2021 Annual Conference
Last weekend, I attended the Idaho Democratic Party meeting of the State Central Committee. Like the peace of mind that comes from being vaccinated, the message from the weekend of events, workshops, and trainings was reassuring.
First, it was a confidence builder to witness the strong leadership from IDP Chair Fred Cornforth. Cornforth and his team are dedicated and committed to leading us forward. Joining him at the meeting was Executive Director Jared de Loof, Political Director Nick Phalen, Operations & Training Director Morgan Hine, Development Director Dakota Sharette, Communications Director Avery Roberts, Hispanic Outreach Organizer Raquel Reyes, and our very own North Idaho Field Organizer Conor Proulx.
Second, we are seeing some extremely promising candidates stepping forward to run for statewide offices in 2022. Namely Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad who is running for Governor. He joins Boise attorney Terri Pickens-Manweiler who announced her run for Lieutenant Governor back in August. In addition, our very own Teresa Borrenpohl is running for the Idaho House of Representatives. The candidates sparked much enthusiasm among those in attendance. Going forward, we expect to hear announcements from other qualified candidates to fulfill our goal of contesting every race.
Then we heard from keynote speaker Dan Price. Price grew up in Southern Idaho in a conservative family. However, over the years his political views have evolved. Now he is a proud and outspoken progressive.
You may have heard of Dan and his brother Lucas Price. Together, they founded Gravity Payments, Inc (GP). GP is the Seattle based credit card processing and financial services company they started in 2004. Although that is quite an accomplishment it is not the achievement for which he is best known. What sets Dan apart is a decision he made to base his business on a revolutionary set of core values not typically seen in the modern workplace. His decision was to commit to setting and maintaining fair wages for all his employees including himself. First, he reduced his million-dollar salary to $70,000 per year. Then, he adjusted the minimum annual salary for his employee base to $70,000 as well. Before long, turnover dropped 50%, his workers started families and reduced or eliminated their debt loads. Most significantly, Gravity Payments’ performance improved.
Not surprisingly, Dan’s keynote speech received a standing ovation.
In addition, we heard from leaders of the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus and the Idaho Democratic Black Caucus. These presentations reinforced the evidence that Democrats remain the party of human rights and dignity.
The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus Annual Fall Breakfast featured a presentation from Boise City Councilwoman Elain Clegg. Clegg talked about the Build Back Better Infrastructure Bill that President Biden just signed. This long-awaited bill benefits every Idahoan. For example, it contains some $66 billion for renovating passenger rail in our region. Railroads are good for the economy and for the environment. So, don’t let anyone tell you the infrastructure bill isn’t needed or that it costs too much. Both Idaho Senators Risch and Crapo signed the Build Back Better Bill because it’s revenue neutral. Plus, no one earning less than $400,000 will pay more in taxes. And crucially, corporations will no longer be able to zero out their tax liabilities. In other words, the bill pays for itself.
The 2022 Election Season starts now. You can help us recruit and elect public officials who will govern our beloved state responsibly. It starts by contributing funds to support our field fellows and communications channels through 2022. Click Here to make a donation to Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC).
Also, to end 2021 and kick off 2022, please plan to attend our end of the year party on December 13. The details for this event are still coming together so stand by for more information. For now, mark your calendars and make plans to attend.
Annual Food Drive
And finally, I want to thank Cathy Kraus who spearheaded our annual food drive. The effort succeeded in collecting well over six hundred pounds of food and over $2000 in donations for the Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene Food Banks. Having enough food is a fundamental human right and a source of basic dignity. Thanks Cathy.
Have an amazing week everyone. And thanks for being a Democrat.