Minutes

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes
January 11, 2021  Zoom

Present: Al Alessi, Kate Donahue, Paul Regan, Meg Matz, Lynn Bohi, Jerry Hickson, Rep Tom Bock, Sheila Vowinkel, Evan Antel, Dottie Deans, Lizzy Shackelford, Nancy Sand, Sen. Alison Clarkson, Penny Benelli, Julie Lannen, Jon Felde, Christine Hoffman, rep. Heather Suprenant, Nancy Matthews, Rep. Kevin  Christie, Sen. Dick McCormack, Rep John Bartholomew, Ann Raynolds, Rep, Charlie Kimbell, Char Osterlund, Meg Brazil

 By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 1 , Bethel 1, Bridgewater 0, Chester 2, Hartford 2, Hartland 3, Ludlow 0 , Norwich  1, Pomfret 3 , Reading 0 ,  Rochester 2,  Sharon 0, Springfield 2 , Weathersfield 1  , Weston 0,  Woodstock  7, and Windsor 0.

Al called the meeting to order at 7:05pm.

 Treasurer’s Report:  There is in the bank $2536.02

Minutes:    Kate moved and Dottie seconded that the December minutes pass as presented. Motion passed.

Action Plan for 2021-2022

Lizzy had presented a draft.  

General conversation:  need to remember the importance of town offices, because they lead to possible legislative offices; Town Chairs need to know the rules  for how to file  for local offices as well as the general duties and expectations; Dottie will research the information for local officials;  Sec of State and VLCT  have job descriptions on their websites;  When this information is compiled it should be shared with Town Chairs in November or December;  media can be used to list openings for local offices ( listserves,  cable access TV, newspapers);  WCD should invite our Wash., DC officials to events;  Lizzy volunteered to help towns with how to set up a town committee;  don’t forget the Women Making a Difference lunch for 2021.

Walk line by line thru document, which produced some minor word changes and

  • Work with town committees to host at least 4 events in several places
  • In the rational, list all 6 Statewide offices

The VDP will discuss the State Action Plan in a few weeks. Our plan was tabled until Feb meeting in order to align with the state plan. Meanwhile, the Action Plan draft will be on the WCD website for further  changes.

New Business.

Leahy is up for election in 2022 and the Repubs will target him. VDP is working on this.

Where is still money on the bank, should WCD send letters to a few towns that need bolstering? Letters would go to SD people to encourage them to get involved and perhaps set up a town committee.   Or invite SDs to an event with Senators and their Rep(s) to inform them.

Other counties are hosting a Day of Action- some have a food drive or cook for a church dinner.

On January 20, there is a Vermont Senate Pro-Tem celebration with several former Pres. Pro Temps.  See VDP website to sign up.

The legislative Dem House and Senate caucus is live streamed each Tues at 12:00 or 12:15 on You Tube and the Senate on Facebook.  See VDP website for links.

Future meetings- after COVID, do we continue with Zoom, meet in person, move some meetings to the north and south. Have a mix?   Think about this for future discussion.

When Reps and Senators are at these meetings, they should be asked to talk.

  • Sen. McCormack quoted Winston Churchill- We are strong and we will be fine.
  • Rep Bock noted Alison is Majority leader and Charlie is VC of Commerce and he is Ranking member of Ag
  • Rep Christie noted he is Ranking member of Judiciary
  • Rep Bartholomew is happy to be on Transpo to work on climate change, since Transportation is Vermont’s largest carbon producing sector

Bill Moyers interviewed Heather Cox Richardson. It is worth listening to.

Kevin commended the book group idea since many BIPOC people in Windsor County live in fear.

The meeting adjourned at 8:47pm

Respectfully submitted, \

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes
December 14, 2020 Zoom meeting

Present: Al Alessi, Lynn Bohi, Sen., Alice Nitka, Doug Hart, Christine Hoffman, Rep. Tom Bock, Lizzy
Shackelford, Dottie Deans, Nancy , William Mayfield, Sen. Alison Clarkson, Rep. Becca White, Penny
Benelli, Sarah Bruce, Rep. Kevin Christie, Sen. Dick McCormack, Jon Felde, Julie Lannen, Meg Matz
From VDP: Kate Olney, Andy Haten, and Spencer Dole
Present by town: By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 0 , Bethel 1, Bridgewater 0, Chester 2, Hartford 4,
Hartland 2, Ludlow 1 , Norwich 1, Pomfret 1 , Reading 0 , Rochester 2, Sharon 0, Springfield 1 ,
Weathersfield 1 , Weston 0, Woodstock 3, and Windsor 0.
Al called the meeting to order at 7:05m.
Minutes: Lizzy moved and Alison seconded that the November minutes pass as presented. The motion
passed.
Treasurer: In the bank $2361.02 with all bills paid.
Book Group: The first meeting of the WCD book groups is Monday, January 19 at 7:00pm via Zoom. You
will need to register. The book is Dying of Whiteness. Please join and invite others.You may post on
local listserve.
Windham County diagram: This is a timeline of activities for January 2021 to November 2022 to get
ready for the next election; it is similar to WCD Action Plan.
 Next 4 weeks identify local openings on School and Selectboards. Find people to fill them, these
are not political offices. You need people who think clearly and care about your town. There are
no signatures needed during the pandemic, but they need to file paperwork by end of January.
 VDP in January will start trainings for town and countries
 Some bigger towns can pair with other bigger towns to mentor and perhaps encourage them to
become more active.
 Executive Committee will zoom on Monday, January 28 at 7pm to work on Action Plan. All are
welcome.
 We need to identify candidates for Vermont House and Senate and maybe Wash, DC.
 WCD may pair with Rutland County to prop them up.
The meeting adjourned at 8:19pm
Respectfully submitted,
Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes
November 9, 2020

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes

November 9. 2020 Zoom

Present: Al Alessi. Lynn Bohi, Chuck Gregory, Lizzy Shackelford, Jon Fiede, Dottie Deans, Evan Antel, Sarah Bruce, Doug Hart, Christine Hoffman, Jerry Hickson, Meg Matz, Ann Raynolds

Rep. John Bartholomew, Re Tom Bock, Rep Charlie Kimbell

Sen. Alice Nitka, Sen. Alison Clarkson, Sen. Dick McCormack

Present by town: By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 0 , Bethel 1, Bridgewater 0, Chester 1, Hartford 1, Hartland 3, Ludlow 2 , Norwich 1, Pomfret 3 , Reading 0 , Rochester 1, Sharon 0, Springfield 2 , Weathersfield 0 , Weston 0, Woodstock 5, and Windsor 0

Al called the meeting t order at 7:05pm.

Attendance was taken.

Minutes: These were newly posted to website and reviewed on screen. Alison moved and Lizzy seconded that the October minutes pass as presented. The motion passed.

Treasurer report: There is currently $2373 in the bank.

Review of races: Congrats to the 6 present who won and to others around the county. Statewide, the happy surprise was Lt Gov, while the other offices went as expected; even tho the Gov race went Repub. Also about 1/3of Vermonters voted for Trump.

Discussion: Can Dems focus on voter suppression? Dems cannot let down on the effort. All the calls and written items made a difference in state and out of state. 70 million people voted for Trump. How can we talk to them? How did the media become the enemy of the people? WE have had the fairness doctrine and anti corruption laws. Biden cannot unite the US alone. What can WC Dems do? Should this be a meeting topic? Can we reach across the aisle socially and find common ground, common good. Book Harvest the Votes by Jane Kleeb. Talk to Repubs about humanity not politics. We have to work hard for 2 years until the next election. Perhaps talk to Suzanne Butterfield, Repub County Chair, about how to find common ground. Repubs and Trumpists are different. We need to drive Dems to the polls. We need to win gracefully. Al sent an email this week, which several people responded to. WE can do more of this. Democratic problems: age, energy, progressives who accept the Lincoln project former Repubs. Books to read: Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance and Deer hunting with Jesus by Joe Pagaent and What Unites Us by Dan Rather.

Communication: new tools this year include Zoom, groups.io, many many internet sites. Can we start political book groups? Suggest 3-4 books and discuss every other 4th Monday. Idea is to involve more people and get our base involved.

Georgia run off races for 2 Senate seats: should we send money, is that the best thing? People in Georgia are working hard. Stacy Abrams group called Fair Fight www.fairfight.com is very important and effective. Call banks may not work when northerners call southerners. We need Ossoff and Warnack to both win.

Signs: WCDC need a distribution and collection system.

Announcements: Nov. 14 VDP on zoom WCDC Executive Committee on Nov 23.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes
October 12, 2020 Zoom

Present: Al Alessi, Char Osterlund, Paul Regan, Tristan Anderson (field director) Lynn Bohi, Christine Hoffman, Penny Benelli, Alison Clarkson, Donna Williamson, Lizzy Shackelford, Julie Lannen, Alice Nitka, Sheila Vowinkel, Havah Walther, Sarah Bruce, Meg Matz

Present by town: By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 0 , Bethel 0, Bridgewater 1, Chester1, Hartford 2, Hartland 2, Ludlow 1 , Norwich 0, Pomfret 1 , Reading 0 , Rochester 2, Sharon 0, Springfield 2 , Weathersfield 0 , Weston 0, Woodstock 4, and Windsor 0

Al called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.

