Arlington Democratic Town Committee

Minutes of Meeting
March 10, 2004

Present: F. Abbott, J. Bakey, J. Belskis, E. Benson, K. Bishop, S. Bishop, A. Coolidge, D. Curren, J. Dalton, P. Deal, R. Feldman, S. Frigand, S. Garballey, D. Goldsmith, B. Goodman, K. Haase, C. Haskell, A. Kraus, J. Marzilli, S. Marzilli Shaer, J. O’Donnell, S. Parker, R. Selleck, M. Shannon, T. Shannon, R. Smith, M. S. Thayer, Don Rickter, Phyllis Rickter, Elizabeth Coyne, Liz Buchanan, Bob Botterio, Beverley Brinkerhoff, Ed Schwartz, Paulette Schwartz, John Gearin, Maureen Crewe, Joan Banks, Janice Marshall, Ann Smith, Tom Ward, Danuta Forbes, Geoffrey Gee.

I. Introductions and Election of Officers

Janice Bakey chaired the beginning of the meeting. After all attendees introduced themselves, she stated that the following members had expressed interest in serving as officers:

Aimee Coolidge, Chair
Jeffrey Thielman, Vice-Chair
Kim Haase, Secretary
Timothy Shannon, Treasurer

After Janice asked for other interested candidates to step forward and none did, Chick Abbott moved that the nominations be closed and that the four candidates be elected as a slate. Susan Shaer spoke on behalf of Jeff Thielman, who was unable to be present. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

Janice then turned the gavel over to Aimee. Aimee began by thanking Janice for her four years of outstanding leadership, both visible and behind the scenes, during which the Committee grew and thrived. She also presented Janice with a vase of flowers on behalf of the Committee.

II. Priorities for the New Committee

Aimee introduced herself: she is a 10-year resident of Arlington who works as the Director of Community and Government Relations for the Pine Street Inn in Boston. She has a longstanding love of political campaigns and appreciates how Arlington Democrats can work on different sides in primaries and local campaigns but always come together for a general election. She noted that the last committee had created great momentum and interest, which should make her job easier.

Aimee introduced some thoughts about committee priorities that we might consider in the coming months:

A lively discussion centered on these topics, and others were raised.

Susan Shaer and Pat Deal spoke about the April 3 caucus at which delegates to the national convention will be selected from our congressional district. There are several delegate candidates from Arlington: Susan, Aimee, Tim Shannon, Pat, and Jim, and possibly others. They will be encouraging people to attend and vote for them. An email will go out from Rep. Markey’s office with more information, including the place and time of the caucus. Kim will post the information on the web site and make sure it appears in the Advocate.

Jim suggested that the Committee get a few speakers for each of the next few meetings to speak briefly and start discussions about important campaign-related topics, such as:

These discussions would help us set priorities for 2004 and for the next gubernatorial election.

Other suggestions emerged for topics to discuss:

A consensus emerged that the initial focus should be the fall campaign, primarily on the national but also on the state level. Aimee will work on getting a few speakers for the next meeting.

Pat Deal announced that the Kerry headquarters will be moving to larger quarters at 60 Canal Street next week and will host an open house there on March 16. She circulated a signup sheet for campaign volunteers.

III. Procedures, Treasurer’s and Secretary’s Reports

Aimee proposed that the Committee avoid meeting on the same day of the week every month in order to accommodate members who have conflicts on that day. Kim volunteered to send a notice to members asking for their availability.

The minutes from the meetings of November 20, 2003 and January 22, 2004 were unanimously accepted.

There was no treasurer’s report; the work is transitioning from Olga Kahn to Tim. Tim announced that dues are due now and are $25 for members (and $15 for Associate Members when they are elected).

IV. Membership

Motions were made and approved unanimously to nominate the following as Associate Members of the Committee: Elizabeth Coyne, Beverley Brinkerhoff, Janice Marshall, John Gearin, Bob Botterio, Liz Buchanan, Maureen Crewe, Thomas Ward, Phyllis Rickter, Don Rickter, Joan Banks, Ed Schwartz, Geoffrey Gee, Ann Smith, and Danuta Forbes.

V. New Business

Aimee reported that Watertown has proposed a fundraiser with several other towns (Belmont, Newton, and Cambridge) in support of the presidential campaign. She hopes to have more information at the next meeting.

Barbara Goodman announced that an Arlington chapter of the national organization Stand For Children (www.stand.org) is forming and will hold a kickoff event Sunday, March 28.

Aimee noted that members with email had received a proposal from Paul Schlichtman that the Committee adopt a position the Somerville City Committee has taken concerning transportation issues at the national Convention. This subject will be taken up again when Paul can present it to attendees.

Steve Frigand moved to recognize the excellent contributions of the departing officers Kevin Knobloch and Olga Kahn as well as Janice. The motion was applauded unanimously.

Jim spoke about tomorrow’s (3/11) vote on the state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. The Arlington delegation will vote against it. He expects it to pass in some form but hopefully one that the radical right cannot support, and noted that this is only the first round: the motion must come up again in the legislature in the next session before being voted on in a referendum. The volume of Jim’s email from his district (about 880 against an amendment, 220 for it) is about 5 times as much as on any previous issue.

VI. Next Meeting and Adjournment

The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the second-floor hearing room of Town Hall.

A motion to adjourn was made and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Haase
Secretary