Upcoming Events

Recent Events

Events Calendar

This Month
APRIL 2017 1 CAUCUS to select delegates to State Convention (in Worcester June 3), 1PM, Public Safey Building
21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
Coming Months
MAY 2017 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
Previous Months
MARCH 2017 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2017 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2017 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2016 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2016 8 Election Day - Be sure to vote!!
16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2016 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2016 8 Primary Election on THURSDAY - for Wayland Democrats: only Middlesex Sheriff will be contested.
16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2016 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
20 Wayland Democratic Picnic, 1PM, 274 Concord Road
JULY 2016 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JUNE 2016 4 Democratic State Convention in Lowell
17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MAY 2016 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2016 2 Wayland Cleans Up - 10AM-2PM - Town Building back lot or Cochituate Field
15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MARCH 2016 1 Massachusetts Presidential Primary - be sure to vote
18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2016 TBD Caucus (may be in March) for June 4 Democratic State Convention
19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2016 1 New Year Open House, 2-5 AM
15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2015 12 Holiday Party, Russell’ss Garden Center, 6-9 PM
18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2015 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2015 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2015 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2015 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JULY 2015 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
25
JUNE 2015 6 Caucus to select convention delegates, 1:00 PM, Public Safety Buildings (followed by WDTC business meeting)
19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MAY 2015 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2015 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MARCH 2015 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2015 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2015 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2014 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2014 4 Election Day - Be sure to vote!
21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2014 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2014 9 Democratic Primary - Be sure to vote!
19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2014 3 Wayland Democratic Town Committee annual Picnic, Home of Steve Garone, 179 Lakeshore Drive, Wayland
15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JULY 2014 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JUNE 2014 13,14 Democratic State Nominating Convention, DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester, MA
20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MAY 2014 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2014 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MARCH 2014 1 Caucus to elect delegates to Democratic State Convention, 2PM, Large Hearing Room, Wayland Town Building
21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2014 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2014 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2013 10 Special Election to fill Ed Markey’s seat in Congress - be sure to vote
20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2013 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2013 15 Primary, Special Election to fill Ed Markey’s seat in Congress - be sure to vote
18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2013 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2013 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JULY 2013 13 Democratic State Issues Convention, Tsongas Arena, Lowell MA
19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
20 WDTC Annual Picnic, 1PM, hone of Bonnie Gossels, 15 Bennett Road
JUNE 2013 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
25 Special Election for United States Senate. Be sure to vote for Ed Markey!
MAY 2013 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2013 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
30 Primary Election for United States Senate. Be sure to vote!
MARCH 2013 2 Caucus to elect delegates to Democratic State Issues Convention, 2:00PM Public Safety Building Community Room (38 Cochituate Rd.)
15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2013 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2013 1 Open House for Wayland Democrats and friends
18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2012 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2012 6 Election Day - be sure to vote!!
16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2012 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2012 3 Democratic National Convention
6 Democratic Primary — On Thursday — Be sure to vote!
21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2012 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JULY 2012 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
29 Wayland Democratic Town Committee Picnic, home of Steve Garone
JUNE 2012 1,2 Democratic State Convention
15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MAY 2012 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2012 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MARCH 2012 6 Massachusetts Presidential Primary
16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2012 17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
25 Caucus to elect delegates to State Nominating and Issues Convention June 2. Wayland Public Safety Building, 1PM
JANUARY 2012 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
DECEMBER 2011 16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
NOVEMBER 2011 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
OCTOBER 2011 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
SEPTEMBER 2011 11 Dudley Pond Annual Fun Run
16 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
AUGUST 2011 19 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JULY 2011 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JUNE 2011 4 Democratic State Issues Convention, Tsongas Arena, Lowell
17 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MAY 2011 20 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
APRIL 2011 15 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
MARCH 2011 18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
FEBRUARY 2011 12 Democratic Caucus to select delegates/alternates for State Issues Convention
18 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant
JANUARY 2011 21 Monthly Breakfast, 7-9 AM, Mel’s Restaurant

Saturday, March 1: Caucus selected delegates to State Convention

The Wayland Town Democratic Caucus for 2014 convened at 2:00pm on SATURDAY, MARCH 1 at the Large Hearing Room in the Wayland Town Building.

