Archive, Human Rights, Issues, Local, Social Justice, Speakers, Women

Notes From January’s Meeting With Howard Wayne, Jeeni Criscenzo – Amikas, Pam Page – Money out of Politics, & Cynara Velazquez/Nancy Witt – the Election


(Thanks to Dave Fisher for the photos.)

The year got off to a good start with a well attended meeting, a variety of interesting speakers, and a lot of enthusiasm for making history and electing David Alvarez as the next Mayor of San Diego.

The meeting commenced just after 4pm with Susan introducing Sarah Boot who is in running for City Council in District 2. Sarah updated us on some of the events that she’s attended recently (she has been everywhere, including participating in counting the homeless the night after jointly hosting the Debbie Wasserman Schultz fundraiser for David Alvarez, attending IT for Politicos at the San Diego Foundation, and celebrating with Planned Parenthood the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade). Sarah surpassed her fund-raising goal for the end of the year “the most money ever raised in such a short period of time by a first-time candidate”.

Introduction of new members included Jose Castillo, Judy & Tom Parry, and Jonathan Wubbolding.

Howard Wayne – Featured Speaker
Club member Howard normally provides a recap of the year at our Annual Holiday Party in December, but with Scott Peters and David Alvarez both attending last year’s party Howard graciously agreed to delay his talk to January. Instead of a review of 2013 we were treated to a preview of 2014.

Howard started at the Federal level with some of the challenges facing the President after the less than stellar rollout of Obamacare, due to the website problems and the ‘broken’ promise of being able to keep your existing healthcare plan. Although the economy is continuing to improve with continued private market job growth, most of the recovery (95%) has gone to the top 5% and inequality continues to increase. The Presidents executive actions throughout the year will alter his favorability ratings and how voters decide at the mid-terms.

At the state level, the mid-terms will see over 36 Senate seats up for grabs, 15 Republicans and 21 Democrats. There are seven Democratic Senate seats in states that were carried by Romney in 2012. Democrats are notoriously bad at turning out to vote in mid-terms, and with many independents unimpressed with economic growth and confused by Obamacare there’s a great chance that the Senate will shift to GOP control. This will limit the ability of the President to make key appointments. Increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits are two key issues that distinguish the clear differences that voters are being called on to make. You can review how conservatives are eyeing these races here.
partisandivide
The Democrats lost a lot of ground at the 2010 mid-terms. Gerrymandering of congressional district boundaries now mean that even a large nationwide majority of Democratic voters is not enough to return a majority of house seats. For a depressing overview see this summary.

Locally “Sarah Boot beating Lori Zapf will be a public service.” Carol Kim’s race in District 6 may go to November. Ron Roberts is termed out in 2018 and it’s possible that Toni Atkins will run for that board of supervisors seat (Toni will be termed out in 2016).

There are proposed changes to the city charter that may be on the ballot later this year. One (Democratic) suggestion is to move all council elections to November (more people vote). The Republicans want city council elections to be in odd numbered years (fewer people vote). The Republicans are doing all that they can to cling to power, let’s not help them.

Howard answered questions from members,
– When David Alvarez becomes Mayor who will represent District 8? As there are only 8 months left on the term, the council will make a limited appointment who cannot subsequently run for election to the seat.
– If the Republicans win the Senate and retain the House and vote to overturn Obamacare can the President veto such a bill? Yes.

Jeeni Crizenso – Amikas
Jeenie introduced us to Amikas and the work they do to provide housing to homeless women and children, especially veterans. By sharing an apartment with one or two other women, rents are reduced and friendships born that can prove valuable later. Amikas call this AD-UP – Amikas Double-Up Program. Jeenie provided a moving description of the work Amikas does locally, and ended with a poem you can download here (PDF). Susan reminded us that Father Joe recently endorsed Faulconer and made an advertisement with him, and if homelessness is a cause we are interested in please consider a donation to amikas.org

Pam Page – Money Out of Politics
Club member Pam brought us up to date on the ongoing work to overturn Citizens United including an event held on January 21 (to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) where Congressman Scott Peters, Pam and Dianne Lane from Money Out of Politics, and Simon Mayeski from Common Cause, spoke at UCSD. There are more details of the event in this write up by the San Diego Reader.

Money out of Politics is working with the city council of Encinitas on a resolution and expect a 3:2 favorable vote in Feb/Mar. There are now 50 cities in California, over 500 cities nationwide and 16 states that have adopted resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment.

Cynara Velazquez/Nancy Witt – Alvarez Campaign
While setting up her video projector club member Cynara gave us anecdotal evidence about the behaviors she encountered from city council members when she was working on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city – Todd Gloria and David Alvarez were the two council members who were always respectful, paid attention at presentations and engaged with the public at hearings. Mr. Faulconer, the opposite.

Cynara then gave a brief, but high energy, overview of the results from the Special Election Mayoral primary. She displayed maps that showed where Faulconer had won, and where David had won and explained that at first glance these provide a skewed picture. If you added some percentage of the Fletcher and Aguirre votes to David’s then there were many more areas of the city that were won by David (and Democrats as a whole) than the simpler maps suggested. The ‘north/south of I-8 talk’ is disingenuous, at best.

That said, although Ocean Beach was won by David the turnout in the primary was very low, around 20% in some precincts. For this reason the local GO Team effort was focussed on canvassing those areas of OB. Nancy Witt (our GO Team Liaison) gave details on walking events on Feb 2 and Feb 8 both starting at 10am and finishing at 1pm, with beer and sausages being served afterward. Join club and GO Team members in walking around your neighborhood and encouraging Democrats to vote on February 11. There are more details on this Saturday’s event here.

Ruth Rollins – Treasurer’s Report 
Ruth reported that we finished last year with 130 paid members. There were 50 members in attendance at this meeting. Next month’s meeting will include elections of officers. Ruth is the chair of the nominating committee. If you’re interested in running please contact her (619) 800-5098.

Susan Peinado, President
Mike Johnson, VP
Gretchen Newsom, Secretary
Barbara Houlton, Treasurer
As well as nominations from the floor

The Annual Roosevelt Dinner is coming up in April at the Bayside Hilton. Barbara Houlton will be coordinating the bookings for the club’s tables. The tickets are normally $125 each (this is a fundraiser for the county party, as well as the social event of the year). As a club member the price is only $100. Please let Barbara know if you’re going by email or phone (619) 800-5098 before March 26.

Mike Johnson – Events Committee
As well as the signs attached to the side of his truck, Mike has been delivering Alvarez yard signs. If you have a suitable property or chain link fence where you can prominently display signs let Mike know.

Old business
None

New business
– Toni Atkins is the speaker elect of the Assembly and there was a congratulations card going around for signatures

Announcements
The Registrar of Voters has a new address, 5600 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123 (corner of Overland & Complex)

Monday, Jan 27. 
Last day to register to vote in Special Mayoral Election – register online or via Library

Mayoral Debates

Sunday, Jan 26, 9pm
San Diego Channel 6
(neighborhoods & youth)

Thursday, Jan 30, 11am
KFMB 760 AM and Channel 8

Friday Jan 31, 6pm
Univision San Diego

Walking for David Alvarez
Walking lists distributed at 1314 Trieste Dr at 10am
Return at 2pm for sausages and beer
Sunday, Feb 2, 10am-2pm before the game
Saturday, Feb 8, 10am-2pm

Dog Beach Cleanup, (Sponsored by Friends of Dog Beach and Dog Beach Dog Wash),
Saturday, Feb 8, 9:00-11:00am
(2nd Sat. of every month), Dog Beach

Election Day
Tuesday, Feb 11. Polls open from 7am to 8pm. Don’t forget to vote & volunteer that day if you can.

OB Town Council public meeting
Wednesday, Feb 26, 7-9pm
Pie with the President, the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd 92107.

Next club meeting
Sunday, Feb 23, 4pm

Adjourned
Meeting adjourned at 5:40pm

 

1 Comment

  1. Susan Peinado says

    The Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, passed into law Friday, cutting billions of dollars from the budget. The new bill is in effect for five years.

    Jeeni Crizenso made the following comment regarding the effect of this bill:

    “This is really going to hurt the women we work with. Amikas doesn’t provide food, so our residents are going to have to use more of the little money they have to buy food for themselves and their children. That will translate into them not being able to pay their rent, little as it is, that we need so we can pay the rent. Last Saturday, I had two of our clients come to my home fore a pancake breakfast so we could discuss their situation away from Amikas House. They raved about the buckwheat pancakes and fresh organic fruit salad. They asked if once a week I could give the ladies at Amikas house a ride to Food For Less so they could buy groceries. I asked if they bought any organic food and they said they couldn’t afford it. What are we, as a nation, doing to our less fortunate citizens, including women and men who served in the military and have returned broken and needing a place to live and healthy food while they try to heal? It just keeps getting worse.”

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