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Dems Notes a quarterly newsletter



Summer 2024

As engaged Democrats, we are super-consumers of news media, particularly relating to politics. We’re under a constant barrage of headlines. Whether we scan political blogs, the never-ending scroll at the bottom of our cable TV screens, or the front pages of newspapers, local and national, there is a sense of urgency about the upcoming election.

It’s easy to get lost in the latest polling, pundit predictions, and news about the myriad of criminal cases concerning the Republican candidate for president. To say this can cause anxiety is an understatement. 

Friends and family constantly ask me for reassurance that everything is going to be OK, that we will defeat Trump and the Trumpism enabled by the GOP. But I can’t honestly reassure them. This election is too close. Allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by the news will not help us secure victory in November. The best way to ensure that things will be OK is to stop worrying and start working! Channel anxiety into action. Here are some ways that you can step up: 

  1.  Help us build the Democratic Party by stepping up for a leadership position. Across the county, we seek to fill vacancies for committeepersons, aka Precinct Committee People (PCPs). We also are recruiting candidates for treasurer of the Cumberland County Democratic Committee (CCDC). The treasurer plays a key leadership role that is critical to our ability to raise and spend funds to further our electoral objectives. If you are interested in becoming a PCP or a candidate for CCDC treasurer, please reach out to me at
  2. Sign up to volunteer by filling out this form: Volunteer Sign Up Form. The CCDC will connect volunteers to our candidates’ campaigns. Help persuade voters to support our candidates and turn out our supporters. To ensure a free and fair election, the CCDC also needs volunteers to be poll watchers and to support our voter-protection staff. 
  3. Donate. After a successful fundraising event in May, our supporters have been giving to the CCDC at levels we haven’t seen in recent years. We are positioned to make a real investment in this election and are raising funds to directly support our candidates through a mail campaign this fall. Please consider supporting this effort and our overall operations: Donate via ActBlue


I enjoyed spending time with so many Dems at our Celebrate the Slate event in early May. Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to check out the photos from this fabulous event. Many thanks to everyone who worked hard to create so much Big Dem Energy in one place at one time.

Summer days are upon us. It’s time to take in all the fun Cumberland County has to offer, including first-class programming for children and adults at our local libraries, cooling off on hot afternoons at municipal swimming pools, visiting farmers markets, savoring hand-dipped ice cream, fishing at Opossum Lake and exploring the natural wonders of Pine Grove Furnace. 

As we roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, our candidates will be working hard. There’s so much at stake in this election, and there’s no time to coast. Our Big Dem Energy must to get us through summer blockbusters like Biden vs. Trump so we can celebrate Big Dem Wins in the fall.

Being a candidate is tough. Being a candidate in this election year is really tough. Candidates will spend the summer fund raising, door knocking, house partying, data analyzing, shaking hands at community events, sweating, wondering, worrying, having great — and not-so-great discussions — with voters, all while slathered in sunscreen. 

Let’s help them out. It’s not too early to get started. Pick a candidate or two and connect. They’ll love you for it, and we’ll all get to ride the wave of Big Dem Energy we created in May.

-Jean Foschi, Cumberland County Commissioner

PA State Committee Update

Meet the Party Leadership


Senator Sharif Street was elected to Pennsylvania’s 3rd Senate District (Philadelphia County) in 2016 and currently serves as Democratic Chair of the Banking & Insurance Committee.

Sharif began his public career as a community activist while attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as the President of the Penn Law Democrats.

While practicing law for nearly two decades, Sharif was a passionate advocate for underserved communities. He did extensive work in affordable housing and served as Chair of one of the largest drug and alcohol rehabilitation organizations in Philadelphia for 10 years.

As state senator, Sharif is committed to improving healthcare and housing access, reforming our criminal justice system, and advocating for economic development. He lives in Philadelphia.


The Honorable Peggy Grove is a community activist and philanthropist, and has owned businesses in the Harrisburg since 1979. She founded the Academy of Medical Arts and Business and owns a commercial real estate company.

She is a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and has worked on several national and local campaigns plus served two terms on Harrisburg City Council. Peggy helps children’s causes through The Harrisburg Rotary Club’s International Youth Exchange, Rotary Scholarship Committee, and numerous others.

Privately she gives scholarships through Harrisburg high schools and donates to the Harrisburg Parks Partnership, the Levitt Foundation, and The Whitaker Center, to name a few. “Helping children is what I’m all about,” she states.


Representative Scott Conklin (SR-77) is a member of the Pa. House of Representatives since 2006. He is a Rush Township resident and has been married to his wife, Terri, since 1984. They have one son, Spencer, who was born in 1987.

In the state House, he serves as the Democratic Chairman of the Gaming and Oversight Committee. He also serves on the House Democratic Policy Committee, and is a member of the Alternative Energy, Early Childhood Education and Veterans caucuses as well as several others.

Before being elected to the state House in 2006, Conklin served as Centre County Commissioner for seven years. During his tenure as commissioner, he served as board chairman and chairman of the Salary Board, Retirement Board, Employee Benefits Trust, and Board of Assessment. Other county boards Conklin served on included Elections, Emergency Communications, Criminal Justice Advisory, Prison, SuperFund Amendments Reauthorization Act of 1986-Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Finance Committee.

Conklin’s community involvement stems from his positions on various community boards and within organizations including the Bellefonte/Intervalley Chamber, Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, Centre Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, C-Net and the United Way. He is a member of the Elks, the Pomona Grange, and the Mosquito Creek and Three Points Sportsmen’s clubs. He also is a past member of the Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania.