2011 Annual Report
DFL SENIOR CAUCUS 2007 Charter
Board Members Representing All Congressional Districts
Mary Beneke, Judy Berglund, Richard Bernard, Earl Bower, John Burkhardt, Philip Castrovinci, Retha Dooley, Roger Gehrke, Kenneth Harris, Carol Hoffert, Dwayne King, John Larva, John Martin, Charles Rike, Georgiana Ruzich, Karla Sand, Terry Sluss, Mary Stevenson, Joycelyn Swanson, Elizabeth Young.
Number of Members and Interested Persons: 1403 on file
Current bylaws on file: Yes: _____ No: __X___ Our Charter is on file we do not have bylaws
Activities for year 2011:
· Executive Committee meetings were held each month to discuss important issues and to develop process and procedures to promote the interests of the DFL Senior Caucus.
· Our Annual Meeting was held on May 21 at the Steel Workers Local # 10 in Maplewood. Officers and directors for 2011 were elected and increases in membership dues were raised to $10.00 and Friends of the Caucus donation requests were raised to $20.00. The Southeastern Minnesota Senior Caucus Chapter was approved with Phil Castrovinci as chair. The principal speakers were DFL Chair Ken Martin and former Congressman Jim Oberstar.
· Social events included monthly informal luncheon meetings providing a good time to meet and socialize with other DFL Seniors. The SE MN Senior Caucus has used their monthly meetings to feature speakers on a variety of topics. Our annual potluck picnic was held on July 31 at Brookview Park in Golden Valley. The Annual Gala was held on November 13 at the Eagles Club in Minneapolis. All events were well attended.
· Seniors Calling Seniors was activated at various sites to encourage seniors to turn out for the special elections held to replace legislative openings with DFL legislators. These efforts were effective in returning the all seats to DFL legislators. Seniors Calling Seniors also began making calls to identify seniors, update our data base, encourage Senior Caucus membership, and provide reminders to members for the early precinct caucus coming up in February 2012.
· The Resolutions Committee began meeting to develop recommended resolutions from the Senior Caucus to be presented at precinct caucuses in February 2012.
· The communications and education committees provided the production of the DFL Senior Caucus newsletters; maintenance of an up-to-date website; email blasts with pertinent and timely information to the membership as needed; and co-sponsorship of educational forums. Educational opportunities throughout the year at various locations included: Dr. Deleep Ras on “Do we need tax cuts or smart tax cuts?;” Senator John Marty on health care reform and single payer health insurance; Micala Hines and Stephanie Minion on the One Step Senior Linkage Lines; Rob Shumer on the Seniors x 3 initiative; Mona Langston, DFL staff, on DFL caucus coordination; Ken Martin and Marge Hoffa with updates on the state DFL initiatives; Pat Kittler (joint sponsored event) on the Accessible Health Care Act implementation.
· Outreach to seniors continued with progress toward the development of residential projects, the liaison committee, and the development and approval of chapters in greater Minnesota. The first approved chapter was the Central Lakes Senior Caucus covering the counties of Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison and the western area of Aitkin County. Terry Sluss is chapter chair. The second chapter to be approved was the SE Seniors Caucus Chapter covering Olmsted, Winona, Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Dodge, Goodhue and Wabasha Counties with Phil Castrovinci as chair.
· Senior Caucus outreach also included staffing the DFL Booth for two full days at the Minnesota State Fair. The Senior Caucus Membership Committee began making plans for a presence at all congressional district meetings and conventions and senate district meetings and conventions in 2012, and at the State DFL Central Committee Meeting and Convention. Sample display kits were developed and current congressional representatives are to be oriented to the process. Additional Senior Caucus outreach is in progress through the DFL Dispatch with support from the DFL staff.
· Electronic networking included the use of the VAN for our membership data, email blasts for pertinent information, website (www.dflseniors.wordpress.com) for important information for the Senior Caucus members, and our newsletter included on the website.
· Senior Caucus Day on the Hill planning continued. The shutdown of the state offices complicated the plans for getting together at the capitol in 2011.
· Meetings have begun with Mona Langston, the new state DFL caucus coordinator, to assist in making the Senior Caucus a more effective statewide.
Don L Bye DFL Senior Caucus Chair*
*Executive Committee members Julianne Johnston, John Larva and Jim Reed facilitated the preparation of this report.