News for Democrats in Upper Perkiomen Valley

As always, fall is a busy time, when people start paying closer attention to political news as the November election grows closer, and opportunities for local political action increases.

While it is true that the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club has gone dormant (more on that in an upcoming post), many, if not all, of the same people will be involved in the same activities, and welcoming all local democrats to be part of the process!

The Upper Perkiomen Area 2 Democratic Committee (the local Democratic political party) has big plans for this fall, including hosting our Montgomery County (Democratic) Commissioners, Val Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at their scheduled monthly meeting, to which all democrats are invited. Their meetings are held at Open Link Senior Center, 517 Jefferson Street, East Greenville, PA, from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

For nearly twenty years, the UPDC had a voter registration and information table at Community Day on the first Saturday in September in East Greenville. A few years ago, the Upper Perkiomen Area 2 Democrats (UP Area 2 Democratic Committee) began also offering information on voter registration, absentee ballot request forms, and information about candidates and local party activities – last year their table was right across the street from the UPDC table! Rather than duplicate efforts, this voter registration and information effort will now be organized by the UP Area 2 Democrats. Stop by and say hello (or volunteer to help out for an hour or two – contact Area 2 Leader Elaine Hannock at if you can  help out on Saturday, September 7, 2019).

Over the last few years, both the UPDC and the UP Area 2 Democrats have paraded one after another down Main Street in the annual Upper Perkiomen Halloween Parade. It is our understanding that the Area 2 Democratic Committee  will continue this tradition of representing Democrats in our community in the parade.

While the presidential election is still a year away, the 2019 November election is important – among other decisions to be made on the ballot this fall, 5 out of 9 school board seats are up for election this year!

Stay informed, stay involved, and vote!

Democratic Candidates Forum in Harleysville this Thursday, Oct 11, 2018

Lt Governor candidate John Fetterman and Congressional candidate Madeleine Dean will be delivering the keynote speeches at Thursday’s Candidate Forum in Harleysville, PA. Maria Collett, Linda Fields, Steve Malagari, and Josh Camson (PA state senate and state representative candidates) will be present and interviewed by WHYY journalist Tracey Matisak.

This free, public event will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018, at Peter Becker Community Chapel, 800 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA. Indivisible Hope, Turn PA Blue, and Indian Valley Democrats are sponsoring this non-ticketed event.


County Commissioners in Pennsburg on May 30, 2018

This Wednesday, May 30, 2018, the public is invited to listen to and speak with our Montgomery County Commissioners (Dr. Valerie Akoosh, Kenneth Lawrence, Jr., and Joseph Gale) at 7 p.m., at the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA Multipurpose Room, 1399 Quakertown Road, Pennsburg, PA.

For the sixth year in a row, the Montgomery County Commissioners are taking their message on the road. Constituents are encouraged to attend a “Conversations with Commissioners” town hall event to discuss the issues important in their communities.

Tuesday, April 3rd – Meet Congressional Candidates in East Greenville

Come out to the Upper Perkiomen Middle School, 510 Jefferson Street, East Greenville, PA on Tuesday night, April 3, 2018 – 7:30 p.m. – to meet, hear, and converse with the Democratic candidates on the ballot in the upcoming May 16th primary election.

The Democratic candidates for Congress (House of Representatives) for the newly drawn 4th Congressional District (which includes all of Upper Perkiomen Valley); Mary Jo Daley, Shira Goodman, and Madeleine Dean will be attending this event, as will the democratic candidates for PA State Representative; Andy Lee and Josh Camson, and democratic candidate for PA State Senator; Linda Fields. 

Bring your questions and show your support. It is wonderful these candidates are coming to the Upper Perkiomen Valley and we would like to thank them by having a large crowd.

This is a free public event. All local democrats and independent voters are invited and strongly encouraged to attend. This event has been organized by the Area 2 Upper Perkiomen Democratic Committee.

Just a reminder – in Pennsylvania, those wanting to vote in the primaries must be registered either Democrat or Republican. Pennsylvania hold “closed primaries” which means that in the primary election, registered Democrats vote for those on the Democratic primary ballot and registered Republicans vote within the Republican primary ballot. In the general election in November, anyone registered to vote, regardless of party affiliation, may vote for any candidate on any side of the ballot. If one wishes to change one’s party affiliation, one must submit a change of voter registration form 30 days before the election (for this year’s primary, the deadline is April 16, 2018).

District 4 Congressional Candidates (and FAQs)

new pa map
The new congressional map released Monday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Thanks to the new map, all of Upper Perkiomen Valley School District is in the same congressional district – District 4! The Pennsylvania primary election is Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Three individuals have announced they are running in the Democratic primary for our newly drawn congressional district; (Pa State Representative) Mary Jo Daley, (Pa. State Representative) Madeline Dean, and  Shira Goodman (yes, all women!).

On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, you can meet and talk with these 3 congressional candidates, along with our area’s democratic candidates for PA State House; Andy Lee and Josh Camson, and PA State Senate, Linda Fields. The Upper Perk Area 2 meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Perkiomen Middle School, 510 Jefferson Street, East Greenville, PA and is open to the public.


A few FAQs

  • Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts.
  • Each congressional district elects one Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 voting representatives.
  • Each congressional district has roughly 710,000 people in it (as of the 2010 census).
  • Ideally, each district is composed of communities, cities/suburbs/rural areas with shared interests (not voter registration).

