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Democratic Rural Conference of New York State Democratic Rural Caucus of New York State Logo The Voice of Rural New York State

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Conference Registration Extended to April 19!

Please note we've extended the registration deadline to our 2013 Conference to April 19.

Click http://www.nysdrc.org/drc/2013ConReg.asp to register now!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

NYS DRC 2013 Bulletin 17 and Conference Registration

Bulletin 17 and 2013 Conference Registration

http://nysdrc.org/drc/docs/DRCBulletin17.February2013.pdf

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From the Bulletin:

Message from the Chair:

It is my obligation and privilege to send an annual letter to the membership. I do so with both pride and confidence in the grit and persistence of all of you as we join together to achieve victory.
Let us savor once again, the victory of President Obama. You gave the campaign your all, and were victorious in twenty-two of our DRC counties. You helped elect Sean Patrick Malony in the 118th Congressional District and returned Bill Owens to Congress in the 21st. You helped achieve a majority of Democrats in the State Senate in spite of flagrant redistricting to pave the way for Republican candidates. We helped achieve Assembly victories as well.. You know all this, but I repeat it because you need to experience a great sense of accomplishment.

Since my last annual letter, your Board continued providing you with Bulletins to keep you well-informed of our activities. We maintain a Facebook page, and a list-serve for members to extend communication as well. We continue to offer a Speakers' Bureau and technical assistance in campaigns.

We responded to the issues you raised. passed resolutions and sent them to appropriate legislators as follows:
● School Funding Formula – this must be changed to redress the inequality the formula produces. This inequality severely and negatively impacts the low income/low wealth school districts that are so common in DRC areas. WE WILL CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS UNTIL THERE IS REFORM THAT PRODUCES THE RESOURCES WE NEED FOR ALL OUR CHILDREN.
● Strong support for the Energy Highway electric power upgrade proposal.
● Support for Assembly and Senate Bills that call for Home rule on horizontal fracking as well as a requirement for disclosure of all chemicals used in the process.
● Support and solidarity for organized labor as counter to the shocking attacks across the nation on unions and collective bargaining
● Opposition to legislation that would close rural post offices and reduce services.
In the coming year, we will be looking into early voting as it affects our rural counties. You will define the rest of our issues agenda.

We have also just appointed a Committee on Youth Recruitment and Retention and are excited about its prospects of coming up with a plan to help all our committees.

We will hold a Board retreat to re-evaluate our 17 year-old goals, activities and future directions. With many new members as well as changes in our political environment, we feel it is time to do so.
We continue to maintain and strengthen our links with elected officials Senator Valesky, NYSDC Co-Chair Stephanie Miner, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo have attended our meetings as has Rodney Capel, NYSDC Executive Director. Our Conference, of course, will offer you the opportunity to hear from many of our United States and State elected officials. We hope that you will find the Conference training of practical value as you gear up for the local races of 2013.

It has truly been a pleasure to work with an excellent Board to serve you. You are the real soldiers of democracy in our country, all of you.

Thank you!
.
Irene

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NYS DRC 2013 Conference April 26-27, Saratoga - Registration

Registration for the NYS DRC 2013, April 26-27, Saratoga is now open!

 Registration Form http://nysdrc.org/drc/docs/2013RegistrationForm22513.pdf

An all-online registration will be ready shortly at http://nysdrc.org/

The Conference Full Agenda: http://nysdrc.org/drc/docs/2013Conference.FullAgendaONLY.pdf

The Program Advertising Rate Form: http://nysdrc.org/drc/docs/2013drcadrateform22313.pdf

See you there!

Monday, January 28, 2013

DRC Bulletin #16 - January 2013


For our nicely formatted version click here!

WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING?
Our hard work, along with yours, in the 2012 ELECTION CYCLE consumed most of our energy with many good results. First and foremost President Obama was re-elected. He was the victor in a number of our DRC counties (Broome, Cayuga, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Essex, Franklin, Madison, Niagara, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Sullivan, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Yates). Happily, Sean Patrick Maloney was elected to Congress in the 118th Congressional district and Congressman Bill Owens was re-elected in New York 21. Nate Shinagawa did not unseat Tom Reed but he made an impressive showing in a Republican district. Unfortunately, Kathy Hochul lost her bid to return to Congress but came very close to winning in the most Republican district in the state.

We did very well in State Legislative races. CeCe Thaczyk’s win in the 46th Senate District was the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the defection of five Democrats from the Senate Democrats to an Independent Caucus deprives the Legislature of a Democratic Senate. There is new leadership in the State Senate with Andrea Stewart Cousins taking the helm, and it is our hope that Democratic Senators will once again join together in the near future.

A very nice Supreme Court victory occurred in the 4th Judicial District. Christine Clark, a former Family Court Judge, became only the 4th Democrat, and the first Democratic Woman to be elected in that Judicial District. The District is composed entirely of DRC counties.

2013 CONFERENCEThe Conference will be held in Saratoga on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27 respectively. Jane Dodds agreed to serve as Coordinator once again. Irene reviewed the comments and suggestions attendees at the 2012 Conference had made, and appointed the full Board to serve as the Program Committee. Chair Stein also appointed a sub-committee consisting of Mark Alquist, Jim Testani, Mark Bellardini, Jane Dodds and herself to propose a theme for the conference as well as identify potential trainers and topics.

Message from Cindy Emmer, TreasurerPlease send dues for 2013 to Cindy Emmer at 858 Davis St., Elmira, N.Y. 14901 as soon as possible. Dues are $10 per year. This is an important component of membership and helps us meet our goal of helping your counties in their important job of electing Democratic candidates.

Board Meeting, December 1, 2012We held an election at our well attended Board Meeting in Syracuse on Dec.1 to fill the vacated positions of Vice-Chair and 5 Board Members. The Election was conducted by Mike Schell, Chairman of the Nominating Committee (Members Steve Jones and Kim Muller). Jane Dodds was elected Vice-Chair for a term ending in the spring of 2013. Mark Alquist, Jim Testani and Lorie Longhany were elected to terms ending in the spring 2014. Jason Clark and Jeanne Crane were elected to terms expiring at the Spring Conference 2013. Outgoing members were thanked for their service (Cindy Lockrow, Dan McCandless, Joe Pickreign, Dawn Rivers and Tom Poelker) and Chair Stein was directed to write an individual communication thanking each of them.

Our By-Laws state that vacancies are to be filled by the Board. Since some terms end in 2014, those appointed to those terms serve for over a year without membership approval. After discussion, a By-Laws change was approved as follows (change underlined): VACANCIES-Any vacancy in the office of an officer or director shall be filled by a vote of the Executive Committee until the General Membership meeting at the next spring conference. At the Spring Conference General Membership Meeting, the full membership shall fill the vacancy for the completion of the term of the office left vacant.” This motion is not applicable to those new Directors elected at the Dec. 1 meeting.
We will be electing officers plus five Directors at the Spring Conference Meeting. The proposed By-Laws change will be presented to the General Membership for approval at the Spring Conference General Membership meeting.

GUESTS:
Mayor Stephanie Miner
, Co-Chair of the NYSDC, welcomed us all to Syracuse and thanked us for our work in the recent elections
Rodney Capel, Executive Director of NYSDC also thanked us for our work in the elections.
He discussed the recent change in the moving of the NYS Appointments Office from the Executive Office to the Office of General Services. He indicated that the change is an effort to expedite an unnecessarily long and drawn out process and should not change the degree of input that County Chairs now enjoy. He was not sure whether the Office would handle non-exempt employees in addition to openings for exempt positions. Board members then expressed a range of concerns. Rodney indicated that the State Committee was currently hampered by lack of money precluding adequate staffing and adequate office location. He hopes and expects that the Governor will be helping with these problems. Rodney also promised to try to give adequate notice of future meetings. We appreciated his attending as well as his responsiveness to our questions.
Senator Valesky was invited but was not able to attend. Chair Irene Stein shared a conversation she had had with him concerning the Independent Democratic Caucus. He indicated that he would have to be convinced that there had been significant changes in the Democratic Senate Committee and that while he still had an open mind, he was not yet convinced that such changes had occurred.

