Minutes of the Suffolk Democratic Committee of February 11, 2020

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by chairperson Sharon Eaton at 6:30PM, February 11, 2020 at 701 Old East Pinner Street.  The following officers were present or absent as noted

  • Chairperson: Sharon Eaton  – Present
  • 1st Vice Chair  Robert Barclay  – Present
  • 2nd Vice Chair  Leslie Rinaldi  – Present
  • 3rd Vice Chair  Karen Jenkins – Present
  • 4th Vice Chair  D.J. McGuire  – Absent
  • Treasurer Catherine Anson  – Present
  • Corresponding Secretary Charles Owens – Absent
  • Recording Secretary Benjamin Goldberg  – Present
  • Sergeant at Arms: Michele Faulk  – Present

Minutes and Treasurer’s report

Benjamin Goldberg passed out copies of the minutes.  Arthur Singleton moved for approval of the minutes and the motion passed

Catherine Anson passed out and read the treasurer’s report which will be filed separately.

Ms. Anson called for volunteers to audit the committee’s financial records.

Committee Reports

Membership

Robert Barclay gave the membership report.  Mr. Barclay said there were 30 members as a result of the reorganization in January.  He also said other people had submitted applications but did not pay during the reorganization, and were not yet members.  There was some discussion between Mr. Barclay and Catherine Anson about applications and payments submitted since the reorganization, but Michele Faulk asked that any uncertainties be resolved after the meeting

Technology / Social Media

Benjamin Goldberg said the technology committee hadn’t met in the past month but will meet in the upcoming weeks

Later during the meeting, several people who were attending said they found out about the meeting as a result of a post in the Next Door app.  That post was made by Cheryl Murray, and the post included the meeting information along with her concerns about how the public utilities were unfairly charging residents.

Outreach

Leslie Rinaldi presented the outreach report.  She said the outreach committee had three meetings and selected national and local causes for the upcoming here.  The national causes where

  • Reducing Gun Violence
  • Universal Access to Health Care
  • Environmental issues and Climate Change

The local cause selected was public utilities, including water and electric.

Gun Violence

Ms. Rinaldi said that the Outreach Committee will be partnering with Moms Demand Action to help gain awareness of the issue and help with legislation.  She said that confiscated guns are often sold back into the community and she would find out if that is the practice in Suffolk.  Ms. Rinaldi said there was to be an event in Portsmouth on March 3rd, featuring Raekwon Robinson, who is a high school student affected by gun violence.

Public Utilities

Ms. Rinaldi said committee members are reaching out to the media and to city council to see what can be done about the high utility rates.

Cheryl Murray spoke about her dealings with the water utility, which prompted her to post about it on Next Door.  She said residents in her area were being charged for water wasted as a result of broken water pipes that are the city’s responsibility.  She said residents are being told that they have "leaks somewhere" or are being accused of wasting water.

Additional Outreach Committee Activities

Ms. Rinaldi said the outreach committee is also looking to increase youth participation.  They will be holding voter registration drives in the high schools in the last week of April, and will be seeking to help start Young Democratic committees in high schools and at TCC and Paul D. Camp.

Ms. Rinaldi asked that any members who had ballot petitions for Bobby Scott, Don McEachin or Mark Warner to turn in those petitions to Orga Boone.

Mary Burroughs-Gray, who works in Don McEachin’s office also addressed the committee.  She said that Congressman McEachin plans to come to the committee meeting in April, but would be at Macedonia church during the upcoming weekend, and will be at the NAACP event.

Events Committee

Karen Jenkins presented the events committee report.

Community Leadership Luncheon

Ms. Jenkins said the Community Leadership Luncheon, which in the past years was known as the Heroes’ Luncheon, will be April 25th at the Hilton from 12 to 3.  TIckets will be $35.00.  She asked for nominations of people to be recognized.  Ms. Jenkins also said that they hope to concentrate on people who go above and beyond their normal duties, and would like to move away from nominating elected officials.

Benjamin Goldberg, in response to a question, said that there is a link to the nominating form on the committee’s website.

Ms. Jenkins also asked for volunteers to be on the nomination panel.  Orga Boone, Virgie Sandifer, and Mary Burroughs-Gray volunteered.

Blue Gala

Ms. Jenkins said that the Blue Gala will take place in Richmond on the following Saturday.

Mothers Against Violence Luncheon

Ms. Jenkins also spoke on behalf of Joan Turner and announced that Mothers against Violence was to meet at the Suffolk Shrine club. Ms. Jenkins spoke to the hardship that Ms. Turner and families of victims endure.  In Ms. Turner’s case, their son was never found so they must keep paying life insurance and can’t get benefits.  Ms. Jenkins said Clint Jenkins presented a bill to alleviate the 7 year wait, and that Ms. Turner had been advocating to get such a bill passed.

NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet

Marion Flood said that the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet was to be held the following Sunday, and that one of the honorees. LaTroy Brinkley, was at this meeting.  She said Councilman Lou Ward would also be honored.  Ms. Flood said tickets were $50.

Other Business

Suffolk Electoral Board

Suffolk City Clerk Randy Carter addressed the committee to say that the committee had submitted one nomination for a vacancy on the Suffolk Electoral board, but by statute is required to submit two alternative names, and said that if the committee doesn’t submit alternates, and alternate might be appointed by a judge. The vacancy is because Ms. Beverly Outlaw, a long term member of the board, is stepping down.

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