Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting on January 25, 2024


We convened as usual at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society.  The meeting was called to order by Dennis Terdy (Chair) at 7:30 pm.  Other officers in attendance were Stacy Slater (Operations), Jackie Williamson (Outreach), and Frank Merritt (Secretary).


Welcome (Dennis Terdy, Chair)

As we prepare for the 2024 primary (March 19) and November elections, which may be the most critical ones of our lifetime, Dennis opened the meeting with the “Quote of the Month”:


If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on one side and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.

Ulysses S. Grant, Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875


Because of the very full agenda of this evening’s meeting, Dennis asked that we try to expedite the reading of our usual reports as much as possible.  


Approval of November Minutes

Larry Pitts moved and James Rospond seconded a motion to approve the November minutes without reading, since they have been posted on the DPMT website. The minutes were unanimously approved.  


Treasurer’s Report – 

Since our Treasurer Steve Siemer could not be here tonight, and since our finances are stable, Dennis asked for a motion to suspend the Treasurer’s Report until our February meeting.  This was moved by Joe Fortunato, seconded by Stacy Slater, and unanimously approved.  But the hat was passed!


Chair’s Report (Dennis Terdy)

We have begun preparing our PCs with candidate flyers and a PC Forum on January 20, giving them about a 3-week window before Vote-By-Mail ballots are sent out on February 8.  Our PCs are ready.


Operations Report (Stacy Slater):

We have about 6 uncovered precincts.  If any PCs can help out with those, or even if you’re not a PC but can help with a literature drop, please let me know.  Candidate literature is on the side table.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you need more literature, or anything else.  


Outreach Report (Jackie Williamson):

We had a very successful PC Forum on January 20.  The slides from that meeting, examples of letters to your voters, and other information is available on the PC Portal. If you need any more information or help, send email to DemocratsOfMilton@gmail.com.


Introduction of Today’s Speaker (Dennis Terdy, Chair):

Our speaker tonight is Sean Casten, the Reprsentative of IL6 in the U.S. House.  I’ve been trying to get him since last July!  He is a climate scientist and former business owner, and brings an outsider’s approach to Congress.  And his first campaign for Congress, against Peter Roskam in 2017, is what brought me into the Milton Democrats.


Sean Casten, U.S. House Representative of the 6th District of Illinois:

Dennis has asked me to give an update of what is happening in Copngress.  We have done some stuff, like getting rid of George Santos, but we have mainly kicked the can down the road with a number of continuing resolutions.  So it looks like Congress is dysfunctional, but that’s the wrong conclusion.  It’s the Republican Party that is dysfunctional.  They have the same majority that Democrats had during Biden’s first 2 years.  In that time, we passed the biggest infrastructure bill in history, we passed the biggest Climate Change bill passed by any government anywhere, we lowered the cost of insulin to $35/month, and we did a lot of things in the House that never got through the Senate.  Everything we passed was passed by essentially all Democrats and a minority of the Republicans, including the infrastructure bill, the Chips and Science Act, and the many continuing resolution bills, the last one of which cost Kevin McCarthy his job as Speaker.  The good news about the continuing resolution bills is that they continue the budgets set by Democrats when they were in the majority, so funding for many important programs is continuing.  But the world is changing, and we are not able to respond to those changes.

But the minority party can still have a significant effect on the bills that are passed, avoiding the worst effects and maintaining protections for government agencies and for voters.  Sean gave several specific examples of his own work, and his work with others, to accomplish this.

Finally, he noted that democracy still works, and that over the last two centuries we have expanded the whole definition of democracy.  We now directly elect senators by popular vote (not allowed in the original constitution), Blacks and women now have equal voting rights, and if the President were elected by popular vote we would have had President Al Gore, President Hilary Clinton, and the Supreme Court Justices they would have appointed.  Democracy is under attack now, but it still works!  Don’t lose faith, continue to defend it, and thanks for all that you are doing.

Candidate Forum: (Dennis Terdy)

Each candidate was given 3 minutes to talk, followed by 2 minutes for questions.  (It is impossible to summarize all of these talks here, but the most critical information about each candidate is available in the Candidate “Spotlights”, which are posted on the Milton Democrats website.  Select “Vote” and then “Candidates” from the home page.)  The candidates who spoke today, and the office they are seeking, were:

Sean Casten – U.S. Representative for the Illinois 6th District (incumbent)

Terra Costa Howard – Illinois Representative for District 42 (incumbent)

Linda Davenport – Appellate Court Judge, 3rd District (incumbent)

Joe Hettel – Appellate Court Judge, 3rd District (incumbent)

Lance Peterson – Appellate Court Judge, 3rd District (incumbent)

Jackie Williamson – Illinois Representative, District 47 (incumbent)

Diane Blair Sherlock – Illinois Representative, District 46 (incumbent)

Chantelle Porter – Circuit Court Judge, District 18, Subcircuit 1 (incumbent)

Kathleen Carrier – DuPage County Recorder (incumbent)

Liz Chaplin – DuPage County Recorder

After these talks, Dennis asked for any other candidates who were present to introduce themselves and the office for which they were running.  These were Rick Gieser (Forest Preserve Commisioner, District 6). Lynn LaPlante (County Board District 4), Judith Lukas (County Coroner), and Jeff Gahris (Forest Preserve District 4).  


New Announcements:

Haroon Atcha announced that he is running for Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County (DPDC) in the April election, and will be holding a Listening Session on Sunday, February 4, at 4:00 pm.  Please RSVP to Atcha.Haroon@gmail.com .

Jackie Williason read a note from Ken MB, the current DPDC Chair, explaining that he was unable to attend tonight’s meeting, but wanted to invite everyone to attend the Democratic Gala on February 15.  

Sheila Rutledge announced that on the March 19 ballot, there will be a referendum on whether to consolidate trash pickups in unincorporated areas to a single day and a single service.  There was a brief discussion of the pros and cons of this.

Our next meeting, on February 22, will include our second candidate forum.


Adjournment

Larry Pitts moved and Joe Fortunato seconded the motion to adjourn, which was unanimously approved.  The meeting adjourned at 9:06 pm.


Next meeting 

The next meeting of the Democrats of Milton will be February 22 at 7:30 pm at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society. 

Join the Democratic Party of Milton Township. Annual dues $25 ($20 for members of the DuPage Democratic Party). Join at www.democratsofmilton.com/membership

Submitted by Frank Merritt, Secretary