Culver City Democratic Club Official web site of the Culver City Democratic Club Wed, 11 Nov 2015 17:10:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 President’s Message by Sylvia Moore, November 2015 Wed, 11 Nov 2015 17:08:24 +0000

sylvia_photoDemocracy in California just took a huge leap forward. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed our state’s new “Motor Voter Program,” a law that could put millions of unregistered Californians onto the voter rolls. Co-authored by Democratic Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez, Luis Alejo and Kevin McCarty, and championed by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the “California Motor Voter Program” requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to electronically enroll residents with a driver’s license or state identification card once they have been identified as eligible to vote. Eligible Californians have the choice to opt out of being registered during a specific period of time. California joins Oregon as the second state in the nation to adopt a “motor voter” program.

Unlike Oregon’s law, however, California’s “motor voter” program is not a true automatic voter registration system, since residents still must confirm to the DMV eligibility and they have the option to opt out. And neither state’s program is true universal automatic voter registration, where the government registers every citizen at birth and the right to vote is activated at 18 (no having to interact with a specific agency) – something other advanced democracies already do. Still, with ―motor voter‖ and our already-in-place online registration system, California is streamlining the way we vote by minimizing the need for filling out a paper form and saving money (and trees!) at the same time.

Gov. Brown also recently signed into law bills expanding same-day registration to the days leading up to Election Day, requiring most municipalities to align their local elections to coincide with state and federal elections in even-numbered years, and allowing legal permanent residents who are 16 and 17 years of age to serve as poll workers. All of these reforms aim to increase voter turnout, thereby strengthening democracy in California. And the more people participate in the political process, the more equitably resources are shared and all our rights are better protected.

Unfortunately, in other states dominated by Republican legislatures, voting rights are being quickly rolled back through restrictive voter identification laws, cut backs to early voting, and curtailing voter registration efforts. This is anti-democratic behavior. But then, that’s the point: to keep disfavored groups (the poor, people of color) from accessing the benefits of citizenship. Decades ago, California was a right-wing state — birthplace of the anti-tax movement, aggressive, ―tough on crime‖ measures, and anti- immigrant sentiment. But demographic changes have rendered those attitudes far less popular. We’re undoing the damage done by the reactionaries in the past. With millions more Californians soon to be added to the voter rolls, the changes could be even more dramatic.

]]> 0 President’s Message by Sylvia Moore, October 2015 Sat, 10 Oct 2015 19:48:15 +0000

sylvia_photoTwenty fifteen has been a bloody year. As I write this, we’ve had nearly 300 mass shootings occur since January, according to a Washington Post graphic that went viral. The latest tragedy just took place at a college in Oregon, where the killer took the lives of nine people and injured nine before being killed himself in a shootout with police.

It’s now become a numbingly regular and morbid ritual. The armed perpetrator – usually young, white and male – massacres people in a public place. The media punditry wonders if mental illness is involved. The President makes a statement condemning the killings and demands Congress pass gun control legislation. The National Rifle Association makes a statement saying guns shouldn’t be blamed, and besides, we need more guns to protect us. People hand-wring over what to do — or insist that nothing can be done. And so, no new national laws are passed. The current tragedy recedes into memory, and people go on with their lives. Then the cycle repeats itself with the next massacre.

America is now the mass shooting capital of the world. A University of Alabama study released in August asserts that the combination of extremely high levels of gun ownership, Americans’ obsession with fame, and the gap between Americans’ expectations of themselves and actual achievement creates a uniquely toxic environment for mass shootings. Then add to that the tens of thousands of single instances of gun violence: domestic disputes, robberies, gang warfare, suicide, the killings of unarmed people by law enforcement.

So why do we keep coming back here again and again? States that have stricter gun laws have fewer firearms deaths than those with looser regulation, but guns still cross state lines, making this a national problem. National legislation is needed, but that hasn’t been possible. We need to confront some hard truths. Some on the left like to point to Australia as a model on how stricter gun regulation can be achieved at the national level after a mass shooting. They say that Australia has a similar frontier history and love of guns, but that did not stop the country from enacting stricter gun laws in a speedy 12 (!) days. Yet, they fail to acknowledge that in Australia, everyone is required to vote. Moreover, Australia, unlike the United States, has a parliamentary system, where the party in power (or a coalition of parties) has total control of the government and opposition parties cannot veto legislation. The makeup of the U.S. Congress is among the most mal- apportioned legislative bodies in the world, meaning sparsely populated states – the ones that tend to be rural, majority white and more supportive of looser gun regulation – have greater political power than more populated states with more urban constituencies, like California. How Congress is currently organized hasn’t changed much from 1776. It’s archaic and anti-democratic.