Announcements: Signs: The Biden signs are missing, probably not coming. Al has a few left. Meg has 1 Biden and 5 Molly Gray.

Minutes: Alison moved the September minutes pass as distributed. Paul R seconded. The motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: In the bank is $5213, with $200 to $250 more received, not yet deposited. The candidate checks have not been sent, but will be in the next two days.

Tristan’s report: The priority is for lit drops for the next 3 weekends. The program was put together quickly with a goal of 20,000 hoses, but Sen. Saunders said 40,000. It targets just Democrats. To sign up for the lit drop, go to www.mobilize.us/vtdems/event/318772 . There are also phone banks involving talking to people. The texting program has been completed. For calls, the expectation is 50 calls in 2.5 hours. Not many people pick up, but it is a reminder to vote.

Lizzy has been connecting to battle ground states via phone and text. Go to www.leanleftvt.org/make-calls or www.reclaimourvote.org for non partisan GOTV.

VDP says Molly Gray has a high priority for work and funding.

Signs: WCDC needs a plan for distribution for 2 years from now. Maybe Town Chairs can be the contact. Or a website like Zuckerman’s that has a map of where signs are in each town.

Platform: The platform was adopted just a few weeks ago. Perhaps it should be written in a non- election year, after the re-org has finished.

Monday meetings: Perhaps we do not all need to meet each Monday. It was suggested First Monday would be general any topics, 2nd Monday remains regular meeting, 3rd Monday Executive Committee, and 4th Monday Town Chairs. Maybe the town Chairs do not need a monthly meeting– let the Chairs decide the regularity. Perhaps we meet on 2nd and 4th Mondays only, with Exec every other 4th Monday or 30 minutes prior to 2nd Monday regular meeting.

Announcements:

The Senators are scheduling honk and waves. They will send schedule to Al, who will post in groups.

Think about a countywide car caravan of maybe 50 cars going from town green to town green stopping for maybe 5-10 minutes to rally. This needs real organization with a list of when the cars will arrive in each town.

Penny’s email: pbenelli@dakinbenelli.com

The meeting adjourned at 8:25pm

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee notes
October 5, 2020 zoom

Present: Al Alessi, Meg Matz, Paul Regan, Lynn Bohi, Sen. Alice Nitka

General discussion topics:  COVID, Trump, transparency of Trump’s doctors, national Senate races

Signs:  there are 4 Biden left and 4 Molly Gray at Meg’s, Zuckerman’s website has a map of towns with signs to share, more Biden signs should be coming this week to Meg’s house

Sharon: Al reached out to the delegates and got connected

Groups io works well for Exec Committee, but other sub groups do not seem to be active. Al will make a new group for delegates about what they need to know

Website www.mobilize.us has several ways to get nvolved in NH, Vermont via phone or lit drops

After the elections thought:   make the Mondays more topic specific.  First Monday would be general any topics, 2nd Monday remains regular meeting, 3rd Monday Executive Committee, and 4th Monday Town Chairs. There will be more discussion on this possible change.

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes Special Meeting
October 1, 2020

Present: Judy Bevans, Rep. John Bartholomew, Lizzy Shackelford, Christine Hoffman, Al Alessi, Lynn Bohi, Meg Brazill, Penny Benelli, Julie Lannen, Sen. Alison Clarkson, Rep. Annemarie Christenson, Rep. Tom Bock, Robert Johnston

Al called the meeting to order at 7:08pm.

Candidate financing topic

Treasurer’s report: in the bank there is $5243 plus some coming from Act Blue.

Meg moved the WCDC spend up to $3000 for House candidates, $900 for Senate candidates, and $1000 for advertising. Dottie seconded. The motion passed. The Executive committee will decide where the money goes. Al has not yet heard back from all the candidates about how much financial help they would appreciate. Specifically, Chester and Springfield.

Announcements:

Tomorrow is Dottie’s birthday.

Curtis-Hoff fundraising event is this weekend. You need a $50.00 access pass which can be found at vtdemocrats.us/accesspass. Raffle tickets cost $5.00 at vtdemocrats.us/raffle

The meeting adjourned at 7:40.

Respectfully submitted

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee notes
August 31, 2020 zoom

Present: Al Alessi, Lynn Bohi, Niki Thran, Paul Regan, Lizzy Shackelford, Chuck Gregory, Meg Matz, Cindy Metcalf, Alice Nitka, Sarah Bruce, Gina McAllister, Dick McCormack, Dottie Deans

Announcements: 

Senate will talk and decide how WCD can help with funding

Rochester Dems are holding a Senate forum on October 7- WCD suggested it be recorded and sent to cable access TV stations

David Zuckerman- P/D has asked to attend a WCDC meeting. Al will ask Molly Gray –D if she would like to also.

State Committee meeting September 12- electing a new Chair same day platform committee meeting 

October 3 VDP Leadership Awards:  Great guest speaker is coming virtually.  Each co is asked to prepare a basket of local products for a raffle.   There will be breakout rooms too.

Focus was lawn sign ordering for Biden Harris

  • Note to selves: next time, ask each town chair for how many people want signs and tell total number to WCDC
  • Al is ordering 300 on his credit card- each sign costs $5.00 and is 18×24
  • Orange Co wants 80 and will pick up
  • Meg Matz volunteered to accept delivery and  store signs in her garage  phone 345-9339cell, and 457-1765 landline  address 40 Evergreen in Woodstock off College Hill
  • Gina will pick up Reading and Weathersfield
  • Sarah wall pick up Hartland
  • Lizzy will pick up Rochester, Bethel
  • Chuck G wall pick up Springfield and Chester
  • Senators will bring their signs to Meg’s garage by Saturday
  • When to put out- Sept 21 starts voting
  • Where can signs go- private property 1 car length from edge of road

Cindy is Kirk White’s campaign manager. He is in the district shared with Rutland Co. Rutland Co has been doing social media postings for Kirk. Can WCDC do that too?  It seems to be a canned template with text and picture. They also have one with a map of towns and reps that says lets elect a Full House. Al will ask Rutland Co Chair for template.

Miscellaneous

Weathersfield has 3 running for 1 seat:  John Arrison-D, Michael Kell-R, and Sean Whaler-I

Ask me anything campaign: it is bcc to all on WCD email list, it is daily, each day someone asks a question of candidate and everyone can see the answer. Chuck will try it in Springfield.

How to mail in ballot- if your town has one at post office put it in the box/slot labeled LOCAL. It should not have to go out of town then. 

Share good items on social media

Daily COS is a weekly article with a good news roundup

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes

August 10.2020 Zoom

Present: Al Alessi, Lynn Bohi, Penny Benelli, Lizzy Shackelford, Michael Martin, Christine Hoffman, Char Osterlund, Doug Hart, Rep Tom Bock, Chuck Gregory, Donna Williamson, Nancy Sanz, Kate Donahue, Sen. Dick Mc Cormack, Julie Lennon, Havah Armstrong Walther, Judy Bevans, Bob Williamson, Meg Matz, Dottie Deans, Paul Regan, Sen. Alice Nitka, Rep. Kevin Christie, Meg Brazil

By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 0 , Bethel 1, Bridgewater 1, Chester2, Hartford 4, Hartland 3, Ludlow 1 , Norwich  0, Pomfret 1 , Reading ,  Rochester 2,  Sharon 0, Springfield 4 , Weathersfield  , Weston 0,  West Windsor 0, Woodstock 3, and Windsor 0

Al called the meeting to order at 7:13pm.

Secretary Report:  Chuck G moved that the July minutes pass as presented. Penny seconded. The motion passed.

Treasurer Report: Bank balance as of end of July is approximately $4995. That includes all deposits made and all bills paid.

Election of Vice Chair:  Niki is moving out of the county. Dottie nominated and Meg B seconded that Lizzy Shackelford be the Vice Chair. The motion passed.

Election of State Committee Rep:  Char nominated Christine Hoffman and Judy seconded. The motion passed. 

Goals and objectives for the next 85 days: 

  • VDP is hiring field staff for virtual events and phone calls. 
  • Who will distribute lawn signs- maybe  field staff
  • All 3 WC Sen.  will have signs for all 3 candidates
  • Al will buy an ad on facebook for WC- one week costs around $20.00
  • Retiring Rep Sam Young is very adept with virtual campaigning
  • Joe Biden will have a Vermont person
  • Our focus is this county and Statewide
  • Think about having zoom forums based on national or state  issues with local candidates- could combine 1-2 Rep districts—could address what Dems can do for you
  • Pick 3-4 topics, sponsor by 3-4 town committees- get donations and new volunteers
  • Forums can be recorded and shared with public access TV stations
  •  Legislature starts again Aug.  25 to discuss mostly the budget.  Need to get the word out.
  • All democratic candidates will gather on the Statehouse steps Thursday, Aug 13- it will be on facebook
  • The Dem National Convention starts next Monday, Aug. 17. It is virtual so all can attend.
  • Asha from VDP can do instagram
  • Platform committee had a report, but Becca is not here tonight
  • Swing left is a national movement. Judy set up a website VTBSO (vote the bastards out). Check it out.
  • It would be helpful to have some general documents on WCD website  to help town chairs

The meeting adjourned at 8:23pm.

