To: Cleveland Dems

From: Pat Poston, retiring acting secretary
This is a long update. But there’s a lot of news from our annual Democratic county convention Saturday, and we want to  share some in advance of formal minutes.
>First, thanks. Some 75 attended the convention in the festively-decorated County Office Building auditorium. It was a big undertaking for us, and warm thanks are due all the volunteers who helped–logistics, registration, refreshments, program, auction, materials, clean-up and more. Cheers!
 
> More coverage. You can find additional detail and photos on many of the items below on our website www.clevelanddems.org, including our news release. Please do check it out.
CCDP officers elected. Our slate of officers for 2017-2019 comprises Nick Carpenter of Shelby South precinct, chair; Joyce Coleman of Shanghai, first vice chair; Todd Hagans of Kings Mountain South, second vice chair; Andrew (Drew) Leon of Shelby Central, third vice chair; Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kim of Shelby Central, secretary; and Doris Williams of Oak Grove, re-elected treasurer. 
 
We gave applause and Leadership Awards to Joyce Sheaffer and Steve Padgett, who’ve served us so faithfully over the past two years as chair and first vice chair. We’ll continue to have the benefit of their experience as members of the Executive Committee. Both continue as chairs of their precinct Democratic organizations in Rippy and Casar precincts, respectively.
 
> Agenda highlight. We departed from the typical guest speaker feature and heard directly from Dems attending. We held table group discussions about who we are as a party here in Cleveland County, what our chief issues are, and how we best go forward. 
 
You liked the format and enthusiastically chimed in. Moderator Todd Hagans kept things lively and interesting, even emulating a TV game show at one point. The best part is the input gained for CCDP’s strategic planning for this two-year election cycleThanks.
 
> AwardsThis year, CCDP created and presented awards named to recognize the unique contributions of some who have  meant a lot to our party and community. 
 
Awards: The Heart Award to Jack and Ruby Hunt; The Steadfast AWard to the Rev. Robert E. Devoe; The Stepping Up Award to Mary Accor; The Dynamo AwardI to Mary Degree; and The Courage of Convictions Award to Dean and Carolyn Westmoreland. 
 
See story and photos at www.clevelanddems.org. There’s a special feature on the Hunts’ contributions. Jack, 94, former N. C. House Speaker, received a standing ovation when he joined us at the convention.
 
SEC members. Five Cleveland Dems were elected to be our members on the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the North Carolina Democratic Party. They are Carpenter, Coleman, Hagans, Padgett, and Jerianne Queen of Lawndale.
 
Tenth Congressional District Dem convention. CCDP is authorized to cast 54 votes at the upcoming seven-county District convention in Shelby May 20, even if a fewer number of delegates attend in person. That’s provided, however, that we elected exactly 54 delegates at our convention Saturday. 
 
Thanks to all of you who indicated willingness to have your names submitted as delegates. We authorized officers to adjust the list to exactly 54, with preference given to those who do want to attend in person. We’ll be back in touch later about that….
 
The May 20 District convention will be held in the Cleveland County Schools Central Services Staff Development Center at 400 W. Marion St. in Shelby. Registration from 10:00-11:30 a.m. will precede the call to order at 12 Noon. In addition to voting delegates, the meeting is open for attendance by any interested Dem registered in the district.
 
With our county hosting, CCDP volunteers will of course lend help with logistics to Tenth District Chair Betsy Wells. Betsy has announced she is a candidate for re-election at the convention.
 
> Precinct news. It was great to see representatives of our 18 Dem-organized precincts, following our successful precinct meetings earlier this year. The precinct chairs and vice chairs make up the majority of our CCDP Executive Committee, and for 2017-2019, we’ll have a combination of experienced and newcomers.
 
Changes: In Shelby Central, Andrew Leon succeeds retiring Ann Deaton as chair, with Bobbie Zamora is new vice chair. Kings Mountain South–Valerie Boyd succeeds relocating Molly Savage as vice chair. Lattimore–Jeremiah Appleman is new chair, succeeding Ed McSwain. Lawndale–Steve McMurry succeeds Donald Schenck as chair, and Jerianne Queen is new vice chair. Shanghai–Elixabeth Ross is new vice chair. Shelby 4–the Rev. Robert E. Devoe is new vice chair.
 
Twelve precincts were recognized with certificates for meeting their Sustaining Fund goals–Broad River, Casar, Grover, Kings Mountain North, Kings Mountain South, Lattimore, Lawndale, Oak Grove, Polkville, Rippy, Shanghai, and Shelby 4. Cheers!
 
> Auction. Hagans and Wells teamed up to conduct a lively auction of donated items, and warm thanks go to both donors and buyers. Annual auction proceeds go alternately to CCDP and Democratic Women of Cleveland County, which helps with arrangements. This year’s proceeds go to DWCC for its campaign-support projects.
 
> Forward! Overall, the convention demonstrated the enthusiasm of the theme Chair Sheaffer had chosen for it: Determined in Vision and Energized to Succeed. Indeed we are!
 
Best regards,
Pat Poston, retiring acting secretary, CCDP