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.