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

Join us for our June Meeting!

Register here!

Join us on Zoom the evening of Wednesday, June 3, for our regular monthly meeting, with an all-star cast of local and national headline-makers that are all returning favorites of our club! 

We’ll hear from Congresswoman Susan Davis for one of the last appearances before her retirement at the end of this current term.  She’ll reflect on her many years of representing us in Congress, and the new and daunting challenges brought on by the coronavirus.  Congresswoman Davis will also fill us on on the latest attempts by the House to get a relief package through the Senate and White House — these funds are sorely needed by small businesses, families, cities, ports, transportation, hospitals, and schools in San Diego County.  

Be prepared to ask Susan tough questions as to the curiously mis-managed national response to the pandemic or any other issue that’s on your mind. What would you like for Congresswoman Davis to address? Send us your questions by replying to this email. 

Professor and political observer Carl Luna will help us understand what lies ahead in this new and challenging landscape for local candidates of all stripes. How can these candidates operate regarding campaigning, fundraising, voter outreach, and November turnout?  Will leading candidates be able to maintain their voter advantage?  Who benefits from likely massive mail-in voting?

Pundit and veteran political operative Laura Fink will also talk about local races — and we hope to hear her national predictions as well.  Can Joe Biden withstand a well-financed, but fact-challenged campaign by a largely unpopular president, who has seen his ratings drop south of 40% in many polls, following his bungled handling of the pandemic? Will President Obama’s decision to actively campaign for the Biden ticket propel the former VP to success in battleground states?  Who will be Biden’s running mate and how will she create votes and enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket?  What has caused white suburban women voters to run from Trump?

The County Supervisors are making headlines daily regarding their use of federal funds and county reserves to help with Covid-19 disaster relief.  The only Democrat on the San Diego Board of Supervisors, Nathan Fletcher, has been the face of the County in his frequent news conferences outlining the Board’s plans and strategies.  They’ve recently pledged $360 million dollars to the county’s response/recovery efforts.  The Supervisors have also petitioned the Governor to open hair salons, gyms, youth sports and some religious services, but in a controlled, responsible manner.  

Georgette Gomez will join us in her capacity as the powerful President of the San Diego City Council, as well as a candidate for Davis’s Congressional 53d District seat. She’ll talk with us about the city hold-up on accepting the SDSU proposal for the West Campus Stadium Area plan. Also, how will the city face the economic challenges of a diminished budget due to the virus, and the increased demands placed on the city for homeless sheltering, public safety, beach openings, increased cleaning and sanitizing of public areas, and more? What are the city’s options here — layoffs, curtailing city services, closing parks, diminished public safety?  How does the city generate sales and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues with this lockdown in place?

We’ll have Gomez’s opponent in the Congressional race, Sara Jacobs, to talk about her efforts to campaign thru the pandemic and help provide relief to struggling people. 

Also, our own Chris Pearson, VP for Political Action, will give a primer on the many important down ballot seats seeking Democrat candidates, and how important it is that we challenge Republicans in each and every open contest throughout the county. In other words, you — yes, you! — need to run for local office! Chris will tell you why. 

That’s a great night — but it won’t be complete without you. The meeting starts on Zoom at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 3, for social conversation. Programming starts at 7 pm. You’ll need to register ahead of time; do it here: 

Register here!

Also, the club will vote on endorsing local, state and federal candidates in the November election. Find the roster here:

Endorsement vote for Democratic Candidate

Jeff Benesch
VP Programming
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

Endorsement vote for Democratic candidates!

Mark your calendars for a jam-packed Zoom meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club Wednesday, June 3, at 7 pm. Among the business on the agenda: An endorsement vote for Democratic candidates for local office.

We recommend the club should endorse all Democrats who are running against Republicans, or running unopposed.

In cases where Democrats are running against Democrats, we follow a club tradition of not taking sides in that race and we see no need to break from that tradition this year. Individual club members and board members are free to support an individual candidate – we encourage it! – but the club as a whole supports all Democrats. So where Democrats are opposing other Democrats, we propose rating all candidates as “qualified.”

Read on for a list of suggested endorsements

Watch our stupendous “State of Our Communities” Zoom meeting

Our first general meeting on Zoom was a smash hit, a wide-ranging discussion with many community stars, including:

  • Toni Atkins, state senator representing San Diego, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  • La Mesa City Council member Colin Parent
  • La Mesa City Council member Akilah Weber
  • Sara Jacobs, candidate for US Congress, CA-53
  • Raul Campillo, candidate for San Diego city Council District 7
  • Elizabeth Lavertu, candidate for California State Assembly District 71
  • La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club President Tina Rynberg
  • LMFDC board member Sharon Cox

Also featuring a surprise appearance by Sen. Atkins dog, who was extremely well-behaved and stole our hearts.

We talked about how we’re doing as a community, and the outlook for getting back on our feet.

If you missed the meeting, you can catch the replay on YouTube. Watch it here:

We’re already starting to talk about next month’s meeting, and it’s looking great. Mark your calendar for the evening of Wednesday, June 3.

Blockbuster line-up for Wednesday’s meeting – don’t miss it!

We’ve got a heck of a fine line-up of speakers in store for our Wednesday evening meeting on Zoom, to talk about the state of our local communities. They are:

  • Toni Atkins, California Senator and President pro Tempore, who represents the 39th District, San Diego.
  • Colin Parent, La Mesa City Council Member
  • Akilah Weber, La Mesa City Council Member
  • Elizabeth Lavertu, candidate for California State Assembly District 71
  • Sara Jacobs, candidate for US Congress, CA-53
  • Barbara Bry, candidate for San Diego Mayor
  • Mara Elliott, San Diego City Attorney

Amazing line-up, right?!

The speakers will talk about what they’re seeing, hearing, reading, doing, and thinking about as they do the public’s business, in the midst of a pandemic, economic crisis and election. The topic is intentionally broad, to provide an opportunity for our speakers to run with it and tell our members and community what you need to know.

Two of our speakers are running in elections against other Democrats; we’ve invited those Democrats as well.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm for the socializing, followed by a 7 pm start time for the business meeting. Register here.

And join us Tuesday 4 pm for an unstructured social meetup. It’ll be a good chance to catch up with other club members and get some help with Zoom for those of you who need that. Register for that meeting here.

And if for whatever reason you can’t make the Zoom, you can catch us on YouTube, both live during the event and afterward. Watch it on the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club YouTube Channel.

See you Tuesday and Wednesday!

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

Two Zoom meetings this week! Join us!

The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic is resuming its meeting schedule this week with not one but TWO meetings on Zoom. Please join us for either or both meetings.

Wednesday, May 6, we’ve got a line-up of local leaders to talk about the state of our communities — how are we doing? What’s the outlook for La Mesa, San Diego, Spring Valley and the other communities our club serves?

We’ll have more to say about who’s speaking soon; we’re waiting to finalize a couple of names. Also — I admit it! — I want to build suspense. Trust me on this, the line-up is FANTASTIC.

That’s Wednesday, May 6, 7 pm for the general meeting, with social time starting at 6:30 pm. (First Wednesday of the month, just like usual. We’re pleased about that.)

Additionally, on Tuesday, May 5, at 4 pm, we’re going to have an unstructured Zoom meetup, just to say hi, talk about whatever is on our minds, connect with each other, and learn to use Zoom and get comfortable on it, for those of us who need that.

Just to keep things organized, we’re requiring attendees at the meetings to register in advance. You can register for the Tuesday meeting here:

LMFDC informal meetup
Time: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

And the Wednesday meeting is here:

Topic: LMFDC General Meeting
Time: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

We’ll stream the meetings on our YouTube channel, for those who can’t make it on Zoom.

We hope to see you Tuesday and Wednesday. And watch for more details soon!

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

Today is Census Day!

Today is Census Day! The Census only takes a few minutes to fill out — but it will decide for the next ten years how much money goes toward our schools, hospitals, infrastructure, and other critical programs. Be counted! Fill out the census TODAY at my2020census.gov

I filled out the census while literally standing on one foot, and that is not a position I can hold for very long. 

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

Local coronavirus updates for March 25 2020

We hope you’re staying healthy and doing well. We’re back with the latest update of local news and information you can use during the emergency.

San Diego County Democratic Party chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy was admitted to intensive care and is battling Covid-19. Will is a good man, valuable public servant and friend to the club. He was one of our speakers at our March 4 discussion of the primary outcome; listen on Matt Strabone’s Show in Progress podcast if you missed it. Get well soon, Will!

Will is one of several local Democrats sickened with the virus; election gatherings could be a source. We wish all of them a speedy recovery.

State Senate President Toni Atkins is calling on San Diegans to donate blood as supplies run low.

Looking for work? Grocery stores are hiring.

UCSD and Sharp are taking donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, food for caregivers, and more.

Jewish Family Services is providing continued services.

Ammar Campa-Najjar’s Congressional campaign is hosting Coronavirus information on its Website home page. The candidate also plans a tele town hall soon.

More county public spaces are being shut down due to visitor crowding attractions and ignoring social distancing.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore says he won’t force gun stores to close — for now. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and other California leaders says gun stores are “nonessential” and need to close with other, similarly classified businesses, but gun rights advocates disagree.

Local coronavirus resources:

City of La Mesa
San Diego
California
US Centers for Disease Control
Consumer Reports Guide to the Coronavirus

We’ve updated the club Website. For now, only the primary domain, lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com is working. Over the next couple of days, lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.org should resolve correctly.

In other words, use the .com address, not the .org address for now; hopefully in the next couple of days you can use either.

It’s a cleaner design, with greater emphasis on new information and updates. And on the back end it’s easier for us to update.

(Nerd note: We moved from Wix, which we had been using for the past two years, back to WordPress.com, which we were using before making the switch to Wix. And now we’re back at WordPress.)

Save the dates: We’re planning on marching in the La Mesa Flag Day parade in the village June 6, and we’d love it if you’d join us. By then, we’re hoping the coronavirus crisis will be behind us and the parade will continue as usual, and be even more celebratory.

Sadly, we’ve canceled our next regular monthly meeting, which was due to fall April 1. Hopefully we’ll be able to see all of you May 6. We’ll make a decision on that meeting with all members’ health as a priority, and based on public health advisories at the time.

Watch our club’s Internet channels for locally focused news and information. These include:

That’s it for today, friends. Stay healthy, be brave, and look out for each other.

Mitch Wagner
Communications and Social Media

Join us for the Flag Day Parade!

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Join the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club and march with La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent, club members, elected officials and Democratic candidates in the 2018 La Mesa Flag Day Parade!

The theme is “Riding the Big Blue Wave,” so be sure to wear blue. And don’t forget sunscreen and a hat. Staging for the parade begins at 8am and the parade kicks off at 10am.

We’ll meet at the BLUE staging area around the La Mesa Community Complex on Memorial Drive at La Mesa Blvd. Parking will be tight, so either car pool to the drop off point or park along La Mesa Blvd., from Jackson Drive West, and walk to the Community Center.

More information about the parade: La Mesa 2018 Flag Day Parade