From the Chair's Desk
Hello, to my Fellow Democrats and Volunteers for the Democratic Party:
As the current Chair of the Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee, and now running for re-election, I was the driving force that combined two struggling committees into one and turned things around to build the largest number of members in years. In the past four years, I have missed no general meetings and only one executive committee meeting.
When I took over Winchester, no one would step up for the position and as vice chair of Frederick County DC, I took over, when former Chair, Eve Nealon, moved to Reston. With the blessing of the 10th District Committee, I led the merger of the two committees and authored the new By-Laws. This collaboration of committees has created the change that was long overdue. Our membership started to grow and as I finish my term, our numbers have quadrupled. I also wrote the charter for the Young Dems organization, and I was instrumental in getting them off the ground. I also reinstated the Democratic Scholarship program offered to the four area high schools.
Change takes courage and requires a leader to implement change. We made history as a Committee by combining city and county, when no other organizations in our area have been able to join hands and work together. We have responded to the needs of members and worked hand-in-hand with national, state, and local campaigns. By doing so, we have distinguished ourselves as unique and a breath of fresh air to incoming campaigns by communicating and working closely with these campaigns from start to finish to successfully meet our goal of electing Democrats. What have we gained from this collaboration? They leave with us the current list of names of strong Democrats in our area so that we can include them on our mailing list. This collaboration has helped increase our membership as well as a strong presence in our area.
We also embraced the reaction to the 2016 election by filling three of the nine buses that traveled to the Historical Women’s March from the Winchester-Frederick County area. Following the March, we reached out to all of the start-up organizations such as Indivisible and continue to work with them. We have invited top elected officials and candidates to our area for events and hosted Ralph Northam at our Annual Dinner, along with Mark Herring, Dave Marsden, our closest representative before the election of Wendy Gooditis, and LuAnn Bennett.
To all who have worked with me, I am a doer. I cannot expect my fellow Dems to volunteer without volunteering with them. I have been canvassing, phone banking, and working with campaigns since the 2008 Obama Campaign. I lead by example and I love working with fellow Dems such as knocking doors with a first-time volunteer. I’ve also donated more than $6000 of my own money over the past four years providing the phone and fax that appears on our website, and that does not include donations for printer, ink, and paper.
Politically, I agree with the State and National Democratic platform. My only disagreement with the platform is healthcare. I support a single payer system for healthcare that will only be possible with changing campaign finance laws that will prevent for-profit health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies from lining the pockets of our elected senators and representatives. Until gerrymandering changes as well as campaign finance, corporations as people, and limited individual campaign donations, we will continue to be challenged by the current political system.
I have put my heart and soul into the leadership role of Chair, and it has been an amazing experience. My record, my energy, and my actions have helped elect Democrats. Thank you for electing me unanimously twice in the past, and I hope you will keep the ball rolling and continue on a successful journey that is turning a GOP area Democratic. I would appreciate your vote in this election!
Onward to 2018!
Stephanie Vaughan, B.S., MBA, DBA