ROLE OF ASSOCIATE MEMBERSYou may recall that at its August 18 meeting, the Board approved a By-Law change to permit Associate Members to serve as Board Officers or Directors. Because of the lateness of the last State Comm. Meeting, there was not adequate time to send out the notice of By-Laws change to the membership so it was not voted upon then. This issue was revisited at the December Executive Committee meeting. A revote was taken and that proposed By-Law change was defeated. As a result the status quo prevails, and any NYS Democrat can become an Associate member by paying dues resulting in the ability to attend meetings and receive communications. They cannot, however, run for Officers or Directors of the Board.

ISSUES COMMITTEE REPORTIrene reported for Dawn Rivers, Committee Chair that she was still working on a date to meet with Lt. Governor Duffy’s staff concerning our identified issues of unfunded mandates, infrastructure, school funding and Regional Economic Development Councils. `
It is important that all members continue to call Dawn's attention to issues in their counties on which they want attention/action.

YOUTH COMMITTEEJason Clark suggested that the Board consider the creation of a Youth Recruitment and Retention Committee which was supported the Board. Irene will appoint this committee in her upcoming Committee assignment process.

NEXT DRC BOARD MEETING
The next DRC Board Meeting will be on Feb. 16 at 10 AM. We will meet at the Broome County Democratic Committee Headquarters, located at 508 Upper Court Street, Binghamton, NY. The tentative agenda will include: Minutes – Jones Treasurer's Report and Finance Comm. – Emmer
o 2013 Budget
o 2013 Audit 2013 Committee Assignments – Stein Committee Reports
o Conference Comm. – Dodds
o Issues Comm. – Rivers
o Other Possible Board Retreat – discussion Possible Guests:
o Sen. David Valesky has been invited. No response yet
o Broome County officials (Mayor Ryan and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo may drop in). Old Business New Business - venue for next Board meeting

Message from the Chair:Happy New Year and thanks for all of your hard work during the recent election cycle as well as throughout the year.

I was honored to serve as an Elector at the Electoral College meeting and equally privileged to be appointed as one of two tellers to count the vote for President Obama. I believe I received both of these honors in recognition of the work of the DRC in the New York State Democratic Party, and that is a tribute to all of you.

We will be working in the coming months on the 2013 Conference. We will do our best to respond to the suggestions you made after the last one. The focus will be on campaign training in this year of local races.

While electing Democrats in our counties is our job, the issues that keep emerging are numerous and daunting. We want to express and relay the concerns of rural Democrats. To do that, WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO HEAR FROM YOU. You have indicated that jobs and the economy are at the top of the list. They underlie our quality of life, and our rural areas are in a continual struggle to improve the situation. You have indicated that our infrastructure and our schools are high priority areas needing attention.

While everyone is reeling from the tragic mass shootings that have occurred, our folks in rural areas, where hunting is common, are keenly attentive to the legislative response. I think that we must take some actions to avert tragedies such as those we have seen in 2012 and earlier. Happily, Our Governor and Democratic Legislators responded with regulating assault weapons, diligent screening before giving permits, better services for those diagnosed with mental illnesses, and, at the same time, keeping the ability of recreational hunters to continue these pursuits.

As we enter 2013, what about communication? It is important that you communicate with us and with one another on an ongoing basis, raising issues, suggesting ideas and activities. We offer our list serve, face book page, and direct e-mail and telephone as ways to do this. I also would like to remind you that we offer a Speaker's Bureau, new chair mentoring as well as assistance in campaign strategy.

