Fifth District Democrats reach out in various ways

Fifth District Democrats were reaching out, on a number of levels, during their latest monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 16.

Holding an on-site letter-writing campaign to grab Congres-sional attention about national security concerns, FDD leaders also urged fellow Democrats to encourage more Farragut and West Knox County Democrats and Independents to become politically active.

The gathering also heard from party activists seeking positions within Knox County Democratic Party leadership.

Party activists and guests, numbering about 25, were encouraged to use writing paper pads and pens to write letters to U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R-Utah], House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, during its meeting in Rosarito’s Mexican Cantina off Lovell Road.

Linda Lawson, FDD co-representative for KCDP, pointed to concerns about new President Donald J. Trump, a Republican, “And the White House and the relationship with Russia and all the surrounding questionable things that makes us wonder whether our country is truly secure or not.”

The letters are intended to emphasize to Chaffetz, “We are concerned about the lack of attention being devoted to what is happening at our White House … the Republican Party in Congress is responsible for holding the White House accountable to ethics and the standards that our country requires for governing,” Lawson added. “’We ask that you please do your job and exercise oversight over the things that are happening.’ … The security of our country bothers me.

“Today I was reading there was a Russian ship 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut.”

One military veteran, having lived in various places across the United States and the world, said about Tennessee, “This is the reddest state I’ve ever been in.”

However, among those looking for “like-minded” Democrats in the Farragut area, one meeting attendee told of gathering about “a young mom, she lives somewhere in Farragut. Two weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, she did a Facebook post. She wanted to meet like-minded friends either on Facebook or in person.

By the next afternoon there were 751 comments.”

Another attendee with knowledge of the postings added, “From that group they’ve broken into groups and they had to divide West Knox [County] into three groups it was so large.”

That presence was reflected at the polls among Fifth District Knox County voters during the most recent local, state and national election results, according to Brad Duckett, FDD co-representative. “Even though we lost, still, in the west, there was a significant [Democratic candidate vote] growth in the four precincts we have,” he said. “… The gap has actually narrowed.”

“We know there’s a lot of building and new people moving into this area,” Lawson added. “… It’s a chance for us to try and persuade people, to reach out.”

Emily Gregg, secretary of KCDP, gave a short address pitching her candidacy to become its new chair. County Democrats will elect new officers during Biennial KCDP Reorganization Convention Saturday, March 25, in CWA building, 1415 Elm St. in Knoxville.

Linda Haney, KCDP vice chair, gave a short address seeking support to remain vice chair.

Lisa Plawchan, seeking to replace Lawson — who is stepping down — as Fifth District co-representative, also addressed the gathering.

Duckett said Fifth District Democrats plan to be represented in 2017 Farragut Indepen-dence Day Parade.

Commenting on FDD participating in last year’s Farragut Independence Day Parade, “We got some very interesting responses,” Duckett said.

Residents of Village Green and Concord Hills were among those on hand last Thursday.