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Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 9th, 7pm, Township Building
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January 3, 2018 (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)
 

NEWS

Radnor School Board Holds Reorganization Meeting
On December 4th, the Radnor Township School District Board held its Reorganization Meeting. Newly elected members Sarah Dunn and Andrew Babson and reelected members Lydia Solomon and Susan Stern were inducted, and the Board voted to install Lydia and Susan as President and Vice President, respectively, for one-year terms. View picture here.

Gretchen MacKenzie Honored as Radnor Democrats' Volunteer of the Year
The Radnor Democrats have named Gretchen MacKenzie as our Volunteer of the Year. She and other super volunteers from neighboring township Democratic committees were formally honored at the Delaware County Democrats (DelCo Dems) holiday party held at Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill on December 7th. What makes Gretchen remarkable is what she did with the role of Chairperson for the Radnor Democrats’ 2017 School Board campaign. Traditionally a role existing primarily just in title, Gretchen did a transformational job as a novice political operative by getting up to speed on how to run a political campaign and used her incredibly honed leadership and organizational skills to shepherd the Radnor Democratic School Board candidates through a brilliantly designed and executed campaign strategy to victory. Gretchen is a prime example of a motivated local citizen who stepped up to exercise an opportunity for civic engagement, and she led all of the Radnor Democratic School Board candidates to their first ever election sweep.
Gretchen MacKenzie receiving her award from DelCo Dems Chair David Landau

Judges and Inspectors of Election Sworn in, Volunteers Honored, at Radnor Dems Holiday Party
On December 8th, Chair George Badey hosted the annual Radnor Democrats holiday party at his home on Chamounix Road. Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols was on hand to conduct a swearing-in ceremony for our recently elected Democratic Judges and Inspectors of Election in Radnor, and the following individuals were also honored for their extraordinary efforts and achievements:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: James (Jim) Higgins
  • Leadership Award: Elaine Paul Schaefer
  • Certificate of Recognition: Terrance Quirin
  • Certificates of Appreciation: Calista Cleary and Debbie Singer
  • Volunteer Awards: Jennifer Adams and Gretchen MacKenzie
And last but not least, we celebrated the 93rd birthday of Anna Badey, George's mother and one of the longest serving Democratic Committeepersons in Delaware County, among other distinctions!

Sean Farhy Appointed Interim Commissioner for Ward 7
On December 12th, with the chair of the Township Vacancy Board casting the tiebreaking vote, the Radnor Board of Commissioners appointed Sean Farhy to serve as the Commissioner for Ward 7 on an interim basis, until the special election on May 15th. You can find out more about Sean in the "Spotlight" section of this issue, and more coverage of his appointment is available here.

Ward 1 Commissioner Jim Higgins Retires
On December 18th, Ward 1 Commissioner Jim Higgins announced his retirement from Radnor's Board of Commissioners, citing family health issues. Jim had served in his position since 2011 and was the recipient of RDC's Lifetime Achievement award this year. His retirement was effective immediately. Radnor residents who are interested in filling this vacancy must live in Ward 1 and have been registered to vote in Ward 1 for at least one year. Letters of interest should be submitted to Robert A. Zienkowski, Township Manager, at 301 Iven Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087, or by email. Applicants will be interviewed in January. On May 15th, the same day as the general primary, Radnor will hold special elections to select two Commissioners to fill the remainder of the unexpired terms for Wards 1 and 7, respectively, through the 2019 election.

Radnor Board of Commissioners Holds Reorganization Meeting
On January 2nd, the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners held its Reorganization Meeting. Newly elected Ward 4 Commissioner Lisa Borowski and Republican Commissioners Rich Booker (Ward 2) and Jake Abel (Ward 6) were inducted, and the Board voted to install Lisa as President and Republican Luke Clark (Ward 3) as Vice President.
Lisa Borowski (center) presiding over January 2nd Board of Commissioners meeting

Radnor Schools Score Well on Both Proficiency and Growth
The New York Times recently published an article highlighting new data and analysis from researchers at Stanford that examine how test scores improve as student cohorts move through public schools. While students in more prosperous districts tend to test well and students in poorer districts on average score lower due to socioeconomic disparities, many poorer districts outperform their more wealthy counterparts when measured by their growth or effectiveness, i.e. how quickly their students learn as indicated by the improvement in their test scores over time. Radnor Schools scored well with respect to both proficiency and growth, with our 3rd graders testing about 2.4 years ahead of their grade level and our 8th graders testing about 3.7 years ahead, while their test scores grew by 6.3 grade levels between the 3rd and 8th grades. These scores put Radnor Township at the very high end of the spectrum of the 2,000 large school districts surveyed.
 