As we continue to work to elect Democrats, we must also keep our elected officials cognizant and responsive to rural areas and rural issues. You have a very important role in the life of our communities in rural New York. Be proud and be active!

I am looking forward to continuing to work with you on our important work.

Irene


THE DRC CONTACT INFO, ETC....Web page: www.nysdrc.org
To subscribe to our list serve go to: NYSDemocraticRuralConference-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To Post a Message on the List serve go to : NYSDemocraticRuralConference@yahoogroups.com
Meet on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Democratic-Rural-Conference-of-New-York-State/162050418621
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Or e-mail us at:
Irene Stein, Chair ---- iws2iws2@gmail.com
Jane Dodds, Vice Chair and Conference Chair--- jmdodds@aol.com
Cindy Emmer, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair--- cindy.emmer@yahoo.com
Phil Jones, Secretary and By-Laws Committee Chair --- phildem@rochester.rr.com
Don Ackerman, Parlimentarian --- Bdonack@aol.com
Doris Kirsch, Board Member and Asst. Secretary --- wdkirsch@gmail.com
Dawn Rivers, Issues Committee Chair --- me@dawnisme.com
Mark Bellardini, Board Member and Labor Committee Chair--- bellar@earthlink.net
Jim Testani, Board Member and Political Committee Chair ---- jtestani1@gmail.com
Jason Clark, Board Member and Youth Committee Chair --- jasonclark2002@gmail.com
Joyce Melfi, Board Member and Program Book Chair------- babbmelfi@juno.com
Ted Young, Board Member---- tyoung28@rochester.rr.com
Bob Reynolds, Board Member ---- bobnkaren@live.com
Mark Alquist, Board Member ----- mhalquist@verizon.net
Lorie Longhany, Board Member ---- lorie.longhany@gmail.com
Jeanne Crane, Board Member --- jeannecrane01@localnet.com
Ian Brody, Web Master --- ian.brody@ianbrody.com

DRC Board Services...SPEAKERS Bureau:
The following DRC Members are available as speakers at DRC County events:
Irene Stein, Cindy Emmer, Bill Wood or Phil Jones.

MENTORING Services:The DRC Executive Committee has many experienced County Chairs. As such, we are available to mentor and provide support to new County Chairs.

DUES:Dues are $10 for 2013, checks are payable to the DRC and should be sent to Cindy Emmer, 858 Davis St., Elmira, NY 14901.
CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BULLETIN: IRENE STEIN, PHIL JONES, DON ACKERMAN, DORIS KIRSCH, JASON CLARK

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DRC Bulletin #15

Click here for the nicely formatted pdf version of the DRC Bulletin #15
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Below is a text only version
SEPTEMBER, 2012 BULLETIN # 15
EDITOR
EDITOR THE NEW YORK STATE
DEMOCRATIC RURAL CONFERENCE
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING?
We passed a resolution at our July 16 conference call meeting urging our
representatives to vote against the House legislation which would result in closing
some rural post offices, curtailing deliveries substantially and laying off many
workers. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter responded, thanking us for our
resolution and stating that she has been working toward strengthening the postal
service for many years now, and was very much in sympathy with our resolution.
USPS Resolution
WHEREAS the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a vital national resource that provides essential services to 151 million households and businesses and supports more than 7 million private sector jobs; and
WHEREAS the services offered by the USPS have long been particularly critical to the social and economic life of rural communities; and
WHEREAS advanced telecommunications technologies that have been cited as viable alternatives to postal services are often unavailable or unaffordable in those aforementioned rural communities; and
WHEREAS the requirement placed upon the USPS by Congress to pre-fund retiree health obligations for the next 75 years is an unreasonable fiduciary burden that has not been required of any other organization, public or private, in the country; and
WHEREAS the aforementioned fiduciary requirement is responsible for 85% of the USPS’ financial losses since it was enacted in 2006; and
WHEREAS the United States Congress is currently considering the Postal Service Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 2309), which would end weekend mail delivery; terminate at-home mail delivery and close thousands of local post offices, which would drastically slow mail delivery and impede access for thousands of people with mobility issues and would be especially felt in rural America where distances are so great; and would eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time when the U.S. economy continues to struggle.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Rural Conference of New York State strongly opposes passage of the Postal Service Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 2309); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Democratic Rural Conference of New York State requests and recommends that the United States Congress eliminate the unfair and unreasonable requirement that the USPS pre-fund retiree health obligations for the next 75 years and work to incorporate USPS retiree health benefits into the reforms enacted in the Patient Protection and Affordability Act signed into law in 2010; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Democratic Rural Conference of New York State is hereby directed to forward copies of this resolution to the entire New York State Congressional Delegation and to
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Congress has not acted on the USPS Bill.

