Join us for the Flag Day Parade!

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Join the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club and march with La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent, club members, elected officials and Democratic candidates in the 2018 La Mesa Flag Day Parade!

The theme is “Riding the Big Blue Wave,” so be sure to wear blue. And don’t forget sunscreen and a hat. Staging for the parade begins at 8am and the parade kicks off at 10am.

We’ll meet at the BLUE staging area around the La Mesa Community Complex on Memorial Drive at La Mesa Blvd. Parking will be tight, so either car pool to the drop off point or park along La Mesa Blvd., from Jackson Drive West, and walk to the Community Center.

More information about the parade: La Mesa 2018 Flag Day Parade

June meeting: Learn about the border wall and recap the 2018 elections!

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Join the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club Wednesday June 6 for a double-header event at our monthly meeting.

First, we’ll hear about the border wall: Why it’s a bad idea and what else we should be doing.

The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club welcomes Dr. Larry Herzog to our June 6 meeting. A noted professor in the city planning program in the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University, he is also a consultant and writer specializing in planning, sustainable development and urban design in the United States, Mexico and Latin America. In a March 2018 op-ed published in Voice of San Diego titled “Trump’s Border Wall Is a Symbol – And Symbols Make Terrible Policy,” Dr. Herzog asserts that the “money needed to fulfill the president’s campaign promise would be better spent on cross-border infrastructure that boosts trade and facilitates the economy.” In fact, Dr. Herzog continues, the “wall is a metaphor for shielding America from outside threats and uncertainty.” Dr. Herzog will expand on this theory and discuss how building a wall, in combination with continued xenophobic rhetoric and pressure from Trump on NAFTA, will adversely affect our billion dollar commercial and social compact with our numerous Latin American allies and trading partners. Also an accomplished photographer, Dr. Herzog has participated in group and individual exhibitions in Mexico and the U.S

Next, we’ll recap the midterm primary results.

We’ll also have the honor of hearing our own Vice President for Political Action, Chris Pearson, recap the Primary results and give us the “whys and wherefores” about the winners and losers and who survived through to the November General Election. Several of our endorsed candidates will learn their fate by primary results alone, so this should be an interesting discussion.

The LMFDC meets the first Wednesday of every month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just north of University Avenue. Our meetings begin with a half-hour social at 6:30 p.m. followed by the business meeting and speakers beginning promptly at 7 p.m. See you there!

Our Upcoming “Dunkin’ Hunter” Panel Just Got Better!

We’ve got two great new additions to “Dunkin’ Hunter: Replacing a Corrupt Congressman,” our all-star panel Wednesday – that’s just a couple of days away!

Michael Smolens, political columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, will discuss the political climate of the race.

And we’ll be joined by Matt Strabone, an attorney specializing in dark money and misuse of campaign funds. Matt is endorsed by the club and the county Democrats as a candidate for county clerk/assessor/recorder.

Also on the panel: Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrats’ challenger for Hunter’s seat, and Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, a Democratic Party activist who became famous as lead singer of the oldies group, Sha Na Na.

Should be a great panel – looking forward to seeing you there Wednesday evening at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive. Social time starts at 6:30 pm, and programming at 7 pm.

Previously: At Our May Meeting: Dunkin’ Hunter: Replacing a Corrupt Congressman

At our May Meeting: Dunkin’ Hunter: Replacing a Corrupt Congressman

Join us at our May 2 meeting, where we’ll talk about beating Duncan Hunter Jr., San Diego’s embattled 50th Congressional District representative, who comes with a host of ethical and financial irregularities. Hunter is up for re-election this year, and the club is backing a strong Democratic contender – La Mesa native Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s one of our speakers at the meeting.

Our other speaker is Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, a Democratic Party activist who became famous in the 1960s and 70s as led singer for the oldies group Sha Na Na.

Hunter’s troubles started in 2016 when the Federal Election Commission (FEC) began examining his use of campaign funds for personal expenses such as video games, flying a rabbit on a plane, tuition, family vacations and much more.

Although Hunter has reviewed his campaign spending and reimbursed his treasury more than $60,000 in expenses he identified as “personal, mistaken or undocumented,” he is currently under a Department of Justice criminal investigation for alleged campaign finance violations.

