2016 January – the State of the City of Vista

January speaker – Vista Councilman Cody Campbell

Cody Campbell, Vista City Council-State of the City of Vista

The budget is in the best shape it has been for years.  There have been gains in finances.  There is more affordable housing projects including the projects on Santa Fe.  The roads have been repaired including Bobier and Melrose and are the best they’ve been in years.  In a recent survey/needs assessment Vista scored high with optimism at its highest among the under 30 group at 25-1; 30-65 group is at 5 to 1 and the 65 and over group is at 2 to 1.

Our unemployment rate is very low at 4.1%.  The business market is good and the vacancy rate in our business park is very low.  Our ½ cent sales tax has fully funded our City so we don’t have to go into our general fund and have saved millions of dollars.    Our building reserve fund is 20% of operating budget.  100% of our property tax goes to fire and law enforcement as public safety is our #1 priority. We had very little damage from El Nino because of prior planning and preparation.  Our fire department pay has been upgraded to medium and the deputy fire chief was promoted to chief after the chief retired.  Vista is the Sheriff’s Department largest contract with dedicated officers.  Crime is at the lowest it has ever been.  Property crime is down due to information oriented policing where deputies use data to police highest crime areas and move as crime moves.  Though the jail is here and more drug and petty property crime criminals are now released in Vista, our crime rate is still low, while other cities who don’t use data policing have seen and uptick in crime.

We are spending money on infrastructure including $40-$50 million on the pump station in the lagoon which will prevent us from having burst pipes.  Vista owns 39% of the Encina plant in Carlsbad.   We have spent $8 million on 13 parks from money from developer fees.  There will be 2 new skate parks on Santa Fe.  Paseo Santa Fe will be completed in the next few months and there is 100% occupancy in the new apartments.  Phase II will happen in 2017.  New business are moving in.  Our business vacancy rate is below 4%.  We have a cooperative business relationship with Oceanside, San Marcos, Carlsbad and Escondido to find business spaces for moving or incoming businesses.

There are some conflicts on the City Council and the dynamic changed with the last election.  However, some ordinances have been passed including a ban on retail sale of dogs and cats.  Now it only takes one member to introduce legislation which is helpful.  Though the council doesn’t get along that well, they have managed to get some things done.

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2015 July – Climate Change

Eve Simmons: Environmental advocate and keynote speaker

Eve Simmons was our guest speaker on Climate Change. She is a speaker in schools for “Hug a Tree” program which started in San Diego to educate people how to survive in case of getting lost in woods.

As a photojournalist and by attending events Eve met many scientists, political leaders and environmental activists, including Dr. Ramanathan (a distinguished professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at UCSD,)  the 14th Dalai Lama, and Congressman Darrell Issa from the 49th district.

Over 500 scientists advised the policymakers that by the time the children reach the middle age the earth will be irretrievably damaged unless taking concrete actions immediately.

Eve’s suggestion for the club members: We as the club members are probably most knowledgeable of climate change. Talk to our political leaders; we do need a political will for solutions. Also suggested are less meat consumption and buying organic produces locally.

In 2009 Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his colleagues came up with a 20 year plan to abolish nuclear power, coal, oil and gas.

Ads at all network TV at least one every four is for the oil industry; that translates to their limited coverage on oil related accidents. On one incident CNN wasn’t covering it Eve called CNN, twitted, finally CNN responded and aired the coverage.

Unknown to many but Military divests from fossil energy.

Renewable energy industries create more jobs than in oil industry.

Electric cars and new diesel cars are better than ones run by fossil resource.

US population is 4% of the world and we produce 25% of CO2 emission.

GOP will introduce a bill that is designed to charge for oil companies for polluting and the collected the carbo tax will be given to people by IRS.

If you would like Eve’s presentation, you can make a request at The Climate Reality Project site.

Eve’s Biography:

Environmental advocate and keynote speaker Eve Simmons, has lectured on Global Warming/Climate Change for decades and has lobbied for action on these issues both locally and in Washington D.C.. Eve serves on San Diego County’s Fish and Wildlife.

Environmental advocate and keynote speaker Eve Simmons, has lectured on Global Warming/Climate Change for decades and has lobbied for action on these issues both locally and in Washington D.C.. Eve serves on San Diego County’s Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission, and as an elected delegate to California’s State Assembly 76th District. She’s a Climate Reality Project Leader (trained by Al Gore) and on the board of Encinitas EcoFest. Eve was a board member of San Diego Energy District Foundation, a wildlife guide for the San Diego Zoo and an Associated Press Photojournalist.  Eve is an active member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, 350.org, Sierra Club and Greenpeace. Follow her on her website and blog TheGreenFlash.org and on Twitter @ Eve_Simmons.

