Watch the video of our meeting on bringing Affirmative Action back to California

Learn how Democrats are working to bring back Affirmative Action, with a star-studded panel of speakers, including Assembly members Shirley Weber & Lorena Gonzales! Watch the video of our Wednesday meeting, below. 

Democratic lawmakers are looking to bring Affirmative Action back to California, 24 years after it was banned. The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club talked with two leaders in the drive to bring back Affirmative Action: Mss Weber and Gonzalez, both from San Diego. The two are sponsors of ACA-5, which overturns Proposition 209, the Affirmative Action ban that passed California in 1996.

Also joining us on our panel discussion was Bud Mehan, Professor emeritus and founder of UCSD’s Create, which established the Preuss School as a workaround to 209. Additionally, we were joined by Ric Epps, a Political Science professor who’s retired from SDSU and current Department Chair of Political Science at Imperial Valley College. Professor Epps was program director in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP), which provides assistance to underrepresented students.

The panel was moderated by our own Professor Emeritus Carol Perkins.

Additionally, we heard from board member Sean Quintal about California’s ballot initiatives, and Chris Pearson about recruiting candidates for local offices with just days until the deadline to register.

Missed the meeting, or want to catch it again? Watch the video below:


We need you — yes, YOU! — to run for local office! Find out more. Time is running out: The deadline for many races is tomorrow (Friday) and for others it’s Aug. 12. 


And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday Sept. 2. Social time will be 6:30 pm, programming starts at 7 pm. See you then! 

Join us Wednesday to discuss reversing California’s Affirmative Action ban

Democratic lawmakers are looking to bring Affirmative Action back to California, 24 years after it was banned. Join the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club Wednesday evening as we talk with two leaders in the drive to bring back Affirmative Action: California Assembly members Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez, both from San Diego.

Mss. Weber and Gonzales are both sponsors of ACA-5, which overturns Proposition 209, the Affirmative Action that passed California in 1996 with a whopping 9 percentage points.

Also joining us on our panel discussion is Bud Mehan, Professor emeritus and founder of UCSD’s Create, which established the Preuss School as a workaround to 209. Additionally, we’ll have Ric Epps, a Political Science professor who’s retired from SDSU and current Department Chair of Political Science at Imperial Valley College. Professor Epps was program director in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP), which provides assistance to underrepresented students.

The panel will be moderated by our own Professor Emeritus Carol Perkins, Professor Emeritus.

As always the Zoom meeting starts 7 pm, after 30 minutes of social time starting at 6:30 pm, followed by spirited pitches from local candidates for office.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82381908206?pwd=M05WcStpSm1JV1EwbUk1eThaaGpTUT09
Email mitch@mitchwagner.com for password.


Also: Got a few minutes and a phone? Please make a few phone calls to battleground states this week.

Campaign training – TODAY! – Also, stand with Joe!

What are you doing this morning? How about changing the world? Or at least taking one small step in that direction. Join the California Democratic Party for a Training Extravaganza starting at 10 am today — that’s in about an hour! The day-long event includes sessions on fundraising, digital organizing, virtual phonebanking and more!

Find details and register for the events you find most interesting: 2020 Summer Executive Board Training Extravaganza.

Also, if you’re on Facebook, please consider joining the San Diego for Joe Biden group. Also, follow @SoCal4Biden on Twitter, Instagram, Mobilize events

Biden campaign volunteer Christian Bilson invites us to a Zoom event: SoCal for Joe Biden: Let’s Get Organized!, starting Saturday (that’s tomorrow), 4:30 pm, and repeating over the next few weeks. Find out how you can get involved and help Democrats take back the White House and rebuild America for Americans.

Christian said in an email: “I already know the #1 question people ask about when we ask them to volunteer: Why volunteer for Joe when he has California locked?” (Which is spooky because that’s exactly what I was thinking at the moment I was thinking it.)

Christian says:

The answer is that, even in the swing states, all activities will be at a distance. So anything our organizers will be doing in the swing states can be done from anywhere. We need an army of volunteers here, the most populous state in the country!