Next Monday’s agenda is communicating: facebook ads, topics for forums with dates, all are welcome to bring ideas.   August 17

Respectfully submitted,

 Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes and notes

Windsor County Democratic Committee notes August 3, 2020 Zoom meeting

Present: Al Alessi, Kate Donahue, Dottie Deans, Lynn Bohi, Jerry Hickson, Judy Bevans, Donna Williamson, Havah Armstrong Walther, Nancy Matthews

To prepare for 2 elections next week, State Committee rep and Vice Chair, jobs were described.

State Committee Rep

This is not a policy making body. The function is to elect Dems. The county reps job is to report what they see at home to help the Execs make decisions, and be the loyal opposition.  They have oversight of the budget and hear staff reports.  Another function is how the counties can help the state. There is not much contested stuff.   Every meeting is different.  Good to hear thoughts from other counties. When candidates come, it is substantive.  Meetings are 2 hours to 2.5 hours.  The goal is to grow the Party. It is like a board of directors. Communication is important- when a rep can’t attend a meeting, the alternates must be contacted. 

Vice Chair from the WCDC bylaws

The Vice Chair shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the Chair in the absence or disability of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Chair, with input from the WCDC.

Miscellaneous

The Sec of State today said mail in your ballot by Aug. 3 to make sure it arrives by August 10.

The VAN needs work, as always. Much of the data is out of date.

The DNC convention is this month. Check out VDP website for details.  Town and county chairs should ask VDP for information. 

To grow the party, state, county or town, when you get an email,  ask yourself if this might be a Dem and put the email on a list and check it out. Al would like instant contact with 1000 people, via email. (To clarify — add it by sending to chair@windsorcountydemocrats.org or ask them if they’d like to be connected!)

Forum last week: Heather’s Facebook said she was endorsed by the Prog Party. Al asked Heather if she would run as a Prog if she lost the primary. Al asked Havah if she would run as an Independent if she lost the primary. Both said no. 

Meeting adjourned at 8:16pm. 

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

July 27th Notes from Windsor 4-2 Candidate Forum plus additional discussion.

Present: Al Alessi, Phil Dechart, Laura Kent, Amy Robb, Joanna Long, Heather Suprenant, Dottie Deans, Alison Clarkson, Becca White, Tom Bock, Marjorie Wakefield, Havah Armstrong Walther, Jim Robinson, Betsy Rhodes, Evan Antel, Randall Szott, Jennifer Grant, Teo Zagar, Mike Reese, Geri Fields, Chuck Gregory, Ann Raynolds, Julie Krauss, Nancy Mathews, Vicki Ward, Paul Belaski, Doug Hart, Jerry Hickson, Christine Hoffman, Michael Ward

Amy Robb opened the candidate forum for Windsor 4-1 (Barnard, Pomfret, West Hartford and half of Quechee) at 6:39.  Candidates are Heather Suprenant, and Havah Armstrong Walther.  Amy welcomed all people present. She had developed questions and had sent them to both candidates. Others are welcome to ask questions in the chat function.  The forum will be from 6:30 to 7:15.

Q.  Who are you, where do you live am why are you running?

Heather: I was raisedinRandolph and nowlive in Barnard on a farm, and organic farm.  I am running because I think politics should be accessible to all.  Also because a younger voice is missing in the legislature and I want to bring my energy there.

Havah: I live in Hartford in the Jericho-Dothan district. This is a complicated world. I am a small business owner so I worry about businesses. They need sustainable growth, not a slash and burn government.  My goals are to retain young people, to expand the labor pool with young people.  The country has urban flight, especially of young people. We need to invest in Vermont energy, farms, and small business and to help Vermont be attractive. Another goal is to look at the legislature hard and at how we can complement the two sides and expand the tax base and invest.

Q: Tell us youth top three agenda items. If it will cost money, how you would support them.

Havah: Small businesses and non-profits are 30% of Vermont’s economy.  Funnel money to small businesses. The loans from the Feds keep the economy afloat.  We need access to resources. My second item is infrastructure. 

Heather: Economic dignity and income equality, increasing understanding of social justice. Details: housing, access to education. Vermont is divided between those struggling and others. My number one priority is workers at small businesses. People lack access to food. We need to merge farms with food insecure. About social justice, we are a white state. The education system should be welcome to all. 

Q from Chuck G: State tax data says 6% Vermonters make $62K. 2.63 million pay 50% more.

Heather: Need to restructure the tax system to a percentage of income. The brackets hurt middle and lower income people. People who work 40 hours should not have to struggle.

Havah: The tax burden needs to be more equitable. The top rackets say they need help, while working families struggle. Second homes could be taxed and non-Vermonters. We need tax relief for more costly houses and can re-invest that in Vermont programs. 

Q: opinions on family leave?

Havah: family leave is very important, especially during COVID. Many families would  have no health care if not for family leave.  Combine with Medicaid, payroll tax and integrate the system. 

Heather:  I’m in favor 100% of family leave. I do question the effect on small businesses, who should not shoulder the cost.

Q; if you are elected what 2 committee would you like to serve on?

Heather: Agriculture.  As a sustainable farmer, my voice is left out as Vermont focuses on dairy. I can shed light on how small farms dismantle climate change and are a resource for families without food. I also have a background in social justice. I will bring the voice of young Vermonters compassion. 

Havah: Commerce and Economic Development. They cover small businesses, banking, workers’ comp, and workforce development.  My second is human services; I’ve worked with a risk people all my life. I can bring experience from my neighbors and co-workers. 

Q  from Evan; How can you attract youth and businesses? Any specific sector?

Heather: Attract and Keep. Especially keep. I left and came back. I know why people leave: financial burden.  Taxes are high; there is not much public transportation. The young people who stay are going into farming. We should also invest in the tech centers to grow industry in the state. People need resources to stay.

Havah: Tech center is a great idea. I used to work at HACTC. My experience says all jobs need after high school training. Some sectors are energy and creative economy. But all sectors need labor, especially early education and construction.’

Heather: Industries lack people.   In some industries workers are not supported due to COVID.WE can’t invite them to jobs without support.

Havah:  We all need universal health care.

Q from Becca: The Statehouse can be stressful. How do you handle stress?

Heather: I’ve learned nothing is in your control in farming; nature, pests, customers you can’t control any of them. If I were not OK with stress, I would not farm. I’m ready for new battles.

Havah: coffee and chocolate.  No. I’m in human service work and stress is part of my job.  There are always many balls in the air. Human needs change all the time. 

Q from Teo: WE are facing a potential implosion of the Constitution or a takeover by nationalists or theocrats

Heather: Citizens can protest, use your voice. Educate yourself and others about events.

Havah: I wrote a thesis on this. Yugoslavia and Taiwan. There was break down in civil talks. Minority groups (subdivisions in culture) neo-fascism equals loss of power.  People always need a fall guy (people of color).  How can you fix it? Educate people about what is transpiring, what the process is; people need to know these 2 things. Laws are bad, they are afraid, need to know justice. 

Q: please put your contact info in chat.

Havah: havah@havahforvermont.com  291-2096

Heather: heather 4vthouse@gmail.com272-7943

Q: Why are you’re a democrat, where do you see Dems going?

Heather: I was raised by a conservative father. Liberals value what is important to me.  Dems push forward policies.

Havah:  Dems support unions, families, and the environment and thoughtfully go forward. Now is the time to do this in Vermont.

Thanks to both candidates. This has been recorded and will be posted on WCDC facebook page and other places. https://youtu.be/C9nwGfw7H_4

Following the Candidate Forum Al called the meeting to order at 7:20.

Senator Alison Clarkson and Rep Becca White were asked about how Vermont’s Federal money was spent.  Rep. Tom Bock had been present earlier, but was not at this point.

Alison: We need Fed money, especially education money.  So far spending only goes until Dec. Housing ad $600,000, which is gone. Additional dollars for unemployed kept people in their homes, by being able to pay the mortgage or rent.  There was a $25million package in rental assistance, which will not help for that long. There are 76,000 renters and 1/3 need assistance, which is $1500 per family. This continues until the Gov’s emergency order is dropped.

Becca: so many people were hit so hard. There are cracks in our system. Our work connects people to resources.  We spent $1billion overall.  It went to milk producers and processers, forests and Ag to fill in the cracks. I’m proud of Vermont and people listening.  The process was hard and it was easy to miss issues. If you see a need, please contact your legislators. 

Alison: VT housed all homeless people in one week with no COVID cases resulting. We will have motels for sale soon.  SEVCA worked to connect farms and food insecure families. 

Becca: Racial Justice has caused many people to contact us. We moved money to justice, blocked chokeholds by VT sate police only, and improved training on one bill.

Announcements: 

Candidate forum: Sunday afternoon, August 2, there is a forum for the Windsor. Hartland, West Windsor district.