January 20th, 2018!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2018 is not just the one year anniversary of a dark day in U.S. political history. It is a day when one can eat, drink, and be merry – I mean march – (though not necessarily in that order).

Women’s Marches will once again be happening in many major cities around the country, including in Philadelphia along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Folks wishing to participate on Saturday, January 20th, are asked to sign up online (though not required – this is just for planning purposes); gather at Aviator Park/Logan Square at 10:30 a.m. The March from Logan Square to Eakins Oval begins at 11 a.m. and the speakers and performers take the stage beginning at noon.

The annual Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club Potluck is Saturday evening, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Jan. 20th), at the Center at the Open Link (aka Upper Perk Senior Center), 517 Jefferson Street, East Greenville, PA. The event is free and open to all democrats (and their families). The club provides the plates, napkins, cutlery, and beverages – attendees provide the rest (don’t worry, there is always more than enough good food to go around).

October 1st – Area 2 Democrats’ “Ox Roast”

oxroast2017Once upon a time, the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club held an annual fall “Ox Roast” at Isaac Smith Park in Green Lane, PA. In the days preceding the event, local Democratic volunteers would be busy chopping veggies for homemade clam chowder, shucking corn for corn on the cob. and making all sorts of homemade cakes and cookies for dessert and for the cake walk (a kind of musical chairs fundraiser where the winner got to take home a cake!) On the day of the event, volunteers would take turns working in the kitchen heating up the roast beef for hot sandwiches, and serving other good tasting food. The birch beer and beer were both in kegs and self-serve. This was always a good time and a good day to catch up with visiting Democratic candidates and politicians, as well as with your like minded neighbors and friends.

But those days are long gone, and for several years now, the Area 2 Democratic Committee has taken up the fall tradition, albeit with their own modern twists. Local, county, and state Democratic politicians and candidates still come out to our corner of the county to meet and greet local democrats at the “Ox Roast” and there is still plenty of good food (most of it now catered, but just as tasty), and I am told there is still the occasional “cake walk.” The venue has changed – it is now held at Macoby Run Golf Course, 5275 McLean Road (still in Green Lane, however!), and local musicians play their tunes and add to the merriment. It is still held outdoors, and there is still a covered pavilion for protection from the elements; the event will be held rain or shine on Sunday, October 1st, 2017.

Best bet to insure that there is enough food and drink for all is to buy your ticket in advance; $40 per person, guests 18 and under are free – so bring the whole family! RSVP to   and make your check payable to Area 2 Dems and mail it to Area 2 Dems, PO Box 33, Green Lane, PA or use Paypal (link on Area 2 Facebook page)

FAIR Districts Pa Events (end gerrymandering movement)

Several local informational events have been scheduled by and for FAIR Districts PA, who will talking about gerrymandering (drawing congressional and state house district lines based on party voter registration to restrict/deny competitive races); How To Make Your Vote Count. 

New comers and current members are welcome!
Join FDPA Montgomery County for a presentation about gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and learn about the ways you can help reform the redistricting process. There will be a brief presentation and then, based on attendance and interest areas, we will break into 2 to 5 groups. This will be a great way to meet other members in your district. You will learn about the various ways we are engaging legislators and the media to draw attention to the need for redistricting reform.

Lansdale Public Library (301 Vine St, Lansdale, PA)  – Wednesday, September 20, 2017; 7 p.m.

Pottstown Public Library (500 E High St, Pottstown, PA) – Tuesday, September 26, 2017; 7 p.m.

Upper Perkiomen Valley Library (350 Main St, Red Hill, PA) – Wednesday, September 27, 2017; 7 p.m.

While the current occupant of the White House and the members of the Republican Party in Congress have record low approval ratings, and current predictions and polling show Democrats getting the majority of the votes in 2018 midterm elections, it is still quite possible that the Republicans will retain control of the House due to gerrymandered districts. This is why the districts were drawn and why it is so important to both win state house races (in most states, the state legislature draws the district lines every 10 years, after the census count) and to revisit and change who and how congressional districts are created.

Check out these articles; Democrats are projected to win more than 54% of the vote in the 2018 House elections, but only pick up 12 seats thanks to heavily gerrymandered Congressional districts. and this New Yorker article and book review about how, while gerrymandering has always been around to some degree, the Republicans took it to an all new, unprecedented level of distortion and contortion (which accounts for the most bizarre looking districts crossing county lines and dividing neighborhoods); Drawing the Line: How redistricting turned America from blue to red.



Upper Perk School Board Candidate Events

The public is invited to a “Kickoff Event” in support of John Gehman (write-in candidate), Judy Maginnis, Will Pike, and Jon Warren, on Wednesday evening, September 13, 2017. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Butter Valley Golf Course, 3243 Gehman Road, Barto, PA. Gehman, Maginnis, Pike, and Warren are running as a team in this November’s election for the Upper Perkiomen School Board; all four support the building of a new middle school in the Upper Perkiomen school district.

A “Meet the Candidates Night” sponsored by the PTFS (Parents and Teachers for Students) is scheduled for next Wednesday, September 20, 2017 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Education Center, 2229 E. Buck Road, Pennsburg, PA. This event is open to the public. All Upper Perkiomen School Board candidates have been invited to participate; Gehman, McGinnis, Pike, and Warren all plan to attend.

Senator Bob Casey Town Hall in Lancaster Today

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) is holding a town hall today, Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Roschel Performing Arts Center, Franklin and Marshall College, 639 College Avenue, Lancaster, PA. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.. The event is scheduled to last until 3:30 p.m. and is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.