August 2, 2017 – General Meeting

Inspired to Run: Political Engagement for the Greater Good


 Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Todd Gloria & Other Local Luminaries to Discuss “Why I Chose Public Service!”

High powered panel of local political heavy-weights to discuss what inspired them to run and why others should consider entering the political arena. The panel will be convened at the Wednesday, August 2nd meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (7:00 PM La Mesa Community Center–4975 Memorial Dr, La Mesa, CA 91942).

Democrats continue to take their “Resist Trump” agenda to the grass-roots. The party knows that stopping Trump and championing their own message is more than blocking legislation. They have to mobilize the masses by enticing new leaders to run for office. This strategy involves not only identifying good candidates, but inspiring those on the sidelines to get involved. As part of this effort the La Mesa Foothills Democratic club, the epitome of the Democratic grass-roots, is hosting a panel of local political heavy-weights to share their inspiration and motivation for running. Attendees will learn what enticed these well-known local politicians to jump in the race. This panel includes:

  1. Rep. Susan Davis
  2. Rep. Scott Peters,
  3. Assembly Member Todd Gloria,
  4. Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
  5. Helix Water Board Director Mark Gracyk
  6. Executive director of The Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI), Dr. Kayla Greene  

Democrats outnumber Republicans in La Mesa, Lemon Grove and San Diego, yet there are scores of seats on local boards and jurisdictions where Republicans run unopposed every election cycle. The first step in changing this narrative is to find energetic, qualified candidates and to motivate them not solely by the negative messages of the current administration, but to share stories, experiences and anecdotes about what inspired some of our area’s most notable politicians to run for public office in the first place? Is it, ego, anger, power, money, fame, or altruism?..Or a combination of these factors?


Congresswoman Susan Davis represents California’s 53rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her political journey encompasses her experiences as a social worker, parent, youth mentor, and military spouse. Prior to Congress, Susan served in the California State Assembly (1994-2000) and on the San Diego Unified Board of Education (1983-1992).


Congressman Scott Peters serves California? s 52nd Congressional District. Elected in 2012, Scott has worked across the aisle to fix a broken Congress and stand up for San Diego’s military and veterans community. Scott Peters currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. After a 15-year career as an environmental lawyer, Scott was elected to the San Diego City Council, where he later became the City’s first City Council President. Scott also served as chairman of the San Diego Unified Port District.


Assemblymember Todd Gloria represents the 78th Assembly District, which includes the central coast communities of the city of San Diego as well as the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, and Solana Beach. Todd served as the San Diego City Councilmember for the Third Council District. He also served as the City of San Diego’s Interim Mayor and was appointed by his colleagues on the City Council to two consecutive terms as the City Council President.


Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez was elected in May of 2013 and is dedicated to fight for our state’s working and middle classes In 2015, The Atlantic Magazine labeled her “The California Democrat setting the National Agenda” for her practical, progressive legislation aimed at alleviating real issues in people’s lives.


Mark Gracyk Director Helix Water Board, A U.S. Army Veteran, and newly elected Director of the Helix Water District representing Division 3. As Chairman of the Prop W Oversight Committee, Mark worked with the Lemon Grove School District to oversee the completion of its beautiful new library.


Dr. Kayla Greene is the Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, a nonprofit research and action institute dedicated to creating economic prosperity, sustainable communities and a healthy environment for all. Before joining CPI, Dr. Greene was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University, an instructor in sociological courses on public policy at both Rider University and Stanford University, and the Diversity Coordinator for Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (EDGE-SBE) program at Stanford University. Dr. Greene’s past research has focused on social movement messaging/framing, legislative processes, and public policies affecting the lives of people of color and people with disabilities.


La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, winner of the 2016 Club of the Year award, serves the communities of Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, San Carlos, the College Area, La Mesa, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro, and other close-by East County areas. Our meetings take place the first Wednesday of every month at the beautiful La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr. at University Ave., and are open to everyone. Come join the resistance!

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