The National Democratic party platform: There are some Bernie delegates who will not vote for the platform if it does not have Medicare For All in it.  Some felt The Democratic Party has been taken over by Progressivess, just like the Repubs were taken over by the tea party. After discussion, there is often controversy over the platform and it all works out OK.  No one (no Pres. Candidate) looks at the platform. No conclusions drawn, but in general folks remaining felt the discussion needed to be had.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45.

July 13, 2020

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes

July 13.2020 Zoom meeting

Present: Al Alessi, Sheila Vowinkel, Gene Kraus, Dottie Deans, Tom Bock, Steve Matush, Char Osterlumd, Paul Belaski, Kathy Stankevich, Chuck Gregory, Judy Bevand, Doug Hart, Lynn Bohi, Niki Thran, Penny Benelli, Alison Clarkson, Becca White, Lizzy Shackelford, Nancy Sanz, Bob Williamson, Jennifer Grant, Christine Hoffman, Hava Walther, Kevin Christie, Paul Regan, Gina McAllister, Donna Williamson, Meg Matz, Alice Nitka, Robert Johnson and special guest TJ Donovan.

By Town: Andover 0, Barnard 0 , Bethel 1, Bridgewater 1, Chester2, Hartford 5, Hartland 3, Ludlow 1 , Norwich 0, Pomfret 1 , Reading 2, Rochester 2, Sharon 0, Springfield 4 , Weathersfield 0 , Weston 0, Woodstock 6, and Windsor 1

Al called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

Minutes: the June minutes may not have been sent out, and were postponed until august.

Treasurer: Currently in the bank $4887.22. Trivia brought in $393.75.

Elections: State Committee rep: Dottie nominated and Bob W seconded Judy Bevand. Discussions about the job description lead to postponing the election until August.

TJ Donovan, Attorney General

Vermont joined the suit against ICE and Pres. Trump which would expel foreign students if the college they attend will be holding only on line classes. UVM has 600 foreign students. Several states are in this legal case.

We need to win in November and elect Joe Biden. It will take all of us to work. TJ is talking to many county committees.

There is a bill in the legislature about use of force by police. The state should have one policy. California has good language for this. The necessary use of force is an issue as are de-escalation training, mental health training, and racism in the criminal justice system. Looking at Corrections numbers should reflect the percentages in the population. Blacks in general are almost 2% and but 10% of prison population. More implicit bias training is needed for judges and lawyers. Change the standard and then train to the standard. The reasonable person standard only looks at the last few seconds of an incident. It can cause deaths. He was involved in a case which bothers him because the man did not need to die, if different strategies had been used. He would like to see police exhaust all options before using force. Communication, compassion and empathy are important. Police need the public to trust them. The police know they need to change and are willing to change. Everyone should be treated fairly and evenly and with transparency.

COVID duties at AG’s office. His office enforces the Governor’s Executive orders. They do so by explaining the order, and asking people to comply. He wants a government that helps people, trusts people, and exhausts all options. He thanks all Vermonters for being smart and safe about COVID.

Questions:

Q: Sen. Robert Peal had 9 principals of policy- do you know what they are?

A: no idea.

Q; we have seen severa examples of racism lately. Any advice?

A: We see an increase in bad, ugly, behavior. We have to be better than that. Protest. Protest on every corner. This is a civil rights violation. In the past, ugly would get cut off at dispatch. Now it needs to be documented, counted. If you get no response, we think everyting is OK. Now say this is not OK, and it should be looked into.

Q: The percentage of blacks in the population vs prision—any idea why?

A. race, bias, drugs. This involves courthouses, lawyers, and judges. Most prosecutors ask for bail and blacks go to jail, having fewer resources. People do not want to be in jail, so they plead out and end up with a record. We can’t de-humanize people. We shouldn’t let comments pass, but we should ask and talk about racism.

Kevin Christie: Thanks for being here, TJ and for your willingness to be aggressive about understanding your role. The discussion needs to be retrospective. We’re dealing with systemic racism which needs to be understood and dismantled. This will be a long process.

TJ: the bar assn has a 21 day racial equality reading and discussion package which is introspective with raw talk. My office is trying to lead by example.

Q: Winooski police officer said racist comments, should people go to classes about reparation or restoration?

A: a person has to be willing to learn. Vermont is white. We need to have all sorts of people in the room making decisions for all. We need a level field for all.

Q: There are2 new books: Slavery by Another Name and The New Jim Crow.

Q: Can you google the 9 principles?

A: mine are: Less force, more trust, standardize policies.

TJ was thanked for his service and for sharing time with WCDC.

State committee: Are there others interested in being a State Committee member? If yes, please look at the VDP website for a job description and the time requirements. Contact Al, Dottie, or Char, who are or have been members. To contact Al, he has a new email: chair@vtdemocrats.org

Vice Chair: We can vote in August, since Niki is still here until then. ‘

The meeting adjourned at 8:34pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

July 6, 2020One of our weekly Monday evening sessions.

Present: Al Alessi, Julie Krauss, Becca White, Evan Antel, Doug Hart, Lynn Bohi, Meg Matz, Sen. Alice Nitka, Linda Gravell (Washington Co Chair)

Al called the meeting to order at 7:10pm.

After 3 weeks, the Windsor County Dispatch has re- started.  It was reviewed.  Al needs help with content.  700 to800 people receive this, so good way to advertise.  Washington Co has a once a month newsletter.

WCD website has a new URL and look.   https://windsorcountydemocrats.org/towns/vermont-democratic-party-website/    please look at it and send comments to Al.

Al now has a WCD address. chair@Windsorcountydemocrats.org. We should be able to do facebook ads now.

Justice of the Peace:   Discussed requirements and viewed Sec of State’s website.  Town Dems need to caucus to nominate people.  Need to advertise in 3 public places, including Town Clerk office.  Larger towns need ad in newspaper.   It won’t hurt to use listserve/ front porch forum.  It would be nice to get some young people. Much discussion over how many to nominate.  Most towns divide the number in half and nominate that number and the Repubs do the same.  Your town may have independents too.  The Sec of State’s JP guide is https://sos.vermont.gov/media/zaalj01i/jp-guide-2019.pdf.   This is in groups io and the WC Dispatch.

Fundraising:  The trivia night raised about 2 months of pass the hat.  Wash Co is having an art auction. We could have a tee shirt fundraiser via email. It could be a tee shirt, a bag, a hat. Wash Co found this is not a money raiser, but good for visibility.  We could have a “shots” contest where  all drink a shot to much noise. The last one sitting upright is the winner.  Discussion about do we write letter asking for funds for WCD or do we promote Dem Club.  More discussion is needed. 

Next meeting is Monday, July 13 when we need to elect a State Committee Person and a Vice Chair for r WCDC.  

June 30, 2020

Windsor County Democratic Committee notes — Zoom meeting June 29, 2020 – not a monthly meeting, an open Monday night meeting to discuss the State Democratic Party Platform

Present:  Al Alessi, Doug Hart. Lynn Bohi, John Hazen (Windham CO), Julie Kraus, Gene Kraus, Chuck Gregory, Dottie Deans, Gina McAllister, Rebecca Holcombe, Meg Matz, Jon Felde, special guest Terje Anderson. 

Al called the meeting to order at 7:05.

The platform should reflect the shared values of all Vermont Democrats. 

Principals

VDP believes in a government that creates and supports opportunity…..

The mantra- remove sentence. Replace with “VDP stands for a fair tax system where everyone benefits.” And keep next sentence.

It was decided to not to edit to this extent. We then focused on adding or subtracting ideas. There is a 3 person committee trying t make the document more concise, and to update it. 

It would be good to have most ideas stated in a positive manner.

Opportunities

  • Combine items 2 and 4- full employment and jobs.
  • The last item is vague.
  • Item 3 – remove sentence with capitalism and greed. Replace with concept VDP believes in the right to organize and to join unions, include migrant workers.

Fairness

  • Condense 2 and 3—both are public education
  • Item 4-one time funds- say this as a positive
  • Items 4 and 5-combine funding issues

Equality and Equity

  • Item 2 policing-  civil oversight of police 
  • Item 3- divisive rhetoric- needs positive language
  • Item 4- slavery in constitution- update—need to keep and say continue good work
  • Add abuse of power by police and use of  deadly force

Community- this is all except item 7 has to do with health care, health and welfare, well being

  • Item 7-aging-  add disabling conditions instead of disabled
  • Item 8  housing-  move elsewhere

Safety and Justice

  • Item 2 say it positively- welcoming, sanctuary
  • Items 3,4,5,6 seem in wrong order- try 3,5,4,6
  • Item 7 marijuana too long
  • Talk about right to speedy trial
  • Talk about police in schools, yes, no???