We’re going to need to not just win this election, but win in a landslide to effect needed change. Get started today!

And mark your calendars for our next general meeting, Wednesday, 8/5, 6:30 pm for socializing and 7 pm for programming, on Zoom of course. I’ve been talking with our programming boss Jeff Benesch and we’ve got a great evening lined up — you don’t want to miss it!

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

We need you – yes you! – to run for office!

We need Democrats to run for part-time city councils, school boards, water boards, fire protection boards, hospital boards, and so on.

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as the kind of person who would run for office, but think again. “Our political system is built on the premise that running for office is something that a broad group of citizens should want to do," writes political scientist Jennifer Lawless.. Government only works if everybody gets involved.

To that end, we will be hosting a Zoom meeting Wednesday, July 15, 2020 from 7-8:30 pm. There, you’ll be able to connect with local officials to find out what it was like to run for office and how they won their elections. And they’ll take about what the experience of serving in elective office is like. You’ll find out what meetings are like, and what they do.

You’ll get a real feel for what it’s like to be in elective office.

Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the process of running for office; the San Diego Democratic Party will be with you every step of the way.

These so-called “downballot” elections are where you can make a difference. Sure, it’s important to take a stand on national issues, but our small, individual voices aren’t going to make a lot of difference in ending racism or mitigating climate change on a national level. However, if you win local office and put in the work, you can be guaranteed to make a big difference in the lives of your families, friends and neighbors.

For an invite to our special Zoom Contact me at mitch@mitchwagner.com or club president Tina Rynberg, lmfdemclub@gmail.com, to get a special invitation to the Zoom meeting.

July meeting – Wednesday – Politics Pundits & Pandemic, Continued!

Join us Wednesday, July 1 for another blockbuster Zoom meeting, with a line-up of local and county leaders to talk about the upcoming elections and crises of the moment — protests and rioting in the county; the pandemic, which alarmingly seems to be heating up again; the economic meltdown; and a White House whose incompetence, dishonesty and disregard for citizens’ lives grows more flagrant and monstrous daily.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Will Rodriguez Kennedy, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair
  • Scott Lewis, writer and publisher, Voice of San Diego
  • Todd Gloria, Assemblyperson, AD 78, and candidate for San Diego Mayor
  • Laura Fink, noted television political analyst
  • Chris Ward, San Diego City Council member and candidate, AD 78
  • Michael Smolens, political columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Dr. Jen Campbell, San Diego City Council Member
  • Marni Van Wilpert, San Diego City Council candidate, District 5.
  • Ammar Campa Najjar, candidate, 50th Congressional District

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm for socializing. Programming starts 7 pm.

Join us on Zoom at this URL:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86306356300

And we’ve been hearing from you that signing to these meetings is too difficult. So we’re going to make it easy. Just follow the link and you’re in and you’re in. No registration, no waiting room, no hassle.

Join “The Nancy Pelosi Way” – a Zoom event – Saturday!

Join our friends the East Area Democrats for an evening with Christine Pelosi, author of “The Nancy Pelosi Way.” Ms Pelosi is Chair of the CDP Women’s Caucus, and DNC Member.

This Zoom Q&A and book-signing fundraiser is Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 5PM – that’s this week.

For more information, contact Bob Grand at rgrand@att.net or (310) 560–5282.

Zoom registration links will be emailed to all contributors.

Signed books will be distributed to all contributors of $50 or higher.

All proceeds will help elect Democrats in East County 

RSVP at sddemocrats.org/east.

And mark your calendars for the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club’s next meeting, Wednesday, July 1 on Zoom – social time at 6:30 pm, programming starts at 7 pm. More details to come but trust me – it’s a great program! 

Mitch Wagner
Communications and Social Media
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Watch La Mesa leaders discuss the police, protests, elections and more!

