September President’s Report

VAN Training: Lisa Longo was nothing short of amazing. We had about 25 people getting trained.  We have 3 people that have been identified to become county-wide VAN trainers to be mentored by Lisa.  Even the most knowledgeable of users of VAN were pleasantly surprised how much they got out of the training, particularly in the strategies she used.

State Committee: The major message at the dinner amongst a lot of the speakers was that we have to be brave and stand up for things we believe in and not just cater to a type of voter.  Several of the speakers were candidates whom their local and/or state party did not endorse or support, but they won because they stuck with their values.

Speakers List:

US Senator Bob Casey, Jason Kander, Congressman Matt Cartwright, State Treasurer Joe Toresella, Madam Justice Debra Todd, Honorable Dwayne Woodruff, Philadelphia City Controller Candidate Rebecca Rhynhart, and Councilwoman and Mayoral Candidate for Wilkinsburg Borough Marita Garret.

5 Resolutions passed unanimously:

Support for Net neutrality

Support for candidates who support single payer healthcare

Support for candidates who support the decriminalization of marijuana

Support for more female candidates

Support for candidates committed to ending gerrymandering

Formation of a New Constituency Caucus:

New Americans Caucus founded by Murat Guzel.

The purpose of the New Americans Caucus is to welcome naturalized citizens into the Democratic Party, register them to vote, educate them on the importance of voting, and search for candidates at all levels of government. There are almost 400,000 naturalized citizens in the state of Pennsylvania.  We could make this state permanently blue by turning New Americans into super Democratic voters.

New State of Local Politics:

Congressmen Charlie Dent surprised us with his announcement to not seek re-election

State Representatives Ryan Mackenzie and Justin Simmons have already announced their candidacies.  These two are rumored to not like each other.  This leaves an opportunity to have a strong candidate not run against an incumbent.

Tom Applebach, a veteran who runs the veteran’s affairs department at the county has let us know he will be running for Ryan Mackenzie’s seat representing the 134th district. Tom played a role eliminating homeless veterans from the city of Allentown.  He is a progressive and will be an excellent candidate.  I have heard of one other potential candidate.

David Weidman (who is known to many of us know because of his involvement with East Penn Dems) is running for Justin Simmons’ seat representing the 131st district.  He is also a veteran and has just finished his master’s in education.  He works with Autistic children and has a wide range of experience.  He is also a progressive and a great, hard-working candidate.

We already have 3 candidates that have announced their run for Congressional District 15.  We have seen 2 of them at our meetings — Bill Leiner and Laura Quick.  Pastor Dr. Gregory Edwards has announced his candidacy.  Greg has played a role in progressive activism as a pastor.  He has been a part of many rallies around the Lehigh Valley organized by POWER Northeast.  All three of these candidates are wonderful people.  We do expect to see a few more people announce their candidacy.  Some rumors are John Callahan, John Morganilli, Jennifer Mann, Susan Wild, Joyce Marin, and Don Cunningham.

I have been in early conversations with a few progressive organizations that would like to create a progressive coalition to endorse a candidate or top 3 candidates for congressional district 15.  The hope is that we can narrow the candidate list so that only the strongest candidate or candidates are running.  We do not want another Allentown Mayors race with a large field to split the vote.

Rep. Dan McNeill Representing district 133rd passed away. His funeral was Thurs. It was extremely well attended and beautiful.  Dan was a man admired by many and he will be missed.

Bi-County Data Team:  Northampton County Dems and East Penn Dems are coming together for a strategic data group.  It’s very exciting to have this level of collaboration.

Weekly phonebanks:  Starting this Thurs until the Nov. 7 election.  Jeremy and I am going to be hosting a phone bank from 6-8pm.  First, we will be calling volunteers and recruiting them for upcoming phonebanks and canvasses. then we will be calling voters.

Upcoming Events:

Sept  17 @ 5pm Armstrong for Executive Fundraiser The Farmhouse At Buena Vista, 3501 Main Road East, Emmaus, PA

Sept  20 @ 6pm Roundtable Discussion On Reforming Our School Property Tax System w/ Sen Boscola, Bethlehem Twp Municipal Building

Sept  20 @ 6pm Cocktail Hour with Phil Armstrong @ 3154 Brynwood Dr, Whitehall

Sept  24 @ 11:30am New Americans Caucus Launch and Phone Bank w/ DNC Vice Chair, Grace Meng @ 1139 Lehigh Ave, Whitehall

Sept  25 @ 6:30pm Plan SWL – Public Hearing – Public review of Southwestern Lehigh County Comprehensive Plan for the Boroughs of Alburtis, Emmaus and Macungie, and the Townships of Lower Macungie, Lower Milford and Upper Milford @ Lower Macungie Community Center

Sept 29th 6pm Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley Candidate Night 1988 Schadt Ave Whitehall Ps

Oct 11 6:30- 8:30pm LV4All Candidates Night 53 E Lehigh St Bethlehem Steel Workers Union Hall

Oct 15th 1:30pm  East Penn Democratic Club October Meeting , 1 year Anniversary Celebration and Candidate forum.  Big Room at Macungie Institute.  Time for some members to renew their membership dues.

Oct 28th   East Penn Democratic Club Fall Gala

Oct/Nov  Canvasses November 3-7 Get Out The Vote!

November 7 Election Day!Top of FormBottom of Form

— Naomi Winch, President, East Penn Democratic Club













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