Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris at the San Diego Community Choice Energy Forum


[This post contains video, click to play]

This is a very interesting video of a speech given by Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris at the San Diego Community Choice Energy Forum. Mayor Parris, a Republican, talks about how green energy has turned his city around. It’s drastically reduced unemployment, crime AND even saved the city money! Plus, they are doing their part to stop climate change.

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2016 May – Democratic Party

Topic of the Talk: Democratic Party by Jess Durfee

Jess Durfee is a Democratic National Committee Member, Chair-Emeritus of the San Diego County Democratic Party, Lead-Chair of the Voter Services Committee of the California Democratic Party; California State Fair Board Member; Qualcomm Stadium Advisory Board Member for the City of San Diego.  He has been engaged in Democratic Party politics and LGBT activism for over 29 years, the past 20 of those in San Diego.  He is the only elected member of the DNC in Southern California who does not live in Los Angeles County.

He is one of California’s 20 elected Democratic National Committee members and he discussed how State party is structured and how it ties into the local Democratic clubs.  The Democratic National Committee runs the party in between conventions.  During the 4 days of convention the delegates run the party.  There will another election for 20 Democratic National Committee members (10 female/10 male) in June at the Executive Board meeting.   California has the most Democratic National Committee members and New York has only 13.

The California Democratic Party conducts endorsements, adopts a platform, promotes the party, and appoints leaders to the assembly.  It consists of DNC members, an executive board, constitutional officers, standing committees, county central committee reps and assembly district reps.

The San Diego County Democratic Party is divided into 4 areas, north, central, east and south.  They give reciprocity regarding candidate endorsements.  Area recommendations are almost always followed.


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2016 April – Academic Advancement for Latinos

Topic of the Talk: Academic Advancement for Latinos by Dr. Linda Gonzales

Linda Gonzales is the CEO of the non-profit New Directions for Academic Advancement. She wants to get more Latinos involved in the political process.

The best way to encourage the Latino vote is to explain how you can help their children, and what they want most for their children is literacy. Literacy is the number one issue mentioned by Latino voters and a global problem for kids. Latino voters need to know we care about them, not just their votes.

She discussed and provided statistics about how literacy affects both kids and adults. Reading keeps people out of prison. We need better pre-K and more reading specialists. Sometimes the Latino population is not fully aware of the services that they can access, and a fear of deportation may prevent them from pursuing them. She provided a handout describing what citizens can do by helping local schools and libraries and volunteering, and what parents can do to help their children.

Gonzales is also running for Oceanside City Council, which needs more women and Latino voices.

About Dr. Linda Gonzales:

She is the founder of New Directions for Academic Advancement, Inc. She earned a doctorate from The Claremont Graduate School and San Diego State University. She also holds two master’s degrees, one in multicultural education and a second in public administration, and an undergraduate degree with emphasis in Economics from Chapman University.

Dr. Gonzales has the distinction of being the academic architect of all California district academic turnarounds. Her forty-five years of public service include roles as superintendent, deputy superintendent, assistant superintendent, director, and elementary principal. She also taught and worked at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels. As a bilingual teacher, she used her native language, Spanish, and her personal knowledge of English acquisition to meet the needs of students. She chaired the California State Board of Education Committee for English Learners for Governor Gray Davis.

Her reputation as an advocate and fighter for children, women and minority rights began in San Antonio, Texas where she trained under Ernesto Cortes within the Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) part of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). She worked as part of the voter registration project in the campaigns of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez and President Lyndon Johnson. In California, Dr. Gonzales connected to the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and the Cesar Chavez United Farm Workers (UFW). In spite of her academic credentials and career success, Dr. Gonzales is best known for her advocacy for the rights of the poor, children, and women.


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2016 March – ACLU

Carl Crider of ACLU San Diego & Imperial

Topic of the Talk: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by Carl Crider

About ACLU:

ACLU, nonpartisan organization was founded in 1920 to protect our civil rights. Helen Keller was one of the founders.

No government support, a half million members, staffed offices in all 50 states, work in courts.

Supports our right to protest, reproduction right, immigrants’ rights, voting rights, women’s rights and more.

George H. W. Bush has been the biggest recruiter for ACLU. (*During 1988 presidential campaign he made ACLU an issue as a far left organization. The attack recruited new ACLU members.)

Financed by grants, contributions including the membership, donated legal service and bequests. (Refer to page 14 at ACLU Annual Report 2015)

Some Notable Cases:

The ACLU was the only major organization to protest Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.

In 1967 the ACLU represented an interracial couple in a landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia case and won.

The Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9/11. It’s to intercept terrorists. (It made easy for FBI to collect our private data. Less than 1% of cases were terror-related, drug-related were 76%.) ACLU knew their phones were tapped and challenged National Security Agency’s phone surveillance for violating our right of privacy. Edward Snowden proved ACLU had been indeed phone tapped.

In 2013 ACLU challenged the fact one medical company with a gene patent has the exclusive right on human genes. The Supreme Court ruled for ACLU and no businesses are allowed a gene patent.

President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action in 2014 was to provide millions of immigrants with temporary relief from deportation. (Some states challenged the action and the Supreme Court will hear the case in April 2016 and a decision is to be announced in June 2016.)

ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties (website: :

11 out of 40 staffers are attorneys. Constitution Day has been celebrated in 500 classes in the counties and also has 200 speeches about the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In 2009 an eleven year old female student in Ramona produced a video program featuring Harvey Milk for a class assignment. The principal forbade her to show her program at the school. Her furious mother contacted ACLU local office for help. Then the school district required all the parents to sign for a private presentation during a lunch break. She ended up presenting her program in the classroom, but on the last day of school.

In 2009 three high school students on their way to school were detained at a trolley station. They didn’t have a proper residency document with them and were deported to Mexico. ACLU requested Homeland Security to readmit the youths to the states.

A number of immigrants were deported illegally; ICE has been pressuring them to sign a “voluntary return.” In 2013 the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of some Southern California immigrants’ rights. (The government agreed to reforms of the “voluntary return” – the detainees will be provided detailed information, access to a phone, legal service, and more.)

In Oct 2015 Oceanside Unified School District decided to close down Jefferson Middle School and approved a charter school on the site. (Jefferson is predominantly Latinos. Some current students will not be qualified for the admission to the charter school due to the academic and audition requirements; Public schools should provide equal opportunity for all students.)  ACLU urged the district reconsider the decision. (Jefferson Middle School is listed at the school district as of April 2016.)

The ACLU offers a mobile app to film and download any scene we might believe someone’s civil right might have been violated. The app site:

About Carl Crider:

A registered Democrat  since he became old enough to vote. He was raised in Arkansas. His father, a city councilman in Arkansas City, proposed to send black students in their community instead of busing them to a black school outside of the county. The proposal wasn’t approved.

A member of the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club, has owned a small business since 1989, and has lived with the economic challenges of managing such a business.

He is committed to equal rights for all, protecting the due process of all Americans and all who visit our country, protecting affordable health care, equal pay for equal work, a woman’s right to control her own health care choices, creating a viable guest worker program, and support immigrant rights.

He has been active with the ACLU, the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen, and Women’s Empowerment International. Prior to starting my company, he was the Executive Director of Social Advocates for Youth in San Diego, working in areas of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. During that time he served on the board of the California Child Youth and Family Coalition, lobbying for progressive legislation in juvenile justice.


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2016 February – Gun Violence Prevention

Steve Bartram on Gun Violence Prevention

Topic of the Talk: What can we do About Gun Violence?

“If not now, when?” “If not you, who?” These are some of the questions we need to ask about preventing gun violence.  There are 32,000 gun deaths per year, 89 gun deaths a day in the U.S.  One half of those deaths are suicides.  While the mass shootings (4 or more people) get most of the attention, gun deaths which don’t get the press coverage are much more common.

The Brady Campaign wants to keep guns out of the wrong hands and stop gun tragedies.  Is gun violence prevention reaching a tipping point and passing over the threshold?  President Obama rolled out executive orders to regulate guns.  He gave a speech in which he acknowledged the 2nd Amendment as the law of the land.  He then named the victims of gun violence.  He also acknowledged that the Declaration of Independence guarantees “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  If you sell firearms you need to get a license and do a background check.

The president’s executive action was good, but he didn’t close the private gun show loophole.  The problem with executive actions is that they are only as good as the president and will not last if the next president is a Republican.

There are myths which are used to justify the lack of gun regulations including: criminals won’t obey gun laws; “a good guy with a gun is the answer”; It’s a mental health issue; the 2nd Amendment is sacrosanct, though Heller never says this; “Obama wants to take our guns!!”; current gun laws need to be enforced.

Background checks save lives – we’ve reduced gun violence by half in California.  We can cut gun deaths in half in the U.S. by 2025.  What can we do?  Mr. Bartram gave us “homework” a list of actions items including: supporting representatives and asking for their support on gun violence prevention legislation, contact Lt. Governor Newsom to support his initiative, join organizations including the Brady Campaign and Everytown for Gun Safety, participate in GVP outreach programs, get your mayor to support the fight against illegal guns,  send letters to the editor, wear orange, submit and support Attorney General Loretta Lynch Letter and read supporting documents concerning GVP issues.

Steve Bartram is the Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) Coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito (UUFSD) and is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He coordinates the San Diego area participation in the National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence held annually on the Sabbath Weekend Against Gun Violence sponsored by the Newtown Foundation, Faiths United Against Gun Violence, and this year Everytown Against Gun Violence.


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2016 Board Election

A Call to Candidates!  For The 2016 Democratic Club of Vista’s Board of Directors.

On behalf of the Democratic Club of Vista’s 2016 Board of Directors Nominating Committee, we are asking if ANY of our Democratic Club of Vista’s Members would like to be placed on the ballot, or nominate a Member, for a position on our 2016 Board of Directors?

IF so, please contact Jaqueline Ferguson, Chair of the Club’s Nominating Committee, ASAP!   Either via PM (private message), through our Club’s FB Group or via email:  [email protected]

The Election will be held, at the Democratic Club of Vista’s February Monthly Meeting – February 13, 2016.

The positions are as follows:  President; Vice President; Secretary; and Treasurer.

Candidates must be Democratic Club of Vista Members, in good standing* (meaning with dues paid, current – it’s a brand new membership year).

Per our Club’s Bylaws, we will be voting by means of ‘secret ballots’, at our Democratic Club of Vista’s February Meeting, on Saturday, February 13, 2016 (10am – 12 pm at Sal & Ceci’s The Pantry Restaurant (in the backroom)  945 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Vista, CA 92083.  There will also be an opportunity, on the ballot, for write-in candidates.

Current Board 2015:

  • President – Sue Alderson
  • VP – Joe Dusel
  • Secretary – Johanna Chambers
  • Treasurer – Nanci Oechsle

Thank you very much,

Jaqueline Ferguson
Democratic Club of Vista
2016 Board of Directors Nominating Committee

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