Local Democrats Celebrate at Gala
The members of four Democratic clubs gathered Saturday night in Northville.
The members of four area Democratic clubs teamed up Saturday to host the Second Annual Democratic Spring Gala.
Hundreds of people attended the event at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville. The keynote speaker for the event was Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI 9).
Members of the Northville Democrats, Plymouth Democratic Club, Livonia democratic club and the Community Democrats which covers Canton and other areas, say that membership is growing – even in areas like Northville and Plymouth which tend to be heavily Republican.
"Most of us got enthused about the Obama campaign," said Plymouth's club president Abe Payapilly abou the club's origins. "Now we have 70 paying members, which is quite huge. And not only do we have 70 paying members, we have 70 active members."
He said members are active in educating others about government issues, such as the firefighters issue in Plymouth Township, as well as community service.
Northville is one of the biggest of the local Democratic clubs. Resident Irene Piccone remembers when the club had seven members years ago. Now they are up to nearly 150.
"I'm very happy but we still have to keep on going," she said. "We cannot relax. I hope that we can grow and grow and I hope that we can leave a country that's much better than what we have today."
Canton Township resident and vice president of the Community Democrats Jan Weslin said her group has more than 100 members.
"But we're always looking for new ones especially our younger people," she said. "Canton is changing right now. Before it was heavily Republican. Now it's more like 50/50."
Weslin, like others at the event, said that such groups are important to furthering the cause of the Democratic Party and for garnering support for Democratic candidates locally.
She added, "All politics are local. That's where everything starts."