Trump does not represent our values

posted Jan 13, 2018, 6:23 PM by Ocdp Web

Letter from Congressman Jim Clyburn
Recently, President Donald Trump used a derogatory and vulgar term to describe Haiti and African nations.

To be frank, Trump's remarks are the opposite of what this country stands for. It's an insult to millions of people around the world and to the immigrants from these countries who have made America their home.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and I plan to pursue a resolution to censure the President next week. Add your name to support passing an official censure and reject the hate and racism expressed by Trump.

Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that he did not make the vulgar comments that the media has widely reported. But Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the meeting where President Donald Trump made these comments, confirmed he used the slur not once, but several times during the discussion.

President Trump is our commander in chief, and this is the kind of conduct that would be unbecoming of an officer. If a general or some other line officer in the military were to say something like this, he would be censured. It should occur here with the commander in chief, at a minimum.

Add your name now to support censuring President Trump.

Thank you,

Jim Clyburn

Precinct Reorganization Meeting

posted Jan 13, 2018, 5:03 PM by Ocdp Web

OCDP Precinct Reorganization Meeting
Saturday, January 27
Gignilliat Center
621 N. Townville St.
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Coffee Social
10 a.m to Noon- Meeting

Do you want democrats elected in 2018? It starts at the precinct level on January 27 in Oconee County. A precinct is where elections are won or lost, because it is where people live and vote.

In accordance with state election law, the South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) will reorganize in 2018 beginning at the precinct level. The Oconee County Democratic Party meets this month for our precinct reorganization. 

Do you want to meet Democrats who live in your neighborhood? Registered voters are invited to this meeting to get to know their neighbors, discuss policy issues, adopt resolutions and elect leadership and delegates to the county convention in March. 

Do you know your voting precinct? There are 31 precincts in Oconee County. Click Here.

Active precincts will help elect more Democrats statewide! Make a real difference. Attend the January 27 OCDP Precinct Reorganization Meeting. Need information? Contact Paulette Keffas-Chassin at 864-723-1554.

January Breakfast Meeting

posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:13 PM by Ocdp Web   [ updated Jan 12, 2018, 4:14 PM ]

Join OCDP at our Breakfast Meeting on Saturday, January 20, at 9 am for breakfast.  We start with a coffee social at 9am, followed by a brief OCDP update and then our guest speaker.  This month's speaker is JOEL WARD from Seneca City Council.  Mr Ward is the longest running councilman in Seneca.  He is running for reelection in March.  Come and hear about Seneca from Mr Ward and be prepared to ask questions.  

Clyburn Fellowship

posted Dec 21, 2017, 5:01 PM by Ocdp Web

Seneca honors retiring First Steps director

posted Dec 12, 2017, 7:39 AM by Ocdp Web

Posted on December 12, 2017 - By Greg Oliver - The Journal

Marie Dunnam, who is retiring at the end of this month after serving as executive director of First Steps of Oconee County, was honored last week at Seneca City Hall. Rex Brown | The Journal
Marie Dunnam, who is retiring at the end of this month after serving as executive director of First Steps of Oconee County, was honored last week at Seneca City Hall. Rex Brown | The Journal

SENECA —Marie Dunnam was honored Thursday at Seneca City Hall with a reception and an opportunity for friends and colleagues to express their gratitude for more than a quarter century of service to the community through First Steps of Oconee County.

Dunnam is retiring at the end of the year after serving as executive director of First Steps for 26 years.

South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness was initially signed into law by then-Gov. Jim Hodges in June 1999, and Oconee County First Steps began in September of that year. Dunnam was first elected as board chair and became executive director two years later.

Seneca Mayor Dan Alexander recalled a 2002 meeting with Dunnam about the need for public transportation. As a result of that meeting, the groundwork was laid for Seneca to seek and eventually receive money for public transportation, realized four years later through Clemson Area Transit. Seneca has since implemented the first all-electric bus fleet in the nation.

“(CAT) is about giving people hope, about giving people a chance to make a difference in life, and Marie has done that her whole life,” Alexander said. “For me, what she’s done to make public transportation take place in this county has not only changed my life, but the lives of others as well. I’ve always respected you, not only for myself, but my girls — both of whom are now in education — because of the impact she’s had on their lives and what they do.”

