History of Edmond Democratic Women

2017 - The Beginning

The Edmond Democratic Women began as a group of eight like-minded women in a suburban Oklahoma living room shortly after the November 2016 election, and since has exploded into a community of women passionate about changing the political outcome for the better. Like a fish swimming upstream, we are a blue force in a very red state.

Those original eight women left that November meeting with hopes of putting together a group of 35 – 40 like-minded women who could make a difference in the future of Oklahoma politics. They had a goal of sharing an email about a January meeting at Dana Shadid’s home with anyone in the Edmond area that they thought might be of a similar leaning when it came to politics. So, with only a word-of-mouth movement, fifty-two women packed into Shadid’s living room on January 23, 2017. Many were motivated to come by anger at the elected officials and the momentum that had been created by the Women’s Marches the weekend prior; all were there to learn more about this group that they hoped could make a difference in the political environment that existed. All in attendance were asked to share their hopes for a group such as this (on paper because there were too many passionate women to be able to verbally share their thoughts). With that, they set another meeting date and were charged with recruiting even more women for the February meeting.

From that January 23rd meeting to the February 12th meeting, the list of interested women had increased to 110, and after that, the list was up to 150. Word was spreading quickly about this group of women IN EDMOND, a very red community. Many came from outside Edmond because they had no such resource – or support group – in their part of Oklahoma County or adjacent Logan County. Again, all communication was by word-of-mouth only, and the newest challenge was finding a place to meet for a large group. Luckily, one of the members lived in Bradford Village (a retirement community) and was able to secure meeting spaces for a group that continued to grow with each meeting. All of the ‘infrastructure” of the organization was put in place with officers elected, by-laws written, committees created, and dues established. Excellent speakers were recruited for the meetings, and the word of a large and active group of Democratic Women in Edmond, Oklahoma (of all places) was spreading throughout the state. Speakers were ASKING to come and address our group. Committee members were actively reaching out to legislators about issues and concerns, and others were working on behalf of Democratic candidates facing elections.

As of this writing (December 22, 2020) there are over 547 individuals (men and women) on the interested list, with over 170 that have officially joined and paid their dues. This for a group that was only a dream of eight women. The rapidity of the growth has at times been challenging, but the size of the group when all together continues to be impressive and rewarding for all those who have joined.

There is no question that the timing was right for such a movement in Edmond. The founders just had no idea that there would be so many eager to be a part of it. When one of the members was asked why she joined, her response was, “This is a group that doesn’t just meet. It acts.”

This group is already making a positive impact on our community, state, and country, and they are only getting started.

2017 Officers of Edmond Democratic Women:

Dana Shadid, President
Diane Luther, Vice-President
Amy Bowman, Treasurer
Susan Leibrock, Corresponding Secretary
Rebecca Coil, Recording Secretary
Krista Jones, Parliamentarian

Committee Chairs:
Ann Cather, Co-Chair of Support
Judy Weaver, Co-Chair of Support
Wanda Collier, Co-Chair of Education
Paula Sanford, Co-Chair of Education
Kelly Ross, Chair of Communication
Linda McGuire, Chair of Advocacy
Vicki Toombs, Chair of Recruit, Select and Elect

2018 - The Story Continues

Edmond Democratic Women continued to grow.  As of this date (February 13, 2019), there were 330+ members.  In 2018, the members stepped up and worked diligently to get Democrats elected to state and national offices.  EDW endorsed nine of the candidates and provided organized hands-on support for six.  They knocked on doors, made phone calls, wrote postcards.  They heard from the candidates at forums, ranging from a forum for the Democratic candidates for Congress, Governor, and legislative offices.  EDW hosted a candidate “Meet and Greet” with all Democratic candidates for offices representing the City of Edmond or Edmond Public School district in attendance.  Through Facebook posts and emails, the members received information on candidates and issues for advocacy.  While the election results were not as hoped, EDW members were pleased that two of their endorsed candidates were elected – Congresswoman Kendra Horn and Representative Chelsey Branham.  Overall, the election provided hope to many who had been so disappointed in the outcomes of the 2016 election.