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Ammar Campa-Najjar

Campa-Najjar left La Mesa as a boy, along with his family, for the Gaza Strip in 1998. When war made it unsafe to stay, he returned with his mother and brother to San Diego. After graduating from San Diego State University with dual bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and psychology, Campa-Najjar joined President Obama’s reelection campaign as Deputy Regional Field Director, overseeing Southern California’s grassroots operations from a headquarters in San Diego. During the Obama Administration he served in the Labor Department’s Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration.He is a staunch advocate for unions and small businesses owned by minorities, women, immigrants and veterans. Citing bipartisan support for the Registered Apprenticeship job training initiative, Campa-Najjar has called on the Trump administration to expand and strengthen the program. His platform also includes Medicare for All, passing a clean Dream Act, investing in renewable energy, and overturning Citizens United.

Find more information about Campa-Najjar’s campaign can be found at www.campacampaign.com

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Jon “Bowzer”Bauman

Bauman, our other speaker, is the uncle of Eric Bauman, the chairman of the California Democratic Party.

Born in Brooklyn, Bauman started attending The Juilliard School at age 12 and graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College in New York.

In 1969, he partnered with several Columbia classmates to create Sha Na Na. They sang at Woodstock, and later starred on a syndicated television variety series with the same name. Bauman’s character, “Bowzer,” was a blustery, dimwitted skinny-armed greaser in a muscle shirt.

In real life, Bauman is no dope; he campaigns regularly for Democrats in special elections and endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008. He has also worked as a spokesman for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and recorded wake-up calls for employees of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Bauman is co-founder of the group Senior Votes Count, a political action committee designed to elect leaders to protect and advance the rights of older Americans.

In the 2016 presidential election, Bauman endorsed Hillary Clinton and campaigned across the country.

He is currently President of Social Security Works PAC, a national organization working to elect candidates who support protecting and expanding Social Security benefits. Bauman lives in Los Angeles with his wife Mary.

Find out about Bauman’s performing career at Bowzer’s Rock N’ Roll Party.

Join us Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30 pm for social time, 7 pm for programming, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.

 

Russia probe, human trafficking to highlight April 4 meeting

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By Yahairah Aristy and Jeff Benesch | La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

A great, informative meeting is planned for members and guests of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (LMFDC) on Wednesday, April 4. Because of the full program that evening, we’ll be opening the doors a half-hour earlier than normal at 6 p.m. and beginning our meeting at 6:45 p.m.

Regular viewers of MSNBC will know former U.S. attorney and current professor of political science at UCSD, Harry Litman, from his frequent appearances as an expert commentator on the Trump White House, and the Mueller investigation into financial shenanigans and pre-election and post-inauguration irregularities among West Wing comrades. Litman will spend his time with us diving into the deep details of the dysfunctional Trump administration and the mixing of family businesses and executive authority.

Are there impeachable crimes being committed? Did Russian interference alter the outcome of the election? Will Robert Mueller divulge more discovery of indictable offenses? Litman will attempt to bring us up to date on all the latest information from this ever-changing Washington imbroglio.

We will follow the Litman address with a panel exploring an explosive local and national issue that affects every community around us: human trafficking. What used to be called “the world’s oldest profession” is now a local $800 million criminal enterprise run by well-organized international gangs that exploit and enslave over 8,000 of the most vulnerable populations among us.

In San Diego alone, there are over 100 gangs involved in the commercial exploitation of people. Human trafficking is a tragedy that affects immigrant communities, the poor, the young and the most susceptible, and involves millions of dollars in illicit monies paid to cartels and crime syndicates that have become adept at recruiting and transporting “assets,” hiding the money, and abusing and manipulating the innocent. We’ll learn from experts how the victims of this formerly “victimless” crime are rescued and treated, how johns are processed in a forgiving legal system, and how this criminal enterprise is fought in the legal and justice system, here and elsewhere.

The human trafficking panel will include the chair of the County Commission on the Status of Women and Children, Maria McEneany. Joining McEarney will be Jamie Quient, president and managing attorney of Free to Thrive, a nonprofit organization that empowers survivors of human trafficking.

Also joining the panel will be our endorsed candidate for District Attorney, long-time Public Defender Genevieve Jones-Wright. Jones-Wright has made it her mission to not only bring justice to the victims of human trafficking, but to break the cycle of crime by working collaboratively and innovatively with public safety entities to intervene early and prevent criminal enterprises from exploiting and hurting our most vulnerable communities.

Several other key figures in the battle against the blight of human trafficking will also be on the panel.

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets the first Wednesday of every month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just north of University Avenue in La Mesa.

Meetings are open to all members and guests, and are free, but we encourage all attendees to support our candidates and programs by joining the club for as little as $30 per year. For more information, visit lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com.

— Yahairah Aristy is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Reach them at [email protected].