We had a fantastic and wide-ranging discussion with an astounding panel of local leaders Wednesday. We talked about the multiple crises simultaneously facing La Mesa, San Diego, the state, country and world. We discussed the arrest of a young man last week at the Grossmont Trolley station, with allegations of police abuse. We talked about demonstrations Saturday which led to rioting and a woman being shot in the face by police — thankfully, she is reportedly recovering. We also talked about the state of the 2020 elections on all levels, economic inequity, police abuse, and more.

Speakers included:

  • Assembly Member Shirley Weber
  • La Mesa Council Member Akilah Weber
  • Congresswoman Susan Davis.
  • Carl Luna, a University of San Diego professor and political analyst.
  • San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who has taken a leadership role on the county board during the pandemic despite being the only Democrat.
  • Georgette Gomez, president of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s 53 Congressional District.
  • Sara Jacobs, who is opposing Gomez for that seat.
  • And our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, who will talk about the important downballot seats seeking Democratic candidates.
  • Watch the video here:

And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday, July 1, 6:30 pm. We hope to be able to meet in person then, for some form of our annual Party in the Park at Harry Griffen Park, though health and public safety will drive that decision. Either way – in the park, on Zoom or elsewhere – well see you there and then.

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Wednesday meeting – La Mesa Democrats – Talk with local, state and national leaders!

Join us for our June meeting Wednesday, June 3 – that’s tomorrow. Be there at 6:30 pm on Zoom, programming to start shortly after that. That’s a little earlier than we usually start programming. 

Register here for Wednesday’s meeting

And join us for an unstructured, informal get-together today at 5:30 pm, if you can.

Register here for today’s get-together

Read on for details.

A bad year got a lot worse this weekend, as rioting tore apart La Mesa Village. The riots started with peaceful protests, following accusations by a young African-American man that he was unjustly arrested and bullied by police at Grossmont Trolley Station. You can read about the arrest here at the Times of San Diego: Officer Put on Leave After Alleged Police Brutality During Arrest in La Mesa, which includes an Instagram video that went viral, showing the arrest. The San Diego Union-Tribune has more: Man detained by La Mesa police: ‘If we stand united we can’t be beaten’. And the La Mesa Police Department issued a short statement Thursday, saying the incident is under review

The arrest and viral video followed the brutal death of George Floyd, killed by a Minnesota police officer and captured on its own viral video.
We’ll talk about what’s happening in La Mesa and around the county Wednesday, starting at 6:30 pm on Zoom. (That’s a slight schedule change, by the way. Programming was previously scheduled to begin at 7 pm, but we’re going to start as close to 6:30 pm as we can manage, so we can fit everything in.)

The meeting kicks off with La Mesa City Council Member Akilah Weber, who just now agreed to join us. Dr. Weber took a leadership role in following up on both the Grossmont Trolley Station incident, and the ensuing riots, and she’ll talk with us about where things stand. 

Dr. Weber and our other speakers will also discuss the pandemic, economic downturn, upcoming November elections, and more. 

And we have quite a line-up of other speakers, whom we told you about last week. They are:

– Congresswoman Susan Davis.
– Carl Luna, a University of San Diego professor and political analyst.
– Laura Fink, a veteran political operative and analyst.
– San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who has taken a leadership role on the county board during the pandemic despite being the only Democrat.
– Georgette Gomez, president of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s 53 Congressional District.
– Sara Jacobs, who is opposing Gomez for that seat.
– And our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, who will talk about the important downballot seats seeking Democratic candidates.

Find out more about our meeting — Politicos, Pundits, Profs & Pandemics — on our blog.

You don’t want to miss this meeting. Register here in advance to join us on Zoom at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 3

Register here!

Or watch the live streaming video on our YouTube channel:

YouTube: La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Also please join us Tuesday June 2 — that’s later today — at 5:30 pm, for an unstructured, informal discussion that’ll run about 30-45 minutes. The discussion will give us an opportunity to check in with each other and also get familiar with Zoom:

Register here for Tuesday’s unstructured meeting.

We’ll approve registrations shortly before the events start, so watch your email then .

Thanks, and we hope to see you Tuesday and Wednesday!

Say safe, healthy and sane.

