Panel of Supporters to Debate Issues at Local Dem Meeting

Mayor’s Contest, D1 and D3 Also on Docket

Bernie Sanders1    Hillary1

Trying to duplicate the scintillating series of Candidates Forums of the past couple of months, the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will tackle the Presidential Race at our Wednesday, March 2nd Meeting. Fervent supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will battle for the Club’s coveted endorsement in an exchange that is sure to highlight each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. There will be no trumping this exciting and emotional tiff between 2 great presidential candidates. Look for our talented and celebrity panel of speakers and moderators in what should be the highlight of our pre-primary exhibitions.


And that’s not the end of the evening’s outstanding agenda: We’ll also hear and vote on endorsement for outstanding Democratic Candidates in San Diego City Races in the key District 1 and District 3 contests. We’ve invited Chris Ward and Anthony Bernal to appear for District 3 and the extremely qualified Barbara Bry in District 1. We’ll follow each of the forums with an endorsement vote.

And in a recent addition, we are very excited to have our old friend Lori Saldana, now running as an independent for the office of Mayor of San Diego. The former Democratic Assembly person and longtime local politico has headlined our meetings on a couple of occasions, and always speaks truth to power, and will tell us why she’s the best candidate to replace the ineffectual Kevin Faulconer as mayor. Friend of the environment, workers, affordable housing, veterans, women’s rights, education reform, a minimum wage hike and a host of other progressive issues; Lori finds agreement with most of the ideals and aspirations of our diverse membership.

Our members and guests come from San Carlos, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, College Area, Mission Valley, Santee, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Spring Valley, Casa De Oro and other unincorporated areas of Eastern San Diego County.

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets the first Wednesday of every month at the very nice La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University. We begin with a social ½ hour at 6:30 PM with a variety of snacks, desserts and beverages provided by the club membership. Our meetings begin at 7:00 PM and we encourage all area progressives to join us for our always interesting, stimulating and thought provoking programs. Visit our webpage at for a calendar, photos, and highlights of our many community activities. Be sure to like us on Facebook. Now read more about our candidates:

Anthony Bernal pic2

ANTHONY BERNAL One of Anthony Bernal’s first jobs was as a project manager with an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza. He provided support to working families. He was later hired by a locally-owned Engineering and Construction Management firm. His experience in managing projects coupled with a heart for the community, prepared him for the current role as Director of Business and Community Projects for San Diego Council President Todd Gloria. He also served as a member of the Human Rights Campaign San Diego Steering Committee. Currently he’s a founding member of the Cortez Hill Active Residents Group, Pure Water San Diego Working Group and President of the San Diego Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter.

chris ward2

CHRIS WARD Chris serves as the Chief of Staff to State Senator Marty Block, representing the communities of the Third City Council District and most of the City of San Diego. In this capacity, Chris is strongly committed to excellence in constituent services, facilitating public participation in policymaking, and organizing state and local resources to make our neighborhoods a better place every day. Previously, Chris was an environmental planner at the firm EDAW, working with local government to develop land use plans and conduct environmental review to help create inclusive, community-based solutions to neighborhood challenges and organize strategies to achieve long-term goals. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in Public Policy and Urban Planning at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

BB headshot small

BARBARA BRY Barbara Bry is a high tech entrepreneur and community leader who worked her way through college and grad school, earning a Master’s Degree in Business from Harvard. As a single working mom, Barbara was on the founding team of several local high-tech companies, including, which has created hundreds of local jobs. A leader in the San Diego business community, Barbara taught entrepreneurship at UCSD and founded an organization that supports the advancement of women in the tech sector. As a business journalist, she has also spotlighted the vibrant small business community that supports our City’s economy and was honored as Small Business Journalist of the Year for San Diego and Imperial Counties by the Small Business Administration.

Barbara has deep roots in the community and has lived here for almost 35 years. She is married to Neil Senturia, raised her two daughters here, and is a proud Grandmother. She served as President of the Board of the Children’s Museum of San Diego and as Vice Chair of the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation. As the first high-tech entrepreneur on the City Council, Barbara will bring her enterprising and relentless mind-set to City Hall to keep San Diego safe, clean and prosperous. Barbara will work to create better paying high-tech jobs and help small businesses grow, so that we can invest in maintaining San Diego’s quality of life by fixing our streets; protecting our beaches, bays, and parks; and conserving our water supply.

lori saldana1

LORI SALDANA A San Diego native, Lori grew up in Clairemont in a large family of girls. The experience of being a daughter of a career Marine would later influence her legislative work on behalf of active-duty service members, veterans and military families.

