NDCC Meeting Notes – 2017

Nashua Democratic City Committee (NDCC) Minutes

Monday, June 12, 2017

7:00 p.m. – 8:47 p.m.

Nashua Public Library – NPL Theater

 The meeting was called to order at 7:07, by Skip Cleaver, NDCC Chair.   Skip’s  opening remarks included the overall ‘situation’ we Democrats find ourselves in right now – specifically, that the Republicans control the NH Statehouse, the White House, Senate and Congress… and that this is NOT a time for Democrats to remain passive, or to take a wait and see attitude!   Our upcoming City election is for all positions except Mayor.   It is also non-partisan, meaning that candidates are not identified by party.  These elections historically have low voter turnout.   We definitely need to ‘resist’ the status quo, by supporting and voting for the Democrats who are running for office.    It’s  exceptionally important  that Nashua Democrats get out the vote,  make sure people  know who the Democrats on the ballot are, and vote ‘down the ballot’ for candidates the NDCC will be supporting.    Our city election will also be good practice for the upcoming 2018 Mid-Term Elections!

The May Minutes were approved, with one correction:  Page 1, Para. 5 – The last sentence was corrected to read:      The groundwork for establishing a Communications Committee was set up, with Mike Pedersen as Chair, and Will Bateson as the Committee’s Communications Director.

The Treasurer’s Report was read and approved.

Under New Business: There was continued discussion about the various positions that will be decided by our City election, a handout with all positions listed and with information about the filing procedure for Petitions.     Petitions are available at the Nashua City Clerk’s office, or online at www.nashuanh.gov – (select “city departments” then “City Clerk’s office” then “Elections”) The Petition filing period runs from August 29th through September 8, 2017;  the Drawing for Ballot position will be held on September 13, at 3 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chamber.

John Lisle gave an overview of the training, duties and time commitment that the Ward election officers (Moderator, Clerk, and Selectman) take on if elected.   Paul Bergeron spoke about the opportunities that being a Ward Selectman offers, and how it’s a great way to begin your ‘political involvement’ in the City.

NDCC Communications:  Mike Pedersen (Communications Chair) and Will (Communications Director) spoke about the changes and modifications to the NDCC social media platforms.  The purpose of our communication platforms is to increase our group’s visibility and to facilitate getting ‘our word’ out.  The rules and guidelines for on-line behavior when using these platforms were discussed, and will be enforced.  To everyone using our Nashua Democrats’ social media platforms:  good conduct with regards to postings is expected and will be monitored.

Skip reminded us all that there will be a combined campaign organized for our local election.  We are encouraged to talk to people about the Democratic candidates running for office, and how important it is that people get out and vote!   As part of Community Outreach (and more opportunities to talk to people about the upcoming election), Dave Tencza suggested helping out with the Summer Food Service Program at Southern New Hampshire Services.  (The Program’s mission is to give healthy meals to needy kids while school is out.  For more information: http://www.snhs.org/programs/health-food-nutrition/summer-food-service-program/.)   Other outreach opportunities include the Nashua Soup Kitchen, the Ash St. Neighborhood Block Party (June 24), and the annual Nashua Goes Back to School event (which will be held in August).    There are plenty of opportunities for Nashua Democrats to help out, reach out, and be visible in our community.   Other comments included making efforts to reach our young people.   Manny Espitia spoke about the Young Democrats group, and the training opportunities that are available for Young Democrats who want to become more involved.   Got a new prospective contact?  Pass the information on to Mike Pedersen or Sue Newman, and we’ll get them on our contact list!

Atlant Schmidt gave an NDCC Platform committee update:   The committee members are:    Atlant, Will, Bernadette, Sumathi, Teresa and Mike.  They have been working on developing a Platform specific to Nashua, and a draft has been circulating through their group.   The draft version will be available for the rest of us to comment on shortly.   Skip will encourage input from everyone for the final draft version.    There were comments about the ‘downshifting’ that has been happening to Nashua as a result of budgetary decisions made in Concord.   That topic will be discussed much more in the coming months.

Fundraising update:  Dave Tencza has tickets for a July 11th Silver Knights game – tickets are $6.00 each.    He also has Nashua Democrats T-shirts available for sale.  Contact Dave at: 809-9016 or at:   dave.tencza@gmail.com

Currently elected Nashua Democrats in attendance at the Meeting spoke briefly about their ongoing work and observations.  Paul Bergeron, Hillsborough County Commissioner, reminded everyone that the elected State Reps are also responsible for voting on the County budget.

