Notes from February’s Meeting – Endorsements for San Diego City Attorney and D3

Following on from January’s well attended endorsement meeting, February saw club members meet to consider endorsements in the San Diego City Attorney’s race and San Diego City Council District 3.

San Diego City Attorney

  • Gil Cabrera
  • Rafael Castellanos
  • Mara Elliott
  • Bryan Pease

San Diego City Council District 3

  • Anthony Bernal
  • Chris Ward

Club President Susan Peinado called the meeting to order 30 minutes earlier than usual (as there was a theatrical performance scheduled to start at 5:30pm).

Susan thanked everyone for coming, especially those who brought snacks to share and introduced new members Christine Murphy’s household, Nick Serrano, William and Anita Tuchrello, Linda Salem, and David Warmoth.

Susan introduced Ronnie Friedman-Barone who (together with Greg Bolian) were collecting signatures for a petition to get an initiative on the California ballot to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a life-sentence without parole.

Susan then introduced candidates running for San Diego Mayor who each spoke for 2 minutes – Lawrence Zynda, Michael Kreizenbeck representing Lori Saldaña (who was ill) and Martha Welch.

Susan then turned the meeting over to Deval Zaveri-Tabb, Chair of the Endorsement Committee.

Dev explained the order of the candidates had been selected when they arrived to the meeting. Each of the candidates then gave their opening statements and written questions were then collected from the members in good standing.

Each of the candidates then answered questions on city pensions and prop B, an independent Police Citizens Review Board, homelessness and of course, the Chargers. After closing statements the candidates and their staff then left the room for the members’ discussion.

It soon became clear that club members found all of the candidates to have good Democratic values and found it difficult to judge between them. Some members wanted to move to vote to rate all of the candidates acceptable, and didn’t understand that first we had to vote on the endorsement. The options on the ballot were to pick one of the candidates, or to pick “No endorsement”. With each round of voting the candidate receiving the fewest votes was dropped, until after four rounds of voting the majority voted for “No endorsement”. Anne Hoiberg then made a motion that we find all candidates acceptable. By a show of hands the motion passed.

All four candidates Gil Cabrera, Rafael Castellanos, Mara Elliott and Bryan Pease were rated acceptable.

While the City Attorney’s endorsement process ran long, Chris Ward and Anthony Bernal’s representative Javier Gomez waited patiently for their chance to address the club about their race for San Diego City Council District 3.

Chris Ward was the only candidate to have submitted a completed questionnaire, and following our process the only candidate we could consider for endorsement, the alternative being to vote for “No endorsement”. Chris, a clubmember, is known to many members as he’s regularly attended events over the years as Marty Block’s chief of staff. Several clubmembers spoke highly of Chris and gave anecdotal accounts of how he’d directed his office to help with an injured lifeguard, and at another club had led indepth and informed discussions on affordable education. Javier Gomez spoke well and confidently for Anthony Bernal, his background and his values.

Chris Ward won the club’s endorsement.

Earlier while the questions were being collected and summarized from members for the City Attorney candidates the officers gave their reports. These included Barbara Houlton’s last report as Treasurer as she is stepping down. Barbara helped guide the club through a period of increased costs for the building lease, increased membership and increased fund-raising from the summer and winter parties. She helped organize the reporting, moved the club to accepting electronic payments and mentored the E-board with sage financial advice. She also helped recruit her successor.

The President reported on the upcoming Roosevelt Dinner on April 2 where clubmember John Loughlin is to be awarded Volunteer of the Year. You can book tickets online at the party’s website where you can enter your club affiliation, but also email as Patrick Schultheis and Ruth Rollins will work to make sure you’re seated with your fellow clubmembers.

Mike Johnson gave details of the OB Street Fair and asked for volunteers to work 2-hour shifts to help register voters (training will be given) and to help promote the club and Democratic candidates. You can contact Mike at

Ruth Rollins as Chair of the Nominating Committee announced the candidates for club officers for 2016 and called for nominations from the floor. Unanimous votes were received for:

President      Susan Peinado
Vice President Michael Johnson
Treasurer      Jonathan Wubbolding
Secretary      Deborah Currier

Nancy Witt, GOTeam Liaison, spoke about the Grassroots Organizing Team looking for volunteers to walk their own precincts and call on registered Democrats to vote down the ticket. You can contact Nancy to learn more at

Ruth Rollins gave a brief update on the California state convention and Joe Biden’s great speech.

Clubmember Ed Harris apprised us of the latest developments and discussions with Mayor Faulconer on the issue of presumptive health coverage for lifeguards. This is a great example of when having a City Attorney with Democratic values would greatly help city employees and working people. Ed had no other announcements at this time.

Ruth Rollins also made a motion that we consider for the Mayor’s race at the next meeting, the motion passed.

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