On August 18 we held a Board meeting in Syracuse, where we began a discussion of
allocation of funding. No decision was reached, and a Board meeting Conferene Call
is scheduled for September 17 to discuss possible funding for county committees and
candidates and their committees, etc.
Dawn Rivers, Issues Committees Chair, reported that her survey of members'
identification of important issues resulted in the economy (including infrastructure
issues) as the most frequent area of concern. School funding and reform as well as
property tax/unfunded mandates were two other major concerns. The Committee
will be preparing material in advance of scheduling a meeting with the Lt.
Governor's office to discuss these issues further. Chairwoman Rivers expressed her
appreciation for the prompt and generous response of the DRC membership to her
request for input.
We will be inviting NYSDC Co-Chairs and Exec. Director to meet with us to discuss
how we can strengthen our bonds with them and how they can help us in our
common mission to elect Democratic candidates in New York State. Some ideas that
have emerged involve broader transmission of information to State Committee
Members, strengthen our electronic communication by establishing a
Bulletin Board for consultation, information and expertise on election issues . The
Lawyers' Council should be involved here, and we will invite them to a meeting as
well.
The Chair was instructed to communicate with the Governor's Office by phone and
letter, urging him to hold regional meetings upstate to share information about our
areas and to support our candidates.
The DRC Facebook page is available to highlight candidates, issues and any
interesting programs individual counties are undertaking. Send them to Don
Ackerman at bdonack@aol.com to be posted.

The role of Associate Members was discussed. Currently they cannot vote in
membership meetings but there is nothing in our By-Laws to preclude their running
for Board or Officer positions. The Board passed a resolution at it Aug. 18 meeting
allowing any Associate Member to run for Board or office providing that member is a
resident of a DRC county. This is an addition to the By-Laws and will be brought to
the members for ratification at the next meeting.
Secretary Phil Jones will review the changes in weighted voting caused by the
redistricting and present a new list of weighted votes to the Board and membership.
Below is a brief explanation of what this change might mean for some Counties.
The By-Laws provide for each DRC County to have 10 votes. The distribution of the
weighted vote within a County depends on the number of Assembly districts within a
County or the number of State Committee members(SCM). So if today, your County
has 2 Assembly districts (4 State Committee members), each SCM has a weighted vote
of 2 and the County Chair has a weighted vote of 2 for a total of 10 weighted votes for
the county. If on January 1, 2013 your County has only one Assembly district (2 SCM), then each
SCM would have a weighted vote of 3 and the County Chair would have a weighted
vote of 4 for a total of 10 for your County.
If there is no change in the number of Assembly Districts in your County on January
1, then there will be no change in the weighted vote within your County.
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DRC BY-LAWS-Section on Voting
VOTING Every member County shall be afforded 10 votes, equally divided between the
State Committee Member (SCM) and the Chair of each county. In cases where the votes
cannot be divided equally, the odd vote remaining will be exercised by the Chair of the
county. A member may vote by a written proxy held by a registered Democrat from the
absent member's county, so long as said signed proxy is registered with the DRC Secretary
prior to the opening of the meeting. In the event that a County Chair is also a State
Committee member, they may designate another registered Democrat from their County to
cast their extra votes.
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Re-elect President Obama.
We can do this! Polling shows Obama is not the underdog, and the choice of Ryan,
while energizing the Tea-Party people, will backfire on message IF we do what needs
to be done to publicize the facts about the President's accomplishments and the effects
the Republican proposals would have on most Americans. And if we get out the vote
even better than we have done before, we will win.