Sandra Pruitt, director of Family Friends, has served on the First Steps board since the beginning. Pruitt said Dunnam is a close friend with whom she has laughed and cried. Pruitt said she admires the job Dunnam has done at First Steps, including the Countdown to Kindergarten and Principles of Parenting Successfully programs.

“Nobody in the state knows more about First Steps — its strengths, weaknesses, potential and impact,” Pruitt said, adding that Dunnam’s work will “be felt for decades and powerfully impact Oconee County’s children.”

Board member Misty Lee unveiled a special gift to Dunnam, a  painting of a tree whose branches depicted the many programs offered through the program to help children enter first grade equipped and ready to learn. The actual fingerprints of some of the children who have benefited from her work are featured on the leaves of the tree.

Contained at the bottom of the painting is a quote from the late Fred Rogers — “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.”

“We hope you hang this on the wall of your home and when you look at it, think about the impact you had on all the children of Oconee County,” Lee said.

Dunnam told the audience that she will always appreciate how the Oconee County legislative delegation ensured the First Steps program was established correctly.

“Our major accomplishment has been to fulfill the intent of the First Steps legislation,” Dunnam said. Dunnam also took time to recognize Monica Alles White, who will be the new Oconee County First Steps executive director.

“The search committee did a wonderful job and found the right person at the right time,” Dunnam said. “I think she’ll be able to carry on the work we’ve done the last 18 years and take it to another level.” | (864) 973-6687

Breakfast Meeting - Dec 16

posted Dec 6, 2017, 7:02 PM by Ocdp Web

Saturday, December 16,
9:00 a.m., 121 N Townville St, Seneca, SC (OCDP HQ). Please join OCDP at our December Breakfast Meeting to enjoy good friends, celebrate the season, and support a local charity.

As a special project, OCDP is again collecting blankets for the "First Steps" program of Family and Friends at the United Way of Oconee County this holiday season. We are asking everyone to bring at least one NEW blanket to be distributed to families in need as the winter season begins. Please drop your donation by our office.

And don't forget we are still collecting diapers (sizes 4, 5 and 6 are requested). Just drop them by our office when you are in Seneca. We make a delivery once a week. Thanks for your support!

Friends Remember ex-Democratic Party Chairman

posted Nov 19, 2017, 1:50 PM by Ocdp Web   [ updated Nov 19, 2017, 1:51 PM ]

(Pictured): Former Oconee County Democratic Party chair Mike Evatt, second from left, poses for a photo with current OCDP chair Paulette Keffas-Chassin, left, S.C. Democratic Party chair Trav Robertson and former OCDP chair Maxie Duke. Keffas-Chassin called Evatt’s death this week “a great loss.” Special to The Journal

Posted on November 16, 2017

By Greg Oliver

The Journal

SENECA — Former Oconee County Democratic Party chairman Mike Evatt died Wednesday, and those who knew and loved him say they will always remember the impact he made — not only politically but, more importantly, on their lives.

“It’s a great loss — he was a great mentor to me and a friend,” current Oconee County Democratic Party chair Paulette Keffas-Chassin said.

Evatt was a two-term chairman of the party, and Keffas-Chassin said they didn’t exactly hit it off when they were first introduced.

“Mike re-engaged with the Oconee County Democratic Party two years ago when I was interim chair,” she said. “He was a bit cool to me at first — a newcomer to the area from the north. But we soon became fast friends, and he even nominated me to be chair at our county convention in 2016. It was a moment I will never forget.”

Keffas-Chassin said Evatt “made me laugh, think and wonder.”

“Mike recently said, ‘Being chair is a thankless job, so I just want to thank you, Madam Chair, for all your hard work,’” Keffas-Chassin said. “He was a brilliant, passionate, caring man who was relentless in his desire to improve the lives of residents in Oconee — in education, health care and in their standard of living. Mike Evatt never gave up trying to fight for people in need in Oconee County.”

Walhalla resident Maxie Duke, who also served as chair of the Oconee County Democratic Party in the late 1980s, said she depended a lot on Evatt.

“He could remember statistics about elections you wouldn’t believe and stories about people that were amazing to me,” Duke said.

But, more importantly, Duke said, Evatt was a good friend who loved people.