Stewardship

  • Item 6 polluters-  people effected by contamination  pls add healthcare consequences
  • Add renewable energy
  • Think about green new deal

Democracy

  • Item 2 voting and registration –  maybe voter registration and voting
  • Item 3 dark money- very negative- think of other language
  • Item 4 campaign finance reform- beef this one up
  • Add holiday for election day for whole state, not just state workers

General comments

  • Use we believe or we oppose- instead, state the action to be taken
  • Climate change- call for specifications
  • Justice- police focus on law enforcement not social work
  • Police- if you use lethal force, use it responsibly
  • Police- funding- add mental health funds
  • Legal system- should be fair, speedy and equally applied to all:  no one is above the law
  • Police- overall evaluation of how to use a police force

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

May 11, 2020

Present: Al Alessi, Sheila Vowinkel, John Holmes, Sen. Alice Nitka, Bill Kuch, Meg Matz, Paul Belaski, Kate Donahue, Dottie Deans, Niki Thran, Sen. Alison Clarkson, Sen. Dick McCormack, Bob Williamson, Julie Lannen, Lynn Bohi, Doug Hart, Sarah Carter, Rep Becca White, Evan Antel, Hava Walther, Jon Felde, Rep John Bartholomew, Julie Harden,  Heather from Barnard    

By Town: Barnard 1, Bethel 1, Hartford 4, Hartland 5, Ludlow 1, Norwich 1, Pomfret 3, Springfield, and 2, Weathersfield 1, Woodstock 3, and Windsor 2

Al called the meeting to order after some technical difficulties at 7:03.

Secretary’s Report:   April 13 minutes were passed as presented.

Treasurer’s Report:  They are working on income and expense categories.

Fundraising:  Former methods were discussed. 

  • Letter:  in the past, this was successful bringing in $3000+. It should be mailed in late June or early July.  Last time 800letters were sent. VDP has sent AL 338 names.  Bill has the list of 800 and who contributed. The problem will be how to personalize the letter during a pandemic.   We need a group to focus on how to make the letter function. Perhaps send the names electronically and have people pick those whom they know.
  • Sec. reports in 2018,  $3200 initially and additional $1500 to $2000 after letter and pasta party       was given to candidates.  Asst Treas. reports that in 2013, $4100 was given to House candidates and $600 to Senate.
  • WCD should support local newspapers by paying to advertize our candidates.
  • Support the VDP Dem Club and donate 10% to WCDC.
  • Zoom Event:   this should be something fun while raising money.  It needs a committee. Niki, Becca, and Meg volunteered.  Ideas: political trivia, prizes, funny hats.

How to spend what we raise:   Candidate support, Scholarships, VDP events, Advertising, Events, Tech tools.

Forums:   Lt. Gov. forum May 25 and Gov. June 1.  There is space for 100 on Zoom. It will be live streamed on Facebook.  The Exec Committee will figure out format.  How to receive questions is up in the air. Perhaps in the chat function.

Communications:  Al will try to have more regular meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

————————————————————————————————————————————

Notes from April 27

Present: Al Alessi, Lynn Bohi, Doug Hart,  Niki Thran, Havah Walther, Becca White, Evan Antel, Jennifer Grant, Penny Benelli, Meg Matz, Kate Olney 

Fundraising ideas: Trivia night; direct mail letter- will have to change how to do this and Kate sent Al a list of 338 SD who also give money; pasta party; Town Chairs can get a list from Town Clerk  of who voted in the primary Dem Club:  10% can go to the county, House or Senate if so designated.  It has a monthly Zoom meeting with guests. You need to be invited. www.vt.democrats/dem   Evan talked about his project to have a core of Town Dem committee call people identified on VAN as SD to update on town activity, to get email and to check current data.  Are other town committees active?  Pomfret did not have much success. VAN does not have many eddresses or cell numbers. VDP plans to use more digital tools in this era of COVID. They need help to get more data. LT Gov forum:  May 25 with all 4 candidates.  It will be live streamed on facebook. There is a limit of 100 people. All people must register beforehand to prevent Zoom bombing.  Listeners will have no audio.  The Exec Committee will organize the forum.  We may ask for donations and if you donate over $10.00 a %age will go to Haven or VDP. The announcement will ask people to submit questions in advance.  Niki and Doug volunteered to organize questions.  Al is working out an eddress to use to collect questions. Penny, Doug and AL are working on expense and income categories for the financial report. (Notes by the amazing Lynn Bohi!)

Minutes from Windsor County Democratic Committee April 13th meeting

Al called the meeting to order at 7:03pm

Zoom: Al discussed Windsor County towns using the county Zoom program.

Visitors from VDP were welcomed: Asha Carroll and Kate Olny.

 David Zuckerman, current Lt Governor and candidate for Governor was welcomed. David said he is doing much work with the Senate, which now has remote roll call voting.  He said all political parties are working well together now.  All in person meetings are suspended because public health is the number 1 priority for all.  However, this is hard for him because he likes to meet people and it is what he has been doing for his 20 years working on policy issues, such as GMO, cannabis, marriage equality, and minimum wage.   

David said he is running for Governor because half of people were living paycheck to paycheck when the economy was good; the climate has 12 to 20 years to change the curve; he has been elected by people to do something in the past.  We need to change the direction of Vermont to be proactive.  He has nothing bad to say about Phil Scott.  He noted that several good things done by the Gov, like gun bills, sticking with the Paris Accord for the climate, and even COVIID, have all been reactive, not proactive. 

David has a face time event 3 times per week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:30am.  Lately, it is about what COVID teaches us now about society and what to change and what to keep.

Asked his main issues, he replied: rural economy,  climate crisis, and broadband.  His vision for the future is we all need resources and people can contribute more. He has been a social policy leader on guns, welcoming others, opening housing laws, and investing in towns and people.

Asked what he would do for farmers, he said there is no vision.  Vermont could brand our milk, go organic. Vermont milk is only 2% of the total supply. It could be branded as treating workers and animals’ in the right way.  A large number of people just south of Vermont are able to pay more for milk. 

Asked what would be different if he had been elected instead of the current Gov., he said; $15.00 minimum wage, paid family leave, and unemployment Insurance computer system would not be 30 years old.  He wondered why computers have not been upgraded and said when his barn roof has a leak,  he fixes it while it is small. He builds for the future.  If cannabis reform had been done before now, the rural economy would be stronger. 

Asked if second home owners could pay more in property taxes, he said it is possible.  Currently, property is labeled residential and non-residential. Non residential would have to be divided into business and residential.  Some second home owners live here 4 to 5 months and do invest in the economy then. 

Asked how he is different from the other Democratic candidates for Gov., he said during his time in office, he has found you cannot please everyone, but you must represent everyone.  I plan for different segments, not everyone.  I’m a public servant. I’ve had very different positions in my 20 years. I’ve gone to meetings in all counties as an organizer. I have an open door and take ideas from all people.  I take no corporate money, ever. 

Asked about the farmers’ market ban, he said he sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture today asking him to be creative.  There could be ways to allow CSA pick up with social distancing, and for farmers’ markets.

Asked about single payer health care, he said he has been an advocate of it for 20 years and will continue to be.  He would ask Pres, Biden to use Vermont as an example of how to do this.  In the past, he talked to business owners about what %age of payroll goes where.  Businesses did not know that health care is 10% to 12%. Single payer asks for 13%, which is very similar to what it is now.  There are people who want to start a new business, but can’t because they would lose healthcare.  He would use economic development money to solve this.

Asked how he would address farmers dumping milk, he said we are not set up to address the current times.  He would bring in the National Guard to harvest crops and to deliver food and milk to people in need.

He had another meeting to attend, but said people can visit his websites www.Zuckermanforvt.com . Right now the focus is to answer COVID questions and dispel misconceptions.

Announcements and comments

For new people, WCD media was listed: Zoom, website https://windsorcountydems.wordpress.com/, and groups io. Stay in touch and let us know how we can help.  

Amphibian nights are now happening. Please go help salamanders cross roads.

Caucus:  town and county caucuses are all web based.   On the VDP website there is a section about delegates and how to apply to be one, national, town and state.  www.vtdemcrats.org/delegate-selection-plan

Donation: you can donate n the above WCD website or send mail to Penny.  FX, Hartford Town Treasurer, mentioned he has good success receiving donations when he states what the funds are supporting.   Penny Benelli   1107 Nudist Camp Road   Chester, Vermont 05143   

Coordinated Campaign:  VDP guests tonight were asked to allocate funds in the budget to pay for advertising by towns in newspapers. 

Curtis dinner: Kate from VDP said the new date is October 5. It may be a virtual event, if necessary.  Kate is looking for volunteers to help with the auction, feedback, how to create an online fun event. She will talk to past donors. To reach Kate 406-438-5018.

WCDC will still have 2nd Monday full 90 minute meetings on Zoom.  Please suggest topics for agenda. 

Lt Gov forum:  Exec Committee zoom meeting on April 21 to discuss plans.  To find a date, we should ask candidates when they are available.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15.

Respectfully submitted, 

Lynn Bohi,Secretary

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes

February 10, 2020

Present: WCD had no sign in sheet.

Members by town: Bethel 1, Chester 1, Hartford 3, Hartland 3, Norwich 2, Pomfret 3, Springfield 3, Weatersfield 1, Woodstock 4, Windsor 2, Reading 1

Al called the meeting to order at 7:05.

