Club Meeting This Thursday at 7pm!

Democrats for Equality,

Yesterday, I joined LGBT activists in taking a stand against the Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center being built in Mission Valley. This project has been less than transparent, threatens to further congest an already heavily trafficked area, violates several codes and could worsen the environmental health of the region. In addition to that, Morris Cerullo is a proponent of gay conversion therapy, a practice which was outlawed in California and has been discouraged by medical professionals.

Because of the City Attorney’s guidance that council members make their decision based on specific criterion I and other activists restrained our comments to the environmental and traffic impacts. In a stunning display of mendacity and hypocrisy the council member from District 2, Lorie Zapf, decided to attack our discretion and suggested that we were attacking the “free speech” of religious groups and suggested that no one had called her office about this issue. A statement we know to be false. Councilmember Zapf has had a checkered past with the LGBT community including once saying “I absolutely want to keep homosexuals out of public office and not be allowed to influence our schools, textbooks, altering marriage, children and on and on.”

Here is the deal: Gay Conversion Therapy is not a matter of religion it’s a matter of science. The American Psychological Association condemns the practice as “unscientific” and “unethical.” There is also no real basis for the practice in the religious texts of any of the religions, and certainly not Christianity. The idea that Councilmember Zapf would call into question the motives and integrity of LGBT community leaders concerned about a person who promotes harmful, unscientific, unethical and illegal practice building a legacy project unto himself that hurts our environment and increases the horrible situation with traffic in the center of our region, is astonishing. It also calls into question whether or not the various members of the LGBT community may have been to generous in accepting her apology for her misguided views. (Oh and just moments ago she criticized the efforts of club member and Council Member Georgette Gomez in her efforts to resist the Trump Border Wall!)

We will consider this specific race on November 16th but one thing is certain: We must defeat Council Member Lorie Zapf in 2018. She is currently exploiting a dubious legal loophole to run for an unprecedented 3rd term in office which clearly runs counter to the intent of voters who implemented the two term limit.

Anyways, here is a reminder for our meeting this week. We will be meeting this Thursday, September 21st at 7pm at the Joyce Beers Community Center. Here is the Agenda:

7pm Call to Order
President’s Report
Consideration of Friendly Incumbent Endorsement: Chula Vista Mayor
Consideration of Friendly Incumbent Endorsement: CA Assembly AD 79
Consideration of Friendly Incumbent Endorsement: CA Assembly AD 80
Consideration of Friendly Incumbent Endorsement: US House CD-52
Consideration and Forum: US House Congressional District CA-50
Board Elections: Nominations Committee Report, Nominations and Elections
(2 Board Member At Large Seats)

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, Assemblymember Shirley Weber, Congressman Scott Peters have all been confirmed for their friendly incumbent Q & A.

Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez has already fulfilled her requirement to appear before the club.

We have a LOT to do so don’t forget to join us THIS THURSDAY at the Joyce Beers Community Center.

In Solidarity.

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality

Carl Luna: Governing Amidst the Chaos

The Lake San Marcos Democratic Club was pleased to host Dr. Carl Luna, professor of political science at San Diego Mesa College, at the September monthly meeting. He spoke on an engaging and most relevant topic: “Democracy in America: Governing Amidst The Chaos”. Dr. Luna described a grim picture of the current state of affairs in our very divided democracy, yet a framework of hope for the future was also realistically discussed.

“The Ugly”

Dr. Luna began by exclaiming, “Governing is becoming increasingly problematic. We are leaving a mess for our youth.” He first described “the ugly”. Democracy has been experiencing a decline around the world. Since the tragedy of 9/11 democracy has been under increasing challenges and is regressing. Global leadership is slipping away from the U.S. and is being handed to Germany, China and Russia.

As seen in the ‘Economist’s Intelligence Report”, the “2016 Map Of Freedom” has the U.S. falling for the first time from a full Democracy to a flawed Democracy. The U.S. now ranks 21 out of 200, falling in between Japan and Italy. Since 2001, 72 countries have seen the decline of democracy. And this trend is not just a result of the current political environment but has been going on for years and is attributed to “an erosion of confidence in government and public institutions over many years.” As a result, the idea that “Amateurs are better than professionals” in politics has taken hold and given us the election of Trump in the U.S., Brexit in the UK, and Macron in France, who has not been well received.

