If you haven’t been to a Henrico Dems meeting before, it can seem a little intimidating, especially if you are coming by yourself. We totally understand because, well, we’ve been there. But each meeting is full of information, ways to get involved, and some great people from Henrico and beyond. We’re rolling back the mystery and letting you know what to expect so you can be entirely comfortable when you attend your first meeting.
First of all, it can be a little tricky to find the Administrative Boardroom. While we will do our best to provide signage, stopping someone and asking as they walk in can be very helpful. As far as parking goes, the Courts Building parking lot is best. The Administrative Boardroom will be to your right, behind the parking deck. If you happen to park in the Administrative Building parking lot, go to the left to get to the Administrative Boardroom. View a map here (.pdf). Look for location No. 4 on the second map.
When you get into the boardroom, you’ll find plenty of friendly faces and a check-in table towards the back of the foyer. It’s important to check in at each meeting because we need a headcount to make certain votes and decisions (a quorum if you want to get fancy about it). You’ll be able to pick up a membership application or pay your annual dues at the table as well. Exec Committee members and Magisterial District Chairs will be wearing name tags. Feel free to introduce yourself and ask them any questions you might have — and that goes for most folks at the meetings. We’re a pretty friendly bunch.
A couple of other things to keep in mind before the meeting officially starts: Keep a look out for candidates and local elected officials in the lobby. They are there to answer questions and check in with the community. So again, feel free to introduce yourself and have a conversation. Depending on the time of year, there might also be campaign workers with clipboards gathering petition signatures or signing up volunteers to canvass voters, host a meet and greet, or provide other candidate support.
As 7:30 approaches, go ahead and find a seat the Boardroom. Generally, the meeting starts promptly at 7:30, but if you’re late, just slip into the back row. There is no assigned seating, so feel free to sit anywhere. Occasionally, we have a photographer, Ed, taking pictures for use on our website and in social media. The primary focus will be on the speakers at the podium, but if you are concerned about being in a photo please let Ed know. He’ll be the one with the camera.
Monthly meetings usually follow the same format – the exceptions being the Annual Picnic (Spring or Summer), Volunteer/Candidate Appreciation Event (November), and Reorganization and Leadership Elections (December of Odd Years). We follow Robert’s Rules of Order, so the whole committee will be asked for aye or nay votes at different points in the meeting.
The typical Henrico Dems meeting agenda is as follows:
- Call to Order, establish quorum, appoint a parliamentarian, accept agenda
- Approval of minutes
- Introduction of guests and election of new members
- Report of Executive Committee Actions
- Treasurer’s Report
- Standing Committee Reports
- 4th Congressional District Committee, 7th Congressional District Committee, and Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats reports
- Business Items
- Items added at the start of the meeting or discussion items
After the meeting ends, leadership members are available to answer questions and discuss ways to get involved. Be sure to connect with the Magisterial District Chair for your area (Brookland, Fairfield, Three Chopt, Tuckahoe, or Varina). They are a good resource and will be reaching out to you about Magisterial District meetings and opportunities to help turn out the vote and serve as poll greeters as Election Day approaches. If you’re interested in any of the other subcommittees (communications, fundraising), go ahead and let the chairperson know. They’ll be happy to fill you in on how to get involved and how you can make a difference and help elect democrats.
Welcome to Henrico Democrats!