by admin | Oct 28, 2021 | USC Democratic Committee
September 29, 2021
Chair Mary McIntyre began the meeting at 7:00 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Treasurer Peg Babnik reported the committee’s bank account balance of $6,651.00. Vice Chair Jason Fincke noted that this is the most money the committee has ever had in the bank.
Picnic Summary – Mary McIntyre
Mary thanked everyone for their involvement and contributions for the Committee’s picnic held at South Park on Sunday, September 12th. She noted the event was quite a success with approximately 125-150 attendees, including many judicial candidates for the November 2nd election, as well as our Democratic candidate for School Board: Jen Schnore. The exact amount of funds raised will be reported at the next committee meeting, but it is believed to be in the $3,800 – $4,000 range.
A discussion followed as to where to hold future fundraisers. The prevailing opinion was that since the Alpine Club did such a great job with the food that the establishment would be the best choice for future fundraisers, either at the restaurant or by using its catering services. Mary noted that the establishment is a Democratic-friendly venue as many other Democratic fundraisers are held there.
There was a discussion regarding the township’s policy of not permitting the rentals of its facilities for fundraising events. It was suggested that the committee investigate how to get the policy modified.
Candidate Tom Caulfield
Magistrate District Judge Tom Caulfield, who has been chosen as the 10th Democratic candidate for Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, spoke to the committee. He discussed his background and his “highly recommended” ranking by the Allegheny County Bar Association. The 10th judgeship became available when Judge Guido Angelis recently announced that he would not run for a retention vote.
School Board Meeting – Mask Mandate and Redistricting – Deb Allen
Deb Allen summarized the USC School Board meeting that was held on September 28th. She noted that 16 people were in the audience: two attendees chose to present comments to the Board. They thanked the Board for upholding the current mask mandate in schools and for their concern for the safety of the district’s students.
School Board members outlined the many penalties that the district would face if the mask mandate issued by Gov. Wolf was not followed.
She pointed out that security was present at the meeting and restricted anyone not wearing a mask from attending the meeting.
Deb Allen also noted the need for the committee to closely watch the progress of proposed bills coming from the state’s Republican legislators that would undermine Gov. Wolf’s school mask mandate, such as SB846. She suggested that we contact Senator Devlin Robinson to express our opposition.
She also encouraged everyone to research and get involved in the redistricting process currently being undertaken in Pennsylvania by visiting www.senatorhaywood.com/event/redistricting or calling his office at 215-242-8171 to learn more about redistricting educational workshops Senator Haywood’s office will be sponsoring.
Committee Next Outreach Project – Mary McIntyre and Bernadette Fincke
Mary and Bernadette spoke about the committee’s next outreach project which involves sending letters to the townships’s non super voters, explaining the importance of November’s election and listing the endorsed candidates. Packets including voter lists and envelopes were distributed to volunteers. Postage stamps, which will be paid by the committee, were not available at the meeting. It was decided that stamps will be distributed on Sunday, October 3 from 12 – 2 pm at the township’s Old Rec Center parking lot. Additional packets will also be available as more volunteers are needed. Mary will send out an email notification.
The meeting ended at 8 pm.
by admin | May 18, 2021 | USC Democratic Committee
USC Democratic Committee Meeting Minutes
March 23, 2021
The meeting started at 7:02 pm. There were 25 participants. Mary McIntyre started the meeting with the candidates speaking.
The group heard from: Kevin Kraus, Sabrina Korbel, Jessel Costa, Hon. Maria McLaughlin, Judge David Spurgeon, Wrenna Watson, Jen Schnore, and Jill Beck
After all candidates spoke, the meeting was directed to Upper St. Clair School Board member and candidate Jen Schnore. Jen had been selected to fill a one-year vacancy and is now running as the only Democratic candidate in November 2021. There are five candidates running for four openings. Four candidates are running on one slate: Jen Schnore (Democrat), Dr. Daphna Gans (Republican), Mike Mascaro (Republican), and CMU Professor Danielle Wetsel (Republican). The fifth candidate Bill Web, (Republican), is an advocate for teaching five days a week with no masks, and he also believes the school district is indoctrinating the children with a leftist agenda. The current school board is supporting the slate of four candidates. Jen Schnore asked for a committee to help her win. Deb Allen suggested that Jen include a write-up in the USC Democratic newsletter. Jen asked if it was possible for her slate, three Republicans, to speak at one of our meetings. Mary McIntyre asked if it would be okay for Republican candidates to speak at our meeting; type yes or no in the chat box. All zoom participants agreed. Linda Descutner said that this question was resolved on October 22, 2019. She read from the October 2019 minutes:
“Move to vote motion by Jodi McClelland, seconded by Shirley McClory. The ballot reads as follows: … Democratic candidates may speak during the meeting. Unendorsed candidates, Republican candidates, or Independent candidates may speak either before or after our meeting as decide by the Board.”
