Call to Order
The Meeting was called to order by 1st Vice Chair Robert Barclay at 6:32 PM. The meeting had a quorum.
Minutes and Financial Reports
The minutes, which were sent to members prior to the meeting, where approved pending correction to Narendra Pleas’s name.
Catherine Anson presented the financial report which will be filed separately.
Nomination Method for City of Suffolk Offices and House of Delegates
Robert Barclay said local Democratic committees are tasked by the state to choose a nomination process for district and local Democratic candidates. 2021 elections for Suffolk will include House of Delegates districts 76 and 64, and Suffolk constitutional offices of Commonwealth’s Attorney, Commissioner of Revenue, Treasurer, and Sheriff.
For the House of Delegate elections, Suffolk will be part of nominating committees. Suffolk will have 95 percent of the vote for the 76th district and about 15 percent for the 64th. The Isle of Wight Democratic Committee has the plurality of votes for the 64th district. In Chairperson Sharon Eaton’s absence due to illness, Mr Barclay will represent the Suffolk Democratic Committee on the nominating committee for the 76th district in which they live, and Ed Roettger will be SDC’s member for the 64th.
Mr. Barclay recommended a primary method, as opposed to caucus. He said Delegate Jenkins prefers the primary method, and that primaries are being recommended by the state committee due to covid-19 issues. Mr. Barclay said that in order to choose Primary as the nominating method, the nominating committees must respond by February 23rd.
Leslie Rinaldi made a motion that the Suffolk Democratic Committee choose the primary method for the November elections. The motion passed.
Narendra Pleas for Commonwealth’s Attorney
Narendra Pleas said she is planning to run for Commonwealth’s Attorney. She said she made an announcement on Facebook and issued a press release. Clint Jenkins added that Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson will not be running for reelection.
Outreach in New Neighborhoods
Shameka Council said she discussed with Leslie Rinaldi the need to do outreach, such as passing out literature, in new neighborhoods. Ms. Copeland said new neighborhoods include Moore’s Point, and neighborhoods near Kings Fork High School, Turlington Road and Pitchkettle Road.
Bills in Progress and Calling Representatives
Leslie Rinaldi reported on progress made on important issues. She noted red-flag laws that were passed recently in the General Assembly. Ms. Rinaldi said the committee is reaffirming their commitment to progress on the ERA, environmental issues, and Suffolk’s water bills.
Robin Holton spoke about progress on gun safety bills. Three bills have passed in one chamber. One bill regards ghost guns, which are made with 3d printers. Another prohibits guns on state buildings, and another prohibits guns at polling places.
Ms. Rinaldi said there are bills regarding oversight of utility bills. She said Dominion has been overcharging customers and there are bills Congress aimed at preventing that.
Ms. Rinaldi noted that bills against the death penalty have passed in both chambers of the General Assembly, and other criminal justice reform bills have passed.
Pat Jacobson spoke about bills for energy storage, revenue staring and renewable energy.
Ms. Rinaldi, Ms. Holton, and Delegate Jenkins also noted that calls should be made soon because the General Assembly was in crossover, when bills that passed in one chamber crossover to another. Mr. Jenkins said that emails are effective, but warned against emails that are taken from a template because emails that look similar to other emails are often not read. He said that short emails in your own words are more effective than computer-generated emails. Delegate Jenkins also said that phone calls are effective, even if they are voice mails.
Ms. Rinaldi said there is a script for calling representatives on Zulip.
Robert Barclay told the committee that Chairperson Sharon Eaton had been hospitalized with covid-19. Ms. Eaton has been discharged and is recovering
Technology Committee Chair
Benjamin Goldberg announced that Nicole Randolph will be taking over as chair of the technology committee. Mr. Goldberg will continue as a member.
Leslie Rinaldi recommended that members take voter registration training. She said the training is good for one year.
Redistricting and Election Polling Locations
Beverly Outlaw said the last election, because of the turnout, caused some burden on polling places. VMAS, Holland Community Center, and Salvation Army, gave notice that they no longer wanted to be polling places. VMAS will host November’s election. Ms. Outlaw said the report from the redistricting committee won’t be presented until July 31.
Clint Jenkins said he had petition blanks available, and if you wish to help get him on the ballot you can email him to get one.
Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force
Karin Jenkins said Clint Jenkins worked hard to get vaccines available in Suffolk. When vaccines were not available, Delegate Jenkins put together a task force which helped bring vaccines to Suffolk.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm