Local Dems To Look at GUN VIOLENCE, REFORM



Kick off Summer at Mission Trails at Buffo Party in the Park


At the 3rd Annual Party in the Park, La Mesa Dems filled the patio to overflowing at the beautiful Mission Trails Visitors Center, Wednesday, July 6th as nearly 150 passionate progressives (including 20 NEW MEMBERS) reveled in the glory of a nearly perfect Summer evening. With the sun-tinged hills and cliffs as the backdrop, we dined on Cheers subs and home baked pies, heard Park Naturalist Linda Hassakis enthrall with details of the 5 peak challenge, snake skins, and bobcat sightings, and listened to luminaries like Supervisor Dave Roberts, Party Chief Francine Busby, City Attorney Candidate Mara Elliott, and D-9 finalists Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez. Lastly, we were thrilled to have our own Board Member Colin Parent announce his candidacy for La Mesa City Council in a well-received and very motivating speech.


Colin touched on the clear divisions in his race against 2 incumbents, one of which denies that climate change is real, and the other an ardent Trump supporter. Which brings us to the subject of our SUMMER and FALL meeting topics: STARK CONTRASTS between parties, Trump-ism vs the Common Good. Never had we had a presidential referendum quite so delineated as this one, on almost every issue of national importance and discussion.   Our meetings will cover Gender Equity, Immigration Policy, Xenophobia, Climate Change and perhaps, most relevantly, Gun Violence and the Republicans inability to enact or accept meaningful Gun Reform.


Our next meeting, Wednesday, August 3rd, at 7 PM at the La Mesa Community Center will feature an all-star panel of experts to discuss, dissect and divulge why the NRA has such a pistol-lock grip on the Republican Party, which even as we reel from the tragic events of the past few weeks, will not consider a renewal of the assault weapons ban, a limit on the size of ammo clips, enacting sensible background checks or closing the gun show loophole, all of which are wildly popular notions with the voting public.


Our panel will feature members of law enforcement, veterans and the Director of Public Outreach for the San Diego Chapter of the Brady Campaign, Ron Marcus.


The San Diego chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been the voice of the national Brady Campaign in San Diego County for well over a decade. In the wake of so many recent tragic mass shootings, the chapter has grown rapidly, organizing into an even stronger voice for sensible measures to prevent gun violence. they believe in a balanced approach that ensures the rights of all to enjoy essential personal freedoms while maintaining a truly safe community.


In 1981, Jim Brady, White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, was shot in the head during an attempt on the President’s life. Remarkably, Jim survived, and was forced to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. After that, he and his wife Sarah founded the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and devoted the rest of their lives to crusading for sensible firearm legislation in the United States. The Brady Campaign, headquartered in Washington D.C., has active chapters throughout the country, working to make our communities safer at the local, state and federal level with public education, advocacy, and common sense laws.


Ron Marcus serves as one of many volunteers on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence. He became active in the chapter following the devastating Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. As Director of Public Outreach, Ron is responsible for marketing and media relations for the chapter, whose primary aim is to help reduce gun violence by educating the public and working with government at the local, state and federal levels.


In addition, Ron is the president of, a local branding and marketing firm. He is also a musician, martial arts instructor, and husband. He is a native Californian and has called San Diego home since 1985.

Nathan fletcher pic

Another panelist will be combat veteran and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.   Now Professor Fletcher, he teaches classes in the UCSD department of political science, as well as mentoring and advising students and helping to develop public policy projects. Fletcher remains politically active; supporting Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He is a member of the national advisory board of Organizing for Action, the successor organization of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He is a member of the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California, and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Alliances Program Advisory Board. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of the Truman National Security Project. He is a delegate of the California Democratic Party and has been active in supporting Democratic candidates and causes such as efforts to raise the minimum wage. He also remains involved in efforts to ensure implementation of Chelsea’s Law. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Human Rights,.

On March 13, 2013, Fletcher brought together law enforcement, community, business, labor and faith-based leaders to form San Diegans United for Common Sense Immigration Reform. The coalition came to an agreement to advocate for a pathway to citizenship, reform to the immigrant visa system, smart border security, and basic human rights.

