Clovis Democratic Club
August 20, 2015, Seven Restaurant, Clovis, CA.
Meeting: The meeting was called to order at 6:15 p.m. by President Jeni Kren. Following the Flag Salute Jeni welcomed new guests, including two new citizens from Mexico, Hugo and Maria Gomez.
Program 1: Vice President Alexia Baca introduced Michael Evans, Chair Fresno County Democratic Central Committee who spoke about getting out the vote in 2016. Now is the time for us to undertake serious work in terms of voter registration and education to ensure that we have laid the groundwork for strong turnout to support our Democratic candidates in 2016. There are more Democrats than Republicans in Fresno County but the Republicans vote in greater numbers than Democrats. In 2014 39.2% of registered Democrats voted and 65% of registered Republicans.
There are 6.5 million unregistered voters in CA and aggressive voter outreach is needed. Precinct leaders can help. This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for persons to make a difference in their own neighborhood; door-to-door with a goal of having 150 precinct leaders. The more precinct leaders we can engage in 2016, the greater our likelihood of success. In addition, Rural and Youth outreach are already underway. There are challenges. A lot of ballots are mailed out but there is a low percentage returned. Latino very low participation nation wide. It may be due partially to language barriers, but information is available in their language and if they didn’t grow up here they may not understand the voting process. Another challenge is that the perception that the Central Valley is not anyone’s priority. Steps are being taken to implement increased voting through the County or regional approach, staffing and leadership and are also interested in finding qualified people to run in the Valley.
We will have help in the future with voter registration. Right now anyone who has dealings with the Department of Motor Vehicles is mailed a voter registration card. In the future no card will be mailed out; they will be automatically registered to vote but no voter party affiliation will be included.
Michael also spoke about upcoming races locally, regionally, and at state levels.
Program 2 – Citizens Climate Lobby
Dr. Don Gaede and Matt Armstrom spoke about the Fresno Citizens Climate Lobby which is a part of a national, a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on policies to address climate change/global warming. They work with members of Congress and their staffs, collaborate with concerned groups, host public outreach events, conduct letter writing campaigns, submit letters to the editor and op-ed pieces for local newspapers, and seek editorial endorsements.
There are 26,000 indicators around us proving global warming. The year 2014 was the hottest global temperature worldwide since records have bee kept and 2015 promises to be even hotter.
Legislation is being worked on that would: Levy a federal tax/fee on the CO2 content of fossil fuels at the source; well, port of entry, or mine; distribute all revenues to US households to offset higher energy costs; apply border adjustments to protect American companies from foreign competitors not subject to comparable emission-cutting measures. Ultimately the plan will reduce demand for fossil fuels and make alternative, no/low-carbon energy sources more affordable. People are causing the problem and people need to fix it by working to increase solar, wind, and wave energy and products that are eco friendly. They encourage us to all get involved to help prevent continuing global warming.
Minutes: The minutes of the May 15, 2015 meeting were accepted as presented.
Treasurer’s Report: Club treasurer, Lew Pond reported that the Club has a current balance of $2115.
Membership Report: Judy Noteboom reported that the Club has 35 paid members.
President’s Report: None
Central Committee Report: None
ByLaws Revision. Our club ByLaws revision has been a work in progress to bring them into compliance with the CA Democrats recommendations. A draft of the suggested revisions was handed out with one typo noted. A motion was made by Howard Landon and seconded by Don Hallman to approve and adapt the revised ByLaws as written. Motion carried.
Picnic: Despite it being a hot day the picnic was well attended and a successful fundraiser. A profit of $958.26 made. There was discussion of moving the picnic to an inside location yet to be determined next year.
Award: Lucy Elgin was given a plaque in recognition of her past leadership given to our club.
Donation: Inasmuch as this is an off election year and we do not yet have candidates to support; a donation of $500 was approved to be given to the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee headquarters. Motion was made by Alexis Bach and seconded by Lucy Elgin.
Clovis Fest: Clovis Fest will be held in downtown Clovis September 19 and 20th. Our club will sponsor a booth and will have the help of volunteers from the Hillary for America, and Fresno for Berney Sanders groups.
Hot Topics: In Bob Ramsay’s absence, president Jenni Kren reported her concern about the talk about “Birthright Citizenship.” Although it is highly doubted it will pass, even the discussion of it could become racist.
Introductions: There were 15 members and guests in attendance. They introduced themselves and briefly mentioned personal thoughts about current issues.
A Labor Day pancake breakfast will be held at the Fresno County Fairgrounds; it is a good place to meet politicians.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned 7:55 p.m. The next meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. September 17, 2015, at Seven Bar and Grill, 25 Shaw Ave, Clovis, CA.
Judy Noteboom sitting in for secretary Bob Jones