From the Augusta Chronicle – March 26, 2011
The Democratic Party of Georgia has a plan to take the red out of the state, and they started it in Augusta on Saturday.
“We stand ready to turn this state back to its true, blue color,” State Rep. Wayne Howard, D-Augusta, said.
Howard introduced the state party’s new chairman, Mike Berlon, who received a standing ovation from the crowd of about 250 Democratic leaders.
During a three-hour state committee meeting at Augusta’s Mariott Hotel & Suites, party officers gave reports and Berlon described his plan to keep the party active on the local level throughout the year, including opening regional field offices.
At the end of the meeting, a grand opening reception was held at the state’s first satellite office at 1101 Greene St.
“The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, and that’s what we are starting here today,” Berlon said. “We are starting at the county party level, precinct by precinct, and we are going to build this party up.”
Treasurer Russell Edwards said Augusta is ideal for a satellite office because it is the second largest city in Georgia and has a large population of “under-served constituents,” including Korean-Americans and Latinos. Augusta also has research institutions, which is “a big priority in the Democratic Party.”
State party spokesman Eric Gray said that, although the satellite office is in the same location as the county headquarters, it will better serve voters because it will be staffed daily.
“We are expanding out from central Atlanta to where the voters are,” said L.C. Myles, the first vice chairman of the Richmond County Georgia Democratic Party. “It’s the first part of our new philosophy of being the Democratic Party of Georgia rather than the Democratic Party of Atlanta.”
The meeting also focused on legal matters such as redistricting, voter IDs issues, the state party’s by-laws, finances and funding.
Here are some photographs from the meeting. A big thank you to Jay Trevari for giving us these pictures
Dot Shaw in the packed meeting room
After the meeting
Steve Deak, Angelia Knight, Melanie Goux
Mike Berlon, Nikema Williams, Pedro Marin after the meeting
March 15, 2011
Response to your editorial: Government needs to be more open
We at the Gwinnett County Democratic Party absolutely agree with your editorial calling for more open government and criticizing SB 159 in particular. SB 159 permits closed door negotiations between government and private companies when a company wants to relocate to GA or expand its operations here. Open government is absolutely essential to ensure government accountability.
We feel that you didn’t go far enough in your editorial to expose the current majority party’s efforts to keep the public in the dark about government operations. One recent example concerns the Senate vote on Sunday alcohol sales. Rather, I should say, the lack of one. It seems that the Senate Republican Party caucus was the group that decided behind closed doors not to allow the bill onto the Senate floor for a roll call vote. Without a recorded vote, Georgia voters don’t know if their Senator supported this bill or not.
Closed door dealings happen right here in Gwinnett County when the Board of Education overpays for land. Unlike most other school boards in the United States who vote to buy land in public meetings, the Gwinnett County School board does their land deals in secret. These land deals ended up hurting every taxpayer in Gwinnett County.
Open government is simply synonymous with democracy. The public has a right to know what the government is doing and why.
Gwinnett County Democratic Party
Don’t forget the Gwinnett Democratic Party Monthly meeting tonight
WHEN: Thursday, March 17, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
WHERE: Collins Hill Public Library ( MAP )
Don’t forget to bring your completed call sheets! Dot Shaw has the calling script if you haven’t started yet. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is offering scholarships worth up to $10,000 for high school artists.
The 2011 Congressional Arts Competition is open to high school students who live in the Fourth Congressional District, which includes most of DeKalb County and parts of Gwinnett and Rockdale counties.
Winning artwork will be hung in the tunnel leading to the U.S. Capitol building.
Entries must be dropped off at Johnson’s Lithonia office between April 12-14. For more information, visit
Join the Red Clay Democrats for Happy Hour
Come join us for happy hour, the first Tuesday in April, April 5, from 7-9 PM at The Iron Horse Tavern in downtown Norcross.
The Red Clay Democrats is a political action committee (PAC) established in 2001 with the mission of energizing and organizing Georgia’s Democratic future. Red Clay Democrats provides a forum for members to socialize and network with fellow Democrats, meet elected officials, raise funds for Georgia campaigns, learn about the pressing issues of our day, cultivate and train candidates for elected office and volunteer for campaigns. Our goal is to leverage the talents of our membership in order to forge a network of like-minded and committed individuals dedicated to active participation in politics.
State Party Chairman – Mike Berlon
Senator Curt Thompson
Rep. Pedro Marin
Chairman Brain Thomas
The Gwinnett Democrats
Iron Horse Tavern
29 Jones Street