The following Democrats were elected to be delegates at the State Convention June 13 and 14 in Worcester:

The following were elected to be alternates at the State Convention:

Upcoming Events

Friday Morning Breakfasts

The Wayland Democrats have breakfast every third Friday of the month at Mel's Restaurant in Cochituate. We have a table beginning at 7:00 a.m.

THE NEXT BREAKFAST GATHERING WILL BE FRIDAY, February 15, FROM 7:00 A.M. TO 9:00 A.M. AT MEL’S. This will be an opportunity to “break bread” with fellow Democrats on a come-as-you-can basis. We hope that this monthly breakfast will be an time and venue where both WDTC members and any other town or area Democrats, un-enrolled or other interested people will come for good food and good conversation.

These are not formal meetings, though conversation often moves from issues of the day to how to build stronger Democratic activism and interest in town. We will also have a regular flow of invited guests to speak to us about particular topics. Feel free to suggest speakers and topics. I will send out a notice whenever we have a guest.

Please join us Friday, February 15, and every 3rd Friday of the month thereafter, at Mel's. And feel free to bring a friend!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Recent Events

Saturday, February 12: Caucus to select delegates to State Convention

The WDTC Caucus was be held on Saturday, February 12, 11:00 AM, in the pubic meeting room at the Wayland Public Safety Building.

This year’s Convention will be held on Saturday, June 4th at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. This will be an “ction Agenda Convention” outlining grassroots and party building initiatives to build on our successes this year to prepare us for the elections in 2012.

Delegates elected were:

Alternate elected was:

In addition, our chair Jon Saxton will go as an ex-officio delegate. So will state committee members Russ and Cathaleen Ashton.

Wednesday, August 15, WDTC picnic

Here are some photos from the picnic:

Paul and Lois Doerr; Susan Hager and friend

Matt Shear and Rodney Hager

Sylvia Dickens and Kate Donoghue

Susan Hager and Michael Gilbreath

August 5, 2010 - General Meeting

We had a dinner meeting and decided on the following

Spring, 2010 - Special Election for State Senate

Our committee made a major effort to campaign for the Democratic nominee, Peter Smulowitz, who was running for the seat formerly occupied by Scott Brown. The special election was held on May 11. Prior to election day, we did telephoning, canvassing, and visibility. On election day, we held signs at the polls and also on the street outside the polling places.

Unfortunately Peter was not elected, but he carried Wayland by a substantial margin. The rest of the district is very Republican.

Wednesday, February 24, WDTC meeting

WDTC members met to brainstorm in the wake of Scott Brown's unexpected defeat of Martha Coakley, and to plan for the upcoming elections. The most immediate election will be the Special Election to elect a new State Senator to replace Scott Brown. The primary will be April 13 and the election May 11.

Jon Saxton feels enthusiastic and energized about the current situation. He feels that we face a new political era with new ways of communicating, mainly enabled by the advent of the Internet, with sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We have to learn how to communicate using these new technologies. He feels that the younger generation, including his own children (ages 24 and 19) no longer relate to the older ways of communicating.

We had a prolonged discussion about the current situation. In the current economic downturn, people are hurting badly. Unemployment is high and likely to remain so. People blame the party in power (the Democrats) even though they have been in power for only a year, and the economic disaster was clearly the result of 8 years of Republican policies (for six of those eight years, Republicans controlled all three branches of the federal government). Several people pointed to the situation on Beacon Hill, where Democrats dominate (although we had Republican governors for 16 of the last 19 years) and some of the Democrats (including the last few Speakers of the House) have had serious ethical issues. People overlook the fact that Deval Patrick had nothing to do with the current economic disaster, and that Massachusetts,under his leadership, is better off economically that the rest of the nation.

Sandy Coy said that her 20-yr old daughter is of the millennial generation and she and her friends’ primary value seems to be tolerance. She does not like or see the relevance of political parties for these reasons: For them, everyone’s views are equally valid, and seem to not want to sort out facts from opinion. She is confrontation-averse and doesn’t give any thought to whether there are threats or malevolent forces. She seems to think that her future is going to be okay, as long as she is diligent, without working with others to accomplish change.

