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La Plata Dems Newsletter

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ISSUE DATE:     APRIL     2017      


We have lots of events coming up – don’t miss any of them!

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From the Chair

Repeal and Replace Scott Tipton. That is the #1 priority for La Plata County Dems as identified by the number of people who have been in contact with Executive Committee members since the Reorganization Meeting March 11.

Every Colorado conservationist and hunter couldn’t agree more after Tipton voted in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, which permits some of the most appalling hunting practices ever imagined: Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares.

Tipton rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. He argues that climate change is driven by natural climate cycles. He opposes the Paris Agreement, the international agreement which mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

In January 2017, Tipton voted in favor of legislation that would make it easier to sell federal public lands. He is a disaster for CD3, Colorado, and the country. La Plata County Dems, CD3 leadership, State party leadership, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are all looking diligently for a replacement for this train wreck. Be ready as soon as a candidate is identified – we need to get started to elect someone who cares about Colorado’s people, environment, wildlife, and economy.

La Plata County Democrats HQ Usage

The Dem HQ hosted 17 meetings in March! These included Democrat and Indivisible meetings. The office is getting good use, but for some of the larger committees, it is not large enough. If anyone knows of a conference or training room that might be available to outside groups, we would like that information. Please contact Jeff Karraker, 870-259-0428 or CLICK HERE to email Jeff.


Messages from newly elected City Councilors



Dear La Plata Dems and all Durango voters,

  • Running for office truly “takes a village.” It took a lot of people, including many of you, to help me gain re-election. I’m looking forward to serving a second term on city council and want to thank you for your support.
  • I plan to continue to work collaboratively with diverse interests to craft enduring solutions to some of our toughest challenges and make the best decisions for the long-term benefit of our entire community.
  • With great appreciation for you and our community, I look forward to hearing from and working with you.



THANK YOU, Democratic Party of Durango, and all Durango voters…

  • for your encouragement and support during my campaign for Durango City Council. I so appreciate the opportunities you provided for me to share my platform and vision and I appreciate all of you who shared your valuable insights, passions, and perspectives with me – as well as those of you who planted yard signs for me all over town!
  • I value your commitment to our community, your experience, and your service to Durango. Voter turnout for this election set a city record. THANK YOU for the hard work you did to help make that happen! I am thrilled to have been elected and I look forward to working with you in the coming years.



THANK YOU, Democratic Party of Durango, and all Durango voters,

  • I’m honored to have the opportunity to work alongside Richard White, Sweetie Marbury, Dean Brookie, Melissa Youssef and everyone who works for the great City of Durango. Following in the footsteps of Christina Rinderle and Keith Brant is an awfully big task and I’m excited for the challenge. I want to thank Dave McHenry and Tom Eskew for being such great candidates and for their friendship and camaraderie.
  • If your vote didn’t land with one of the councilors chosen this evening, I look forward to working to gain your trust and to representing your issues as constituents of our fine city. I’m ready to get to work for all of you. I’m honored tonight that many of you chose to trust me with this office and I hope to work hard to be worthy of that trust. Thanks to all.



Dems State Party Offers Online Training

As we move forward together, we want to make sure Democrats everywhere are equipped with the tools and resources to elect Democrats at every level. In order to achieve this, the Association of State Democratic Chairs is launching its 2017 T3 “Train the Trainer” Program. The T3 program is aimed at equipping county parties and local activists for campaign organizing and state-based training.

Registration for the 2017 T3 Training Program has begun! The 2017 T3 Program begins on Monday, April 17 at 4 p.m. MT, and we’re excited to once again train and certify local Democratic leaders to engage in long-term community organizing. The program will consist of a 6-week in-depth, online training and certification process, with webinars taking place every Monday and Wednesday at 4 p.m. MT. Participants who complete all six weeks of the program will receive a certificate of completion.

  • Module 1: Introduction to the program and the Colorado party structure
  • Module 2: Communications – Amplifying the message with best practices
  • Module 3: E-mail organizing
  • Module 4: Social Media organizing
  • Module 5: Volunteer recruitment and engagement
  • Module 6: Volunteer engagement II
  • Module 7: Basics of VAN
  • Module 8: Virtual phone bank
  • Module 9: Recruiting small dollar donors
  • Module 10: Candidate recruitment
  • Module 11: Opposition research tools
  • Module 12: Teaching what you’ve learned

CLICK HERE to Register.


Monthly Meeting: Dems County Party Executive Committee Meeting

  • WHEN: MAY 8 5:30 p.m.
  • WHERE:Party HQ, 1911 MAIN, Durango
  • CONTACT: : Jean Walter at 970-759-4019 OR CLICK HERE to email Jean


Save the Date: Saturday May 13th, 2017

You are cordially invited to the Annual Roosevelts Dinner and Fundraiser

2017 Roosevelts Dinner
2017 Roosevelts Dinner

  • Mail Order Tickets on Sale NOW CLICK HERE to download the order form.
  • Online Tickets on Sale NOW CLICK HERE to visit our Webpage.

  • WHEN: Saturday May 13th, 2017 5:00 PM
  • WHERE: Ballroom, Fort Lewis College Student Union
  • WHAT: The Roosevelt dinner is our most important friend and fundraiser of the year. Money raised will help elect progressive candidates and inform voters about the issues and opportunities that make a difference in our community. Put it on your calendar and invite your friends!
  • CONTACT: Dan Morgenstern 970-759-1793, OR CLICK HERE to email Dan
    We need VOLUNTEERS to help with a wide range of activities
  • DETAILS: : Keynote speaker, FLC Professor Anthony Nocella, will speak about “Peaceful Resistance.” Also speaking will be the new chair of the Colorado Democrats, Morgan Carroll, and our State Representative, Barbara McLachlan, giving an update from the Statehouse.
  • Silent and Live Auctions will offer guests many fine gift opportunities. A cash bar for Beer, Wine and a topical political cocktail, “Orange Crush,” will be offered along with outstanding gourmet local food.


