On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Grand Traverse Democrats were joined by friends at the Civic Center Park for their Annual Potluck Picnic in the Park. The speakers included the two Democratic candidates running to challenge Rep. Jack Bergman for the First District in 2018. Dwight Brady addressed the group on the theme of Big Ideas, i.e. clean energy initiatives, government supported two years of community college education, and single payer health care for all. Matt Morgan stressed relief for Working Families with education and training for our modern economy, full funding for public education, health care for all, and wage inequality.
Present members of the Traverse City Commission, Tim Werner, Michele Howard, and Gary Howe spoke of their continued commitment to the residents of Traverse City and their optimism going forward. Candidates running for Commission seats were GT Dems member Jeff Leonhardt, who spoke of his experience as an educator and commitment to public education, and Brian McGillivary. Chris Cracchiolo, GT Dems Chair introduced three former Chairs, Diane Ketola, John Snow, and Lynn Larson, honoring GT Dems history and continuity. The youthful team of Abdul for
Governor were present as were members of Team Morgan including his wife, Angie.
In addition to the speakers, members brought dishes of potato salad, baked beans, tasty salad creations and casseroles, in addition to a delicious array of desserts. Robert DeGabriele and Joel Casler grilled brats and burgers which were enjoyed by all. Special thanks go to Robert for organizing the successful event and all the volunteers who helped set and clean up, greet picnic goers, and offer Gerrymandering petitions for signature. Treasurer Len Kline and his wife Connie reported that over $650 in donations were collected. Thanks to all for a lovely day in shared fun and solidarity.