Sylvia Dickens pointed out that we, unlike our Republican opponents, have truth on our side. In order to combat right wing lies and tea party madness, she feels we need to package our party message in equally simple, symbolic ways that the media will pick up on. She suggested something like “truth brigades.”

Michael Gilbreath reported on watching a program on Fox “News” on health care recently and found that no facts were presented, simply a half hour of fulminating against the Democrat’s proposals with no specifics being offered.

We agreed that our campaigns should have a simple coherent message with an emotional appeal (something that Jon Saxton has been saying for quite some time). The Republicans are very good at this. Scott Brown constantly referred to the need for jobs, and promised to deliver (though of course he can do no such thing, given that his is a party concerned solely with power and with the wealthiest 1% of Americans). Martha Coakley presented no such message, and was therefore dismissed as part of the establishment.

We need to reach people in their 30’s and 40’s, who often are too busy to properly inform themselves or be politically active.

We need to promote discussion via letters to the editor, especially of local papers that print a higher proportion of submitted letters. Many people will not agree with us, but we should be trying to make them think. We should regularly be writing to the these newspapers, perhaps with an organized letter writing campaign.

Several people suggested that we should be writing to the Main Stream Media (such as CNN) complaining of their conservative bias. The right wing has successfully promoted the myth of the “Liberal Media” to the extent that the media now feels that it has to lean over backward to show they are not liberals (actually, telling the truth to the American people is a liberal value). The fact that the MSM is corporate owned and controlled further contributes to their conservative bias. We should be writing regularly to complain, and we should be boycotting the products of companies that advertise on right wing media such as Fox “News” and most of talk radio. We should let these sponsors know why we will not buy their products.

Sandy Coy said that Americans are afraid in general these days — of losing their job or their health, their health care or their home, of “terrorists”, of loss of their culture and language, loss of power and status. When fear grows to mass desperation, people are vulnerable to strong leaders who say they can fix everything, like Hitler. Perhaps we are on the verge of looking for a strong leader and perhaps this is why people want to see more of this in President Obama. It might be a good thing.

The so-called greatest generation sees the world as confrontations between “us” and “them”, “good” and “evil”, etc., and life as a struggle to earn good times which they hoped would last forever. Partisan politics is part of their frame. Then there are the baby-boomers who thrived on confronting the social, political, and economic “system” and hated war, came of age under Nixon and Reagan, and are pretty cynical. And then there’s the Gen-Xers who are too busy to be involved. President Obama somehow has to speak to and appeal to all of these people, which seems pretty impossible.

The meeting ended with an appeal to Jon Saxton to get to work supporting our candidates in the special election, which is very soon. We do not have time to mourn. The primary is in a month and a half and the election a month after that. We must get to work.

Thursday, February 11, Democratic Caucus and following WDTC meeting

Registered Democrats in Wayland held a caucus in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room in the Wayland Town Building, and elected 9 delegates and 3 alternates to the 2010 Massachusetts Democratic Convention which will be held in Worcester on June 4,5.

Delegates elected were:

Alternates elected were:

Following the caucus, the group was addressed by two candidates for State Senate, in the special election (primary April 13, election May 11) to fill the seat of Scott Brown. Both candidates are from Needham:

Lida Harkins
Lida has served in the state legislature for many years. She announced her candidacy the day after Brown won the U.S. Senate seat.
Peter Smulowitz
Peter is an emergency room physician who has seen up close the results of our broken health care system. He has been running for this seat for several months and was prepared to oppose Scott Brown in the November election.

The candidates took questions about legalized gambling and national health care reform (specifically how Massachusetts would be affected, given that we already have a similar health care system). Harkins was asked about the extent to which she has supported Governor Patrick’s program. Smulowitz was asked how he could continue to practice medicine and also be a State Senator.

Stas Gayshen spoke in support of his candidate for State Auditor, Mike Lake. Mike served on the staff of the Clinton white house (Special Assistant for White House Operations), and has subsequently been Director of Development for United Way of MA, and Executive Director of Northeastern University's World Class Cities Partnership. Stas made a strong case for his candidacy.

