Mecklenburg County Reorganization Precinct Meetings

Most of you know that the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party has had some issues centered mainly around rushed precinct organization that occurred before the new selection of the replacement for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff. Today, the MCDP is taking the next step in its fresh start with newly appointed volunteer precinct chairs who will preside over reorganization meetings tonight at 7:00 p.m.

While the cause for the need of precinct reorganization is nothing fun to dwell on, this fresh start has got to be exciting for Mecklenburg Democrats. According to the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party web site 182 people volunteered to be temporary precinct chairs. There were multiple volunteers in some precincts. While not every precinct was covered, this is huge news for a county that has had a hard time getting folks to step forward to organize precincts.

Here is a list of the temporary precinct chairs. I recognize many, if not most of the names on the list. Many of these are the people who always step forward to give their time for the party and for Democratic candidates. I'm sure they have a handle on proper procedures, so this process should give us better results than the rush job that preceded the selection of Mecklenburg's new sheriff.

Here is a list of precinct meeting locations. Please check this list so you will know where to go since the polling location might not be open to the public during meeting times tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Don't miss this chance to impact Mecklenburg County politics.

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Comments

Most importantly

If you are elected a chair or a vice chair tonight, you get to vote for the next party chair.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Yes....and I saw your name on that list of volunteers

My old precinct is covered which really makes me feel happy.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

do we have anybody?

Do we have anybody running for county chair?

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

I heard I won the prize

for having the MOST heavily republican precinct in the county. Only 176 registered Dems out of 1500+ voters.

I canvassed the neighborhoods on Saturday and have 2 confirmed attendees...hoping 2 more happen to show tonight so we can be official.

Fingers crossed!

Mint Hill here

Like you, I am in Republican hell. Pretty sure I got my five, helps that I have three in my house.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

that's how we get our precinct quorum.

we've got 3 in our house.

Hope Mecklenburg gets things worked out.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Precinct Meeting Success!

Just got back...I had 13 folks show up! That's almost 10% of ALL registered Dems in my Precinct!

Woo Hoo! We're Organized!

Holy Moly!

That is wonderful! I can't believe it. Wow....just wow!

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I know...can you believe it?

I've only got 170 Dems in my whole precinct! The blisters I got canvassing on Saturday are totally worth it!

Honestly, the best part was seeing how excited everyone was to get together and how happy they were to find out which neighbors are Democrats. It was so motivational for everyone that attended!

That's what I had to do last year

I walked my own neighborhood. I got my five...only one wasn't registered the way he thought....so I actually only got four. Oh well...the precinct is organized now. I'm happy. I'm glad you did it. We know how important it is.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Very good work, Betsy!

We need more people like you.

...and you know me...

I'd rather knock on 200 doors than make 5 phone calls!

Hahahahaha

Yeah....I'm pretty much the same way.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

wow

my hero! that rocks!

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

hehehe!

I actually called Dan P while I was walking the precinct on Saturday for motivation. I guess it worked!

235 organized

We got our's done

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

congratulations!!

It feels good, doesn't it?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I saw Chairman Meek on the teevee

He did a great job. This is really a good thing for Mecklenburg and the most enthusiasm I've seen in a long time. It's good that it has been public too because I think it has encouraged folks to get involved and breathed new life into those who are always involved since they see their numbers increasing.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Agreed.

I don't think precinct organization was on the mind of your average voter until recent events. And the party really helped make the process easier by bombarding the local media with news of the meeting day.

Does the NCDP not want Wake County to get organized this year?

I understand that there was some problem with the Democratic party in Charlotte/Mecklenburg - specifically when it comes to precinct organization. And that each and every precinct was considered disorganized and they would have to start again from scratch.

But that is really going to screw us up here in Wake County. Mainly because we have been having cluster/POD meetings which appear to be legal under the POO Section 1.04.

Location. The annual precinct meetings shall be held at the polling place of each precinct or other facility deemed appropriate by the precinct chair. If a meeting facility other than the precinct polling place is used, it must be approved in advance by the county chair and publicly announced seven (7) calendar days in advance of the meeting. The precinct chair shall also post notice of the meeting location at the regular polling place. In any case, the precinct meeting must be held in a public facility accessible to all registered Democrats residing in the precinct, except that when the county chair certifies that no public facility is available in the precinct, the precinct meeting may be held in a non-public facility accessible to all registered Democrats residing in the precinct.