Here’s a link to her speaking engagements and activities: http://presenters.climaterealityproject.org

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2015 August – Party Labor and Income Inequality

August Speaker – our own Roberto Rodriguez

Topic of the Talk: The Democratic Party, Labor and Income Inequality

Roberto provided PowerPoint printouts. Due to file size limitation we are able to display only four out of 21 slides. For the talk Roberto didn’t wear a hat as President of the Sweetwater Education Association or San Diego Labor Council Executive Board member.

He started with a statement – “We’ll lose our way of life if we don’t act together. Middle class is systematically being dismantled.”

Viewed a Different Way – Top 1% Share of Total Pre-Tax Income, 1913-2006 (page 1): Top 1% share of total pre-tax income hit the highest at 23.9% in 1928, went down to the lowest 8.9% in 1976, then crept up to 22.9% in 2006.

What Happened Between 1928 and Today? – A graph for Union Membership Percentage of Employed Workers from 1900 to 1998 slide (page 2): A rapid increase from 1936 to 1945 and hit the highest at around 33% , stayed on the plateau until 1956. A steady drop ended at 14% in 1998.

Union Participation and Income Distribution – Unions and shared prosperity graph by Economic Policy Institute slide (page 3): Share of income going to the top 10% was lowest from late 1930s to early 1950s. Around the same period of the time the union membership was the highest. Since that period share of the top 10% has drastically increased and the union membership equally declined.

Robert Reich on Inequality in America: “Inequality is the result of policy changes that give tax breaks to the wealthy, protected them from inflation by keeping unemployment artificially high, and shifting the risk of doing business away from banks and business owners to the average American.”

Free trades are our decisions. Inequality doesn’t have to exist. We can bring the manufacturing back to the US; it all about decisions. Who makes the decisions? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which consists of members of mostly conservative politicians and lobbyists, decides on which registrations to  introduce.

Some businesses are driven only by the profit. Uber is a good example. They don’t have risk on their side – no employee benefits, no capital investment on the vehicles,  no maintenance costs, etc. All the expenses are absorbed by Uber drivers. Uber takes only profit. Banks are another example. They created the recent massive mortgage crisis and thousands of people lost their home. The banks had changed the way to make home loans, they funded consumers regardless of their ability for the payments. They sold the mortgages to another party right away; so they wouldn’t have lost money on defaulted mortgages.

Some businesses are driven only by the profit. Uber is a good example. They don’t have risk on their side – no employee benefits, no capital investment on the vehicles,  no maintenance costs, etc. All the expenses are absorbed by Uber drivers. Uber takes only profit. Banks are another example. They created the recent massive mortgage crisis and thousands of people lost their home. The banks had changed the way to make home loans, they funded consumers regardless of their ability for the payments. They sold the mortgages to another party right away; so they wouldn’t have lost money on defaulted mortgages.

What can we do for the income equality? Roberto shared what Sweetwater Education Association has done. The superintendent and Sweetwater School District Board members had been pressuring the teachers for benefit reductions. When four district officials were indicted early in 2014, they saw an opportunity to fill the board with individuals who fight for them. Immediately they started recruiting and interviewing individuals. The union endorsed five Democratic candidates for five open seats. 40% of the union members are Republicans who wanted Republican candidates as well. They were suggested to find Republicans who are pro-union and anti-charter schools, they couldn’t find any. Four out of the five endorsed candidates won in Nov 2014 election. The point is when people work collectively we could win  a victory.

Democratic Club of Vista should hook up with North County labor unions and work together for our common goal – income equality.

Roberto’s Biography:

A high school teacher since 1987. He is currently President of the Sweetwater Education Association, the union that represents the over 1,800 teachers, librarians, nurses and educators of the Sweetwater Union High School District. He has primarily been a Social Science teacher (US Governemnt and Economics)  has also taught Spanish.

Few careers are more rewarding than education. However, today public education faces major challenges. So called reformers, privatizers and profiteers from all sides of the political spectrum approach public schools as profit making opportunities and not as the education institutions that our students and communities depend on.”

“As a teacher, I must be a role model for my students and advocate for public education and educators in the community and the public arena. It’s the only way to ensure that the promise of public education for future generations is fulfilled.”

Roberto serves on the California Teachers Association State Council of Education. He is currently the Vice- Chair of CTA’s Political Involvement Committee as well as the Vice-Chair of CTA’s Association for Better Citizenship Committee, the committee that oversees CTA’s PAC funds.

