Celebrate Democratic achievements with Dr. Shirley Weber, Lorena Gonzalez, and Colin Parent

Join us for our next general meeting Wednesday, June 1, when we’ll hear from three Democratic Party leaders about Democratic Party accomplishments we can all be proud of.

  • Dr. Shirley Weber, who is California Secretary of State and former State Assembly Member representing San Diego. La Mesa’s own Dr. Weber has been a champion of racial equity and she’s now fighting to protect voter integrity in California and nationwide.
  • Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, former State Assembly Member and incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, one of the most powerful labor organizations in the country. Gonzales is a longtime advocate for labor rights.
  • And La Mesa City Council Member Colin Parent, who has worked tirelessly to make our local community better.

The moderator will be club board member Matt Strabone, who’s running for Treasurer in La Mesa.

Democrats are the party that cares about affordable housing, equal rights, healthcare, education, and more—let’s find out more together about what we’ve been doing about those things.

Join us Wednesday, June 1, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, at 7 pm, or come a half-hour early for informal conversation with fellow Democrats.

Also at the meeting: We plan to vote on endorsing several local candidates. And we’re inviting you to join us to march in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade, June 4. Find out more here.

March in the Flag Day Parade | Candidate endorsements

The La Mesa Flag Day Parade returns Saturday morning, June 4, and you’re invited to join us to march. We’ll have fun, hang around with fellow Democrats, have a nice walk, and show the community we’re here to represent them!

We’re still getting details—such as the precise time and location to meet!—but mark your calendar for that morning and maybe early afternoon. Expect to meet up a block or two from La Mesa Village and walk about a mile. We often go out for lunch together afterward too, enjoying one of La Mesa’s many fine eating establishments.

The club always has a big presence at the parade every year—it’s a highlight of our calendar.

We’re looking for people willing to drive their cars in the parade, and have the cars decorated.

If you are interested in joining us to march in the parade and/or volunteering your car to drive in the parade, contact board member Katie Sigeti at kjsigeti@gmail.com“.

We’ll follow up with more details when we have them.

Candidate endorsements: And join us for our regular general meeting June 1, when we’ll take a minute or two at the beginning to vote on a few candidate endorsements:

  • Matt Strabone for La Mesa Treasurer
  • Andrea Beth Damsky for Helix Water Board
  • Rebecca McRae, friendly incumbent, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board

The meeting is 7 pm Wednesday, June 1, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive—come a half-hour early for conversation with fellow Democrats.

The main topic of the meeting is “Yay Democrats!” Talking with local Democratic leaders about what the party has accomplished with its government majorities.

Video: Mental health awareness and primary candidates — May general meeting

Hear from mental health experts about keeping an even keel in tough times, and Democratic candidates running in primary elections.

Are you stressed? Feeling overwhelmed? Sure you are. Everybody who’s paying attention is at least a little freaked out right now.

At our May 4 meeting, we lined up a panel of mental health experts discussing techniques you can use to cope with turbulence in public and private life. The speakers:

  • Lisa Garcia, project manager at Recovery International.
  • Mark Marvin, a California Licensed Psychologist and VP of Community Research Foundation (CRF), overseeing operations of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), a not-for-profit company providing behavioral health care throughout San Diego.
  • Kenya Taylor, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and active Democrat.
  • Leslie Fadem, San Diego Democrat and licensed family and marriage therapist.

Also, hear from Democratic candidates in local primaries, including candidates for county sheriff, US Congress, and school board. Our speakers include:

  • Lauren Payne, speaking on behalf of Rebecca Kanter for state Superior Court judge.
  • Stephen Houlahan, running for US Congress in California’s 48th District, against Republican incumbent Darrell Issa.
  • Debbie Justeson, running for re-election to the board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
  • Peter Singer, also running for Superior Court judge, though not against Cantor.
  • Godwin Higa, for District B, San Diego Unified School Board
  • Shana Hazan, also running for District B, San Diego Unified School Board.
  • Dave Myers, for San Diego Sheriff.

We also discussed the appalling leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v Wade.

Mark your calendars for our next general meeting, June 1, when we’ll be making the case why you should support Democrats. Find out more about what Democratic leadership has accomplished for us.

And don’t forget—beer blast Wednesday, May 11, starts 3 pm at Helix Brewery in La Mesa—support local candidates and drink great beer. Details

Join us for our May meeting to learn about mental health awareness and hear from primary candidates

Join us in person once again for our next meeting, Wednesday, May 4, when we’ll be talking with mental health experts about keeping an even keel in tough times. We’ll also hear from Democratic candidates running in primary elections.

Are you stressed? Feeling overwhelmed? Sure you are. Everybody who’s paying attention is at least a little freaked out right now.