Tom Conroy spoke of the importance of re-electing Deval Patrick. He said that both Patrick and Obama were thoughtful men of deep principal. He stressed the national significance of the upcoming special election for State Senate. A Democratic victory in this rather conservative district would send a strong message across the country. (Wayland has never voted for Scott Brown, in the four times that he has been on the ballot in contested races.)

Tom is definitely running for re-election as State Representative. He likes his job and is contributing to our community, our state, and our nation. He expects to have Republican opposition.

Tom has three criteria by which he judges candidates for public office:

Deval Patrick and Tom himself are outstanding on these criteria.

Jon Saxton said that he was fired up to work in the upcoming campaigns, both the special election for State Senate and the 2010 midterm elections. He feels the Democratic loss of the U.S. Senate seat actually gives us an opportunity because it shows that we need to work hard to get our message across and to correct Republican misinformation and oppose Republican tactics of fear and smear. He is planning to call a WDTC organizing meeting soon.

See the Links page Links/Democratic Candidates for links to the websites of these and other Democratic candidates.

Thursday, October 8, 2009: WDTC General Meeting

This was a dinner meeting, held at J. J. McKay’s restaurant on Route 30 in Wayland.

Our treasurer, Irene Chang, presented a detailed report.

We discussed our successful design and sale of T Shirts, and the possibility that other groups may want to use our design (with their wording). This could be a means of raising funds for our Committee. Susan Hager will look into this.

We discussed our committee’s beautification efforts at various Wayland sites. At each site, we have placed a small sign: Wayland Beautification, cared for by Democratic Town Committee

Except for “Democratic Town Committee,” this sign is identical to those placed by other groups caring for Wayland sites.

One of the sites is the Wayland Veteran’s Memorial. There have been complaints that our sign there is too political. We agreed and have moved it. We currently have two sites that we care for and where our sign is placed.

There was extended discussion of the Senate Race (Special election to replace Ted Kennedy). A couple of people spoke in favor of Michael Capuano as the most liberal candidate and the only one with legislative experience and first hand knowledge of Washington. No one presented a case for any of the other candidates, although someone raised the question of to what extent Coakley’s record of involvement in questionable prosecutions (Fells Acres, Louise Woodward) should be held against her.

Michael Gilbreath presented a petition in support of Voter Choice (http://voterchoicema.org/ ).

From their website:

Ranked Choice Voting, which is also known as Instant Runoff Voting, would let voters rank candidates in order of preference (first, second, third, etc.) instead of being restricted to choosing only one candidate. If a voter's first choice is eliminated, their vote is automatically reassigned to their second choice, ensuring that no voter is “throwing their vote away” by voting for the candidate that represents their views, regardless of that candidate’s chance of winning.

Everyone present signed the petition. If enough signatures are collected, it will be on the 2010 state ballot.

We discussed the Governor’s race. Deval Patrick needs our support. We should all sign up as supporters on http://apebble.com/DevalPatrick/. The Patrick campaign is very interested in Wayland and will be contacting us.

Our State Representative Tom Conroy reported on activities in the legislature, focusing on the state budget, where projected revenue figures look very bad.

Kate Donoghue sent news about the 2010 Caucuses, which (as always) will be held by every town and, within cities, every ward. These caucuses must be held between February 10 and February 24. Candidates for Delegate must appear in person (this rule seems to change every year).

Sandy Coy announced that the Robert Greenwald film Rethinking Afghanistan will be held at the Wayland Public Library on Tuesday, October 13 at 7PM (Raytheon room opens at 6:45). The film is 63 minutes long. It will be followed by a discussion. The library closes at 9PM. Robert Greenwald has made many excellent documentaries on subjects including Fox “News” (Outfoxed — Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism) and Wal-Mart (“The High Cost of Low Prices”).

Constituents of Niki Tsongas are trying to arrange a conference call urging her to support the Kucinich amendment calling for single payer health care.

Tuesday, August 18: WDTC General Meeting (and cookout)

Following a delicious pot luck cookout (hosted by Jon Saxton and Barbara Fox), we met to discuss several topics:

Deval Patrick Campaign

Deval’s poll numbers are, for the moment, dauntingly low, due mainly to factors (such as the economic crisis) that are beyond his control and in fact were the result of years of Republican mismanagement in Washington.