In 2014 he began serving on the Executive Board of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council as well as the Central Committee of the San Diego County Democratic Party. In 2015, under Roberto’s leadership, the Sweetwater Education Association (SEA) was recognized by the San Diego Labor Council as Union of the Year and CTA presented SEA with it’s Local in Politics award.

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The Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015 (HR1111)


We have received the following request from Nancy Merritt, CA Democrat and Northern CA State Coordinator. We will be voting on the resolution on our July meeting (Sat, July 11.)


Request for a Motion to Endorse Legislation Request in Support of The Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015 (HR1111)

To Nanci and Democratic Club of Vista,

As you know, the California Democratic Party Executive Board is meeting August 14 – 16, 2015 in Burlingame and we are approaching the deadline for legislation requests at that upcoming meeting.  We are writing to ask you to place the following motion on the agenda for your next meeting:

“A motion to be added as an additional endorser to the request that the Legislation Committee consider and approve CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s HR 1111, ‘The U.S. Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015,’ for a vote by the CDP Executive Board at the August 2015 meeting.”

Making peacebuilding a national priority, by instituting and supporting proven violence prevention policies and programs, will save lives and money – money which can be spent on jobs, education, medical care, and rebuilding the infrastructure of this country.  Please let us know when you meet next and where the meeting will be.

By voting for this motion, your group’s name will be added to a list of supporters asking the CDP to endorse HR 1111, the U.S. Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015. The CDP as a whole and the Legislation Committee unanimously endorsed the 2013 version of this legislationChair John Burton supported an earlier version of this legislative request.

Hundreds of CDP delegates, including State Senator Mark Leno and labor leader Delores Huerta, have signed petitions in support of thisMany CDP groups have supported Department of Peacebuilding legislation in the past, including:  Regions (3, 5, 6, 8, 18), DCCs (Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Lake, Madera, Marin, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma), clubs (Lake County Stonewall Democratic Club, Nevada County Democratic Women’s Club, Turlock Democratic Club) and caucuses (Veterans).  For the 2013 CDP endorsement, African American Caucus Chair Darren Parker testified at the Legislation committee in support of this legislation.

We are attaching :

Please let us know if you need additional information. Thank you for your consideration and for any past support.  Please become a current supporterWe look forward to hearing from you soon and to adding your group’s endorsement to this important peacebuilding legislation.

Nancy Merritt
CA Democrat and Northern CA State Coordinator
The Peace Alliance/ Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding
[email protected]
C:  510-809-6348

On Behalf of CA Democrats and Peace Alliance Volunteers, including
Brian Gibbs
CA Democrat and
The Peace Alliance, San Diego

Maggi Koren
CA Democrat, RN and
The Peace Alliance, Northwest CA Regional Co-coordinator

Lily Marie-Mora
CA Democrat and Nevada County DCC Member
The Peace Alliance, Northeast CA Regional Coordinator

Lorrie Norby
CA Democrat and
The Peace Alliance, Marin County Lead

Josh Roebuck
CA Democrat and
The Peace Alliance, Alameda County

Jerilyn Stapleton
CA Democrat and ADEM 46


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2015 May Speaker – Francine Busby

Francine Busby

May Guest Speaker – Francine Busby

Brief Biography:

Francine is the chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. Busby is a former member of the school board in Cardiff, CA, and she has been a democratic candidate for Congress. She is also the executive director of Run Women Run, an organization that trains, mentors, and supports women candidates for elective office. To read more Francine Busby Bio.

Speakers at the Roosevelt Dinner, DMV Voters Registration, the Party Goals & 2016 Presidential Candidates:

Francine Busby congratulated the club for participation in the Roosevelt Dinner, and Roberto Rodriguez for winning the Union of the Year Award for Sweetwater.

Francine discussed the success of the 35th annual Roosevelt Dinner, which drew nearly 800 guests and brought in nearly $100,000. This was the largest yet, with Democrats from all over the county. There were speeches by Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Kevin de Leon was the keynote speaker. Padilla spoke about the proposed new automatic voter registration at the DMV. Those who are auto-registered should be contacted so that they can be invited to vote as Democrats (they would be auto-enrolled as independents.) Dr. Shirley Weber was the honorary chair, and she spoke about the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Busby discussed Dr. Weber’s life and accomplishments. Atkins appointed Weber to be chair of the budget committee. She mentioned the book “Soul of a Nation” by P.E. Chute, and discussed voting rights and everything that led up to the march in Selma.

