School Board and Principles (not Principals)

I must admit that until I stepped into the voting booth, I was absolutely convinced that there were 6 candidates running for 5 seats on the Upper Perkiomen School Board. My eyes scanned back and forth, and back again, between the lists of school board candidates on each side of the ballot. Since the order under the Democratic Party was different than the order of candidates listed under the Republican Party side of the ballot, I kept hoping that I was just missing seeing that 6th candidate. But no, there were only 5 names, 5 candidates, for 5 seats; it had all been decided in the spring primary election.

My feelings walking out of the polling station were a mix of disappointment, anger, a sense of futility, and yes, some embarrassment at having spent part of election day asking people in person, via email, Facebook, and WordPress (this blog), to go to the trouble of not voting straight Democrat in order to avoid voting for Raeann Hofkin.

After a bit of grumbling, out loud and under my breath, I sat down and reconsidered the matter. Which is when I came to the conclusion that it is the principle that matters. Despite having no effect on the outcome of the election, I’ll sleep better knowing that I did not vote for someone with whom I have such profound political disagreements.

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2015 Montgomery County Election Results

Democratic candidates had a good day in Pennsyvania on Tuesday, and won right down the ticket in the state. All 3 open seats on the PA Supreme Court went to Democrats, giving the party a 5-2 majority, just as “the court is poised to consider landmark cases involving the death penalty, natural-gas drilling, and legislative redistriciting.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 4, 2015)

Democrat Kevin Steele won the election for Montgomery County District Attorney. Democratic Montogomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Valerie Arkoosh won re-election by a wide margin (approximately 25, 000 votes ahead of 4th place Tolbert).
Also in Montgomery County, Democrats, Clifford and Eisenberg, along with republican Ferman, were elected to be Judge of the Court of Common Pleas; Register of Wills was won by Democrat Hanes; Treasurer by Democrat Salus; Clerk of Courts by Democrat Ann Thornburg Weiss; Contoller by Democrat Karen Geld-Sanchez; Coroner by Democrat Milbourne; Prothonotary by Democrat Mark Levy; Recorder of Deeds by Democrat Jeanne Sorg; and County Sheriff by Democrat Kilkenny.

Don’t forget about 2015 – local races matter. (Volunteer Now!)

November 2015 is when we get to go to polls and vote in local races; town councils, township supervisors, school board members, judges, and Montgomery County Commissioners. Often times these individuals’ actions and decisions make more of a difference in our day-to-day lives than those actions (or inactions) taken in Washington, D.C.  And yet past experience has shown us that too often voter turnout is very low for these non-presidential year elections; and even worst, Republican turnout is often larger than Democratic turnout, which is how we end up with Democrats winning at the top of the ticket but Republicans winning local and state races. And not only local issues, but voter registration, voting laws, and voting machine decisions are made by local officials, district lines are drawn by state officials; and when the legality of gerrymandering and potentially restrictive voting laws is questioned, the state judges decide the question.

All of which is why I am sending out a call for volunteers for this October and November;

Walk with the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club in the Upper Perk Halloween Parade on Sunday, October 25th (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) Sign up here.

Put a yard sign in your front yard, wear a pin, put a car magnet on your car. All these items will be available (free) at tonight UPDC meeting; 7 p.m. at Upper Perkiomen Library in Red Hill. Or contact the club and we’ll make arrangements to get the items to you.

Volunteer for the local Lit Drop on November 1st or November 2nd, 2015. You will be given a local street list and campaign literature to drop off on people’s doorstep (actually, you’ll probably be handing it on the front doorknob). Contact Area 2 Leader Elaine Hannock for more details and to volunteer.

Volunteer on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Stand at your polling place, for a few hours, or for the day, to support the Democratic candidates, and provide information to voters. Contact Area 2 Leader Elaine Hannock for more details and to volunteer.

Most important of all – VOTE!

County Commissioner Val Arkoosh in Upper Perkiomen Valley

updemclubandcandidates2015

The rain held off, and one of the Democratic candidates for Montgomery County Commissioners, our current County Commissioner, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh  (wearing khakis and a dark blue polo shirt) walked along Main Street greeting potential voters and visiting with members of the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club; Bill, Kathy, Kathy and Greta, this past Saturday at East Greenville/Pennsburg Community Day. Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus is the gentleman at the far right of the photograph.

We filled and handed out dozens of red and blue helium balloons, along with campaign buttons and magnets, literature, and tootsie rolls (everyone needs a snack now and again)

Shapiro/Arkoosh campaign staffers also came by the UPDC table, and stayed to help out and greet our neighbors in East Greenville and Pennsburg. They also left some more buttons and magnets that we’ll be happy to hand out at our next UPDC meeting on Tuesday, October 13, 2015; 7 p.m. at the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, 350 Main Street, Red Hill, PA.

Community Day – September 12, 2015

Here’s hoping the thunderstorms hold off until tomorrow evening, giving everyone a chance to come out and walk down Main Street in East Greenville and Pennsburg to celebrate Community Day. I expect there will be good music, good food, good neighbors, and a chance to find out what’s happening with local volunteer organizations, non-profits, and businesses.

For more than a few years, the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club (UPDC) has set up a table in East Greenville, handing out literature, voter registration forms, and absentee ballot request forms. Often we have buttons, pencils, signs, and other UPDC and candidates’ swag.

Thanks to the Josh Shapiro/Val Arkoosh Campaign for County Commissioners, we have a tank of helium to fill up Shapiro/Arkoosh balloons, which we will be giving away along with buttons, bumperstickers, and more, at our UPDC table tomorrow. AND Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh (Democrats who are currently serving as Montgomery County Commissioners, and running for re-election this fall) are both planning on coming out to Community Day and walking all along Main Street, introducing themselves and getting to know our neighborhood and neighbors. They are hoping to get to town between noon and 1 p.m.

So stop by, say hello, and pick up a balloon and other swag between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (look for us between the East Greenville Borough Hall and Java Good Day Cafe).