Bi-Monthly Newsletter ⚡🌊

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18 mins read
w/Paul Deasy & Jamie Whelan. Submit questions to info@CoconinoDemocrats.org

News from the Coconino County Democratic Party

June 16, 2020


Mayoral Forum This Saturday

This Saturday, June 20, at 1:30 we will host a Zoom forum for discussion of issues by Democratic Candidates for Flagstaff Mayor: Paul Deasy and Jamie Whelan.

This is the first of many candidate forums we will be hosting over the next several months for the purpose of introducing voters to our Democratic Candidates. Thank you to the Reverand Ann Johnson for moderating this first event. 

You may send questions that you’d like us to ask the candidates to info@CoconinoDemocrats.org between now and Friday at 5 p.m.  If time permits, we’ll also ask questions that are written into the Zoom Chat during the event. 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87023763250

Meeting ID: 870 2376 3250
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,87023763250# US (San Jose)
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You will be asked to identify yourself before entering the meeting. The easiest way to do this is to rename yourself on the Zoom app so that your real name appears.


Invest in Ed and School Board Petition Signing Events

We don’t need to tell you that education is Arizona’s most important issue. Classroom funding and student achievement lag. Buildings crumble. Teachers leave the profession. Without improvement, our citizens will never be fully engaged and our workforce won’t attract the businesses we need. 

That’s why our County Party Executive Committee voted this month to affirm our commitment to the Invest in Ed ballot initiative and to break out of our COVID closure — safely — to collect signatures and notarize petitions on each of the next two Saturdays. June 20 and 27: 10-1 at 201 E. BIrch — one the porch on the west side. These opportunities will be offered on the porch outside our office with COVID precautions. Wear masks! We have one-time use pens and hand sanitizer.

We also welcome any Democratic candidates for School Board or the Community College Board to have their petitions available for signing at these events. Contact Allan Gerston if you are such a candidate: allangerston@icloud.com.

If you have been gathering petitions for Invest in Ed, you may bring them to these events and have them notarized by Allan.


Message from Our Outgoing Chair

Shannah Redmon

To all our friends in the Coconino County Democratic Party: Phil and I announced at last Saturday’s monthly meeting that we will be moving to Missouri in July to help take care of my parents. As many of you know, my mother had a stroke in January which has caused her dementia to progress to moderate/severe. I’m glad that we can be with them now, while she still recognizes us, especially through this pandemic. 

We have loved being a part of the Coconino County Democratic Party, and this organization has meant so much to us. I have learned a lot from many of you, and I’m so proud of the work we do. I wanted to share with you some thoughts about one of my primary passions, which is how we can continue to expand our party to include more minority members, leadership, and candidates. First, let me share with you a tool developed by the ADP that uses 2010 Census data to help counties and legislative districts determine affirmative action PC demographic goals.  According to this, in Coconino County, we should have 3 Asian American, 3 African American, 45 Hispanic, 97 Native American, 1 Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 6 Multi race, and 203 White PCs. Due to our outreach efforts and the work of the Latinx and Navajo Voter Committees, I’m glad to welcome 10 Latino and 25 Native American future Elected PCs to the Coconino Democrats this year. But we still have a long way to go! I will share with you some thoughts on how we can continue this work:

  1. Accommodations. We need to make accommodations for participation: This may look like changing the time or length of some of our meetings, providing childcare, providing electronic resources such as internet hotspots for some to be able to participate, recording our meetings so that meetings can be viewed later.  We need to reconsider how “the way we always do things” might need to change in order to be more inclusive. 
  2. Encourage Minority Leadership. We must step aside for minority leadership. This doesn’t mean that we step away–we will need your help! This means that you may perform a supportive role rather than the leadership role. We ALL want to see success. We also need to make room for uncomfortable conversations — if we are always comfortable then we aren’t necessarily doing it right. 
  3. Financial Commitment. We must make a continued financial commitment to encouraging minority participation and leadership. This year, we invested in an Internship program, part-time paid organizers, food for meetings, advertising meetings in radio and social media, and travel stipends for state committee meetings. What might our continuing commitment look like? Would we offer stipends for attending leadership meetings or training? Would we hire a minority executive director? Will our budget continue to reflect a priority of recruiting more minority membership and leadership? 
  4. Candidate Recruitment. We must work harder recruiting minority candidates, training candidates, and highlighting their contests! 
  5. Expand our Social Circles. We must be welcoming and open to expanding our social circles. All organizing is relational. When Phil and I started coming to the Coconino Democrats many people went out of their way to learn who we were, to take us out to eat, to watch our kids at meetings, and to just say hi. We need to make sure in this organization we are not just socializing with our friends, but we are intentionally expanding our social circles. 

Lastly, I would like to encourage State Committee involvement. We were brand new to the State Committee this cycle and it has been one of the things I have most enjoyed. The questions that we have considered at the State level are important, and they need our input from Coconino. In this last year we have submitted two resolutions that were accepted, one bylaw change, prevented or were able to change a few proposed bylaws, and most recently have pushed back on a rule that would have required us to discourage women from becoming State Committee members! Not only that, but we have gotten to meet a lot of amazing Democrats from around Arizona. I would like to see more people from Coconino in leadership at the State Party. We do have a different perspective, and it is important that we are there to represent the Coconino perspective. The commitment is 3 day-long meetings a year (more if you commit to a special committee, council, or caucus). The Coconino County Democratic Party will have room for 66 state committee members for 2021-2022 — the most we have ever sent to the State Committee! Please consider becoming one of our State Committee Members for 2021-2022. The election will be in December 2020 or January 2021.

