Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, the Mat-Su Democratic Party District caucused at the meeting rooms and dining room of the Glacier Canyon Grill, by the Parks Highway, in Wasilla.
Registration was in full swing by 9:00 a.m. About 65 people from legislative districts 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 participated.
Mat-Su Democrats' Chair Pat Chesbro conducted the business aspects of the overall meetings. In both the morning and afternoon sessions, we broke into work groups by legislative district. I chaired District 13, with the addition of some precincts from District 12, which stretches from Valdez to North Pole to north Palmer.
During our luncheon break, Sen. Begich called our caucus, as he had called others in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Kenai. After his pep talk, he accepted questions. When Sen. Begich stated that "single payer is off the table during 'reconciliation,'" some in the crowd began chanting "Single payer Now!"
After Sen. Begich rang off, Alaska radio, TV and internet commentator, Shannyn Moore spoke for about 25 minutes on what makes it difficult for Sen. Begich to be able to be flexible as a politician in Alaska, and about building a movement in the Valley around issues that ring with commonality across party lines.
Shannyn was at her humorous best, throughout. I'm fascinated by the knowledge she keeps on accumulating about so many important issues in Alaska. She also seems to have an anecdote from her life or from the lives of people she knows that can illustrate the problems brought out by any issue, almost any question. She is becoming one of Alaska's great story tellers.
Here we are hashing out resolutions and proposed changes to our local bylaws and to the Alaska Democratic Party Plan, for consideration at the upcoming (May 7, 8 and 9) Alaska Democratic Party Convention in Sitka.
Not the 1,000 people we had at our last caucus in February 2008, but a very good showing, with at least a few people from each district.