Board Meeting Minutes

Davis Democrat Club Meeting September 6th, 2004

This meeting was held at the Davis Campaign Headquarters, at the corner of 5th and L Street.
Davis Democrat Club Meeting
September 6, 2004

This meeting was held at the Davis Campaign Headquarters, at the corner of 5th and L Street.
Present (19 members total) were:
President: Tony Gruska,
Vice President: Kingsley Melton
Treasurer: Betty Weir
Recording Secretary: G Richard Yamagata
Acting Past President: Bob Bockwinkel
Newsletter Editor: Dan Kehew
Publicity: Barbara Slemmons
Parlimentarian: Arun Sen
Board members: Mary Lou Hernandez, Bob Bockwinkel, John Chendo, Lyle Smith, Mike Syvanen, Pam Neiberg, Scott Lay, Jim Pollack, Jerry Lester, Susan Peter-Thompson, Joyce Wilson.

Absent from Meeting: Representatives from other organizations were not present, including the UCDavis Young Democrats and the Woodland Democrat Club. Adrienne Kandell, Rhonda Gruska and Julia Sanchez were not in attendance.

Guests: There were two guests at this meeting that came . Total number of people at this meeting was 21.

Tony called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.


The newsletter item on the agenda was moved up so that Dan Kehew could leave the meeting early. It was proposed that the agenda item, Club Barbeque be removed from the agenda due to lack of interest. Kingsley Melton and Mike Syvanen objected, stating that they were interested in volunteering for this effort and this item was not removed. The revised agenda was moved forward by Kingsley Melton and seconded by Mike Syvanen. The agenda passed unaminously.

The minutes from the July Meeting minutes were moved without change. They were moved approval at this meeting by Kingsley and seconded by Bob Bockwinkel. The August minutes were passed out to be voted for approval at the October meeting for approval. The draft of the September minutes will be available at the web site or distributed at the meeting in October.

The Woodland Democrats were not at this meeting, even though a representative from the group is on the e-mail list. The UCD Campus Democrats are not expected to make an appearance until November. No Action was required nor taken on either subject.

It was announced that $11,340.06 was in the club’s treasury. There was $1100 for rent and phone paid by the Democrat Club in support of the headquarters this past month. Total money that has gone so far for the headquarters from the club is $6,049.48.

Betty reported that the club needs more money to come into the club treasury and that she has not received any money from the campaign headquarters or Yolo Beat Bush.

The President, Tony Gruska, made a formal request for records of receipts for the bills that the club has paid for Yolo Beat Bush. Kingsley asked what is Yolo Beat Bush contributing in funds towards the headquarters. There were questions as to what is happening with the money raised by Beat Bush asked by both Betty Weir and Kingsley Melton.

Betty stated that we proceeded to spend $1000 for more campaign pins and bumper stickers. It is estimated that the headquarters has already sold over $1000 in pins and bumper stickers. This is separate from t-shirt sales.

Kingsley Melton stated that we do not want to spend too much time just discussing the finances of the campaign. It was requested that Bob Bockwinkel carry a request to Yolo Beat Bush to request an accounting of how much money has come into that organization and how much has been spent on their expenses to date. The club was asked in return to report on its expenses and spending in support of the headquarters and the campaign.

An additional expense is Kerry/Edwards lawn signs. The club will purchase the signs. Andrea Jones will order the signs and the club will pay for 180 signs at $1.80 per sign (note: the actual cost was about double this price). Lyle Smith stated that he will talk to “Arnie” and coordinate everyone, including Betty, so that there will be no doubling up of efforts or number of signs purchased. It was moved by Bob Bockwinkel and seconded by Betty and Lyle that the club will provide $500 for the purchase of signs. The motion was discussed further. The conversation revolved around the finances of Yolo Beat Bush and discussion of the local headquarters and the candidate campaigns.

Kingsley seconded the original motion made by Bob Bockwinkel. It passed, saying that the Davis Democrat Club will provide $500 towards the purchase of campaign signs. Lyle Smith will coordinate. Betty will write the check. Andrea Jones will order the signs.