The campaign is launching a “pebble” strategy. This simply means an expanded network of supporters. When there is important news or information to share, we will try to disseminate it through this network, so people are told by people they know, instead of from a central campaign source. This will make the information more credible. The campaign is setting up a “pebble” website to enlist supporters for this purpose. The strategy is for the staunch supporters to each enlist 50 friends as supporters and each of them will in turn enlist more (hopefully 50) friends, and so on.

Deval’s message should be centered on his accomplishments. He has accomplished a great deal, for which he is not given adequate credit, while he is blamed for (for example) the sales tax, which he initially opposed and only signed when important reforms were passed by the legislature.

Report from Tom Conroy

Tom spoke briefly to the group.

Governor’s Council Race

Robert Jubinville will be running again in the Primary in September 2010 for our seat on the Governor’s Council. The group was very supportive of his candidacy. In the last race, the incumbent sent out a flyer that falsely stated that she had been endorsed by Deval Patrick. Jubinville has excellent positions on many issues, including the “War on Drugs.”

Census

We briefly discussed the 2010 census, and the importance of counting everyone in the state, including all immigrants. MA runs a great risk of losing a seat in the U.S. Congress.

Town Committee Membership

At our last meeting, we had discussed the need to bring in new young members. A group will be meeting on this in the next few weeks.

We discussed why it is important to be a registered Democrat, and the mentality that feels that those who register with a party are closed—minded hacks, while “Independents” are thoughtful and not bound to a rigid ideology. We need to counter this with an argument that stresses the values of the Democratic party, and that registering as a Democrat is a statement supporting these values. Sandy Coy promised to provide (on the Wayland Dems eGroup) a list of Democratic accomplishments.

Sunday, June 28: Annual WDTC Picnic

At the home of Jon Saxton and Barbara Fox

This event was great fun for all who attended.

Honored guests included our State Representative Thomas Conroy and Candidate for Governor’s Council Robert Jubinville

Parwez Wahid speaks with Bob Jubinville Bonnie Gossels
Parwez Wahid speaks with Bob Jubinville Bonnie Gossels
Susan Hager Bob JubinVille talks with Tom Conroy
Susan Hager Bob Jubinville talks with Tom Conroy

Thursday, May 21: WDTC Dinner Meeting

The meeting opened with congratulations to the committee that created the WDTC T-shirts.

Kate Donaghue, who had dinner with us and then had to leave for another engagement, thanked us for our support and attendance at the breakfast in Hudson that honored her. She went on to promote an upcoming fund raiser for Congressman James McGovern. One of the donors will have his or her photo taken with President Obama.

Betty Salzberg reported on the successful cleanup of the Wayland Community Gardens. Our work, and photographs of two of our volunteers, made it into The Town Crier.

We had a discussion about community involvement. We would like to involve more young people (ages 18-40 or so) in Wayland Democratic politics. Suggestions included inviting newly registered Democrats to our annual summer picnic (date not yet determined). We need to do more community events, such as the Community Garden cleanup. We could leverage Obama’s popularity to reach out to young people. Someone suggested that we have an entry on Facebook. Sandy Coy suggested that Tom Conroy hold office hours in the High School.

Joan Blair reported on the prospective future of the Lee's Farm Stand on route 20. Proposals include a shopping mall (opposed by the neighbors), a 40B affordable housing development, and an assisted living facility. Currently developers are attempting to get permits for an assisted living development across the street at the site of the Mahoney's Garden Center, but are running into opposition from the Conservation Commission, due to potential damage to wetlands and streams. A group is considering creating a Community Farm. There are churches (Catholic and Unitarian), a mosque, and a temple in the area. These places of worship might be involved, creating an opportunity for interfaith dialog and cooperation. We discussed the upcoming Democratic State Convention, to be held in Springfield the weekend of June 6. Progressive Democrats of America will be presenting amendments to the proposed party platform, which many feel is sorely lacking in specifics (some even maintain that it would be a platform acceptable to Republicans!)

