Will’s Birthday Message

At the CDP Executive Board meeting in Oakland, I had the opportunity to have some heartfelt conversations with Kevin de Leon — our party’s endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate.

Democrats for Equality,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes today.

When I ran to be President of San Diego Democrats for Equality, we set out a mission to continue our status as the largest Democratic club in San Diego County.

Never in my wildest dreams was it possible to have the success our club has had in the last 2 years.

The elections of Georgette Gomez and Cori Schumacher in 2016 proved that our club could make the difference — be the difference. Today, it’s unfathomable to envision a political landscape without these two incredible LGBTQ elected leaders.

This year, we have a number of opportunities to impact the regional landscape, and I wanted to take the time on my birthday this year to highlight our endorsed LGBTQ candidates (thus far) for November’s election:

In fact, we can make history with all of our candidates.

Craig Milgrim, our endorsed candidate for San Diego Community College in District C, would be the first LGBTQ candidate elected to the San Diego Community College District Board. Craig is a community college professor in Grossmont, and helped his students found a campus LGBT club in 1994 where he’s served as their faculty club advisor.

Together, we can win these local elections across San Diego County, and build a formidable, progressive bench that will pay dividends — not just for our club, or our Democratic party — but for local public policy for decades.

Finally, a friendly reminder about our next club meeting on Thursday, August 16th. We’ll be meeting at 7:00pm inside the Joyce Beers Center in Hillcrest.

In Solidarity,

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality

Pride 2018 Thank You!

Democrats for Equality,

Wow — what a crazy, colorful last couple of days!

If you didn’t get a chance to check out the front page of Sunday’s Union-Tribune, you’ll notice our Pride contingent is prominently featured in all its’ amazing glory.

BIG THANK YOU to club member and organizer for the Scott Peters campaign, Charlie Brown, for organizing and leading our parade efforts this year!

Clearly, nearly all of our endorsed candidates showed up and marched loud and proud. Thank you to all of our amazing candidates and fellow Democratic clubs for marching with us this year — we promise next year will be event better!

Also, another BIG THANK YOU to our board member Rickie Brown for taking the lead of our booth at the Pride Festival. Our club members and a number of campaign volunteers helped staff the booth this year. Thank you to Brian Polejes and Edwin Lopez, as well as Temika Cooke for helping us out this year!

It wasn’t easy with a number of us in Oakland over the weekend for the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board meeting, but we made it work — and ended up on the front page of the Union-Tribune, so we’ll call that a win!

Also, another shout out to our annual Pride Kick-Off — it was an amazing success! This year, we partnered with the Association of Cannabis Professionals and IBEW Local 569. Thank you everyone who turned out — it was one of our best kick-off events for Pride ever!

Special thank you to the amazing staff and servers at FruitCraft! If you’ve never been, please treat yourself to an amazing location and fantastic wine selection — highly recommended!

Special shout out to our event sponsors…

Ruby Sponsor: IBEW Local 569

Platinum Sponsor: Association of Cannabis Professionals, San Diego County Building Trades, and SEIU Local 221

Gold Sponsors: State Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Congressman Scott Peters, and Assembly Majority Whip Todd Gloria.

In Solidarity,

Ryan Trabuco
Vice President for Resource Development,
San Diego Democrats for Equality

Solidarity, Success, and a Solicitation

Club members Dr. Jen Campbell, Nathan Fletcher, Vivian Moreno, and Monica Montgomery celebrating their success with friends, family and supporters!

Democrats for Equality,

It is really easy for us to look at Tuesday’s results and be disappointed about some of the candidates who did not prevail in the primary but in truth we have much to celebrate!

Of the 42 races we took positions on in the primary election 36 of those races, or 85.71%, of races were settled in our favor. Now with 220,000 ballots yet to be counted this may change but (possibly in more in our favor) the reality is that for members of the San Diego Democrats for Equality we stuck to our motto: Our Members Make History!

