Social Media Guru to Headline March Meeting – La Mesa Mayor also to Address Membership

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, serving all of Grantville, San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Santee and close-in East County, will extend their current streak of outstanding speakers with a talk by Internet Expert John Loughlin on Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 PM.

imagesJohn specializes in teaching the uninitiated about organizing their lives, worldview and communication skills through the use of Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media.

With nearly 50% of adults over 50 regularly using Facebook and other online blogs and publications, it’s time we all learn how to maximize our internet skills to keep abreast of all the latest developments, arguments and facts that corporations would rather we didn’t know about. Electing not to use digital tools reduces our ability to engage, educate and persuade citizens with our ideas and values. Luckily there are a lot of folks already online to help us learn the new tools, find alternative news sites and to share ideas on building a more just and sustainable future.

Our meeting place, the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, just off University Ave.) now has free Wi-Fi and will allow John, with just a short overview, to show us the shortcuts to posting pictures and opinion to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and how we can expand the reach of our club to Democrats and Progressives everywhere. Please bring your laptop, smart phone, iPad or tablet, and participate in this unique opportunity. Our social hour begins at 6:30 PM and everyone is welcomed.

John graduated in physics from Imperial College, London after exploding unconfined vapor clouds for British Gas. He moved to California in 1993 as head of product R&D at Counterpoint Electronic Systems in Carlsbad. He founded his own consultancy business in San Diego in 1996, managing the development of software, hardware & services for global communication, media and consumer electronics companies.

He knows something about Technology Prognostication, Information Services, and Progressive Politics. He is a card carrying member of the ACLU, and longtime supporter of Amnesty International. For the GO Team he is a Precinct Leader and data coordinator for the Point Loma, Ocean Beach and Midway areas. John chairs the communications committee of the Pt. Loma Dem. Club, and works with other Clubs throughout the county to improve their websites and Social Media channels. John is currently working with the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club to upgrade our website. You can reach him at

You can download his presentation here (PDF).

Arapostathis%20headshot-KHK_0We’ll also have the pleasure of hearing the newly elected Mayor of La Mesa, Mark Arapostathis address the membership. He’s willing to discuss any and all issues facing the community, so please come prepared to ask the Mayor whatever is on your mind.

Mark Arapostathis has lived in La Mesa his entire life. He attended Lemon Avenue Elementary School, La Mesa Middle School, and graduated from Helix High School. Since 1992 he has taught in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District at Murdock Elementary, Lemon Avenue Elementary and Rolando Elementary. He is currently the Director of Theatre Arts at La Mesa Arts Academy. “Dr. A” as he is known, was honored as one of San Diego County’s Teachers of the Year.

Dr. Arapostathis served for 8 years as a City Councilman. Before joining the City Council, Dr. A served on the La Mesa Community Services Commission. He was the president of the La Mesa Arts Alliance as well as a founding member of the “Sundays at Six” concert series, held each summer at Harry Griffen Park amphitheater.

Noted Law Professor to Headline December Meeting

Marjorie Cohn PicLocal Dems to celebrate season with Annual Holiday Feast

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, with members from Allied Gardens, San Carlos, the College Area, Del Cerro, as well as the East County communities of La Mesa, Santee and Mt. Helix, will hear noted Law Professor and author Marjorie Cohn at their annual holiday meeting, Wednesday, December 3rd. We meet at the La Mesa Community Center at 4975 Memorial Dr., just off of University Avenue in La Mesa. Guests are welcomed at all meetings!

As is our custom, we will have a our Annual Club Holiday Party featuring fresh baked Turkeys and Ham, all the trimmings, and a multitude of sides and desserts. We start the meeting at 6 PM to have plenty of time to enjoy the food, the music and the camaraderie. We are pleased to welcome back wonderful flamenco guitarist Anthony Garcia who will play for the group during our social hour.

Our meeting will be highlighted by Professor Cohn, who has just released her 5th book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geo-political Issues. Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. A former president of the National Lawyers Guild, she is U.S. representative to the executive council of the American Association of Jurists. Cohn is also the author of Cowboy Republic, Rules of Disengagement, Cameras in the Courtroom, and United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse. She lectures throughout the world on human rights and U.S. foreign policy and the contradiction between the two. Marjorie will have books available for signing and sale at the meeting.

Our members make a pledge every year to help others less fortunate in our community. This year, we are teaming up with the St. Vincent De Paul Society at Santa Sophia Catholic Church in Casa de Oro. Their outreach program serves the needs of over 400 local families with an ongoing Food Pantry and other essential services. Members are encouraged to bring to our meeting a collection of non-perishable foods and dry goods.

It’s suggested the best items are: Pasta, Rice, Beans, Canned Vegetables and Fruits, Pasta Sauce, Peanut Butter, Boxed Cereal, Meal Helpers, Tuna, Mac & Cheese and Cake mix. Also valuable would be paper goods and tissues, toothpaste and brushes, deodorant, shampoo, cleaning products and laundry detergent. So open up your pantry and your heart and help feed and nourish the needy this holiday season.

Finally, a big thank you is in order for Senator Marty Block, who enlightened and delighted our November gathering and told us the election results in California were something we could all be proud of. All state-wide Democratic office holders were re-elected, as was our local Assemblyperson, Dr. Shirley Weber, and our local Congressperson Susan Davis. Scott Peters was winning (and now has won) the hotly contested 52nd CD race over Carl DeMaio. Marty also informed us about some of the significant and successful bills he had signed by Governor Brown this year including one making certain 4 year degrees available at 16 Community Colleges in California. And lastly, he reminded us all that 2016 is 2 short years away!

