The Yavapai County Democratic Party (YCDP) serves as the regional headquarters for democratic action, from petition drives to organizational meetings for protests to Get Out The Vote efforts for candidates.
Operating at 1555 Iron Springs Road, Prescott, the office is staffed by volunteers. YCDP schedules an evening meeting the second Thursday of each month (except July) at the Adult Center of Prescott.
“It is more important for the YCDP to have a presence here than it is for many Democratic groups statewide, because we are the ground zero resource in a very red area,” said Toni Denis, chair of the YCDP.
The group features statewide candidates as speakers, and the county’s high turnout for elections helps to make a difference for them.
In 2017, the YCDP expanded its executive board, revised its logo and website (yavdem.org), recruited candidates for all races in Congressional District 4 and state Legislative District 1, established volunteer campaign training and set goals.
The Democratic Women of the Prescott Area (DWPA) promotes the YCDP’s efforts, but hosts its own luncheon meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The DWPA gives $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors and to women candidates to attend the Emerge Arizona program.
Annual events include the YCDP’s summer picnic and the Truman Clinton Dinner, at which Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was speaker in 2017. The DWPA hosts a holiday party, social and charity events, including a book drive for Taylor Hicks Elementary School.
The DWPA gives the Jerry Emmett Award, named after its 103-year-old founder, to an active Democrat each year. Gwen Calhoun was the 2017 recipient.
The YCDP gives the Hope Independence Award, named after the small towns where Presidents Bill Clinton and Harry Truman grew up. Barney Blashill – longtime coordinator of the annual summer picnic – won in 2017.