At our May 4 meeting, we’ve lined up a panel of mental health experts discussing techniques you can use to cope with turbulence in public and private life. The speakers we’ve lined up are:

  • Lisa Garcia, project manager at Recovery International.
  • Mark Marvin, a California Licensed Psychologist and VP of Community Research Foundation (CRF), overseeing operations of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), a not-for-profit company providing behavioral health care throughout San Diego.
  • Kenya Taylor, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and active Democrat.

We’ll also hear from Democratic candidates in local primaries, including candidates for county sheriff, US Congress, and school board.

That meeting is at 7 pm, with informal networking time a half-hour earlier, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa, CA. Proof of vaccination required, and bring a mask in case you need it.

Missed our April meeting, or want to see it again? We had a great meeting in April, hearing from local Democratic elected officials on how they won their first elections. Speakers were Jennifer Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council member; Mark Gracyk, Helix Water Authority director, Division 3; and Racquel Vasquez, Mayor City of Lemon Grove. The panel moderator was Chris Pearson, the club VP political action, with experience working on several winning campaigns. If you missed it, or want to see it again, watch it on our YouTube channel, where you can catch videos of two dozen meetings going back two years.

April meeting video: How Democrats elected officials won their first elections

Watch the video of our April, 2022 general meeting meeting, where we hear from three East County Democratic elected officials with experience winning: Jennifer Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council member; Mark Gracyk, Helix Water Authority director, Division 3; and Racquel Vasquez, Mayor City of Lemon Grove. The panel moderator is Chris Pearson, the club VP political action, with experience working on several winning campaigns.

The candidates talk about the nitty-gritty of why they ran, how they raised money, the importance of knocking on doors and talking with neighbors, and more.

To achieve progressive goals, Democrats need to first win office. San Diego East County is a place where Republicans still wield power. To help turn East County blue—as Democrats have already done for the rest of the county and state—we need to run candidates and win elections.

You can help Democrats win even if you don’t run yourself. Sign up for GO Team, to go door-to-door in hour neighborhood, to get Democrats to commit to get out and vote. Hear from club President Tina Rynberg about volunteering—and to find out more, contact Tina directly at treehugger1309@yahoo.com.

This was our first in-person meeting since December—and the last in-person meeting before that was March 2020. We were all excited to get off Zoom and meet in person.

And we’ll do it again Wednesday, May 4, for our next meeting, when we’ll hear from local candidates in primary elections for county sheriff, US Congress, and school board. We’ll also observe Mental Health Awareness Month, where representatives from Recovery International will answer your questions about leading peaceful and productive lives during tough times. That meeting is at 7 pm, with informal networking time a half-hour earlier, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa, CA.

April IN PERSON meeting: Democratic candidates share how they won their first election

Running for local office is the most important thing you can do to help advance progressive values. Your local city council, school board, and water board are the elective bodies with the biggest effect on people’s lives. And anybody can serve.

But running for office can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. If you’ve been thinking about running , and need a little nudge to get there, our next general meeting is for you. It’s Wednesday evening, April 6—and it’s our first live meeting of 2022! Not on Zoom—in person! Scroll down for details.

The topic is “Winner’s Circle,” and we’ll hear from local Democratic elected officials about how they won their very first elections.

Our speakers include:

  • Colin Parent, La Mesa City Council member.
  • Jenny Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council member.
  • Suzanne Till, director, Padre Dam Municipal Water District.
  • Mark Gracyk, director, Helix Water District.
  • Chris Pearson, moderating. Chris is VP political action for the club, and a veteran of successful local political campaigns.

We’ll also hear from club President Tina Rynberg, talking about one of the most effective ways to elect Democrats—GO-Team—where you volunteer to talk with your neighbors who are registered to vote as Democrats and let them know about party candidates. You walk door to do—or phone or text if you can’t walk—ring doorbells, talk to your neighbors of they’re home, and leave literature. It’s fun and it’s one of the most powerful things you can do to support progressive causes.

The meeting is in person at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Community Drive. Programming starts at 7 pm, with social time at 6:30 pm. Proof of vaccination is required—and bring a mask too, in case wearing a mask is necessary.

We won’t be streaming this one live over Zoom or YouTube, but we do plan to post video to YouTube within a few days of the event.

Update: Fixing a typo in the date. The meeting is Wednesday, April 6, not Wednesday, April 7. There is no Wednesday, April 7 this year. Thanks to the members who pointed out the error!

Watch the video of our March meeting — state of the San Diego Democratic Party — reproductive rights, featuring Assemblymember Akilah Weber

Our March meeting features local San Diego leaders, including Assemblymember Akilah Weber, discussing women’s health and reproductive freedom. We also hear from Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, discussing redistricting and the state of the party.

And club President Tina Rynberg talks about how you—yes, YOU—can help Democrats win elections by joining GO Team and going door-to-door to talk with your neighbors, or making phone calls and sending texts.