I’ll be continuing to help as a virtual volunteer, especially with the Navajo and Latinx Voter Committees through this year. I am very confident in Ann Heitland’s leadership, who will be taking over as Chair, and the leadership of our Executive Committee. I thank them for all the work they have done, and I am very excited to see what the Party will help accomplish in this year’s elections! We do encourage you to consider stepping up to a leadership role this year, and in next year’s reorganization. It is a rewarding experience. Thank you all and we will miss you!

Note from Ann:  Shannah and Phil have been great for our County Party and I know we can count on them as “super volunteers” through this election cycle. Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, PCs will be receiving information about the election for a new Treasurer and new Second Vice-Chair. (Allan Gerston will be moving up to First Vice Chair as I become Chair.) One candidate for Treasurer, Bill Wade, has already stepped forward and has been working with Phil to learn the Treasurer’s job. I encourage anyone interested in standing for election to contact me or another member of the Executive Committee. Becoming 2d Vice Chair at this point in the election cycle will be a great opportunity for someone to learn what local party leadership entails.


Candidate Signs Available

Two Democratic candidates for County Supervisor have signs available.

For homes and businesses in District 1, signs for Patrice Horstman are available. Contact Patrice at:  pmhorstman@mac.com or Jenn at: jvargm@gmail.com or sign up on the website at www.patriceforsupervisor.com

For those of you in District 4, signs for Bryan Bates are available. Write to Bryan at Bryan@BryanBates4Coconino.com.


LD-6 Phone Bank Updates

Good news/Bad news here folks. Good news first:  We completed our first round of phone banking in the Flagstaff area yesterday!  This is the result of an outstanding commitment by slightly over twenty of our precinct committee people and volunteers. Bad news: We are behind the targets necessary to win in terms of the number of people participating, number of calls attempted, and number of conversations. Not far behind, but behind.

Hesitant about calling? Try making a commitment to do one of the training sessions and get your toes wet with a few calls. If it’s too much for you to handle, step back to other ways to volunteer in this campaign. But at least give it a try. We’ve had some testimonials from first-time phone bankers who say it actually turns out to be fun or who say they feel like they have made some really meaningful, fulfilling connections. COVID has changed our lives in so many ways; one of them is that we must phone bank to win.

“Direct voter connect” is the most important way to win an election. We’re not going to be canvassing in this election, we’re not tabling at events, so the only direct voter contact available to us is phone banking. Let’s turn the AZ Legislature #RedtoBlue by flipping LD-6.

In contrast to the two dozen or so LD-6 phone bankers, 85 of our PCs and volunteers have been calling for Mark Kelly’s campaign. Yes, the U.S. Senate is important, but education policy and funding is determined in the legislature — as well as so much more! Let’s hop on board with the LD-6 campaigns now!

Sign up here — trainings Thursday and Saturday.  Once you’ve been through a training, you can call into your area on your own schedule.


Update on Our Neighborhood Mailing Campaign

The first wave of our mass mailing plan for the summer will go out later this month to registered voters who are our targets for GOTV inside the City of Flagstaff. These letters come from precinct committee leaders within our five city regions and are designed to encourage people to check their voter registration, sign up for vote-by-mail, and to introduce them to our County and Legislative Candidates. (If you don’t get one of these letters, it’s because we believe, based on your voting history, that you are going to vote and vote Democrat!) Similar mailings to other parts of the County will happen in July and August.

Also later this month our Precinct Committee Members and volunteers will be introduced to a coordinated campaign for writing postcards in support of our LD-6 candidates Felicia French for Senate and Coral Evans for House.  If you would like to be part of this effort and are not on our mailing list as a PC or volunteer, please sign up here.


A Link You Might Want to Bookmark

Democratic Candidates on Coconino County Ballots

And, by the way, a reminder that digital outreach is important in the age of a pandemic.

If you are on Facebook, follow us and share our stuff @CoconinoDems and @LatinXCoconinoDems and @TubaCityDems

Tweet with us @CoconinoDems.


In Case You Missed This Other News


Coral Evans: My Thoughts on the Way Forward
Felicia French on the BLM Movement
A Snapshot of Our Days of Turmoil: June 4, 2020 ~ Historian Heather Cox Richardson
Launch of Another Newsletter!  ~ The first issue of our LatinX newsletter
How to Balance Arizona’s Budget ~ AZ Center for Economic Progress
State Legislator Labels BLM Terrorist Group ~ That’s our State Legislator, Walt Blackman

It’s been said that the LGBTQ community broke the internet yesterday morning by all trying at once to download the Bostock vs. Clayton County. opinion. Can you blame us?

For the most current posts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well as checking the Latest News on our website.


Training Opportunities Have Gone Virtual!

We encourage all PCs and volunteers to attend one of our orientation sessions. These explain the party structure and give you an opportunity to learn how you can contribute. We are now doing these sessions on Zoom every Tuesday. If necessary, we can schedule an individual session at another time. 

If we have no RSVPs, the event will not be held!  Call (928) 214-0393 or write info@coconinodemocrats.org.

If you are struggling with the technology required to participate in the 2020 campaign, get in touch and we’ll help you learn what you need. info@coconinodemocrats.org.


Please Donate If You Can

If you can, please increase your monthly donation or make a special one-time contribution now.  We are constantly re-evaluating our budget to make new ways to help our candidates win in November.


Calendar of Democratic Events in Coconino County
Here’s How to Reach Your Ex Com Members


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


We work to protect the American Worker, the American Dream and the Future of our Children. The Mission of the County Party is to elect Democrats to public office who embrace the values of the Democratic Party.

The Coconino County Democratic Party is one of the 15 county organizations of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP). The ADP is an arm of the National Democratic Party. We are committed to the continuing growth of a strong grassroots organization that takes action in support of local, state, and national Democratic candidates and issues consistent with our Mission.

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