Among many bills authored by Lori was the landmark Global Warming legislation. She served in the Environmental Caucus and was considered one of the state’s most influential environmental voices. She earned a 100% Sierra Club voting record during her 6 years in the Assembly. For her work on behalf of veterans, Lori was named the 2006 Legislator of the Year by the California Assoc. of County Veterans Service Officers.

Lori attended both Mesa College and SDSU getting her BA and Masters of Arts from the latter. Lori spent the year immediately following her graduation as a union carpenter’s apprentice, an experience that taught her the value of technical-vocational training, and reinforced her commitment to workforce development and San Diego’s working families. She later became a popular instructor of Business Information Technology for the San Diego Community College Dist. Lori developed and managed several educational and technical job skills programs, including a $1.5 million development grant from the US Dept. of Labor for the District.

Lori co-founded the first San Diego Earth Day Celebration in 1990, and went on to serve as Chair of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club from 1994 to 1997. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Border Environment Cooperation Commission in 1999 and later served as Co-chair of the Advisory Council. Since 1994, the commission has invested billions in creating cleaner water along the US and Mexico border. As a result of this work, Lori received an environmental policy research fellowship at the Center for US and Mexico Studies at UCSD.

In 2004, Lori won the first of her 3 terms in the State Legislature, including a stint as Assistant Majority Whip, Speaker Pro Tempore and Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Among her significant contributions to the legislature, she authored bills to aid Military Families, promote roof top solar, develop California’s green tech economy, and became an outspoken advocate of healthcare reform.







Roy Zimmerman To Highlight our December 2nd Holiday Meeting


Holiday Feast and Political Satire to be featured at Gala


Roy Zimmerman, America’s premier political satirist, and guitar strummin’ singer-songwriter, whose witty left-slanted commentary is primarily focused on social justice, will make a return appearance to headline the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club’s annual holiday gala. The festivities begin at 6 PM, Wednesday night, December 2nd at the La Mesa Community Center.


The LMFDC, representing the communities of San Carlos, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, the College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Santee and other nearby East County communities, meets the first Wednesday of every month at 4975 Memorial Drive, just North of University Ave. in La Mesa.

Our large, progressive membership invites community members to join us at all our meetings and special events. Our December meeting is a robust festive meal complete with Roasted Turkeys and Ham, vegan dishes, the traditional holiday fixings, plus appetizers and salads, beverages, and specially baked pies and desserts, all of which are supplied by the club and it’s members. Our holiday meeting is always one of the best attended, and with the addition of Roy Zimmerman, this year’s party should be especially memorable.


A native of Southern California, Zimmerman was the founder of the satirical folk quartet, The Foremen, which performed at the national conventions of both major American political parties in 1996. Continuing as a solo act, Roy explained the philosophy behind writing and performing humorous songs on increasingly political subjects,

There’s nothing funny about World Peace. Social Justice never killed at the Comedy Store. If we ever attain a worldwide consciousness of peace and justice, I’ll be happily out of a job. But as long as there’s poverty, war, bigotry, ignorance, greed, lust and paranoia, I’ve got a career.

Roy Zimmerman lives and works in Bay Area’s Marin County with his wife and frequent collaborator, Melanie Harby, and their sons Joe and Sam. He’ll have copies of his many hilarious and biting original songs and cds for sale at the meeting. (Great holiday gifts, btw)

As part of our annual holiday commitment to provide for those less fortunate, our Club’s Holiday Gift Drive will this year benefit the Western Service Workers Association.  Western Service Workers Association (WSWA) is a free and voluntary, private, unincorporated membership association of low-income service workers throughout San Diego County. Year-round WSWA runs a self-help Benefit Program that includes emergency food, clothing, preventive medical care, non-emergency dental care, legal advice and more. Meanwhile, WSWA members unite with students, housewives, professionals, business owners, clergy and others to build long-term solutions and eliminate the root causes of poverty.

It is requested that each attendee bring an unwrapped new toy for a school-aged child, so that they may be distributed this holiday season to families of the Western Service Workers organization. A monetary donation is also especially welcomed at this time of year.

