Message from the President — Larry Buxbaum                 May 19, 2017

Five months into 2017 and my term as President of the Sun City Democrats Club, I have some thoughts on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we seem to be going. The past several months have been quite eventful as we have faced new challenges and new opportunities and addressed established issues.

What is most striking immediately is that we have increased our membership to over 435. When I was first approached to be your President, many veterans of the club described a general reluctance on the part of Democrats in Sun City to identify as Democrats. A history of malice and retribution, coupled with a belief that Democrats were a small and powerless minority, had encouraged a bunker mentality and a somewhat deafening silence in the community.

National and state election results in the last two years, particularly in November of 2016, devastated a large segment of the community and in particular Democrats of an age to remember what the party has generally embodied as its basic values. Many described their reaction as genuine grief or something very much akin to it. As with grief, time was necessary to process the loss, unexpected though it was. What is most fascinating and highly encouraging, however, is that folks did not fall into a general lassitude or depression. Rather, they came out with a fierce determination to become more involved than ever before and to fight to assert our progressive values and to resist efforts to erode them.

The Club Board quickly approved the establishment of an Activist Group, which rapidly grew to a membership in excess of 125 members with multiple committees and subcommittees to address the many ways to make our collective voice heard. Participation in various events, from the initial Women’s March in Austin to the Planned Parenthood Lobby Day and the March for Science made Sun City Democrats a visible and vocal presence. The publication of The Indivisible Guide, a roadmap from former Congressional staff for influencing elected officials, provided us with a technique for organizing activities, including visits to Congressional offices, appearances at town meetings (attended by representatives or not) and general constant communication to officials and their staffs.

The heightened activity has included a high energy effort by IMPACT, the Sun City Democrats Club Political Action Committee. Recognizing that 2018 will represent an unprecedented opportunity to reclaim essential seats in Congress and the state legislature, IMPACT has launched a sustained program to provide substantial financial support to highly viable candidates. Recent results in Williamson County races demonstrate that Sun City Democrats support can be of critical importance and influence. As we are the only Democratic PAC in Williamson County that can contribute to these campaigns, our efforts assume even greater prominence.

Interest in our Club’s political activity has been accompanied by greater participation in other club activities. Our monthly program, with speakers addressing issues of interest to progressives, have been very well attended, in some cases by twice as many as in previous years. Our two wine tasting groups remain heavily subscribed, and membership in the Progressive Singles group has increased as well. Our Discussion Special Interest Group (SIG) draws speakers and strong membership involvement. Finally, Happy Hours at Putters twice a month have drawn good crowds and wonderful socializing opportunities.

Of significant importance to the Club and our members is the fact that we have created a new website — a website we believe will be of great value. The website contains a calendar of our events. Up to date new and relevant articles are readily accessible. There are links for joining the Club and for donating to IMPACT. Our Mission and Vision are clearly displayed, along with important documents reflecting our governance. The emphasis is on clarity and transparency, still another example of the pride we take in ourselves, our party and our organization.

I trust that the foregoing is of some value to you, as a very busy time has been productive and set the stage for still more advances. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions or both, at larry.b@msn.com.
Larry