Fletcher is an Ironman Triathlete, marathon runner, alpine mountaineer and mountain biker. Fletcher has served on the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society, a member of The American Legion, life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, member of the board of directors of the San Diego Opera, Executive Committee of CONNECT, Community Advisory Council for Voices for Children, and the San Diego Regional Advisory Council of the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.



If you live in San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, College Area, Santee, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, and other nearby communities and ARE NOT YET A MEMBER of LMFDC, you are missing scintillating monthly programs, great camaraderie among like-minded progressives, political action and get-out-the-vote efforts, community involvement on many fronts, our monthly newsletter, and regular informative updates from members and Club President, Linda Armacost.

This year, it’s VITALLY IMPORTANT to get involved with local and national politics as the stakes are higher than ever! There are generational changes pending on issues spanning immigration reform, women’s health, voting rights, Supreme Court appointments, climate change, living wages, Convadiums, open space, and so much more.


The last year has seen a jump in both club memberships and meeting attendance with over 100 members and guests joining the festivities each month. We meet the first Wednesday of every month at La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University Ave. Our meetings begin with social ½ hour at 6:30 PM and then the business and speakers start at 7 PM. We offer light snacks, healthy sides, desserts, and beverages of all sorts. Check out our very informative website at www.lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com. Please join us soon.

June Newsletter

County Party Head, City Hall Reporter Headline June Meeting
Local Dems Prepare for the Primary


It’ll be another star studded affair for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. On Wednesday, June 1st, just 6 days before the vital California Primary Election, none other than Francine Busby will highlight our program. Head of the County Democratic Party, Francine is a frequent guest of the club and will no doubt give her “Progress Report” on the state of Democratic Candidates running for office in many crucial primary races.

She’ll be joined on the program by noted City Hall reporter and long time Voice of San Diego scribe, Andrew Keatts. It should make for a fascinating conversation, with Francine relating her views of what we need to do as activists and progressives to help Democrats win at the polls on June 7th, and Andrew telling it like it is, his observations as to who is probably going to win in several vigorously contested city and county races. Will the San Diego City Council keep its Democratic Majority? Will Mayor Faulconer win without a November election contest? Andrew will relate why it’s so difficult to unseat an incumbent in San Diego primary elections.

Francine Busby has distinguished herself as a strong advocate for women and girls, public education and equal opportunity for all Americans. She is the former Executive Director of Run Women Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to electing pro-choice women. Francine has also served as the President of the Cardiff School District and previously ran for Congress. Since 2004, she has been in the forefront of the dynamic growth of the San Diego County Democratic Party as a candidate, mentor, volunteer, North Area Vice Chair, and fundraiser


Andrew Keatts has the City Hall beat at VOSD and in his own words: “writes about land use, development, politics, all the things that work together to make the city the way it is for the people that live here.” Andrew is a 2006 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, and previously worked for the San Diego Daily Transcript. Andrew claims to like the Baltimore Orioles, food, music, beer, his dog Bodie and his wife, not necessarily in that order.

Also on the docket, we’ll hear from our friends on the Lemon Grove City Council, both now running for Mayor of that neighboring town, George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez. We hope to not only hear them tout their accomplishments, but endorse one or the other. They’ve been longtime members and supporters of our club, and it appears it’s a no lose proposition for our membership and the City of Lemon Grove.

We’ll also be voting on the 2016 slate of officers for the Club, and Francine Busby will do us the honor of swearing the newly elected into office. And lastly, on Saturday, June 4th, the LMFDC will proudly march in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade, now an annual tradition, one in which President Obama joins our procession with a special “Secret Service” detail. It’s always an honor and a lot of fun to join our many fellow La Mesa organizations in walking the couple mile parade route through the heart of town.

La Mesa, like many of the communities we represent, is filled with fellow Democrats and supporters. Our members also live in San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro, College area and several other close in East County communities. Our meetings are open to all and take place in the lovely La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University Ave. We gather on the first Wednesday of every month and begin at 7 PM after a half hour of social time with snacks, salads, beverages, desserts and much camaraderie. Don’t forget our Annual Party in the Park on July 6th as we celebrate Independence Day at the beautiful Mission Trails Visitors Center. Details can be found on our website: Lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com and follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.

Linda Armacost, President
Jeff Benesch, VP of Programming
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club