Second, folks need to learn the real history behind the Second Amendment — not the fake one we’re taught as propaganda. The amendment was not generally created to ―protect citizens from the tyranny of the federal government. It was added to guarantee that southern plantation owners could raise ―militias‖ to quell slave revolts without interference from the feds. In other words, the Second Amendment was created to preserve the Union by protecting slavery. That’s not something to be proud about, let alone express endless support for.

Third, Americans need to get real about the disconnect between the high expectations of themselves and actual low social mobility in the U.S. Our national drive to be better than everyone else at everything has created much innovation and wealth beyond belief. At the same time, endless optimism and competition, – but falling short of what is expected – is killing the psyche. Some humility is in order. The reality of economic inequality has made the ―American dream come crashing down to Earth. Many who thought they were immune to hardship by virtue of their privileges or a lifetime of working hard, are finding out how precarious life really is in a country with such a thin safety net.

]]> 0 Supports HR 1111 – Department of Peacebuilding Sat, 26 Sep 2015 23:19:57 +0000 The Club has joined with a multitude of other Democratic Clubs throughout California to support Barbara Lee’s U.S. Department of Peacebuilding (HR1111) legislation.

Other CA Democratic Clubs that support HR1111 include:
Auburn Area Democratic Club, Beverly Glen Democratic Club (Los Angeles), Central Valley Hmong Democratic Club (Fresno), Coastside Democratic Club (Half Moon Bay), Culver City Democratic Club, Democracy for America (Marin), Democratic Alliance for Action (Santa Clarita), Democratic Club of Kern River Valley, Democratic Club of Orange, Democratic Club of Southern Sonoma County, Democratic Club of Vista, Democratic Service Club (Santa Barbara), Democratic Women’s Club of San Diego, Feather River Democratic Club, Nevada County Democratic Women’s Club, Oakhurst Democratic Club, Santa Rosa Democratic Club, Turlock Democratic Club, Stonewall Democratic Club (Los Angeles), Windsor Democratic Club.

On August 16, 2015, the California Democratic Party (CDP) reaffirmed its 2013 endorsement of U.S. Department of Peacebuilding by endorsing 2015’s (HR1111). ]]> 0 Dr Kelly Kent -Culver City School Board Endorsment Mon, 14 Sep 2015 20:24:26 +0000 The Culver City Democratic Club endorses Dr Kelly Kent for Culver City School Board. The upcoming CCUSD School Board Election is November 3rd, 2015.

You can Visit Dr Kelly Kent at her website

Endorsements require 60% of ballots submitted. Endorsements were voted on at the September 9th General Meeting.
]]> 0 Minimum Wage Resolution Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:41:55 +0000 MINIMUM WAGE RESOLUTION OF THE CULVER CITY DEMOCRATIC CLUB

Passed at General Membership Meeting of the Culver City Democratic Club, 9/9/2015

Whereas, The City of Los Angeles has adopted a $15.00 per hour minimum wage ordinance, effective 2020;

Whereas, the California state minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2016; and

Whereas, if no changes are made, Culver City workers will be paid $10.00 per hour in 2020 while Los Angeles workers will be paid $15.00 per hour for comparable work;

Resolved, That the Culver City Democratic Club supports the establishment of a $15.00 phased in minimum wage for Culver City, effective 2020;

Resolved, That the position of the Club shall be communicated to the members of the City Council and to the local media. ]]> 0 President’s Message by Sylvia Moore, September 2015 Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:44:17 +0000

sylvia_photoSo Jeb Bush thinks Americans just aren’t working hard enough. In a recent newspaper interview, the GOP presidential candidate, former Florida governor, and silver-spoon
holder, criticized President Obama’s proposal to expand overtime protection to 5 million American workers, saying that “People are going to have to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families.” Seriously, Jeb?

To the contrary, Americans work plenty. According to the Organization (OECD), Americans worked an average of 1,789 hours last year, higher than the OECD average of all countries surveyed. And still, our wages have been stagnant for the past 40 years even though our productivity has actually increased. Speaking of wages, Donald Trump, noted trust fund recipient and current (for the time-being) GOP front-runner, believes that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is just fine at that level and “not a bad thing for this country.” So says a guy who has never had to, and likely never will have to, survive on $7.25.

And then, there’s Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who gets handsomely rewarded with campaign cash as chief lackey to the billionaire Koch Brothers, all the while bashing unions as “special interests” and comparing them to ISIS. I could probably go on – there are more than a dozen Republicans vying for the White House at this point – but it would take more room than I have in our newsletter to outline all the ways these candidates disrespect the value of most people who have to work for a living (and downright disparage people who can’t find jobs).

