The Cowichan-Malahat-Langford NDP EDA had a wonderful AGM. Our MP Alistair MacGregor talked about his year in Ottawa. Our President Joanna Lord gave many thanks for the hard work of the EDA. We said thank you and goodbye to some members of our executive and hello to new members. Below are some of the highlights.
Remarks from MP Alistair MacGregor
Alistair spoke about matters in Ottawa including the need to remove plastics from the oceans; the Kinder-Morgan pipeline deal and the potential for the matter to be settled in the courts; the G7 situation with US President Trump and the challenges dealing with the US on trade matters; fish farming on land not water; the legalization of marijuana; a potential forum on housing; and the activities of the new leader Jagmeet Singh.
He also talked about enjoying his position as Agriculture and Agri-Food critic. He’s looking forward to the summer so that he can connect with members of the riding.
Remarks from CML NDP EDA President Joanna Lord
The job of President is made much easier when supported by an active and strong Executive who give very generously of their time and talents. And, we are so lucky in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford that we have such a team.
She reiterated Past President and current Secretary, Donna Marentette’s words in her 2017 President’s report, that “I really can’t overstate the value that having Alistair MacGregor as our Member of Parliament brings to the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford EDA. He is doing such a great job in Ottawa and in our communities, and it makes our job of attracting members and financial support to keep our organization strong and get ready for the next election much easier.” Thanks to Donna for her work as past president in working hard to build the infrastructure that we are continuing to build on today.
It has been a very busy year for outreach and fundraising. We had two opportunities to host NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the riding. His first visit was in September as a Leadership candidate prior to winning the Leadership Race. During the day he visited Alistair’s office, the Sikh Temple and held a “Jagmeet and Greet” that evening in Duncan. The EDA organized a post meet and greet dinner with him out at Alderlea Farm.
Jagmeet returned to CML in March and had a day jam packed with visits to Vancouver Island University, Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Green Community, Cowichan Elders, a public “Jagmeet and Greet” and the EDA arranged a fundraising event at the Wine Bar following the town hall. Thanks to Anne Balding as our Outreach Coordinator extraordinaire who was ever so persistent in contacting Jagmeet’s tour team to get him to Cowichan!
We held two, what have become annual, very successful fundraising events: “Appies with Alistair” in August at Vinoteca Winery and our beloved Tommy Douglas Dinner in October at Glenora Hall. We were able to quickly pull together a third fundraising event with Jagmeet’s visit in March where we were able to bring in extra financial contributions. We also held a supporter appreciation evening in March to recognize their support over the past year(s).
Also, over the past year, our traditional means of outreach has been substantially increased through regular emails, Facebook and a CML EDA website. Thanks to Sue Elo for starting our regular email outs through Constant Contact (in addition to her most critical work as our Financial Agent) and to Suzanne Wilkinson who has recently volunteered to take over this role from Sue. Regarding our Facebook, thanks to Brent Thom, our Youth designate on the EDA for taking this on and running with it. We also expanding our presence on the world wide web thanks to Jules Sherred who has kindly donated his web design expertise and built a website for CML NDP so folks outside of our current CML NDP family can find out about us and join us!
Our strong and active Executive is due to everyone contributing in their own way. In addition to the previous mention of executive members’ activism, special thanks goes to Tom Harkins for organizing our monthly meeting space and always setting up campaign offices, fair and events booths and signs; to Leanne Finlayson, for taking on the role of parades’ organizer; to Rick Lebitschnig for his expertise with Populus and membership lists; to Faye Griffith for membership coordination and follow up; to Jen Hermary for communications and providing liaison with Alistair’s offices; to Beth Davies for coming up with ideas when we need them and then running with them; to Gaye Metz for representing us on the South Island Regional Council and providing liaison for us with Juan de Fuca constituency; and to Tim McGonigle for representing Lake Cowichan region. Newcomers to our executive last year were Darryl Boon and Pam Cooling. Darryl’s long history with the party brings a perspective that was deeply rooted from his former days with the Young Democrats. Pam brings her background experience, energy and association with Nanaimo and North Cowichan provincial constituencies.
Thank You for Your Service and Welcome to a New Executive
We said thank you and goodbye to the following: Tim McGonigle and Beth Davies. We wish them the best in their future endeavours!
We said goodbye to Pam Cooling as an executive member, but she is keen to stay connected by joining Anne Balding to work on our fundraising events, thanks Pam! We welcomed four new members to the executive and we are excited that they are joining us: Mary Annis, Lexy Lazenby, Justin McNutt, and Jules Sherred.
Our executive is now 16 members strong. We welcome you to get to know them.
As we move closer to the next federal election on October 21st, 2019 it becomes even more vitally important that we continue and ramp up our outreach to members and volunteers and most critically to ensure we have the funds we need to run a successful campaign to re-elect an NDP MP to send to Ottawa.
As our four-year election plan stated in Anne Balding’s words, “All we need are 1,000 members and $100,000 in the bank!” Over the past year we have increased our number of monthly PAC donors and will continue working on this.
If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for a monthly pre-authorization contribution, fondly known as a PAC.
If Alistair came to most of us in October 2019 and asked us to donate $500 to his re-election, we would not be able to do it. But, by giving $33 every month over the next 15 months to CML, we can donate that amount and in fact as a taxpayer it would only cost us $123.75 with a tax credit $371.25. For low income folks even $10 a month would add up to a contribution of more than $150 over the next 15 months.
Planning for the 2018-2019 Year
As we head into an election year, we have a lot planned and are looking forward to working with members of the riding.
We will also be at a number of parades throughout the summer, working hard on proportional representation education, and attending a number of fairs. Plus our Summer BBQ is just around the corner!
We are looking forward to serving the members of our riding over the next year and hope to see you at an event!
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