Lending a Hand

Did you know there are currently 11,000 survivors of politically motivated torture living right here in San Diego?  This is a frightening but real statistic that is being compassionately addressed by a local non-profit organization called Survivors of Torture International (SURVIVORS).  Since 1997, this amazing organization has been helping survivors and their families recover from their traumas through a holistic program that includes mental health, psychiatric and social services, as well as medical case management.  SURVIVORS empowers these vulnerable individuals to reclaim the strength and vitality that were stolen from them by brutal dictators and governments and allows them to become self-sufficient and healthy members of our community.  In addition, SURVIVORS educates professionals and the public about the plight of torture survivors and their families, and advocates for the abolition of torture throughout the world.

Every year, SURVIVORS holds a fundraising luncheon, called Helping Survivors Heal, to raise money to continue its mission.  This year, more than 400 people attended, and the Coronado Democratic club was well represented at a table for 10, organized by Susan Enowitz.  The luncheon was held on September 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel Hazard Center.  Those who attended enjoyed a delicious lunch and were inspired by how SURVIVORS is creating a safe haven for torture survivors and helping them rebuild their lives.  Most memorably, we heard inspiring and heartrending stories of resilience from some of the survivors themselves.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  All of the money donated at the luncheon will go directly to SURVIVORS’ programs and its clients.

To learn more about SURVIVORS, visit the website at www.notorture.org.

Members Requiring Rides

If you need transportation to our meetings or events please let us know. Although we seldom have evening  events some people find night driving difficult.   Please do not hesitate to call Frank King at 992-8929, or any other board member and we will provide transportation for you.

Board Meetings

Members of the club are always welcome to attend our Board meetings. This is an opportunity to meet and interact with board members and also a chance to gain an insight into the issues facing the club.  Of course your comments and suggestions are always welcome.  

Our next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5th    in the library’s small conference room opposite the computers. Since the conference room has limited seating please call Frank King at 992-8929 or email him at [email protected] to reserve your seat.

President’s Message – November 2017

Last week, The Atlantic published an essay by Norm Ornstein entitled “American Kakistocracy.”

 Kakistocracy is a term that was first used during the 17th century. Derived from the Greek, the word means, literally, government by the worst and most unscrupulous among us. By extension, such a regime would be run by the most inept and least qualified people available. This word faded into virtual oblivion over a century ago. I consider myself to be well-informed, though I must admit I had neither read nor heard that term. 

The election of President Trump changed all that. Not only does the term “kakistocracy” fit perfectly the regime headed by him; it also applies to most of his appointees. Just look at the Trump cabinet members and White House staffers who’ve been caught spending taxpayer dollars to charter jets to fly to places where cheap commercial service was available. So far, only serial offender Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign; others remain in office.

The President seems not only to have chosen the least qualified individual for each Cabinet position (the generals may be an exception); he has chosen individuals who don’t believe in the mission of the departments they head. They share a singular agenda: destroy all of President Obama’s accomplishments, including those, such as the Affordable Care Act, that directly benefit Trump’s core supporters.

I thought I’d share a little about my background as this is my first message as club president. I was born in Switzerland to my Dutch mother and American father of Irish descent. We came to America in 1949 (I was six months old); my mother overstayed her visa and wasn’t able to gain permanent resident status for nine years, during whichshe endured numerous deportation hearings and even surveillance by INS agents. It is not necessary to ask what I think about Trump’s immigration policy.

I grew up in East San Diego and Spring Valley, served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from San Diego State University. I financed my education with VA benefits and employment in construction as a union ironworker, during which time I became politically active. After completing my MBA, I got married and changed careers, entering the mortgage banking industry, working for large and small firms including one I co-owned for 20 years until I retired.

My wife Joan (Coronado High ’71) and I are blessed with four children, all married and living in the San Diego area, and six grandchildren. We look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary in May. 

Thank you, fortunate to meet some wonderful, thought provoking people who have enriched my life. I intend to still be a part of the club and look forward to sharing more good times with all of you.  

Frank King

Nov 4 – General Meeting with Todd Gloria

The Club’s next general membership meeting will be held on Sat., Nov. 4 in the Winn Room of the Coronado Public Library. The meeting will begin with coffee and light snacks at 10:30 am; the business portion will be called to order at 11:00 am.

Our program for November will feature our Assembly member, Todd Gloria. He will discuss the Legislature’s accomplishments for 2017 and his agenda for 2018. The presentation will include time for questions and answers.

Also scheduled to appear is Matt Brower, who is challenging censured Judge Gary Kreep for Superior Court. He will introduce himself  and seek our endorsement.

We look forward to a most interesting program, and to recognizing the important work that our representatives in Sacramento do every day to advance the interests of all Californians. 

– Frank King


Our President, Ron Mandelbaum is resigning his office as of September 16, 2017 the date of the next General Meeting. In accordance with our bylaws the board has appointed our Vice-President, Frank King to the office of President and Tom Bernitt to the office of Vice-President effective as of that date.

These appointments must be ratified by the membership, which will be sought at the September 16, 2017 meeting.