No new board members were added to the board this meeting. There was some discussion that there are too many board members without designated tasks, but any further discussion about this will wait until after the election before being addressed.

Dan Kehew, the newsletter editor, gave his report. The September issue will not have the Q&A between Helen Thompson and Mike Machado. This is on hold and may materialize in the October issue. The planned articles are one on Barbara Boxer, Helen Thompson and Emily’s List and the Ice Cream Social. Barbara Slemmons has offered to act as a newsletter copy editor as has Marina Southwell. There should be an article about Lois Wolk for her big campaign push before the end of the month (September).

Tony Gruska as president will write a letter to be included in the newsletter about the “red dots” that are placed on newsletters where people have yet to contribute this year.

For November 2nd, the October issue will be coming out before the end of the month. It will include a list of the propositions that the Democrat Party will be endorsing.

Mike Syvanen asked about newsletter coverage for Mike Thompson. An article from Larry Macklin was volunteered to be included in the newsletter.

The deadline for inclusion of articles for the next newsletter will be mid-month, from the 15th through the 19th. Dan asked people to contact him for an exact date if they are contributing material for the newsletter.

The Ice Cream Social was reported as a complete success. Over one hundred and five people came to the event and over $800 was reported to have been raised that night. The board voted an official thank you to Kingsley Melton for heading up the Ice Cream Social as chair of this event. Thanks were also given to Pam Nieberg and Richard Yamagata for set-up and to Betty Weir and Julia for working the front table. Another official thank you was voted for the Davis High School Young Democrats Club.

Tony Gruska said that he is trying to keep a book or diary on these events, so they can become templates for future events. The most important thing is to record who we go to facilitate the events. Things that need improvement were that we need an official Davis Democrat Club sign-up sheet created and we need an official timekeeper to limit the speakers to two minutes. The club can also hold the event in regards to the schedule of the legislature for all of the state electeds, including keynote speaker Mike Machado could not attend because the legislature was in session. The official timekeeper in the past was Arun Sen and Bob Bockwinkel suggested that he be asked to do this again at the next Ice Cream Social. Bob Bockwinkel also stated that this was the largest number of people at an Ice Cream Social and that people were motivated at this event.

As an aside, Lyle Smith asked about Woodland High School be given a charter for formation of their own Woodland High School Young Democrats Club. Scott Lay stated that the Yolo County Central Committee is the group that grants club charters and that they should be contacted by the Woodland High School students. Another group that may be ready for a charter are the Dixon Democrats, though that is in Solano County.

Betty stated that this was the first time that so many invitations were mailed out. Tony stated that the post card invitation was a good idea.

This event was changed from a fundraiser to a event to give support to and honoring the campaign volunteers. It will be held at the Davis campaign headquarters and will be chaired by Kingsley Melton with help from Mike Syvanen. The details will be worked out by Kingsley and Mike.

Lyle Smith talked about having a Michael Moore fundraiser. Such an event was held in a small town newspaper. Liberal groups had tables at the event. Shown were 5 films by Michael Moore. Barbara says that she could research if such an event can be reproduced in Davis.

Bob mentioned that “Silver City” is slated to be released soon and that the club and the campaign could have another event push, like was done for “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

President Tony Gruska officially asked that Barbara do research on the feasibility of having a Michael Moore “film festival” fundraiser in Davis. Kingsley said that he would find out about booking the Varsity down town for such an event. Joyce Wilson asked if the Young Democrats on the Davis Campus could have the event on campus. It was also stated that it might be worth having the event on the Sacramento State campus with the Sac State Democrat Club in charge of the event.

Bob Bockwinkel reported that Taqueria Davis, the Mexican restaurant next to the Democrat Club headquarters, will be providing the food for the event at the cost of $1300 for 300 people. There will be 300 pounds of salmon donated for fish burritos. Bob also reported that there were already 35 sponsors for the events with $1780 coming in. Nevin’s will print 500 copies of the 12 page program.

There will be a silent auction that will occupy two rooms that will be run by a professional auctioneer. He will have items there and will be receiving the minimum bid amount on the take on the sale of the items. These items were said to be art work. Screaming Squeegee also said that they would donate some items to the auction.

