Minutes of the Regular Meeting and Endorsement of Candidates of October 9th 2018

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairperson Leslie Rinaldi.  The committee did not have a quorum.  The following officers were present or not present as indicated

Leslie RinaldiChairpersonPresent
Verjena JonesFirst Vice ChairPresent
Michele FaulkThird Vice ChairNot Present
D.J. McGuireFourth Vice ChairNot Present
Catherine AnsonTreasurerPresent
Benjamin GoldbergRecording SecretaryPresent

Review and Acceptance of Reports


The minutes of October’s meeting were reviewed.  Benjamin Goldberg pointed out two corrections that had to me made.  D.J. McGuire’s attendance was printed as blank and would be corrected to “Not Present”.  Catherine Anson was not listed.  That would be corrected to listing her as present.

Treasurer’s Report

Catherine Anson gave the treasurer’s report, which was approved for filing.  Ms. Anson noted that the committee would get back money spent on the Blue Diamond Award Banquet because the banquet was canceled.  Ms. Anson also said that she was currently conducting an audit of the committee’s funds, and that the audit will be complete by the meeting January. 

Precinct and Borough Committee Report

D.J. McGuire gave the Precinct and Borough Committee report by phone.  He said we had poll coverage for all polling locations except Chuckatuck Fire Station and Corinth Chapel Church.  He said the results showed that in Suffolk Tim Kaine did 2 or 3 points better than Ralph Northam did last year.  He said precincts that Democrats flipped last year did even better this year, and that this year Wilroy flipped Democratic.  He noted that Corinth Chapel was the only precinct to move more Republican. 

Mr. McGuire said we should run a candidate against Chris Jones. 

He said that the next Precinct Committee meeting would be December 6th.


2018 Election Results & Volunteer Efforts

Leslie Rinaldi noted that Karan Jenkins and Tyron Riddick, both of whom the committee endorsed, won their elections for school board membership, and noted the good turnout for Suffolk.  Other members also noted the good turnout for Suffolk, and Carol Byrd expressed her gratitude for the volunteers and supporters at the Suffolk Campaign office.  Ms. Bird also noted the importance of canvassing and getting out the vote.  She said there were people with whom she and others made contact who didn’t know who was running.  

Dan Brooks asked what to do with used campaign signs.  After some discussion, Ms. Rinaldi said the undated signs for Bobby Scott and Don McEachin can be returned to their offices. 

There was some discussion about difficulties encountered during canvassing and on election day.  Robert and Tina Kearny mentioned that some people were directed to the Jewish Community Center, which was not the proper voting location, but there were signs at the JCC directing them to the proper location.  Other members said they were questioned by neighborhood watch members while canvassing.

Gimme5 Campaign

Leslie Rinaldi said the Gimme5 Campaign would be extended to until the January Meeting.  One person asked if donations could be used for membership fees.  Art Singleton suggested the possibility that membership fees could be waived if contributors donated enough.  Ms. Rinaldi said it was a good idea. 

Membership Dues Collection

There was a discussion about lapsed members and membership dues.  It was noted that in accordance with recent changes in the bylaws, all membership dues is due in January. 

Outreach Committee Structure

Leslie Rinaldi noted that Outreach Committee Chairperson Dorothy Waddell has stepped down due to medical issues.  She said she would like to get a new outreach chairperson in place.  She also noted that the Outreach Committee has a lot of functions including issues, canvassing, phone banking and voter participation, and said she is working on an idea in which these positions can be represented by individuals at the executive meetings. 

Sargent at Arms Position

Leslie Rinaldi said the committee also needs a Sargent at Arms.

Holiday Party

Leslie Rinaldi proposed having the holiday party in January instead of December, and suggested we invite campaign volunteers to the event.

Endorsement of Local Candidates

Benjamin Goldberg said he spoke with Councilman Don Goldberg.  The two men are not related.  Councilman Goldberg is against the idea of committee endorsements because as a Democrat, he felt it was improper for his own committee to damage his campaign in order to work for his opponent.   He said the committee failed to give adequate notice to candidates about the endorsement, and he also felt insulted by the short amount of time he was given to speak at October’s meeting.

Leslie Rinaldi pointed out that Councilman Goldberg said, at first, that he was not seeking the committee’s endorsement but later said he would come to the meeting.  She said candidates seeking endorsements only had three minutes to speak and felt the amount of time given to Councilman Goldberg, who was not seeking endorsement was adequate.  Ms. Rinaldi did agree that the notification could be improved.  She said the committee should contact candidates earlier in the year and follow up on those who don’t respond.

Art Singleton said the committee as a whole should not endorse borough candidates because only the people in a borough should vote on the endorsement of their own borough candidates.  Ms. Rinaldi said the plans for future are that only committee members in a candidate’s borough will vote on endorsing that candidate.     

Clint Jenkins said endorsing local candidates is what the Democratic Party of Virginia wants local committees to do. He said that endorsement of candidates at the local level builds pipelines for candidates in higher offices.   


The meeting was adjourned at 7:46

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