The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club congratulates the 2016 club of the Year, AAPI. A young club with lots of energy and future leaders. While LMFDC was not chosen, we are very proud of our accomplishments in 2015. We are sharing our Club of the Year submission for our great team and wonderful members, thanks for making our Club awesome!
2015 Club of the Year Submission
The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club has been working to bring progressive values to the East Area of San Diego County since 1984. Against all odds, the LMFDC has turned the very red city of La Mesa BLUE! As one of the largest and most active Clubs, we are proud to be a model for Chartered Democratic Clubs in the East Area and throughout the county.
Great Meetings and Exceptional Programs
Our continuing success is based on the simple idea that great meetings with exceptional programming and a warm social atmosphere attracts people from the community. Our dedication to educating members, encouraging participation in the political process, and advocating on behalf of important issues has helped us garner new members, and exceptional renewal rate of the membership. We added 55 New Members in 2015!
The LMFDC hosts 12 meetings a year. We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the La Mesa Community Center. In 2015, our Average Meeting Attendance was 98, and we averaged 41 guests per meeting. Great meetings have exceptional programs and speakers. Our VP for Programming, Jeff Benesch, has the reputation for securing wonderful speakers and we are now in the enviable position of having potential speakers contacting us for a speaking slot.
LMFDC 2015 meeting programs included many Elected Officials and Democratic Candidates:
Marti Emerald Marty Block
Todd Gloria Jose Caballero
Toni Atkins San Diego District 9 Candidates
Scott Peters San Diego District 3 Candidates
Susan Davis Justin DeCasare
Shirley Weber La Mesa Mayor, Mark Arapostathis
Raphael Castellanos La Mesa City Council Member, Guy McWhirter
Mara Elliott Joe LaCava
Climate Change was in the spotlight in 2015. Our programs included:
- Davin Widgerow and Brian Elliott: San Diego Sierra Club
- Nicole Capretz: Climate Action Plan
- Rear Admiral, Len Hering: Center for Sustainability
- Kath Rogers: Climate Action Plan
- Jim Stone & Colin Parent: Circulate San Diego
- Debbie Hecht: Sierra Club
We had 5 meetings in 2015 with audiences of 100+ attendees.
Our Annual Party in the Park at the beautiful Mission Trails Interpretive Center brought 115 (despite a surprise July rain shower) to watch the LMFDC honor Council Woman Marti Emerald for her years of service to the community. Elected officials, Todd Gloria, Scott Peters, and many Democratic Candidates also joined us.
112 members and guests were with us for the August meeting featuring Speaker Toni Atkins. Our meeting with Author Stephen Druker, packed our meeting room with 158 people.
Our biggest meeting attendance, 162, was the October Candidates Forum featuring 25 Democratic Candidates. Other important programs included; Christopher Yanov of Reality Changers, Author of Soul of a Nation, Peggi Chute, and a social media training program with John Loughlin.
Marti Emerald was honored for her years of service. 115 people enjoyed the beauty of Mission Trails Park in July!
Our 2015 Holiday Meeting included a full buffet shared by 111 members!
Political Satirist and Musician Roy Zimmerman returned to Rock the house!
Communication and Community Outreach=More Members
In many communities, the existence of a Democratic Club is a well-kept secret. As people in the communities we serve learn about our club and the wonderful programs we present, guest attendance soars and new members join.
The LMFDC publishes 12 Newsletters every year. The Progressive Voice reaches over 200 members, meeting guests receive the newsletter free for 3 months, and it is sent free to Democratic Elected officials.
The La Mesa-Foothills Club has a monthly column in the La Mesa and Mission Times Courier paper. The papers are distributed to thousands of residents in La Mesa, and eastern San Diego communities. Members and meeting guests also receive weekly informative emails from the LMFDC.
Dear LMFDC Members,
The last GOP debate of 2015 is tonight on CNN at 6 and 8:30 pm. We know Trump’s poll numbers are surging as supporters welcome his hate-filled rhetoric, latest polling shows Trump at 41%. If that is not scary enough, Trump has made Ted Cruz look positively reasonable, Cruz has taken the lead in most Iowa polls!