“The Bad”

Which leads us to “the bad” – total gridlock in governing. Partisanship and deadlock is at an all time high in Congress and many citizens don’t trust Congress. A major contributing factor to this has been the practice of gerrymandering. Overall, Congress represents 350 million people but they were elected based on the voting of only a few thousand in their districts. A map of political affiliations clearly shows that Democrats need to move to small towns because the cities are overwhelmingly Democratic while rural America is very Republican.

Political scientists say the country has not been this divided since the Civil War. The 60’s were worse, but we now have diversions such as video games and Netfilx that keep the youth occupied and distracted from the activism and protests seen in the 60’s. Obama said, “Reagan was the last President to leave really big footprints.” Trump exploited the trust gap, divisions and anger and appealed to people who were angry and frustrated. And they have plenty to be angry about. Mortality is up among white Americans aged 45-54 with no college degree due to suicide, liver disease, alcohol and drugs. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no more” said Trump during the campaign.  According to Luna, Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables” statement was “the stupidest comment in the 2016 election” since many people feel left behind on both the right and left.


What are the consequences? Confidence in institutions has eroded. Trust in government in 1958 was measured at 70% while now it’s under 20%. The powerful benefit most if no one has your back as an average person. Congress is now less supported than communism in the U.S.!  The military is trusted the most and this is a dangerous trend as this is how military coup d’etats happen. People are angry and desperate enough now to create dysfunction.

Economic inequality is another huge issue for people and also contributes greatly to breeding distrust. Bernie Sanders preached it but Hillary, not so much. Even Trump said, “not everyone is getting pieces of the pie.” According to Luna, we must shift the models of production. Owners of companies such as Amazon and Google do great, but it requires government to step in over the free market. Like the “Gilded Age”, the wealthy control too much. They bet wildly and can crash the entire system. 1980’s Neoliberalism was a monomaniacal “ism” to create wealth. Free trade is good, but we need retraining for those losing jobs for all workers, both Democratic and Republican. Deregulated markets got us economic collapse and the Occupy Wall St. Movement. (Dr. Luna recommends the book “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It” by Richard V. Reeves). Our generation has rigged the system to keep it for ourselves, the top 20%, not just the top 1%.

“The Good”

Now for the good!  2020 alone will not do it. The best we can hope for is a 50/50 split in 2018. Democrats have lost so many of the states with “Political Trifectas” where the Legislatures and Governor’s office are controlled by one political party. There are now 25 states with Republican trifectas, and only 6 with Democratic trifectas ( It may take until 2030 to solve this dilemma. According to Luna, the current Democratic Party doesn’t have focus or leadership. There are too many candidates, over a dozen, being floated for 2020. It is a fractured party just as the Republican Party had too many candidates in 2016. We need systemic change!

To succeed in 2020 Democrats will need much more effective messaging. “What was Hillary’s message?” Luna asked.  “I’m With Her.”  It wasn’t about her!  On Hillary’s website, “learn about Hill and Tim” was featured rather than any policy they stood for! Karl Rove said you campaign on three things. Pick three. Better roads, better education, better jobs? Any three, just pick three. For Example: “Democrats are the party who brought you the end of the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam, and a man on the moon”.  You can’t sell it unless people are buying it and people want a call to action. They want HOPE, and that’s why Obama was successful. Hillary won the majority of white college educated women by only 2%. Trump won Americans because of socio-economic issues more than racist or evangelical.

“Change is in your hands, but people want to know that they are personally going to benefit economically” Luna explained. That is the challenge for the Democrats for 2020 and beyond.

Sep 24 – Endorsement Meeting

At this month’s general meeting coming we begin to consider endorsements for the 2018 races. This is an opportunity for you to come, hear candidates speak, and ask them questions before we commit the club’s resources to supporting their campaigns. Endorsements are not merely an expression of support for a particular candidate, but a commitment to devote our time and resources into getting them elected. With our endorsement goes volunteer hours, contributions – anything that we can do to help. Because of that, I highly encourage you to come and meet the candidates that we are considering commitment to.

The two endorsements we will consider at our September meeting currently only have a single Democrat running. The first is for School Board District B. The board Vice-President Kevin Beiser has requested our endorsement, and given his hard work as our incumbent in the position, we will consider District B at our September meeting.

