Newsletter for Oct 14, 2021

In this Newsletter:

Message from the ChairWe are more than our opinions
GWCDP NewsOctober Breakfast meeting in the books!
Welcome to our first intern, JaDasia Mitchell!
Denise Waldrep accepts role as Director of Voter Engagement
Upcoming Elections & Voting RightsCandidate information for County Council District 5
ACLU sues SC over redistricting process
Our CommunityMission Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness
Piedmont Tech & SC Works Job Fair
News & NoteworthyBiden-Harris Administration’s announce detailed policies in support of HBCUs
Legislative UpdatesChamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon

Message from the Chair

I have had the profound privilege to be a member of the “Racial Justice League”, a group founded by Donald Burton, local activist and president of Dream Builders. This group of volunteers has exploring ways to promote Conversation, Education, Collaboration and Action for racial justice in our community.

I want to give special credit to the recent contributions to this effort made by Rev Alexis Carter Thomas, whom we had the pleasure of interviewing at a previous Virtual Breakfast Meeting.

One of the insights she helped bring to our group is that even though we came together under a common cause, we still have differences in opinions among us. Before we can consider ourselves strong enough as a group to discuss racial justice out in the community, we had to first develop stronger bonds between ourselves and get to know each other beyond just our political and social beliefs.

In one exercise, we share stories about our mother’s mothers. We got to know each other in terms of a personal history, generational journeys that led us to where we are today! Before we tackle difficult topics on race, gender, love, religion, and so on, we had to first get to know and respect each other as humans. Failure to do that means we only see each other in terms of soundbites or social media posts. And when we do that, we end up inserting our own preconceptions to who people are and lose the opportunity to truly get to know them.

We have tough conversations ahead and if we are to have any chance of making progress and finding common ground, we need to develop strong relationships that can survive a difference of opinion..


October Breakfast meeting in the books!
On Saturday, Oct 2, the GWCDP held its monthly Breakfast Meeting at the Morris Chapel Baptist Church. Video of the proceedings have been uploaded to our YouTube channel if you were not able to make it. You can also click on the images below to watch a particular segment.

GWCPD Chair, Bill Kimler, provided updates about the wildly successful Floyd’s Fish Fry & Cookout featuring Mia McLeod, Joe Cunningham’s visit to Greenwood, and testifying about SC House Redistricting

Tom Melson, candidate for Greenwood County Council, District 5, spoke about his campaign to the members of the GWCDP.

Sloan Griffin, candidate for Greenwood County Council, District 5, also spoke about his campaign and vision for the district.

John Kraljevich, Chair of the York County Democratic Party, shared his experience running for State House in 2018, piloting the Register 46 Project, and the rapid response behind the Travis Price arrest incident over the summer.

The GWCDP also recognized George Swindell as the October Volunteer of the Month for his years of service on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and for his extraordinary efforts to make the 1st Annual Floyd’s Fish Fry & Cookout a success. Thank you for all you do, George!

Welcome to our first intern, JaDasia Mitchell!

We have recently partnered with Lander University to host an internship program for students looking to gain real-world experience with campaigning, issue research, digital communication, and data analysis.

We’re excited to announce that JaDasia Mitchell, a senior in the Political Science program, will be joining us this semester as our first ever intern! She comes from Charleston, SC and also serves as the president of Lander Spectrum, the student Gay-Straight Alliance. She also actively worked on the Elizabeth Warren and Floyd Nicholson campaigns in 2020.

Welcome aboard, JaDasia!

Denise Waldrep accepts role as Director of Voter Engagement

We are over the moon to share that Denise Waldrep has rejoined the GWCDP Executive Committee as the Director of Voter Engagement!

Denise has been a very active member of the Party and, as a former candidate herself, understands the importance of voter registration drives, reaching out to “lost” voters, and ensuring that information about voting rights and deadlines is communicated to all.