State Senator Block to Headline November Meeting for Local Dems

2008-11-13 Block Photo cropped

None other than our own Marty Block, State Senator for the 39th District, which encompasses most of San Diego and La Mesa, will be our featured speaker at the November 5th meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Since this meeting immediately follows the Nov. 4th election, Marty will do some expert analysis of the voting results, and also do a complete rundown of the recently completed Senate session in Sacramento. As a veteran of over 30 years of service to the community, as Member and President of the San Diego Board of Education, Member and President of the San Diego Community College Board, and a Dean and Director at SDSU, he has focused on education and budgetary issues during his time in Sacramento. Marty was our 78th District Assembly person for 2 terms prior to his election to Senate in 2012.

Not only does Marty serve currently on the Senate Education Committee, he chairs the subcommittee on Education finance. He also sits on committees dealing with banking, energy, utilities, business and economic development, communications, autism, passenger rail and veterans affairs. He’s had a great deal of legislative success during his 6 year tenure in Sacramento, just this year paving the way for Governor Brown’s signature on a landmark bill enabling future Community College grads to achieve a 4 year degree. Marty’s presentation should be an ideal wrap up to our busy election season.

Our October meeting was a valuable and informative prelude to our November 4th voting day with the wonderful Dr. Shirley Weber giving us a rousing summary of the just completed Assembly session and her many contributions to a very successful 2014 legislative session. We long ago pledged our support to her re-election campaign in the 79th Assembly District.

We also had the pleasure of a surprise visit by none other than Congressperson Susan Davis, who inspired us to get out and work for all the local Democratic Candidates in this pivotal election, and her hopes that her next term in Washington will not be fraught with the intransigence of a do-nothing House and often dead-locked Senate. She related well the frustrations that she and her Democratic colleagues felt when they couldn’t get much of anything to the floor concerning key issues like climate change, immigration, worker’s and women’s rights, fair pay, minimum wage, banking reform, veterans benefits, and much, much more.

La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid spoke to our club for the first time in his long tenure as mayor and city councilman, and urged us to support his many city initiatives.   Inspired, our club voted unanimously to “not object” to his candidacy, the highest endorsement we can give to a non-Democratic candidate in a race for a non-partisan office. In a related race, our membership pledged to work for and help elect our very own Patrick Dean to La Mesa City Council, and to urge La Mesa Democrats to vote only once, for Patrick.

Jack Shu, another member of our club and President of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, gave us a refresher course on the progress of the fight against the plans by Sandag and Caltrans to do little else but widen freeways in their long range County Transportation Plan. That this doesn’t nearly meet the State requirements for reduced carbon emissions is the crux of the problem. And doesn’t bold well for future generations of San Diego County residents.

Please join us for our November and all future meetings of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. We meet at the La Mesa Community Center on the first Wednesday of every month. We have social hour at 6:30 PM with conversation and refreshments. Our meetings start at 7PM.

Local Dem Club Looks Forward and Backward in Key Summer Meetings


La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will welcome David Rolland as their Keynote speaker at their September 3rd Meeting. Rolland, editor of San Diego CityBeat, an alternative newsweekly; is a self proclaimed lover of music, baseball, politics and whiskey. His irreverent approach to San Diego County politics will be the gist of his remarks as he prepares us for what to expect in the rapidly approaching Fall Election Season.

Known for his acerbic wit, Rolland is famous for calling ’em as he sees them, and his observations of the last decade of the San Diego political scene are full of keen insight and accurate predictions of future events. We’ll ask him to predict the results of the Fall election and why things should occur as they will. Perhaps he will recap his hilarious San Diego politicians as Star Wars characters for us. We look forward to this brilliant investigative journalist and will surely greet him with our own brand of hard questioning!

We looked back at our own colorful past at our tremendous August Anniversary meeting with Club founder Beverly Cassier, 94 years young, cutting our 30th Anniversary Cake! We were treated to a fantastic concert by satirist/singer/song writer Roy Zimmerman that everyone greatly enjoyed as he kicked off his Blue Dot tour with a gala performance in front of over 100 members and guests. We hope the San Francisco based Zimmerman will make our appreciative audience a regular stop.

Local politicos are starting to make regular appearances at Club Meetings as the election season is moving into high gear, and we should see many local and regional candidates at our September and October meetings. It’s time to get the vote out for our local hopefuls. Patrick Dean has pulled papers for La Mesa City Council, and we’ll get an update on his promising campaign. La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, at University Ave. Meetings start with Social time at 6:30 PM and Club business at 7 PM. All are welcome, as our members bring wide variety of snacks and desserts. Don’t miss our September election preview with David Rolland. Check out, or like us on Facebook.

Noted Satirist to Headline Local Dem Club’s 30th Anniversary Bash

On Wednesday, August 6, America’s premiere political satirical songwriter, Roy Zimmerman, kicks off the San Diego leg of his Blue Dot tour with a gala concert performance at the 7 PM meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Roy sings a compelling combination of socially conscious comedy and original music. His “funny songs about peace and justice” will highlight the 30th Anniversary of the Club, one of the oldest and largest chartered Democratic Clubs in San Diego County. It all takes place at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just off of University Ave. in La Mesa.

The festivities kick off at 6:30 with our Social ½ hour, where you’ll have a chance to purchase a CD of Roy’s music and humor and meet community activists, office holders and local political candidates. Members supply snacks, desserts and beverages and we’ll have a special anniversary cake for this notable occasion. Roy asks a donation of $15 for his concert or whatever you can afford, and if you buy one of his CD’s, it’ll make his evening.