ACTION ITEMS

Contribute to the RDC Momentum Fund
We are asking for your help to expire some outstanding local campaign expenses and begin rebuilding our coffers so that we can again help our local candidates run strong, effective campaigns to all Radnor voters in the next election cycle. Running for office costs money, especially for creating marketing materials. In 2018 and 2019, we will have even more Radnor offices up for election. In May 2018, there will be special elections to fill the remainder of the unexpired Commissioner terms in Wards 1 and 7. In 2019, there will be four more Commissioner races (in Wards 1, 3, 5, and 7) and five School Board seats up for grabs. Let’s keep the Democratic momentum going in Radnor. Every dollar you contribute helps. Please help us regain our financial footing by clicking here!

Government Funding Redux and DREAM Act
Congress kicked the can of funding the government down the road by less than a month, until January 19th. That means that the issue of keeping the lights on will be one of the first orders of business this year, along with other issues that have come to be wrapped up in government funding, like CHIP, surveillance, and disaster aid. Even though using their considerable leverage on the funding bill to protect Dreamers was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s idea, too many Democrats let that opportunity pass them by when the moment came. (Our Democratic Senator, Bob Casey, who is up for reelection in 2018, was a "Dream Hero" and voted no on the funding bill because it did not contain the DREAM Act.) With an average of 122 Dreamers losing their protection from deportation every day, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi must follow through on using their leverage on funding the government, as they promised they would, to stand with Dreamers. Read more and find out how you can help Dreamers at www.dreamerpledge.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, January 9th, 7pm
Radnorshire Room, Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor, PA
All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Agenda items include:
  • Analysis and discussion of the local election results from November 2017;
  • 2017 campaign highlights--candidate perspectives, volunteer insights, money spent, and lessons learned;
  • The historic pending litigation challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's extremely gerrymandered Congressional district boundaries;
  • Welcoming new Radnor Democratic Committeepeople;
  • Planning for the future--2018 and beyond; and
  • Radnor Democrats Facebook page and social outreach.
2018 Campaign Kickoff and Petition Training with Turn PA Blue and PA Dems
Wednesday, January 17th, 6pm
UFCW Local 1776
3031 Walton Road, Suite A310, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Please join Turn PA Blue and the PA Dems for our 2018 Campaign Kickoff and Petition Training event. All are welcome. Due to limited capacity, this is a ticketed event. You must have a ticket in order to attend. Please sign up here. We are proud to have Governor Tom Wolf join us as we kick off our march to the 2018 Election. Following Governor Wolf’s speech, we will be holding a petition training event for volunteers who want to help get our 2018 State Candidates (and the Governor himself!) on the ballot. Learn how you can host a petition party, canvass with the campaigns, and the common pitfalls that can lead to a ballot challenge. You will get a chance to meet many of our amazing 2018 candidates and find out how you can help them win (after we get them on the ballot).

Women's March on Philadelphia 2018
Saturday, January 20th, Noon-3pm
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
Save the weekend of January 20-21, 2018, for Women's March 2.0 events happening nationwide, including right here in Philly. More details to follow. Read about the current plans and RSVP here.

Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, February 13th, 7pm
Radnorshire Room, Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor, PA
All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please click on the "Important Dates in 2018" Quick Link in this newsletter to view other scheduled meetings and important dates this year.

Nomination Petition Period
February 13th through March 6th
Candidates for the May 15th primary must circulate and file their nomination petitions during this period. Please help your fellow Democrats get on the ballot!

GENERAL PRIMARY AND SPECIAL ELECTIONS (WARDS 1 AND 7)
Tuesday, May 15th
Click here to find your polling place. THEN GO VOTE!
SPOTLIGHT ON:

Sean Farhy
Interim Commissioner, Ward 7

Sean Farhy has lived on the Main Line all his life and in Ward 7 for the past 16 years. He is the husband to his beautiful wife Carrie, and he has two children, Jackson and Isaac. Prior to becoming a small business owner, Sean worked in the financial services industry for 15 years as an adviser, options trader, and securities analyst. He is a graduate of University of Delaware and received his MBA from Drexel University in 2007. In his free time, you may be able to catch him coaching his older son’s Little League game, fishing with his dad, or at a swim meet.


