Meeting Wednesday | Unity breakfast | RIP club co-founder Beverly Cassirer

Greetings, La Mesa Democrats! We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today: Our monthly meeting is Wednesday, the day after the primary, and we’ll break down the results then and there with a panel of experts. Then join us Friday for a unity breakfast featuring (former) rival primary candidates in San Diego Board of Supervisor District 3, uniting to support the general election candidate. And we say good-bye to club founder Beverly Cassirer.

After the primary: Our next meeting, Wednesday, comes on the heels of the California primary election. We’re convening a panel of experts to talk about what the voting means for advancing Democratic causes and candidates on the local, state and national level.

For the first time in recent political history, California’s quadrennial primary election will have a significant bearing on the Presidential race. Our state is the biggest in Super Tuesday and by the time voting closes, the delegate count and prospective leadership should be in much sharper focus.

Additionally, we have many local races of interest, including Congress, county, San Diego City Council, and more.

Join us Wednesday evening — in person if you can and on streaming online video if you can’t make it in person — , when the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will lean on a team of experts to give us their best analysis of the ballot results, why certain races trended the way they did, and who will face whom on the November ballot. We’ve confirmed the appearance of the head of the County Democratic Party, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, who should have keen insights as to what went right or wrong for certain local candidates and whether county party-endorsed candidates and measures succeeded per slate recommendations.

Additionally, we’ve lined up the services of talented lawyer and pundit Matt Strabone to moderate our discussion. If you’ve caught Matt’s regular podcast, Show in Progress, you know he’s got a keen sense of the San Diego political scene and is a skilled interviewer. And we invited popular past county chairs Jess Durfee and Jessica Hayes to weigh in on the national, state and regional races.

Our experts will weigh in on several important local races: In the 53d Congressional District, longtime Representative Susan Davis, a stalwart Democrat, is vacating her seat, and quite a few candidates are vying to take her place (speaking of which, check out the video of our January meeting, where we hosted a forum between six Democrats vying for Davis’s seat).

In the 50th District, where Republican incumbent Duncan Hunter stepped down and faces possible prison time for misusing campaign funds, Ammar Campa Najjar is the Democrat looking to pick up that seat, and the Republicans are in a hotly contested primary. Who will be Campa-Najjar’s November opponent?

We also have many local races of interest: county supervisor contests; county-wide measures A and B, which deal with building in the back country; and Convention Center expansion measure C, which also includes resources for infrastructure repair and homeless support.

Additionally, we’ll look at San Diego City Council races, the mayoral and city attorney elections, and races in the state Assembly and for judgeships.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm for a half-hour social time featuring snacks, salads, desserts and beverages supplied by the club and member donations. The business starts at 7 pm and we generally adjourn by 8:30 PM. We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at the spacious La Mesa Community Center at 4975 Memorial Dr. in La Mesa and everyone is welcome. Our club draws from the communities of La Mesa, Allied Gardens, Santee, San Carlos, Del Cerro, the College Area, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro and other nearby East County enclaves. We are in the midst of our 2020 membership drive with annual memberships starting at $35.00.

Jeff Benesch, VP, Programming

Tina Ryneberg, President

Democratic unity breakfast: Three days after the Primary Election, you’re invited to join San Diego County Democratic Party leaders as we rally to support the Democratic candidate for Board of Supervisors District 3 who will be continuing to a runoff in November. Both Democrats in that race have confirmed their attendance.

WHEN: Friday, March 6 — breakfast at 8:00 a.m., media event at 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: 3954 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite D100, San Diego 92123 (the building behind the Party’s new office)

Following this invitation-only meeting and breakfast, a press conference will be held featuring candidates Olga Diaz and Terra Lawson Remer; Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy; County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher; and other Party, labor, and community leaders.

RIP LMFDC founder Beverly Cassirer: It’s with a heavy heart that we convey the sad news that Beverly Cassirer passed away February 13, 2020. She was 6 days shy of her 100th birthday.

On August 24th, 1984 in conservative East San Diego County, a group of 22 Democrats decided it was time to make their voices heard and their views known. Although prophesied that it was impossible, fearless leaders Beverly and Claude Cassirer were undaunted, and so the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club was born. Our club was politely described as a “political discussion group,” and by 1986 it boasted a membership exceeding 120 people. In an interview at the time the Cassirers said that while members shared party affiliation, there was a diversity of opinions among the club’s ranks. The discussions, they said, often proved quite lively.

“Sometimes I wonder why the neighbors don’t call the police on us!” Cassirer said with a laugh.

Outside La Mesa, Beverly is best known for her fight to reclaim an impressionist painting that the Nazis stole from her family, and which is now hanging in a museum in Spain. The painting is valued at $30 million. She died while the court case to reclaim the painting is still ongoing.

Beverly touched so many people in her long life and is the reason we have the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. She will be greatly missed.

The LA Times has more in an obituary, including a reproduction of the painting.

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