Mary McIntyre stated that our goal is to get Jen elected to the school board. Jason Fincke asked Jen to share some information about herself. Jen said that she was a litigation attorney, then a stay-at-home mom. She has two children, sixth grade and eighth grade. She is active in school organizations, and had organized the SHIM food drive. She now does part-time law at home. Bernadette and Jason Fincke said that Jen needs to share that information in the newsletter.
Mary McIntyre is organizing a committee for Jen Schnore and the committee will meet soon. Mary asked Peg Babnik how much money was in the treasury. Peg stated that there was $2,500 available. Mary said that we will help Jen with money costs.
Deb Allen wanted to know how many teachers/staff received the COVID vaccine. Jen said that about 89% received the vaccine. Everyone that wanted the vaccine received it. There were some that did not want the vaccine for different reasons including health reasons. Deb Allen also asked how much money was coming to Upper St. Clair from the recently passed Federal bill. Jen said that she did not know, but did not expect much because Upper St. Clair is an affluent school district.
The meeting ended at 8:11 pm.
by admin | Oct 21, 2020 | USC Democratic Committee
USC Democratic Committee Meeting Minutes
September 22, 2020
The meeting started at 6:35pm at the Upper St. Clair Recreation Center on McLaughlin Run Road. Mary McIntyre stated there were lawn signs available for anyone that needed them. Mary also had new members stand up and introduce themselves.
Peg Babnik submitted the treasurer’s report. The September 10th bank statement ending balance is $3,228.60. In our account today there is $2,760.80 which includes $492.80 in expenses (three checks) and 2nd Act Blue Donation of $25, minus a fee of $1.16.
Sharon Guidi spoke about her campaign. She said she had a successful Scavenger Hunt fund raiser last week. She also stated that her opponent is not a moderate. Sharon thanked everyone for being in attendance.
Tom Duerr is Pam Iovino’s campaign manager. Pam’s opponent is not a moderate. Tom then stated Pam’s accomplishments. He asked for volunteers to text, phone call, write postcards and literature dropping. Tom said that there are many volunteer opportunities. Tom is working closely with Pam. Tom will inform Mary about when and where to volunteer.
Tom Duerr is also on City Council. Tom said that there will be eight satellite offices. They will be operating on October 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25. Citizens can a request a ballot or mail in their ballot at the satellite office on those days. If you want to vote in person, but received a ballot – take it to the polls. Don’t open it. If you do not bring your mailed ballot and have not voted, you may fill out a provisional ballot. Tom said that he does not know if they are going to count the ballots early. Tom stated that Allegheny County was the best in state for counting ballots.
Both Sharon Guidi and Tom Duerr emphasized the need to follow the ballot directions exactly as written. They also emphasized that only you can drop your ballot in the box.
Mary passed out Biden buttons and masks. Mary said that Upper St. Clair is part of Char Valley, where there are 36 Chair people. On October 13, there will be a rally starting in Moon Township continuing through Carnegie, Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon, Upper St. Clair (around 1:30pm), South Park, and Collier Township. Representatives Conor Lamb, Mike Doyle, and Pam Iovino will be at each stop. Everyone is invited to participate with car window posters.
There was further discussion about how to get the message out. Discussion was about phone banking, texting, Instagram, Facebook, pool watching, distributing literature, and poll workers for satellite places.
The meeting ended at 7:25pm.
by admin | Sep 1, 2020 | USC Democratic Committee
USC Democratic Committee Meeting Minutes
Old Recreation Center
August 25, 2020
The meeting started at 7:00pm at the Upper St. Clair Recreation Center on McLaughlin Run Road. There were many new faces, so Mary McIntyre had everyone introduce themselves.
