Laura Quick is a Lebanon County native who grew up Republican but, after attending Indiana University of PA, realized that she was not only a Democrat but quite interested in politics and how policy affects everyday people. She continued her interest in politics during an internship at the United States Information Agency in Washington DC where she organized a program for participants from 26 different countries to observe our 1988 Presidential Election.
Laura continued to work in the DC area until 1991, when she moved to France and became an English teacher. She returned to the US in 1999 to raise a family and moved back to Lebanon County in 2014. Laura was dismayed to find that many Republicans in Lebanon ran unopposed so in 2016 Laura jumped in politics with both feet by training with Emerge PA (candidate training program for Democratic women) as well as becoming a Political Organizer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. She was appointed as an at-large member of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee, volunteered with the Hillary campaign, and attended the DNC in Philadelphia.
Laura ran in the Democratic primaries in 2018 and 2020 for the 9th Congressional District. In 2018 she was elected to the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee and has authored and helped pass 3 resolutions – the most recent being the one against the seditious acts of our elected officials in 2020-21. When Laura is not a candidate herself, she works to help on other candidates’ campaigns and especially likes knocking on doors.
Laura is also a political activist. She has participated in Democracy rallies in Washington DC and the Women’s March in 2017. She travels to surrounding counties to support Democratic rallies and demonstrations. Laura was also a regular attendee of Lebanon County’s Black Lives Matter support rally.
2021, although better than the year before, was still a challenge. The pandemic made in-person meetings and gatherings almost impossible. Our headquarters building required over $3,000 in repairs to the furnace and plumbing, and we are looking at a 2022 expense of having to replace the roof.
On the political front we are going to be in a battle to save our democracy on both the state and federal level. Pennsylvania will play a key role in holding the delicate majority in the US Senate and gaining ground in the House of Representatives.
We must hold on to the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor to keep our state from the fate of other Republican states where voting rights are being suppressed and women’s rights are being taken away.
Locally we must continue to build on the progress we made in 2021. There were a few victories that many did not expect. But we also had some very close races which shows that voters are beginning to pay attention to our good quality candidates. We need to continue building on those successes. Get involved in the local party. Visit the website and Facebook page regularly to stay informed on local happenings. Agree to be a committee person to help in your voting district. And the most important support you can provide is YOUR VOTE.
Finally, we need your financial support. Our Century Club was started many years ago to help us maintain our office, to help our candidates, and most importantly to help us maintain a presence in the community. Century Club members above the $100 giving level will receive a ticket to a future event once we are able to gather in person again. Since there is no way to determine when this might happen, we are unable to name a location at this time, but we assure you it will be someplace new and exciting!
We humbly ask that you give as you can to help to support the party of the people and to make sure candidates, such as our former president, NEVER get into positions of power again!
WHEREAS The Annville Town Square Protesters for Racial Justice (ATSPRJ), is an informal group of concerned citizens consisting of a Steering Committee comprised of Michael Schroeder, Elisa Rodriguez (Annville PA), the Rev. Timothy Dewald (Annville PA), the Rev. Tony Fields, Pastor Christ Church UCC (Annville PA), and the Rev. C. Frank Terhune (Palmyra PA), has requested the Lebanon County Democratic Committee to formally endorse its twice-weekly protest actions in the Annville Town Square and to encourage Democratic Party members to participate if and when they can; and
WHEREAS these hour-long protest actions by the ATSPRJ in the Annville Town Square began on Friday, June 5 as part of the surge of protests erupting across the country in response to George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis Police, and a long string of racist police actions against unarmed Black men, women, and children, and have continued on a weekly bases on the corner of Rt. 422 and Rt. 934 from 4-5 pm every Wednesday and Saturday in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and intends to continue through the winter and into the spring and summer 2021 and beyond; and
WHEREAS the ATSPRJ’s primary short-term goal is to keep the issue of racial injustice in the public spotlight, to not let the issue fade from public discourse, as it has so often in the past, but to keep front and center as a social issue, to make clear to the general public in Lebanon County and to public officials serving the people of Lebanon County, that there exists a critical mass of citizens paying abiding attention to issues of racial injustice and demanding action and change; and to keep the public spotlight on racist policing practices, White supremacist violence, and the critical need for far-reaching reform of our criminal justice system and law enforcement practices in our local communities, our Commonwealth, and across our country; and
WHEREAS the ATSPRJ’s longer-term goal is to build a tradition of explicitly anti-racist social activism in Lebanon County, to work in whatever peaceable ways they can to eradicate racism from our local culture; to expand the conversation to include broader issues of environmental racism, climate justice, and the relationship between racial justice and climate justice; to spotlight issues of racism and racial justice in employment, housing, education, mental and physical health, and more; and
WHEREAS the ATSPRJ is a non-partisan organization that looks forward to working with individuals and organizations that share these goals as evidenced in the Lebanon County Democratic Party’s Principals and Ideals enumerated in the goals and mission of the Party for our community and
WHEREAS the ATSPRJ’s long-term goal is to eradicate racism in Lebanon County in all its myriad expressions and forms; and the ATSPRJ will not stop protesting until its goal is achieved, because “enough is enough,”
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Lebanon County Democratic Committee endorses the twice-weekly protest actions of the Annville Town Square Protesters for Racial Justice, and encourages all members of the Democratic Party to support this action.
