Summer 2011 Newsletter


Greetings and welcome to the first edition of your quarterly Douglas County Democrats E-Newsletter! Our purpose is to inform you about what your local Party is doing and how you can participate. So, first, a word from our Chair, Dean Byers:

“Since being elected Party Chair in 2006, I’ve been proud of the progress we’ve made in advocating for progressive causes and candidates. We’ve won elections for President Obama, Senators Merkley and Wyden, Cong. Peter DeFazio, Gov. John Kitzhaber, SOS Kate Brown, AG John Kroger, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, Senators Floyd Prozanski and Joanne Verger and Rep. Arnie Roblan, also Democratic County Commissioner Joe Laurance. We’ve supported progressive legislative candidates Rick Goche against Rep.Wayne Kreiger and our own Sara Byers against Rep. Bruce Hanna.

We’ve led the fight against the LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) Coos Bay terminal and pipeline. We’ve demonstrated against the Iraq war and in support of the Wisconsin unions and collective bargaining. We brought the “Mad as Hell Docs” to Roseburg and co-sponsored David Cobb with Move to Amend (see story pg 2). Recently, we co-sponsored a “Rebuilding the American Dream” grassroots gathering in River Forks Park, which drew out a nasty group of Tea Party thugs trying to break up the meeting. What they got instead was weeks worth of bad press and public outrage. What we got was great press coverage and public support. In short, we’re making a difference!

Now we’re in for the biggest fight of all: the 2012 election. The Tea Party now controls the Republican Party. Their stated goal is to dismantle our government, with the debt ceiling “crisis” the latest example.  If they win in 2012, a Republican president will choose the next two Supreme Court judges, and instead of a 5/4 conservative court, it’ll be 7/2, which we’ll live with that for generations. We must not let that happen! So get active and get involved. As Thom Hartmann says, “Tag, you’re it! Democracy begins with you!”

                                                                                                     Dean Byers

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Upcoming special events you won’t want to miss!

Tuesday-Saturday, August 9-13: come visit us at our booth at the Douglas County Fair!

Thurs., Sept. 22:  Monthly Party meeting at Chi’s Garden Restaurant, R’burg   

                6:00 pm: Thomas Wheatley, Basic Rights Oregon speaking on marriage equality

                7:00 pm: Business meeting. All Precinct Committee People need to attend.

Sat., November 5: Flegel Banquet, Seven Feathers Convention Center (see story on pg 3)



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             MOVE TO AMEND!


The U.S. Supreme Court in its latest effort to undermine democratic control of our institutions ruled in Citizen’s United v FEC that corporations can spend directly from their corporate treasuries with almost no limitation. Large corporations now have more power than people, communities, even our government. They can block our efforts for real environmental reform, peace, labor rights, local business protections, social and economic justice.

On June 13th, the Douglas County Democratic Party co-sponsored DAVID COBB, chief spokesperson for Move to, at the Douglas County Library.  The event drew a large crowd and good press coverage from the News Review.  Your County Party is affiliating itself with the national MTA (Move to Amend) movement, joining thousands of other chapters nation-wide.

At the June 23rd monthly meeting, your Party voted to pass the following Resolution strongly opposing Corporate Personhood and supporting the Move to Amend organization:

WHEREAS, The Democratic Party of Douglas County, Oregon believes that corporations are entirely human-made legal entities and therefore are rightfully subservient to human beings and governments as our legal creations, and

WHEREAS, the recent Citizens United v the Federal Election Commission decision of the United States Supreme Court unwisely rolled back the legal limits on corporate spending in the electoral process, and

WHEREAS, free and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self-governance.


1. We support the Move to Amend organization’s efforts to increase public awareness of the threats to our democracy posed by Corporate Personhood.

2. We call on our local, state and national representatives to support a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission and abolish Corporate Personhood.

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We’ll be collecting petition signatures at the Douglas County Fair. Anyone wanting to get involved with this important effort should contact the Democratic headquarters at 541.672.8033 or Joe Yetter at 541.837.8596.

BTW, your Party has a very active Resolutions Committee. We recently wrote a strong Resolution in support of collective bargaining and unions in Wisconsin and got it adopted by the State Party, also one supporting our local VA hospital.  If you like to write and have issues you’d like your Party to be “resolving about”, please contact Sara Byers at 541.672.8094.

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                              Saturday, November 5


                                          Seven Feathers Convention Center in Canyonville   

                                    Keynote speaker: U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

With Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Attorney General John Kroger, State Senator Floyd Prozanski and many other State Democratic leaders.


This annual fundraiser dinner is not to be missed, with opportunities to meet and greet our Democratic leaders, hear some great “red meat” political speeches and bid on the fantastic Silent Auction items. Invitations will go out in early October, but hold November 5 on your calendar now. Cost per person is again $37, $25 for students.

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“OBAMA 2012” Bumper Stickers are here! Pick up yours at the new Democratic office at 742 S.E. Cass (open 10-2, M-Th, 10-12 Fridays). Show your support for our President, a great man with the world’s hardest job!

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Dems get organized: Yes, cats can be herded! The April and June Democratic monthly meetings were devoted to doing some major organizing work. In April, we had an OFA (Organizing for America) training, where we focused on the “R.E.I. Principle” of Respect, Empower and Include. If we approach our organizing with under these three guidelines, we can accomplish so much!

Then in June we organized constituency teams for outreach to the following groups: Veterans, Labor, the GLBT community, ethnic groups, professionals and Young Democrats. Each of these groups has elected a leader and set goals, both short and long term. If you’d like to get involved in any of these outreach groups, please contact Joe Yetter at 541.837.8596 or cell 360.801.0723 or

Lorna Hayden, Party Vice Chair and Chair of the Organizing Committee, is working with Joe Yetter on our overall “Party Building” effort. She recently organized a very successful weekend data entry training. We’re getting all our data entered into a statewide Democratic computer program. We’ll be able to do targeted mailings, both electronic and postal, and do a better job of communicating with our core constituencies. Great progress . . . thank you, Lorna!

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And speaking of progress, check out our new and improved website:                                            

Click on the links to our Home Page, Who We Are, Calendar of Events, Letters to the Editor, Resolutions, Newsletter, state and national news and the weekly ObamaLog, so expertly compiled by Dee Gilchrist.

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Meetings are on the 4th Thursday of every month (except August, November and December) at Chi’s Garden Restaurant, 528 S.E. Stephens Street, R’burg.

We meet at 5:00 to eat and socialize, with the program or speaker at 6:00, followed by the business meeting at 7:00. All Precinct Committee People are expected to attend, and all Democrats are welcome!

Office:                        742 S.E. Cass Avenue, Roseburg (corner of Cass & Rose

Summer Hours:      Monday – Thursday, 10:00 to 2:00, Friday 10:00 - 12:00

Phone:                      (541) 672-8803


Web Site:        

Postal address:      P.O. Box 931, Roseburg 97470


Chair:                                    Dean Byers (541) 672-8094,

Vice Chair:               Lorna Hayden (541) 733-1115,

Secretary:                Sharon Rice (541) 672-7900,

Treasurer:                Sara Byers (541) 672-8094,

Young Dems:          Brian Davis (541) 375-0663,

Democratic Women:  Sharon Rice (see above)


Organization:          Lorna Hayden (see above)

Party Building:        Joe Yetter (541) 837-8596,

Resolutions:            Sara Byers (see above)

Rules:                        Charles Lee (541) 672-0800,

Newsletter Editor: Sara Byers; graphics assistance from Teresa Dove                                                                              



Special thank you to Joe Yetter for this excellent and comprehensive  website!