Minutes:  Alison moved the December minutes be passed as presented. Seconded by Chuck B. Motion passed.  Alison moved the January minutes be accepted as amended to reflect Doug Hart’s presence. Chuck B seconded and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Currently in the bank $4433.99.  Additional money from Act Blue and the January hat will raise it to $4580.27.   February hat will add more.

Announcements:

The treasurer had attended the budget meeting held by the legislature.  The room was packed.   They are still accepting written comments.  There were many funding requests asked for including one from League of Women Voters Vermont to celebrate the suffrage centennial statewide with speakers and a parade. Vermont was the 38th state to ratify.   

Speaker’s Soiree:  Thursday, February 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 in Montpelier to raise money for the House candidates.   Alison moved and Penny seconded that WCD send $500.00. It was clarified later that this allows any WCD member to attend for free, once your name is sent to Spencer Dole.

Chuck B moved that remaining items be moved to the end of the meeting in order to hear guest Rebecca Holcombe who is running for Governor. Motion passed.

Rebecca noted it has been a rough week with impeachment nationally and in Vermont the veto of paid family leave.  Minimum wage families need this raised in order to take care of their families.  Democrats will take care of people.  She thanked everyone for showing up tonight.  She would like to work on affordability of living in Vermont rather than taxes.   Health care, child care and housing need to be addressed.  She believes that we can take care of Vermonters.  The Legislature cannot do the job without a good Governor.

The current Gov. does not talk to the Legislature.  When she was Secretary of Education, she was told when she could and could not talk to legislators.

She thinks the current Gov. is vulnerable.  Look at his record. In the most recent budget he addresses climate in paragraph 53. We need to act on climate now.  Resilience is important. Everything is affected. Vermont needs to have a plan.  In terms of economic development, the current Gov. puts $1 million here or there. The country is near the end of the recession, but Vermont is not recovering.  We need to be clean and green. All Vermonters need a fair chance and rural counties need a plan for prosperity.

She needs help. She is meeting people across the state.  We should hold the Gov. accountable. Vermont is losing Federal money with food assistance.

Questions

TCI:  It has no carbon tax. We currently subsidize heating oil. Gasoline causes pollution and we will have to pay more later.  The Gov. said Vermont cannot solve this alone, it needs to be regional. TCI is regional and he does not want to join.   The money raised can be invested in transportation and in helping low income people.

People can’t afford health care and medicines:  Rise wages.

Education: Everyone needs access to good schools.  Good things happen in all schools and they need to be shared.   The Gov. took money out of the Education Fund for child care crisis. Kids are being exposed to opiates and are being hurt.  The town of Whiting lost pupils, as are many towns. They invited a child care center into the school. They are saving tax dollars as well as family care dollars.  Vermont has a low rate of students going on to post secondary education.

What are your administrative skills:  I have been in public service. I taught grades 7-12, was a principal, a school administrator, and taught in college. When I joined the Department of Education, I worked together with others. There was not sufficient funding or staffing.  We re-designed some processes, such as licensing, by looking at things from the customer side. I looked at the statutory requirements and focused on the long term and on results.

Talk about school mergers:  Act 64 did not create problems in the things it was intended to solve.  It was to create tools to help schools. Schools, by working together, would be stronger. 65% of the mergers are working.  The Gov. took $30 million from the Ed. Fund for a tax cut and he took $40 million from the Ed Reserve Fund for non education spending, like mental health care.  Since the State’s share of education comes from the Ed Fund and there is less money there to pay out, the towns have to raise property taxes to have enough for a decent education. The Gov. asked school boards to hold their budget increase to 2.5% and scolded them when the increase was 1.5%.   This year health care is up 40% and there has been no construction for 50 years.

Vermont population under 15: This has decreased statewide. Housing and health care costs are high and people can’t afford to have and raise kids.  Vermont pay is low.

By law change:  Al read the two options.  There was a question about the 14 day notice requirement.  Ann R moved that the resolution be tabled until March. The motion passed.

Resolution on impeachment:  It seems moot now, so WCD will not send.

Communications subcommittee:  Mail chimp is being used for the Windsor County Dispatch.  Al will try to publish this weekly. It would be great if there were 1000 people receiving the Dispatch.  We will use it as a bulletin board for events and talking. So far, 4 towns have sent in email addresses for Dems. It would be great to have more.  You can also forward Dispatch to other Dems and tell them to subscribe.   Groups.io, our internal communication tool, continues to be worked on. Al has recorded 2 videos on how to make it work.  There are now 50 people on groups.io. To find minutes on WCD website, go to website and in the bar at the top where it says https://windsorcountydems.wordpress.com,    type in /minutes.

Announcements

Dottie has a list of polling places for all Town Chairs. Also on the list are the 2016 primary results.  See if Dems can have more turnouts this year.

Stockbridge is having a debate watch on Wed, February 19.

Town Chairs:  Al has received information from the VDP about the role of the Town Chair.  He will email it.

The meeting adjourned at 8:32.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

January 13, 2020

Present:  Chuck Bohi, Lynn Bohi, Sally Laurent, Meg Matz, Meg Brazill, Sarah Bruce, Ward Goodenough, Catie Baumgartner, Eleanor Griffin, Kirk White, Peter Tenenbaum, Sheila Vowinkel, Jon Felde, Jerry Hickson, Chuck Gregory, Charlie Kemble, Leah Garret, Valerie Ritter, Crater Macrae, Julianne Harden, John Bartholomew, Paul Belaski, Sarah Carter, Bill Kuch, Cynthia Martin, Lori Claffee, Kathy Stankevich, Gina McAllister, Kate Donahue, Dottie Deans, Alison Clarkson, Niki Thran

Members by town: Bethel 2, Chester 1, Hartford 3, Hartland 4, Ludlow, 1,Norwich 1, Pomfret 3, Rochester 2, Springfield 5, Woodstock 3, Windsor 3, Reading 1 

Al called the meeting to order at 7:02.  Having new members, everyone introduced themselves.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes are in a hidden page on the WCDC website https://windsorcountydems.wordpress.com/ . Very few had read them, thus December minutes were postponed.  In future, Al will send them when he receives them. 

Treasurer’s Report: The annual report is not yet complete. There is $ 4270.99 in the bank account. 

Webpage:  Act Blue is available on the front page for donations. See the new page, the WC handbook and facebook page. 

Committees:   Communications committee: Gina, Paul R, Meg B, Al, Chuck G, Catie B

Events committee: Niki, Penny, Dottie, Sarah C

  Communications: Each town has been asked to send Al any emails it has. Al has been looking at internal WCDC ways to communicate.  He found groups.io and has set up an Executive Committee group as a trial. It is easy to organize discussions around topics.  Slack was mentioned as another internal talk possibility, which Al will look into. Windsorcountydemsgroup.io

Impeach Resolution:  Doug moved to pass a resolution to support Congress impeaching Pres. Trump. Ward moved and Niki seconded to put the resolution on the February agenda. Since WCDC bylaws state that the Exec Committee should recommend any resolution, and since the House has passed articles of impeachment, the Exec committee will work on language that would express WCD sentiment which would be appropriate in February.   The VDP passed a resolution to impeach and remove. Depending on Senate action, members could tell our 3 Congress members how they feel about the actions that will be taking place. 

Bylaws:  It had been asked if members can support particular candidates in a primary.  WCD must remain impartial in a primary, but members are free to support any candidate. The exception is Officers and State Committee delegates and alternates may not publically show preference.   Ward will work on language to change that. 

VDP Chair Tjere Anderson:  

There is National Dem training on Saturday, February 1 from 8:30 to 4:00 at Hotel Coolidge in White River Jct.  Breakfast and lunch will be served and the event is free. There are 3 tracks: candidate, campaign worker, and activist. There will be 4 breakout sessions for each track: fundraising, field organizing, communication, and digital strategy.   Sign up prior to the event.

The next State committee meeting will be Saturday, January 25 at the Montpelier Statehouse. Afterwards, from 1-3 will be a treasurer training for both town and county treasurers.  It will be available on tape on line.

Democratic delegates:  To be a Vermont delegate to the National Democratic Convention, there is a process.  There will be 24 delegates to the convention in Milwaukee on July 13 to16. Delegates must pay for all expenses, usually in the $3000 neighborhood. 

  • March 3 Town Meeting Day:  You must take a Democratic ballot.  Any candidate who receives 15% or more will have delegates allotted.  
  • April 21 town caucus:  Towns will elect delegates to the State Convention. There is a formula for how many delegates are elected.  Anyone who chose a Dem ballot may attend, run for delegate, and vote at the caucus. However, each delegate must affirm which candidate he/she voted for and must run to be a delegate for that candidate. 
  • May 30 State Convention: At Barre Auditorium to elect 11 Vermont delegates to go to National Convention. There are gender rules saying there will be 6 women and 5 men, tho Vermont has rules that say a non-binary can be elected.  Other business of the day is to elect the National Committee Woman and National Committee Man. 
  • June 13 additional delegates:  In Montpelier, the 11 delegates divide by candidate to select additional delegates to balance the genders.  Alternate delegates are also selected. The group also elects the platform and credentials voters.
  • There are 8 super delegates. They are 3 Congress people, the State Committee Chair and Vice Chair, the National Committee Man and Woman, and Howard Dean, as the former DNC Chair. These do not vote on the first ballot.  
  • All delegates must pledge to vote on the first ballot for the candidate they were elected to vote for.  On all subsequent ballots, delegates are free to vote for any candidate.

