The Washington County Democrats met at Art Domestique on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 with 15 attendees. Chairperson Lorraine Williams called the meeting to order at 6:58 pm and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Minutes of the April meeting was approved as distributed and will be posted on the blog.
Kay Ciha presented the Treasurer’s report with updates to membership fees, income from the sale of food items at the 2nd District Convention, donations and the candidate fund. New expenses include a contribution to Kim Davis’ supervisor campaign ($250), the Golden Delight Bakery for pastries resold at the 2nd District convention ($225), the Washington County fair booth fee ($200) and starting petty cash at the 2nd District Convention ($200).
A motion to move $845 into the Candidate Development Fun was submitted by Harold Frakes and seconded by Doris Park. Pete Morrison reminded the club about the possibility of needing those funds for an election headquarters/office in Washington County. Kay Ciha reported the history of rent payments in previous election years 2010-2014, showing funds were, on average, needed for July-November and occasionally in May/June. Kevin Kinney lended support via feedback from his campaign history, stating that although Johnson County, Riverside, Kalona and Wellman are the most influential areas for democratic candidates, a strong presence is needed in Washington County. Having a headquarters should be carefully considered. Lorraine Williams endorsed reallocating $845 for the Candidate Development fund. Should we need those funds for a headquarters, a new discussion can take place to return them to the General Fund. A vote was called with 1 opposed. Motion passed.
Report of the Chair:
Today’s guest is Iowa Senator Kevin Kinney. Senator Kinney provided a summary of his legislative successes from the past session.
* A human trafficking/public safety legislation was passed into law.
* Narcan, an antidote for morphine overdoses, was approved for law enforcement and first responders to carry. It has already proven to save lives.
* “Peeping Tom” legislation restructured existing law to make trespassing on property with concealed cameras/recording equipment an aggravated misdemeanor with a sentence of up to 2 years in prison and thus allowing the state to obtain DNA for the database. Statistics show that this type of criminal behavior tends to elevate to crimes of sexual assault.
* The statutes of limitations on child endangerment were extended from 3 years to 10 years following the 18th birthday or 2 years after DNA identifies a perpetrator. This change was prompted by a young man who had been abused physically by a guardian well into his teenage years.
* Questions from committee members resulted in lively discussion over several issues. Salient points from that discussion are:
o Mandatory sentences were reduced but judges have the option to increase sentencing, as they deem is necessary. The positive outcome of this change is a decreased recidivism rate with a parole officer watching/working with an individual as they are not as likely to offend again with shorter sentences.
o The Iowa Department of Agriculture oversees organic growers and crop spraying. The State of Iowa will now be working with the Hygienic Lab, which has a test that takes 4 weeks versus the IDALS (SP?) 6-month test that the state had been using for years.
o On water quality issues, we can't compare urban versus rural water quality. Sewage treatment plants also greatly contaminate rivers, not just farm chemicals. Senator Kinney will be participating in a water summit to identify resolutions. It is also important to note that nitrogen naturally occurs in soil. It's a complex issue without easy solutions. Some solutions may require changes to farming practices similar to the reduction of phosphorus through no till planting methods.
Overview of the convention: Washington County did an incredible job with the convention. The 2nd District is very pleased, although it was pointed out that the location of the convention may not remain stationary in Washington going forward.
Changes to note should we host another convention: Have a dinner plan, improve audio as members in the back of the room had difficulties hearing as well as reading the screens. Due to the lateness of the meeting adjournment, possibly consider reserving a block of hotel rooms for attendees wishing to stay over. Senator Kinney only heard good things about the convention.
Fundraiser: Auctions items were a good showing for Washington County.
State Convention carpooling needs: deferred to the June meeting.
Jeanne Redlinger in Riverside requested that a future meeting be held in Riverside and possibly rotate throughout the county to increase attendance by other area democrats. This has been tried before without success, but the club will consider it if Jeanne finds a location and can motivate attendance.
Parades: Kay Ciha called the Washington Chamber to obtain a list of county parades. John, departing Community Events Chair, also provided a list of dates. The float for this summer's use is available at John's house. We'll use Richard's truck and distribute water. Kay will purchase red, white and blue candy.
June 4, Washington, Ridiculous Days
June 18, Kalona, Kalona Days
June 25, Riverside, Trek Fest
July 16-19, Brighton, Whoopee Days
Sept 23-24, Kalona, Fall Festival
There are upcoming debate events for US Senate candidates (May 15, 4-6pm in Des Moines) and County Supervisor candidates (May 24 at the Washington County Library).
At the next meeting, we'll be passing around sign-up sheets for the Washington County Fair booth shifts (July 17-24) as well as for RABRAI (July 29). It was suggested the Washington County Democrats sell watermelon and pie to RAGBRAI riders.
After the primary on June 7th, we should schedule a meet and greet with Dave Loebsack. Possible location could be the lodge at Lake Darling.
Harold Frakes suggested all attend City Council to bring up the handicap parking spot outside the YMCA. It is sloped so water collects where those with mobility challenges need to walk. It forms into ice in winter. If City Council is notified of a physical hazard, it's their responsibility to repair it. It was suggested that photos of “failures” be taken and presented at City Council for liability issues.
Marcus Fedler is running against Jared Klein. A recent interview he participated in was read aloud. Fedler has been promoted as being a less conservative candidate but the interview revealed his views are extremely conservative and rooted in strict religious belief, including views on marriage equality, planned parenthood and other issues. We need a democratic candidate to run against both Jared Klein and Marcus Fedler. Several suggestions were submitted for consideration.
John Greener wishes to not serve this summer due to other conflicts with family, etc.
The next meeting will occur on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm at Art Domestique.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.
Attendees: Sonya Housholder, Richard Gilmore, Kay Ciha, Mary Martin, Harold Frakes, Peter Morrison, Deb Kinney, John Greener, Kevin Kinney, Kitch Shatzer, Shirley Pfeifer, Robert Spenner, Robin Plattenberger, Steve Maxon and Doris Parks.