Housing in Los Angeles County is now unaffordable even for those residents in the middle class. One needs to make at least $33/hour to afford the average basic apartment at about $1,700/month in L.A. County, according to a recent report by researchers at USC. Yet, the minimum wage is only $9/hour. So buying a house at that income level is pretty much out of reach.
Over at UCLA, researchers concluded that Los Angeles is the nation’s least affordable rental market, due to lower median incomes, compared with San Francisco and New York City, and the scarcity of federally- subsidized and rent-controlled housing. The Great Recession worsened L.A. County’s affordable housing shortage, as people who lost their homes in the financial crash turned to rentals. Unfortunately, the problem of unaffordable housing only exacerbates wealth inequality.
Culver City is one of the most desirable places to live in California, with its tree-lined streets, walkable downtown, and many venues for fine eating and entertainment. Though I do not live in Culver City - I spend a great deal of time and money as a visitor - I am aware that it is a struggle for some residents to pay for living in such a wonderful place, as it is in the rest of L.A. County. The issue of rising rents in Culver City came up at a recent city council meeting. At the March 11 General Meeting, we will continue the discussion of rental housing in Culver City with a forum on tenants’ rights that I’m sure will be highly informative. The concerns of middle-class homeowners are given a lot of attention in the mainstream media and in Democratic Party discourse, but we also need to pay attention to the interests of renters as well.
In addition to the tenants’ rights panel, we will have a short presentation from the AllCare Alliance about what’s next in the movement to achieve universal health coverage in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Although the ACA has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured Americans, 4 million Californians will remain without coverage even after the law is fully implemented. Even though the rate of premium increases has slowed somewhat, many Americans still struggle to pay medical bills. And some of those newly covered - either under expanded Medicaid or ACA- subsidized plans - have trouble finding doctors who will treat them because of these health plans’ low reimbursement rates. Personally, as one of those people who had an ACA-subsidized plan once, still had a hard time finding a doctor, and still has out-of- pocket medical bills - I prefer Medicare for All.
At the Wednesday, February 11, General Meeting, elections were held to fill the positions of First Vice President and Corresponding Secretary for the 2015 Executive Board. This re-vote was held because at the January General Meeting, there were too many invalid ballots to ensure a fair result.
In the First VP election, Khin Khin Gyi was the candidate nominated by the Nominating Committee, and Stephen Murray was the candidate nominated from the floor at January’s meeting. Both candidates appeared on the written ballot. Nominating Chair Darryl Cherness conducted the election. Both Mr. Murray and Ms. Gyi made two-minute speeches. The election was then held by secret ballot. Per the CCDC bylaws, a quorum of at least 25 paid members must be present to vote. Twenty-six ballots were cast, and none were invalid. Ms. Gyi received 20 votes, and Mr. Murray received six votes. Therefore, Ms. Gyi is the newly elected First VP.
For the Correspondence Secretary election, the Nominations Committee previously nominated the current Secretary, Stephen Murray. Mr. Cherness asked three times for nominations from the floor. There were no further nominations from the floor. The membership voted by acclamation to re-elect Stephen Murray as Correspondence Secretary.
Congratulations to the 2015 Executive Board:
Just a reminder that our 2015 Installation Luncheon is coming up on Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Culver City. Our featured guest speaker and Democratic Activist of the Year is Sandra Fluke. Our Trudy Cherness Democrat of the Year is Bill Wynn. if you haven’t yet bought tickets, you can go to our Act Blue page at https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/ccdclunch2015
Culver City Democratic Club – 63 Years
General Membership Meeting – Veterans Auditorium Rotunda
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
President Obama’s State of the Union address last month was the moment many Democrats were waiting for: a full- throated endorsement of liberal, Democratic ideas. The President showed where our country has made great strides in strengthening the economy, shrinking the deficit, boosting scientific research, and ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But he also showed where we still have room for improvement. And of course, everyone was buzzing about Mr. Obama’s off-the-cuff jab at a group of heckling lawmakers: “I have no more campaigns to run...I know, because I won both of them.”
Following the rout from the 2014 midterm Congressional elections, Mr. Obama could have lurched to the right in order to pander to the smaller, more conservative electorate that showed up in November. Instead, he doubled down on progressive values with a new list of priorities he wants to work with the Congress to deliver on: free community college, tax credits for child care, paid sick leave, a free and open Internet, tax fairness, fighting climate change. With bold moves such as protecting immigrant children from deportation and taking the first step toward normalizing relations with Cuba, Mr. Obama is demonstrating that he will be no “lame duck.”
Still, though the President proclaimed that the “state of the union is strong,” it may not feel that way to many Americans. Since the beginning of Mr. Obama’s administration, the United States has regained the amount of jobs lost in the Great Recession. According to the White House, 11.2 million jobs have been created in the past five years. Yet, there are still millions more people looking for work, and for the majority of those who are working, wages remain stagnant. The Affordable Care Act has significantly reduced the number of uninsured Americans nationwide, and has halved the number of uninsured in California. But, experts say, 30 million Americans will remain uninsured, even after the ACA is fully implemented. And finally, as the recent protests against police brutality and the aftermath of the high-profile murders of two NYPD officers showed, America’s racial chasm still runs wide and deep.
As with any society, America remains an experiment, in constant need of update and repair. And, what is the state of the Culver City Democratic Club? That is what we will discuss at our February general meeting, as well as your thoughts about President Obama’s address. Let’s share ideas on what we can do to improve the Club. What topics would you like to see featured at future meetings? Should the Club take a more active role in grassroots activism? What ideas do you have to boost membership and/or fundraising? Are there any particular activities you’d like to see the Club do that hasn’t been done before or recently? Should the Club do some things differently? Come with your suggestions, and we’ll take notes. In addition, we will be voting on the positions of CCDC First Vice President and Correspondence Secretary for the 2015 Executive Board. The new Board will be installed at our annual luncheon on Feb. 22, which will also feature our special guest speaker, grassroots activist and women’s rights champion, Sandra Fluke. We will be presenting Ms. Fluke with the Democratic Activist of the Year Award, and former CCDC President Bill Wynn with the Trudy Cherness Democrat of the Year Award. We hope to see you there!