In addition to the politics of the club, members have supported local charities that serve the passions of the members, such as Project 66, UCO Food Bank, and the Regional Food Bank.  Members participated in numerous activities like the Edmond Pride Festival, the March for Our Lives, the Women’s Marches of 2017, 2018, and 2019, and the Moms Demand Action neighborhood night out event.

A highlight of the year was the continued excellence of speakers at our monthly membership meetings.  We heard from representatives of many of our partner organizations, like the ACLU and the Oklahoma Policy Institute.  We also had the opportunity to have elected officials, like Senator Kay Floyd and Senator George Young, update what was happening during the legislative year.  Other speakers shared the current status of healthcare for transgender individuals and the children and families at the US border.

In January of 2019, new officers assumed the leadership of the club.  Enthusiasm remains high for the club and what it can accomplish.  While the club's growth continues at a steady rate, the club's work continues to make a difference in our community, our state, and our nation.

2018 Officers of Edmond Democratic Women

Dana Shadid, President
Diane Luther, Vice-President
Padmaja Mehta D’Souza, Treasurer
Susan Leibrock, Corresponding Secretary
Rebecca Coil, Recording Secretary
Krista Jones, Parliamentarian

Committee Chairs:
Gwen Shaw, Co-Chair of Membership
Maria Williams, Co-Chair of Membership
Wanda Collier, Chair of Education
Kelly Ross, Chair of Communication
Linda McGuire, Chair of Advocacy
Vicki Toombs, Chair of Recruit, Select and Elect

2019 - EDW Continues to Prosper with Outreach

Filling Dana Shadid’s shoes as President was a daunting task for Gwen Shaw, who was elected to lead the board for the next two years. We were excited that EDW was featured in a New York Times video where credit was given to groups like ours in deep-red Oklahoma for getting Kendra Horn elected to US Congress in 2018. 

Members encouraged us to get involved at the grassroots level to get out the vote for the mid-term elections in 2020.  We added the new Chair of Outreach to the board to lead the precinct work and to be a liaison to the Democratic Party organizations.

During the Spring of 2019, EDW members were trained in precinct work, and many were elected to be precinct officers at the March meetings.  They were delegates to the Oklahoma County convention, and many went on to the CD5 and State Conventions.  We conducted training for all precinct officers in the Edmond area and encouraged them to get to know the Democrats in their neighborhood.

During 2019 the speakers at our monthly meetings covered topics such as ending gun violence, Medicaid Expansion, Edmond Police handling of the new gun laws, and Women, Aging, Political Power and Activism. We hosted state legislators, the county and CD5 party officers, and the state Young Democrat officers.

Our members participated in the annual Women’s March in OKC, MLK Holiday Parade, and Mom’s Demand Action Advocacy Days.  EDW sponsored the statewide Young Democrats and the Inaugural Latinex Conventions. We partnered with other Oklahoma Democratic Organizations and hosted a forum for the statewide Democratic Party candidates before the state convention elections.  We also hosted a forum for Edmond Mayor and City Council candidates for our members.  We trained our members on voter registration, gathering signatures for statewide petitions and our members registered voters at Pride events and the OK State Fair and gathered signatures to stop permitless carry and support Medicaid expansion.

EDW partnered with Dana Shadid to host an Oklahoma County Democratic Legislator Appreciation event and a social candidate recruitment.  Several people that attended ran for city and county officers during the next election cycle.  We hosted a successful member happy hour where our members could get to know others and continued the tradition of having a Christmas social with refreshments provided by the EDW board.

