The Lebanon County Democratic Committee is pleased to name Marilyn Boogaard, a superb organizer and doer, as its 2020 Democrat of the Year.
They also presented Alan Olson, a long-time Democratic activist, with a special Award for Lifetime Service.
Boogaard was introduced at a recent committee meeting by Lois Herr, the 2019 recipient of the award.
During the past year, Boogaard put together the Central Pennsylvania for Biden Facebook group, now with 800 members. It gave those who supported the Biden campaign a way to communicate and support each other during a particularly difficult campaign season. It brought many volunteers to the effort.
“Frankly, 2020 was a tough year, but in tough times good people shine, and that was true here in Lebanon County…Marilyn Boogaard is an excellent example of that involvement,” Herr said.
Herr said Boogaard is particularly good at forming relationships, as evidenced by the way she mobilized people to work together on voter registration and Get Out the Vote efforts. Boogaard learned the technical side of campaigning and supported the local committee financially.
“Over the years, whether the candidate was Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Biden, she put energy into door-to-door campaigning, voter registration and events,” Herr said.
Alan Olson was the recipient of a special Award for Lifetime Service for his activities in energizing the Lebanon County Democratic Committee since moving to the area in 2012. He increased the productive use of VoteBuilder, a data base for organizing political campaigns, and encouraged neighbors to help get out the local vote.
Before moving to Lebanon County, he was active in Adams County, where he helped re-activate the Adams County Democratic Committee and opposed the Iraq War.
Both these leaders plan to stay active in a surging Democratic Party in Lebanon County. They are tenacious. Olson said his motto is “to make things work.”
Boogaard said she is already trying to register more voters before the primary election in May. She is realizing the importance of local elections. “As difficult as it is for Democrats in Lebanon County because of our numbers, I feel there is renewed energy after this last election,” she said. “There are more people interested in the values we represent.”