Remember the doors open early for this special meeting and party. We request that each member and guest donate $15. (Or whatever you can afford) at the door, to help offset the cost of our noted musical guest.   Memberships for 2016 will also be for sale, at $30, $50, and $60. levels. Check out our website:, or visit and like us on Facebook. See you on the 2nd of December! And you won’t want to miss our January 6th meeting and debate, where sparks are sure to fly! Club endorsements will also occur in the first few meetings of 2016.


Linda Armacost, President

Jeff Benesch, VP Programming

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club








Regional Issues to Highlight Candidates Forum

La Mesa Oktoberfest also on Calendar

The October 7th Meeting of local Democrats will feature candidates from all over the County introducing themselves in a District by District format with crucial regional issues being brought into focus: Mass Transportation vs Recurring Traffic Problems, Smart Growth vs Unfettered Development, SANDAG Planning (or not?), and Climate Action and Sustainability Goals all being discussed.

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, serving San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, College

Area, La Mesa, Santee, Mt. Helix and other Eastside communities, will welcome the great

Democratic Candidates from the SD City Attorney race, as well as our local District 7 City

Council contest. We’ll also hear from Candidates in the City contests in the 1st, 3rd and 9th District races, all key to maintaining Democratic control of the SD City Council.

We can also expect representatives for County Supervisor Dave Roberts, Assemblyperson Shirley Weber, and Congresspeople Scott Peters and Susan Davis. Many candidates are looking for our club’s influential endorsement for 2016.

A real treat will be the introduction of local efforts behind both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and how our members can get involved in either of those dynamic campaigns. While not a debate as such, we’ll still have some back and forth between our friend Mike Thaller of Bernie’s San Diego Campaign, and Ray Penko, Organizer of the SD County Hillary Grassroots effort. Should be fascinating.

Our monthly meetings, on the first Wednesday of each month, take place at the wonderful La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University Ave. We open the doors at 6:30 PM for our social hour, with snacks, desserts and beverages supplied by the club and generous members. Meetings start promptly at 7 PM. We welcome all guests, and have a discounted deal for pro­rated memberships available for the rest of the year.

Don’t miss our wonderful booth at the La Mesa Oktoberfest, noon to 10 PM, Friday and

Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd. Did you know this is the largest Oktoberfest festival West of the

Mississippi?   Please be sure to stop by our booth and say hi. We are very near BO Beau Restaurant on La Mesa Blvd. We’ll be registering new voters, signing up new members, and handing out campaign materials. You can even get your picture taken with President Obama. Visit our Website at, or like us on Facebook.


SEPTEMBER MEETING TO FEATURE AUTHOR AND GMO OPPONENT Attorney Steven Druker will present his book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth — How the Venture to Genetically Engineer our Food has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public” He filed a federal case against the FDA in the late 1990s against their policy of accepting all Genetically Modified foods as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) and uncovered the truth behind our modified foods. This event is co-sponsored by the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club and Citizens Oversight Projects with March Against Monsanto, San Diego. Please arrive early to guarantee a seat (limited to 300 or so).


This meeting is free for LMFDC members. Non-member guests please see RSVP information below. We appreciate your donation of $5 or more at the door to help us with Mr. Druker’s expenses! LOCATION: La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr, La Mesa, California DATE: 9/2/2015, 6:30pm COST: $5 donation to cover our costs. 6:30pm — Social Networking, Book Sales. 7pm — Intro plus Talk by Steven Druker 8:30pm — Book sales, signing. 9pm – conclusion


PLEASE CLICK “JOIN” to RSVP, but please note, this does not reserve your seat. You must arrive promptly to get a seat and be able to purchase your own signed copy of his excellent book!



Party in the Park Extravaganza to Honor Marti Emerald

Party in the Park Extravaganza to Honor Marti Emerald on July 1st

starting at 6 PM – 9 PM at Mission Trails Park


Area Democrats to Continue Tradition at Mission Trails Park

Last year, La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club took a big gamble and held their first ever meeting away from the friendly confines of the La Mesa Community Center.  Due to overwhelming positive feedback and a great turnout of 120 members and guests, this year’s event at Mission Trails Regional Park promises to be even bigger and better. The Party in the Park kicks off our Independence Week Celebration on Wednesday, July 1st from 6:00 – 9 PM. We will again be hosted by Jay Wilson and the terrific staff of the MTRP Foundation and Interpretive Center.  And again, our event will feature dinner, desserts, talk and camaraderie on the beautiful patio overlooking the Park and the San Diego River canyon.   It’s particularly convenient for our many members living in San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens and the College Area.  The dinner costs $5.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members.  We’ll be signing up new members at the door.

