Jeanna Harris was elected Second Vice President at the Club’s August general meeting. The 2nd VP is chair of the Ways and Means Committee, which is in charge of fund raising. I’d like to ask all of our members to support the Club’s fund raising efforts as much as possible, because we have the most important presidential election of our lives coming next year, as well as a lot of local elections that need attention.

The more money the Club has, the bigger impact it can have on election outcomes.

I’d like to thank Ronnie Jayne Solomon for all the great work she did on behalf of the Club as 2nd Vice President. We love you, Ronnie.

Fiesta la Ballona

I’m writing this after spending most of last weekend in the Club’s booth at Fiesta la Ballona. We met a lot of people, signed up some new members, gave away some free stuff, sold some buttons and t-shirts.

Our booth had visits from all four Democrats running for LA County Supervisor in the second district: Herb Wesson, Sharis Rhodes, Jan Perry, and Holly Mitchell.

We had a cardboard cutout of Barack and Michelle Obama that was pretty popular. Lots of visitors took selfies with the Obamas.

Meeting program

One of the speakers at our September 11 general meeting will be Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, who is running to replace Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas in LA County’s second supervisorial district.

The other speaker at the September meeting will be Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez. Some members have questions for Mark about the endorsement of candidates.

Early primary

Since the California primary election has been moved up to March 3 of next year, the Club will need to make an endorsement for President this year in order to make it in time to mail out postcards with the Club endorsement.

I think we should vote to have endorsement voting at our November meeting, and I will call for a vote on that at our September meeting.

Bylaws change

We will be voting on a bylaws change at the September 11 general meeting. It will be on whether to add the following article to our Club bylaws:

“Article XVIII. Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Club may adopt.”

This bylaws change is recommended by the Executive Board.

Ranked Choice Voting

Also on the agenda for our September meeting will be the voting procedure for our candidate endorsements. The Bylaws state that “A procedure for endorsement shall be established by the Executive Board prior to the endorsing meeting.” The Executive Board voted to use ranked choice voting to choose Club endorsements for the March 2020 primary. Because this way of voting is unfamiliar to most of our members, it seems appropriate to discuss, ask questions, and air any concerns.

Ranked choice voting is not a new idea. Barack Obama proposed a ranked choice voting bill when he was in the Illinois State Legislature. Several cities already use it, as well as some Democratic Clubs.

What our Executive Board has proposed is a ballot that allows for first, second, and third choices for a given office.

For example: If my first choice gets eliminated for too few votes, my second choice candidate will receive my vote. My first choice candidate can’t win, but my ballot still might have a say in the outcome.

The same thing happens if my second choice candidate falls short of enough votes: that candidate drops out, but the third choice on my ballot gets counted.

If no candidate reaches the 60 percent endorsement threshold on the first ballot, there will be a second ballot as usual.

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