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

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.