, is not enough to afford a private school. Estimates are that Cheatham County would receive about $700 more. We are now 141st of 147 school districts in the state in terms of funding.
- Wettemann also reported on attending a recent fundraiser to support a lawsuit to which TNDP is a party on the gerrymandered lines drawn by the legislature to redistrict. She also discussed the presentation by Maria Brewer of TNDP on methods of outreach to the community that our local Democratic parties need to try (see attached).
Events Committee: Potential events were discussed. L. Newcomb discussed our previous all-candidate forum. In response to a question about information about candidates, the Cheatham County Exchange does allow each candidate to put one article in the paper in an election cycle.
Elections Committee: E. Roser said she is stepping down as chair of the Elections Committee since she is a candidate and has significant opposition. John Patrick has volunteered to take over as chair. After discussion, the Election Committee agreed that the following are recommended to be supported for election in Cheatham County: Lisa Walker (member of the CCDP Executive Committee) for County Commission, District 3; Diana P. Lovell, County Commission, Dist 5; Ed Greer, Dist. 6. Also, other officials include County Trustee Margie Jarrell (a strong Democrat). For School Board, Elena Roser is running in District 5 and John Patrick in District 1, both listed as independents. Other elections include the Governor, state senate, and state representative. The District 2 School Board position will be up for election in November.
Social/Print Media Committee: L. Newcomb reported that newsletters and social media are being used to inform people about the charter school bill.
- Patrick/G. Gray moved to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
Submitted by Martha Wettemann, Secretary.
March 19, 2022
NEXT MEETING: April 5, 6 p.m.
Update on Redistricting Lawsuits etc.
- Wettemann attended a fundraiser in February in support of the TNDP’s lawsuit on redistricting. Scott, the lawyer who worked under Geoge Barrett, is taking the case. Three individuals have filed a lawsuit (the party will pay their expenses) against the State Senate and House District maps based on the state Constitution (since the US Supreme Court in the Alabama case said there was not sufficient cause for the case to move forward before the 2022 election).
Why the maps are illegal based on the TN State Constitution:
- The state Constitution says that counties should not be split in different legislative districts, or as few splits as possible. R split 30 counties; there were maps presented that only split 23. This is not legal.
- According to the Constitution, if a county has several Senate Districts, there should be an equal number being voted on each year. The plan as voted on for Davidson County has 4 Senate Districts- 3 odd numbered and 1 even numbered. This is unfair because more people vote in even years when the governor and President get elected, so this could reduce the voter turnout in Davidson County in the Senate races. They want the districts renumbered to 2 even and 2 odd.
- A lawsuit on the Congressional district lines is forthcoming. Several groups such as the Equity Alliance and the League of Women Voters of Knoxville will be filing and the state will join.
TNDP Training Zoom Event: Maria Brewer did training on Outreach to the Community on Feb. 18. She included power points. Key Points:
- Maria had a good presentation with several county representatives presenting information (Rutherford and McMinn counties).
- Our goals- represent Democratic values; take part in community events (esp. where you are not expected), normalize citizenship, normalize democracy, we are the change we want to see. If we show who we really are, the lies of the R about who we are won’t stick.
- Have engaging conversations with people in the community- face to face, voice to voice, texting, social media. Meet new people and engage. Get email addresses and cell phone numbers for future contact. Manage volunteers- choose a software you like to keep track of volunteers, keep building contact lists. New contacts on the first rung of engagement. Work members up the ladder of engagement and develop new leaders. Also maintain the volunteers and leaders you have. Gave tips on holding meetings with potential volunteers and leaders.
- Events can include the usual- community events and parades and social gatherings , True Blue Tuesday,educational events. Elevate a candidate and connect to local issues. Rallies, protests, vigils (on national issues as well). Participate in national days of action- get other local groups involved.
- Precinct meetings- send invites to district- 2020 Democratic Voters . Each district has a meeting so they can see who represents them.
- Business meetings do not grow the party. – set goals. Have subcommittee huddles. Have actual activities for members to do in those committees. volunteers can check out what is going on with the different Committees. – engage the visitors, accomplish tasks. Create accountability and commitment for leaders.
- Membership growth actions: petition drives (combat bad legislation), electoral, legislative activism, school board and county commission meetings, tabling.
- Position yourself as a leader on an issue- call leaders to talk about an issue- generate ideas.
- Data collection- voter registration, sign up sheets, issue cards.
- Do community care events under the Democratic banner.
- Establish a Democratic women’s group. Be on others’ mail lists. Invite other groups to participate in events.
- Mapping community- what organizations are working in the community- build common goals.
- Plan strategy, share events, (press, etc), record success. Thank volunteers.
- McMinn county- building a county budget coalition.