Sylvia Dickens reported on her attendance at the Obama organizing meeting in Boston, attended by 500 people. The purpose of this effort is to generate grass roots support for Obama’s policies. See http://www.massforchange.com. We feel that America needs to make some fundamental changes. As Obama has stated, our future prosperity cannot be based on maxed out credit cards, subprime mortgages, and unintelligible and unregulated financial instruments. Our healthcare system is the costliest in the world but falls short of the standards set by other industrialized nations. The change that is required inevitably creates backlash and opposition from the well funded beneficiaries of the status quo. We need a sustained grass roots effort to support Obama and progressive Democrats to bring about these needed changes.

Saturday, May 9: Community Garden Clean-up

Sponsored by the Wayland Democratic Town Committee

We had a very productive morning at the Community Garden, removing debris and unwanted plants from plots.

Our volunteers include Betty Salzberg, and Debra Weisenstein:

Betty Salzberg Debra Weisenstein

Other volunteers included Mary Antes, Michael Bate, Irene Chang, Sylvia Dickens, Bob Kaldenbach, Pat Sims, and Molly Upton.

Wednesday, February 11 — General Meeting

We held a productive dinner meeting at J.J. McKay’s Restaurant. The topics covered were:

Public hearings on the Democratic State Party Platform

The Democratic State Committee has requested that Town and Ward Committees hold hearings to discuss the Democratic State Party Platform. We would be responsible for providing a meeting room, a moderator, a note taker, and a time keeper. All testimony must be submitted electronically to the State Committee to be posted on the party web site. It was suggested that we request that those who testify email us with a copy of what they have to say.

These hearings are open to the public. Therefore we may be getting testimony from people who are not registered Democrats.

All these public hearings must be held by March 28. Cathy Ashton is taking responsibility for our hearing, tentatively scheduled for March 5 or 6.

Community Outreach

Habitat for Humanity is building a home in Sudbury and is looking to acquire land in Wayland. They will be holding a meeting April 15, 7:30PM, at the Senior Center in Wayland, for potential volunteers. Betty Salzberg is very involved with them.

Betty is also involved with the Conservation Commission. (she has been reporting on their meetings for the for the Wayland Voters Network). The Conservation Commission needs volunteers to help maintain Conservation Land in Wayland. This is especially important now, when budgets needs to be trimmed due to the current crisis in our economy.

The Wayland Beautification Committee is looking for volunteers to take responsibility for small plots (one is at the intersection of routes 20, 27, and 126) that need to be maintained. Several of us expressed interest in helping.

2010 Elections

We discussed the vetting of potential candidates to run against the right wing Republican incumbent, Scott Brown. We are at the Northernmost tip of the district, which extends south to Attleboro, and is the only state Senate district in MA that includes parts of five (!!) Congressional Districts! Wayland has provided the largest margin for Democrats in the last three contested elections (since Cheryl Jacques retired). Brown has said that he will not run after 2012 and there is some uncertainty about his running in 2010. He may try for statewide office.

Sara Orozco has not decided if she will run again.

Michael Gilbreath is planning to contact other Democratic town committees in the district to see how they feel about this race, and what candidates they might support.

Legislative Report

Representative Tom Conroy attended and reported on his legislative priorities. (the next day he was appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee).

Tom strongly supports increasing the Gas Tax as an alternative to ever-increasing Mass. Turnpike tolls, and also to repair our decaying infrastructure. He has proposed an initial ten cent a gallon increase, with further increases of one cent every calendar quarter. Others have supported immediate increases of up to 29 cents per gallon.

Pension Reform is a major concern of Tom’s. With the recent horror stories in the press about pension abuses, it is important to keep in mind that the average state worker pension is about $20,000, and that state workers are not covered by Social Security. Tom is working with others to reform the abuses, which are the exception, not the rule.

At this time, Tom is not asking for help for his 2010 re-election bid. He may not have an opponent. He noted that Sue Pope is running for Wayland Selectman this spring, in a race that has four candidates running for two open positions. No incumbent is running.

Tom discussed the proposal for having an independent commission perform redistricting after the 2010 census. The devil is in the details; it would really not be possible to keep politics out of redistricting. The question is: who would appoint the “independent” commission?

Tom is disappointed (as are many of us) that the Stimulus bill being enacted by Congress does not include more aid to the states.

Weekend of January 17-19 — Wayland Service Project

Jon Saxton collected donations of food for the Parmenter Food Bank and of funds for the Wayland Charitable Committee.

