Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 8, 2019

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Leslie Rinaldi at 6:32 PM at 701 Old East Pinner Street. The following officers where present:

Chairperson Leslie Rinaldi
First Vice-Chair Verjena Jones
Third Vice-Chair Michele Faulk
Treasurer Catherine Anson
Recording Secretary Benjamin Goldberg
Sergeant-at-Arms Shedrick Roberts

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report

Catherine Anson presented the treasurer’s report which will be filed for audit. Benjamin Goldberg passed out the minutes from October’s meeting. Kevin Fowler motioned to accept the minutes, which were accepted

Endorsement of Candidates

Leslie Rinaldi announced that the committee was to vote on the endorsement of two candidates for the positions of Soil and Water Conservation Director. Of the five candidates seeking election, three where members of the SDC and were seeking the committee’s endorsement. The two incumbents did not seek the committee’s endorsement.

The committee heard from Okey Igbonagwam and Charles Owens. Renee Sandifer was not present but Shedrick Roberts read a statement on behalf of Ms. Sandifer. Mr. Owens and Mr. Igbonagwam each had five minutes to speak and two minutes to answer questions. Questions from the committee included requests for clarification of duties and of the authority of the conservation district.

All three candidates expressed a desire to do more than has been done to protect the environment. Mr. Owens and Mr. Igbonagwam clarified that the district does not make laws but advises and works with lawmakers.

A discussion about endorsing candidates followed the candidates’ presentations. Ms. Rinaldi clarified that candidates nominated as Democrats, such as state candidates, automatically have the Suffolk Democratic Committee’s endorsement, but candidates in non-partisan races can only have the committee’s endorsement if we vote to endorse. Benjamin Goldberg asked if, even though the SDC bylaws prohibited hosting non-endorsed candidate’s literature at Peanut Fest, it would acceptable to place a notice in the tent noting that three SDC members are running. Dan Brooks said he felt that would be of questionable legitimacy and advised against it.

The committee voted to endorse Okey Igbonagwam and Charles Owens.

General Assembly Candidates Becky Raveson and Clinton Jenkins

Committee member and candidate Becky Raveson addressed the committee. Ms. Raveson was running for Virginia Senate district 14.

Clinton Jenkins’s campaign manager, Derek McDonald, also addressed the committee. Mr. McDonald said it was an exciting time for our district. Karen Jenkins also addressed the committee. Ms. Jenkins called for volunteers at the polling locations, and said she hopes for 10 Democrats at each location.


Leslie Rinaldi said the committee will be reorganizing in December and said that in addition to openings already mentioned, the committee will be seeking a new Events Committee Chair and a new Chairperson

Pancake Breakfast

Michele Faulk said the pancake breakfast had 91 guests. She also said there where 28 volunteers and said Deloise Pope (who was not present) coordinated the event. 196 tickets where sold. The committee paid Applebee’s $364 plus a $40 tip for the cooks. The committee’s profit was $1086.

High School Voter Registration

Leslie Rinaldi said committee volunteers hosted voter registration events in Suffolk high schools. Ms. Rinaldi said they completed 28 registrations. 9 others were not complete but were turned over to the registrars office in accordance with law.

Peanut Festival

Michele Faulk called for volunteers for the Peanut Festival, which was to take place in October.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 pm