Baltimore County September Membership Meeting Update
Local Continues Growth
On Tuesday night, September 12, the Baltimore County Green Party held another well-attended membership meeting at Towson Public Library. Several new people were in attendance, and several joined, on the spot. It was reported that our dues-paying membership had reached a record level in August, and we set an ambitious goal of growing by at least another 30% by Halloween. That growth is a product of, and a reflection of, our high level of activity over the last few months.
Several members of the local attended a protest on September 1, over the killing of Christopher Clapp, shot by an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, following Clapp’s shoplifting of a bottle of laundry detergent from a Catonsville Giant store. We worked with the family and friends of Clapp on this protest.
We planned to participate in the protest over the blackballing of NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, because of his progressive stances and protests last season. There will be a rally at M&T Stadium, before the opening home game, this Sunday, September 17. Members of the local will meet together at the Light Rail Station in Mt Washington at 10:30 am, to travel together to attend this protest.
We discussed our participation in the March for Racial Justice in DC on Saturday, September 30. We decided against chartering a bus, because of the costs involved. Instead, we will carpool in several cars, to the MARC station at BWI and travel together from there to the demonstration. If you are interested in joining this event, please let us know.
Our chapter has stood strong against Trump’s recension of the D.A.C.A. protections, for immigrants brought to the USA as children. We joined in a protest at a Trump hotel in the DC suburbs. Members of our chapter were central to a coalition that organized a protest of the decision at CCBC: Essex, attended by about forty people. We are supporting further protests, such as a national action in DC, on Tuesday Sept 26. We are also scheduling an allies training with CASA for Saturday, October 21.
We also discussed our future continued work around the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage bill in Baltimore County, and upcoming health care for all protests. We have also been discussing environmental and zoning issues in the County, including opposition to the Royal Farms mega store at the proposed Towson Gateway, especially problematic given the large Royal Farms donations to almost all County Council members and the County Executive. Another proposal we plan to support is one calling for the limiting of environmentally destructive Styrofoam containers in the County.
In an exciting development that will expand our capacities, Anokwale Anansesemfo and Dave Delbert have agreed to co-chair the Action/Issue Committee, with Mark McColloch. The committee will meet on Thursday, September 21, from 6:30-8pm, at the Towson Panera on Putty Hill.
In the first of what will be many actions of its kind, the local hosted a table at the Parkville-Carney Fair on Saturday, September 9. We distributed literature, talked to scores of people, and gathered contact information for prospective new members from this all-day effort, which was supported by seven chapter members. Our Maryland District 7 Delegate candidate Ryan Sullivan was present, as was Green Party gubernatorial candidate Kevin Zeese.
We held the first of our “Meet-ups” on Thursday, September 7, at Hightops, in Timonium. We made one new in-person contact, and a number of others expressed interest, and we felt the action shows promise as a strategy. Several members took advantage of the opportunity to brainstorm and discuss ideas of interest to our chapter.
The Outreach Committee is researching additional affordable and promising tabling opportunities for Fall weekends, and is considering some more Meet-ups. We are also planning for a meeting in Joppatowne in November to help build a new Harford County chapter, and considering another library evening “Meet the Green Party” meeting, at another location in Baltimore County, possibly Owings Mills.
In another exciting development, 2016 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka will be visiting Baltimore in the third week of October. He will be speaking on war, imperialism and its connection to issues at home, during that week, likely at a college campus event. In addition, he may be the key speaker at a house party fund-raiser for gubernatorial candidate Kevin Zeese.
Paul Hoffman has agreed to step up to co-chair the Outreach Committee, along with Theresa Alexander. The next meeting of that committee will take place on Tuesday, September 19, at 6:30-8pm, at the Towson Panera on Putty Hill.
Ryan Sullivan, the Green Party candidate for Delegate in District Seven of the Maryland House, updated members on his campaign. Ryan has filed with the State Board of Elections. He has a campaign treasurer, and is building a campaign committee, although is still working to secure a campaign manager. Ryan launched his public campaign at our Parkville-Carney Fair table.
Nathan Feldman, a new member of the chapter, was introduced. Nate is planning to run for state delegate from the 11th District, in the Pikesville-Owings Mills area. Nate will be making a proposal for our endorsement at the October membership meeting. Nate is also working to secure a campaign manager.
Interest has been expressed by people interested in running as Delegates in the Dundalk-Essex, and elsewhere. We will be meeting with a prospective candidate and member from that Southeastern area of the County, soon.
We discussed the fact that these issues and the question of an initial fund-raiser for the Delegate candidates will be part of the agenda at the Electoral Committee meeting. Stayed tuned for a time and date for that meeting.
We also conducted a secret ballot election in regards to the endorsement of the two candidates who presented their campaigns to us at the August meeting, Ryan Sullivan and Kevin Zeese, who is running for Governor on the Green Party ticket. Following the return of mail ballots for absentee voting from members not at the meeting, the results will be announced within a week.
Several members spoke of their desire to return to our practice of a substantial educational component of our membership meetings. There was a consensus that we need to do this, and the Steering Committee, along with others will soon be at work to discuss re-launching this in October. We will also discuss the possible formation of an Educational Committee.
It was reported that we grew to our highest membership total, to date, in August. We also took in about $750 on dues and sustainer for that month, and the local is in a good financial position. We encourage all members to sign up for the automatic dues-payment on the website here:
https://baltimorecountygreenparty.nationbuilder.com/membership?utm_campaign=post_july_meet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=baltimorecountygreenparty or to pay their dues, if they were not at the meeting. If you have paid dues in the past, but have now lapsed, you can return to good standing simply by paying this month’s dues.
Ryan read a letter from Kate Holmes, announcing that because she and her family are planning a move to South Carolina, she must step down as Co-Chair. Kate expressed her strong support for the chapter and indicated that she will remain as an active member until the time of the actual departure. Several members spoke about Kate’s substantial and impressive contributions to the development of the local over our first year.
Because of that resignation, there was an election for the remainder of her term as one of our Co-chairs, Theresa Alexander was nominated and elected, in a secret ballot election. Since that election created a vacancy in the Treasurer position, Amanda Watts was nominated and elected to that post. We announced that we are still looking for an IT/Digital media Coordinator and that we will probably hold an election for one in October.
Our next membership meeting will be held on Monday, October 16, at 6:30 pm in the Towson Public Library. Child care will continue to be available free of charge to members and guests. Please plan now to attend.
Baltimore County Green Party
Baltimore County Green Party - PO Box 20391, Towson, MD 21284, United States