2014 Summer Garden Party, Saturday, July 26 from 3-5pm at the the home of Joan Pirkle Smith. For more details go to www.laborforhealthcare.org and click on "News & Announcements." A Garden Party, Sunday, July 27 from 2-5pm at the home of Jan Goodman & Jerry Manpearl. Featured speakers are Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the L.A. Times, and Paul Song, MD, Radiation Oncologist and Executive Chairman of the Courage Campaign. Sponsored by Physicians for a National Health Program-California. Tickets are $49. Or you can make a donation if you cannot attend. For detailed information and to purchase tickets, go to www.pnhpla.eventbrite.com.
At the February 12th general meeting of the Club we held a forum for Culver City Council Candidates. The Democratic Club is proud to announce its endorsement for two candidates for the Culver City City Council race on April 8, 2014. The two winners were Christopher Patrick “CPK” King and Jim Clarke. These candidates exemplified true compassion for their community, deep understanding of the issues, and will uphold our City’s values if elected. Both candidates were handily endorsed in the first round of voting. To volunteer for Christopher King's campaign, go to his web site at http://www.cpk4culvercity.com/. To volunteer for Jim Clarke's campaign, go to his web site at http://clarke4council2014.com/. Christopher King received the most votes for the endorsement. He is a 9 year resident who serves as the President of the Culver City Rotary Club and Vice-Chair for the Culver City’s Homelessness Committee. He is also a Board Member on the Chamber of Commerce and volunteers as Coach for the Beit T’Shuvah Marathon Team at his temple. He served on Holly J Mitchel’s Small business advisory panel is the only candidate who not only works in Culver City but is also a business owner. He hopes to bring new leadership and new ideas to city council this April. His first priority is a comprehensive economic development plan; by bringing in all the stakeholders and creating specific and measurable goals regarding housing stock and business development. Christopher graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in Sociology and Political Science. Christopher hopes to bring his passion, energy, and new ideas to Culver City this April 8th. http://www.cpk4culvercity.com/ A long time club member, this is Jim Clarke's second time winning the Club's endorsement. The first was for his Council run two years ago and winning the unexpired term of Scott Malsin. In the past two years Clarke has voted to increase the sales tax, to ban plastic bags, called upon the Governor to ban fracking and supported major improvements in residential parking. Clarke earned a Masters of Public Administration from CSU Long Beach and a Bachelors of Science degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. He spent 23 years as an active and on reserve duty, retiring as a Commander from the Coast Guard. Some of Clarke’s previous credentials include being the Chief of Staff Congress Members Diane E. Watson and Brad Sherman as well as serving as executive director to two non-profit organizations: California Clean Money Campaign and the Southern California chapter of Americans for Democratic Action. Clarke hopes to be awarded a full term this election and continue to “follow through” on his promises. http://clarke4council2014.com/ If you need to find out your polling place, go to https://www.lavote.net/.
How Does Our Club Fit Into The Democratic Party? We have heard the jokes about Democrats not being an "organized party." It is our responsibility to take that criticism seriously. I have learned, from the lead front page article in the New York Times of January 24, that Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic "super PAC", which helped re-elect President Obama, is now formally aligning itself with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The move is perhaps the earliest ever start to big-dollar fund- raising in support of a non-incumbent presidential candidate. Now that 2016 is settled, we can consider the importance of the 2014 Congressional elections. We could lose our slim but powerful majority in the U.S. Senate; and we cannot win a majority of Congress: the experts tell us that only about 40 seats will be contested, the rest are locked in by gerrymandering. California's Congressional delegation will lose by retirement of our most effective progressive representatives, George Miller of Northern California and Henry Waxman of West Los Angeles' coastal District 33. Both are from the Watergate class of 1974. Waxman's award-worthy achievements are legendary and numerous, and are getting a belated review in the popular media. His career disproves the foolish claims that Congress cannot function. Where do such legendary careers begin? That is where you and I and our Club come in. Waxman was an activist and organizer before he ran for office, campaigning for Adlai Stevenson, founding the UCLA Young Democrats, and then the powerful Berman-Waxman machine, with Howard Berman and Michael Berman. Our Club has recognized and endorsed activists and organizers, such as Karen Bass, Holly Mitchell, and Meghan Sahli- Wells, and they have grown and proven themselves qualified for office beyond Culver City, while maintaining their local ties. Every time a politician speaks to our Club, we can speak back about our concerns and issues, and help her to do her job as our representative. The above thoughts suggest that our in-person attendance, meeting and possibly endorsing candidates for Culver City Council, may be our most important political activity, along with actually working to inform other Democrats about those we endorse. The California Democratic Party seems to be under-funded, under- staffed, and not too well organized. Most of us don't even know when or where they meet. But I may be proven wrong about that at the Statewide Convention in Los Angeles, March 7th to 9th. They will be endorsing for the June 3rd primary, voting on resolutions, and creating a party platform that endorsed candidates are supposed to stand on. Some of our members will be delegates; all of us can attend as observers. For schedule and location, try www.cadems.org. Pre- endorsement meetings are already being held in the party's 20 districts. Region 12 is near us, including Henry Waxman's CD 33. Culver City is in Region 14, which includes Karen Bass' CD 37. Next month, I'll write about the best news sources for political activists; send me your suggestions!