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Join us for our June Meeting!

Register here!

Join us on Zoom the evening of Wednesday, June 3, for our regular monthly meeting, with an all-star cast of local and national headline-makers that are all returning favorites of our club! 

We’ll hear from Congresswoman Susan Davis for one of the last appearances before her retirement at the end of this current term.  She’ll reflect on her many years of representing us in Congress, and the new and daunting challenges brought on by the coronavirus.  Congresswoman Davis will also fill us on on the latest attempts by the House to get a relief package through the Senate and White House — these funds are sorely needed by small businesses, families, cities, ports, transportation, hospitals, and schools in San Diego County.  

Be prepared to ask Susan tough questions as to the curiously mis-managed national response to the pandemic or any other issue that’s on your mind. What would you like for Congresswoman Davis to address? Send us your questions by replying to this email. 

Professor and political observer Carl Luna will help us understand what lies ahead in this new and challenging landscape for local candidates of all stripes. How can these candidates operate regarding campaigning, fundraising, voter outreach, and November turnout?  Will leading candidates be able to maintain their voter advantage?  Who benefits from likely massive mail-in voting?

Pundit and veteran political operative Laura Fink will also talk about local races — and we hope to hear her national predictions as well.  Can Joe Biden withstand a well-financed, but fact-challenged campaign by a largely unpopular president, who has seen his ratings drop south of 40% in many polls, following his bungled handling of the pandemic? Will President Obama’s decision to actively campaign for the Biden ticket propel the former VP to success in battleground states?  Who will be Biden’s running mate and how will she create votes and enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket?  What has caused white suburban women voters to run from Trump?

The County Supervisors are making headlines daily regarding their use of federal funds and county reserves to help with Covid-19 disaster relief.  The only Democrat on the San Diego Board of Supervisors, Nathan Fletcher, has been the face of the County in his frequent news conferences outlining the Board’s plans and strategies.  They’ve recently pledged $360 million dollars to the county’s response/recovery efforts.  The Supervisors have also petitioned the Governor to open hair salons, gyms, youth sports and some religious services, but in a controlled, responsible manner.  

Georgette Gomez will join us in her capacity as the powerful President of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s Congressional 53d District seat. She’ll talk with us about the city hold-up on accepting the SDSU proposal for the West Campus Stadium Area plan. Also, how will the city face the economic challenges of a diminished budget due to the virus, and the increased demands placed on the city for homeless sheltering, public safety, beach openings, increased cleaning and sanitizing of public areas, and more? What are the city’s options here — layoffs, curtailing city services, closing parks, diminished public safety?  How does the city generate sales and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues with this lockdown in place?

We’ll have Gomez’s opponent in the Congressional race, Sara Jacobs, to talk about her efforts to campaign thru the pandemic and help provide relief to struggling people. 

Also, our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, will give a primer on the many important down ballot seats seeking Democrat candidates, and how important it is that we challenge Republicans in each and every open contest throughout the county. In other words, you — yes, you! — need to run for local office! Chris will tell you why. 

That’s a great night — but it won’t be complete without you. The meeting starts on Zoom at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 3, for social conversation. Programming starts at 7 pm. You’ll need to register ahead of time; do it here: 

Register here!

Also, the club will vote on endorsing local, state and federal candidates in the November election. Find the roster here:

Endorsement vote for Democratic Candidate

Jeff Benesch
VP Programming
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

Endorsement vote for Democratic candidates!

Mark your calendars for a jam-packed Zoom meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club Wednesday, June 3, at 7 pm. Among the business on the agenda: An endorsement vote for Democratic candidates for local office.

We recommend the club should endorse all Democrats who are running against Republicans, or running unopposed.

In cases where Democrats are running against Democrats, we follow a club tradition of not taking sides in that race and we see no need to break from that tradition this year. Individual club members and board members are free to support an individual candidate – we encourage it! – but the club as a whole supports all Democrats. So where Democrats are opposing other Democrats, we propose rating all candidates as “qualified.”

Read on for a list of suggested endorsements