BY JAMES HARPER
About 80 Volusia County Democrats were present last week as Vonzelle Johnson conducted his first meeting as chairman.
Johnson is the first Black to be elected to lead the county’s Democratic Party. He told the Daytona Times this week that several people him approached him about running for the position.
“Each conversation entailed that organizational members were in search for a strong leader who could motivate the base. Ultimately, the decision was made because with each conversation and each second spent analyzing the current state of the local party, I understood my next assignment was to lead and provide more structure to our local party,” said Johnson, who also is a DeLand city commissioner.
Two Blacks in top positions
Some of the priorities of Johnson’s administration include establishing a permanent headquarters, constructing an effective voter outreach strategy and database, constructing an effective donor strategy and database, and placing a higher value on committee work.
Johnson said the fact that he and his vice chair Emma Brinkley are African-American speaks volumes about the area’s Democratic Party.
“Organizational members voted in a leadership slate which they felt would most effectively advance the organization. Regardless of ethnic background, organizational members want forward progress and results,” Johnson said.
During last week’s meeting, Johnson emphasized the importance of having a permanent place to conduct the business of the organization.
Treasurer Kevin Win-chell revealed a plan to fundraise for the space and naming the space the Dr. T. Wayne Bailey Volusia County Democratic Executive Committee Headquarters.
The new officers include Danielle Neetz, secretary; Joan Lane, state committeewoman; and Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, state committeeman.
The next general body meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 25. Meetings start at 7 p.m. and are located on the Daytona Beach campus of Daytona State College, UCF Auditorium, Room 150.