Mary stated that there are five wards and 18 districts in Upper St. Clair. She also said that the county is sent out applications for mail-in ballots to citizens today. Mary reviewed the proper procedures for mail-in voting, specifically that you cannot put someone else’s ballot in the mail or ballot drop-off box. Everyone must handle their own ballot. There was discussion about the lack of ballot boxes and Mary said that the legislature has to decide if there can be more drop-off boxes. The actual ballots will be mailed to recipients on September 15, 2020. Ballots can be tracked on the Allegheny County website. All polling locations will be open. Jason Fincke noted that if a school is closed due to coronavirus outbreak, the polling place may also be closed. Also, ballots may be counted early.
It was suggested that we could drive organize a caravan of residents into Pittsburgh to drop their ballot in the ballot drop-off box.
Peg Babnik submitted the treasurer’s report. The balance remained $3,179.76 through June, July and August. Outstanding checks are: $100, $300 (signs), $92.80 (postage), $100 Biden (Don W.) with a balance of $2,586.96
Mary McIntyre said that our Biden/Harris signs were ordered through CharValley. Delivery will be this Saturday, August 29, 2020. Sharon Guidi will also have signs delivered this Saturday. Mary and Deb Allen spoke about Sharon’s fund raiser which is a treasure hunt. Cost is $100/ per one person in a car or $200/car. Also, if anyone wants to attend the after treasure hunt get together, the cost is $25.
Jason Fincke drafted a letter which will be sent to all independents. He stated that there are about 2,000 independents in Upper St. Clair. He asked for help sending this letter out as soon as possible. If anyone needs money for stamps, please see Mary. New member Charlotte from Friendship Village said that she had five or six residents ready to help send out the Democratic letter to independent-registered voters. Jason’s letter will be available for mailing on Sunday; Mary McIntyre will send an email to everyone regarding time. There was a discussion about voting. Charlotte stated that she moved from Virginia and wants additional drop boxes in Allegheny County, and extended hours for residents to vote. She is thinking about a petition for drop boxes and asked if there are rules for drop boxes. Jason suggested if ballots are mailed early October, then no one will have to worry about drop boxes. New member Paulette stated that she has a 10 x 4 Biden/Harris sign in her yard. A new member volunteered to temporarily replace Katie Mazzocco as a Facebook administrator.
Sharon Guidi’s campaign manager Alex Franco suggested that we tie Natalie Mihalek to Donald Trump. Natalie (Republican) is running against Sharon. It was mentioned that in North Strabane there are weekly Republican rallies along Route 19. Alex said to take videos of the rally. It was also strongly mentioned that we need more visuals and should put an American flag next to Biden signs.
Mary McIntyre will organize an afternoon Zoom meeting at 2:00pm. She will send an email with specifics.
The meeting ended at 8:05pm.
by admin | Sep 1, 2020 | USC Democratic Committee
USC Democratic Committee Meeting Minutes
Zoom Meeting – August 18, 2020
The zoom meeting started at 7:01pm. There were 22 participants. There was discussion about the Democratic convention speeches. The next meeting will be next Tuesday, August 25, 2020 outside of the rec center on McLaughlin Run Road.
Mary ordered 200 Biden/Harris yard signs, which were paid for by our committee. Tom Duerr will be getting additional signs for Upper St. Clair. Jason Fincke stated that Linda Serene, former Upper St. Clair school board member, asked for six signs. Alex Franco, Sharon Guidi’s campaign manager, will have yard signs for Sharon. Mary stated that one Democratic chair has a Trump sign in their yard.
Tom Duerr is running Pam Iovino’s campaign. He said that Pam lost her last election in Upper St. Clair by two points. She should win this time with a solid margin. They are having Text Thursday nights for Pam and phone banking on Wednesday and Saturday. Fran Campbell suggested sending postcards. Pam also has two new field organizers, Ali Chaudhry and Grace DuBoise. Ali reported that an application to vote by mail will be sent to everyone with a postage paid reply envelope. Ali also asked for help delivering signs to Upper St. Clair and surrounding areas. Ali and Grace report to Tom.
Deb Allen and Mary McIntyre spoke about Sharon Guidi’s fundraiser on September 13. She is having a safe scavenger hunt which will start and end at the Lion’s Club. Deb asked for one additional clue handler in Upper St. Clair for the scavenger hunt. Deb also said that they are sending postcards for Sharon, have put out a lot of signs this past weekend, and doing everything virtually.
