Sorry again for the lateness of this message. But between the cold weather and other weird events, lots of things have been going on.
FIRST: The original speaker scheduled for our January 17th potluck was Wake County Board of Education member Dr. Jim Martin to talk about vocational-technical education in our public school system. Because there are some rather bizarre things going on in the Wake County Progressive Democrats and the statewide progressive caucus (which I will go into later in this e-mail), so Vice President Mike Pierce and I thought we should reschedule Dr. Martin for our February meeting. We will use our time this coming Wednesday to discuss the current and future issues affecting the Wake County Progressive Democrats.
SECOND: Due to forecasts of 1 to 3 inches of snow on Wednesday, with a high of only 32 degrees, we might cancel the meeting if either NCDP staff at Goodwin House decide to close down due to weather. We also know that just because weather in Raleigh might be clear, it doesn’t mean other parts of the county will be. We will let you know as soon as we do if we can hold the meeting that day by sending out e-mail and posting to Facebook.
Weather-permitting, our meeting will be held on our traditional 3rd Wednesday of the month - January 17th from 6-8:30PM at NC Democratic Party Headquarters/Goodwin House, 220 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC 27603. This is a potluck, so please bring some food or beverages to share. If you can, please come early at 6 PM and help us set up. We will start eating at 6:30. To RSVP, please do so on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1454755441303861/ or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
THIRD: I’d like to apologize for those people upset by the cancellation of our December holiday party – especially those who were left in the dark by some officers failing to perform their duties.
I prepared an e-mail which was forwarded onto another officer for distribution through our website e-mailer, but some folks tell me they never received it. Furthermore, while we had our regularly scheduled meetings in September, October and November – the last report on attendance, membership and donations/dues that I received was for August. They could not have been sent a notice of cancellation even if everyone else got one – but there was no official notice except for the ones I sent out. I posted a similar message to our FB account, and I called up several long-time members to give them the news. This is why I am sending in through my old earthlink e-mail address.
At one of our summer board meetings, we scheduled our December holiday party at an officer’s house – exact date and time unspecified. By late October, this officer had some family issues requiring out of state travel that caused this location to become unavailable. I asked the other officers – including those responsible for our activities – to find another suitable location for the event (free where we could bring our own food). Throughout the entire month of November, they were not able to find a spot available on the two weekend dates we had in mind, with enough time for the board members to do all the work required to hold the party and make it a successful one.
Since no specific time/date and location had never been agreed upon or even previously announced, it didn’t require a board meeting to cancel this event – it cancelled itself.
Sorry to all our friends and fellow progressives who wanted to attend – some officers dropped the ball and I intend to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
--> FOURTH: The Wake County Progressive Democrats have been under continuous attack over the last two years from establishment conservaDems, the usual fauxgressive minions – and now from other ambitious progressives!
During a May 2017 PCNCDP interim officer teleconference call, interim PCNCDP officer Wendy Ella May made a motion to grandfather the Wake County Progressive Democrats, as well as their officers, bylaws and existing members, as the organized Wake County Chapter of record. That motion was properly seconded, and proceeded to discussion and debate where the subject of our bylaws came up. According to interim officer Wendy Ella May, they discussed the bylaws in effect at the time (passed on June 18, 2015 and available on our FB page) and upon examination they were found to be acceptable. Discussion and debate was closed, and the interim officers voted unanimously to approve Wendy’s motion.
I was first informed in-person of the results of that vote by interim officers Wendy Ella May, Mike Pierce and Stacey Piesche on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - when they attended my 57th birthday party. They told me that Wake County was the first organized county and the Wake County Progressive Democrats were the official chapter of record, with everything grandfathered in. We’ve got screen shots shot on June 12 that were posted on our FB page – along with 24 likes – to prove this.
PCNCDP interim President David Nelson came to our June 21, 2017 Wake County Progressive Dems potluck to formally announce this. I remember this and so do many others. We’ve got written statements from two candidates for public office and one other Wake Progressives officer to back this up. Our Treasurer said the same thing at our June meeting as well as subsequent meetings (including our July pool party) – with this information used to induce people to apply for state caucus membership and pay dues.
Now the statewide caucus claims we are not organized anymore. They claim that Wake is contested county – which means a 2nd group interested in becoming the official county chapter of record.
Our own Communications Chair and Treasurer Stacey Piesche is the 2nd organizer (something not allowed under chapter organizing procedures which direct additional organizers to the original organizer - me!) and she has scheduled an organizational meeting for January 28th, 2018. And that any current members of the Wake County Progressive Democrats want to vote at the January 28th meeting, we have to apply for membership and pay dues before the 28th. But why do they think anyone in Wake County would want to join the statewide caucus just to vote in an election or at any time in the future when they didn’t honor our organized status the interim officers already voted on back in May?
Now I know that many of the officers in the new caucus at the state level have little to no actual experience in the Democratic Party at the state officer level before, so they may be over their heads. There are many people who run for party office and find out they are in over their heads. Another issue is people running for many different offices and not being able to have enough time (or interest) to do all the work for all those positions.
Part of the problem with not taking membership applications until June 2017 was too many officers wanting to do most everything on the internet. Why not take those individual member applications on paper and accept cash and checks until county/district chapter procedures were formulated and the website was up? If we had done this immediately after the September 2016 SEC meeting, imagine how many members we could have signed up at the November 13 meeting in Greensboro - attended by 100 people? Imagine how many people we could have signed up at the February 2017 SEC meeting? At county conventions in April 2017, and at the District Conventions in May 2017?