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By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Melinda Hardin, the local Democratic organizer, hosted a meeting of party faithful this morning to discuss what to do as a result of Donald Trump’s election as president.
Hardin had planned to host the gathering at her and husband Lou Allstadt’s home; (he is an independent). But the response was so great – 85 attended – the meeting needed to be moved to the First Presbyterian church hall.
Attendees included prominent Democrats from Cooperstown, such as former Bassett CEO Bill Streck, and from Oneonta, such as Deb Marcus, director of Family Planning of South Central New York and a prominent Democrat in the city. Danielle Henrici, wife of Democratic election commissioner Mike Henrici, also commented.
It didn’t appear any Trump supporters were in attendance.
While it was a gathering of Democrats, County chair Richard Abbate characterized it as a “community meeting,” not a strategy session of the official party.
Village Trustee Richard Sternberg, who is a committee member and attended, seconded Abbate’s observation. Only one or two other committee members, his fellow Trustee Jim Dean and Mike Henrici among them, attended, he said. He characterized the meeting’s intent this way: “If you want to make change, either party, any party, get involved in the democratic process – democrat with small ‘d.’”
Hardin began the meeting with a discussion of the national Women’s March on Washington, planned Jan. 21 to correspond with Trump’s inauguration, but the discussion soon expanded to the gamut of issues.
The gathering broke up into smaller discussion groups, with a representative from each table reporting back at morning’s end. The session went from 9:30 a.m. to noon. However, no priorities or action steps came out of the discussion, according to attendees.
A phone message was left with Hardin, and further details should be forthcoming. Most recently, Hardin championed Will Yandik’s campaign for U.S. Congress locally, but switched back to Zephyr Teachout after the Democratic primary.