South Dakota Progress is off and running. Following an initial brainstorm meeting last month following the disappointing midterm election, sixteen activists interested in electing Democrats to local and legislative offices gathered Saturday, December 6, in Rapid City (and by phone) to formally select their leaders and approve their plans for educating and supporting future Democratic candidates.

South Dakota Progress named the following officers:

  • Chair: Tasiyagnunpa Livermont
  • Vice-Chair: Katrina Wilke
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Darlene Langan
  • Communications Director: David Hubbard
  • Parliamentarian (the coolest job in any meeting): Curt Pochardt

After some recruiting, South Dakota Progress will elect a nine-member board in 2015. That board will have two East River seats, two West River seats, two Indian Country seats, and three at-large seats. One at-large seat will be reserved for a registered tribal member.

In its initial conversations, South Dakota Progress considered creating four PACs dedicated to different regions: statewide, East River, West River, and Indian Country. Simplicity took over Saturday, and members decided one PAC for all campaign finance activities is plenty for now, until the group starts rolling in big dough.

SDP members agreed to send a delegation to the Central Committee meeting of the state Democratic Party this coming Friday and Saturday at Oacoma. The group will caucus Friday night and invites all Democratic Party officials to participate. SDP will also seek five minutes on the formal party meeting agenda to report on its activities.

The meeting also produced SDP's first contribution, $100 from the original facilitator of the discussions that led to SDP's formation, Bajun Mavalwalla.

Members will set a firm date for their next meeting after they see what comes out of the state Democratic Party meeting this weekend. The group tentatively plans to meet in Sioux Falls the weekend of January 3.