Notes from May Meeting – Democratic State of Play Moving into 2018

Club President Jonathan Wubbolding called the meeting to order at 4:02 PM and thanked everyone for coming. Next, he welcomed new Club members and among those who introduced themselves were Michelle Morgan, Carl Yaekel, and Gail Saivar. After making a call for any elected officials or their representatives, former elected officials, or any candidates who wished to speak, the following responded:

Doug Case, Political Affairs Director for State Senator Toni Atkins, said that three of Sen. Atkins’ bills had recently been released from the Appropriations Committee and would come up for vote soon: SB 562 – the Healthy California Act; SB 2 – the Building Homes and Jobs Act; and, SB 179 – the Gender Recognition Act.

Glenn Jensen, an economist running to replace Duncan Hunter in District 50, said he was tired of partisan politics and that we needed to appeal to moderate Republicans and Independents in order to win races. If elected, he promised to compel the government to deal with every issue, such as health care and climate change, as a national security matter and with fiscal discipline.

Jonathan explained that John Hartley, coordinator for Neighborhoods for Fair Elections, had been rescheduled to speak in July.

Liz Silverman spoke about SB 562, which would create a single-payer universal health care system in California and provide comprehensive coverage for all its citizens. Though it would raise taxes, she believed the vast majority of people would save money because health care premiums, deductibles, and co-pays would be eliminated and costs would be controlled through a reduction in administrative overhead and though negotiation with pharmaceutical companies. She urged Club members to help canvass local neighborhoods and to contact their representatives, and asked the Club to endorse the bill. Jonathan entertained a motion to endorse, Susan Peinado moved that the Club endorse SB 562 – the Healthy California Act, it was seconded, hearing no discussion, a voice vote was made and the endorsement passed.











Program: Dr. Cody Petterson – Democratic State of Play Moving into 2018
Local anthropologist Cody Petterson discussed the current state of play within the San Diego County Democratic Party. The overarching theme of his talk was the need for activists to transition from protest to power and to move from focusing on national abstractions to developing progressive policies that dealt with concrete local problems.
While protests have been great for solidarity, he said that they were now wasting too much time and resources and that there was a need to have more forces out in the field working in the chambers of power, speaking before city councils and planning boards, manning phone banks, walking precincts, and writing op-eds because the bulk of our problems were right here at home and we could have a direct hand in solving them.

Acknowledging that there was still a lot of antagonism within the party as a result of the 2016 primary, he said he was very motivated to help foster party unity and thought it could be achieved by focusing on common issues. He spoke about social science’s idea of the Overton window, or window of discourse, which he defined as perspectives that are legitimate to have with regard to topics, and said such a window was created after the primary when there was dramatic shift to more agreement within the party on a range of ideas.

He then provided a rundown on the current local political scene, discussed the various issues, and looked ahead to the 2018 elections. He said there was a need to develop more leadership at the local level and that progressives were shifting to vetting and then promoting candidates rather than relying on the party pipeline. He went on to say that we should not abandon our representatives after helping get them elected; we needed to actively support them when they act in line with our values and speak out when they move away from them because it would help push our progressive issues and create accountability.

Next, he covered the issue of homelessness, the need for effective mass transit, the fact that the San Diego Police Department was critically understaffed, and most important to him, the inventory and affordability problem in local housing. He said that it was unfortunately not the time to campaign on climate change because he felt that people don’t care about it and that we’ve failed to educate even ourselves on the nuts and bolts of the issue, but that it was, however, the time to identify proxy issues that will inevitably impact the climate and that voters already respond to, such as the need to intensify urban development and avoid urban sprawl.

The primary lesson he learned from 2016 was that no one was going save us but ourselves; when you see something that needs to get done, the person to do it was you, and the time to do it was now. He said that though it was a burdensome time for us, there was something powerful in it because we have entered a heroic age. His parting message to everyone was: “Save us and become heroes.”

