Building Our Bench

HCDP News for February 20th, 2024

HCDP News for February 20 2024

  • Party News

    • Note from the Chair - Building Our Bench

    • Houghton County Citizen Reappointed to the Michigan Community Service Commission

    • A Primer on Running for Local Office

    • Spring Fling Tickets Available

    • Alexei Navalny and More - Our Event of the Week

  • Statewide News

    • At the Capital & Around the State

  • Upcoming Events

    • Next Monthly Meeting

    • Community Events

Note from the Chair - Building Our Bench

HCDP Chair William Keith

Have you been thinking about getting more involved but don't feel like you have a lot of time or the energy to run for an office?

While we're always looking for folks willing to put themselves forward as candidates, there are lots of other ways you can help out the party.

Behind every good officer ought to be a good alternate: I know I was very happy when Lois Gemignani stepped forward this year as Vice Chair, but each of our officer positions could always use someone who knows the ropes and could step up when the current officer retires or at times when they are unavailable.

An alternate's work is not too time-consuming; they would basically just stay in the loop, perhaps pitch in occasionally, and learn how the position works, and be willing to eventually take on the full job in case it becomes necessary. Giving the Party a safety net of backups gives us crucial stability and helps us work more confidently, making us more effective in the final analysis of votes delivered for candidates.

Our committees are Events, Political Organizing, Candidate Recruitment, Rules, Policy & Resolutions, Finance, Communications, and Membership, in addition to the important officer positions of Treasurer and Secretary. If dipping your toes in any of these sounds interesting to you, please send us an email at [email protected] and we can put you in touch with the relevant Vice-Chair or officer.

Houghton County Citizen Reappointed to the Michigan Community Service Commission

Last week the Governor announced several appointments to Statewide Boards and Commissions. Among those announcements was the reappointment of a South Range resident to serve on the Michigan Community Service Commission. Our congratulations to Darnishia L. Morris for her reappointment.

Here’s what the Governor had to say about the reappointment in her press release:

Darnishia L. Morris, of South Range, is the manager of global engagement programs and an instructor in the Pavlis Honors College at Michigan Technological University. She actively participates with the Harvest Church of the Keweenaw, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Keweenaw Faiths United, Life Director of Michigan Technological University's Alumni Board of Directors. Over the past two decades, she has performed community service in over 25 countries. Morris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Michigan Technological University and Master of Management from Walsh College. Darnishia L. Morris is reappointed to represent experts in the delivery of human, educational, environmental, or public safety services to communities and persons for a term commencing February 15, 2024, and expiring October 1, 2026.

For more information about the Michigan Community Service Commission visit their website.

A Primer on Running for Local Office

Considering running for local office but not sure where to start? 

We can help.

On March 16th we’ll host our Running for Local Office Workshop.

Noon to 2:30 PM

323 Quincy Street in Hancock

The goals of the Workshop are:

  • Know what the local elective and non-elective positions are

  • Know what you need to do to get on the ballot

  • Know the core components of a campaign plan and how you can start preparing to run for office now

  • Know the resources available to local Democratic candidates

  • Hear from candidates who have done this

  • Opportunity to ask questions

Who should attend:

  • Anyone thinking about running for local (county, city, township, school board) election, either partisan or non-partisan

  • Anyone who wants to help a candidate who is running for local office

Additional information:

  • Please let us know if you will attend so we can plan accordingly (food, handouts, seating). Email [email protected]

  • Pizza will be served

Spring Fling Tickets Available

The annual Spring Fling is in the planning stages, so please mark your calendars for Saturday, April 20th, from 5 to 8 PM. We’ll again be at the Bonfire at the Continental Fire Co. in Houghton.

Tickets are now available through ActBlue.

The event is also posted on Facebook. Feel free to share the event with your Facebook friends - the link to purchase tickets is available on Facebook as well.

Ticket prices this year will again be $50, with Student tickets available at $40.

The Spring Fling is a great way to meet up and converse with fellow Democrats and progressive voters while listening to elected officials who represent you, and learning first hand about candidates who are looking for your support.

The Fling is also one of our largest fundraising events each year, and in an election year your support is especially important.

Details on speakers and more will be forthcoming as the planning firms up.

Alexei Navalny and More - Our Event of the Week

Far and away the biggest news, political or otherwise, last week was the announcement of the death, while in a Russian gulag, of Vladimir Putin’s political opponent Alexei Navalny. The news brought universal condemnation. Universal, that is, except for Donald Trump, who has yet to condemn Navalny’s sudden death.

There was bad news for Donald Trump and his campaign last week - from the court house to the campaign trail.

The former President, along with two of his sons, was fined close to a half a billion dollars for systemic fraud at their New York firm the Trump Organization. Also last week, the press had a field day with Trump’s shameful, weak, dangerous and un-American statement that Russia should “do whatever the hell it wants” to our NATO allies who, in his opinion, haven’t paid their fair share into the alliance. By week’s end the Biden Harris campaign had aired their response to Trump’s remarks (see the video below):

On the other hand, there was some good political news last week for Democrats.

  • New York Democrat Tom Suozzi won the special election to fill the US House seat of the ousted Republican Rep. George Santos. Suozzi’s margin of victory was 54% to 46%. A central issue in the campaign was immigration, which ended up favoring Suozzi because of the rejection by House Republicans of the immigration deal. Earlier Speaker Mike Johnson had refused to let the immigration bill see the light of day in the House, killing the bill. The bill was the result of negotiation between the White House and Republicans, and contained almost everything the Republicans had asked for. Johnson’s refusal to put the bill up for a vote has suddenly put the Republicans in the position of being the party that “favors open borders”. And all of this because Trump wants the border issue to remain unresolved so he can campaign on it.

  • The impeachment by the House of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is certainly a blow to the Democrats, but it’s a case where Republicans may have won the battle but they are losing the war. The impeachment is going nowhere in the Senate, and the House’s action only serves to underscore the mess they have made of the immigration bill.

  • By week’s end reports surfaced that Trump was privately telling donors at fundraising dinners that he supports a national 16 week abortion ban, sending his campaign scrambling into damage control.

At the Capital & Around the State

  • Michigan’s new gun laws went into effect last week, with Attorney General Nessel commenting that the new laws will “definitively” save lives throughout the state. MORE: 9 and 10 News

  • The feuding within the Michigan Republican Party continues, and it looks like their may be dueling GOP caucuses in March. MORE: Bridge Michigan

  • In a Fox News poll of Michigan registered voters released last week, President Biden received 45% support to Trump’s 47%. The 2-point margin is well within the survey’s margin of sampling error, meaning the Fox poll shows the two candidates in a statistical tie. Yes, even the FOX NEWS poll shows the former guy struggling in Michigan. MORE: Fox News

Next Monthly Meeting

HCDP Monthly Meetings: Unless otherwise communicated our monthly meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month. Potluck at 6 PM, Meeting at 7 PM. In the conference room at the Houghton Super 8, and by Zoom (starting at 7 PM).


Community Events

Governmental meetings are scheduled throughout the month by bodies from the County Commission to City, Village and Township boards, committees and commissions; as well as local School Boards and the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

Check by phone or on the particular governmental website for meeting notices in your community. Your participation in local government meetings lets your elected and appointed officials know you are interested in their work, and can provide you with the opportunity to speak about your concerns during public comment periods.


The Laurium Village Council meets tonight at 6 PM in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall. More info can be found on the Village's website. 

The Calumet Village Council meets in a Working Session tonight at 6 PM in the Village Council Chambers. There will be a Special Meeting of the Village Council immediately preceding the Work Session Meeting. Further information can be found on the Village website.


The Hancock City Council meets at 6 PM in the Hancock City Hall Council Chambers.