General VDP:  190 towns have organized town Democratic committees.  The Executive Director is Scott McNeil. Finances are stable with new management systems ad all bills have outside management.

Amy Klobuchar representative Leah Garret: There is a house party on Sunday, January 19 at 2:00 in Norwich.  Amy wants to bring the country together. She has sponsored 35 bills which have passed during the Trump administration. Overall, she has sponsored 100 bills that have passed.  In Minnesota, she won all districts that Trump won, including Michelle Bachman’s former district. Amy is a fighter for Democratic beliefs.

All members were urged to make a 10 to 30 second selfie video about why you are a Democrat.

The meeting adjourned at 8:32.

Respectfully submitted, 

Lynn Bohi, Secretary

.

Windsor County Dems Minutes from December 9 2019 Meeting

Windsor County Democratic Committee Minutes

December 9, 2019

Present: Lizzy Shackelford, Doug Hart, Chuck Gregory, Bill Kuch, Lori Claffee, Char Osterland, Julie Lanner, Bob Williamson, Julianne Harden, Loan Nicoll, Jon Felde, Kevin Christie, Paul Belaski, Meg Brazill, Alison Clarkson, Lynn Bohi
Delegates by Town: Chester 1, Hartford 2, Hartland 3. Ludlow1, Norwich 1, Pomfret 1, Rochester 1, Springfield, 4, Weathersfield 1, Woodstock 4,Windsor 1, newly organized Reading 3
Al called the meeting to order at 7:03.
Treasurer’s Report: There is $4411.39 in the bank. Reminder: we can donate via Act Blue.
Secretary’s Report: The minutes are available via a website link. Several wording changes were proposed as well as wrong spelling noted. Paul B moved and Gina M seconded that the minutes pass as amended. Motion passed.
States Attorney voting process: The voting process could have been set prior to the meeting or at least prior to hearing from the candidates. WCD ended up voting as the current States Attorney asked us to in an email. The candidates always knew they would be asked to leave prior to WCD voting. They were all
fine candidates. The Exec Committee could have set up voting process.
Action Plan: The mission and goals were discussed.

Former Communication Committee members were
named: Paul R, Meg B, Al, Char, and Doug. They produced videos and handouts. Much discussion
followed.

Topics: to attract young people, organize town events not County, collect emails when you talk to interested Democrats, Pomfret will be doing a pilot program of calling Dems to check names, phone numbers, interests and perhaps more with the hope of starting a county or statewide program, find a way to educate high schoolers, 30s age groups is issue oriented, and show the DVD made about
Georgia called Suppressed. There is a group of women called the Kremlin Annex which has been protesting in Wash, DC since March 2018. It was suggested WCD arrange a bus and take apples and cookies in support. Another idea was to arrange a bus to Montpelier to urge the Legislature and Gov to
pass climate bills. Or go to a football game and shut it down for 41 hours, as was recently done. Yet another idea was to discuss why I am a Democrat. Read the VDP and National Dem platforms. WCD has been about helping our candidates. Now people join during re-org and don’t come back– perhaps because they do not see a link between words and actions and interests. There is a huge difference
between the Repub and Dem platforms and the VDP platforms. Lizzie will share. Schedule a meeting for young people since there are active groups of high school students concerned about racial justice and the climate. Use the Cartoon College Democracy booklet.
Media: Do we want a community bulletin board containing our work, events, and carpools? www.phpbb.com will host something along this idea for almost free at $6.00 a month.

There are 4 committees in the Action Plan. 2 have completed their work and 2 are ongoing. New communications committee: Gina, Paul R, Meg, Al. Outreach committee new duties add voters, includes veterans and students and plan events including the pasta party. Al will email all his lists with a
request for people to join the committees.
Regional WCD meetings: These have been requested. Meetings would probably be in Bethel and Chester.

Elizabeth Warren: Teddy W is her Vermont Campaign manager. He is a Vermonter who has worked for Brenda Siegel, Christine Hallquist, and David Zuckerman. Sen. Warren understands the problems that people whom the system has failed. When she headed the Consumer Protection Bureau, $12 billion
was returned to the public. She would like her campaign to empower people, to give access to everyone. She understands she probably will not win in Vermont, given that Bernie Sanders is running. Teddy sees his job as answering questions for Vermonters, and bringing the party home to low income
people. Connect with Teddy at his cell 781-219-8770 or email ewaszaczazak@elizabethwarren.com.
The meeting adjourned at 8: 45.

Respectfully submitted,
Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes Revised (these minutes reflect changes that were adopted at our Dec 9, 2019 meeting):

November 25, 2019

Present: Tom Bock,  Kevin Christie, Susan Barron, Becca White, Lynn Bohi, Chuck Bohi, Niki Thran, John Bartholomew, Matt Dunne, Derek Levin,  Alice Nitka, Ernie Chiccotelli, John Felde, Val Ritter, Amy Robb, Nick Charyk, Char Osterlund, Alice Emmons, Chuck Gregory, Cynthia Martin, Annemarie Christensen, Paul Regan, Al Alessi, Alison Clarkson, Bob Williamson, Donna Sweaney, Sally Laurent, Bill Ballantyne, Dick McCormack, Kate Donahue, Doug Hart, Meg Matz, Meg Brazil, Lisa Tallmadge,  Evan Antel, Catie Baumgatner, Kathy Stankevich, Julianne Harden, Robert Sand, several others who did not sign in

Al called the meeting to order at 7:02.

The purpose was to listen to candidates for Windsor County State’s Attorney in order to fill a vacancy.

Roll was called to determine the number of voting delegates.  28

David Cahill, current Windsor County State’s Attorney, spoke about the importance of the office and the people who are affected.  Cases include criminal and child protection; decisions include jail, probation, or alternate justice. His office is known for having progressive values.  He said the State’s Attorney needs to be the change we want to see in the world. He urged us to think about each candidate’s capacity to be brave, to be world changing and to have sound judgment.

Candidates were randomly asked for a 3 minute speech. One question was asked and answered.

Kirk Williams was nominated by Sue Buckholz. He was a private criminal defense attorney for 5-6 years, was a public defender for 6 years and has been in the Caledonia County State’s Attorneys office for 10 years.  He believes in a balanced approach. He does not know the local resources of who to talk to, such as police departments, restorative justice. He has no grand doctrine, and said he will work with local representatives. 

Q You are from a different county. What do you see as the benefit?

A. I’m qualified, but do not know the local office. 

Heidi Remick was nominated by Becca White.  She is a prosecutor, an advocate for domestic abuse, sexual assault and sexual violence. Her job is to protect all people and to treat them with respect and listen to them. She feels that victim advocacy is important. These are hard cases. The community needs to be educated about trauma. She partners with the community. She is open to outside the box thinking in part because justice is always changing. 

Q. You have been in the office since 2003. What would you change?

A.  Juvenile section needs to expand. And educate law enforcement about trauma.

Leah Henderson was nominated by Niki Thran.  She has a different perspective because she works on the criminal side at Burke law firm. She is the lead in the WRJ office. Her perspective is to keep the community safe.  She would like to change what is wrong with criminal justice and expand restorative justice. She would like to reduce repeat offenders. Another idea is to change to a collaborative system between defense and prosecutor and the victim in order to help keep the community safe. 

Q. Why change sides? Do you have management skills?

A  I manage the WRJ office and coach Dartmouth cheerleaders.  There is not that much difference between defenders and prosecutors.  We all need to see both sides of the case. Also, I worked as a defense attorney in law school as well as working with State’s Attorney now and I know the community programs. 

Karen Oelschlaeger was nominated by Al Alessi in the absence of Sarah Carter.  She was hired in 2016 in the Windsor County office and has worked with Bobby Sand on the expungement bill.  Windsor County has a geographic region approach and she covers the southern part and also fish and game. She works on family truancy, mental health cases, guardianship, and DUI court.  Her priorities are accountability, evidence based work, having victim input, and a pre-charge program for juveniles. 

Q.  Would you expand the expungement program?

A. I would continue it and educate people about the current program; what it does and how it works.

Ward Goodenough was nominated by Lynn Bohi.  When at VLS, he learned from TJ Donovan the effect the State’s Attorney has on the community.  He has been a law clerk, and a deputy SA in Rutland and Windsor Counties. His geographic region is northern Windsor County.  He has 300 cases, which are of all sorts ranging from murder to diversion and treatment. Where to go in the future? He would like to continue on the current path. He believes, at the core, in victims and that justice should be done. 

Q. When sending to treatment, how are the downstream resources?

A. Many cases are sent to diversion, perhaps 50-60% are misdomenier cases. By bringing in community members, the victims are well served.

