Democratic Party plans statewide meeting, seeks unity

LIHUE — The Democratic Party of Kauai is looking for people to take the helm.

“We need people who are willing to be active leaders,” said Janice Bond, chair of District 15.

To inspire leadership, Bond is hosting a district meeting Friday, which is open to members of the Democratic Party.

“The Democratic Party of Hawaii is gearing up for the statewide Day of Resistance. The month of August will center around canvassing precincts,” she said.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii launched its nationwide “Summer of Resistance and Renewal” program this summer, which aims to engage and motivate party members and activists.

Day of Resistance is scheduled Aug. 19

Leaders of the resistance program hope to recruit new members, train leaders, and increase voter turnout in Hawaii by 10 percent in the 2018 elections.

Organizers recruit and train volunteers to hit the streets, protest Republican agendas, talk to neighbors about health care and economic issues and register voters.

“So from 2018, we’re ready to go and mobilize to register voters, take action, be there for our candidates, identify leaders and secure resources,” said Tim Vandeveer, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. “The goal in 2018 is to take Congress back. It’s baby steps right now.”

On Friday, Bond will go over plans for the Day of Resistance, canvassing and getting members ready for the 2018 election.

“This is really necessary to get people involved because, for the November 2016 election call for poll watchers, I called a district meeting of all precincts but only two showed up, and I ended up doing all five precincts myself because no one volunteered,” Bond said.

She organized the meeting at the request of Vandeveer, who wanted to get a better understanding of the plans moving forward.

“Statewide, we want to pull together our members in meetings to organize our precincts and districts to see if there are vacancies and talk about national weekend of resistance,” Vandeveer said. “It’s really just the first step to get folks in a new mindset, where they are more active and involved in their local parties.”

If the precinct officers are not interested in attending the meeting, there will be election of new officers, Bond said.

In the future, the Democratic Party of Hawaii hopes to put together teams of Kauai volunteers to go to the Mainland to encourage people to go to the polls, Vandeveer said.

“It’s about helping them turn out to vote in swing states and say, ‘We share some of the same issues in the community, here’s reasons why we should get out and vote,’” he said.

The District 15 meeting will be at 5 p.m. Friday at the Hawaii Government Employees Association Kauai Office meeting room in Lihue.

All precinct and district officers, as well as anyone in the district are invited to attend.

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