Watch the Video: Help turn East County blue!

We had a great meeting Wednesday, hearing from more than a half-dozen Democratic leaders about how you can volunteer to help Democrats win elections and stop the spread of bigotry and superstition in La Mesa and surrounding East County communities, using the peaceful tools of democracy.

And do it all with social distancing — you don’t even have to leave home!

Speakers include:

  • Tina Rynberg, club President (that’s her smiling face you see in the video below)
  • Sean Quintal, club VP laws and legislation, talking about state ballot initiatives
  • Past president Linda Armacost discussing the news of the day
  • Terra Lawson Remer, candidate for San Diego Board of Supervisors, running against a Republican incumbent
  • La Mesa City Council representatives Colin Parent and Akilah Weber, talking about the city’s public safety oversight task force and the aftermath of the terrible rioting downtown in May, and ongoing demonstrations. Parent also talks about his reelection campaign.
  • La Mesa City Council candidate Jack Shu
  • Christian Bilson, lead volunteer organizer for Southern California for the Biden/Harris campaign.
  • Ali Zaidi, engagement coordinator for the San Diego County Democratic Party.

Missed us? Watch the video here

And join us for our next meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the evening, when we’ll hear from a busload of great candidates, find out more about volunteer opportunities and also learn how you can make sure your vote is counted.

It’s 61 days to Election Day. Vote blue no matter who.

We need you to help turn East County Blue

It’s scary out there. Right-wing extremists are here, now, in East County, threatening Black Lives Matter protesters and openly displaying Nazi symbols.

But you can stop them, using the peaceful tools of democracy.

That’s what our next general meeting is about, Wednesday, Sept. 2 on Zoom. We’ll share how you can volunteer your time to help Democrats win in 2020, and stop the spread of bigotry and superstition in La Mesa and surrounding East County Communities.

And do it all while social distancing. You don’t even have to leave home.

Meeting details:
Wednesday, Sept. 2
6:30 pm social, 7 pm programming
Zoom link

Colin Parent, Terra Lawson-Remer, Akilah Weber, and Jack Shu

We’ll start out hearing from Sean Quintal, our club VP laws and legislation, who will take a few minutes to walk through the confusing array of propositions on the ballot. This is the second of a series. You don’t have to have heard Part 1 to join us in September, but we do urge you to watch if you missed that meeting. It’s on our YouTube channel.

Our guest Terra Lawson Remer is a candidate for San Diego Board of Supervisors, running against Republican incumbent Kristin Gaspar. If Lawson-Remer wins, that will establish a first-ever Democratic majority on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors — a historic shift in the San Diego political landscape.

Terra is an economist, small businesswoman, and educator, who served as Senior Advisor in the Obama Administration developing environmental policies to cut pollution from oil drilling and mining. She supports an evidence-based approach to COVID-19, affordable childcare and housing for San Diego, racial justice, environmental protection, a sane transit policy and more. Find out how to help Lawson Remer become the second Democrat on the Board of Supervisors and help tilt the balance toward the people.

We’ll hear from La Mesa City Council representative Colin Parent and Akilah Weber about the city’s public safety oversight task force and the aftermath of the terrible rioting downtown in May, and ongoing demonstrations. And, as an exciting addition to the programming we’ll also hear on the same subject from Jack Shu, a new candidate to the council.

If Colin wins re-election, which is likely, and Jack wins as well, that will shift the balance on the council from two Democrats, two Republicans and one no party preference (NPP) to three Democrats, one Republican and one NPP — a Democratic majority.

Christian Bilson, lead volunteer organizer for Southern California for Joe and Kamala group, will discuss how you can help send Joe and Kamala to the White House by building support in swing states. Christian is also an admin of the San Diego for Joe & Kamala Facebook group.

And Ali Zaidi, engagement coordinator for the San Diego County Democratic Party, will talk about what you can do to help elect Democrats up and down the line.

Want to do more? Why not phone-bank from home? You can phone to elect Lawson Remer, call voters in swing states, drum up support for California state propositions, and help Kate Schwartz for Assembly District 75 and Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congressional District 50.