Instead of holding a seat, the second race we will consider the potential gain of a seat that we Democrats have not held in years. With Dave Myers, we have a huge opportunity this cycle to elect a Sheriff that shares our values, so the club will consider the endorsement in the Sheriff’s race.


Before our meeting, I encourage you to learn more about the candidates.

Kevin Beiser:
Dave Myers:

Come prepared with questions, and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!


4:00PM – 5:30PMPointLomaAssemblyMap

<a href=”,+3035+Talbot+Street,+San+Diego,+CA&hl=en&sll=32.824552,-117.108978&sspn=1.024769,1.116486&hq=Point+Loma+Assembly,&hnear=3035+Talbot+St,+San+Diego,+California+92106&t=m&z=17%E2%80%9D%20>Point Loma Assembly

For additional info call (619) 800-5098
Directions and parking information

Social Time
Members are encouraged to get together from 3:30PM before the meeting starts, please bring whatever light drinks/snacks that you’d like to share.

After the meeting ends we suggest adjourning to the Point Break Cafe at 2743 Shelter Island Dr to continue our progressive conversation. Happy Hour is until 6:30pm.

7pm Monday Sep 18 – Resolution and Upcoming Endorsements

We will be voting on our resolution relative to reproductive rights and justice from last month’s meeting.
We’ll have a report from our endorsement committee, chaired by Doreen Mattingly, and discuss how we’ll choose our representatives for the January 2018 Pre-Endorsing Conferences.

We’ll discuss details of an event planned with the Moxie Theatre for their new production, IRONBOUND by Martyna Mayok.

We’ll also discuss an event we’re hosting on October 16th for Delaine Easton, who’s running for Governor.

Plus whatever announcements members have from the floor, for all the actions and events occurring around the county.

Monday September 18 – Social Time from 6:30pm, Meeting starts at 7pm

Social Time
Members are encouraged to get together from 6:30pm before the meeting starts.
Please bring whatever light drinks/snacks that you’d like to share.

We meet at the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans – PANA
4089 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA 92105 (map)

The building is on the south-east corner of Polk and Fairmount, just north of University. Parking is also available at the adjoining Southern Sudanese and East African Community Centers on Fairmount Ave. Bus routes 7 and 13.

Remembering Edith “Edie” Windsor

Democrats for Equality,

This afternoon, we learned that Edith Windsor passed away. She was 88.

Edith’s landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in one of the seminal moments for LGBT rights in history. Marriage equality became the law of the land.

President Obama offered some thoughts on her passing.

I had the privilege to speak with Edie a few days ago, and to tell her one more time what a difference she made to this country we love. She was engaged to her partner, Thea, for forty years. After a wedding in Canada, they were married for less than two. But federal law didn’t recognize a marriage like theirs as valid – which meant that they were denied certain federal rights and benefits that other married couples enjoyed. And when Thea passed away, Edie spoke up – not for special treatment, but for equal treatment – so that other legally married same-sex couples could enjoy the same federal rights and benefits as anyone else.

On behalf of San Diego Democrats for Equality… Thank you, Edie. Your actions helped change the world for millions. You will be missed.

I want to thank Jose Caballero and the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club for co-hosting an incredibly successful Picnic w/ Progressives last weekend. We had a great turnout of members from both clubs, as well as new folks who were interested in joining — and becoming active — in both!

We even discussed making it an annual event. The partnership between both clubs who were at once supportive of Hillary and Bernie, we recognize, can be stronger by being united for a common cause.

Also last week, we welcomed NextGEN America Founder Tom Steyer to our new club office in Hillcrest to meet and greet with our new staff, and to talk about our goals and expressed his confidence in our club and our efforts.

Our staff has been hard at work building the infrastructure for our voter engagement and registration efforts. Last weekend, we engaged in voter registration efforts at South Bay Pride. Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Padilla and our endorsed candidate for County Sheriff Dave Myers stopped by.

Reminder about our next club meeting… it’s coming up on Thursday, September 21. We will be meeting at 7:00pm at Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest. Here’s our endorsement considerations for the meeting:

  • Friendly Incumbent in Assembly District 80
  • Friendly Incumbent in Congressional District 52
  • Congressional District 50 Forum

Schedule depending, we may be entertaining Friendly Incumbent endorsements in Congressional District 53, Assembly District 79, and Chula Vista Mayor as well.

In Solidarity.

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality