General Meeting SEP 19

Gilmer Democrats mailed 1,000 postcards to invite all Democratic voters in the county to our meeting on September 19, 6:00 p.m., at Mountain Light Unitarian-Universalist Church.  Special guests will be two officials from the Democratic Party of Georgia. This is your chance to get your questions answered about the DPG’s plans to elect Democrats in 2020.

Thus begins an effort to expand Democrats’ visibility in Gilmer County and to gain new members as we prepare for the 2020 election.
We don’t know how successful the mailing will be since it has not been done before, but we anticipate a good turnout.  We hope that means YOU will be there!

We are also expanding our efforts for service in the community.  Gilmer High School has a program to provide quick, nutritious meals to students whose families have limited access to kitchen resources.  We are asking Gilmer Democrats to bring to the September 19 meeting foods that are easily cooked in their own containers in a microwave.  An e-mail will follow shortly with further details on this project.  Watch for it, and help keep students prepared to learn and thrive in our county. 

Thanks for your support.  See you on the 19th! 

HRCF, CNN Announce Partnership for Historic LGBTQ Town Hall

2019 SEP 05 – This morning, we were excited to announce that CNN will be the exclusive broadcast partner of the HRC Foundation’s presidential town hall for Democratic candidates on Thursday, October 10 in Los Angeles. This historic event, entitled Power of Our Pride, marks the first time a presidential town hall on LGBTQ issues will be broadcast on a major national cable news network — and already, six 2020 candidates have committed to participate: Biden, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren. CNN will air the event exclusively live during prime time on CNN and CNN en Español, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. The event is set to take place on the eve of National Coming Out Day, a celebration of coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. We would love your help in spreading the word about this historic event, talking about it on air, and celebrating the participation of so many 2020 candidates in this remarkable evening.

Here’s some sample social, an image share and talking points for your appearances:


1) On the eve of #NationalComingOutDay, @HRC Foundation has teamed up w/ @CNN on a historic #PowerOfOurPride Town Hall featuring 2020 candidates. For the 1st time, a major ntl. cable news network will showcase a live primetime presidential town hall on LGBTQ issues 

2) Mark your calendars for @HRC Foundation’s #PowerOfOurPride Town Hall!
🗓️ Thursday, October 10
📺 @CNN and @CNNEE
🇺🇸 2020 Democratic presidential candidates
🏳️‍🌈 Issues important to the LGBTQ community

3) Wow — the @HRC Foundation just announced a historic #PowerOfOurPride presidential town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues in partnership w/ @CNN. On Oct 10 millions of people across the country & world will get to hear from the candidates about visions & agendas for LGBTQ equality. 🏳️‍🌈


  • On the eve of National Coming Out Day (Oct. 10), the Human Rights Campaign Foundation & CNN have teamed up on a historic presidential town hall focused on issues of importance to the LGBTQ community. This live primetime event — titled Power of Our Pride — will mark the first time in history that a major cable news network will air a presidential event devoted to LGBTQ issues and the first time in history that a presidential LGBTQ-focused town hall will be aired on a Spanish news outlet.
  • There are more than 10 million LGBTQ voters across America today — and 57 million Equality Voters — who are eager to hear from Democratic presidential candidates about how they are going to fight for the community. 
    • HRC worked with Catalyst to develop the “Equality Voter Model” that identified the 57 million Americans who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies, including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when making electoral decisions.    
  • After a decade of swift progress including nationwide marriage equality, many people don’t realize the state of inequality for LGBTQ people is a real and persistent problem:
    • In 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. 
    • 35 states have not yet banned the child abuse known as “conversion therapy.” 
    • LGBTQ youth continue to face elevated levels of bullying and rejection, and many associated physical and mental health challenges. 
    • At least 100 transgender people — most of whom are transgender women of color — have been killed in the United States in the last 5 years, and the FBI reports that hate crimes are rising. 
    • Transgender troops have been unconstitutionally banned from serving openly in our military. 
  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an arm of the Human Rights Campaign,  the world’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, has worked to convene this town hall in partnership with CNN so that Democratic presidential candidates can share their agendas for winning full federal equality, defending the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people, and protecting the most vulnerable among us.
  • LGBTQ voters have been among the most engaged and fastest growing coalition of Democratic primary voters.
    • More than any other time in history, candidates are actively engaging LGBTQ people at the grassroots level, releasing policy after policy detailing their plans to help improve the lives of LGBTQ people in more granularity than ever before. 
    • Today, there are an estimated minimum of 10 million LGBTQ voters nationwide who will play a decisive role in the 2020 election. 
  • The Trump-Pence administration has been no friend to the LGBTQ community. In reality, it has:
    • Rescinded key protections for transgender students, 
    • Appointed two new conservative justices to the Supreme Court, 
    • Banned transgender troops from serving openly in the military, 
    • Repeatedly sought to license discrimination against LGBTQ people in healthcare, housing, public accommodations and other key aspects of everyday life

This presidential town hall, titled Power of Our Pride, will take place on Thursday, October 10, 2019 — the eve of National Coming Out Day — at the Novo Theatre at LA Live in Los Angeles, California. The event will be town hall-style, with each candidate receiving dedicated time to answer questions one by one from moderators and audience members about their plans for addressing LGBTQ rights as president. It will mark the first time a major cable news network carries an LGBTQ-focused presidential event and is expected to be the largest-ever audience for such an event. For reference, in July, CNN’s Democratic Presidential Debate drew over 10.7 million viewers. The qualifying criteria for this town hall will be the same as the DNC September & October debates.

The HRC Foundation last hosted presidential town halls in 2004 and 2008. In 2004, the HRC Foundation’s town hall included Sen. John Kerry; Rep. Dennis Kucinich; Sen. Carol Moseley Braun; Gov. Howard Dean; Sen. Joe Lieberman; Rev. Al Sharpton; and Sen. Richard Gephardt. And the 2008 town hall included then-Senator Hillary Clinton, then-Senator Barack Obama, Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former Sen. John Edwards and Gov. Bill Richardson.

Democratic Party Agenda

DNC Talkers’ Toplines — September 04

Trump attacks Democrats for not getting any work done in Congress. The reality is that Democrats have actually done a lot, but Trump has opposed their legislation, and it has stalled in McConnell’s legislative graveyard, despite broad support from voters.

Here’s a look at some of what Democrats have done:

  • House Democrats passed the Raise the Wage Act to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • House Democrats passed the American Dream and Promise Act to provide hardworking immigrants a much deserved pathway to citizenship.
  • Democrats passed a disaster relief bill.
  • House Democrats passed the Equality Act to prohibit discrimation based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • House Democrats passed a package of bills to protect people’s access to health care and help make prescription drugs more affordable.
  • House Democrats passed a bill to restore net neutrality.
  • House Democrats passed the Climate Action Now Act to take action to protect our climate and create economic opportunities.
  • House Democrats passed legislation to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act.
  • House Democrats passed legislation to require background checks for all gun sales.
  • House Democrats passed legislation to help close the gender pay gap.
  • House Democrats passed historic anti-corruption reform.
  • House Democrats passed election security legislation to strengthen our election systems against foreign interference.

While Democrats are working for the American people, what has Trump done lately?

Democratic National Committee, 430 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA

Cybersecurity Issues

CNN: GOP’s inaction on Russian interference makes virtual caucuses impossible for 2020

By Denis McDonough

In 2016, our democracy was attacked. The Russian government launched an unprecedented series of cyberattacks to disrupt our electoral process that included targeting the people, institutions and vendors that administer our elections.

As President Obama’s chief of staff, I saw several people at the time — including Congressional Republican leaders — dispute these facts. President Trump and many of his allies still dispute them today even after several investigations have made Russia’s actions plainly clear. And Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also denies Russia’s interference, has yet to be held accountable.
We have been warned by special counsel Robert Mueller and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that the people who attacked our democracy in 2016 will be back in 2020. Their tactics will be more sophisticated and ruthless than before. And we have to be ready.

But so far, despite bipartisan and widespread concern among intelligence and cyber experts, we have seen nothing but inaction from President Trump and Senate Republicans, increasing the risk of continued attacks on the integrity of our elections.

That’s why I support the DNC’s decision to reject a “virtual caucus” plan put forward by the Iowa and Nevada state parties. The goal of the Iowa and Nevada plans — to make caucuses more inclusive and increase participation — is laudable and in keeping with our party’s intense focus on guaranteeing every eligible voter’s access to the ballot. And we should continue to explore options that ensure and expand the most fundamental constitutional right: the right to vote.
However, the “virtual caucus” proposal comes with serious cybersecurity risks. Security experts agree that the technology, as it exists now, is too vulnerable and could easily fall victim to hacking by outside actors, including foreign adversaries such as Russia. Given the scale and imminence of the Iowa and Nevada caucuses, Democrats simply cannot take that risk.
I applaud the seriousness with which the DNC is handling this issue. This decision could not have been easy or expedient, but it was necessary. The DNC, which suffered Russian cyberattacks in 2016, is learning from the past and rightly exercising caution by putting the security of our democracy first.

The DNC’s prudence stands in stark contrast to the Republican Party’s recklessness. Despite the warnings of our intelligence community and the recommendations of cybersecurity experts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked efforts to pass critical election security legislation.
Securing our elections should not be a partisan issue. As DNC Chair Tom Perez said earlier this year, “This is not about red and blue. It’s about red, white and blue.”

We cannot ignore the lessons of 2016. The threats to our democracy are real, and the integrity of our elections is paramount. That’s why every American should call on our nation’s leaders to take action on this issue immediately and ensure that voters’ voices are heard at the ballot box.

Ultimately, we need to elect a president and a Senate that treat the issue of cybersecurity with the seriousness it deserves. Until then, the DNC is making the right decision. And I’m confident that Iowa and Nevada Democrats will still be able to hold successful — and secure — caucuses. —
Democratic National Committee, 430 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA

Mueller Testimony

  • Democrats won the day. Mueller painted a clear picture for the American people and confirmed in public what he put forward in his report:

    • The report did not exonerate Trump.

    • He did not find “no obstruction.”

    • Russia interfered in our election to help Trump and made multiple approaches to Trump campaign officials. Instead of reporting it to the FBI, Trump’s team welcomed it, put into their messaging strategy, and then lied to cover it up.

  • Despite Mueller making clear that his investigation was not a witch hunt or a hoax, Trump and his allies continue to lie about it. Here’s the truth:

    • Nearly 200 criminal charges filed

    • 34 people and 3 companies charged.

    • 7 guilty pleas, including Trump’s national security advisor, who pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russia

    • 25 ongoing criminal cases

    • 14 criminal referrals

    • $40 million recovered for the U.S. government (more than the total cost of the investigation)

  • Before today, only 3% of Americans had read the Mueller report. Now, many more Americans had the opportunity to hear the truth from Mueller himself.

  • That’s what this is all about – Americans across the country getting a chance to hear what really happened and better understand the crimes that were committed.

  • Mueller also went out of his way to raise the alarm on the threat of foreign influence. This report uncovered one of the most serious attacks on our democracy in our history. But Mueller made clear it won’t be the last, and more needs to be done.

    • When asked about Russia’s continued interference Mueller told the committee that “they’re doing it as we sit here.”

    • Mueller later said that “much more needs to be done” in regards to election security.

  • It is Congress’s constitutional duty to provide oversight and their patriotic duty to protect our elections. Republicans have abandoned their duty to conduct oversight, and they must do more to protect our next election.

  • Republicans tried to smear the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller. But notably, they didn’t dispute the facts of the actual report.

  • House Democrats will continue to work to gather more information, fight Trump’s cover up in the courts, and give the American people the truth they deserve.

Democratic National Committee, 430 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA


Soon the House of Representatives will be voting on a bill to finally do something positive for communities that have suffered the brunt of our fossil fuel economy – those living with abandoned coal mines. HR 2156, called RECLAIM, has bi-partisan support and it’s coming to the floor of the House! Ask your representative to support the RECLAIM act today.

The RECLAIM Act will make much needed updates to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. It will force the release of more than $1 billion already collected for abandoned coal mine site clean-up. These funds can then be used beginning immediately to restore polluted streams, address hazardous erosion, land sinks, underground mine fires, and coal ash ash piles sitting around endangering residents’ health.

This bill is a moral imperative – the least we can do for communities that have borne the brunt of the fossil fuel economy and are still dealing with the waste left by irresponsible coal companies. Furthermore, the funding already exists – collected from the coal companies over decades – and it is simply unconscionable not to use it.  Please take a few minutes to contact your representative right now!

RECLAIM will also put people to work in some of the areas that need it most  – Appalachia and other regions of this country dealing with abandoned coal mines. Part of an inclusive and just clean energy economy must be cleaning up the damage done by the old fossil fuel one. This bill is a good step forward.

Click here to tell your representative to vote YES on RECLAIM.

Our country has been putting polluter profits over people for far too long. Now we have a chance to put our faith principles of restoration and renewal in action for people and communities.

In hope,

Susan Stephenson
Executive Director, Interfaith Power & Light

2019 July General Meeting

July 18, 2019  —   6:00 P.M.


Featured Speaker: DR. ROBERT ZOLTEN on the subject of health care from the medical perspective.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO BE DISCUSSED (if time): ELIZABETH WARREN.  Discussion to be led by Melba Gandy

Bring your friends and neighbors and join us for a great evening of good discussion and just plain fun.  SEE YOU THERE!!!

Dear Gilmer Democrats:

            What I describe below is, to me, one of the most impactful things we, as citizens, can do about the horrors taking place at our border.

            Lights For Liberty is an organization comprised of people dedicated to human rights and the fundamental principle behind democracy that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity.

            This organization is partnering with international, national, regional, and local communities and organizations to sponsor Candlelight Vigils to End Human Concentration Camps on July 12.  The Vigils will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.

The closest Vigil to us in Gilmer County will be

Friday, July 12, 2019

7:00 p.m.

Fannin County (Blue Ridge) Courthouse and Pavilion

            Please join us in this important vigil, hosted by Fannin County Democrats.  If you would like to go and need transportation, respond to this email and Gilmer Democrats will try to find a ride for you.

            If you would like more information about the sponsoring organizations and locations of other Vigils, go to

            Help us end the despicable practices of ripping children from their parents and caging them.


Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

2019 JUN 26 – TOPLINES: Integrity, ideas, substance, solutions

  • The American people saw leadership on stage tonight. They saw candidates who are laser-focused on the future. And they saw the beginning of the end of the chaos and incompetence of the Trump presidency.

  • The contrast with Donald Trump was clear: this debate focused on the issues people care about. We didn’t hear candidates talk about hand-size. They talked about:

    • Health care

    • Economy

    • Climate Change

    • Immigration

    • Women’s reproductive rights

  • What Americans will take away is that the Democratic Party has their back.

  • No matter which one of our exceptional candidates makes it to the mountaintop, people know they’ll have a leader they can trust.

  • Any candidate on that stage would be a better president than Donald Trump.

Democratic National Committee, 430 S Capitol St SE, Washington DC