Anthony Nocella                                 Morgan Carroll                            Barbara MacLachlan


LPEA Elections: Message from Sustainability Alliance of SW CO

One of SASCO’s largest efforts each year is to increase local control and responsible energy production. Specifically, we work to identify and support progressive candidates running for membership to the publicly-elected La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors.

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board members inform policy, rates, and practices within our regional electric cooperative, thereby playing a pivotal role in our energy future.


We need to elect LPEA Board members that serve the best interests of you, the co-op members. This means:

  1. Keeping your electricity bill low
  2. Building the local economy with resources and energy generated locally instead of a Tri-State coal plant
  3. Supporting clean air, water, and a safer climate

Some current board members with antiquated views have undermined local renewable energy with increased mandatory fees on your bill, raised those fees by 60% over the last five years and have been an obstacle to addressing climate issues.

If you are interested in clean energy, increasing community resiliency, and increasing local control over, and responsible sources of, energy production benefiting our local economy, here are four easy ways to support progressive LPEA candidates:

  1. VOTE: If you pay an electric bill to LPEA, you can vote. Ballots will be mailed to co-op members by April 13. Mail in ballots are due at 4p.m. on May 12. Please mail your ballots by 5/8 to arrive by 5/12 deadline. You can also vote in person at the annual meeting on May 13th at Sky Ute Casino.
    CLICK HERE to find out more about the annual meeting.
  2. DONATE   CLICK HERE or mail checks to PO Box 893, Durango, CO 81302
  3. VOLUNTEER   CLICK HERE to email us for more info
    or fill out this FORM


Messages from LPEA Candidates:


District 3 (Durango)- Rachel Landis

“As an LPEA District 3 Director Candidate, I am committed to serving you, the member, by advocating that LPEA address climate change on a local level, by fighting to keep electricity rates low, and by working to keep our energy dollars local. To support our community’s health and climate security, I will push LPEA to decrease electricity-related emissions. Additionally, I will sponsor new renewable energy projects and work to expand existing consumer energy efficiency opportunities, such as LPEA’s Net Metering and Time-of-Use programs. I also support a shift to greater energy independence which would provide LPEA members increased control over energy rates and incentivize local, clean-energy development that keep our energy dollars local and create jobs.”

 Rachel Landis

“As the Coordinator of the Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, my forward-thinking leadership, expertise in managing sustainability projects and deep community engagement make me uniquely qualified to meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities presented by our rapidly shifting energy sector. I have experience in sustainability-related business management, policy drafting, infrastructure design, fiduciary oversight and operational support. Through fifteen years of organizational leadership experience, I have become adept at balancing business acumen while upholding an organization’s mission and being responsive to stakeholder needs. I am excited to bring my collaborative leadership style to the Board and engage in partnerships that support collective regional goals, such as the City of Durango’s Climate & Energy Action Plan. I look forward to serving you for the next three years.”


District 4 (North Valley/Hermosa)- Guinn Unger

“I am running for the LPEA Board of Directors because I want to make LPEA a leader in clean, renewable and locally produced energy. Buying an extremely high percentage of our electricity generated by burning coal does not make sense if we want to keep our electric rates low. LPEA can be more aggressive in promoting local generation of energy, particularly solar, which will keep jobs in our area, keep electricity prices low, and drastically lower carbon emissions. Coal has become the most expensive and dirtiest fuel, and if we are serious about fighting climate change, we need to quickly move away from this outdated energy source. I will work hard to make sure that as we transition away from coal we are purchasing our energy locally and keeping our monthly bills low.”


“Having grown up in a military family and served 28 years in the US Army Reserve, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, I believe in serving my country and my community. After graduating from Rice University with a degree in Electrical Engineering I chose to serve our country working on the NASA Space Shuttle Program. After leaving NASA, I founded two small businesses and served as a consultant in Corporate America. I promise to dedicate my efforts and my skills to work for my community and make the changes to LPEA that will enable us to do our part to fight climate change at the local level, create local jobs from renewable sources and keep our energy costs low. “


District 2 (Dryside/Hesperus) – Kim Martin

“I am running for LPEA to offer District 2 coop members the opportunity to choose the representative whose values best match their own. Because the District 2 Board position has been held by the same person for the past 24 years, and because he’s run for the office unopposed for at least the past 12 years, those of us who don’t share his values haven’t had opportunities for our progressive positions to be heard.
Democracy works only when voters have choices.”

 Rachel Landis

“I first moved to Farmington on the New Mexico side of the Four Corners in1973. It was then that I fell in love with the property on the “Dryside” in the western part of La Plata County, where my husband and I now live.
Some of you may know me from the 9R School Board or the Fort Lewis College Foundation, others from my teaching at FLC, Music in the Mountains, the Marvel Grange or the League of Women Voters.
I am committed to using my work and board experience to:

  • Ensure fiscal responsibility and future-oriented management with a focus on transparency and careful attention to the ways your dollars are spent.
  • Bring jobs and money back to La Plata County.
  • Expand renewable energy to replace coal based energy.
  • Make the LPEA system more resilient and up-to-date.”


The La Plata County Democratic Party distributes information on candidates and candidate events and invites candidates to speak at our party functions because this information is helpful to those who care about political progress. The La Plata County Democratic Party Newsletter includes announcements of events for independent groups and initiatives not affiliated with the Democratic Party. Inclusion here is for information only and does not imply an endorsement.

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