Along with dinner, we’ll have a couple of fascinating speakers, some local beer and wine tasting, a silent auction, our famous pie tasting competition and the highlight of the evening:  We’ll be recognizing Councilperson Marti Emerald for her many years of outstanding service to San Diego, first as a Consumer Report for Channel 10, and then as an outspoken advocate on the San Diego City Council.  Many of us got to know Marti and worked diligently for her first election in the District 7 race in her Allied Gardens office.  She’s been a terrific friend of the club, and this is our last opportunity to thank her for the many contributions she’s made to progressive causes on the Council.  Marti retires from her current District 9 office at the end of this current term.

Linda Hassakis, Trail Guide and Event Coordinator at the Park will give us a fascinating talk on the native flora and fauna along with some natural history of the park.  “Mission Trails Regional Park:  A Model for Sharing” will include some great info about the San Diego River and ongoing conservation efforts.  It should be a great education for us all.

We also expect to hear from Congressman Scott Peters in whose district the Mission Trails Interpretive Center resides.  We hope he’ll be able to give us an update on doings in the mostly deadlocked House of Representatives, and of course, his strategy to keep his seat in Democratic hands in 2016.  Francine Busby, SD County Democratic Chairperson will also be joining us, as will National Committee member Jess Durfee.  We’ll be hearing from Justin DeCesare, candidate for the District 7 City Council seat which should develop into a heated race with the incumbent.  We’ll all have a great opportunity to schmooze with other outstanding candidates for many of the crucial contests both in the City of San Diego, and other areas of the County.

 IN A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT, our August 5th meeting, back at the La Mesa Community Center, will feature none other than Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins!  We’ll be thrilled to hear the Speaker address crucial updates from the Capitol, including environmental issues, the minimum wage, affordable housing, banning imports of ivory, education bills, drought actions, LGBT issues, and much, much more.  Don’t miss it.

And our June 3rd meeting was quite the revelation for our membership when Rear Admiral (Ret.) Len Hering, Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy and 32 year Navy Veteran, surprised us all with an “adult conversation” about the realities of Climate Change.  Saying he was doing this for his 3 grandchildren and their futures, he presented a 70 minute power point that showed just how dire the future is unless we act quickly and decisively to reverse our common habits of water waste, wanton overuse of fossil fuels, and relying on old, easy choices.  His studies and experiences show, and there were many graphs and charts to prove it, that we Americans, while comprising about 5% of the world’s population, use about 3/4s of the world’s resources.  And the developing world is growing in population and essential needs at a much faster rate than we care to recognize.  Much of the world is running short of potable water, energy, and sanitary housing.  Made us all think a little harder about our big meals and long showers, that’s for sure.  Let’s hope that we can all work to elect decision makers that acknowledge Global Climate Change and the importance of how our actions today portend for the sustainable future of our species.

Please visit our website at and like us on facebook.  We hope to see many more of our progressive friends at Mission Trails Park on July 1st.

Linda Armacost, Ed.D, President

Jeff Benesch, VP for Programs

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

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Veteran Peace Activist and Author

Veteran Peace Activist and Author

 to Headline May Meeting for Local Dems

7th Annual Yard Sale also on May Calendar

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, with members from San Carlos, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro, College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Spring Valley, Santee and other East County areas will be holding a very memorable meeting on Wednesday night, May 6th.

Our speaker will be Peggi Chute, author of “Soul of a Nation:  A Historical Novel About Selma.”  She published the book in time for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and attended the recent Commemoration of the Pettus Bridge crossing in Selma.  Peggi will have copies of the book available for autograph and sale.

Peggi is a life-long activist for peace and social justice.  After the Columbine, Colorado mass shootings, Peggi created the Teaching Peace Project for the Council of Churches and Synagogues in Stamford, Conn.  She served as its director and taught the program in three school districts.  She served on Mayor Dannel Malloy’s Council on Youth (he’s now Governor of Connecticut), and also ran a workshop at the first United Nations NGO conference at the UN in New York.

Peggi now lives in Lake San Marcos and has been a San Diego County resident for 4 years.  She’s a proud UCLA graduate in Film Studies and was a film editor in Hollywood for a number of years.  She’s also lived in the Monterey Peninsula area where she taught music and worked for Planned Parenthood as an Outreach Educator.  Don’t miss her presentation and buy a book to take home.