We need to explain to folks that the Affordable Health Care Act will cover more of our
people who are uninsured, will help college students, will cover senior prescriptions
now in an uncovered “doughnut hole”, nullify exclusion for preexisting conditions, etc.

We need to explain to folks that the amount of the proposed cuts in Medicare is the
same amount both parties are putting forth! But The R's want to offer people
vouchers they can use on the private market under the mercy of insurance company
rates and their tendency and history to keep rising. The Republicans truly want to
end Medicare as we know it.

We need to remind folks that the R's in Congress have obstructed the road to
economic recovery and jobs. They put winning elections above solving the problems
of the country. That is the long and short of it!

These facts alone should be more than enough, if communicated again and again, to
re-elect the President and to elect Democrats to Congress who will support him by
putting people first.

Contact Rob Diamond at the State committee to find out how you can help. Calling
and canvassing in Pennsylvania and Ohio are important activities. Working for our
Congressional candidates in every way possible is essential. We can do this!
MOVING FORWARD!
Irene

To subscribe to our list serve go to: NYSDemocraticRuralConference-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To Post a Message on the List serve go to : NYSDemocraticRuralConference@yahoogroups.com
Meet on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Democratic-Rural-Conference-of-New-York-State/162050418621
--------------------------------------------
Or e-mail us at:
Irene Stein, Chair ---- iws2iws2@gmail.com
Dan McCandless, Vice Chair --- danmcc44@earthlink.net;
Cindy Emmer, Treasurer --- cindy.emmer@yahoo.com
Phil Jones, Secretary --- phildem@rochester.rr.com
Don Ackerman, Parlimentarian --- Bdonack@aol.com;
Doris Kirsch, Asst. Secretary --- wdkirsch@gmail.com;
Dawn Rivers, Issues Committee Chair --- me@dawnisme.com
Dan McCandless, By-Laws Committee Chair --- danmcc44@earthlink.net
Tom Poelker, Political Committee Chair --- tpoelker@aol.com
Jane Dodds, Conference Chair ---- jmdodds@aol.com
Mark Bellardini, Labor Committee Chair bellar@earthlink.net
Ted Young, Board Member---- tyoung28@rochester.rr.com
Bob Reynolds, Board Member ---- bobnkaren@live.com
Cindy Lockrow, Board Member ---- lockrow@hotmail.com
Joe Pickreign, Board Member ----- jpic11@roadrunner.com
Joyce Melfi, Board Member ------- babbmelfi@juno.com
Ian Brody, Web Master --- ian.brody@ianbrody.com;
DRC Board Services...
SPEAKERS Bureau:
The following DRC Executive Committee Members are available as speakers at DRC County events:
Irene Stein, Cindy Emmer, Tom Poelker or Phil Jones.
Mentoring Services: The DRC Executive Committee has many experienced County Chairs. As such, we are available
to mentor and provide support to new County Chairs.
DUES
Dues are $10 for 2012, checks are payable to the DRC and should be sent to Cindy Emmer, 858 Davis St., Elmira, NY
14901.
If you are not getting correspondence from the DRC, be sure to share your e-mail address
with phildem@rochester.rr.com
CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BULLETIN: IRENE STEIN, PHIL JONES, DON ACKERMAN, DORIS KIRSCH, DAWN RIVERS

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