Dear Club Members: The Culver City Democratic Club understands that you are disheartened and disappointed by the election of Donald Trump. We further understand that you are apprehensive about the direction our country will take under a Trump Administration. While you have every right to have these feelings, the time has now come to move forward. From this day forward, the message of the Democratic Party must be based on growth within our communities and we believe the type of growth to focus on is economic development for everyone and for every region of the country. We must embrace the interests of working men and women and distance ourselves from “Wall Street” by focusing on job growth, higher wages, affordable higher education, and health care for all Americans. We must pursue these goals while resisting the attempts by our president-elect to divide us, keeping in mind President Obama’s words from his farewell address: “the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some.” For those of you who believe in these principles and are looking for a constructive way to respond to the election, I invite you to register/renew your membership to the Culver City’s Democratic Club for 2017. As a member of the Democratic Club, you can join with likeminded Democrats to rebuild the Democratic Party and oppose the destructive policies of the Trump Administration. In addition, you have the opportunity to hear interesting speakers address a variety of topics. In past years, we have had discussions on topics such as healthcare reform, gun control, fracking and the environment, the affect of big money on the political process, ballot propositions, and candidate forums for federal, state, and local races, including city council and the school board. The Democratic Club has a strong track record in supporting winning candidates and issues. In the last city council election, two of the three candidates that the Democratic Club supported won. In the most recent school board election, the candidate the Democratic Club supported won. In addition, in last year’s general election, the voters of California sided with the Democratic Club on most propositions. Finally, the Democratic Club was successful on 100% of the local Culver City ballot issues on last years’ ballot. In conclusion, I look forward to welcoming new people to, and former members back to the Culver City Democratic Club, your new home away from home. For those of you who were members in 2016 and have already renewed your membership, please consider making an additional contribution in any amount. We will need all the funds we can get to oppose the destructive policies of the Trump Administration. Please join us on an exciting journey to reshape politics for the better at every level of government. For information about membership, please contact our Membership Secretary, Diane Rosenberg at 310-398-5328 or her email at email@example.com . We look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Culver City Democratic Club
At last month’s General Meeting of the Culver City Democratic Club (CCDC) on September 14th we were fortunate to have a presentation of the four ballot measures by our two Culver City Council members, Meghan Sahli- Wells and Thomas Small. We will be voting on them on November 8th, so here’s the low down.
First, was the Clean Water Parcel Tax, known as Measure CW that will levy $99 per single family residential parcel tax, $ 69 annually per multi-family residential dwelling unit or $1,096 annually per acre of land or portion for non-residential land. This means that both residential and commercial lands will be taxed to reduce and help prevent water pollution in Ballona Creek. Culver City has 4% responsibility of the water shed that drains into Marina del Rey Harbor, Santa Monica Bay and eventually, the Pacific Ocean. Measure CW is expected to generate $ 2 million per year, if approved and would make its first appearance on the tax statements in the fall of 2017. Our club members cast a total of 24 votes to make a recommendation to vote Yes and it passed the 60% threshold of 16 votes.
City Measure CA dealt with the appointment, disciplining and termination of the Police and Fire Chief. Before 2006, the City operated with all department heads reporting to the City Council who also hired and fired them. After 2006, the City hired a professional City Manager who has been in charge of all department heads except for the City Attorney, Police and Fire Chief. Those on the Council who support Measure CA contend that it would be more appropriate for the City Manager to supervise the Fire and Police Chiefs, since the manager works full time and is familiar with the day to day business of those departments. On the contrary, those on the Council who oppose this measure contend that retaining that power in the hands of the Council had helped deal with problematic chiefs in the past. Also, our Council members reside in our community and reflect our values and as such would represent our views better. Our club members cast a total of 20 vote to recommend Vote No with 2 abstentions. Hence the Club recommends vote No this ballot measure.
City Measure CB dealt with the resignation of a Council member such that they would have to wait two years before running for the Council again. Our club members cast 23 “yes” votes with no “nay” votes or abstentions. The Club recommends vote Yes.
City Measure CD would make it flexible not to have meeting during the holidays. Our club members cast 24 “yay” votes with one abstention. This measure was endorsed so the Club recommends vote Yes on this measure.
To Ban or Recycle Styrofoam
At a recent Culver City Council meeting there was heated discussion of whether to ban or recycle Styrofoam. This was followed by thoughtful and analytic feedback by way of letters to the editors (LTEs) in the Culver City News. The interesting thing is that there has been no rebuttal to those LTE’s! This is an opportunity for me to weigh in as a physician, environmental activist and a Democrat.
As a physician, I am aware and alarmed that there are approximately 90,000 workers exposed to styrene, particularly, those who manufacture boats, tubs and showers. The health effects include irritation of the skin, eyes, upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system with resultant symptoms that include depression, headache, fatigue and weakness, not to mention effects on kidney and blood function. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Workers who manufacture Styrofoam are at risk for benzene exposure and we are all aware that benzene is a known human carcinogen.
From a chemical perspective, the National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research reported that 57 chemical by-products are released when polystyrene foam is made. After it is manufactured, polystyrene foam takes more than 500 years to decompose. Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 expanded polystyrene foam cups, which is enough to circle the earth 436 times! As it is with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Who among us would entertain the idea of having a polystyrene recycling plant next to our neighborhood, considering the adverse health effects of this chemical? Who among us would subject another human being to the ill effects of this chemical by employing them in an industry recycling polystyrene. It would be unthinkable, unconscionable, and immoral. The only logical answer is to ban polystyrene. I understand that there will be a meeting of the Sustainability Committee of the Culver City Council at 9 AM on September 14th. The residents of Culver City who feel strongly about Styrofoam should make a tour de force effort to be there to voice your concerns.