Chair Cynthia Moore Chestnut called the meeting to order at 6:01 PM, Tuesday 6 March 2018, at the DEC Office, Gainesville, Florida. She observed that Ermon Owens, Chair of the Alachua County Black Caucus died recently at Newnans Lake, and she called for a moment of silence in his memory.
Members Present: Chanae Baker, Jo Beaty, Sheryl Eddie (replacing Melvin Flournoy who has left the SC), Cynthia Chestnut, Terry Fleming, Mark Goldstein, Barbara McDade-Gordon, Horace Moore, Richard Powell, Marcie Stefan de Alvardo, James Thompson. Member Absent: Kameela Spence. Committee Chair Present: Iris Burke. Others Present: Jake Gordon, Armondo Grundy.
Agenda: A motion was made to adopt the agenda, seconded, and passed.
Minutes: A motion was made to approve the minutes of the February meeting, seconded, and carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Chanae Baker introduced the 2018 budget. Discussion of using QuickBooks, whether we want to purchase a laptop (Mark volunteered to donate one), accountability, proper storage of data, and related topics followed. Secretary Richard Powell suggested that we empower the Chair and Treasurer to make a decision on these issues so the SC could get on with discussing the budge. So ordered. A long discussion followed on specific items in the 2018 budget proposal. One of the main issues was funding our candidates in this fall’s election. There followed a motion to refer a decision on how and what resources will be delivered to candidates to the Campaign Planning Committee, seconded, and carried. It was also decided to postpone final consideration of the 2018 budget to the April SC and DEC meetings.
Chair’s Report: Madame Chair reported that there were 80 persons including many new faces in attendance at the candidate forum at T. B. McPherson Center. Those in attendance were very grateful that there was a forum in the neighborhood as that is very uncommon.
Voter registration training will take place at the Supervisor of Elections Office beginning at 4:00 PM, on 7 March.
Winners of the Black History Month Essay Contest will be announced at the March DEC meeting.
New Member Orientation will take place beginning at 6:00 PM, 28 March, at the Santa Fe-CIED Center.
Presently, the ACDEC records are not kept anywhere in any one place. The UF Library has tentatively agreed to house our records, and Dr. Jake Gordon will be in charge of this project. He, Cynthia, and Flo Turcott, a UF librarian, will meet soon to discuss this mission.
Membership Committee: New Chair Chanae Baker reported that we currently have 150 vacancies. The goal is to add 50 new members by 30 June. Committee members also want to more actively recruit new members. New member orientations will be scheduled quarterly. Committee members also decided the role of the committee was to review the applications and determine if the applicants have met the membership requirements. Presently, there are several applications pending. Catherine Coggin (Pct 51) is currently registered NPA. Her application will be deferred until she registers as a Democrat, but, in the meantime, she will be encouraged to participate in DEC activities. Joey Grossman (Pct 5) has returned to Alachua County, but there is not a vacancy for a male in his precinct. The committee asked the Chair to appoint him an At Large member of the DEC from Precinct 5. There are three additional applicants: Taylor Paisie (Pct 44), Armondo Grundy (Pct 28), and Doug Bernal (Pct 7). Motion to approve the applications of Bernal. Grundy, and Paisie, when she turns in her references, and to request the Chair to appoint Grossman (Pct 5AL), and to advance these applications to the March DEC meeting, seconded, and carried. Iris Burke volunteered to help with new member orientation.
Program Committee: Co-chair Barbara McDade-Gordon reviewed the evaluation sheets from last month’s training session at the DEC meeting. (See attached.) The March DEC meeting will be a business meeting, and the April meeting will use a consent agenda. Michael Coleman, Precinct Development Director of Palm Beach County will present the program. At the May SC meeting, we will evaluate use of the consent agenda and decide if we want to continue with it.
Secretary Powell discussed possible responses the DEC might make to the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School, Parkland, FL three weeks ago that took 17 lives. After some discussion, the SC recommended that the following actions be presented to the March DEC meeting for consideration.
- Encourage DEC members to contact SBAC members and encourage them to formulate a lenient policy for those students who miss school to participate in demonstrations against gun violence.
- DEC Chair Cynthia Chestnut to make a short video condemning gun violence and supporting common sense safety measures to counter the growing epidemic of gun violence in the U. S. Post this video to the DEC website and upload it to Youtube.
- Invite Emma Gonzalez, or another student from Douglas High School, to come to Gainesville to speak at a DEC meeting or at a rally in some public place we would organize, publicize, and promote.
- Check with local high schools to see if there are students who might like to go to the March for Our Lives but might need financial aid and provide that aid if feasible.
Richard also shared an e-mail he received from Cynthia Busch, Chair of the Broward County DEC about setting up a Young Leaders Summit on gun violence (See attached.) State Committeewoman Marcie Stefan said she received the same e-mail and volunteered to follow up with Chair Busch.
State Committeeman Terry Fleming volunteered to draft a resolution on regulating semi-automatic weapons, opposing NRA-funded candidates, and supporting Black Lives Matter. This resolution will be presented to the March DEC meeting for consideration.
Mark Goldstein asked if Debbie Martinez is allowed to attend DEC meetings. It was decided that, since meetings are open to the public, she is allowed to attend.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:18 PM.
Richard Hays Powell
- Chanae will have the budget ready to go for the April meetings.
- Cynthia, Chanae, and Iris will organize the New Member Orientation.
- Chanae will talk to Catherine Coggin about the SC decision on her application.
- Richard will provide an action plan for DEC members to response to the recent school shooting.
- Marcie will follow up with Cynthia Busch about our participation in the Young Leaders Summit.
- Terry will write a resolution on gun violence for DEC consideration.