The GOP is freaking out over Trump’s sustained lead and the prospect of him being the GOP Presidential Nominee. The GOP has stacked their primary contest–the lion’s share of delegates will be chosen by Super Tuesday in March, which could lead to a ‘brokered’ convention in July.
The LMFDC has been a perennial participant in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade. We love receiving thunderous applause while parade watchers take photos of our President Obama standee. The parade is a fun way to show off our club!
Our Annual Yard sale has become a must for La Mesa bargain shoppers. Held each year in April, the sale attracts hundreds of neighbors and helps the club with a financial boost.
Our booth at the La Mesa Oktoberfest
We support the SDCDP’s GO-Team and East Area Caucus
LMFDC members work hard to support local, state, and national Democratic Candidates. Go-Team members were out in full force during the 2014 Mid-Term Elections, working their precincts and phone-banking for candidates. In 2015, we were Hosts for the East Area Caucus Committee fundraisers and helped raise funds for an East Area 2016 Campaign Office.
A Taste of the Blue Life 2
A Jazzy Blue Night of Elegance
The LMFDC is well-represented on the SDCDP Central Committee; including Tina Rynberg, Steve Jesionka, Judith Walters, Miriam Plotkin, Chris Pearson, Josan Feathers, Eric Hereford, and Janet Gastil.
We support our local Democratic candidates through our 50/50 Drawing held at each meeting. Tickets are $1.00 a piece or 7 for $5.00. The winning ticket receives half the money collected, and the other half goes to our Candidates Fund. Local candidates are invited to join us at every meeting and to have a table for their campaign.
Voter Registration Participation
We are very proud that our members have participated each month in the Naturalization Ceremony and Registration! We also registered voters at our Club Booth during the La Mesa Oktoberfest.
Community Service & Team Work
The LMFDC supports our communities in many ways. Our community service outreach recently included a holiday toy drive for the Western Service Workers, a food drive for Saint Sophia’s neighborhood food bank, ongoing support for Fair Trade La Mesa, and a program devoted to CARR, Consumer Advocates for Residential Care Facilities Reform.”
A successful Club depends on Team Work and we are fortunate have talented Officers and Board members who devote their time, energy, and ideas. Each one deserves recognition for their efforts.
OFFICERS: BOARD MEMBERS AT LARGE
President: Linda Armacost Garry Armacost, Josan Feathers
Vice President for Membership: Jane Inglese Steve Jesionka, Colin Parent,
Vice President for Political Action: Jennifer Spencer Tina Rynberg, Dave Zierman
Vice President for Programming: Jeff Benesch
Secretary: Anita Reith
Treasurer: Ann Stiles
Past-President: Fernando Garcia
Editor: Bonnie Baranoff
Founder: Beverly Cassirer
Council of Clubs
The LMFDC has been and is a huge supporter of the Council of Clubs. Sharing with other club representatives has enriched our club in so many ways. Our Annual Yard Sale was a fundraising idea from a Council Meeting.
Our Past-President, Larry Howe, was Council Chair. Our Immediate Past-President, Fernando Garcia, is not only our Council Representative, Fernando is also the LMFDC Ambassador to County Democratic events.
During our 32 year history, The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club members, such as Senator Marty Block and County School Board Past-President Sharon Jones and others have become elected Democratic officials. We are also proud of our members who have been recognized for their volunteerism and leadership. Club members have been awarded Volunteer of the Year twice, and 5 members have been awarded the prestigious Chair Award. We were voted Club of the Year in 2008.
The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club has met or exceeded the Council of Clubs objective criteria for new members gained, members renewed, meeting attendance, candidates appearing, sensational programming, and high GO-Team representation. We have accomplished so much this year because we have a terrific team of Officers, Board Members, and active, educated members. We thank The Council of Clubs for the opportunity to be considered as Club of the Year!