You can listen to a Podcast of Cody’s talk here.

Club Reports
Vice President
– Merrin invited everyone to attend the third PLDC Happy Hour at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, June 14, at the Old Venice Restaurant. She also said volunteers were needed to help set up/break down and man the Club’s booth at the June 24 OB Street Fair.

Treasurer – Jonathan announced that after a month-long search for a new Treasurer, he’d appointed long-time Club member Dave Furlano to the position and asked the Club to ratify the appointment. Dave introduced himself, said he had an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and a PhD in chemistry, became involved in drug development working for the FDA and in Big Pharma, and that now he wanted to step up and contribute to the Club. Susan Peinado moved that the Club ratify Jonathan’s appointment of Dave as Club Treasurer, it was seconded, hearing no discussion, Jonathan called for a voice vote and the motion carried.

Announcements

  • Fred Rogers, Vice President of the San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, announced that a public forum on the Soccer City proposal would be held on Wednesday, June 14, at the Mission Valley Library on Fenton Parkway.
  • Kathy Stadler of San Diego County Indivisible said they wanted to put a personal face on the statistics of Americans who would be harmed if the Republican health care bill became law and urged people to share their experiences in 15-second to one-minute videos. They could stay and record one after the meeting or go to www.sandiegoindivisible.com/press/media.
  • James Elia announced that an event called “Serve Our Vets’ Pets” would be held on June 17, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Nate’s Point Dog Park in Balboa Park where people could contribute food and other items for veteran’s pets. He said more info could be found on the Support Underserved Vets with Pets Facebook page and at http://www.gofundme.com/veteransandpets.
  • John Hartley, the coordinator for Neighborhoods for Fair Elections, which pushes for campaign finance reform in San Diego, invited everyone to attend their kick-off event on June 10, 10:00 AM, at the First Unitarian Church across from the UCSD Medical Center. The topic will be “Does San Diego Have Fair Elections? Past, Present, and Future.”
  • Phil Manson said the Pacific Beach Democratic Club had invited the Club to attend the next Drinking With Donkeys on May 31, 5:30 PM, at Stone Brewing in Liberty Station to get to know members from five other clubs.

Jonathan announced that there would be no Club meeting in June because of the Club’s participation in the OB Street Fair. He thanked everyone for coming and invited everyone to meet afterwards at the Point Break Café at 2743 Shelter Island Drive to continue discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:33 PM.


Meeting notes: Deborah Currier, Secretary
Photo credit: John Loughlin

Club Hosts Congressional District 50 Candidate Forum

by Peggi Chute

The July 8th Lake San Marcos Democratic Club meeting was one of the most meaningful and exciting events to have come along. While all our meetings try to be informative, this one exceeded expectations as all six of the candidates running to defeat Rep. Duncan Hunter of the 50th district in 2018 were present. The packed room was eager to learn what each candidate believed and what they hoped to accomplish. All are very strong candidates and are passionate about how they see the current administration and the dire need to reverse course and return our government to the people. High on everyone’s list – both for the candidates and the audience — was Climate Change, Healthcare for all (5 of the 6 support Single Payer Health Insurance while the sixth felt changes could be made to ACA to make it workable), Russian Hacking Threat, Healing the Rift in the Party, and giving citizens hope again.

Questions from the audience that they wrote on index cards were picked up and taken to a table where Mary Borevitz and Kathy Steel sat sorting them. They found the most common threads people brought up, collated and combined the questions, and passed them on to Avi Karnik, our vice president, who asked the candidates for their responses.

Each candidate had two minutes to introduce themselves and make an opening statement. If they finished within their time limit, Avi told them they would earn a piece of candy. They would be given 1 minute to answer a question, and that, too, would be rewarded with candy. The candidates displayed their sense of humor by bragging if they had earned a jelly bean when they finished on time. It was all in good fun and added levity to the serious subjects being discussed.

Avi began by asking the one question that been given to the candidates in advance:

QUESTION: “We are still a District of 45% registered Republicans, with the remaining being either Democrat or Decline to State. How will you win?”

Josh Butner answered first. “The Democratic Party now believes our District 50 is in play. They will help with guidance and $$ to create a strong campaign. We especially need to target young Democrats who need to feel involved.”

Ammar Campa-Najjar followed: “I’m part Palestinian and part Hispanic but it’s not about me. I listen to these constituents and empathize with their concerns. We need to turn out the young and minorities, 35% are Latino, and I know how to organize.”

Gloria Chadwick continued: “I am a psychiatric nurse and Congress needs me! We must turn out the vote. If everyone registers 2 people, we’ll win.”

Next, Glenn Jensen stated, “There’s a lot of fear and confusion. If we can frame our message around National Security with ways for people to feel secure and safe, we will attract the independents.”

Patrick Malloy offered, “There are over 269,000 people in our district that are on subsidized healthcare. We must fight to allow them to keep their coverage and explain what they will lose if they don’t vote Democratic.” He also has a plan to create jobs.

And lastly, Pete Beauregard concluded, “The Democratic Party has lost sight of our values and freedom. There are too many corporate and neocon Democrats leading the party. We need to return to the people and our values. Country over Party!”

FURTHER STATEMENTS MADE BY CANDIDATES DURING THE COURSE OF THE DISCUSSION:

Pete (Pierre) Beauregard – He was a Bernie supporter, and like Bernie, wants to appeal to those in the middle who have lost hope. As a Vietnam vet, he witnessed the war machine up close and saw its carnage. He worked for big Pharma and discovered how corrupt it is and thus believes in Medicare for all. The most urgent issue is Climate Change. He was the first in San Diego County to build a totally passive house, and uses permaculture methods at his ranch. He walks the walk to save the planet. As a Progressive, he can’t be bought off. Pierre feels corporate Democrats have corrupted our values and that we need to return to them. Russian hacking is real but must get beyond party B.S. and focus on peace, climate change, and healthcare. Keep our eye on the ball, not distractions.

Josh Butner – A former Navy Seal who served 23 years, he worked his way up to become a leader, dealing with national security, education, and military business. With the $$$ awarded to the oil industry to keep them profitable, that money could be used to create passive energy. The U.S. needs to remain in the Paris Agreement to continue their world leadership. He wanted Russian hacking investigated from the beginning. When certain jobs become obsolete, people need to be given educational retraining to remain in the job market. One such program: “Steam:” Science, Technology, Energy, Art, Math. He believes critical thinking needs to be taught, and currently serves on Jamul Dulzura School Board in a Republican District.

Ammar Campa-Najjar — He served as a field organizer in Obama’s campaign. He worked in the Executive Office, reading, reviewing and passing on letters from citizens who wrote to Obama. He knows how the levels of government work. His whole life has been service, a life long duty. He was asked to make donor calls for his campaign but refused for he believes all his time needs to be spent listening and being with citizens in every neighborhood. He believes Climate Change is the critical issue and that the next generation gets it. He would cut in half R & D tax credits to pharmaceuticals and lower Medicare eligibility age to 50 while working toward Single Payer. Let’s build the workforce instead of a wall. “Don’t need a Hunter, we need a gatherer.” We can create a campaign of unity.

Gloria Chadwick — Confronted Hunter at his one and only Town Meeting. Having volunteered in the Gore campaign, she has first hand knowledge of our institutional history to avoid pitfalls. She’s been elected to the Board of the Grossmont Healthcare District as its President five times in a Red District. She played a leading role in creating the District’s first Co-Generation energy plant which cut the hospitals’ energy usage and saves taxpayers $180,000 a month. As a psych nurse she knows how to listen. “I’m always up for a challenge and believe in health care for all.” We must also have faith in our Intelligence community. She believes people fall in love with their preferred candidate but believes whoever wins the primary, we all must get behind that person and elect them.