Francine Busby discussed the success of endorsed candidates; 64% of them won. She talked about the Party’s priorities for the county, including voter registration and education (sometimes people don’t understand how to use a ballot.) The Democratic Party may provide sample ballots, and ask churches and other organizations to host voter education presentations. We may also provide party recommendations for ballot initiatives and candidates.

She talked about Scott Peters’ campaign. She suggested using the DMV as a voter registration site for the club, as there are fewer repeat attendees as compared to the farmer’s market. The Selma movie may have helped encourage more people to vote. San Diego was chosen as one of three cities for about $1 million to change San Diego to a Democratic voter base.

Busby discussed other goals of the Democratic Party including communications, coordination, candidate training, and social media. They are hiring a communications professional to create a plan. The Blue View is the official newsletter. She talked about the presidential race; Jim Webb, Hilary Clinton, and other candidates have been speaking. Bernie Sanders is not a mainstream candidate yet. Clinton may end up looking more moderate; there are pros and cons to that.

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2015 Mar Talk on Voter Suppresion

Nancy Telford Jackie Stone

March Guest Speakers – Jackie Stone and Nancy Telford

League of Women Voters of North County San Diego

About League of Women Voters:

The League of Women Voters of North County San Diego is a chapter of League of Women Voters which was founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt. After a 73 year struggle the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote. They were perceived as liberals back then because they opposed child labor and they favored women’s right to vote, retain inherited property and redress domestic abuse.

Men are also welcome to join the league. The first male member joined the league in 1971. Currently three male members are on the board. It’s a political organization, focusing on women’s rights and has no political party affiliation. Through education the league encourages active and informed participation in government.

The league invites you to join them to learn about your local government and community, make your voice heard in the political process and help make our world a better place to live.

Voting Right History:

At the beginning of our country’s history, only about 10 – 11% of the population had the right to vote, they had to be white males, at least 21 of age and property owners.

The 15th Amendment created in 1870, that prohibit states from denying a male citizen the right to vote based on the race, was a hollow victory to the racial minorities; states particularly in the South used discriminatory and even violent practices of vote suppression which is defined as a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote.

The 24th Amendment in 1964 prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. Five states continued poll tax requirement in state elections. The Supreme Court’s decision in 1966 ruled that Virginia’s poll tax in state elections was unconstitutional.

The Voting Right Act of 1965 (VRA) gave the Secretary of State and the Department of Justice oversight authority in state election administration. This law set up the Preclearance Requirements so that states with a history of discriminatory practices were required to clear in advance any change in their election processes with the State Dep. Voter suppression tactics continue in different forms, such as gerrymandering, limited vote casting hours, long waits to vote, polling places in distant locations, photo ID requirement (13 states passed the law as of 2013,) giving voters a wrong date and/or polling location, purge voter rolls, and so on.

On June 25, 2013 the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the VRA. This action weakens protection of the VRA because the section had the legislative formula to determine which jurisdictions must get “preclearance” from the federal government to change their voting laws. Since the ruling, a number of measures fostering voter suppression have been passed in states.

Jackie Stone’s Biography:

A born Southerner from Alabama, Jackie Stone arrived in Southern California at eighteen to attend UC at Long Beach and has been a Californian at heart ever since, though her life has led her on a trail through Ohio, Oregon, Idaho and Texas before she returned 25 years ago to Carlsbad, where she has resided, blissfully ever since.

She has a BS from the University of Cincinnati, an MA from the University of Idaho, and an EdD from the University of Houston.

After a career in education as a teacher, a teacher trainer and consultant Jackie devotes herself to volunteering as well as to theater, music and grandchildren in shifting order.

Nancy Telford’s Biography:

Nancy was born and raised in South Dakota where her parents, grandmothers and Aunt Mary were her mentors. They taught Nancy how to care for other human beings and animals, the importance of education and the value of persistence and loyalty. After high school graduation she was a nun in a teaching Order in Iowa for eight years.

Upon college graduation, she taught music, science and math in parochial grade and high schools. After leaving the Order, she moved to Long Beach in 1973 where she worked in the benefits and payroll area of Human Resources at Memorial Hospital followed by Transamerica Corporation. During this time she met and married her husband, Robert, and they’ve been together for 40 years.

In 1998 they moved to San Diego where she was one of the co-founders of a medical company. During her working career, among other things, she spent time as an accounting manager, pension underwriter and human resources director.

Nancy enjoys music, quilting, embroidery, knitting, glass and bead work, photography, Chinese brush painting and all things Asian. She has an intense interest in human medical and mental health as well as canine medicine and plans to pursue related studies. Nancy is an active member of the League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, Secretary of the Photographic Society and maintains the Encinitas Friends of the Library data base.


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