Culver City Democratic Club Official web site of the Culver City Democratic Club Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:42:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Our 2016 endorsements Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:39:36 +0000 Please click on the picture for a full resolution image.




  ]]> 1 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, October 2016 Wed, 12 Oct 2016 03:16:23 +0000

FullSizeRenderAt 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.

]]> 1 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, September 2016 Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:30:51 +0000 To Ban or Recycle Styrofoam

FullSizeRenderAt 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.

]]> 0 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, August 2016 Wed, 10 Aug 2016 02:25:09 +0000 The Clean Water Parcel Tax

FullSizeRenderWhen I attended the Culver City Council meeting on Monday, July 11th, it was to mainly voice my opinion as a member of the Culver City Community Coalition. I was there to insist that we continue to have our City Council members retain the responsibility of hiring and firing our police and fire chiefs. I was there to insist that we continue to have two year terms for our council members instead of the three years that some were proposing. This would assure fresh voices and a diversity of opinions to be represented on the council. Almost at the end of the session on July 11th, I was surprised to find that there would also be a Clean Water Parcel Tax.

It turns out that Culver City is required to comply with measures required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program (NPDESP). To fund this campaign, the Culver City Council is proposing a $ 99/parcel of residential land taxation to be voted on come November 8th. According to a previous survey of residents, the Council surmised that 75% of the residents were supportive of this measure. Since I never received any survey, it makes me wonder what the sample size of the survey was and whether it was a statistically significant sample size to begin with. Even taxing all the residents, the Council was aware that it would cover 10% of the entire $50million dollar liability/fines/expenses it would incur. So where would or should the other 90% come from? At the July 25th City Council meeting, Dr. David Haake, Chair of the West LA Sierra Club and we, as members of the Sierra Club and the Executive Director of Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community (CCSC), Paul Ferrazzi, recommended that Freeport- McMoRan Oil and Gas Company (FMX) shoulder the other 90% of the tax burden, as they have been responsible for the run off into the Ballona Creek since 1920. According to the minutes of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting that was conducted at Culver City’s City Hall on 2-7-13, Ms. Cassandra Owens, Unit Chief Watershed Regulatory Officer indicated that: a) there have been two violations by FMX since 1994 regarding effluent (oil production waste) release, and b) that FMX must submit a final compliance schedule by February 7, 2017 regarding effluent quantification and speciation.

The interesting thing to me at the end of the session was that Mr. Herbertson of Public Works reminded the Council that it was not the purview of the Council to tax FMX. He felt that it was the responsibility of the LA Water Board to tax FMX, but to our knowledge, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) has only given FMX extensions on its deadlines to meet the specifications of the permit. FMX has never been levied fines to the best of our knowledge by the RWQCB. It would only be fair if FMX could shoulder a part of the Clean Water Tax as it has been polluting the Ballona Creek for 96 years!

]]> 0 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, July 2016 Wed, 13 Jul 2016 02:18:32 +0000

FullSizeRenderThe Culver City Democratic Club’s July meeting will feature a talk by C. Tom Williams, Ph.D. (Geology) on how to evaluate a draft environmental impact report (EIR). This will be in anticipation of the draft EIR that Culver City hopes to roll out to the public in the September/October period. The EIR will cover oil and gas exploration in the Culver City portion of the Inglewood Oil Field which covers 10% of the entire field.

According to case law, the EIR is at the heart of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), a California statute passed in 1970 after the US federal government passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. CEQA requires state and local agencies within California to follow a protocol of analysis and public disclosure of environmental impacts of proposed projects and adopt feasible measures to mitigate those impacts.
One alternative that a lead agency must usually consider is the no project alternative, which means cancellation of the project and anticipated proposals of new projects in its place. Among all the alternatives, the EIR identifies the environmentally superior alternative; if the environmentally superior alternative is the no project alternative, the EIR identifies the environmentally superior alternative among the other alternatives.

The EIR process begins with the circulation of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) which informs the public, responsible agencies that an EIR will be prepared for a given project. After preparation of the draft EIR, a Notice of Completion (NOC) must be submitted to the Office of Planning and Research which includes project location, location of review copies and public comment review period. If the draft EIR is circulated through the State Clearinghouse, then the public comment period must be 45 days minimally. The lead agency must prepare a final EIR before approving the project. The lead agency then certifies the final EIR and issues its findings. Should significant and unavoidable impacts remain after mitigation, a Statement of Overriding Considerations must be prepared. Finally, the lead agency may decide whether or how to approve or carry out the project after which a notice of determination (NOD) must be filed within five days of approval. Appeal periods and litigation avenues remain after the NOD.