Mark your calendars:  There will be NO monthly regular meeting in July.  The Next regular NDCC Monthly meeting at the Nashua Public Library will be held on August 14th.  There will be an NDCC Executive Board Meeting on July 10th, in the Chandler Wing’s Large Meeting Room at the Library.  (Executive Board Meetings are open for all to attend but voting is limited to Exec. Board Members)

There was a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:47 p.m.

Nashua Democratic City Committee (NDCC) Minutes

Monday, May 8, 2017

7:00 p.m. – 8:51 p.m.

Nashua Public Library – NPL Theater

 Our May meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m., by Chairman Skip Cleaver.  This was our first regular meeting since the April 17th Caucus and Election Meeting.

Chairman Cleaver’s opening remarks included comments that it is very important to have good Democratic candidates run for office in our upcoming local elections.   Nashua’s Mayor, Jim Donchess was our guest speaker, and he emphasized how important the City elections are, and how important it is to recruit and support people running for elected office, who support our Democratic values.  Mayor Donchess spoke about the various elected positions that people could run for, including Ward Aldermen and Alderman At-Large positions, seats on the Board of Education, the Board of Public Works, etc.   People need to get out and vote, and vote all the way down the ballot.       All in attendance were encouraged to speak with neighbors and others, whom they thought would be great candidates for the various City positions, recruit them to run, support them as candidates, and then, most importantly, get out and vote for them.

Skip thanked the Mayor for coming to our meeting, and briefly talked about the challenges the Democrats face at the Statehouse.  The Republicans currently control of the NH House, Senate, Executive Council and the Governor’s office.

Skip proudly announced that Nashua’s Ward 3 State Representative, Cindy Rosenwald, had received the Dunfey-Kanteres Award, recently at the Democratic McIntyre- Shaheen 100 Dinner, that was held in Manchester.  It’s an honor for all of us to be associated with Cindy!

Sue Newman (Secretary) – summarized the minutes from the April caucus/election Meeting  and the two small get-togethers that Skip Cleaver held, where he had an opportunity to speak with a few of our Democratic team members and get to know them  better, and share his vision about how he sees our organization moving forward.   The groundwork for establishing a Communications Committee was set up, with Mike Pedersen as Chair, and Will Bateson as the Committee’s Communications Director.

Deidre Reynolds (Treasurer) gave a brief report on the Committee’s financial situation, and reported on our current fund balance.   Final figures on receipts and expenses associated with the May 6th Spaghetti Cook-Off, will be coming.

Under New Business, there was information about the about additional working committees that Skip wants to get established.  These would include:   Communications (see above), Candidate Recruitment, Fundraising, Activities and Community Outreach.   The Communications Committee, is in the process of being organized right now.

Chairman Cleaver briefly discussed the situation that the Nashua Delegation to Concord finds itself in currently.  Democrats make up the majority in our City Delegation.  Past precedent has been that the Delegation Chair is a member of the majority party.     The Nashua Delegation Chair, who was a Democrat when we elected her as Delegation Chair, changed political party affiliation recently to Republican.  She chose not to relinquish the Chair position.  As a result, we Democrats subsequently elected Representative Jan Schmidt to be the Chair of the Nashua Delegation, and the City Republicans were notified.

There was some discussion about the responsibilities of the newly elected officers to the NDCC.   Brief discussion about future NDCC Meeting location took place, and the majority of attendees at the meeting, with a show of hands, overwhelmingly wanted to keep the monthly meetings at the Nashua Public Library.   An announcement was made that the Executive Board of the NDCC would be holding its first meeting, on Monday, May 15th, 7 p.m. at the Library, in the Chandler Wing section, in the Large Meeting Room.

We discussed our ultimate goal: Recruit, support and ELECT (and Re-Elect!)  Democrats to office at the City, State and National levels, and greatly increase and refine our communication with each other and the public through various platforms.

Our meeting sign-in sheets indicated 52 names, and I thank Joanne St.John for getting the sign-in clipboard moving among all those who came to our Meeting.

Motion to adjourn at approximately 8:51 p.m.