“He took care of people,” Duke said. “You wouldn’t believe how he took care of people. Anybody he could help, he would. He always had a positive attitude, always smiling and joking about something.”

South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson called Evatt “the epitome of what a Democrat should be.”

“Mike Evatt taught me the virtue of chasing a greased pig in the mountains of Oconee County and that the best apple cider in the entire world was from Mountain Rest,” Robertson said in a prepared statement. “You wanted Mike on your team in a fight.”

Although Evatt supported Robertson’s opponent in last April’s race for state party chair, Robertson said Evatt called after he won the race.

“He was the first person to call and offer his support to make my term as chair successful,” Robertson said. “I will miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this time.”

Sam Martin, of Newberry, who was a close friend for the past 30 years, said Evatt was a brilliant strategist. Martin recalled a petition seeking to make video poker legal in the state again in order to abolish property taxes.

“I told him I was having a hard time (collecting signatures) and he said I could get all the signatures I could get soon,” Martin said. “I asked how and he said for me to stand in front of the treasurer’s and auditor’s office, because they would be collecting taxes pretty soon. He could come up with things that seemed so obvious later.”

Martin also recalled how Evatt, running against incumbent S.C. Rep. Bill Sandifer in the 1998 election, was told he would get few, if any, votes running as a Democrat in Oconee County.

“Mike ended up getting nearly 45 percent of the votes, and it was because of his likeability,” Martin said. “He was the kindest, most gentle person I ever knew. He would give you the shirt off his back, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love him.”

Nearly 10 years ago, just before Thanksgiving, Martin said Evatt saw a man on the side of the road who “was really bad off.” Evatt, his friend said, stopped and gave the man $50.

“He did stuff like that for people — you didn’t hear a lot about it, but he did,” Martin said.

But Martin said Evatt should also be remembered for the love he had for his wife, Kelly, who died several years ago, and his children — his son, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael Evatt of Missouri, and daughter, Molly Evatt Quinn of Westminster.

“No one raised two children who ever turned out better than his two children, and it’s because of what he put into their lives,” he said.

Keffas-Chassin said Evatt often spoke of his children, as well as his grandchildren, Maddy and Zachary Quinn and Jackson and Brody Evatt, and his parents, James “Dink” and Ruth McGee Evatt of Seneca.

“There is not now, and never will be, a replacement for Mike Evatt,” she said.

A funeral service for Evatt will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Walhalla. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. today at Sandifer Funeral Home in Westminster. | (864) 973-6687

John Spratt Issues Conference & Dinner

posted Nov 13, 2017, 6:13 PM by Ocdp Web   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 6:14 PM ]

The South Carolina Democratic Party is hosting the Spratt conference on December 8 and 9 in Columbia.  

When: Friday- Saturday, December 8-9, 2017

Who: Big Keynote Announcements Coming this Week!

An important date to remember: EARLY BIRD SALE ENDS NOVEMBER 19TH

Friday - The dinner this year is going to be a pig pickin' down at the Coop in Columbia. We'll celebrate our wins from Tuesday and look toward more in 2018 with oysters, a few pigs, and plenty of Beaufort stew. And, of course, there'll be a cash bar.

Saturday - The Conference will cap off the weekend and be at downtown Columbia's Marriott Hotel. As Democrats, there could not be a more important moment to gather, discuss, plan, and organize around the issues that will guide our elections in the Trump era. We are poised for success in South Carolina, but it will take hard work, a focus on the fundamentals and a persistent dedication to our values to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us - that starts at this year's Spratt Issues Conference. 

The Early Bird specials end November 19, 2017.

Breakfast Meeting

posted Nov 13, 2017, 6:10 PM by Ocdp Web

Join OCDP for our November Breakfast Meeting on Saturday, November 18, at 9 a.m., at headquarters, 121 N Townville St, Seneca, SC.  After breakfast we will have a brief seminar on registering voters.

Monthly Business Meeting

posted Nov 1, 2017, 5:59 PM by Ocdp Web

Join us at our next business meeting on Monday, November 6, at 7 p.m. at our headquarters, 121 N Townville St, Seneca.  Bring your ideas and help us make a difference in Oconee County and the Upstate. 

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