Stockbridge Democratic Town Committee       

Chairman - Information

Anita Schwerner is the SDTC Chairman

The SDTC Chairman is responsible for ensuring that the objectives of the membership are met and that the organization's activities are in keeping with Democratic principles as defined in the by-laws and state charter.


SDTC Plans and Directions
SDTC New Policy Items
Following are excerpt from the minutes of our Member Meeting (6/9/12) which (1) reviews Committee plans and directions, and (2) notes some recent policy decisions.  The full minutes appear under the Secretary's tab.

Review of SDTC Plans and Directions

First, membership and communication – At this time it was projected that the SDTC will consistently have between 30 and 35 members, and therefore the membership goal is considered to be essentially accomplished.  On communications - web page activity rates and the response to emails was discussed, with the conclusion that these communications are quite effective.  Statements were made that these efforts would continue.

Second, town elections – Discussion was held on the need to turn our focus on town elections, getting people to run and getting people to vote.  Concerning getting citizens to run, it was accepted that the SDTC would take several approaches including starting to seek candidates earlier (in the fall), contacting all members for suggested nominees and having media promotions.  The motion was made that the town itself should be approached to sponsor solicitations for candidates and the Chair accepted that he would petition the Select Board to do this later in the year.

Third, helping candidates be successful – It was suggested that the SDTC would work to provide information to help our candidates run their campaigns successfully.  Included were (1) offer access to our town’s data base and assistance with its use, (2) provide a Guide to Winning Small Town Elections (to be developed with the State Committee),  (3) offer access to SDTC files on past activities, and (4) helping with contact information to get endorsements and support.

Fourth, participation in county, state and national efforts – It was noted that the SDTC would continue to encourage members to get involved in the full range of Democratic political activities.  Contact information along with event schedules would appear on our web site and letters to members would encourage active involvement.

SDTC Policy Items:

Caucus Scheduling – It was concluded that we would continue with one combined caucus (town and state) and that we would have to work within the framework defined by the state (usually a mid February date).

Member Endorsements – It was noted State Democratic Committee By-Laws indicate that a Democratic Committee Member cannot openly endorse or contribute to the campaign of someone opposing a Democratic Caucus Nominee.  Nevertheless, the state leaves enforcement of this rule to individual town committees.  The SDTC decision was made to first announce this policy at the next caucus and urge compliance.  Thereafter, deviations would be addressed by SDTC Officers on an ad hoc basis.

Caucus Nominations of Unenrolled vs. Enrolled Democrats - A discussion was held about whether the Town Democratic Caucus should be allowed to endorse an unenrolled (i.e. independent) candidate for town office when that candidate is opposed by a registered Democrat (both appearing before the caucus for the same office).  A good amount of discussion and debate was held with members presenting arguments for both perspectives.  At the conclusion of the debate a vote was called and the count was 8 to 6 in favor of endorsing an Independent in the caucus only if there was no registered Democratic candidate in opposition.

SDTC Members Form Town Democratic Slate

During October 2011 SDTC members were contacted and all signed the slate nomination paper.  This form was completed, submitted to the Town Clerk on Oct 17, authorized on Oct 31, forwarded to the Secretary of the Commonwealth on Nov 3, 2011 and voted on March 6, 2012.

These papers served to formally organize the SDTC into a slate which legally authorizes our committee to continue as the official representative of the Democratic Party in Stockbridge.

Essentially, the Massachusetts State Democratic Party is run by delegates who are selected by local party committees which are elected by the resident registered Democrats.  These party committees normally run for election together as a slate - in small towns the standing committee typically forms the slate.  (In cities, multiple slates may oppose one another - but this is very rare in the towns).

Members of ward and town committees serve in the following capacities:
    Represent their party at the the local neighborhood level   
    Promote the objective of the party and

    Work for the nomination and election of party candidates.

Additionally the town committee organizes, calls and conducts those meetings which (1)elect delegates to the State Democratic Convention, and which (2) seek, nominate and endorse candidates for elective town offices.

Questions, comments or suggestions for SDTC officers can be addressed to them by email at

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