August general meeting: The monopoly threat, with activist/writer Cory Doctorow

For our next monthly meeting, Aug. 3, 7 pm on Zoom, we’re pleased to welcome Cory Doctorow, an activist, journalist, blogger, science fiction writer, and long-time anti-monopoly champion. The topic: Monopoly is the root of all evil.

Cory comes up from the technology industry. He’s worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, for many years; he’s now a special consultant for that organization. Tech industry monopolies—primarily Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon—are highly controversial.

But it’s not just tech. Monopolies dominate every industry. From healthcare and finance to professional wrestling, every industry is dominated by an extremely limited number of companies, which control what consumers can buy, and limit job choices for people who work in that industry. Monopoly power allows companies to exert unhealthy influence on the government agencies that are supposed to regulate them.

Yeah, it’s a dry topic—but Cory is a dynamic speaker, and brings the subject to life. Trust me, if you come to the meeting you’ll learn a lot and enjoy the conversation.

Cory is the author of books including science fiction for adults, such as “Radicalized” and “Walkaway,” nonfiction about monopoly and conspiracy, “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism;” “In Real Life,” a graphic novel; and the picture book “Poesy the Monster Slayer.” His latest book is “Attack Surface,” a standalone adult sequel to “Little Brother;” his next nonfiction book is “Chokepoint Capitalism,” with Rebecca Giblin, about monopoly, monopsony and fairness in the creative arts labor market.

Cory blogs about monopoly, digital rights, and shares whimsical links at Pluralistic.net. He previously was co-editor of the blog Boing Boing for 19 years. Born in Toronto, Canada, Cory and his family now live in Los Angeles.

Cory’s Wikipedia entry is worth reading.

Also at the meeting, we’ll hear from Chris Pearson, club VP for political action, who will talk for about five minutes about the need to run Democrats for East County offices. East County is still a Republican stronghold. Step up to run for office and take it back!

The meeting starts at 7 pm, with unstructured social conversation at 6:30 pm. Because of the latest Covid surge, we’re back on Zoom. Here’s the link: Zoom. As always you’ll be able watch the video on our YouTube channel, either live or after the event, and after the event you can listen to the audio on our new podcast

Read the Progressive Voice: Celebrating Democratic achievements, overcoming Trumpery, and more

Read the July issue of our monthly newsletter, the Progressive Voice. Articles include: 

  • Weber, Gonzalez, Parent celebrate Democratic achievements
  • Why don’t Republicans value Americans’ lives after they’re born?
  • How to overcome Trumpery.

And more!

Read it online here:

The print newsletter is distributed free for club members. If you’re not already a member, sign up here.

Video & podcast: Candidates! Candidates! Candidates!

Just a short video this month—audio-only. Hear from Democratic Party candidates for local office addressing the club at the Party in the Park, including:

  • Barbara Bry, San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk.
  • Matt Strabone, La Mesa City Treasurer
  • Andrea Beth Damsky, Helix Water District Division 2
  • Kathleen Brand, La Mesa City Council
  • Stephen Houlahan, US Congress, 48th District
  • Alysson Snow and Jennifer Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council
  • Patricia Dillard, La Mesa City Council
  • Brianna Coston, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board Trustee Area 3.
  • Mejgan Afshan, La Mesa City Council

Or you can listen to the audio when you’re out-and-about on our new podcast:

Subscribe to the podcast by searching for “La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club” in your favorite podcast player, or just paste in this link.

And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 3, at our usual digs, the La Mesa Community Center, 4795 Memorial Drive. Business starts at 7 pm, but come at 6:30 for informal conversation with fellow Democrats.

Join us for the Party in the Park—Wednesday, July 6

Our July meeting is a change of pace, the annual Party in the Park, returning for the first time since 2019 at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Regional Park, 9550 Milden St., La Mesa. We’ll have music, speeches by candidates, opportunities to talk with fellow Democrats, and sandwiches, as well as a pie contest.

If you want a sandwich, send your food order to Richie Gibson at rkgmpp@att.net, by July 3. The sandwich choices are veggie, turkey, or Italian sandwiches, for a $10 donation. Sandwiches include chips and water. Please pay in cash at the event.

Bring a chair, a shade umbrella for the sun, and water–more water is good, right? Also, bring a dessert to share, and a homemade pie if you want to enter the contest.

