2011 has been an especially momentous year for our Club, our party, our community, our state, our nation, and our world. A year ago, you elected me to help lead our Club through the challenges and opportunities that were ahead of us. I wrote about the need for bold leadership as we expanded our already strong position in this community. I am proud to report that as important issues touched the political landscape surrounding us, the Culver City Democratic Club has played a significant role in informing our members, involving the community, and pushing forward a strong progressive agenda.

At the international level, the big news has come from the Middle East, as democratic movements have been pushing for needed reforms in autocratic and tyrannical governments. We tackled the “Arab Spring” and debated with all of you the impact that this movement would have both on our politics and on our allies around the world.

At the national level, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements have brought to light the necessity of organizing locally and ensuring that our elected officials hear our voices. We’ve heard that message and are trying to better communicate the role that our party plays in advocating for the 99%.

At the state level, much has been made about labor unions and their role in the current economic crisis. We brought in local labor leaders and elected officials to have a true dialog about the value of collective bargaining and public employees. We also addressed the real concerns related to the environment and how we locally can support the movement to be more sustainable  our individual and collective actions.

And at the local level, we have been a leader in electing progressive candidates to office. We know that local offices are non-partisan, but we also know that progressive values are needed to at every level of government. We have supported 5 candidates for local education offices during this past year (both Culver City School Board and Los Angeles Community College Board) and have a 100% election success rate. We have also had very important conversations about making our local elections more (small d) democratic by consolidating elections, an issue that is being picked up by some candidates for local office. Finally, we have tried to bring in new members through better use of social networking and planning 3 very successful happy hours.

As the calendar turns to 2012 and my term as Club president comes to an end, I feel confident that we have made significant contributions to the political conversation within Culver City. I know that we have provided the foundation for the important work that will need to be done over the year to come in order to elect good candidates to our city council, state legislature, congress, and of course to reelect President Obama. We make that transition this month with a discussion at our general membership meeting about the Obama Presidency. We are proud to bring together a panel of leaders within the Democratic Party and Progressive movement to help us evaluate the President’s first term and look forward to the very stark choice facing our country in just 10 months.

Bill Wynn has been nominated to take over the mantle as the 2012 President of the Democratic Club. If you elect Bill to be President on January 11th, he will bring new energy and excitement to the important work that we are doing. Bill is a leader in this community, having served as the Chair of the Culver City Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee and as an activist with local political campaigns. I turn over the club to him and the new board with full confidence that they will continue on with the important work ahead. Happy new year to all.

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