Chair’s Corner – exciting news from the State Central Committee!

ADP Executive Director Jay Parmley with two Interior Democrats displaying auction items. Photo courtesy Nancy Courtney.

Our State Central Committee meetings are wonderful opportunities for fellowship with other Democrats as we tackle the business aspects of being a political party. While the things we do may sound mundane, they are the necessary tasks that keep the Alaska Democratic Party a strong organization.

And, a strong party is able to help elect leaders around the state who share our values – a very exciting goal!

Last month, approximately 60 members of the Alaska Democratic Party’s State Central Committee (ADP SCC) gathered in Fairbanks May 19-21 for the SCC’s tri-annual meeting. We also had 15+ members attend telephonically.

Here is my report about what we did. Head’s up: the coolest, most exciting aspect of what we did is toward the bottom, so you definitely want to read all the way through!

Your Democratic Party at work
Highlights of the three-day gathering included:

  • Electing a new State Party Treasure. Our past Treasurer, Larry Murakami, elected at the May 2016 convention in Anchorage, recently resigned, so we elected a new Treasurer, Carolyn Covington, to serve the remainder of this term. We will elect a Treasurer at next year’s biennial convention in May of 2018 for a full term. What does the State Party Treasurer do? Check out pages 26-27 of the ADP Party Plan of Organization.
  • Approving a request from the Northern Gulf Coast region to organize as a Tier 2 party subdivision. The new unified district, which calls itself the Gulf Coast Democrats, is organized similarly to the Tongass Democrats, which unifies House Districts 33 and 34. Click ADP Party Plan of Organization page 10 for additional info on the Party’s Regions and Tier 2 subdivisions.
  • Approving a resolution proposed by our recently created Faith Caucus entitled “Resolution on Immigration and Refugee Policies.” In a nutshell, the resolution encourages municipal, state, and federal agencies to prohibit harmful anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies.

Yours truly with my new wolf skin hat—an auction favorite. Photo courtesy Nancy Courtney.

Building skills and relationships
We had in-depth learning and team building opportunities, as well as great social gatherings:

  • We had a workshop on the organization and core issues of Alaska’s organized labor presented by Joelle Hall, Director of Operations of the Alaska AFL/CIO.
  • A sensational lunch speaker–Evon Peter, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education with the University of Alaska Fairbanks–on a new vision for education in Alaska
  • Our National Committeewoman Sheila Selkregg ran a team building “Our Shared Values: Mapping the Future,” effort focusing on our party goals, actions, and initiatives.
  • We did a Thank you & stay strong! video for our Senate Democrats and the Alaska House Majority Coalition.
  • And the Interior Democrats graciously hosted two social events: a fundraiser for the Mary McKinnon Fund for first-time Democratic candidates running for state office and an auction, which was a fun-filled night of local live music, a gigantic spread of scrumptious food, and an expanse of amazing auction items. Loads of fun was had by all, and I trust the Interior Democrats raised a lot of money!

The good news is that we had extremely useful trainings on candidate recruitment, campaign strategies and messaging, the use of Votebuilder (our voter database), and fundraising essentials. ADP’s staff is top notch, and so were these trainings.

The even better news is: they are bringing their training roadshow to Juneau on June 25! Please stay tuned for details.

Get this Party started!
As was proven in the 2016 presidential election, grassroots organizing is where things happen. And, this month, our most exciting news is the Party’s new initiative “Let’s get this party started!”

There are 427 voting precincts in Alaska. Under this new initiative, each precinct will have a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer (if the precinct raises money), a member trained on Votebuilder, and a member on the ADP’s communications tree.

For the Tongass Democrats, in House District 33 (downtown Juneau, Excursion Inlet, Gustavus, Haines, Klukwan and Skagway) we have 11 precincts, and in House District 34 (Juneau valley), we have 7 precincts.

To make this a reality in Alaska, we’ll need a lot of active volunteers!

If you’re interested in grassroots political organizing, the Tongass Democrats will discuss this initiative at our July 6 meeting (5:15pm, IBEW Hall, 813 W. 12th Street in downtown Juneau).

Join us on June 25th and July 6th to “get this party started!”

Next SCC meeting
Our SCC will next meet in Talkeetna September 15-17. Our meeting will be another great opportunity for our Party’s governing body members to see another beautiful part of Alaska, meet more Democrats from all over the state, and build bridges to grow our party and elect Democrats to lead Alaska and our nation in a progressive direction.

If you’d like to become an SCC member and work to drive the direction of the Alaska Democratic Party, SCC elections will be held at the ADP’s district caucus in either March or April of 2018. I encourage you to get involved, step up, and do the work it takes to make necessary change to turn Alaska blue!

Until next week…
Nancy Courtney
Chair, Tongass Democrats
(907) 321-2285

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