Dr. Weber represents La Mesa and the surrounding 79th District (and is a former member of the club board). For Dr. Weber, women’s health and reproductive freedom isn’t just a political matter—she’s a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist.

Also discussing women’s health and reproductive rights is Anna Heinz, a nurse practitioner at Palomar Medical Center in the labor and delivery department, with experience in prenatal and women’s health, including working with Planned Parenthood.

The discussion is moderated by club member Carol Perkins, Ph.D., a former professor of women’s studies at San Diego State University and other colleges, who is also active on local community associations.

The topic for our April meeting is Winner’s Circle—hearing from local Democratic Party elected officials about how they won their first elections. Our goal is to convince you—yes, you!—to run for local office.

We’re back in person for our general meeting in April, so mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 6, 7 pm, with unstructured social time at 6:30 pm, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.

March meeting: Women’s health and reproductive justice, Assembly Member Akilah Weber, and county Democratic Party chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy

Join us for what’s sure to be an excellent general meeting Wednesday, March 2, when we’ll hear from an array of local Diego leaders on women’s health and reproductive freedom.

Also, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, will discuss redistricting and provide updates on the state of the party.

Kicking off our Women’s History Month programming, we’ll hear from Assembly Member Akilah Weber, who represents La Mesa and the surrounding 79th District (and is a former member of the club board). For Dr. Weber, women’s health and reproductive freedom isn’t just a political matter—she’s a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist.

We’ll also hear from other leaders and experts on women’s health and reproductive rights, in a discussion moderated by club member Carol Perkins, Ph.D., a former professor of women’s studies at San Diego State University and other colleges, who is also active on local community associations.

Dr. Perkins will be joined by Anna Heinz, a nurse practitioner at Palomar Medical Center in the labor and delivery department, with experience in prenatal and women’s health, including working with Planned Parenthood.

We expect to have more great speakers as well. So don’t miss out—be there on Zoom, Wednesday, March 2, 7 pm, or come at 6:30 pm for a half-hour of unstructured social talk. Here’s the link: Zoom

Hopefully this will be our last Zoom meeting for some time. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you again in person—mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 6, 7 pm, with 6:30 pm unstructured social time, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.

Watch the video of our February meeting with Shirley Weber, Nathan Fletcher, and a panel on racial justice

Our February meeting features Shirley Weber, California Secretary of State; Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, and a panel on racial justice. Watch now!

Dr. Weber—who formerly represented our community as Assembly member for the 79th District—talked about her work protecting free and fair elections, and preserving and expanding voter rights here in California and the rest of the country.

Dr. Weber also discussed California’s proposed slavery reparations bill, which she has championed.

Chair Fletcher, who represents our community following the recent redistricting, talked about the importance of retaining the recently won Democratic Party majority on the Board of Supervisors. With a 3-2 majority, every election counts. Fletcher faces re-election this year, and already faces opposition from an anti-science conservative extremist. He asked members to work on his campaign. If Republicans can regain control of the board, they’ll undo protections for women’s rights, racial justice, and other issues that Democrats have fought hard for.

Board members Sharon Cox talked about the fight to stop the disastrous Cottonwood Sand Mine project. Get more information at stopcottonwoodsandmine.com.

Board member Brenda Miller led our panel discussion on racial justice, which featured Kenya Taylor, a Democratic Party leader and licensed marriage and family therapist, Rev. Shane Harris, president and founder of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates; and Katie Lais, of the University of San Diego.

We also had several announcements and bulletins from leaders of the San Diego Democratic community.

Join us for our March 2 meeting, on reproductive freedom and other women’s issues, for Women’s History Month. The meeting is 7 pm, with unstructured social conversation starting at 6:30 pm, on Zoom. Here’s the Zoom URL.

February meeting: Shirley Weber — Nathan Fletcher — racial justice panel discussion

Join us for our general meeting Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the evening, when we’ll hear from Dr. Shirley Weber, California Secretary of State and former State Assembly representative for La Mesa, as well as Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego Board of Supervisors and representative for the county Fourth District, which includes La Mesa.

We’ll also have a panel discussion on racial justice, featuring Kenya Taylor, a Democratic Party leader and licensed marriage and family therapist; Jim Miller, a journalist, writer and professor at San Diego City College; Rev. Shane Harris, president and founder of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates; and Katie Lais, of the University of San Diego.

Some topics for the panel: Is racial justice increasing or decreasing over recent years? Are we becoming more just as a society, or less, in our local community, San Diego, the state, and nation? What is San Diego doing to increase racial justice? What should we be doing? And more!

Join us at the usual time and place—7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 2 (and the first Wednesday of every month) on Zoom. Here’s the Zoom URL. And feel free to drop by a half-hour early, at 6:30 pm, for unstructured conversation.