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.”
Citizens upset with Gov. Wolf for denying Lebanon County CARES funding must realize that the entire fiasco is directly the fault of our elected Republican officials — county commissioners Bob Phillips and Bill Ames, along with state Reps. Frank Ryan, Russ Diamond and Sue Helm, state Sen. Dave Arnold, U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser and District Attorney Pier Hess-Graf. They all chose to openly defy the governor’s emergency orders on combatting the COVID virus. They chose to turn a health crisis into a political war for their own benefit. Their recklessness jeopardized $13 million in much needed funding aimed at helping businesses, nonprofits and local government agencies recover from the costs and loses related to COVID .
The decision by the GOP majority Lebanon County commissioners to file a lawsuit and force the governor to release the funds ended in a settlement that released the $13 million, but with the unusual stipulation that $2.8 million must be spent on “mask education” programs here. The hasty settlement was necessary to avoid an extended – and costly — legal battle that could have stretched beyond the December deadline for the county to spend or return the $13 million.
Why $2.8 million for mask education? Ask our Republican leaders who openly defied the governor’s efforts to control the spread of the virus, ridiculed the request to wear masks in public and encouraged Lebanon County citizens to do the same. Our officials publicly demonstrated against state health recommendations and encouraged citizens to ignore state guidelines, endangering their health and the health of others under the guise of personal liberty and freedom.
Such ill-advised defiance has consequences. The $13 million ultimately was restored, but the delay in receiving the money that resulted from the lawsuit now threatens the county’s ability to meet the December deadline and other requirements of the program, which could result in the county forfeiting a large portion of the money. The expenditure of $2.8 million on mask education – money that could have gone to local businesses, etc. — is an additional challenge that can be directly attributed to the irresponsible actions of our Republican elected officials.
The citizens of Lebanon County deserve better. It has never been clearer that our current Republican leadership has failed the citizens of Lebanon County. This will only change when the people vote for new responsible leaders with an honest interest in the welfare of their constituents.
Lebanon County voters, it’s up to all of us. On Nov. 3, we can vote to continue down the path of ineffective and incompetent Republican leadership. Or, we can have another “clean sweep” of Republican candidates and create a new beginning for our county.
Our democracy depends on mutual respect, trust, and our pursuit of untainted facts and the truth. This extraordinary time of a deadly pandemic has taken over 100,000 lives. Now should be a time of cooperation and focused efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus as we are making progress to reopen our community. Instead, Republicans in our legislature have defied the Governor’s orders to contain and control the spread of the virus. In fact, they have behaved in a way that threatens their colleague’s health. It was recently disclosed that Republican State Representative Andrew Lewis from Dauphin County tested positive for COVID-19. House Republicans, including Lebanon County’s Russ Diamond (HD- 102) were notified but kept it a secret while self-quarantining for two weeks without informing any Democratic members of the state house with whom they were in contact.
Diamond has been the leading opponent of efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He has publicly bragged about shopping without a mask and has led the efforts to undermine the Governor’s orders.
Reprehensibly, PA Republican legislators and their leadership have denied medical science, and now appear to have intentionally failed to notify Democratic legislative committee members of their risk of exposure to COVID-19. .
PA State House Democrats have called for House Speaker Mike Turzai’s resignation for his careless and reckless decision to put political games and his agenda ahead of public health and safety. The Lebanon County Democratic Committee concurs and would also call on Representative Russ Diamond to resign from office due to his total disregard for the health and safety of the citizens of Lebanon County and his disruptive behavior encouraging citizens to engage in civil disobedience endangering their health and the health of others. He has not met his responsibility to fulfill the oath of office to support, obey and defend the Constitution of Pennsylvania and its laws.
Dan Sidelnick, chair of the Lebanon County Democratic Committee, today released the following statement regarding the latest mass shootings in America:
A fully automatic firearm can attain a rate of fire of up to 14 rounds per second. A semi-automatic firearm can be modified to fire up to ONLY 9 rounds per second.
