September Meeting Canceled

Dear Oconee County Democrats,

We have decided to cancel our meeting  for this Tuesday.We want to give everyone the opportunity to attend  the Community Engagement meeting which is scheduled from 6 pm-9 pm on the same evening. We encourage all of you to attend and show continued support for our two school board candidates Fran Thompson and Andrea Wellnitz.

The purpose of their meeting is for community members to provide input as OCS begins its Strategic Planning Process.The set up will be small groups where individuals will have opportunities to discuss and identify internal and external challenges, growth areas, opportunities, and success of the school system. Light refreshments will be served.

Our committee has procured 100 Abrams signs for our county. Angie Eells and Tracey Wyatt will be available at Keba from 5:15 pm to 7:00 pm for those of you who would like to purchase a sign, say hello or  eat a great dinner. Our cost was $3 a sign but we are asking for a $5 donation with the proceeds going back into getting our local candidates elected. We are giving signs away in exchange for one hour of volunteer time. We will have more details for you there.

We believe this event is too important for folks to miss or have to choose. See you next month ON THURSDAY October 18th at 6:30 pm at the Chamber of Commerce. Keep checking our calendar, your emails and the website for everything you need to know about the campaign season and how you can help TURN GA BLUE.

In solidarity,

Angie M Eells

Chair of OCDC

Community Engagement Meeting Sept. 18

Oconee Young Democrats Speak Up

If this doesn’t give you faith in the next generation, I’m not sure what will!  Carter Watson is a student at Oconee High School and he penned the following letter to Angie Eells about an inspiring visit from Jonathan Wallace to OCHS’ Young Democrats Club:

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, State Representative Jonathan Wallace came to speak to our humble club, the Oconee County Young Democrats. As a member of the club and a fan of Wallace, not just because of his policy positions, but in his success in flipping a gerrymandered Republican district blue, I was excited to meet him. As one of the first people in the class, our club sponsor, Mrs. Jennifer Strickland, sent me to the front office to escort him to our class. There I had the opportunity to shake his hand and to compliment his work on protecting sanctuary cities like Atlanta.

When we got back to the classroom, he started out by talking about reelection. Since we are under 100 days away from election day and in a historically Republican district, Representative Wallace understandably had the campaign in mind. He spoke to us about how important it is for him to bring out the vote by canvasing, a process which he very much enjoys. He told us a story about a woman whom he met whilst canvasing that used to walk to town in the 1940s to listen to FDR’s fireside chats. He told us that this woman has a large family of Democrats, all of which voted for him and are going to vote for him again.

After discussing his reelection, he described what he has been focusing on in the state house. He said that his three top priorities in the state house is to learn as much as he can, establish a reputation, and spread his knowledge on cybersecurity. He discussed how he was unable to kill a bill related to cybersecurity, but he later was able to help convince Governor Deal to veto it. He also described his ongoing efforts to implement an important regulation to rental car companies, which would require them to erase all synced data to cars which people may have accidentally synced. These efforts and more is what his focus is on and why it is important we keep him in office.

One thing that I took to heart was Wallace’s rhetoric when he talked about his opposition in the upcoming election. The kindness and non-hostile approach he took when someone asked him about his opposition or the Republican party as a whole is exactly what we need right now in our government, both at the state and federal levels. The general hostility in this country toward people who have conflicting values or opinions needs to change, and that all begins with elected officials. His honest, kind rhetoric is exactly what we need right now, and we are incredibly lucky to have him representing us.

It was absolutely excellent to have had the privilege to meet and listen to our representative! While he does have a tough reelection ahead, I believe that he can win over the hearts and minds of the people of which he disagrees and go back to the state house again next year.

~ Carter Watson

We couldn’t agree more, Carter!  Hope to see you and your friends on the canvassing trail this fall!

A Message from the OCDC Chair

Hello everyone.

I am sending you this message to thank you for allowing me to represent Oconee County this Saturday at the 2018 Georgia Democratic State Convention as your State Committee member. I’ve never been to a State Convention before so I am looking forward to learning more about how our politics work at the state level. We will take lots of pictures and video to share. Tracey Wyatt and Dan Matthews will both be joining me as our delegate and alternate.

There are several different caucuses that Dan, Tracey and I are able attend. Please post a comment below to let us know which of these are important to you and we will each attempt to attend one and report back.

https://www.georgiademocrat.org/about/caucuses/

I heard we had a great meeting on Tuesday. Thank you to Ann Stoneburner and to everyone who contributed to the meeting.  Please know that as campaign season heats up you will begin to receive more emails regarding our ground game in getting all democrats on the ticket elected. If you are not yet on the email list, please come to an event and know that our meetings always remain open to the media and public.

If you haven’t donated to OCDC or to a candidate, please consider donating to them today. Any amount helps but I challenge you to try to find $50 and donate. Lots of people will be working around the clock, taking off work, making calls, knocking on doors, getting literature printed, hosting fund raisers and all of this costs money. If we want publicly funded elections and to eventually overturn Citizens United then we must publicly fund elections and walk the walk. 🙂

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ocgadems

With that, I and others are taking off election day. If you are able to request off now to make yourself available please do so. More details about how you can help will be available as we get closer to November.

My next task is to visit the YD at the high schools and get them involved. I’ll be at the Pride Booth and the art auction. Tracey and I have a meeting with a Statewide Coordinator for the Democratic Party of Georgia next week so we will know exactly how they want to use us and what makes the most sense in supporting all candidates down the ballot. Oh, and if you haven’t attend the Social Hour, you are missing out, please join us.

