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

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.

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 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

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.