2019 Officers of Edmond Democratic Women

Gwen Shaw, President
Dana Shadid, Past President
Anna Stuck, Vice-President
Padmaja Mehta D’Souza, Treasurer
Paula Bailey, Corresponding Secretary
Rebecca Coil, Recording Secretary
Krista Jones, Parliamentarian

Committee Chairs:
Kathy Wallis, Co-Chair of Membership
Denise York, Co-Chair of Membership
Kathleen Wainner, Chair of Education
Kristen Lunday, Chair of Communication
Kim Moyer, Chair of Advocacy
Vicki Toombs/Liz Wilson, Chair of Recruit, Select and Elect 

2020 - COVID-19 Didn't Dampen Our Spirits or Growth

Our 282 members started 2020 with activities planned leading up to the November Presidential elections.  We had a program on redistricting and gerrymandering and hosted legislators to give us updates.  In February, EDW hosted a Presidential Campaign Forum with representatives from the five leading Presidential candidate campaigns.  Former Governor David Walters moderated the event with over 300 in attendance from EDW and other Democratic organizations around Oklahoma. We hosted a morning coffee break social and a presidential primary watch party for our members. Then our plans had to change because of Covid 19.

We were looking forward to our member and US Congresswoman, Kendra Horn being our guest and program at the March membership meeting when Covid forced us to pivot and held our first of many Zoom membership meetings instead. Congresswoman Horn inspired us to stay involved even though we might be doing it a different way this election year. 

Starting in April, EDW held Zoom membership meetings every other Monday evening through October.  We hosted our state and county Democratic legislators at each meeting to give us Capitol updates. We hosted all of the area Democratic candidates so that our members could get to know each of them. 

EDW members attended Black Lives Matter rallies and rallies for Presidential candidates who visited our state.  They registered voters at the OKC Juneteenth celebration.  We learned about the work of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, the impact absentee ballots had in recent elections, the influence of the media on public policy decisions and planned criminal justice reform.  Our county and state party chairs presented the National Democratic platform and told us how the National Democratic Convention would be held.  A leading Oklahoma researcher in Adverse Childhood Experiences told us how it affects long-term mental health.  The Edmond Police Chief discussed current policing issues.  We heard about the Governor’s plan to move the State Public Health lab to Stillwater and had an expert discuss the state of mental health in Oklahoma. A district judge explained how the Oklahoma judicial branch works.

EDW hosted a Community Conversation about Race – a listening session with black legislative and community leaders and moderated by Senator George Young. EDW members could learn firsthand the issues that our Black neighbors face and what we could do to be allies.

We hosted a Zoom US Senate Candidate forum for all Democratic candidates before the primary and invited other Democratic organizations to participate.  We hosted drive-up notary events before each election,so our members and others could vote safely from home and a Vice President debate watch party in a city park.

Our EDW Recruit, Support, and Elect committee interviewed and EDW endorsed Democratic candidates for Oklahoma County seats, State House and Senate, and the US Senate and House.  We hosted a Democrat Candidate rally for those candidates in Shannon Miller Park and hosted a rally for US Congresswoman Horn for the Edmond Community.  We had EDW liaisons for each endorsed candidate, and our members helped the campaign by call and text banking and knocking on doors.  We celebrated the Biden/Harris victory and have hope that our efforts are helping to turn Oklahoma County Blue!

Our membership co-chairs planned Zoom “EDW Connect” sessions so that members could meet in small settings and discuss common interests.  They led successful membership drives over Facebook with “2 for Blue” and “Ask Me Why I am an EDW Member”. They even held a virtual Christmas and birthday party over Zoom.  Even though the pandemic forced EDW to change plans for the year, it allowed us to have speakers from any location around the state.  Former Democratic House Leader Scott Inman told us that we are the largest Democratic organization in the state other than the State Party and challenged us to stay active by continuing the work we have been doing and to get even more involved in registering new Democratic voters. Because of the successful membership drive, statewide awareness of the work we were doing, and the interest in making a difference in the 2020 elections, we ended the year with 554 members.

2020 Officers of Edmond Democratic Women

Gwen Shaw, President
Dana Shadid, Past President
Anna Stuck, Vice-President
Padmaja Mehta D’Souza, Treasurer
Paula Bailey, Corresponding Secretary
Rebecca Coil, Recording Secretary
Krista Jones, Parliamentarian

Committee Chairs:
Kathy Wallis, Co-Chair of Membership
Denise York, Co-Chair of Membership
Margaret Enright, Chair of Education
Kristen Lunday, Chair of Communication
Liz Wilson, Chair of Recruit, Support, and Elect
Kim Moyer, Chair of Advocacy

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