Phil Angelides has confirmed to be the keynote speaker at this event. Canned soft music is planned at this event.

This event will be held at the Cantina Del Cabo, where the Presidential Debate parties were held.

The party is scheduled to be held at Doug Kaplan’s home. Bob Bockwinkel will check with Doug again, even though the event was confirmed back in June for the first Friday in December from 7PM to 9PM (see past minutes).

Mike Syvanen and Mary Lou Hernandez will be the chairs for this event. Things that will be planned by these people will be the food, the holiday raffle, and volunteers for the event.

Though he is now working for Proposition 67, Lyle gave the report for Yolo Beat Bush. He reported that the precinct walking has been an overwhelming success, stating the statistics of voters for Kerry versus the number of undecided and voters for Bush. They walked the entire City of Winters in a single day.

Lyle spoke about an event planned in Woodland where Mike Machado, Lois Wolk, and 6 others would be coming to speak on local issues. On that same day, 15 precincts are planned to be walked in Woodland.

Joyce Wilson asked what materials were being given out to the precinct walkers that support Kerry. Lyle stated that what is being done, is walking the precincts to find out who is supporting Kerry, so that these people can be telephoned and that it be made sure that the people turn out and vote to support the Democrat candidates. (It was stated by 3 different people in different ways that this is the classic campaign strategy for safe districts. This is what is taught in campaign management classes.)

Barbara stated that we need to get to the precinct walkers, handout material that gives them substantial information about Kerry so that the people that read the information can counter the arguments of Republicans and supporters of Bush.

Lyle stated that there were 15,000 registered Democrats in Yolo County that did not vote in the last election. His concern it getting the voters motivated to turn out to the poles. From the precinct walking, it is clear that Kerry will win the county if we can get the people to the polls. Lyle talked about the lack of motivation that is seen out there amongst some of the voters.

Kingsley stated that he could see Lyle’s point, what he is keying in on, and that walking the precinct is still important to collect the contact information. He posed the question that if such strong pro-Kerry material were printed, could it be inserted into the packets. Lyle stated that the man power to put an insert into the packets that have been already assembled did not currently exist. He stated that for momentum sake that the Yolo Beat Bush was moving ahead with its plan to walk precincts with the materials that they have.

Mike Syvanen stated that what Lyle was defending was classic get out the vote in a safe district.

Barbara and Joyce stated that there needs to be a focus on the candidate, John Kerry. They suggested that two pieces that the San Francisco and Sacramento headquarters was distributing be printed out and made available to precinct walkers.

Lyle stated specific statistics that on a Saturday walk that he was involved with in Davis, 300 doors were knocked on. Of these 79 said that they were supporting Kerry, 19 stated that they were supporting Bush. There were not that many undecided. The rest of the people were not at home. (These stats follow current party registration in Davis)

Bob Bockwinkel made the motion that Yolo Beat Bush would pay for the printing of 2000 to 3000 pieces and that labor would be found to stuff these pieces into the walk packets, which could be office staff or volunteers that do not want to walk precincts. Lyle seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Lyle stated that the emphasis needs to be, get out the vote. He stated we need to get red dots all across Davis (covered precincts).

John Chendo is coordinating tabling at 6 locations. These are:
Wednesday and Saturday Davis Farmers Market
Sundays at the Davis Food Coop
Woodland County Fair Mall
City of Winters
Hispanic Community Center in Woodland

Betty made the motion that the Davis Democrat Club put in a full page ad in the Davis Enterprise on the Sunday before the election. She stated that she already had reserved a page in the paper and had the names of 700 people that want to be in the ad as supporters of Kerry/Edwards. The ad would cost $2200.

It was asked would the ad include support for other Democrats for elected offices and state official position on the state propositions. It was stated that only the party slate for public offices would be in this ad.

Pam Nieberg seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

The next meeting date was selected as October 4th. This is the first Monday of the month and after the Bean Feed.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Arun Sen, which was seconded by Mike Syvanen. The motion to adjourn the meeting passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 8:21 PM.

These minutes are respectfully submitted by:

      G Richard Yamagata

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updated by
G.Richard Yamagata. Last updated: April, 2004

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