Glenn Jensen — Is running because Hunter is corrupt. He has lived his entire life in the District and was once a Republican. As a degreed economist, he believes a worker’s healthcare must follow them from job to job, as in having “job lock,” and is fiscally responsible. He experienced pre-existing conditions and believes totally in a Single Payer system. “Our form of government is under assault. Cyber terrorism is our most clear and present danger. We already have the tools and need to invest more in technology.” This is a revolution that can start right here in our 50th District. All can be part of this revolution and all who join are united by the same values. He cannot be bought. He would get $$ out of politics starting with not allowing any corporate sponsors.

Patrick Malloy — He came within 13.5 points of Hunter when he ran in the last election. Feels the middle class needs a champion so he would vote in favor of Single Payer Health Care to include Dental and Vision care, and would preserve Social Security; he opposes any privatization. Hacking is real, thus we need cyber security. Without it, he feels it would make voters apathetic. One simple remedy for one security risk would be to bury our telephone lines and eliminate telephone polls. He voted for Bernie in the Primary and Hillary in the General. “We need to end the blame game for Hillary not winning and find solutions to issues that will resonate with voters.” Suggests creating a 401K to be used for down payments on homes so the American dream can be a reality.

The Club Vice President, Avi Karnik, did a tremendous job facilitating the discussion and controlled the pace of the exchange so every candidate had the opportunity to speak. It was not a debate. In fact, the entire six candidates were almost in complete agreement on issues. In addition to being knowledgeable, the audience heard some of the candidates’ policy ideas to solve issues. Since their stands are quite similar, voting in the Primary will need to come down to who we think has the best possibility of winning, along with their likability quotient.

After the two hour meeting when almost all of the 120 people in attendance remained to the end, the candidates gave their closing statements. The meeting ended with a standing ovation for the candidates and the candidates applauding their audience’s respectful engagement. We all left uplifted by the caliber of the candidates and optimistic that our government will improve, beginning with our local District 50.

Correction: An earlier version of this story quoted Ammar Campa-Najjar as saying he was part Pakistani and part Hispanic, in fact he said he is “part Palestinian and part Hispanic”.

Jul 17 – Homelessness with San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward

We’re pleased to welcome back to the club San Diego City Councilmember for District 3, Chris Ward, who will join us for a discussion on homelessness.

Chris is chair of the recently formed Select Committee on Homelessness. He’s also vice chairman of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. Chris’ district includes downtown, Hillcrest and North Park with large homeless populations.

Come at 6:30pm, for socializing and snacking.

See you on Monday night!

Questions?
Call or email (619) 900-4751  [email protected]

Photo credit: Matthew Bowler/KPBS


When
Monday July 17 – Social Time from 6:30pm, Meeting starts at 7pm

Social Time
Members are encouraged to get together from 6:30pm before the meeting starts.
Please bring whatever light drinks/snacks that you’d like to share.

Where
We meet at the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans – PANA
4089 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA 92105 (map)

The building is on the south-east corner of Polk and Fairmount, just north of University. Parking is also available at the adjoining Southern Sudanese and East African Community Centers on Fairmount Ave. Bus routes 7 and 13.

Meeting on Thursday July 20th, 2017

Greetings to all,
This alert provides you with a taste of what lies ahead at our next meeting, July 20, 2017. Our speaker is Hanif Mohebi, a leader in the Muslim community. He led his organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to an award this year at the Roosevelt Dinner for the work done to support the local community.
Hanif Mohebi is the executive director of CAIR San Diego. He has prepared himself well by his awesome set of experiences.

