Minutes of the May 25, 2015 General Membership Meeting

Democratic Club of Claremont
General Membership Meeting
7:00 PM Monday, May 25, 2015
Porter Hall, Pilgrim Place

Approximately 23 people were in attendance.

The Agenda was approved with: Deletion of July 4 as an Action Item at the beginning of the meeting; Changing the order of Committee Reports (Nominations and By-Laws) to be included within the Committee Reports.


Honoring Memorial Day: To honor those troops who have died while serving in conflicts, Merrill Ring played two "war" songs": Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and The Reuben James. He recommended Ivan Light's book, Deadly Secret of the Lusitania set as a cause of WWI and that "Great War" resulting in most everything else that happened in the Twentieth Century. WWII veterans and DCC members Chuck Farritor and Jim Stripling were recognized. John Forney then asked for a moment of silence in respect and remembrance.

Speaker: Ivan Light introduced Shirlee Smith, whom he has known for many years. Ms. Smith's topic, "Mothers Behind Bars: America's Slave System Continues" contained similarities in today's prisons to the period of slavery when pregnant African-America women did not have rights to their children. Today imprisoned women often do not know their rights and lose track of their children while incarcerated. The women and their children need both advocates and the means of advocating for themselves, according to Ms. Smith. Ms. Smith talked about the program she has designed and is providing to incarcerated women. The program's inclusion in California's prisons for women was initiated because of State Senator Carol Liu, who arraigned for the contact between Ms. Smith and the prison authorities. The "Talk About Parenting" Program has been available as a class at the California Institute for Women for more than five years. Ms. Smith described the curriculum of the "Talk About Parenting" program as consisting of Communication Skills, Home Environment Structure, Prison Structure, Child Development and Nurturing. Classes utilize various activities including role modeling. Presenters include chiefs of police, a school board president and attorneys. In referring back to her comparison between today and slavery, Ms. Smith said that the Department of Children and Family Services receives money for each child that is adopted from an incarcerated woman. Furthermore, the imprisoned women are products of an environment consisting of abuse, neglect, parental drug abuse, hunger and poverty. Once released, the women continue to need resources and the knowledge of how to access them.


Minutes MSA (Merrill Ring): of the General Membership meeting of April 27, 2015 were unanimously approved.

President's Report: John Forney encouraged everyone to attend the free lecture by Bill McKibben, the foremost writer on global warming (see below under "Other Organizations). Flyers were distributed. John recommended a book, Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough. The book tells of Geoffrey Canada's efforts to break the cycle of poverty in Harlem.

Volunteers at Events: Carolee Monroe asked for volunteers for the club's booth at the 4th of July festival in Memorial Park. She reminded members that their services will also be needed during the Los Angeles County Fair and at Village Venture. Suggestions for the booth at Village Venture are welcome.

Committee Reports:

FINANCE / Treasurer's Report: Carol Whitson reported a current balance of $3275.

MEMBERSHIP: Carol said that there are a total of 136 members, thanks to the efforts of Sandy Hester and Gar Byrum.

PROGRAM & ISSUES: Merrill Ring told of the programs for June (see below, under Club Events). There will be no luncheons or meetings in July and August.

POLITICAL STRATEGY: Debi Evans has asked Joe Salas and Curt Lewis to join the committee with their inclusion to be approved by the DCC President at the June meeting. Regarding the list of Democratic candidates for SD 25, Debi is part of a committee that will interview two more possible candidates. Our DCC will be part of a Democratic HQ, tentatively named "UDH East", and probably located nearby in Upland or Rancho Cucamonga so as to work on the AD 40 and the CD 31 campaigns. An "Educators for Pete" fundraising event is scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2015 beginning at 5: PM in San Bernardino. For more information, contact: kevin@peteaguilar.com.

Proposed By-laws: Debi Evans, committee chair, led the discussion of the revisions of Article III Membership, Article VII Meetings and Article XIII Non-Discrimination Policy to the By-laws.

Bob Gerecke and Ted Panzer offered amendments to the proposed by-laws. Three amendments were accepted by the By-Laws Committee Chair, Debi Evans: change of article name, a grammatical correction, and deletion of unspecified "other requirements" for membership. The members voted to approve an amendment specifying the minimum personal information a member is required to give the club: name and address. The section on submission of members' names to the CDP to earn representation in pre-endorsement conferences was approved as-is. Club President John Forney referred the remainder of the suggested amendments and proposed by-laws back to the Committee for further consideration, after inconclusive discussion about whether members who are not yet eligible to register (i.e., youth and immigrants), but who promise to register as Democrats when they are eligible, should have a vote in club meetings."

MSA (Merrill Ring, Ted Panzer) Article III Members Section 1 (a) was accepted with several friendly amendments. The remainder of Article III Section 1 (d) and (e) and Section 2 (c) will be revisited in the fall.

Regarding Article VII Meetings, Debi said that the changes brought forward for approval have been made to comply with CDP regulations.

MSA (Debi Evans, Ted Panzer) Article XIII was approved unanimously.

Nominations Committee: No report was given.

Report of LACDP and CDP: Bob Gerecke reported that the LACDP had passed resolutions regarding (a) urging that building codes require water saving systems; (b) banning Arctic drilling and (c) supporting State Senate bills 664 and 707. SB 664 (Hertzberg) requires steps to identify and reduce water systems' vulnerability to earthquakes. SB 707 (Wolk) narrows exemptions to firearm prohibitions in school zones.

Bob Gerecke reported and Debi Evans discussed the CDP's hotly-debated Compliance Review of the 43rd AD following the April 9th election of delegates. The CDP has ordered a reelection because it found 117 ineligible voters."



  • Friday, June 12 Luncheon at Darvish restaurant, 946 W. Foothill. Noon until 2 PM. Speaker: Sam Pedroza, Claremont City Councilman topic: "California and Local Water Issues" (with Mel Boynton "Tour of California Water Facilities")
  • Monday, June 29 DCC members meeting Speaker: Linda Skyrdlant Topic: "Monsanto and GMOs at Porter Hall, Pilgrim Place. 601 Mayflower Road, 7 PM - 9 PM.
  • Saturday, July 4 - DCC booth at Claremont's Independence Day festival - at Memorial Park
    • T Willard Hunter Speakers Corner event - contact Karen Rosenthal to talk
    • DCC parade entry - President John Forney, CHS Young Democrats Club President Eve
    • Mefferd and Anthony Portantino, our endorsed candidate for SD 25.
  • Sunday, December 6 - Annual Holiday Party 4:00 PM at Napier Center, Pilgrim Place


  • June 4 - Kamala Harris - Los Angeles
  • Sunday, June 7 Inland Empire/Pomona Valley Organizing for Hillary Event - 1 PM Contact Joe Salas for venue: josephsalas7@hotmail.com
  • June 27 - Anthony Portantino 4 PM


  • Monday, June 1, Sustainable Claremont dialog "Poisonous Herbicides" 7 PM at Hahn Hall
  • Thursday, June 4, "Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization" Conference Speaker: Bill McKibben "Global Warming as a Civilizational Crisis" 7 PM at Bridges Auditorium.

Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolee Monroe, Recording Secretary