]]> 0 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, June 2016 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 15:22:25 +0000

As our Club prepares for the upcoming showing of Robert Greenwald’s most recent documentary, “Making a Killing,” I was reading about our state Senate’s approval of eleven gun bills in response to the San Bernadino shootings. As you will all recall on December 2nd, 2015 two attackers killed 14 people in San Bernadino as they were attending an office Christmas party.

According to Senate President Pro Tem, Kevin de Leon (D – Los Angeles), 30,000 people are killed by guns every year in the United States. Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions! The San Bernadino shootings also resulted in a separate gun control initiative by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome that is expected to quality for the November 8th ballot.

Two of the bills approved by the state Senate would ban the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, as well as semiautomatic, center-fire rifles with “bullet buttons.” A bullet button is best described as a recessed button that allows the removal of the magazine when pressed by a sharp object. Those already in possession of such guns would have to register them with the state as assault rifles.

Another measure would ban the possession of large capacity magazines, i.e. those holding more than 10 bullets. Another bill written by De Leon would require those buying ammunition to present identification, which would be used by the seller to check to make sure that the buyer is not a felon or otherwise prohibited from possessing guns. This bill is supported by the Los Angeles Police Chief, Charlie Beck and LA County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell as a way to make sure
criminals do not get ammunition.

Other bills would require owners of homemade guns to get a serial number for the firearms, register them with the state and undergo a background check. Another would mandate that gun owners report lost or stolen firearms to the authorities within five days of discovery that they are missing.

Other provisions include limiting lending of firearms to specified family members and establishing a Firearm Violence Research Center at one of the UC campuses to study potential policies to reduce shooting deaths and injuries. Please be sure to reach out to your assembly member ASAP as there will be a vote on this in the assembly before the end of June. Let’s make California a safer place for all!

]]> 0 Endorsed Candidates Sat, 04 Jun 2016 13:04:15 +0000 Culver City Democratic Club Endorsed Candidates
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President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, May 2016 Wed, 11 May 2016 18:08:26 +0000 In the April 16th issue of the LA Times I was just reading an article by Evan Halper and Matt Pearce, entitled “Angrier Sanders backers oversell message,” describing how superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention were awakened by 2 A.M. phone calls and targeted in social media posts. There was the story of an activist in Chicago who unleashed a movement to “harass” superdelegates backing Clinton, with an online “hit list” complete with delegate phone numbers and some home addresses. Then, in the Wednesday April 27th issue of the LA Times, following the primary elections in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island, there appears to be a new equilibrium in the air. There is an air of inevitability and a new normal that appears to be settling over both major parties.

Everyone knows that Donald Trump won all five primaries, earning the majority of the 172 delegates at stake. But enough of the candidate of the other party! Hillary Clinton’s win in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware on Tuesday, April 26th earned her 90% of the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, according to the Associated Press (AP). Clinton has 2,141 delegates while Sanders has 1,321 according to the AP. Interestingly, this has transformed Bernie Sanders into a candidate influencing the Democratic Party’s agenda rather than winning its presidential nomination. Furthermore, he has reduced his campaign staff by two thirds, according to reports on NPR.

To his credit, Bernie Sanders has been effective in bringing the issue of getting unaccountable money out of politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality into the mainstream consciousness of the Democratic Party. To our credit as Democrats, we have been able to debate the issues and formulate platforms rather than resort to sophomoric name calling and demonizing as the methods of persuasion. Clearly, we appear to be dealing with a consciousness devoted to raising the plight of everyone in contradistinction to an egocentric consciousness that purports to elevate itself by oppressing the rest that it sees as different from itself. How could the latter ever succeed in a democracy where we have had a tradition of looking out for one another? Indeed, in state after state, the platform that concerned itself with the economy, healthcare and terrorism has won consistently over those who were concerned primarily with income inequality as their top issue. In addition, those concerned with gun violence won over those who questioned the right of families of victims to sue the manufacturer of the rifle used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It behooves us all as Democrats to make sure that the progress that President Obama made with the Affordable Care Act are preserved for posterity, along with environmental conservation measures such as rejection of the XL Pipeline to be built from Canada through the Midwest. It is up to all of us to make sure that no American is discriminated against because of their race, religious preference, gender or who they love. There is only one party that will stand up and fight for all of us, the Democratic Party. Let’s make sure we continue to have a Democrat in the White House, come November. ]]> 0 President’s Message by Khin Khin Gyi, April 2016 Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:58:47 +0000

