Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gun Owners Caucus December Meeting and Annual Report

First Meeting
The Gun Owners Caucus met at the DPO headquarters in Portland, Oregon on December Second, 2006. Notice of the meeting was sent out to all registered DPO members, county party chairs, and Democrats who have expressed support for the caucus but chosen not to join formerly. This last group has proven to be very helpful in getting out the word about the caucus.

Meeting highlights:
* Caucus was addressed by State Representative Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) on Second Amendment issues before the legislature.
* Caucus was addressed by Cyreena Boston, DPO Constituency Director, on the roles and requirements of caucuses within the DPO
* Election of officers. The following members were elected as caucus officers:
- Chair – Zak Johnson (Multnomah County)
- Vice Chair – Todd Ellner (Multnomah County)
- Treasurer – Jim Robison (Multnomah County)
- Secretary – Chris Roop (Umatilla County)

Reaffirmed the purpose and message of the caucus
1) Serve to promote the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates for office; support elected Democrats and Democratic nominees for office
2) Combat the incorrect and harmful stereotype of the Democratic Party as being anti-gun and anti-gun owner; recruit pro-Second Amendment voters back into the Democratic Party
3) Create a Democratic voice for the promotion of Second Amendment rights, firearms education and hunter safety within the state
4) Work to ensure that the position of party leaders accurately reflects the pro-Second Amendment attitudes of the Oregon Democrats they represent

Setting of yearly agenda (2007)
* Formation of a PAC to handle money
This is a difficult process, but is seen as the best way to be sure members’ actions on behalf of the caucus are in compliance with the law. Several reasons for raising money were cited including publication/dissemination of PR materials, paying for hosting a website—including fund raising via an online presence, paying for voice and/or video (online) conferencing to allow for greater attendance at meetings and member training sessions. (Follow up: Zak J. and Jim R. have spoken with Cindy Moody about PAC formation, which is tentatively started to begin after the first of the year, though no definite dates have been set for action.)

* Increased PR
In order to bring more gun owners back into the Democratic Party, those voters need to know the pro-Second Amendment stance of the party. It is recognized that a “window dressing” caucus will do more harm than good, and so several definitively pro-Second Amendment PR campaigns were suggested. GOC member Tracee Larson volunteered to help with coordination of outreach efforts.
* Members were reminded to send press releases to Neel Pender prior to general release to the media. (The media tends to call Neel for comments, so it's good to give him a heads up!)
* Commitment to work with Jenny Greenleaf to create GOC pages in the DPO website, including a listserv with automated member sign-up and donation (pending PAC formation) forms.

36 County strategy
* For 2007, the GOC is seeking to have members in every county in Oregon:
Members will need to represent the caucus and its goals both inside and outside the party.
* Inside the party, members are encouraged to become active in their county Democratic parties by becoming PCPs, participating in regular party meetings, and volunteering on behalf of both the party and the GOC in contacting voters and expanding the Democratic base in the state.

Next meeting
The next meeting is set for the same day and location of the next SCC meeting. Because many of our members represent counties away from the main population centers of Oregon, the GOC will explore the possibility, in terms of both compliance and technical/financial feasibility, of hosting voice or video conference meetings for the general membership to participate remotely.

End of 2006 Annual Report.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Bobby McGee said...

Pro-gun Democrats? Alright, cmon guys, what's the gag?

Toastmistress said...

"bobby," the gag is that the right has a much longer history of banning guns than the left.

See for yourself: Don't Blame Liberals for Gun Control

Bobby McGee said...

...and Democrats have a much longer history of supporting slavery, but lets try to focus on present day America. BTW, offering up a link to moonbat central that supports your position is a sure-fire way of shooting it all to hell in a hurry.

Zak J. said...

Hi Bobby,
Speaking of modern day America, what do Guiliani, Romney, & right-wing icon Ronald R. have in common? Did you guess a strong record of attacking the 2nd Amendment?

Fact is, gun ownership & one's views on the 2nd Amendment have little or nothing to do with one's views on fiscal policy, immigration, abortion, gay marriage or any other issue of note except for support of civil rights and liberties in general. The identification of Dems as "anti-gun" is a very recent (post-60s) political phenomenon and largely an accident--the party leadership comes from states where politicians of both parties have a bad record on the 2nd Amendment (this is true for the majority of the proposed 2008 presidential candidates from both parties--MA, NY, & IL all have strong, anti-constitutional controls on the people's gun rights.)

But you visited here at least twice, so you must be interested and aware of these things. What I feel is underway is a realignment of political goals and alliances. The Blue Dog Democrats swept into the most recent Congress give me hope for the party and the nation, and reaching out to gun owners is part of what we need to do to make sure this realingment continues while including many traditionally core constituencies, such as union members, rural liberals, and environmentalist of the "Ducks Unlimited" type. Not to mention my liberal friends and neighbors who believe guns in the hands of the public is the only thing that's kept this country free.

Regards.

Timothy - OCFR said...

Are you guys going to come out of the closet and oppose Ginny Burdick and her leftist croonies this seesion? I think not, your only purpose to to limit the support of the 2nd Amendment and allow stupid laws to be passed. I'll even put money on it that you and your group never show any support or even show up at any hearings supporting the individual right to defend yourself.

Zak J. said...

Hi Timothy,
Please use the comment function on this blog to inform our members of hearings. We'd appreciate the notice.
Regards,
-Zak

Zak J. said...

Hi Timothy,
Please use the comment function on this blog to inform our members of hearings. We'd appreciate the notice.
Regards,
-Zak