Several days prior to our May 6th meeting, LMFDC will hold it’s now famous and very popular YARD SALE.  On Saturday, May 2nd, from 8 AM-1 PM, scores of bargain hunters will descend on 5009 Randlett Dr. in La Mesa.  Our sale is known for its quality and quantity of unique items as our members have saved special merchandise just for this sale!  If you have goods that you would like to donate to our sale, please contact Mary Jane Tanquary at 619 818-5883.  Goods must be in clean, saleable condition and easily transportable.  Help contribute to our popular sale as either a buyer or contributor.  Please don’t bring donated goods the day of the sale.

Our April meeting was a very educational affair, with Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos teaching us all we needed to know about the Unified Port District and its great responsibility in maintaining our tidelands, waterfront, and airport.  The Port’s many environmental programs and initiatives were a particular point of emphasis.  Rafael also announced his entry into the 2016 SD City Attorney’s race.  We wish him well.

While the Port District has already set in motion it’s Climate Action Plan to reduce waste and greenhouse gases, Nicole Capretz walked us through the many reasons the cities of San Diego County need to adopt and implement their own versions of similar programs.

As author of the City of San Diego’s CAP under Mayor Gloria, Nicole and her Climate Action Campaign are a major force in getting San Diego to adopt and implement an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction plan of it’s own.  We are at a tipping point in SD County, and efforts like Nicole’s and others must pave the way for live-able communities for all residents for generations to come.

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., at University Ave. in La Mesa.  We have social hour beginning at 6:30 PM with business and speakers to follow at 7 PM.  Refreshments are served as provided by our members and all guests are welcomed.  Please find us at and like us on Facebook.

Linda Armacost, President

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

The lack of water for the populous and yet we still grow the Almonds.

Drought could push California to rethink water strategy

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a sweeping executive order Wednesday that imposes mandatory water restrictions across the state as California copes with a historic drought and water shortage. AP


California’s historic drought has thrown the state into crisis mode, but some experts hope it will force long-term improvements in how the state manages water.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced California’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions Wednesday, calling for a 25% reduction in water use and encouraging water districts to charge consumers more for excessive consumption. His executive order will also lead to new rebates for water-efficient appliances, as well as new funding for replacing lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping.

But California’s underlying problem, some experts say, is bigger than the current drought. Considering the state’s burgeoning population and the likelihood that climate change will make droughts more frequent and more severe, they say, policymakers should use the current crisis to lay the groundwork for more sustainable water management.

“We have to think about this as an opportunity to do better for the future,” said Brian Stranko, California water program director for The Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group. “We can only do so many things in this crisis. Our options are limited.”

Speaking during a Thursday conference call hosted by Circle of Blue — a Michigan-based media organization that covers water issues — Stranko said the drought has had major consequences not only for people, but for fish and wildlife as well. Rivers have dried up and wetland habitats along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory bird route that includes the Salton Sea, have been diminished, leading to death and disease among bird populations.

“Nature is suffering alongside our people, our farms, our communities,” Stranko said.

Brown’s executive order is a good first step toward addressing California’s water problems, Stranko said, but more is needed. He called for “dynamic conservation” measures that would use dams and other reservoirs to provide water to natural environments in short bursts, when it’s most needed. Those kinds of measures, Stranko said, would make it easier to balance the water needs of people and nature.

“We have to take advantage of the crisis and take action,” he said.

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center in New York City, struck a similar note during the conference call. The combination of California’s record-breaking drought and the need to make costly upgrades to aging water infrastructure, he said, creates an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how the United States manages water.

Lall called for policymakers to reevaluate long-entrenched water rights, to consider more centralized water management and to think about water as a human right rather than a commodity. He also highlighted emerging wastewater treatment technology that could make water recycling much less energy-intensive than it is now.

One of the worst droughts on record has had far-reaching consequences throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

“I understand that the drought has severe consequences, but these are times when it actually pays to think about your larger picture and your longer-term strategy, in addition to thinking about what you need to do now,” he said.

Like Stranko and Lall, William Patzert — a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge — believes California must emerge from the drought with a fundamentally different system for managing water.

The main reason for that, Patzert said in an interview Wednesday, isn’t climate change — it’s population growth. The state’s population ballooned from less than 24 million in 1980 to nearly 39 million last year.