Upcoming Elections & Voting Rights

Candidate information for County Council District 5
For those who live in Greenwood County District 5 (see map) there is an important Democratic Primary Election on Tuesday, Oct 26 from 7 am to 7 pm.

Information about the three candidates who have filed to run are below. Please read about them and feel free to contact them if you have questions. Then make sure to vote on Oct 26!

Ron Davenport

phone: (864) 227-8691

Tom Melson

Facebook: Tom Melson for GCC District 5
Instagram: tgmelson
phone: (864) 388-0857

Sloan Griffin

Facebook: Sloan.Griffin.3956
phone: (864) 344-2872

ACLU sues SC over redistricting delay
The Hill reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the state chapter of the NAACP on Tuesday filed a law suit against South Carolina over a months-long delay in the decennial redistricting process that the groups say is harming voters.

The ACLU made the following statement on Twitter:

We’re suing South Carolina over their redistricting process, which largely avoided public input and has left electoral districts wildly out of proportion just months before election season.

The SC state legislature abruptly adjourned without passing new maps, which are drawn from the redistricting process following the census.

The legislature has suggested instead it will pass new maps when it returns sometime in December or January. This means there won’t be enough time for a court to evaluate the maps before the deadline for the 2022 primary elections.

Our Community

Mission Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness
This Saturday, we would like our Democratic Party members to support the Women’s Missionary Society of St. Paul’s AME Church in a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.

Where: St. Paul’s AME Church
4222 Cokesbury Rd, Hodges, SC 29653

When: Saturday, Oct 16, 1 pm

What: Participants will walk around the church 7 times in support of those fighting breast cancer and in memory of those who have passed. Come in a pink top, jeans… & mask up, please! We ask that you donate money in an amount equal to you shoe size – so bring the largest shoes you have in the house! All funds will go to the Breast Cancer Unit in Greenwood.

Call Wanda Moore, our Community Care Movement Director, at 864-554-5702 if you have any questions!

Piedmont Tech & SC Works Job Fair

Piedmont Technical College (PTC) and SC Works/Upper Savannah once again are partnering to host a Job Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Medford Family Event Center in Greenwood.

Among more than 50 high-profile employers at this event will be Impresa Building Systems of Greenwood SC, LLC, an affiliate of Impresa Modular, which just last month announced plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Greenwood County, creating 180 new jobs. 

Read more about this event on Piedmont Tech’s website.

News & Noteworthy

Biden-Harris Administration’s announce detailed policies in support of HBCUs
From the White House came the following announcement last week:

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a proud history and legacy of achievement. In the face of discrimination against Black Americans by many institutions of higher education, HBCUs fostered academic excellence and created pathways to opportunity for Black students throughout our Nation… the Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized and delivered historic levels of investment in and support for HCBUs.

Vice President Harris, a graduate of Howard University, is the first HBCU grad in the White House. Read further facts and details behind the plan at

Legislative Updates

Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon

From the Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce:

The Annual Legislative Luncheon will be Friday, October 15, 2021, at the Harris Baptist Church, 300 Center Street, Greenwood, SC.

On behalf of the Greenwood SC Chamber Board of Directors, we would like to extend you an invitation to this event so that our members can discuss current issues and connect with our elected officials.

Lunch will be served promptly at 11:30 a.m. with networking followed by panel discussion. Please note we welcome questions to be sent in advance.
Submit and email it to There will not be an open forum of questions from the audience on this day to stay within our time limit.

Our Panel of Elected Officials include:

  • Senator Michael W. Gambrell
  • Senator Billy J. Garrett, Jr.
  • Representative John R. McCravy, lll
  • Representative J. Anne Parks
  • City of Greenwood Mayor Brandon Smith,
  • Greenwood County Chairman Chuck Moates
  • County Manager Toby Chappell
  • City Manager Julie Wilkie

This event is open to all our members and to the public, the entry fee is $25.00.
Please register in advance.

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