The party starts Wednesday, July 6, at 6:30 pm. See you there!

📽️ Watch the video: Celebrate Democratic achievements with Dr. Shirley Weber, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, and Colin Parent

At our June general meeting, three Democratic Party leaders discussed party achievements we can all be proud of, including help for affordable housing, improved police oversight, support for working people, and more. Watch the video to hear from:

  • Dr. Shirley Weber, who is California Secretary of State and former State Assembly Member representing San Diego. La Mesa’s own Dr. Weber has been a champion of racial equity and she’s now fighting to protect voter integrity in California and nationwide.
  • Lorena Gonzalez Fletcherof San Diego, former State Assembly Member and incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, one of the most powerful labor organizations in the country. Gonzales is a longtime advocate for labor rights.
  • And La Mesa City Council Member Colin Parent, who has worked tirelessly to make our local community better.

The panel is expertly moderated by club board member Matt Strabone, who’s running for Treasurer in La Mesa.

Democrats are the party that cares about affordable housing, equal rights, healthcare, education, and more—let’s find out more together about what we’ve been doing about those things.

Panelists also discussed what Democrats can do—particularly California Democrats—against the Republican Party threat to democracy in the US. The situation is grim, but there is cause for hope.

New! Read the Progressive Voice online | Bring food to our June 1 meeting

Couple of quick items today: As you (probably?) know, each month we distribute a print newsletter, the Progressive Voice, containing highlights of the month’s activity.

Starting now, we’re going to start distributing the newsletter electronically, as a PDF, as well. This month: Highlights of our May meeting, where we heard from Democratic Primary candidates, including San Diego Sheriff candidate Dave Myers and Shana Hazan, running for San Diego Unified School Board District B, as well as mental health professionals talking about staying sane in difficult times. Sean Quintal, club VP of laws and legislation, talked about the Republican US Supreme Court’s assault on women’s freedom. And more!

The print newsletter is distributed free for club members. If you’re not already a member, sign up here.

And come to our next meeting Wednesday evening, when we’ll talk about what Democrats have accomplished while in office. We’ll hear from Dr. Shirley Weber, who is California Secretary of State and former State Assembly Member representing San Diego; Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, former State Assembly Member and incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation; and La Mesa City Council Member Colin Parent. Get more details here or just come by—the meeting is 7 pm at the La Mesa Community Center,  4975 Memorial Drive, at 7 pm—or come a half-hour early for social time with your fellow Democrats.

Also: One of the grace notes at our monthly meetings is the delicious snack table. Our hospitality committee has been doing a great job with that as we return to live meetings in the past couple of months. But we could use your help. If you have a recipe you love or a garden producing lots that you’d like to share, bring it! But it’s OK to come empty handed—we just want to see you.

Celebrate Democratic achievements with Dr. Shirley Weber, Lorena Gonzalez, and Colin Parent

Join us for our next general meeting Wednesday, June 1, when we’ll hear from three Democratic Party leaders about Democratic Party accomplishments we can all be proud of.

  • Dr. Shirley Weber, who is California Secretary of State and former State Assembly Member representing San Diego. La Mesa’s own Dr. Weber has been a champion of racial equity and she’s now fighting to protect voter integrity in California and nationwide.
  • Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, former State Assembly Member and incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, one of the most powerful labor organizations in the country. Gonzales is a longtime advocate for labor rights.
  • And La Mesa City Council Member Colin Parent, who has worked tirelessly to make our local community better.

The moderator will be club board member Matt Strabone, who’s running for Treasurer in La Mesa.

Democrats are the party that cares about affordable housing, equal rights, healthcare, education, and more—let’s find out more together about what we’ve been doing about those things.

Join us Wednesday, June 1, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, at 7 pm, or come a half-hour early for informal conversation with fellow Democrats.

Also at the meeting: We plan to vote on endorsing several local candidates. And we’re inviting you to join us to march in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade, June 4. Find out more here.

March in the Flag Day Parade | Candidate endorsements

The La Mesa Flag Day Parade returns Saturday morning, June 4, and you’re invited to join us to march. We’ll have fun, hang around with fellow Democrats, have a nice walk, and show the community we’re here to represent them!

We’re still getting details—such as the precise time and location to meet!—but mark your calendar for that morning and maybe early afternoon. Expect to meet up a block or two from La Mesa Village and walk about a mile. We often go out for lunch together afterward too, enjoying one of La Mesa’s many fine eating establishments.

