Minutes of the General Meeting of July 13, 2021

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:38 PM by chairperson Sharon Eaton. The meeting started without a quorum. There was a quorum before the meeting was adjourned

Minutes and Financial Report

Motion: Benjamin Goldberg moved that the minutes from May, which he had emailed earlier, be approved and the motion passed. Catherine Anson presented the financial report which will be filed for audit.


Motion: Robert Barclay moved to accept Lisa Penn and John Gladden as members.  The motion passed Mr. Barclay said the committee received applications and dues for Princess Benn-Coker and David Boyd who would be voted on at the next meeting.

Benjamin Goldberg asked for clarification that when a potential member pays dues through ActBlue, the dues is considered paid as soon as ActBlue posts the notice.  Robert Barclay said as long as we can match the payment to the individual it would be good for membership

Tech and Media Updates

Zaki Edwards announced that the redesign of the website is on-line.  He said it included many of the pictures that members sent and that members contact him if they had more photos or suggestions Benjamin Goldberg asked members to sign up on Slack at sdcvirginia.slack.com.  He mentioned the difficulty in having a quorum as one problem that can be helped if members sign up, as well as improvements in the committee’s ability to pass notices and details about canvassing events.

Meeting Venue

Motion: D.J. McGuire moved to enter a contract with the Hampton Inn for in-person monthly meetings, and the motion passed Michele Faulk said of the several venues she contacted, many said they weren’t accepting clients yet, others did not respond, and the only realistic response she received was from the Hampton Inn.  The price would be $150 plus tax (about $159 total) each meeting, payable prior to each meeting.  Ms. Faulk said that the contract would be for six months, but we would not be responsible for meetings missed during a pandemic shutdown.

Canvassing & Outreach

Shameka Council called for volunteers to assist with an upcoming canvassing event and asked members to take voter registration training.  Leslie Rinaldi posted the link for voter registration training in chat: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/registration-drives/voter-registration-training-video/ Ms. Council posted the following details in chat: July 17th we will canvassing in Patriots Walk from 10-12 the community is on Nansemond Parkway before you get to Mack Benn Elementary School Leslie Rinaldi said the Outreach committee has been working on phone banking scripts for Clint Jenkins and Michael.  She pointed out that canvassing in the 64th is very difficult and will concentrate on phone banking for the 64th.

Peanut Fest

Motion: Catherine Anson moved that the committee participate in Peanut Fest this year and the motion passed.

Sharon Eaton said she heard from Karen Jenkins that the fee for Peanut Fest has increased and they no longer supply tents.  The fee this year will be $500.  Other members noted that SDC usually pays near $1000 to participate in Peanut Fest but that fee included the tent In a discussion about the tent, Michael Drewrey recommended S & B Tent Rentals Smithfield.  Sharon Eaton said she would contact them.  Michele Faulk also noted that Peanut Fest would be three days instead of four as it had been.  The dates are Oct 8, 9th and 10th, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Benjamin Goldberg said he’d reach out to DPVA for insurance

TGIF Concerts

Ms. Rinaldi said starting Friday the 16th the Suffolk Democratic Committee will have a table at the city’s Friday evening events, which on the 16 would be at Constant’s Wharf and on the 30th at Bennett’s Creek.

National Night Out

Leslie Rinaldi said that National Night Out would occur before the next meeting and asked members to contact her to volunteer

Changes to Voting Locations

Beverly Outlaw said Holland Community Place is no longer available as a polling location.  The voting location will be at Southwestern Elementary School, 150 Pioneer Road, Suffolk, Virginia 23437.  She said the state board posted the wrong address and they are correcting it. Ms. Outlaw said that people would like to have additional drop boxes, and that the city plans to put drop boxes in the North Suffolk Library building and at the airport.   She asked for feedback about a possible better location than the airport.

She also said the board voted not to have offices in addition to the current registrar’s office.
Ms. Outlaw also said one of the legislators asked about the office being open on Sunday for Souls to the Polls, but they decided against it because of the high number of absentee voters and relatively low number of in-person voters. She also said Souls to the Polls works best in states with same-day registration.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:51

Note: These minutes were posted 12/5/2021. The date in the publish field is the date these were approved