See his biographical statement from the CAIR San Diego web site:
Mr. Mohebi was raised in the heart of Silicon Valley. He is the former director of a communication consulting firm in San Jose. He has held various director positions at for-profit and non-profit organizations. At a young age, he was exposed to the United States, United Nations, and community dignitaries, which has influenced his character. He has appeared in both local and national media outlets, bridging the gap between minorities and mainstream Americans. Mr. Mohebi has completed a Pre-PhD program, and has published research. He has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Globalization and Social Justice. He has emerged as a guest speaker at high schools, universities, companies, and community events on variety of topics, ranging from Concepts of World Citizenship to the History of Anti-Civil Liberties Legislation. He is a young and passionate Muslim American with a wonderful cosmopolitan attitude and great love for civil rights, human rights, and the Constitution of the United States. He is obsessed with the idea of bringing about a positive change to the world through dedicating his life to serving humanity. In quest for this dream, he joined CAIR San Diego, as executive director, with glowing recommendations and over a decade of community service.
https://ca.cair.com/sandiego/about/our-staff-interns/

As you know, we meet at
Jimmy’s Restaurant
9635 Mission Gorge Rd
Santee, California, CA 92071

Our meeting begins at 7 p.m. sharp. If you wish to dine and socialize, come at 6 p.m. The menu is an all-American one.

Join us next Thursday! Bring a friend or two, or even more!

Candidates for office in 2018 are welcome,too.

July 25 Program

Meet our San Diego County Democratic Party Chair, Jessica Hayes

Jessica will fill us in with all the latest happenings in the county and upcoming races. She will also explain how endorsements work, the A-Dem and delgate process, and anything else we would like to ask her! There will be lots of time for questions and answers.

Jessica has been a lifelong advocate for women, workers, and equal justice. She began her involvement with politics when she walked door to door gathering signatures for the Equal Rights Amendment. She was previously a member of Dianne Feinstein’s kitchen cabinet, organized studio employees with the Teamsters, and has volunteered for countless campaigns. She previously served two terms as South Area Vice Chair of the County Party. Jessica graduated from UCSD with a B.A. and California Western School of Law with a J.D. She and her former husband built up a local towing company and became local employers for over 175 people. She raised two talented and gorgeous daughters of whom she is extremely proud.

6:30 P.M. Social, 7:00 P.M. Program

Our meetings are open to the public

 

2017 Pride Week Info!

Democrats for Equality,

It’s here. PRIDE WEEK!

Join us on Thursday for our 2017 PRIDE Kick-Off from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at FruitCraft, 1477 University Ave in Hillcrest. Our annual fundraiser is $15 for club members who have renewed their 2017 membership dues, and $30 for non-club members.

Purchase tickets for our Pride Kick-Off event here.

Then, this Saturday come join with us and march in our parade contingent in the Pride Parade. We will be assembling near the DMV on Normal Street in Hillcrest. Step-off for the parade will be 11:00am, so if you’re interested in marching with us please try and be there no later than 10:00am.

For more details or questions about the Pride Kick-Off or Parade, contact club president Will Rodriguez-Kennedy at [email protected], or call 619-709-0675.

Finally — and this is where the real work begins — we still need some volunteers to help stage our club booth, register voters, sign-up and renew club members, and promote our progressive issues and values on Saturday and Sunday. Shifts are available on both days! Volunteers will be given a complimentary ticket to the San Diego LGBT Pride Music Festival.

Click here if you’d like to sign-up to volunteer for our booth.

Last week, Will talked about the time I was left all alone in the booth for 5-and-a-half hours because of the rain storm. I was so miserable. Just me, the rain, and my lonely, lonely thoughts.

Trust me, Will still has not heard the end of it. If I knew how to play any kind of musical instrument, I would’ve written a song about it.

Anyway… long story short — let’s not have that happen again! Sign-up, volunteer, and let’s have some fun!

Finally, there will be a club meeting on Thursday, July 27th. It also happens to be Will’s 30th birthday (shh — don’t tell him, but we’re planning something big!)

It will be a short meeting, and the tentative agenda will include bylaw amendments (they will be sent out next week), consideration of changing our meeting dates to the 3rd Thursday. More info to come.

 

In Solidarity.

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