Nashua Democratic City Committee – Minutes from Caucus Mtg. 4/17, and mini-meetings 5/3 and 5/4

Minutes from the Nashua Democratic City Committee Caucus Meeting – held April 17, 2017, at the Nashua Senior Center and of two small get-togethers, on  May 3 and 4, 2017,  when  Chairman Cleaver had an opportunity  to informally discuss upcoming NDCC organizational issues with a few of the people that will be working with him.

The April 17th Meeting was called to order by Dave Tencza, Chair of the NDCC.  Representatives from the State NH Democratic Committee also attended, and included: Ray Buckley, NH Democratic Party Chair, and Erin Turmelle, NHDP Political Director.    The meeting was very well attended!

Newly Elected Officers for the Nashua Democratic City Committee are:

Skip Cleaver, Chair

Mike Pedersen – Vice Chair

Sue Newman – Secretary

Deidre Reynolds – Treasurer

Members At-Large for our NH State Democratic Committee are:

Linda Gathright, Dave Tencza, Joanne St.John, and Gary Hoffman

The NDCC WARD officers and At-Large members are as follows (and listed in order of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer):

Ward 1:  Atlant Schmidt, Jim Mason, Elaine Thomas, June Haskel.    At-Large: Aron Insigna, Michael Joseph, Andres Caamano

Ward 2: Gloria Timmons, Joanne St.John, David Darnell, Pam Jordan.  At- Large: Theresa Moler, Harvey Keye, Jordan Thompson.

Ward 3 – Jane Buck, Dan Weeks, Sonia Prince, Daniel Schrock.   At-Large: Vicki Donchess, Dick Dasilva, Suzanne Vail

Ward 4 – Manny Espitia, Bernadette Haloran, Brittany Wheeler, Fred Davis.   At-Large:  Mary Gorman, Megan O’Leary, Kathy Belbin

Ward 5 – Jack Kelley, Tessa Ali, Dan Toomey, Michael Pedersen.    At-Large:  Sharon Bosse

Ward 6 – Matt Coyman, Tristan Husby,….TBD *, Faith Chamberlin.   At-Large: Tanya Prather, Ken Gidge, Allison Palm

Ward 7:  Francis Arias, Ray Guarino, Judy Blachek, Gary Hoffman.    At-Large: Louis Juvis, Diane Raymond, Brad Brusso

Ward 8:  John Lisle, Will Bateson, Johanna Lisle, Joe Foster.    At-Large: Suzana Moreira, Patricia Casciano, Roy Goodman

Ward 9:  Sumathi Madhura, Vivian McGuire, … TBD*,  Alicia McNichols.    At-Large: Richard Schwartz, Adrian George, Jamila Scales

*TBD – to be determined


Chairman Skip Cleaver is VERY interested and motivated in getting our NDCC Group engaged in getting our City Democratic message out.    The informal get-together on May 3, was attended by Chairman Cleaver, Will Bateson, Mike Pedersen and Sue Newman (Sec’y) – to go over ideas for better ‘communications’.    Will is very experienced and shared several ideas.   Rich Green, Cat Tanguay who has assisted him, and Jan Schmidt have been exceptionally helpful to all of us.  (I apologize if I’m omitting people who have also helped in so many ways with our NDCC media presence so far.)    Our goal will be to get effective exposure on social media, and to be better organized and managed – as we move forward.    There was also discussion on how to deal with levels of access to sites, and establishing guidelines/rules for posting on the various sites.     Rules and guidelines for general social media posting, will be drafted and discussed by the Executive Board of the NDCC, and ultimately voted on.   Will and Mike Pedersen will collaborate on our NDCC guidelines to establish   ‘fair, clear and enforceable rules’ for members to follow when using social media.  There might also be a “Private” Facebook page.     A  Mail Chimp program has our large mailing list, and is able to be used when doing mass e-mails to members.     There will be discussion also as to how to manage our group’s ‘internal’ communications vs. broad communications, and the use of press releases.  The thought is for our group to NOT be dormant between elections!  There was also brief discussion about leadership development and continuing candidate recruitment, training and development.  The Communications Committee will be evolving.