Lastly, if you feel so moved by what you see in the news or you just have some self reflecting thoughts that might inspire, move or impact others in a meaningful way, then write a blog  of 300-500 words and submit to ocgadems+news@gmail.com. It will be reviewed by another person and edited so don’t let a “grammar fear” keep you from letting others know what’s on your mind.

I appreciate all of you.

In solidarity,

Angie M. Eells

Chair, Oconee County Democratic Committee

For Fans of Transparent Politics

For those who are fans of transparency in the political process, you may be interested to know that the Oconee County GOP has informed Lee Becker of Oconee County Observations that he is no longer allowed to record the GOP meetings – or even take notes – until after the General Election on November 6.

According to Dr. Becker, the media ban was delivered to him via personal email by the Oconee County GOP chair, Tammy Gilland.  In that message, Mrs. Gilland stated that the ban applies to all media outlets.  Dr. Becker states in his blog that he has followed up with several media contacts in the area and none have received the same message from the Oconee County GOP.

For those that are not aware of Dr. Becker’s blog, it is a wealth of information about almost anything going on in Oconee County and is a wonderful way to keep informed of local news and community developments.

The Oconee County Democrats would like to take this opportunity to remind all citizens that our meetings are open to the public and we welcome all media coverage.

OCDC meetings are currently held on the third Tuesday of the month at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, but are moving to the third Thursday of the month, beginning October 2018.

 

Oconee Democrat Fashions Have Arrived!

Would you rather dress like a Republican or a Democrat?

Here’s your chance to show your OC Democrat pride, just in time for fall!  Go to the OC Democrat store on LogoSportsWear.com to order T-Shirts, Sweats, even Jackets!

The Oconee County Democrats logo will be printed on high-quality clothing (Hanes, Champion, even Patagonia!) and sent to your home.

Proceeds from the sale will support the Oconee County Democrats and help Democratic candidates in Oconee County win races this fall!

Show your pride!

The Issues You Care About

About two weeks ago we asked all of you to let us know what issues were important to you.  Even if you haven’t filled the survey out yet, you aren’t too late—watching that is going to be an ongoing thing for us for a while.  The goal, of course, is to better understand what things to pay attention to.  We’ve gotten about 20 responses so far, but that’s enough to see some interesting things.

Let’s look first at the issues we listed for you to rank:

The first item, Gerrymandering, was accidentally left out at first, which accounts for its low rating (it’s tied for top since we restored it).    What’s a bit surprising is that both Wastewater and Highway Infrastructure have support overall… but nobody’s going to go door-to-door for them (green).  Yet Highway Infrastructure gets more people to “click ‘Like’” than anything else… you just don’t think you’d get off the couch for it.  (Good to know, and we’re not judging!)

The winner for engagement is Gun Safety, perhaps top-of-mind because of the tragic events in Florida… and we’re glad to say we’re already working to do something visible about that.  Second place goes to Medicare Expansion, which our new state representatives have both pushed.

So, we think we’re working on the right things.  We all need to make it clear these are voting issues, and we need to recruit for those issues outside our own bubble.  Those flipped elections suggest that broader support is out there, so it’s okay to talk about it!

The other interesting note is about the write-in issues.  Half of the respondents have added write-in issues, which lets us know what you’re thinking of that we didn’t already guess was on your mind.  The most common were for jobs and for K-12 education issues other than funding and safety.  We’ve also seen several variations on racial equality, both economic and judicial; cannabis decriminalization; and environmental concern (local and national).

For the K-12 issues, we’re glad to report that we’ve found candidates to run for county school board; that’s where we get the leverage to influence those decisions.  For pay equity at least, our representatives have also sponsored non-discrimination and living wage bills.  The other issues you added… not so much progress yet; it’s good to know what to watch for!

Finally, we added the self-identification questions late, but we see a good mix of the left spectdrum in how we identify.  I’m particularly pleased with teh several “non-partisan” voters who are coming too us; we want a broad and inclusive reach!

Why We Fundraise

Oconee County Democratic Committee is a a supportive network of volunteers and advocates who work together to organize for a better Georgia and Oconee County. OCDC runs on due and donations received locally, and does not receive funds from either the state or the national Democratic party.

OCDC provides the overall leadership for the Democratic Party in Oconee County on issues like election strategy/ who to endorse in elections, community outreach and local Democratic fundraising.

  1. Candidate Development – The one and only reason we exist is to vet qualified candidates to run for any office.  in Candidate Development, we meet with individuals, assist in training and provide financial support. It is so important that we have funds to help our brave candidates. If we want to win elections we need people to run and if we want people to run they need to feel supported.
  2. Community Outreach – This is to get our name out there.  It is hosting events, going into neighborhoods to support local programs (i.e., neighborhood clean up, First Friday’s, school functions, etc.). We have lots of ideas to grow our presence in Oconee County and having funds will allow us to reach our goals by hosting and participating in a wide variety of events.
  3. Operational Expenses – Cost of buying campaign materials (signs, stickers, buttons).  Cost of rent, supplies, food for events, postage, media and our website.

Please consider making a contribution today or commit to a monthly contribution.  Click the “Donate” link on the menu above.

Also, please remember that our candidates also need support for their individual races: the committee can help and support them, but candidates need to buy their own yard signs and advertisements, run their own websites, feed and hydrate canvassers, etc.  Please remember to give to support our candidates as well.