Also: We’d like to take a moment to thank and recognize Jeff Benesch, the club’s programing VP, who resigned this month. Jeff made an enormous contribution; his meetings were informative, enjoyable and packed in literally hundreds of people. He also organized regular anti-war protests in the 2000s, and worked tirelessly for local candidates and causes. Thank you Jeff! We wish you well in your future endeavors.


And join your fellow Democrats Saturday, August 29 at noon to kick off the re-election campaign for Colin Parent.

When: Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 12 PM
Where: Socially distanced on Zoom!
RSVP: https://www.colinparent.org/2020kickoff

Watch the video of our meeting on bringing Affirmative Action back to California

Learn how Democrats are working to bring back Affirmative Action, with a star-studded panel of speakers, including Assembly members Shirley Weber & Lorena Gonzales! Watch the video of our Wednesday meeting, below. 

Democratic lawmakers are looking to bring Affirmative Action back to California, 24 years after it was banned. The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club talked with two leaders in the drive to bring back Affirmative Action: Mss Weber and Gonzalez, both from San Diego. The two are sponsors of ACA-5, which overturns Proposition 209, the Affirmative Action ban that passed California in 1996.

Also joining us on our panel discussion was Bud Mehan, Professor emeritus and founder of UCSD’s Create, which established the Preuss School as a workaround to 209. Additionally, we were joined by Ric Epps, a Political Science professor who’s retired from SDSU and current Department Chair of Political Science at Imperial Valley College. Professor Epps was program director in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP), which provides assistance to underrepresented students.

The panel was moderated by our own Professor Emeritus Carol Perkins.

Additionally, we heard from board member Sean Quintal about California’s ballot initiatives, and Chris Pearson about recruiting candidates for local offices with just days until the deadline to register.

Missed the meeting, or want to catch it again? Watch the video below:


We need you — yes, YOU! — to run for local office! Find out more. Time is running out: The deadline for many races is tomorrow (Friday) and for others it’s Aug. 12. 


And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday Sept. 2. Social time will be 6:30 pm, programming starts at 7 pm. See you then! 

Join us Wednesday to discuss reversing California’s Affirmative Action ban

Democratic lawmakers are looking to bring Affirmative Action back to California, 24 years after it was banned. Join the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club Wednesday evening as we talk with two leaders in the drive to bring back Affirmative Action: California Assembly members Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez, both from San Diego.

Mss. Weber and Gonzales are both sponsors of ACA-5, which overturns Proposition 209, the Affirmative Action that passed California in 1996 with a whopping 9 percentage points.

Also joining us on our panel discussion is Bud Mehan, Professor emeritus and founder of UCSD’s Create, which established the Preuss School as a workaround to 209. Additionally, we’ll have Ric Epps, a Political Science professor who’s retired from SDSU and current Department Chair of Political Science at Imperial Valley College. Professor Epps was program director in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP), which provides assistance to underrepresented students.

The panel will be moderated by our own Professor Emeritus Carol Perkins, Professor Emeritus.

As always the Zoom meeting starts 7 pm, after 30 minutes of social time starting at 6:30 pm, followed by spirited pitches from local candidates for office.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82381908206?pwd=M05WcStpSm1JV1EwbUk1eThaaGpTUT09
Email mitch@mitchwagner.com for password.


Also: Got a few minutes and a phone? Please make a few phone calls to battleground states this week.

Campaign training – TODAY! – Also, stand with Joe!

What are you doing this morning? How about changing the world? Or at least taking one small step in that direction. Join the California Democratic Party for a Training Extravaganza starting at 10 am today — that’s in about an hour! The day-long event includes sessions on fundraising, digital organizing, virtual phonebanking and more!

Find details and register for the events you find most interesting: 2020 Summer Executive Board Training Extravaganza.

Also, if you’re on Facebook, please consider joining the San Diego for Joe Biden group. Also, follow @SoCal4Biden on Twitter, Instagram, Mobilize events

Biden campaign volunteer Christian Bilson invites us to a Zoom event: SoCal for Joe Biden: Let’s Get Organized!, starting Saturday (that’s tomorrow), 4:30 pm, and repeating over the next few weeks. Find out how you can get involved and help Democrats take back the White House and rebuild America for Americans.