Election. Jason Fincke said we need to send all independents a letter about our concerns regarding Trump as president and why they should vote Democratic. Jason wrote the letter. Bernadette Fincke will have a list of independents by Ward/District next Tuesday. Mary McIntyre stated that the Democrats need the independents’votes in this election. There was concern that enough poll workers would be available. Fran Campbell and Linda Descutner will be working at the polls. Participants agreed that there isn’t a need for poll watchers. Alicia Hawkins said that 17-year olds can work the polls. Alicia’s father has worked with teenagers at the polls. Peter Schnore also has volunteered to work the polls. Mary McIntyre suggested that calling Shirley McClory is another option. September 15 is the date the state will be mailing out ballots for those who applied for mail-in voting.
Alex Franco cautioned that handling someone else’s ballot is a crime. Everyone must mail their ballot in person, or take it in person. Alex said that for this election, Pennsylvania has the most resources he has ever seen. Alex also said that the Democratic Party has already started hiring attorneys and volunteer attorneys. Kristin Fiori, an attorney, volunteered.
Tom Duerr gave a county council update saying the council passed legislation in reference to the Pittsburgh police and also approved paid sick leave. Peter Schnore questioned the approved paid sick leave. Tom answered that the sick leave is the same as the city of Pittsburgh, three paid sick days accrued over a period of time. The city sick leave was already challenged and upheld in court.
Peter’s wife, Jen Schnore was appointed to the School Board; she is the only Democrat on the Board. Jen said that school will be delayed until the first Thursday in September. There will be an on-line start. After that, there will be a choice of hybrid or fully remote. All students in one family will have the same schedule. Wednesday will be a cleaning day. Desks will be six feet apart. There will be barrier Plexiglas and masks will be worn at all times except for eating and ten minute breaks. They will be following Governor Wolf’s plan. Jen said that the teachers’ union is mostly in support of what the school is doing. Elise Schuerle stated the superintendent said that Upper St. Clair is following the hybrid plan because of Governor Wolf’s mandate. If residents are not happy, they should let the governor know they are not happy.
Jen also stated that Mt. Lebanon will be starting school online for the first nine weeks
The meeting ended at 8:21pm.
by admin | Jul 22, 2020 | USC Democratic Committee
USC Democratic Committee Meeting Minutes
Zoom Meeting – June 23, 2020
Mary McIntyre welcomed Zoom participants to the on-line meeting at 7:03pm.
The group discussed the Senate race and the importance of electing a Democrat. They also discussed concern about the Supreme Court, in particular Ruth Ginsburg
Mary asked for approval for the May and June minutes. Approval for May minutes was made by Erin Urban, seconded by Peg Babnik. Approval for June minutes was made by Peg Babnik, seconded by Fran Campbell. All approved
Peg Babnik read the treasurers report. The Committee had a balance of $3,179.76, less postage of $92.80, leaving a new balance of $3,086.96. Mary stated that we are spending more on postage than ever before, but that it is worth it.
Peg Babnik said that sending postcards to high school students was valuable. Sidd Mulherjee wanted to know what was actually written on the postcards sent to graduating seniors. Mary said that she did attend a high school Democratic Club meeting. Deb Allen said the high school has a day that clubs showcase at the beginning of the school year. Deb suggested that Mary attend and show interest on that day.
Tom Doerr was in attendance. He attended the County Council meeting and gave updates. He stated that it was a low-key meeting. A bill was passed to ban the use of tear gas. Also paid sick leave was approved for council legislation. There was also a progressive move; they are trying to pass a Civilian Police Review Board.
Tom Doerr is also Pam Iovino’s campaign manager. He said that there was less than 50% participation in the primary and 80% voted by mail. The mail-in ballot really helped Democrats. The County mailed a request form to everyone in the county that did not request one – 1.2 million for the County (election expenses). Tom and his group are putting together a summer plan to reach out to voters. July 5 through September 5, they are going to1) text, 2) canvas / telephone, and 3) send a personalized letter. He will be working with Jason Fincke. Tom said that the Republicans have paid telephone and paid canvassing only. The Republicans do not have the infrastructure that the Democrats have. There will be a Zoom meeting next Tuesday (June 30) to discuss these activities. If anyone wants to attend the Zoom meeting, please send an email to Mary McIntyre. Jason said that there are 5,000 Upper St. Clair residents identified as Democrat and Independent. Jason asked for 20 to 30 helpers to 1) text, 2) canvas and telephone, and to send personalized letters.
