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Democratic Party of Milton Township

Monthly Meeting

April 27, 2023


We convened in person at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society.  The meeting was called to order at 7:30 by Dennis Terdy, Chair.  Other Officers in attendance:  Steve Siemer, Treasurer; Secretary, Frank Merritt; and Stacy Slater, Operations Officer.


Quote of the Month:  Dennis Terdy

The Democratic Party of Illinois is “committed to supporting credible candidates who will oppose efforts to ban books, revise history, and limit reasonable sex education,” party chair and State Rep Lisa Hernandez said in a statement.  “We can’t afford to sit back while kids and families are at risk.”  Added Ben Hardin, executive director of the party:  “It’s not Democrats versus Republicans.  This is about our need to defend our values.”  WBEZ, March 23, 2023.


Approval of March Minutes: Judy Pitts moved and Joe Fortunato  seconded the motion to approve the March minutes without reading as they are available on the DPMT website. The minutes were approved. 


Treasurer’s Report March 2023: Steve Siemer, Treasurer

Steve reported that in March we took in about $714 and spent $495.  At this time of year we expected about $3,900 in reserves, and actually have about $5,300, so we are in relatively good shape.  Copies of the report are available from Steve on request.


Developing Issues:  Dennis Terdy

            Dennis mentioned that we are getting new information about voting patterns from the last election, which may help us to plan for the future.  Democrats tend to vote earlier, through mail ballots and early voting, so we must keep this in mind when planning canvassing.  Also, the new proposed precinct maps are now available, and comments are encouraged.  A final decision and announcement should come in June.  It’s especially important for us  to bring in new people, as PCs and as workers.  There is a lot to do now, and over the next 18 months.


Operations Update:  Stacy Slater, Operations Officer

            Stacy talked about the importance of building networks, of establishing long-term goals and relationships, and especially about reaching, and listening to, young voters.  Important events over the next month include the trail clean-ups, arranging shifts for the Cream of Wheaton (June 1-4), covering the new precincts in June or July, and preparing the summer flyer for late summer.  She also plans, each month, to propose a “small act of activism” that we can all do.  For this month, it is going to your library and checking out, requesting, or demanding a “banned book”, such as Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye”.  


Outreach Update:  

Jackie Williamson, our new Outreach officer, could not be present at this meeting, but submitted a report which was presented by Dennis.  First, she wanted to thank Shawna Martell for her support in updating the Milton website, which they hope to have completed by the end of June.  She is also working with Stacy preparing future events such as the Cream of Wheaton and also a future fund-raising event.  New ideas are welcome!


Introduction of this week’s speakers: Dennis Terdy

            Our 3 speakers for this meeting were then introduced by Dennis.  Each submitted a brief outline of their talks, which are reproduced here.


Ted Estes, Glen Ellyn School Board, District 41 

  • Why school boards matter - plus some common misperceptions

  • The attack on public education - the misinformation campaign

  • Partisan support in municipal elections

  • Municipal elections by the numbers - a look at historical turnout and some tight races.


Julie Kulovits, Wheaton Warrenville School Board, District 200

  • Understand the local issues and facts – particularly the nuances and complexities of those decisions. 

  • It took a village to run a school board campaign in 2023 – the volunteer positions I wish I knew (in January) that I would later need. 

  • Messaging to voters is a lot like trying a case to jurors –strategies I borrowed from my legal career. 

  • My experience on a nonpartisan board and my hope for a continued nonpartisan focus moving forward.


 Erica Bray-Parker, Wheaton City Council  

  • For city council, my 2019 election was much more overtly partisan. 

o   Attacked publicly by Ives, Profit and others, my job was challenged.

o   Local tabloids and online social media attacked me also.

o   Less in 2023, but it was still there.

o   Need positive voices, positive LTEs and social media.

o   Very difficult balance of true non-partisan issues, positive message, and just a plain old commitment to your community. 

  • Current city council of Wheaton

o   Conservative mayor + (at least) 2 members with 3 independents and myself.

o   City government is not supposed to be partisan and 90% of the issues we deal with are not, however, the 10% tends to be issues that are important to Democrats. 

o   Issues that are important to the community that are going to be a challenge. 

§  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

§  Library AND Police and Fire support. 

§  Spending funds where/when funds are needed. 

o   Issues that are important to the community that we can collaborate on

§  Environmental sustainability

§  Fiscal responsibility

§  Economic development

  • Look to the future of local elections.

o   Thank you for April 4, 2023, activity!

o   MUST have support of Milton Township Democrats

o   Need to recruit high quality candidates for municipal positions to have voice.

o   Need “the army” during the local election cycle just like November!

o   Last 3 municipal election cycles (+) the local Republican Party HAS been very successful at GOTV - toeing the party line - sharing sample ballots - bullet voting - etc. 

o   Dems need to GOTV while balancing independent thought and expression, but getting people that value Democratic ideals on local boards is a MUST!

  • Be active now - attend local board meetings, speak up when you need to, apply for boards and commissions, get others to speak up, write emails to the boards, have coffee with members of the boards, etc. 



Dennis thanked each of these speakers for sharing their experience and recommendations.  All of the talks were very well received.


New Candidates:

            Dennis then asked any new candidates who will be running in 2024 to introduce themselves.  These included four justices running for the Third District Appellate Court:  Joe Hettel, Lance Peterson, Linda Davenport (all running for re-election), and John Anderson.


Adjournment:  Dan Bailey moved and Marian Tomlinson seconded the motion to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm.


Next meeting: The next meeting of the Democratic Party of Milton Township will be on May 25 at 7:30 pm at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society.  Our speaker will be Delia Ramirez, U.S, House Representative for the Illinois 3rdDistrict.  This will be an important event; Dennis and Stacy have both urged all members to attend, and to bring a friend!


Join the Democratic Party of Milton Township.  Annual dues $25 ($20 for members of the DuPage Democratic Party). Join at


Submitted by Frank Merritt, Secretary

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