by Diane Rosenberg
On Sunday February 1st, Herb and I drove to Ojai to attend Lee Sanders' memorial service which was given by his school alumni. Lee's sister, brother-in-law and many of his lifelong friends and associates attended as well.
Everyone had many good things to say about Lee and it was clear he was well liked in the community.
Apparently Lee was very fond of being President of the Culver City Democratic Club. Giving Lee the plaque honoring his service to the Club was one of the best things we could have done for him. When he was in the hospice the only thing that he held on to and kept close to him was the plaque that the Club presented to him at our August General Meeting.
Congrats to Culver City Democratic Club endorsed LACCD Board candidates Andra Hoffman, Sydney Kamlager, Scott Svonkin and Mike Fong!
The following results of the March 3rd election are from LA City's final bulletin from March 4th @ 1:32AM. Culver City voting precincts have been included in the overall LA City results so we won't know how Culver City voted until the full results are released later in March. We do know who won and what the turnout has been.
All of the Culver City Democratic Club endorsed candidates for the LA Community College Board of Trustees were elected.
Voter turnout was 8.62% within the City of LA and 5.49% outside the City of LA. 54% of all voters used Vote-by-Mail.
LACCD Board of Trustees Results:
Seat #1: Winner -Andra Hoffman 34.79%
Andra Hoffman is leading over Francesca Vega 34.79% (61,307) vs 34.48% (60,762). Vega outperformed Hoffman in cities outside LA by 352 votes but Hoffman picked up 897 more votes in LA City to lead by 545. Final ballot counting is to be done by March 13th.
Seat #3: Winner - Sydney Kamlager 50.07%
Former District Director for Holly Mitchell, Sydney Kamlager won against 3 challengers in every city but Rolling Hills (where 3rd place finisher Essavi had a mere 8 more votes.) Kamlager won over 50% of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.
Seat #7: Winner - Scott Svonkin 61.24%
Challenger Steve Schulte won 3 cities but was 592 votes short of winning out of town. Incumbant Scott Svonkin dominated with 62% of the vote in Los Angeles to handily win.
Seat #9: Winner - Mike Fong 57.49%
3rd place finisher Joyce Garcia made a very strong rally in South cities Bell, Commerce, Cudahay and Huntington Park but failed to capture majority elsewhere. Winner Mike Fong had the race's highest margin of victory - he collected 36% more votes than 2nd place finisher John C Burke.
Other races of interest:
Hermosa Beach upheld their ban on Oil Drilling by voting "NO on Measure O" by a Four-to-One Margin. Close to 60% of voters turned out to vote.
LA had 2 charter Amendments seeking to consolidate LA City and LAUSD elections to even number years- Both passed:
Amendment 1: LA City elections - 76.93%
Amendment 2: LAUSD elections - 76.46%
In LA Council races incumbents* had no problem being re-elected and Social Justice Organizer Marqueece Harris-Dawson in District 8 was the only newcomer to win a seat outright. With 50% of the vote was needed to win, District 4 will have a run-off May 19th as none of the 14 candidate received over 16% of the vote. District 4 second place finishers David Ryu and Tomas O'Grady are separated by 61 votes.
LA Council Districts: District 2: Paul Krekorian* 75% District 4: Run-off: Carolyn Ramsay vs ? District 6: Nury Martinez* 61% District 8: Marqueece Harris-Dawson 61% District 10: Herb Wesson* 64% District 12: Mitchell Englander* 100% District 14: Jose Huizar* 66%
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