Christian said in an email: “I already know the #1 question people ask about when we ask them to volunteer: Why volunteer for Joe when he has California locked?” (Which is spooky because that’s exactly what I was thinking at the moment I was thinking it.)

Christian says:

The answer is that, even in the swing states, all activities will be at a distance. So anything our organizers will be doing in the swing states can be done from anywhere. We need an army of volunteers here, the most populous state in the country!

We’re going to need to not just win this election, but win in a landslide to effect needed change. Get started today!

And mark your calendars for our next general meeting, Wednesday, 8/5, 6:30 pm for socializing and 7 pm for programming, on Zoom of course. I’ve been talking with our programming boss Jeff Benesch and we’ve got a great evening lined up — you don’t want to miss it!

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

We need you – yes you! – to run for office!

We need Democrats to run for part-time city councils, school boards, water boards, fire protection boards, hospital boards, and so on.

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as the kind of person who would run for office, but think again. “Our political system is built on the premise that running for office is something that a broad group of citizens should want to do," writes political scientist Jennifer Lawless.. Government only works if everybody gets involved.

To that end, we will be hosting a Zoom meeting Wednesday, July 15, 2020 from 7-8:30 pm. There, you’ll be able to connect with local officials to find out what it was like to run for office and how they won their elections. And they’ll take about what the experience of serving in elective office is like. You’ll find out what meetings are like, and what they do.

You’ll get a real feel for what it’s like to be in elective office.

Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the process of running for office; the San Diego Democratic Party will be with you every step of the way.

These so-called “downballot” elections are where you can make a difference. Sure, it’s important to take a stand on national issues, but our small, individual voices aren’t going to make a lot of difference in ending racism or mitigating climate change on a national level. However, if you win local office and put in the work, you can be guaranteed to make a big difference in the lives of your families, friends and neighbors.

For an invite to our special Zoom Contact me at mitch@mitchwagner.com or club president Tina Rynberg, lmfdemclub@gmail.com, to get a special invitation to the Zoom meeting.

July meeting – Wednesday – Politics Pundits & Pandemic, Continued!

Join us Wednesday, July 1 for another blockbuster Zoom meeting, with a line-up of local and county leaders to talk about the upcoming elections and crises of the moment — protests and rioting in the county; the pandemic, which alarmingly seems to be heating up again; the economic meltdown; and a White House whose incompetence, dishonesty and disregard for citizens’ lives grows more flagrant and monstrous daily.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Will Rodriguez Kennedy, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair
  • Scott Lewis, writer and publisher, Voice of San Diego
  • Todd Gloria, Assemblyperson, AD 78, and candidate for San Diego Mayor
  • Laura Fink, noted television political analyst
  • Chris Ward, San Diego City Council member and candidate, AD 78
  • Michael Smolens, political columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Dr. Jen Campbell, San Diego City Council Member
  • Marni Van Wilpert, San Diego City Council candidate, District 5.
  • Ammar Campa Najjar, candidate, 50th Congressional District

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm for socializing. Programming starts 7 pm.

Join us on Zoom at this URL:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86306356300

And we’ve been hearing from you that signing to these meetings is too difficult. So we’re going to make it easy. Just follow the link and you’re in and you’re in. No registration, no waiting room, no hassle.

Join “The Nancy Pelosi Way” – a Zoom event – Saturday!

Join our friends the East Area Democrats for an evening with Christine Pelosi, author of “The Nancy Pelosi Way.” Ms Pelosi is Chair of the CDP Women’s Caucus, and DNC Member.

This Zoom Q&A and book-signing fundraiser is Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 5PM – that’s this week.

For more information, contact Bob Grand at rgrand@att.net or (310) 560–5282.

Zoom registration links will be emailed to all contributors.

Signed books will be distributed to all contributors of $50 or higher.

All proceeds will help elect Democrats in East County 

RSVP at sddemocrats.org/east.

And mark your calendars for the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club’s next meeting, Wednesday, July 1 on Zoom – social time at 6:30 pm, programming starts at 7 pm. More details to come but trust me – it’s a great program! 

Mitch Wagner
Communications and Social Media
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Watch La Mesa leaders discuss the police, protests, elections and more!