FullSizeRenderIn January of this year when our immediate past president Sylvia Moore brought up the issue of transitioning to a system of sending our monthly club newsletters by email, there were some in the crowd who strenuously insisted on receiving newsletters by mail. A compromise was proposed and a three- month phase in period followed whereby those who still wanted their newsletters by mail would opt in and specifically state so. To that effect, we will be providing Excel spread sheets for those who wish to continue receiving our newsletter by mail, opting in, whereas the rest of us would receive the email version.

Why are we moving to a more sustainable way to share information? When you consider the fact that it costs the club approximately $ 1,637.00 per year to send the newsletters by mail and that we have three elections to endorse this year. Each time we mail out our endorsement postcards, it costs $ 577.70 to have the postcards printed at Norwalk Printing and then another $ 1,501.05 to have them processed and have postage affixed to them prior to mailing. For all three set of elections beginning with the Culver City Council, the June primary and the November general elections, we are looking at a price tag of approximately $ 6,000.00 for this year.

One could argue that we could not possibly meet our obligations this year, but with the introduction of life time memberships, and stepping up of fund raising activities, we hope to be able to reach our goal. To that effect, we will be providing sign-in sheets at the upcoming meeting for those who wish to continue receiving our newsletter by mail, thus opting in. The rest of us will receive the email version of the newsletter.

]]> 0 Vote for Culver City Democratic Club endorsed candidates Sat, 09 Apr 2016 16:43:33 +0000

Vote Tuesday April 12th

Dear Fellow Democrat,
Culver City’s Municipal Elections are on April 12th and the members of the Culver City Democratic Club have endorsed the following candidates for City Council:

Daniel Lee

Thomas Aujero Small

Meghan Sahli-Wells

We believe these are the best qualified candidates to represent our shared vision and Democratic values. They are also endorsed by the LA County Democratic Party and the Sierra Club. We ask you to support them and vote on Tuesday for Daniel Lee, Thomas Aujero Small and Meghan Sahli-Wells*.

Daniel Lee, Meghan Sahli Wells, Thomas Small

The Culver City Democratic Club has been representing the democratic values of our community for over 61 years. In addition to its involvement in local issues we are also active in national and state issues. Many members of Culver City’s City Council have been members of the Club, including four of the five current Councilmembers.

APRIL 12th BALLOT (portion facsimile):

Please vote for the following 3 candidates:

Polling Places

On Election Day, the polls will be open between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. The following is a listing of the 13 Voting precinct locations. You should try to vote at your own precinct but may vote, via provisional ballot, at another if it is more convenient for you. (all polling places are accessible to those with physical disabilities)

Locate your polling place

Voting Precinct Locations:

160001A – Residence – 3643 Helms Avenue, 90232

160002A – Vintage Faith Foursquare Church – 3979 Tilden Avenue, 90232

160004A – Patacchia Conference Room, City Hall – 9770 Culver Boulevard

160007A – Julian Dixon County Library – 4975 Overland Avenue, 90230

160011A – Veterans’ Memorial Room C – 4117 Overland Avenue, 90230

160014A – Residence – 5964 Stoneview Drive, 90232

160022A – Vintage Grandview – 4061 Grand View Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90066

160025A – Rotary Plaza – 5100 Overland Avenue, 90230

160027A – El Marino Elementary School – 11450 Port Road, 90230

160031A – El Rincon Elementary School – 11177 Overland Avenue, 90230

160042A – Raintree Condominium Association – 2000 Raintree Circle, 90230

160073A – Heather Village Condominiums – 6205 Green Valley Circle – Gate 1, 90230

160074B – La Sorra Loma Apartments – 6000 Buckingham Parkway, 90230

This Precinct list was made for your convenience and is accurate as of April 4th. The official Precinct list and other pertinent election information from the Culver City Clerk is available on Culver City’s Website. All election information specific questions and issues should be directed to the City Clerks office at 310-253-5851.

The Culver City Democratic Club

The Culver City Democratic Club meets at 7pm on the second Wednesday of the month in the Rotunda room of Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. Membership is open to all Democrats and visitors are welcome. For more information

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