State Committeewoman's Newsletter

Mary Ann Russell

Mary Ann Russell
St Lucie County State Committeeman

  • May 2017 Newsletter

    Dear Fellow REC Members:

     
    This past week I attended the RPOF Quarterly Meeting.  Unfortunately due to family obligations and the memorial service for Maureen Tubello, I was unable to stay for the Saturday seminars and meetings.  
     
    I drove over to Tampa on Thursday afternoon so I could attend the RNC Committeman Dinner with Peter Feaman and approximately 50 other State Committeeman and Woman and County Chairs. The dinner was held at the historical Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City which was established in 1905.  It was a great opportunity to mingle casually with many of the SCM/SCW and County Chairs. The food was delicious and our host, Peter Feaman was gracious as always.  
     
    On Friday I attended the following events:
     
    How to Run an Effective REC Meeting.  JC Martin, the Parliamentarian for the RPOF hosted a very informative event on meeting management.  Many topics were discussed such as organization, delegating and assigning tasks,clarifying authority, leaving the tasks to the chairs of the committees, voting requirements, preparing the agenda, and maintaining control of the meeting and adhering to the agenda of the meeting, need to call or not call roll and generally how to accomplish the most at every meeting in a reasonable period of time.  I will be discussing this topic with everyone at our Steering Committee meeting on May 6th.
    Media Training:  What you Need to Know  – I thoroughly enjoyed this seminar.  The presentation was excellent and very informative.  The presenters discussed how to be the most effective in getting your message across during a TV interview, radio Interview or print interview. Three key points to giving a successful interview are be prepared, be on message and be assured.  The one point they continued to return to time and time again throughout the seminar was SSIR (state support illustrate and restate your message), always be prepared (you cannot prepare enough), know the subject matter and have statistical facts to support the subject matter.   
     
    How to Win Non-Partisan Elections – This was probably one of the most informative seminars of the morning and much of the topic was on how an REC can support and assist a candidate in winning a non-partisan race.  In non partisan races, the candidate is not allowed to state his or her party affiliation.  However, as REC members we are not bound by the same rules and we can certainly make it well know which candidates in non partisan races are republicans and which are not.  Our school board races are non partisan and we will have a couple of school board seats up for election in 2018.  This is one race that we truly need to have good republican candidates and then make sure we get the word out as to which of those candidates are Republican.  Thomas Piccolo used an excellent power point during his discussion. He is willing to share the power point presentation and I immediately emailed him before the seminar was over asking him to forward me a copy of the presentation.  It will be a very useful tool for our REC members to use in helping our candidates in upcoming non-partisan races.  
     
    After lunch I attended the following:
     
    Digital Engagement Committee.  As our State Committeeman, Anthony Bonna is co-chair of this committee, I will let him report on this meeting.
     
    Small Business Engagement Committee –  Discussion was held about setting up a Republican Business Council and making sure that small businesses know that Republicans are friendly to them.  Discussion was held on the difficulty of getting business owners to come out and state they are Republican as many do not want to lose business from non-Republicans and in today’s contentious political climate many business owners prefer to remain neutral.  As an REC we need to identify Republican business owners and then patronize those businesses.   One thought I had after attending this meeting is whether St. Lucie County should set up a Small Business Council and will discuss this at our Steering Committee meeting on May 6th.   
     
    Women’s Engagement Committee – Susan Dolan and I are co-chairs of this committee.  Our goals are engaging female millennials, engaging more women and registering more women as Republicans.  It was determined that social media is the best way to engage millennials, as well have getting the millennials involved by connecting with a charity that is meaningful to them, such as domestic violence, gang violence, bullying. It was also suggested that we reach out to the Junior Leagues in our counties.  We discussed the possibility of hosting a state wide social where we would skype in a strong Republican woman leader to address the various groups during the coordinated social.  While it is difficult to accomplish much during a one hour meeting every quarter, I will be in touch with those on our committee to schedule periodic conference calls so we can further our plans and determine how we can accomplish our goals.   And I will keep you updated on our progress.
     
    SCM/SCW Caucus –   After the opening of the meeting and dispensing of the formal business of the caucus “Open Mic” was held which is many times a very effective way to learn new ideas from the SCM/SCW of other counties.  In one instance one SCM suggested that in order to get around the rule of not supporting one Republican candidate over another in a contested primary, the REC could hold a straw poll and let the voters of that county decide which candidate they find to be the strongest.   I was also surprised to learn that our county is not the only county that has experienced issued with a past chairman.  Matter of fact one of the SCM who spoke about the issues they were going on in their county addressed the very same issues we have faced during the transition and rebuilding of our REC.  What I took away from this was that we can never again allow only one person to have absolute control of our Facebook page, Domain name, etc.  It is very important to have multiple individuals as administrators on a Facebook page and website and it is equally as important to have By-Laws that address these matters during a change of leadership.   
     
    Following the open mic comments, our RNC Committeeman, Peter Feaman addressed the caucus and as always gave a very heartfelt, upbeat and uplifting address.  Peter provided the caucus with several statistics of the state of Republican leadership throughout the country.  He has offered to share those statistics with me and as soon as I receive them from him, I will forward them to all of our members.  
     
    I know Anthony attended some interesting seminars on Saturday and I am sure he will report on them shortly.  
     
    I look forward to seeing you on May 9th.  In the interim, if you have any questions or want additional information about the various seminars I attended, please do not hesitate to contact me.