Saturday, January 31 — Caucus

Our local WDTC caucus to elect delegates to this June's State Democratic Convention was held on Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 1:00pm at the Meeting Room of the Public Service Building. The following were elected:

Delegates

Alternates

In addition, our chair Jon Saxton will be an ex officio delegate, and Russell and Cathy Ashton, as members of the State Committee, will also be delegates.

This year's Democratic Convention, to be held in Springfield on Saturday, June 6, 2009, will be an “issues“ convention. For complete information about the convention and the delegate election rules and process, see: http://www.massdems.org

Saturday, January 31 — General Meeting

Following the caucus we held a General Meeting of the Wayland Democratic Town Committee to discuss our plans for the coming year.

People were impressed with how active we became in the last election. We don’t want to lose that energy.

We plan to meet more frequently. Our bylaws call for bi-monthly meetings during an election year, and quarterly meetings other years (such as 2009). There was discussion about how frequently we should meet, and whether we should meet at a restaurant or a public place.

Our next General Meeting will be Wednesday, February 11 at 7:00PM. This meeting would begin with watching (and possibly calling into) the broadcast on Wayland Community Cable Television of Tom Conroy’s “Ask the Rep” program where viewers are invited to call in with questions for our State Representative Tom Conroy.

We may want to volunteer to help in the 2010 census. We want to be sure that everyone is counted, including illegal immigrants, so that we get the maximum federal benefits, including keeping our full quota of ten Congressional seats.

Irene Chang, our treasurer, reported that we have a balance of $1482.76 in the bank account. We had several generous contributors in 2008. Irene makes a point to send out thank you letters to all our donors.

Sandy Coy promoted the upcoming “Civics Bee” which was held at the Wayland Town Building March 1 from 2-4:30PM.

We discussed and enumerated our priorities for the coming year:

Public hearings on the Democratic State Party Platform
This year the Issues Convention (in Springfield in June) will rewrite the Party Platform. Town and Ward Committees are urged to hold hearings between February 10 and March 28. These hearings must be open to the public and not restricted to any specific subject matter; they may discuss any issues related to the Party Platform. The State Committee provides a moderator and someone to take notes. There was discussion concerning the possibility that Republicans might attend and attempt to influence the Democratic Platform. Cathy Ashton volunteered to handle this.
Election Groundwork
Democrats need to gather as much information as possible about the 2008 election, including names of donors and volunteers, so that we can continue to succeed in 2010 and beyond. In our State Senate district, we need to field a candidate to oppose the right wing incumbent, Scott Brown. It was noted that redistricting may change our State Senate district (we used to be in Susan Fargo’s district) starting in 2012. Tom Conroy is looking for feedback concerning redistricting, including on the issue of whether an independent commission should do the redistricting. Russ Ashton volunteered for this.
Obama Initiatives
President Barack Obama has called for Democrats to hold house parties to discuss the issues that face our nation and that he has committed his administration to address. He is looking for support for his positions, and also for feedback. Clearly the financial crisis will be a prime focus. Michael Gilbreath would like to see a meeting on health care, in which the benefits of a universal single-payer system would be discussed. There was some discussion (feelings differed) of holding these meetings in conjunction with (before or after) WDTC General meetings. Joan Blair and Sylvia Dickens volunteered for this.
Community Involvement
We need to be involved in our local communities. Recently we participated in the Wayland Service Project (see above). We will post on this web site links to local organizations that need volunteers. For instance, there is a Habitat House being built in Sudbury and Habitat is looking for a property in Wayland. The Wayland Beautification Committee is looking for people to be responsible for small lots, including along the roadsides.

We will also become informed on the impact of the current financial crisis on our local community. Matthew Shear suggested that volunteer efforts might help make up for loss of services. We should not be directly involved in town politics, because Democrats have taken different positions on issues such as the “Town Center.” We may, however, want to help disseminate accurate and factual information about town issues.
Membership
We need to encourage more young people to get involved with Democratic politics and our Town Committee. This includes reaching out to young people where they are, such as FaceBook. Some young people are less interested in traditional organizations. Stas Gayshan and Irene Chang volunteered to handle this.

Previous Events.