FROM THE CHAIR
 
Happy New Year 2018! This is the year we MUST take back the House and Senate! For the good of our nation, our world, and for future generations, we must stop Donald Trump! The GOP-controlled House and Senate, including our Congressman Pat Meehan, have not only refused to stand up to Donald Trump, but have enabled his erratic and outrageous behavior. Just today, he’s bragging/tweeting that his nuclear button is “bigger” than North Korea’s. Our lives are literally at stake! We must take action!
 
Consider: In 2012, PA had 4.2 million Democrats and 3.1 million Republicans. As of December 18, 2017, PA had 4,029,698 Democrats and 3,222,605 Republicans. PA has 18 seats in Congress. So, with those numbers, we should have 10 Democrats and 8 Republicans representing PA in Congress. We don’t. Instead, we have 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats. How could this be? In 2011, when the lines were drawn following the 2010 census, we had a Republican Governor (Tom Corbett) and a Republican PA House and Senate. They completely controlled the redistricting process and betrayed the trust of the citizens. Using advanced computer technology, the Republicans “packed” and “cracked” the Democratic electorate in order to gerrymander Pennsylvania. They “packed” as many Democrats as possible into the 5 districts represented by Democrats. And they “cracked” the remaining Democrats into just small enough percentages in the 13 other districts to silence their voices and maximize Republican chances. For example, in 2012, the first year with the new lines, in Districts 1 and 2, Democrats received 85% and 89% of the vote, respectively. The few scattered, unavoidable Republican voters gave the Republican candidates only 11% and 15% of the vote, respectively, in those two districts. Democrats were “packed” into those districts to dilute their impact and “waste” hundreds of thousands of Democratic votes. In the 13 other districts, Democrats were “cracked” (diluted), so most Republicans won with percentages in the high 50’s--enough to comfortably win, but wisely spending each Republican vote to make it count. In 2012, Democrats received over 50% of the votes cast for Congress, yet only took 28% of the seats. In our own 7th District, I was the Democratic nominee in 2012 and received 41% of the vote. Our district is the most gerrymandered in Pennsylvania and in the top five nationally. It borders Philadelphia on the eastern side and meanders west(ish) through the counties of Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Berks, and Lancaster, ending up in Amish Country! Five counties of manipulated lines to silence as many Democrats as possible.
 
There is now hope that this injustice will be corrected THIS YEAR!!
 
Please attend the Tuesday, January 9th, meeting as we will provide an update on the fascinating, historic litigation going on right now that might result in a dramatic 2018 shift in Pennsylvania’s Congressional District boundaries. The PA Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on January 17th on whether the boundaries, as drawn, violate voters’ constitutional rights. At our meeting, we will be discussing the remedies, including a possible delayed PA Primary while new, fair lines are drawn in PA for THIS YEAR!
 
We also expect to have 2018 candidates in attendance to speak and to get updates from local elected officials. Please make every effort to attend.  --George Badey
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The 2018 campaign season in Pennsylvania will begin in earnest February 13th through March 6th, when candidates who wish to appear on the ballot in the May 15th primary can begin to circulate and file their nomination petitions. Obtaining the requisite number of valid signatures for such petitions is the first robust test of the depth of support, organizational strength, and seriousness of purpose of any candidate. The number of signatures required varies by the position sought, but all signatures must be procured in strict compliance with a complex set of rules, and candidates need a lot of assistance and discipline in order to emerge from the process as a viable contender. If you would like to help any of our Democratic candidates get the signatures that they need, please attend the Turn PA Blue training event on January 17th or contact the candidate's campaign directly. And please make sure that you attend (and bring your registered Democratic friends to) the RDC meeting on February 13th, where candidates and petitions will be on hand for your signatures and support.
All Politics Is Local, and positive change starts at home. Help us to build our party from the ground up, because today's local officials could become tomorrow's state and national leaders. Volunteer and/or donate today.
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P.O. Box 7024
Saint Davids, PA  19087

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