On May 4th, Skip met with Joanne, Deidre, Linda and Sue – to discuss, in general, how he would like to see specific NDCC committees get established.    In addition to a specific Communications Committee, committees for Fund Raising, Activities, Recruitment, and Community Outreach were brought up.    Our main “Big Event” fund raiser will again have Joanne St. John as the Chairperson.    Community Outreach can have a wide ‘scope’ ,  ideally dealing  with the local NAACP, our Latino Community, Adult Learning Center, Rotary and Lions Clubs, League of Women Voters,  a possible Soup Kitchen “Team”, etc.    There should be LOTS of opportunities for the NDCC to participate in, for the betterment of our community and to promote our Democratic Party ideals and candidates.

Our June Meeting is scheduled to be held at the Senior Center – and we will also look at the possibility of using the Library’s Chandler Wing areas for future meetings.


And….On this past Saturday, May 6th, there was a NDCC Spaghetti Cook Off!    From what I saw on line today, it seems that Representative Trish Klee, who proudly represents Ward 3, – is a WINNER – in SO many ways, I might add!   Nikki Arguin will give an update and report on this event.  Thanks to everyone who helped with this event!

Submitted by:   Sue Newman – Secretary for the NDCC


From Cat Tanguay:

April 2017 (Election coverage)

Dave Tencza opened the meeting.

John Lisle (NDCC member):

Introduced the need to vote on amendments to by-laws changed in last meeting. These amendments concerned term limits for chairman and executive board members. Discussion and voting on term limits followed.

Ray Buckley (Chair – New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) introduced Amy Kennedy (Executive Director – NHDP):

Discussed how to get involved with the Democratic party.

Erin Turmelle (Political Director NHDP):

Presented the statistics from the 2017 campaign showing how well Nashua did with volunteer involvement, Get Out The Vote (GOTV)  initiatives and voter engagement.

All presenters remarked on how happy they were to see the meeting so well attended.

Ray Buckley opened the elections for executive board and at-large delegates.  Candidates for executive board seats and at-large delegates made brief speeches, (excepting the uncontested seat) and voting was held.

Attendees broke into wards for individual ward elections.

February 2017 

This was a very well attended meeting!

Mary Gorman (former State Representative)

Described the process of testifying in front of a committee at the statehouse to support or contest a bill. Gave advice and ran through an instructional guide she had created to make it easier.

Question and answer period followed.

Guest Speaker Steve Marchand (former Portsmouth Mayor and gubernatorial candidate)

Discussed how to ‘turn energy into action” and the importance of starting to work on 2018 election. Discussed the outcome of the election and what motivated people to vote as they did. Desire for change was reflected on the ballot.

Discussed the power of a positive messaging, and setting good examples of action and behavior. Refrain from finger pointing and negativity. Winning in 2018 can be achieved by setting good public policy at the local level. Such as:

Creating the best possible K-12 educational system, encouraging young people to stay in the state and work in the state’s expanding businesses, fighting the opiate crisis, encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing infrastructure efforts in bridges, wastewater, sewer, and internet accessibility. Other important areas to focus on: Making the universities the center of RnD, and the fact that pro-immigration, progressive and inclusive policies are also good economic policies. Discussed local elections for November; School board and Alderman-at-large, as well as redistricting in 2020.

Question and answer period followed.

General announcements:

Will be discussing revising by-laws in next month’s meeting (March 20), the Greater Nashua NAACP has been established, as well as a bipartisan roundtable discussion group to meet monthly to discuss current complex social issues.

Concluded with additional updates on upcoming bills and local events.

January 2017

Community leaders discussed upcoming news and events:

Senator Bette Lasky:

How senate Democrats are going to go to battle, hold GOP accountable.

Discussed upcoming bills such as Concealed Carry and Right to Work and reviewed the issue/how to be heard.

Since this meeting, both bills have passed the NH Senate and Governor Sununu has indicated that he will sign them.  The “Concealed Carry” bill has already passed the NH Legislature twice, but was vetoed by then-Governor Hassan.

Representative Jan Schmidt:

Discussed the Right to Vote Bill/how to be heard and details of bill.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Paul Bergeron:

Discussed Local Infrastructure/Public Works projects

Nashua Mayor James Donchess:

Discussed mobilizing young progressives toward running for local office. Discussed filling School Board and Alderman seats, and how to run.

Concluded with general comments from audience and leaders regarding upcoming meetings and events/protests and celebrations.