The sad thing is that these people even have an audience for their retrograde attitudes toward the working class. A lot of that audience includes members of the working class. Some are even in unions. America’s confused relationship with laborers and the idea of whose work is valued goes a long way toward explaining why our nation’s workers are so ill-treated compared with the rest of the developed world. America was built on the exploited labor of African people. Then, came the exploited labor of the poor – black and white – and of immigrants. Post- New Deal and post-World War II, the value of workers rose and they gained new rights that resulted in the middle class boom that lasted until the 1980s.

Today, we are in a new era of exploitation: of unpaid internships that look a lot like full-time jobs; of uncompensated overtime; of contract workers and temps; of outright wage theft. We’re a society where workers are expected to be on- call during what little vacation time they get, and a society where many don’t get vacation at all. We stand out as the only country in the industrialized world that doesn’t mandate paid vacation or maternity leave. At the same time, Americans identify themselves through their work; the first question one is always asked at a social gathering is not “What are your favorite hobbies,” but “What do you do?” And the idea of “working hard” as much as one can to achieve success, is seen as a badge of honor – no matter the consequences to one’s health and family life. The idea of working in our country is valued, but the act of laboring – outside that of the corporate executive – isn’t so much valued. So every September, we mark Labor Day with barbecues and shopping and beach-going, while the original reason for the holiday – a celebration of the achievements of the labor movement – lies mostly forgotten.


Approved by the Culver City Democratic Club:


Whereas, California is reducing its prison and jail populations as a result of the implementation of AB 109 and Proposition 47. This has increased the need for services for those returning home from incarceration;

Whereas, in March 2015 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved a $30 million program to divert the mentally ill from incarceration and into community based treatment programs. This amount has recently been increased to $30 million;

Whereas, the diversion funding allocation has been tied to the release of the DA Jackie Lacey Crime Justice Mental Health Task Force report on mental health diversion from incarceration, which has no funding timetable;

Therefore be it resolved that the Culver City Democratic Club urges the LA County Democratic Party lobby the BOS to expedite the process for releasing these funds to community and faith based organizations that deliver services to the formerly incarcerated;

Be it further resolved that the Culver City Democratic Club urges the LA County Democratic Party lobby city, county, state and federal officials to develop an interagency approach in partnership with community and faith based organizations to streamline the service delivery process for incarceration diversion.

Download Resolution Calling For The Release Of LA County Incarceration Diversion Funds

]]> 0 Endorsed SCA 5! Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:50:42 +0000

The Culver City Democratic Club supports SCA 5, Reforming Inequities in Commercial Property Tax Annual Reassessment of Commercial Properties sponsored by State Senators Holly Mitchell and Loni Hancock, and its efforts to eliminate inequalities, loopholes and negative economic impacts of the current acquisition-value assessment system for commercial and industrial properties. Known as the Property Tax Fairness amendment, it would finally make California’s property tax code fair by assessing commercial and industrial properties at their market value, after a phase-in period. It would also provide significant tax relief for businesses, protect homeowners and renters from any changes to their property tax status, and create strict new accountability measures for new revenues.

SCA 5 would assess commercial properties at their fair market value, provide tax relief for businesses and protect homeowners and renters

“This legislation will address structural flaws in the commercial property side of Prop. 13 that have allowed a minority group of wealthy corporations and commercial property owners to dramatically lower their tax bills and shift that responsibility onto homeowners and renters,” said Senator Hancock. “Our homeowners are now being asked to pay the vast majority – 72% – of property taxes, while the commercial side pays only 28%. In 1978 when Prop. 13 passed, each paid about 50%. That’s not fair, and it has strained the community services our residents rely on.”

]]> 0 President’s Message by Sylvia Moore, August 2015 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 01:35:58 +0000

sylvia_photoA few months ago, I got into an argument on Twitter with a right winger over voting and taxes. I was watching MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s show and one segment was about felon disfranchisement. I posed this question to my Twitter followers: “Should people who have paid their debt to society still be taxed if they aren’t allowed to vote?” This question immediately attracted said right winger, who answered, “Yes.” We got into a short back-and-forth, which I won’t elaborate here, but the crux of his belief was that if a person didn’t want their rights taken away, they shouldn’t commit a crime. Never mind that many people, black Americans especially, have been railroaded by our criminal justice system. Whatever happened to “no taxation without representation?”