Heather Gray was nominated by Evan Antel.  She is a State’s Attorney in Franklin County.  She also works statewide with DUI cases. One challenge is to have the victim heard and to listen to the community as she works within the law.  A State’s Attorney doesn’t always want a conviction, but always wants justice which is appropriate for the case. She also works with families in ways that allow the kids to succeed.  She works with all players.

Q. Have you trained others about traffic safety?

A. She has worked with all State’s Attorney offices and looks outside the box for what will work.

All were thanked. The floor as opened up to general questions.

Q. In the past, about 51% of cases in Windsor County are sent to diversion.  Are Franklin and Caledonia similar? 

A  Kirk: in Caledonia County, many cases are not prosecuted before diversion.  They also put many cases on probation.

A. Ward:  Windsor County talks a lot to diversion.

Q.  Is there enough staff? How would you get more?

A.  Heidi: We need the juvenile worker to be full time. I would go to the Legislature.

A. Kirk:  People in the legislature work hard to get money for all State’s Attorney offices.

Q. Do you think there would be much disruption with a new head person?

A. Leah: I would work with the people about how it works now.  The things I would change are there now.

Q.  What do you find most frustrating? Short answer please.

A. Ward: lack of resources. 

A. Heidi:  Lack of resources.

A. Kirk: Cases, statutes, policies by people.

A. Heather:  Communication.

A. Leah:  People who don’t understand what should happen.

A. Karen: Effective delivery of evidence based cases.

Q.  As a legislator, I know there is a small pot with no more money. How would you make it work?

A. Karen: Look for grants. Send non-violent cases to diversion. Use pre-judgment.

A. Leah: Resolve cases alternatively.  Use collaborative justice.

A. Heather: Get to know the office and the kind if cases.

A. Kirk:  I don’t know. The costly cases are the big ones and are hard to anticipate.  Juvenile prosecution is important.

A. Heidi: grants.  Economy work up front and team work up front.

A. Ward: The personnel work well.  Probation and Parole need to be paid more, as do State Police. The education budget statewide needs to be a priority.

The candidates left so the members could vote. 

Matt moved that WCD send 3 names of the people who currently work in the WRJ State’s Attorney office to the Governor without ranking the names.  Bob W and 4 others seconded the motion. Much discussion followed, including that we were changing the rules for voting and that this was unfair and disrespectful to the candidates and delegates.  Candidates were advised of the process and followed the guidelines, but the voting process changed after they left. The motion passed. 

Sen. Dick McCormack announced that former State Rep .Doris Lingelbach Brettell passed away.

The next meeting is December 9, with luck. Please send Al suggestions to discuss. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:40.

Respectfully submitted,    Lynn Bohi, Secretary

Windsor County Democratic Committee minutes (prior to revisions)

November 25, 2019

Present: Tom Bock,  Kevin Christie, Susan Barron, Becca White, Lynn Bohi, Chuck Bohi, Niki Thran, John Bartholomew, Matt Dunne, Derek Levin,  Alice Nitka, Ernie Chiccotelli,  John Felde, Val Ritter, Amy Robb, Nick Charyk, Char Osterland, Alice Emmons, Chuck Gregory, Cynthia Martin, Annemarie Christensen, Paul Regan, Al Alessi, Alison Clarkson, Bob Williamson, Donna Sweaney, Sally Laurent, Bill Ballantyne, Dick McCormack, Kate Donahue, Doug Hart, Meg Matz, Meg Brazil, Lisa Tallmadge

Al called the meeting to order at 7:02.

The purpose was to listen to candidates for Windsor County State’s Attorney in order to fill a vacancy.

Roll was called to determine the number of voting delegates.  28

David Cahill, current Windsor County State’s Attorney, spoke about the importance of the office and the people who are affected.  Cases include criminal and child protection; decisions include jail, probation, or alternate justice.  His office is known for having progressive values.  He said the State’s Attorney needs to be the change we want to see in the world. He urged us to think about each candidate’s capacity to be brave, to be world changing and to have sound judgment.

Candidates were randomly asked for a 3 minute speech. One question was asked and answered.

Kirk Williams was nominated by Sue Buckholz. He was a private criminal defense attorney for 5-6 years, was a public defender for 6 years and has been in the Caledonia County State’s Attorneys office for 10 years.  He believes in a balanced approach.  He does not know the local resources of who to talk to, such as police departments, restorative justice.  He has no grand doctrine, and said he will work with local representatives.

Q You are from a different county. What do you see as the benefit?

A. I’m qualified, but do not know the local office.

Heidi Remick was nominated by Becca White.  She is a prosecutor, an advocate for domestic abuse, sexual assault and sexual violence. Her job is to protect all people and to treat them with respect and listen to them. She feels that victim advocacy is important. These are hard cases. The community needs to be educated about trauma. She partners with the community. She is open to outside the box thinking in part because justice is always changing.

Q. You have been in the office since 2003. What would you change?

A.  Juvenile section needs to expand. And educate law enforcement about trauma.

Leah Henderson was nominated by Niki Thran.  She has a different perspective because she works on the criminal side at Burke law firm. She is the lead in the WRJ office. Her perspective is to keep the community safe.  She would like to change what is wrong with criminal justice and expand restorative justice.  She would like to reduce repeat offenders. Another idea is to change to a collaborative system between defense and prosecutor and the victim in order to help keep the community safe.

Q. Why change sides? Do you have management skills?

A  I manage the WRJ office and coach Dartmouth cheerleaders.  There is not that much difference between defenders and prosecutors.  We all need to see both sides of the case. Also, I worked as a defense attorney in law school as well as working with State’s Attorney now and I know the community programs.

Karen Oelschlaeger was nominated by Al Alessi in the absence of Sarah Carter.  She was hired in 2016 in the Windsor County office and has worked with Bobby Sand on the expungement bill.  Windsor County has a geographic region approach and she covers the southern part and also fish and game. She works on family truancy, mental health cases, guardianship, and DUI court.  Her priorities are accountability, evidence based work, having victim input, and a pre-charge program for juveniles.

Q.  Would you expand the expungement program?

A. I would continue it and educate people about the current program; what it does and how it works.

Ward Goodenough was nominated by Lynn Bohi.  When at VLS, he learned from TJ Donovan the effect the State’s Attorney has on the community.  He has been a law clerk, and a deputy SA in Rutland and Windsor Counties. His geographic region is northern Windsor County.  He has 300 cases, which are of all sorts ranging from murder to diversion and treatment.  Where to go in the future? He would like to continue on the current path. He believes, at the core, in victims and that justice should be done.

Q. When sending to treatment, how are the downstream resources?

A. Many cases are sent to diversion, perhaps 50-60% are misdomenier cases. By bringing in community members, the victims are well served.

Heather Gray was nominated by Evan Antel.  She is a State’s Attorney in Franklin County.  She also works statewide with DUI cases.  One challenge is to have the victim heard and to listen to the community as she works within the law.  A State’s Attorney doesn’t always want a conviction, but always wants justice which is appropriate for the case.   She also works with families in ways that allow the kids to succeed.  She works with all players.

Q. Have you trained others about traffic safety?

A. She has worked with all State’s Attorney offices and looks outside the box for what will work.

All were thanked. The floor as opened up to general questions.

Q. In the past, about 51% of cases in Windsor County are sent to diversion.  Are Franklin and Caledonia similar?

A  Kirk: in Caledonia County, many cases are not prosecuted before diversion.  They also put many cases on probation.

A. Ward:  Windsor County talks a lot to diversion.            

Q.  Is there enough staff? How would you get more?

A.  Heidi: We need the juvenile worker to be full time. I would go to the Legislature.

A. Kirk:  People in the legislature work hard to get money for all State’s Attorney offices.

Q. Do you think there would be much disruption with a new head person?

A. Leah: I would work with the people about how it works now.  The things I would change are there now.

Q.  What do you find most frustrating? Short answer please.

A. Ward: lack of resources.

A. Heidi:  Lack of resources.

A. Kirk: Cases, statutes, policies by people.

A. Heather:  Communication.

A. Leah:  People who don’t understand what should happen.

A. Karen: Effective delivery of evidence based cases.

Q.  As a legislator, I know there is a small pot with no more money. How would you make it work?

A. Karen: Look for grants. Send non-violent cases to diversion. Use pre-judgment.

A. Leah: Resolve cases alternatively.  Use collaborative justice.

A. Heather: Get to know the office and the kind if cases.

A. Kirk:  I don’t know. The costly cases are the big ones and are hard to anticipate.  Juvenile prosecution is important.

A. Heidi: grants.  Economy work up front and team work up front.

A. Ward: The personnel work well.  Probation and Parole need to be paid more, as do State Police. The education budget statewide needs to be a priority.

The candidates left so the members could vote.

Matt moved that WCD send 3 names of the people who currently work in the WRJ State’s Attorney office to the Governor without ranking the names.  Bob W and 4 others seconded the motion.  Much discussion followed. The motion passed.

Sen. Dick McCormack announced that former State Rep .Doris Lingelbach Brettell passed away.

The next meeting is December 9, with luck. Please send Al suggestions to discuss.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40.

Respectful submitted,

Lynn Bohi, Secretary