There is a big difference, however. The fully automatic firearm is a military weapon that is largely prohibited from purchase by U.S consumers; the semiautomatic weapon is the kind used in 2017 in Las Vegas — the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
If there are restrictions imposed by the federal government on the one, wouldn’t it make sense to do the same for the other, which is just as deadly and more suitable for use on the battlefield instead of on the streets of America?
Once again we face the recurring question of guns and their destructive power when used in the hands of unstable and hateful individuals. The bloodshed in Ohio, which followed that in Texas and California by mere days, was the 32nd mass shooting in the U.S. this year alone (as defined by the U.S. Justice Department). And who can forget the deadly attack last fall at the synagogue in Pittsburgh?
This time we are asking for more action than “thoughts and prayers” for the victims. The time has come for American politicians to step up and meaningfully respond to the will of the majority of the people and stop pandering to the desire for profit and greed from the NRA and gun lobbyists. In a recent poll conducted by the Center for Public Affairs (March 2019) over 60% of Americans believe that gun laws need to be more strict. Over 90% believe that full background checks on the purchase of firearms are reasonable and necessary (Quinnipiac University, June 2017).
Yet, Moscow Mitch (so named because of his refusal to fully acknowledge Russian interference in our elections) doesn’t seem to get it. He declined to bring back the Senate from its summer recess, to address the issue worrying that someone would score political “points”.
He’s apparently giving an inch – promising action on the proposed “Red Flag Law,” which seeks to take guns out of the hands of people who may be a danger to themselves or others.
The Red Flag Law is important, for sure. But there is more that can be done, namely comprehensive background checks on gun purchases, closing the gun-show loophole, limiting magazine size and drastically improving mental health services.
Action doesn’t stop with McConnell or his GOP colleagues in the Senate, including Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). (Toomey apparently supports Red Flag Laws but sees little, if any, difference between assault weapons and “ordinary hunting rifles.”). We ask that our congressional and state representatives: Congressman Dan Mueser, Russ Diamond, Frank Ryan, Sue Helm and Mike Folmer to put aside partisan politics and voice their support for responsible gun legislation in PA as well as supporting existing federal legislation passed in the House and proposed in the Senate to strengthen background checks and ban assault rifles as they were from 1994 – 2004. (The 1993 CNN/USA Today Gallop Poll reported that universal background checks were supported by 77% of the American public.)
The President, himself, has a role beyond signing such vital legislation into law. He has to tone down his divisive rhetoric and become the Commander in Chief, not just for his narrow base of supporters but for all Americans.
Commonsense gun-safety laws are our only hope of ending the scourge of mass shootings in America.
The message to our elected officials that represent the people in Lebanon and in Washington is clear. Do something. No more thoughts and prayers. No more good people on both sides. No more encouraging hate and division. We have the chance to stand up, make a difference and protect the American citizens from this clear and present danger to our lives our children and our loved ones.
Call or write Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (202) 224-2541 and demand that he bring H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 that was passed in the U.S. House to a vote in the Senate.
Call or write Senator Pat Toomey at (202) 224-4254 and ask him to cosponsor S. 42, The Background Check Expansion Act and S. 66, The Assault Weapons Ban of 2019.
The Lebanon County Democratic Party maintains these principles and ideals which direct our local party’s goals and mission in our home community.
Workers’ Rights a. We support fair wages and benefits for all workers. b. We encourage responsible economic development.
Environmental Protection and Preservation a. We support environmentally friendly initiatives, policies, and development. b. We will protect all residents’ rights to clean air and pure water. c. We support the preservation and protection of our natural resources. d. We will be good stewards of our local ecosystem.
Civil Rights and Fairness a. We pledge to speak out when we see people treated unjustly. b. We support access to affordable healthcare for all. c. We will work to ensure all veterans, service members, and their families are treated fairly and respected for their service. d. We will encourage and protect peacebuilding. e. We support common sense gun legislation. f. We support the rights of people of any color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, birthplace, age, disability, and genetic information and oppose discrimination on the basis of any of the above reasons. g. We support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions. h. We believe the criminal justice system needs to be reformed so that no individuals or groups are unfairly and unjustly punished. i. We believe the separation of church and state is of vital importance to our democracy.
Community Resources a. We pledge to support public schools so all children have access to safe, free, quality pk-12 education. b. We will work to make higher education and career training affordable for all who desire it. c. We will work to maintain quality care and support for veterans, service members, and their families. d. We support first responders, community aid workers, and organizations who aim to maintain civil liberties for all county residents. e. We support infrastructure that allows equal access to all residents.
Voters’ Rights a. We will work to ensure all citizens have access to vote. b. We hold our county responsible for election integrity. c. We will develop and support active leaders and elected officials who have principles and integrity. d. We will hold policy makers accountable for their actions. e. We require transparency in politics.