HDCC in Action in February: Democrats Caucus
Democrats caucused on February 10, 2018, to select delegates to the Massachusetts State Convention, and his year the caucus was full of energy. Approaching the library entrance, candidate sign holders and volunteers with nomination papers greeted us. The auditorium was filled with candidates for Congress, governor, and governor’s council; volunteers in support of all candidates; and Democrats, who came for the business meeting and caucus. Speakers included Eileen Duff (governor’s council), Sheriff Coppinger, Secretary of State William Galvin, and Bob Massie and Jay Gonzalez – candidates for governor. See below for a list of delegates to the 2018 state Democratic Convention. All photos courtesy of Steve Gordon.
On February 8 the The Greater Haverhill League of Women Voters sponsored Mira Bernstein, who spoke on gerrymandering – “Gerrymandering: Why It’s More Complicated Than Most People Think” – at the Haverhill Public Library. Bernstein holds a faculty research position at Tufts University and is also a founding member of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group.
Bernstein introduced her talk by sharing that gerrymandering originated in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts governor, Elbridge Gerry, signed the legislation designed to give Republicans control over state and national offices in 1812. From this salamander-shaped district and the name Gerry, the term gerrymandering was created.
Bernstein explained that two principles of gerrymandering are “cracking” and “packing.” Cracking is diluting the voting power of the opposing party. Packing is concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts. Determining what is a “fair” way of dividing voting districts is the big question. The Supreme Court is just now becoming willing to look at gerrymandering cases.
The Gerrymandering Group that Bernstein is a part of is focusing on shapes of districts, rather than statistics, to determine whether the district has biased boundaries. “The focus is on achieving a systematic and fair understanding of geometric issues related to gerrymandering as well as how mathematical structures affect how to design fair districting plans”, said Justin Solomon, a member of the group. Here is a link to an article on this topic.
Photo: Mira Bernstein courtesy Eva Rajczyk.
SHERIFF COPPINGER: March 5, 2018 – Sheriff Coppinger will give a presentation on the present status and change of policies within his department. There will be time for questions and answers. The presentation will be held in the Haverhill Public Library Johnson Auditorium at 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The HDCC is sponsoring this event. ALL ARE WELCOME!
MEET & GREET: 3RD DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES – Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Maria’s Family Restaurant. Come for a pasta dinner and meet the many candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District congressional seat being vacated by Niki Tsongas at the end of her term. Each candidate will be provided time to speak and will then stay on to have further conversation with members and guests.
2018 Delegates to Democratic State Convention
Ralph Basiliere, Chair
Robert V. Driscoll
Patricia A. Driscoll
Francis J. Komola, Chair
Rosalind B. McKeon
Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien
Joel R. Gagnon
Thomas E. O’Brien
William D. Cox, Jr., City Chair
Francine A. Bradley
Martha Eva R. Rajczyk
Alternates – Penelope S. Davis
Nicole Jeanne LaRose-Sanchez,
Ken Quimby, Jr., Chair
Robert A. Young
Alternates – Kevin B. McCarthy
Demet D. Haksever
Joseph T. LeBlanc
John R. Kusiak,
John L. Cuneo, 20 Hyatt
Sheila A. Comeau
Chere C. Bemelmans
Alternates – Michael Comeau
Lois E. Hartman
News from the committees
The Events committee continues to meet monthly and plan, organize, and hold events that educate, inform, and enlighten.
Immigration Task Force
Kathy Rurak is working on gathering info now on how we as a group can continue to support undocumented residents in our community as well as give attention to the bigger issues of Safe Communities and above all, The Dream Act.
The Action committee will be working on voter registration, getting out the vote, and flipping the Congress for 2018.
Upcoming HDCC meetings
Immigration Task Force: March 26, 5:30-6:30, Milhendler Room, Haverhill Public Library.
Action Committee: March 26, 6:30-8:30 pm, Milhendler Room, Haverhill Public Library.
Events Committee: March meeting TBA.
The HDCC has committees that could use your ideas, help, and energy. The Events Committee (email@example.com) is planning candidate meet and greet events. The Action Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) puts out the newsletter, maintains the new HDCC website, and is planning outreach with other Democratic city committees. Young Dems is just getting underway and could use your help! Contact Tyler Polston (email@example.com) for more information. Contact Kathy Rurak (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the Immigration Task Force.