(269) 588-3300


Office Location

Berrien County Democratic Party 

2517 Niles Avenue

Saint Joseph, MI 49085

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

There are MANY ways for you to become active. First, you should become a member of the BCDP and join one of our committees (or more if you wish). Then we strongly recommend that you learn what else is going on in your community by attending public meetings. Becoming more locally informed will help you become an invaluable citizen who can effectively occupy seats on boards, participate in committees, or even run for office.


Below are 6 great ways to get involved in both the

78th and 79th Districts:  

Participate and volunteer with us!

1. Attend Local our BCDP Meetings

and Join one of our committees!

- Decide what issues interest you.

- Ask questions, make suggestions

- Meet people

- Put words into actions and help protect our community.

To join, simply contact the office (269-588-3300) or view the calendar on the Home Page and attend a meeting or our open office hours.

BCDP Standing Committees

- Finance /Fundraising Committee:

Have experience raising money? We could use your ideas and time helping the BCDP raise money to further our goals. 

- Program Committee

Have experience organizing events? Scheduling? Planning? We would like to host more events but we have limited volunteers. Any assistance would be helpful.

- Elections and Organizing Committee

Have any experience participating in an election? Please consider coaching newbie candidates into the election ring.

- Communications Committee 

Have experience outreaching? We are always trying to reach out to as many people as possible so they can hear our message. Even if you're coming with no experience, your writing skills, photography skills, video skills, marketing skills, media skills etc...would be very helpful!

- Policy and Resolutions Committee

Have an interest in writing or passing policies or resolutions? Or simply have ideas that you'd like to see implemented on a wide scale? Join us!

- Membership Committee

Similar to the Communications Committee we focus on outreaching, though with a focus on finding new ways to increase and manage our membership base. If you have ideas, experience or are just plain interested, then jump aboard!

- Rules and Bylaws Committee

One of the most important committees, requiring a dedication to learning state and local political party policies. 

- Action Education 

Interested in our local schools and districts? Would you like to share your experiences? Would you like to help make changes to our education system? This is a great place and group of people to start with.

- Action Environment

Want to protect the environment using science based policies? Our Environmental Action group is always working on how to do just that; though with the environment being as large as it is, we could always use more help. Please join us!

- Action Immigration/Action Healthcare/Action Infrastructure...

These are all potential groups. If you have any interest in joining a committee, Action group or even starting your own, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Every volunteer can make a HUGE difference!

Participate and volunteer with us!

2. Attend Berrien County

Commissioner Meetings

- Find out what's happening locally

- Ask Questions, offer suggestions

- Meet people

- Consider becoming a Commissioner!

Berrien County Board of Commissioners



911 Quality Assurance Committee

911 Technical Committee

Berrien County Human Services Council

CEO Meeting

Community Corrections Advisory Board

Disaster Planning Committee

Health Board Prep

Health Dept. Well & Septic Review Board

Housing Resource Network

Local Emergency Planning Committee

MAC (Michigan Assoc. of Counties) Economic Development & Taxation

MAC- Health & Human Services

Michigan Works Improvement Committee

Michigan Works Intelligence Committee

MSU District Extension Advisory Committee

Niles Area Transportation

Pokagon New Buffalo Area LRSB

Smart Committee

Sewage Appeals Board

Southwestern Michigan Community Action Agency

Southwest Michigan Solid Waste Consortium

Substance Abuse Oversight Policy Board

Twin Cities Area Transportation Study



Area Agency on Aging

Brownfield Development Authority

Building Authority

County Public Safety Communication Center Operations Committee

Dept. of Human Services Board

Economic Development Corporation

Election Canvassers Board

Health Board

Jury Board

Land Bank Authority

Land Preservation Board

Loan Administration Board

Mental Health Authority Board

Parks & Recreation Board

Planning Commission

Public Transportation Local Advisory Council

Public Works Board

Road Commission

St. Joseph River Harbor Authority (recently disbanded as county board)

Solid Waste Planning

Southwestern Michigan Planning Commission

Trust Investment Advisory Committee

Workforce Development Board

9-1-1 Advisory Board

District 1: Dave Vollrath                            District 7: Debra Panozzo

District 2: Jon Hinkelman                         District 8: Teri Freehling

District 3: Don Meeks                                District 9: Ezra Scott

District 4: Mamie Yarbrough                    District 10: Mac Elliott

District 5: Bill Chickering                          District 11: Jim Curran

District 6: Jeanette Leahey                        District 12: Michael Majerek



Board meetings are held every Thursday morning (no more than 4 per month) at the Berrien County Administration Building, 701 Main St., St. Joseph.   Phone:  269-983- 7111  During the spring & summer months, one of those meetings each month will be held in the evening at different locations throughout the county.  Dates for evening meetings:  April 6th @Administration Bldg in St. Joseph, May 4th @ Berrien County Conference Center (in Berrien County Health Dept building), June 1st @ North Berrien Senior Center, July 13th @ New Buffalo Township Hall, Aug. 3rd @ South County Administration Bldg in Niles.


The schedule for Thursday meetings is as follows:

Committee of the Whole meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Committee meetings (Administration, Finance, Personnel & Human Services) take place from 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Regular Board meetings begin at 10:30 a.m.


The Board of Commissioners oversees the County’s business via committees – Administration, Finance, Personnel & Human Services. Each department within county government and some other outside agencies have a “parent” committee that the department head provides updates to.



Animal Control, Building & Grounds, Courts, Motorpool, Prosecutor, Public Defender, Road commission, Sheriff, Western Michigan Legal Services and 9-1-1.



Building Authority, Clerk, Information Systems, Community Development, Drains, Equalization, Financial Services, Printing, Records Center, Treasurer, Trust Investment Advisory Committee


Personnel & Human Services:

Area Agency on Aging, GIS Mapping, Mental Health, Parks & Recreation, Recycling, Personnel, Public Health, Register of Deeds, Surveyor, Veterans

3. Attend Local City/Township/Village Meetings

- Find out what's happening

- Ask questions, offer suggestions

- Meet people

- Find out who or what needs your attention!

4. Attend Local School Board Meetings

- Find out what's happening

- Ask questions, offer suggestions

- Meet people

- Become active to protect future gernerations!

5. Attend Local Public Library Meetings

- Find out what's happening

- Ask questions, offer suggestions

- Meet people

- Become active to protect our public libraries!


6. Become a precinct delegate.

- Fill out a piece of paper

- Become elected

- Meet people in your neighborhood

- Let people in your community know what's going on.