My reading of this part of section 1.04 is that the Wake County cluster/POD meetings are in compliance with the plan of organization.

Here's another reason why I know that cluster/POD meetings are legal - I had my very first precinct organization meeting back in 2004 that was set up by Mr. P.R. Latta that consisted of his precinct and 4 others at one location. I can tell you this - P.R. knows the plan, and I know that he wouldn't do anything that violated the POO. So if that cluster/POD meeting was legal in 2004, why aren't they legal in 2008?

For many reasons, our county chair, board and CEC members have approved using the cluster meeting where several precincts joing together to save money, share a facilitator and benefit from having fewer locations for politicians to visit to speak and garner support. Why not pay one facility fee instead of 15 or 20?

And how in the Sam Hill are we going to organize those unorganized precincts - spend close to $100 a precinct for rental fees for precincts that might not make quorum?

In the case of Wake County this year, the precinct organization committee called around and asked the current precinct chairs if they wanted to hold their own meetings at their precinct polling places or if they wanted to participate in the cluster meetings. I called a bunch of people, and all but one wanted to do the cluster meetings. So they are free to meet at their precinct polling place.

We made those calls in enough time. Now it just so happens that the plan of organization is not specific about where else a facility deemed appropriate by the precinct chair needs to be. It does not say that other facility needs to be in the precinct - it just says that the precinct chair must deem it appropriate, and that it must be held in a public facility accessible to all registered Democrats.

My reading of this is that Wake County's cluster meetings are in compliance with the Plan Of Organization. We are even in compliance with section 1.04, so section 1.10 does not apply to Wake County. It's not like we are trying to organize on the fly as people walk around through their neighborhoods?

But cluster precincts does aid in getting unorganized precincts organized in a better manner. After all, you can just invite people from an unorganized precinct to a cluster meeting. If they make quorum and elect officers and delegates, they are organized. If they don't make quorum, they can meet at the alternate cluster meetings which could be in one central location on those other alternate days. There is nothing in the POO that seems to prevent that - unless the party wants to admit that there are parts of the POO that seem to be in conflict with each other. If that is the case, why can't we rule in favor of the least restrictive interpretation?

Or are our hands tied because NC is in play with the presidential nomination - and we want to make sure our delegates are going to be counted (unlike FL and Michigan)?

1.10 ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF PRECINCT ORGANIZATION

A county that seeks to organize precincts in a manner other than that outlined in this section may do so by the following process:

Submit a detailed written plan describing the alternative method of organizing to the state chair by November 1st of an even-numbered year. Said plan must be approved by a majority vote of the county executive committee before submission to the state chair.

1. State chair shall review the proposed alternative method of organizing and offer either a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the full state executive committee at its first meeting in the odd-numbered year following submission by the county.

2. State executive committee shall consider the recommendation of the state chair and, by a majority vote, either approve or disapprove of the alternative method of organizing.

3. The state chair is encouraged to work with any county submitting a proposed alternative method of organizing to make minor modifications to the plan so as to result in a favorable recommendation by the state chair to the state executive committee.

4. Said approval by the state executive committee shall only be valid for the precinct organization that begins in the odd-numbered year in which the state executive committee approves the alternative method of organizing.

5. Counties using an approved alternative method of organizing must submit requests for reapproval pursuant to the timeframes outlined herein.

The needs of large counties that have 200 precincts are clearly different than those counties that have less then 50 precincts.

The POO is clearly out of date if it can't see that political and economic reality and they need to re-examine the issue since the way Wake County has been doing clusters for the last 2 years is following both the letter and the spirit of Section 1.04.

I am sure that Jerry Meek is a very busy guy, but we run the risk of not getting our county organized because of the fault of other counties playing very fast and loose with the rules.

Chris Telesca
Chairperson, Precinct 01-42 &
Precinct Organization District 34 Coordinator for the Wake County Democratic Party
State Executive Committee Member for the NC Democratic Party