La Mesa candidates stir support | GO Team | Watch the video of our September 2022 meeting

At our September, 2022 meeting, we heard from more than a dozen candidates for La Mesa local offices—as well as a few surrounding communities—who will help make East County blue(r) this year. These include:

  • Mejgan Afshan and Patricia Dillard for La Mesa City Council. Kathleen Brand announced she’s dropping out of that race, leaving two Democrats running in contested elections for two open seats, and clearing a path for victory. We thank Brand for her sacrifice.
  • Matt Strabone for La Mesa City Treasurer.
  • For La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board: Rebecca MacRae, current board president, running for re-election; Brianna Coston; Caitlin Tiffany.
  • Andrea Beth Damsky, running for Helix Water District, Division 2
  • Debbie Justesen, for Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Goard. Justesen is currently board president.
  • Arnie Levine, for El Cajon Mayor
  • Mike Schaefer, for State Board of Equalization, 4th District
  • Victoria Abrenica for Spring Valley Community Planning Group
  • And Steve Jesionka, speaking on behalf of Stephen Houlahan, who’s running for US Congress against MAGA favorite Darrell Issa.

Also, club President Tina Rynberg provided tips on participating in the Grassroots Organizing Team—GO Team—volunteers who fan out over neighborhoods to go door-to-door to urge Democrats to vote for San Diego endorsed party candidates. That kind of precinct-walking is one of the best things you can do to help elect Democrats.

For questions about GO-Team, contact Rynberg at treehugger1309@yahoo.com.

We’ll be doing GO Team training at our October meeting. We’ll also hear from more candidates, from across East County.

The October meeting is Thursday, October 6, 7 pm at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive—but do come early for unstructured conversation, starting at 6:30 pm.

Important: We’re moving the meeting to a new day for October only, to avoid conflict with Yom Kippur. Beginning in November, we’ll be back to our normal meeting time, first Wednesday of the month.)

Also: Volunteer for Oktoberfest, Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

September meeting: Learn how to canvass your neighborhood | Hear from La Mesa candidates

For our next general meeting, Sept. 7—next week—we’re going to get you started canvassing neighbors for vote, and help you get to know your local candidates a little better.

The best way to get people elected is to go door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor, and convince folks to vote in one-on-one conversations. We’ll help you get going with that with GO Team training. As part of that, we’ll show you how to use the MiniVAN mobile app, which is your guide to canvassing the neighborhood.

We’ll also hear from local candidates for office in La Mesa and the surrounding communities, including City Council, school boards, and more.

The meeting is at the usual time and place—the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive. Programming starts at 7 pm, but come at 6:30 for informal conversation with your fellow Democrats.

Important: Our October monthly meeting is a special day and time. Mark your calendars for Thursday evening, October 6—we’re having it on Thursday rather than Wednesday out of respect for the Yom Kippur holiday. We’ll return to our usual schedule in November, first Wednesday of the month.

Read the Progressive Voice: Fighting monopoly, the at-home political test, meet local candidates and more.

Read the August issue of our monthly newsletter, the Progressive Voice. Articles include:

  • Writer/activist Cory Doctorow, on how monopoly is the root of all evil.
  • Take the at-home political test: Which party proves it knows how to govern, and which party proves it’s still cruel and crazy—stinging satire from the sharp pen of Sean Quintal, club VP, laws and legislation.
  • Meet candidates for local office Brianna Coston for La Mesa Spring Valley School Board, Andrea Beth Damsky for Helix Water District, Patricia Dillard for La Mesa City Council, and Matt Strabone for La Mesa City Treasurer.

And mark your calendar for our next meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 pm, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, where we’ll get training in GO Team—you’ll learn what you need to know to go door-to-door to convince your neighbors to vote local candidates. And we’ll also hear hear from candidates for local office and find other ways you can support them. Come early at 6:30 pm for informal conversation with your fellow Democrats.

Video and podcast: Monopoly is the root of all evil, with activist/writer Cory Doctorow

Monopoly is a thread—and threat—running through many of society’s fundamental problems, according to Cory Doctorow, an activist, journalist, blogger, science fiction writer, and long-time anti-monopoly champion, who spoke to the club at this month’s general meeting.

Watch the video:

Or listen to the podcast — and subscribe here.

Topics covered include:

  • Why we’re in a “seminal moment” for anti-monopoly.
  • How monopolies came to pervade the economy, limiting business and creating adverse social conditions.
  • How monopoly drives wealth concentration, grinding down the young and working class, and exacerbating homelessness.
  • How President Biden has championed anti-monopoly, delivering the sweeping Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, and appointing key antitrust watchdogs.
  • Why Biden’s appointing Lena Khan as head of the Federal Trade Commission is ”the most salient political appointment of any president in at least 20 years.”

And more!

Cory comes up from the technology industry. He’s worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, for many years; he’s now a special consultant for that organization.

Tech industry monopolies—primarily Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon—are highly controversial. But it’s not just tech. Monopolies dominate every industry. From healthcare and finance to professional wrestling, every industry is dominated by an extremely limited number of companies, which control what consumers can buy, and limit job choices for people who work in that industry. Monopoly power allows companies to exert unhealthy influence on the government agencies that are supposed to regulate them.

Cory is the author of books including science fiction for adults, such as “Radicalized” and “Walkaway,” nonfiction about monopoly and conspiracy, “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism;” “In Real Life,” a graphic novel; and the picture book “Poesy the Monster Slayer.” His latest book is “Attack Surface,” a standalone adult sequel to “Little Brother;” his next nonfiction book is “Chokepoint Capitalism,” with Rebecca Giblin, about monopoly, monopsony and fairness in the creative arts labor market.

Cory blogs about monopoly, digital rights, and shares whimsical links at Pluralistic.net. He previously was co-editor of the blog Boing Boing for 19 years. Born in Toronto, Canada, Cory and his family now live in Los Angeles.

And mark your calendar for our next meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 pm, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, where we’ll get training in GO Team—you’ll learn what you need to know to go door-to-door to convince your neighbors to vote local candidates. And we’ll also hear hear from candidates for local office and find other ways you can support them. Come early at 6:30 pm for informal conversation with your fellow Democrats.

August general meeting: The monopoly threat, with activist/writer Cory Doctorow

For our next monthly meeting, Aug. 3, 7 pm on Zoom, we’re pleased to welcome Cory Doctorow, an activist, journalist, blogger, science fiction writer, and long-time anti-monopoly champion. The topic: Monopoly is the root of all evil.

Cory comes up from the technology industry. He’s worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, for many years; he’s now a special consultant for that organization. Tech industry monopolies—primarily Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon—are highly controversial.

But it’s not just tech. Monopolies dominate every industry. From healthcare and finance to professional wrestling, every industry is dominated by an extremely limited number of companies, which control what consumers can buy, and limit job choices for people who work in that industry. Monopoly power allows companies to exert unhealthy influence on the government agencies that are supposed to regulate them.

Yeah, it’s a dry topic—but Cory is a dynamic speaker, and brings the subject to life. Trust me, if you come to the meeting you’ll learn a lot and enjoy the conversation.

Cory is the author of books including science fiction for adults, such as “Radicalized” and “Walkaway,” nonfiction about monopoly and conspiracy, “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism;” “In Real Life,” a graphic novel; and the picture book “Poesy the Monster Slayer.” His latest book is “Attack Surface,” a standalone adult sequel to “Little Brother;” his next nonfiction book is “Chokepoint Capitalism,” with Rebecca Giblin, about monopoly, monopsony and fairness in the creative arts labor market.

Cory blogs about monopoly, digital rights, and shares whimsical links at Pluralistic.net. He previously was co-editor of the blog Boing Boing for 19 years. Born in Toronto, Canada, Cory and his family now live in Los Angeles.

Cory’s Wikipedia entry is worth reading.

Also at the meeting, we’ll hear from Chris Pearson, club VP for political action, who will talk for about five minutes about the need to run Democrats for East County offices. East County is still a Republican stronghold. Step up to run for office and take it back!

The meeting starts at 7 pm, with unstructured social conversation at 6:30 pm. Because of the latest Covid surge, we’re back on Zoom. Here’s the link: Zoom. As always you’ll be able watch the video on our YouTube channel, either live or after the event, and after the event you can listen to the audio on our new podcast

Read the Progressive Voice: Celebrating Democratic achievements, overcoming Trumpery, and more

Read the July issue of our monthly newsletter, the Progressive Voice. Articles include: 

  • Weber, Gonzalez, Parent celebrate Democratic achievements
  • Why don’t Republicans value Americans’ lives after they’re born?
  • How to overcome Trumpery.

And more!

Read it online here:

The print newsletter is distributed free for club members. If you’re not already a member, sign up here.

Video & podcast: Candidates! Candidates! Candidates!

Just a short video this month—audio-only. Hear from Democratic Party candidates for local office addressing the club at the Party in the Park, including:

  • Barbara Bry, San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk.
  • Matt Strabone, La Mesa City Treasurer
  • Andrea Beth Damsky, Helix Water District Division 2
  • Kathleen Brand, La Mesa City Council
  • Stephen Houlahan, US Congress, 48th District
  • Alysson Snow and Jennifer Mendoza, Lemon Grove City Council
  • Patricia Dillard, La Mesa City Council
  • Brianna Coston, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board Trustee Area 3.
  • Mejgan Afshan, La Mesa City Council

Or you can listen to the audio when you’re out-and-about on our new podcast:

Subscribe to the podcast by searching for “La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club” in your favorite podcast player, or just paste in this link.

And mark your calendars for our next meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 3, at our usual digs, the La Mesa Community Center, 4795 Memorial Drive. Business starts at 7 pm, but come at 6:30 for informal conversation with fellow Democrats.

Join us for the Party in the Park—Wednesday, July 6

Our July meeting is a change of pace, the annual Party in the Park, returning for the first time since 2019 at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Regional Park, 9550 Milden St., La Mesa. We’ll have music, speeches by candidates, opportunities to talk with fellow Democrats, and sandwiches, as well as a pie contest.

If you want a sandwich, send your food order to Richie Gibson at rkgmpp@att.net, by July 3. The sandwich choices are veggie, turkey, or Italian sandwiches, for a $10 donation. Sandwiches include chips and water. Please pay in cash at the event.

Bring a chair, a shade umbrella for the sun, and water–more water is good, right? Also, bring a dessert to share, and a homemade pie if you want to enter the contest.

The party starts Wednesday, July 6, at 6:30 pm. See you there!

📽️ Watch the video: Celebrate Democratic achievements with Dr. Shirley Weber, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, and Colin Parent

At our June general meeting, three Democratic Party leaders discussed party achievements we can all be proud of, including help for affordable housing, improved police oversight, support for working people, and more. Watch the video to hear from:

  • 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 Fletcherof 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 panel is expertly moderated by 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.

Panelists also discussed what Democrats can do—particularly California Democrats—against the Republican Party threat to democracy in the US. The situation is grim, but there is cause for hope.

New! Read the Progressive Voice online | Bring food to our June 1 meeting

Couple of quick items today: As you (probably?) know, each month we distribute a print newsletter, the Progressive Voice, containing highlights of the month’s activity.

Starting now, we’re going to start distributing the newsletter electronically, as a PDF, as well. This month: Highlights of our May meeting, where we heard from Democratic Primary candidates, including San Diego Sheriff candidate Dave Myers and Shana Hazan, running for San Diego Unified School Board District B, as well as mental health professionals talking about staying sane in difficult times. Sean Quintal, club VP of laws and legislation, talked about the Republican US Supreme Court’s assault on women’s freedom. And more!

The print newsletter is distributed free for club members. If you’re not already a member, sign up here.

And come to our next meeting Wednesday evening, when we’ll talk about what Democrats have accomplished while in office. We’ll hear from Dr. Shirley Weber, who is California Secretary of State and former State Assembly Member representing San Diego; Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, former State Assembly Member and incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation; and La Mesa City Council Member Colin Parent. Get more details here or just come by—the meeting is 7 pm at the La Mesa Community Center,  4975 Memorial Drive, at 7 pm—or come a half-hour early for social time with your fellow Democrats.

Also: One of the grace notes at our monthly meetings is the delicious snack table. Our hospitality committee has been doing a great job with that as we return to live meetings in the past couple of months. But we could use your help. If you have a recipe you love or a garden producing lots that you’d like to share, bring it! But it’s OK to come empty handed—we just want to see you.