We had a fantastic and wide-ranging discussion with an astounding panel of local leaders Wednesday. We talked about the multiple crises simultaneously facing La Mesa, San Diego, the state, country and world. We discussed the arrest of a young man last week at the Grossmont Trolley station, with allegations of police abuse. We talked about demonstrations Saturday which led to rioting and a woman being shot in the face by police — thankfully, she is reportedly recovering. We also talked about the state of the 2020 elections on all levels, economic inequity, police abuse, and more.

Speakers included:

  • Assembly Member Shirley Weber
  • La Mesa Council Member Akilah Weber
  • Congresswoman Susan Davis.
  • Carl Luna, a University of San Diego professor and political analyst.
  • San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who has taken a leadership role on the county board during the pandemic despite being the only Democrat.
  • Georgette Gomez, president of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s 53 Congressional District.
  • Sara Jacobs, who is opposing Gomez for that seat.
  • And our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, who will talk about the important downballot seats seeking Democratic candidates.
  • Watch the video here:

And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday, July 1, 6:30 pm. We hope to be able to meet in person then, for some form of our annual Party in the Park at Harry Griffen Park, though health and public safety will drive that decision. Either way – in the park, on Zoom or elsewhere – well see you there and then.

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Wednesday meeting – La Mesa Democrats – Talk with local, state and national leaders!

Join us for our June meeting Wednesday, June 3 – that’s tomorrow. Be there at 6:30 pm on Zoom, programming to start shortly after that. That’s a little earlier than we usually start programming. 

Register here for Wednesday’s meeting

And join us for an unstructured, informal get-together today at 5:30 pm, if you can.

Register here for today’s get-together

Read on for details.

A bad year got a lot worse this weekend, as rioting tore apart La Mesa Village. The riots started with peaceful protests, following accusations by a young African-American man that he was unjustly arrested and bullied by police at Grossmont Trolley Station. You can read about the arrest here at the Times of San Diego: Officer Put on Leave After Alleged Police Brutality During Arrest in La Mesa, which includes an Instagram video that went viral, showing the arrest. The San Diego Union-Tribune has more: Man detained by La Mesa police: ‘If we stand united we can’t be beaten’. And the La Mesa Police Department issued a short statement Thursday, saying the incident is under review

The arrest and viral video followed the brutal death of George Floyd, killed by a Minnesota police officer and captured on its own viral video.
We’ll talk about what’s happening in La Mesa and around the county Wednesday, starting at 6:30 pm on Zoom. (That’s a slight schedule change, by the way. Programming was previously scheduled to begin at 7 pm, but we’re going to start as close to 6:30 pm as we can manage, so we can fit everything in.)

The meeting kicks off with La Mesa City Council Member Akilah Weber, who just now agreed to join us. Dr. Weber took a leadership role in following up on both the Grossmont Trolley Station incident, and the ensuing riots, and she’ll talk with us about where things stand. 

Dr. Weber and our other speakers will also discuss the pandemic, economic downturn, upcoming November elections, and more. 

And we have quite a line-up of other speakers, whom we told you about last week. They are:

– Congresswoman Susan Davis.
– Carl Luna, a University of San Diego professor and political analyst.
– Laura Fink, a veteran political operative and analyst.
– San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who has taken a leadership role on the county board during the pandemic despite being the only Democrat.
– Georgette Gomez, president of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s 53 Congressional District.
– Sara Jacobs, who is opposing Gomez for that seat.
– And our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, who will talk about the important downballot seats seeking Democratic candidates.

Find out more about our meeting — Politicos, Pundits, Profs & Pandemics — on our blog.

You don’t want to miss this meeting. Register here in advance to join us on Zoom at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 3

Register here!

Or watch the live streaming video on our YouTube channel:

YouTube: La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

Also please join us Tuesday June 2 — that’s later today — at 5:30 pm, for an unstructured, informal discussion that’ll run about 30-45 minutes. The discussion will give us an opportunity to check in with each other and also get familiar with Zoom:

Register here for Tuesday’s unstructured meeting.

We’ll approve registrations shortly before the events start, so watch your email then .

Thanks, and we hope to see you Tuesday and Wednesday!

Say safe, healthy and sane.

Mitch Wagner
Social Media and Communications
La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club