Notes from September Meeting – Fight for $15 – Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice

Club President Susan Peinado called the meeting to order at 4:03 PM.

Susan welcomed and introduced guests, including Lucy, Maggie, and Beth. She also welcomed new club members Jess Durfee, Phil and Debbie Currier, Brian Pease, Rena Marrocco, Laura Fink, Deanneka and Ricardo Flores, and Craig Roberts.

She then gave a ‘rant’ on the conditions of club’s meeting location – the Point Loma Assembly – and the need for monies for air conditioning and a new electrical system.

Susan then introduced elected officials and candidates and welcomed each to give 2 minutes of remarks:

  • Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (who is seeking election to Senate District 39)  provided a legislative update noting that legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage would come up in January or February;
  • Todd Gloria (who is seeking election to Assembly District 78), provided a brief legislative update on City affairs;
  • Georgette Gómez (candidate for San Diego City Council District 9);
  • Sarah Saez (candidate for San Diego City Council District 9);
  • Joe LaCava (candidate for San Diego City Council District 1); and
  • Mara Elliott (candidate for San Diego City Attorney).

Program: Fight for $15 – Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice

[You can listen to Rabbi Laurie Coskey’s talk here.]
Rabbi Laurie Coskey was introduced. She is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (ICWJ). The ICWJ represents clergy, churches, mosques, synagogues, faith and justice organizations, and people of faith around San Diego who, called by their respective religious traditions, work for justice and stand up for the poor and marginalized.

In partnership with low-wage workers, ICWJ brings visibility to the struggle of hard working individuals and working families trying to make ends meet in San Diego County through campaigns in the workplace, with policy makers, and around critical issues such as living wage policies, immigration and affordable housing.

Rabbi Laurie Coskey presented on the topic of the Fight for $15 and what raising the minimum wage means to real people living in our region. She spoke of organizing campaigns to assist low- wage workers and to unionize these workers so that they have a just contract, wage, and recourse. She also spoke of ICWJ policy campaigns.

She reported that many other municipalities have already passed initiatives to increase the minimum wage, including Oakland and San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Diego faces a June ballot initiative to modestly increase our City’s minimum wage.

She was joined by club member Steve Rivera and workers and organizers from the Fight for $15. It was noted that in just 3 years -what was started by 200 Fast Food workers – the Fight for $15 has become an international movement that connects generations of workers, cuts through borders, unites workers from over a dozen industries. Workers spoke of their campaigns to win better wages, benefits, a voice on the job and a step out of poverty. Rabbi Coskey led a discussion on how the Point Loma Democratic Club can participate in passing the minimum wage ordinance and get more involved in exciting campaigns for economic sustainability.

Old Business
Endorsement Committee: Dev Zaveri-Tabb and José Castillo. The club endorsement questionnaire, policies and procedures were again presented (as they were presented at the last meeting). Under Section 1, Letter B: clerical errors were corrected. Under Procedures, B-4, in order to comply with new guidelines from the County Party, the word “confidential” was dropped in connection the word “vote.” Ruth moved to adopt the endorsement policy and procedures and questionnaire and Becca Taylor seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. Miriam Plotkin moved and Howard Wayne seconded a motion to table the matter until the next meeting. The motion to table the matter failed 19 – 6. Discussion ensued on Section 2-B-3. Howard moved to amend and strike Section 2-B-3 and Craig Roberts seconded the motion. Discussion ensued and it was determined that the Endorsement Committee was a body to recommend endorsements to the club body; the club body is the entity that actually makes the endorsement. Howard Wayne and Craig Roberts withdrew their motion. Susan called the question to adopt the endorsement policy and procedures and questionnaire. The motion passed 27 – 1.

New Business
Susan asked for a club member to step up and become the new Events Committee Chair. The new Events Committee Chair will work with Mike Johnson on the club entry in the OB Holiday Parade which will take place on Saturday, December 5th at 5:05pm (OB Time). The 2015 theme is Joy to the Sea, 36 Years Celebrating OB.

Upcoming Events and Announcements
Help Fellow Democrats: Craig Roberts informed club members that Democrats Suzie Ditmars and Mike Thompson lost their home to a fire. The Dems for Equality Club have set up a GoFundMe site: to help cover necessities while they put their life back together. Additionally, Suzie and Mike are in need of housing after October 1st for approximately 6 months.

Lifeguard Fundraiser: Wednesday, September 30, 6:00pm
Ed Harris requests our help with a fundraiser at Galaxy Taco, 2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla. This fundraiser will assist a young lifeguard who severely damaged his back while making a rescue in August. Despite sustaining his injuries while on-duty, Gareth is only receiving approximately $250 a week from the City of San Diego Workman’s Compensation program (less than half of what he would receive if he were working full- time.)

Miriam Plotkin, candidate for Treasurer of the California Democratic Party Disability Caucus, asked for assistance on sending in ballots to elect her to this position.

Library Fine 50% Reduction Ends
The last day to take advantage of returning overdue books and materials for 50% fine forgiveness is September 30th. Pay 50% of your existing book and materials fines due and the Library will erase the remaining 50%.

Cherchez La Femme – Look for the Woman
October 2 through November 1. The Women’s Museum of California. 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103. San Diego Book Arts asks the question: “What does it mean to be a woman.”

23rd Annual Ocean Beach Craft Fair
Saturday, October 3rd, 8:00am-3:00pm, Veterans Plaza located at the end of Newport Avenue. This craft fair supports the OB Food and Toy Drive.

The Compassion Experience
Friday, October 9 through Monday October 12. A free, interactive tour of lide hosted in the developing world hosted by the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church. This will give visitors an insight into the lives of children living in Guatemala and Uganda, to better understand the realities of global poverty. Reservations are required:

OB Planning Board
Wednesday, October 7th, 6:00pm, Ocean Beach Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue

Peninsula Community Planning Board
Thursday, October 15, 6:30pm Point Loma Library

New Citizen Voter Registration
Wednesday, October 21, 10:15-12:15pm
3rd Avenue & B Street Plaza near Civic Theater

Ocean Beach Historical Society – the Sisters of OB
Thursday, Oct. 20th, 6:00-8:30pm Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd

Ocean Beach Town Council
Wednesday, October 28, 7:00pm Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd

Next club meeting will be on the topic of Veterans Suicide Prevention and will occur on October 25th at 4:00pm. Speakers include Congressman Scott Peters and Nathan Fletcher.

Ms. Peinado adjourned the meeting at 5:39pm.

Minutes taken by: Gretchen Newsom, Secretary
Photos: Patrick Schultheis, OFA Liaison 

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