The first fundraiser of the year for the Butler County Democratic Party was a virtual Happy Hour to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Head of the Finance Committee, Brittany Maloney, welcomed the attendees, who were mostly dressed for the occasion in green attire with hats, scarves and fun glasses. We then received a mixology lesson from Doug at Trinity Pub. Attendees received a swag bag ahead of time, with the ingredients for a Jameson, Ginger and Lime. He also demonstrated an Irish Sunrise. Trinity Pub will be open for St. Patrick’s Day if you’re looking for a place to celebrate.
State Representative Brigid Kelly (representing Ohio’s 31st House District in the Cincinnati area) joined to update us on what’s going on in the State House. Kelly serves on the Finance Committee, the Federalism Committee and is the Ranking minority member for the State and Local Government Committee. Key legislation that is currently in the works includes:
- Legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. This is one of the most transformative things for our communities. More money in people’s pockets will be more money that people can spend at businesses.
- Legalizing sports betting in Ohio. The goal is to provide a safe and legal way for people to participate in sports betting in Ohio, while providing more money for Ohio’s schools.
- Repealing House Bill 6. The Ohio Senate recently voted unanimously to repeat the nuclear subsidies that are one of the central components of the bill, which is the focus of an ongoing federal corruption probe.
The state budget is also under review. Governor DeWine proposes items for the budget, and then members of the House review, make adjustments and provide testimony in support or opposition of elements of the budget.
The attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions, which ranged from redistricting, renovations on the Brent Spence Bridge, and school funding issues. We thank Representative Kelly for joining us for our happy hour. You can keep up to date by following her on Twitter @brigidekelly. She also recommended the group to follow @allontheline_oh for more information on redistricting.
Brian Tooley entertained the group with stories of St. Patrick, and he and many other attendees shared their Irish family crests.
BCDP Chair Brian Hester thanked the group for their attendance, and took a few minutes to talk about vaccines and about the coming year. Many in the group have already received at least their first vaccine, and he encouraged people to tell their stories and make sure they are communicating with others. Brian is looking forward to the group being able to meet in person again when it is safe to do so. And he reminded us that the fall campaigns, as well as the 2022 Governor and Senatorial races are not far away.
The group ended the evening with some open conversation about what we’re looking forward to post-Covid (seeing family, hugging grandparents, gathering with friends, live music) and St. Patrick’s Day traditions (corned beef, Irish stew and green beer). The finale was two songs from Jameson’s Folly, a local Celtic band. They performed Danny Boy and a traditional Irish dance song. You can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JamesonsFolly.
Overall, a great time was had by all in attendance. We’ll be announcing our next fundraiser soon, and we look forward to meeting together when it safe to do so.