Tom Durr said that Devlin Robinson (Republican) is a marine vet and a serious challenger to Pam. He has the infrastructure but no money. He said that Shaun Parnell is crazy and tying Devlin to Shaun will help the Democrats’ cause. Research on Devlin shows he is favorable towards rights of the NRA. November is not a special election, so Jason said we will have to work harder to help Pam.
Sidd Mulherjee questioned Tom Doerr about targeting Democrats and Independents. The Committee is targeting both, that is why the number 5,000 is high. Independents are 80% likely to vote Democratic; they are functionally Democratic per Tom.
Mary McIntyre asked anyone to send her an email if they would like to listen to the Board of Elections meeting with Rich Fitzgerald, Sam DeMarco, and Bethany Hallam. Mary said that 80% of the ballots sent out were returned. Rich, Sam and Bethany do not want any ballot extensions. They feel the voters have plenty of time to vote. Rich Fitzgerald also does not want a paper application because it is hard to read. Erin Urban said in mid-July voters could apply for a November ballot. Jodi McClelland questioned if the ballet request was for one year or always. There will be a video for poll training purposes. Every poll location will be open by law. D200 scanners will be used. The county would like to open mail-in ballots earlier than election day. Sam DeMarco requested a list of everyone working at each poll, Democrat or Republican.
Bernadette Fincke stated that the Democrats did well with voting. Over 3,000 voted – 80% by mail. This was more votes than the Republicans – 37% voted total, and 21% voted by mail of that 37% total.
Jason Fincke said that Tom’s campaign is local. Jason would like to do something locally for the presidential election. Sidd Mulherjee stated that the United States needs to get rid of Trump for the world to see.
Erin Urban said that she has information to post on the Democratic Facebook group, Zoom, and the phone line.
Jason Fincke asked if anyone heard from Katie Mazzocco.
Tyler Gellasch said that he has been working on politics for most of the last three months. He spent time working on the Federal bailout issue CARES Act to increase unemployment benefits. Tyler said that locally with the Upper St. Clair School Board they are making an effort to open things up in the fall. At the National level, no one thinks it will happen. The School Board has approved 1:1 chrome books for all students, part-time school or full-time online. Tyler also organized fundraiser for economic advisers of Biden’s campaign. It was a Zoom fundraiser in early July. Deb Allen suggested a community committee for planning the fall schedule. Peter Schnore said that the school district sent a questioner to school parents. School opening will be the decision of the school administrators, not the school board. Peter stated that everyone needs to be prepared not to go back to school this fall. Peter suggested that you let the school board know how you feel. Tyler Gellasch said that all states are different. Tyler said that maybe school will reopen two or three days per week, or one-half day for everyone. He also said that 80/20 parents are in favor of reopening without masks. Deb Allen stated that there is a lack of Department of Education guidance. Deb also said that a group is needed with different contingency plans. Tyler said that there is no money for pandemic response, only for Chrome books. Our school district does have a reserve budget. Peter Schnore said the school board can’t be too blunt, they are afraid of community backlash.
Mary McIntyre said that there were 45 new COVID19 cases reported on Monday. Peter Schnore said that 2/3 of people in stores are not wearing masks. Sidd Mulherjee said everyone should wear masks because it is putting his life and his kid’s life in danger. Jodi McClelland said the same as gun rights. Kristin Fiori said all Washington County courtrooms staff are wearing mask, however others were not wearing masks. Tyler Gellasch stated that in Virginia, the governor was concerned about forcing people to wear masks because fear of armed conflict. Tyler also stated that there is a legal liability to going back to the office. (Example: teachers union, state level employees) Basically, I sue you if I get sick. Fran Campell stated that there would be no way to prove sickness from work. Tyler said that there will be a lot of litigations.
Deb Allen asked about Elise Logan’s Commissioner seat opening. Erin Urban said that there were no specific timelines. Mary McIntyre said that she had not seen Elise recently. Deb Allen said there was nothing on the Commissioner’s website. Elise’s replacement must be someone in her district. Peter Schnore stated that we need to find the right candidate.
The meeting ended at 8:35pm.