Minutes for the Lowndes County Democratic Party’s General Meeting Held On June 01, 2020

LCDP Committee Members Present: Chairman Anderson, William Lamb, Dennis Marks, Debra Tann, Vivian Miller-Cody, Ronnie Pierce, Constalina James, Sandra Tooley, Carol Mikkelson, Jeremiah Lawton, Stan Tullos, Gretchen Quarterman.   

LCDP Committee Members Absent: Lizzie Gordon, Willie Rayford, J.D. Rice, George Burns, Angela Green, Jim Parker, Tina Valenti.  

LCDP Committee Members Excused: Kathyrn Grant, Janie McGhin, John Quarterman, Tyler Tucker, Dexter Sharper.   

Chairman Anderson led the body in the Pledge of Allegiance and in a prayer. 

Secretary William Lamb then proceeded to call the roll of committee members. Secretary Lamb then proceeded to give highlights of important events that happened at the last meeting on May 11, 2020 such as our discussion regarding the vacancies on the County Committee for District 3, Post 4 and Super-district 5, Post 4. Dr. Marks verified that two of the volunteers were eligible for one of the vacancies, but we tabled the decision to fill these posts until our county committee elections that we are holding in August, 2020. We also discussed updating the party’s by-laws and we agreed to table this issue until our members can meet in person. Treasurer Ronnie Pierce then proceeded to give us an update of the Budget Committee and the status of updating the budget for 2019-2020. Dr. Marks then proceeded to go over the important election dates and reminded members to contact him if they were interested in phone banking. A motion was proposed to approve the Secretary’s minutes and that motion was then seconded. The majority voted in favor of approving with only one opposing vote by Gretchen Quarterman. Mrs. Quarterman stated she would like to see the minutes before approving them and Dr. Marks suggested putting the minutes on the LCDP website for members to review the minutes from our previous meetings. Secretary Lamb will place the minutes on our website for all members to review. 

Treasurer Ronnie Pierce then gave his report to the general body. Mr. Pierce stated our ending balance was in the amount of $6,288.79. He explained that we did not have any deposits for the month, so the balance with the deposits was $6,388.00. He stated the withdrawals were $411.00 for the website and hosting, $83.97 was for the domain for 3 years, but for some reason we were charged twice for the domain, we also paid $65.94 for U-Mail, and for some reason we had a $1.00 bank charge, and lastly we paid $14.99 for our Zoom subscription. The total expenses for the month of May came out to $606.87. That left a checking account balance of $5,472.58 plus $741.38 in our PayPal account which totals in both accounts in the amount of $6,212.96. A motion was proposed to accept the Treasurer’s Report, that motion was seconded, and all members were in favor to accept the report. 

Vice Chairman of Elections Dr. Dennis Marks then proceeded to give his report of the upcoming elections. Dr. Marks reminded members we were in the last week of early voting  and the polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. He reminded members to social distance and wear a mask. He also reminded members that voting in the precincts will occur on Tuesday, June 09, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. He added that vote by mail was continuing and the deadline to turn ballots into the Board of Elections was Tuesday, June 09, 2020 by 7:00 p.m. Dr. Marks then expressed his thanks to Kathyrn Grant and Pam Hubbard for witnessing the opening of the ballots at the Board of Elections office. Dr. Marks also wanted to thank all of the phone banking volunteers. Also, he then thanked Stan Tullos for being a sign captain for voter protection. Mr. Tullos will stand outside the precincts in case people have any issues with voting and they could call the Democratic Party of Georgia’s voter hotline at 888-730-5816. Dr. Marks also wanted members to be aware of the possible upcoming Senate runoff and the deadline to vote in that election will be on July 13, 2020. Early voting will start on July 20, 2020 and continue through August 07, 2020 and then in precincts on August 11, 2020.  

He continued to state that the other elections that we have to focus on is the election of the Lowndes County committee itself because we have 14 openings on the committee. He reminded members that the 24 people on the committee set the direction of the party, they elect the officers, and they help elect democratic candidates. He reminded members that he recently sent out handouts to all committee members and we will post these to the website so people can see them and respond. Dr. Marks explained that we have to advertise in the Valdosta Daily Times for 4 weeks and the advertisement will run for the four Sundays in June. He instructed members to fill out the affidavit, sign it, and send it back to the party’s email address. The first vote will be held on the first week of July 06 for district 1, 2, and 3. The week after that we will vote for Super Districts 4 and 5. The week after that we will vote for At-Large members. Dr. Marks stated the election has to be completed by 45 days after the primary, which makes the deadline on July 24, 2020.

Vice Chair of Membership Vivian Miller Cody then explained there have not been any new members due to COVID-19. She has been using social media to attract new members and asking people to share the information on social media platforms. 

Chairman Anderson then gave an update regarding the Budget Committee and completing the budget for 2019-2020. Chairman Anderson asked Treasurer Pierce to distribute copies of the budget to the committee, so that at our next meeting we can approve the budget. 

Ronnie Pierce then spoke about our account being charged $83.97 twice for our website domain. He asked the committee members if we wanted to be reimbursed for the $83.97 and let the domain expire in 2023 or let the company keep the $83.97 making the domain would expire in 2026. The majority of the committee members agreed to ask for the $83.97 to be reimbursed to our account which would make the domain expire in 2023. Gretchen Quarterman stated she will try to get the $83.97 back. 

Chairman Anderson then introduced Debra Tann to speak. Ms. Tann stated she competed for a delegate spot for Congressional District 1 and she came in first place in the congressional district.  She will be going to represent the district at the Democratic Convention being held in Milwaukee, WI in August, 2020. Chairman Anderson asked committee members to pitch in and help her raise some funds. Chairman Anderson then congratulated her. 

Chairman Anderson then announced the Board of Elections still need volunteers to be poll watchers and poll workers for the upcoming elections.

Chairman Anderson then invited Dr. Treva Gear to say a few words. Dr. Gear stated we have lots of uncertainty going on especially with having Trump in the White House. Dr. Gear has been trying to organize a group around “what to do next, how do we move forward, and what do we want from it?” she then asked, “Are we MAD yet, Are you mobilized into action in order to determine our future.” She stated we need to be mobilizing people, start communicating with people, make sure people are registered, and get out the vote. She stated she still needs volunteers to help her campaign. 

Chairman Anderson stated we are in a crucial time. A lot of things going on especially with the death of George Floyd. He spoke with several city representatives in order to prevent any violence in Lowndes County. He also stated a town hall was trying to be organized, but once he gets the details he will send the information out to all members. He stated that if we want change, then we have to vote. He added that we have to get people out to the polls. 

Ronnie Pierce also stated we have a new phone and a new answering service. He has received several calls and he has forwarded the calls to Dr. Marks. He told Ronnie to direct the calls to whoever on the committee handles those particular issues. 

Meeting Adjourned.