EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 15, 2013

North Andover Dems get ready for Issues Convention in July

NORTH ANDOVER — Phyllis Ann Jones is psyched.

Jones, 41, was among a dozen local residents who were elected as delegates to the Democratic Issues Convention, scheduled to take place in Lowell on July 13.

Massachusetts Democrats have an issues convention during the odd-numbered years to put together a platform and take stands on various questions. During the even-numbered election years, the Democratic State Convention endorses candidates for office.

“I really do enjoy the issues convention,” said Jones, who has been an active Democrat since 1980, when she worked on Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign. She was all of 9 years old then.

Since then, she has attended several issues and endorsing conventions, she said. Asked if there is a particular issue that she feels strongly about, she said she is eager to support policies that will “relieve the economic pressure put on the middle class.”

Jones is an attorney who is now working as a legal secretary — so she can work a 9-to-5 schedule and have time for her two children, Carly, 9, and Zachary, 4, she explained.

Carly has already attended a number of political conventions with her mother and Jones hopes that she will be able to go to this year’s gathering.

“She really enjoys seeing the political process at work,” Jones said.

Jones and the other delegates were elected by a caucus of North Andover Democrats held Wednesday night at the Stevens Memorial Library. Any North Andover voter registered as a Democrat was eligible to participate.

Besides choosing delegates to the Democratic Issues Convention, which will convene in the Tsongas Arena, the local Democrats elected Tricia Melvin as chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee. Melvin led local Democrats in the 1990s.

Brian Kirby, who had been serving as chairman of the committee, had to step aside because of professional responsibilities, according to Phil DeCologero, who chaired the caucus.

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