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, but the celebrations are tempered by the United States Supreme Court’s recent gutting of the landmark legislation. Despite what the majority of the justices in that case would have us believe, racism in the electoral process is still alive and well in America. Felon disfranchisement, which disproportionately impacts Americans of color, is one problem that is at the forefront of the current movement for voting rights. States have different laws regarding incarcerated people and voting, with the most draconian disfranchising for life people convicted of felonies, to the most lenient that allow people in prison to vote in all elections. California is in the middle, restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated after they have completed their sentence and parole.

Voting rights advocates tend to frame disfranchisement in moral terms: that it’s undemocratic to exclude people from participating in our democracy. But, getting back to my Twitter argument with the right winger, I wanted to frame the issue in terms I thought conservatives would understand: would they sympathize with an apparent anti-tax argument when it came to the formerly incarcerated? At least that right winger didn’t, and I can’t say I’m surprised. Because I posed the question to expose what, I think, was a big reason behind felon disfranchisement laws: to ensure that black Americans have little to no say in how our country’s resources – through taxes – are distributed. The right winger didn’t say anything about race, but he didn’t have to.

Ultimately, voting is about deciding if, when and how much to tax ourselves, where and on whom those dollars are spent. Racism is about animosity toward other groups, but it’s also about economics — keeping disfavored groups at an economic disadvantage relative to one’s own group. What better way to take resources away from blacks and the poor, and redistribute them to whites and the affluent, by making certain behaviors criminal felonies, disproportionately targeting and arresting members of marginalized groups for those behaviors, and passing laws taking away those groups’ voting rights after conviction? Now, this may sound to some like tin-foil hat conspiracy theory, but it’s no coincidence that the era of the Drug War, mass incarceration, and the right-wing anti-tax revolt began not long after President Lyndon Johnson signed the set of civil rights laws guaranteeing black Americans’ equal participation in U.S. democracy.

]]> 0 President’s Message by Sylvia Moore, July 2015 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 20:02:12 +0000

sylvia_photoThe close of June has seen a stunning series of events for President Obama, our Democratic Party and the American people. The last few weeks were marked by farce, horrific tragedy and soaring triumph. And we seem to be on the verge of a serious and long-needed national conversation about the impact of race and racism on our society.

Let’s start with the triumphs. The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Obama his first victory this session by, once again, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. After dozens of tries, the GOP failed in its latest attempt at stripping millions of Americans of their health coverage. Next, the high Court majority thwarted a right wing attempt to gut the Fair Housing Act by affirming the doctrine of ― “disparate impact,” meaning that people suing over racial discrimination don’t have to prove racist intent, but only that the offending behavior had a racially discriminatory effect. And finally, love won out over bigotry as the Court upheld and expanded the fundamental right of gay and lesbian couples across America to wed.

But for every step forward in human rights, it seems we take three steps backward when it comes to race in America. We seem no closer to stopping the epidemic of police violence against unarmed black and brown people, even when the victims are innocent children simply trying to go to a swim party. And just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, it got worse. A young man addicted to the high of white supremacy and drunk on hatred of black people, walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church with a gun and slaughtered eight parishioners and their pastor, who was also a popular state legislator. The national conversation had suddenly moved from questions of racial identity surrounding the bizarre story of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP leader, who for years had posed as a black woman, to a discussion of racial violence and racist symbols.

Black people in Charleston were immediately exhorted to forgive the alleged killer, and family members of the victims did so publicly within two days of the tragedy. But I know from reading many commentaries in online publications and on social media, that many other black Americans do not forgive and are tired of the constant pleas for black people to ―turn the other cheek‖ when it comes to racist violence. To not call this act of violence a terrorist attack — which it most certainly was — not only disrespects black people, but it’s also hypocritical. Whenever an act of gun violence is committed by someone who is Muslim, it is immediately deemed a terrorist attack and Muslims are unfairly lumped together for collective accountability. But when an act of gun violence is committed by a white American, the go-to explanations are “lone wolf,” “hate crime,” and/or “mental illness” – never terrorism. This, despite the fact that according to a recent study by law enforcement experts, right-wing, anti-government extremists have been involved in many more deadly terror attacks in the U.S. than jihadists.

That the Charleston massacre took place at a church famously known for its civil rights activism is telling. South Carolina was the first southern state to secede during the Civil War, and old feelings die hard. For decades, a majority of the state’s legislature had defiantly rebuffed calls to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of their capitol. However, it looks like the flag might not be there much longer. Unfortunately, it may have taken the lives of nine innocent people to finally shame South Carolina officials towards getting rid of that symbol of slavery, racism, violence and outright theft. But removing symbols is easy. Dismantling America’s institutionalized racism is a much harder task.

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