The club always has a big presence at the parade every year—it’s a highlight of our calendar.

We’re looking for people willing to drive their cars in the parade, and have the cars decorated.

If you are interested in joining us to march in the parade and/or volunteering your car to drive in the parade, contact board member Katie Sigeti at kjsigeti@gmail.com“.

We’ll follow up with more details when we have them.

Candidate endorsements: And join us for our regular general meeting June 1, when we’ll take a minute or two at the beginning to vote on a few candidate endorsements:

  • Matt Strabone for La Mesa Treasurer
  • Andrea Beth Damsky for Helix Water Board
  • Rebecca McRae, friendly incumbent, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board

The meeting is 7 pm Wednesday, June 1, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive—come a half-hour early for conversation with fellow Democrats.

The main topic of the meeting is “Yay Democrats!” Talking with local Democratic leaders about what the party has accomplished with its government majorities.

Video: Mental health awareness and primary candidates — May general meeting

Hear from mental health experts about keeping an even keel in tough times, and Democratic candidates running in primary elections.

Are you stressed? Feeling overwhelmed? Sure you are. Everybody who’s paying attention is at least a little freaked out right now.

At our May 4 meeting, we lined up a panel of mental health experts discussing techniques you can use to cope with turbulence in public and private life. The speakers:

  • Lisa Garcia, project manager at Recovery International.
  • Mark Marvin, a California Licensed Psychologist and VP of Community Research Foundation (CRF), overseeing operations of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), a not-for-profit company providing behavioral health care throughout San Diego.
  • Kenya Taylor, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and active Democrat.
  • Leslie Fadem, San Diego Democrat and licensed family and marriage therapist.

Also, hear from Democratic candidates in local primaries, including candidates for county sheriff, US Congress, and school board. Our speakers include:

  • Lauren Payne, speaking on behalf of Rebecca Kanter for state Superior Court judge.
  • Stephen Houlahan, running for US Congress in California’s 48th District, against Republican incumbent Darrell Issa.
  • Debbie Justeson, running for re-election to the board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
  • Peter Singer, also running for Superior Court judge, though not against Cantor.
  • Godwin Higa, for District B, San Diego Unified School Board
  • Shana Hazan, also running for District B, San Diego Unified School Board.
  • Dave Myers, for San Diego Sheriff.

We also discussed the appalling leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v Wade.

Mark your calendars for our next general meeting, June 1, when we’ll be making the case why you should support Democrats. Find out more about what Democratic leadership has accomplished for us.

And don’t forget—beer blast Wednesday, May 11, starts 3 pm at Helix Brewery in La Mesa—support local candidates and drink great beer. Details

Join us for our May meeting to learn about mental health awareness and hear from primary candidates

Join us in person once again for our next meeting, Wednesday, May 4, when we’ll be talking with mental health experts about keeping an even keel in tough times. We’ll also hear from Democratic candidates running in primary elections.

Are you stressed? Feeling overwhelmed? Sure you are. Everybody who’s paying attention is at least a little freaked out right now.

At our May 4 meeting, we’ve lined up a panel of mental health experts discussing techniques you can use to cope with turbulence in public and private life. The speakers we’ve lined up are:

  • Lisa Garcia, project manager at Recovery International.
  • Mark Marvin, a California Licensed Psychologist and VP of Community Research Foundation (CRF), overseeing operations of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), a not-for-profit company providing behavioral health care throughout San Diego.
  • Kenya Taylor, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and active Democrat.

We’ll also hear from Democratic candidates in local primaries, including candidates for county sheriff, US Congress, and school board.

That meeting is at 7 pm, with informal networking time a half-hour earlier, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa, CA. Proof of vaccination required, and bring a mask in case you need it.

Missed our April meeting, or want to see it again? We had a great meeting in April, hearing from local Democratic elected officials on how they won their first elections. Speakers were Jennifer Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council member; Mark Gracyk, Helix Water Authority director, Division 3; and Racquel Vasquez, Mayor City of Lemon Grove. The panel moderator was Chris Pearson, the club VP political action, with experience working on several winning campaigns. If you missed it, or want to see it again, watch it on our YouTube channel, where you can catch videos of two dozen meetings going back two years.