Professors’ Hour to Highlight June Meeting

Economy, Climate Change to Take Center Stage

Gin, Severinghaus to Keynote


The June 7th meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will feature a veritable who’s who of leading San Diego experts in the political ramifications of executive orders dealing with our economy and the environment. Furthermore, we’ll learn from a leading local expert about dark money and it’s effect on our elections. Non-profit Attorney Matt Strabone is a 2018 challenger to controversial County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg, and will not only enlighten us about special-interest influence in our electoral process, but also shady dealings in the Assessor’s Office.

Professor Alan Gin, perhaps the most visible of local economists and author of the USD’s monthly Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, is a repeat and very popular LMFDC Guest Speaker. We look forward to his commentary on the current unethical business dealings of the Trump Organization/Administration, the proposed federal budget, the effect of the newly House-passed ACHA on middle class families, the rolling back of various Obama-era financial initiatives, the proposed dismantling of consumer, economic and banking protections, the new era (and many consequences) of wealth building for the investment class under Trump, and many other informed and fascinating opinions from Professor Gin. It’s noteworthy at this point in time that one of Dr. Gin’s key interests is the business environment in Asia, and China trade in particular. Could this be more timely?

For those who attended the recent Climate March on the San Diego Bayfront most certainly heard from Jeffrey Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was sounding the alarm at the drastic measures taken by the Trump Administration in rolling back recently enacted advances to combat global warming. From his bio: “Severinghaus’ research raises the question of whether the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels could also produce a rapid change in climate, rather than the slow, steady rise in temperature many computer models of global climate now predict.” We also hope to hear how Professor Severinghaus views Trump’s admission that Climate Change is a Chinese-perpetrated hoax, and how the layoffs at and dismantling of the EPA will affect research like that taking place at SIO/UCSD. And what of our proposed pull-out from the Paris Climate Agreement? These answers and much more from concerned Climate Scientist Jeffrey Severinghaus.


Alan Gin is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and his Master’s of Arts and Ph.D. degrees, both in Economics, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Professor Gin came to the University of San Diego in 1988, after having previous taught at Loyola Marymount University and the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Professor Gin is one of the affiliated faculty members of the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. His other research interests include local public finance, urban transportation, and the economy of San Diego. Professor Gin’s insights on the local economy have made him a popular source for interviews, and he has given over 1,000 interviews to local and national media sources.


He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Asian Business Association of San Diego and sits on the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Association of Southern California (San Diego Chapter). He has taught in the University of San Diego’s Study Abroad Programs in Hong Kong and Beijing/Shanghai, and has traveled extensively in the region.


Jeff Severinghaus is a professor of geosciences in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His current research interests center on using trapped bubbles of gases contained in ice cores to track changes in ancient climate. Born in Kentfield, CA, on Aug. 26, 1959, Severinghaus received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Oberlin College in 1983, a master’s degree in geological sciences from UC Santa Barbara in 1988, and a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1995.

Current projects include construction of a “rapid access ice drill” to explore the three-dimensional interior of the Antarctic ice sheet in search of the oldest possible ice, which may allow a record of atmospheric carbon dioxide dating back 1.5 million years. This rapid access drill would allow drilling to the bed of an ice sheet in a few days, instead of the typical three to five years needed for a deep ice core.

Severinghaus has also performed extensive research in Greenland. His analysis of isotopes of nitrogen and argon contained in Greenland ice core bubbles have revealed that the earth went through a period of rapid warming at the end of the last ice age, some 11,000 years ago. He found that the region experienced a 15-degree-Fahrenheit jump in temperature in less than a decade, the impact of which was felt throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Severinghaus is the recipient of the 2011 Claire C. Patterson Medalist of the Geochemical Society, an award given annually for a breakthrough in environmental geochemistry. Severinghaus was also awarded a Comer Science and Education Fellowship (2002), a Packard Foundation Fellowship (2001), a NOAA Climate and Global Change Graduate Fellowship (1992), and a University of California Regents Fellowship (1985). He worked in Nepal 1989-1991 to assist in a rural development project with World Neighbors.

Matthew J. Strabone is the owner of Strabone Law, a practice specializing in the representation of nonprofits, campaigns, and small businesses. He has counseled numerous campaigns for office at the local, state, and federal levels as well as a number of ballot measure committees. He has also provided guidance to President Obama, national party committees, and state and county Democratic parties.

Matthew holds a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School, where he was development editor of the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice. He is a partner of the Truman National Security Project, a board member of the North Park Community Association, and an appointed member of the City of San Diego Parking Advisory Board.

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club is undergoing an unprecedented resurgence this year, with our membership climbing over 350 Democrats, progressives and concerned citizens, and our meeting attendance averaging over 200 each month. We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the very accommodating La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University Ave. in La Mesa. We start each meeting at 6:30 PM with our social ½ hour, with snacks, salads, desserts and beverages provided by the club and members, and begin our business meeting and speakers program promptly at 7 PM. We conclude with public announcements and other notes and adjourn at 8:30 PM. We welcome all members and guests to each meeting, and remind you that this is a great time to join LMFDC for as little as $30 per year. Join your many progressive activists from San Carlos, Del Cerro, the College Area, La Mesa, Allied Gardens, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa De Oro, and many other close by East County Communities. Please view our website for info on our participation in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade and other great local events at and like us on Facebook.


Linda Armacost, President

Jeff Benesch, VP Programming

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

San Diego County Club of the Year 2016



Leave a comment or ask a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s