Some of the highlights from that evening:

  • A San Diego Democrats for Equality member has advanced into the General Election of every single San Diego City Council seat up this year: including Dr. Jen Campbell, Monica Montgomery, Tommy Hough, and Vivian Moreno.
  • Club members Rep. Scott Peters, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Asm. Todd Gloria, Asm. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, and Trustee Kevin Beiser each won massive super majorities in their respective re-election bids.
  • Club members James Elia, Sunday Gover, Tasha Boerner Horvath, each advanced into their respective state legislative General Election
  • Club member Nathan Flecther came in first place in his bid for San Diego County Supervisor, District 4
  • Club member Matt Brower won his primary to advance into the general election in Superior Court Judge, Office 37
  • There were 19 club members who were on the ballot this primary, of which 14 have advanced to the general election!

I cannot overstate how big of a deal that is.

I am not even sure there is a Democratic club in California that can claim that many members who have achieved that level of success!

From reaching tens of thousands of voters, to registering thousands of new voters, from empowering a new generation of Young Democratic leadership, the San Diego Democrats for Equality have been at the forefront of Democratic Politics and now that the primary is over, we need to prepare our war chest for the coming fight in November.

It is Pride month and for those of you who remember, we moved to an annual membership cycle. This means that it is time to renew your membership! We have two fundraisers coming back in which you can do that:

  • On June 16th, you can join us to celebrate DNC Member, SDCDP Chair Emeritus and DFE Member Emeritus Jess Durfee’s 60th birthday. All contribution will include your membership renewal for 2018! You can get tickets here!
  • On July 12th, we will have our annual Pride Kick-off Fundraiser. 2018 renewed members can attend for the very affordable rate of $10! You can purchase tickets here.

Should you be feeling extra generous any contribution large or small is greatly appreciated as we approach the general election! Upgrade your membership to help us continue making history! You can do that here!

As we head towards the primary election we can afford no less than solidarity. The San Diego Democrats for Equality will work hard to reunify our party after the primaries. The hard work of de-escalation, outreach and reunification starts today.

I am in, I hope you are too!

Re-join, up your membership, contribute, the fight ahead is ours to win!

In Solidarity,

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality

GOTV! Primary Election is Tuesday!

Democrats for Equality,

I know what it’s like to lose.

To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail nonetheless.

As canvassing turns the legs to jelly.

I ask you, to what end?

Dread it. Run from it. Election Day arrives all the same.

This weekend, get-out-the-vote operations are happening for many of our endorsed candidates. If you feel the need to lace up your walking shoes and pound the pavement, NOW is the time to do it.

According to PDI — Statewide, Democratic ballot returns are 11-points above Trump’s Republican Party, and the San Diego region is pacing as the second-highest number of returns outside of the Bay Area. Locally, Democrats are fired up and voting early!

In fact, in the hotly contested 49th Congressional District, Democratic ballots appear to be outpacing the GOP in early ballot returns. This is great news for our candidates: Doug Applegate and Sara Jacobs!

Since there is enough overlap with the 36th Senate District, 76th Assembly District, and the 5th Supervisor District, this will likely be great news to our endorsed North County candidates also: Marggie Castellano (SD36), Tasha Boerner Horvath (AD 76), and Michelle Gomez (Supervisor D5).

For those who have not voted early — we need to get them out to the polls. Also, feel free to direct your friends and neighbors who have not voted to our club’s Voter Guide.

On Election Day, polls open at 7:00am and will close at 8:00pm.

The San Diego County Democratic Party will be hosting an Election Night Party at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego (910 Broadway Circle). The festivities will not start until after the polls close.

On Saturday, June 16th, our very own DNC member Jess Durfee is turning 60! We are hosting a 60th Birthday Party celebration and fundraiser for the club at 1:30pm at the beautiful home of Bob Nelson in Hillcrest. Tickets can be purchased here.

Finally, on Sunday, June 17th, we will be gathering of a celebration of life for our longtime member and dear friend Fentress Ott who sadly passed last month. The celebration of life for Fentress will be from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the home of Bruce Abrams (3130 2nd Ave., San Diego, 92103).

In Solidarity,

Ryan Trabuco
Vice President for Resource Development,
San Diego Democrats for Equality

No Club Meeting This Week

Democrats for Equality,

There will not be a club meeting this week.

We will be back in full-swing next month on Thursday, June 21st at Joyce Beers Community Center, 7:00pm.

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a Hillcrest Town Council-sponsored LGBTQ Debate at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Thank you to all of our club members who attended! For those of you who did not get a chance to attend, check out the full debate video hosted here.

In Solidarity,

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality