MonDems July 2020 Newsletter

“You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.”
— Rep. John Lewis

Remembering Rep. John Lewis in his own words

At this writing, Monongalia County is a Covid-19 hotspot, so as a committee, we’re continuing to meet virtually, by Zoom, but we’re not letting that limitation stand in the way of our work. After a hard-fought primary, West Virginia has many great Democratic candidates at both the local and state levels, and it’s time to get behind them and work together for positive change. 

Candidates page

This page – moncountydems.org/candidates – provides links to the Democrats who are going to be on the ballot in Monongalia County in November. Familiarize yourself with them, and if you want to volunteer with a campaign, reach out. They could all use your help. And, if we missed you or a candidate you know of, send the information to moncountydems@gmail.com and we’ll get it up there.

For the candidates – we’d also like to post a photo and 250 words about who you are and why you’re running for office. Please email your photo and statement to moncountydems@gmail.com

Our statewide Democratic nominees are Ben Salango-Governor, John Perdue –Treasurer, Sam Petsonk-Attorney General, Natalie Tennant-Secretary of State, Mary Ann Claytor- Auditor, Bob Beach-Commissioner of Agriculture Ben will be joining us for our August zoom meeting, so be sure to join us to hear from our next governor. 

Absentee Voting – ACTION NEEDED

One of our biggest concerns about the general election is making sure all eligible voters can vote safely and securely. During the primary, this was easy – county clerks sent an application for absentee voting to all voters, and all you had to do was mark “illness” as the reason on the application. The clerks then sent you a ballot, and you filled it out and returned it.  

Unfortunately, our Republican secretary of state has yet to make it clear that the same process will be followed for the upcoming general election, and appears to be waffling on the issue. The president is campaigning against vote by mail, although there is zero evidence that increased mail-in voting helps one party or the other. 

We need to make sure our voices are heard on this. This is time-sensitive, as county clerks need time to plan and prepare.  

What to do – Call the secretary of state at 304-558-6000 and the governor at 304-558-2000.

What to say: “I’m calling because I want the secretary of state (or the governor) to announce NOW that absentee voting applications for the general election will be mailed to all voters, and that any voter will be able to vote absentee simply by marking illness. Covid-19 is increasing in West Virginia, and absentee voting is the only way to guarantee that all voters can vote safely.” 

Vote By Mail Legislation

Absentee voting, as described above, is a stopgap solution to the longstanding issues of barriers to full participation in elections. Our county committee, joining many other individuals and groups across the state, has joined a campaign to adopt vote-by-mail universally across West Virginia.

Vote-by-mail would eliminate the need for voters to request a ballot – it will simply be sent to the address of each registered voter in plenty of time for it to be returned before Election Day. It works smoothly and without issues in several states. The City of Morgantown ran an election by mail several years ago, and voter turnout increased substantially over previous elections.

To join this campaign or learn more, see: https://www.votebymailwv.com/

We Need Your Help

Much of the work of the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee is done by sub-committees. All are meeting virtually by Zoom (it’s easy, they’ll send you a link to login) and all could use your help. 

To join a sub-committee, you do not need to be an elected or appointed member of the executive committee; it just requires a willingness to help! All Democrats and supporters are welcome! 

Fundraising committee – Raising money for politics in the midst of a pandemic – when many are laid off, face eviction, etc. – is a huge challenge. But, we know our opponents will raise plenty from fat cats and special interests, so we have to compete. This sub-committee is making plans to raise the money needed to reach voters. Fundraising skills? Please email Julia Hamilton at fundraising@moncountydems.org.

Communications committee – The Communications Committee is in charge of this newsletter, media relations, our website (mondems.org), and our social media (Facebook, Twitter). Have those kind of skills or interests? Contact Sarah Barnes at communications@moncountydems.org.

Get out the vote (GOTV) committee – Because of Covid, GOTV – which usually involves a lot of knocking on doors – is going to look very different this year, but one way or another, we have to reach out to voters – whether by mail, phone, carrier pigeon, or ?? – and get them out to vote. Figuring all that out – and organizing the rest of us to help – is the job of the GOTV committee. Email GOTV@moncountydems.org

Community service committee — As individuals and as a group, we want to serve the communities in which we live; the community service committee leads our service efforts. In the past, we’ve adopted a highway and volunteered at local events. Community service may also look different in the time of Corona, but it still needs to happen. Want to help? Reach out to Amy Gentzler at communityservice@moncountydems.org

Get in touch – We must work together to win this election and make positive changes in our communities, state, nation, and world. To get involved in any way or ask any general questions about our activities, email moncountydems@gmail.com. And, thank you!

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, July 21 – 6 to 8 p.m., Coopers Rock – State Senator Bob Beach, our Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture, will host a kickoff event for a statewide fundraising tour. This is an outdoor, socially distanced event . . . don’t forget your mask! 

Monday, Aug. 10 – Mon County Democrats monthly meeting, 6:30 p.m. Special guest – Ben Salango, Democratic candidate for governor. This meeting will be held online via Zoom. All Democrats and supporters are welcome.

Never attended a Zoom meeting? It’s easy and fun. Watch your email for the login or email moncountydems@gmail.com. We’ll send you a link, and all you have to do is click it at the appointed time. You’ll also get information about how to join by phone, if that is your preference. Please join us.

+