by Karen Mead-Elford, staff writer
The Shiawassee County Democratic Party held their first monthly meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 24 in the Community Center in Corunna’s McCurdy Park. A county executive meeting had been held Dec. 14, 2016 to elect officers for 2017 and 2018. Elected at that time were Chairperson Paul Ray, Vice Chairperson Carol Spaniola, Secretary Janet Horvath, and Treasurer Jan Ray. These members comprise the current governing committee for the Shiawassee Democrats.
The Chair’s Report included discussing the 4th District’s quarterly meeting in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, Jan. 21 where many county chairs had talked about an influx in the number of local voters attending meetings. The board also deliberated over the Shiawassee Democrats who had attended Congressman Moolenaar’s meet with voters in Owosso on Jan. 12 where they had expressed their concern over the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Following the Chair’s Report, the Dems had a lengthy debate on developing a new committee to organize their spring fundraising Pasta and Politics event. Traditionally, Pasta and Politics has been the largest fundraiser for the Dems, but several people suggested alternative ideas regarding the event including the concept of having a secondary committee to organize fresh fundraising concepts for the party.
Congressman Moolenaar, R-MI represents the 4th Congressional District in Michigan that includes 13 counties in a roughly diagonal swath through the state beginning with Traverse City in the north and concluding in Shiawassee County in the south. Portions of Montcalm and Saginaw counties are part of District 4, too. District 4 has had continuous Republican representation for several decades. Moolenaar replaced Dave Camp who is now retired.
Another portion of the evening discussion included moving the standard call-to-order meeting time from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to make it more convenient. The next meeting is now planned for Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. though the doors will be open earlier for people wishing to socialize or have political discussions.
Several times during the January meeting, individuals made note of the larger than normal attendance. It has been fairly typical for the monthly meeting to include around 20 people, but the Tuesday evening meeting, in Corunna, saw close to 60 people of various ages and backgrounds from Shiawassee County attending. The increased number resulted in diverse commentary ranging from expanding membership in both the county party and the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) to the suggestion of creating new positions on the Shiawassee County Democrat Executive Board.
Nearing the end of the meeting, Andrew Nowicki, representing Michigan for Revolution, concisely outlined nine resolutions to amend MDP rules and bylaws to promote transparency, accountability, and democracy. Michigan for Revolution is a grassroots movement determined to help the Democratic Party to evolve to better serve everyone. Michigan for Revolution will be in attendance at the Spring State Convention on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Cobo Center in Detroit. The resolutions are available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6wunxVUqqtvUGY3RUNMZVBuQzQ/view.
Interested persons may find out more on the Shiawassee County Democratic Party at www.shiawasseedems.com. A new social media platform including updated calendar information is currently being expanded, as well.