April Meeting Preview

Meeting will be held on April 24, 2018 at the Presbyterian Church at 545 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito 94530.

Meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Arrive at 6 PM to enjoy Pizza for $5/ slice.

Agenda for the Business Meeting

  1. Minutes of March 27, 2018 Meeting
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. Consideration of Club Endorsements
  4. Program

Consideration of endorsement for the Peace Pledge

Background of Peace Pledge

Ann Schwartz of the Peace Committee of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will discuss the “Peace Pledge” (below) which her Club is hoping legislators will sign and other political clubs will endorse:

As a candidate for a U.S. public office in 2018 — or as someone currently occupying a U.S. public office, as the case may be — I pledge to support and advance these four aims:

  1. Ample funding for community-based violence prevention programs and effective regulation of the manufacture, sale, transfer, and use of firearms.
  2. The non-violent resolution of international conflict and the abolition of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
  3. The sharp reduction of government military spending, and conversion from a military and fossil-fuel based economy to a sustainable economy that meets such civilian needs as health care, education, housing, mass transportation, renewable energy, and ending poverty.
  4. The provision of re-training and alternative employment for soldiers and military industry workers, enabling them to apply their experience and skills to civilian production.

In keeping with the above aims, I will not knowingly accept any campaign donations from military contractors or fossil fuel corporations.

Consideration of endorsement for the 11th Congressional District.

Background Regarding the candidates

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier is the incumbent that represents El Cerrito in California’s 11th Congressional District which includes a majority of Contra Costa County.  For more information on the congressman, go to:   https://desaulnier.house.gov/

His opponent is a Democratic candidate, Dennis Lytton, who is a union rep (AFSCME) for BART. Here is the link for Dennis’s campaign website: https://www.google.com/search?q=dennis%20lytton


Recent reports of federal agents working with ICE to gather undocumented citizens in Northern California for possible deportation have raised many local concerns.  Even though the El Cerrito City Council voted last year to make El Cerrito a “Sanctuary City” questions remain as to how local residents may be treated when harsh federal policies are implemented.

The speaking guests for the April 24th El Cerrito Democratic Club will provide a timely review of what our county and city are doing to support safety and justice for immigrant families and individuals in Contra Costa County:

  • Ali Saidi, Contra Costa County Public Defender will discuss the pilot program approved by the County Board of Supervisors, Stand Together Coco, which seeks to assure that all people in the county, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are afforded their constitutional rights and protected from any actions or policies that result in discriminatory or unlawful treatment. Stand Together CoCo is a rapid response program that seeks to provide legal, educational and training services to those impacted by anti-immigrant policies or actions in Contra Costa County.
  • Paul Keith, City of El Cerrito Police Chief will discuss the police department’s approach to being a Sanctuary City and how it hopes to assure that residents are protected from any actions which unduly impact undocumented residents living among us.  Chief Keith was instrumental in supporting efforts helping to designate El Cerrito as a Sanctuary City.

Jobs & Economy Resolution Approved and Issued

The following resolution was approved at the February 27, 2018, membership meeting:

“A Pro-Employment & Pro-Environment Industrial Policy

WHEREAS, Republican strategies on jobs and economy aiming at tax cuts, trade agreement changes, and reduced regulations will fail to create the claimed number of jobs, although they claim to be the party of jobs, business and economic development.

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party needs to strengthen its rhetoric in this area by proposing a bold and courageous plan of its own, so that it can regain advantage by claiming to be THE party that knows better how to create sustainable and manufacturing jobs.

WHEREAS, in the last election, the Democratic Party lost many working class voters that had traditionally voted for the Democratic Party, and we face the need to win these voters back, besides motivating new and young voters to vote with us on candidates and issues

BE IT RESOLVED, that we propose a four-point strategy on jobs and economy that will pose a strong counter point to the proposals so far trotted out by the Republican Party, namely

  1. Encourage pro-employment tax reform that will allow depreciation of Human Capital like training and other forms of education.
  2. Encourage a pro-employment re-industrialization policy that systematically creates new industries and businesses that favor greater employment per unit of finance, supporting the process all the way from R&D to production, and from financing to marketing.
  3. To help depressed communities, favor local production for local use, that would encourage R&D and the development of industries that develop capital equipment for the processing of agricultural, forestry and fishery products – food and non-food, from a wide variety of local sources.
  4. Favor the Transforming of All Activities – Making them Sustainable, Pro-Environment & Climate Friendly: By transforming activities leading to Sustainable Energy, eco-Cities and Townships, Sustainable Industry (using clean energy and recycling all products), sustainable Transportation (low carbon, low noise and low pollution), sustainable Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we recommend the Democratic Party adopt this as a Resolution at higher levels of the Party and that all candidates, local, state or national, be encouraged to adopt such jobs and economy rhetoric as part of their election campaigns to counteract the strategies on this front by the Republicans, and in their subsequent work if elected.”

Contact: Hari Lamba, member El Cerrito Democratic Club, hlamba101@gmail.com

Review of Members Meeting – February 27, 2018

Meeting Announcements

Hilary Crosby voted President of the California Democratic Council (CDC)!

Hilary Crosby won the vote for President.  She and her slate of 14 candidates will be revitalizing the CDC in the year to come.

A brief history on the CDC is that it is an umbrella organization to provide training and support for local clubs.  With that in mind, our own fellow member’s slate has been voted in to lead the club.

Notes on the California Democratic convention in San Diego, Feb 23-25, 2018

The CDP convention endorsed the following candidates:

  • Betty Yee – State Controller
  • Ricardo Lara – Insurance Commissioner
  • Alex Padilla – Secretary of State
  • Tony Thurmond – Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Fiona Ma – State Treasurer

Surprisingly, the CDP did not reach a consensus on endorsements for the following open offices:

  • US Senate
  • State Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • All Board of Equalization districts

Additional endorsements were posted.

Note that candidate David Min did receive over 60% of vote for US House Representative District 45, yet an objection has been filed.

The El Cerrito Democratic Club Honored

ECDC has been honored and recognized by the CDP as a long-standing club with strong membership and activities for democratic values.  The club was awarded the Region 5 for all the good work of the club.  It is for who we are as a club and the Region wanted to recognize us

Meeting Business

Jobs and Economy Proposal by Hari Lamba

Hari Lamba’s resolution to improve the economy was unanimously approved by the club members present.  In addition, Hari was advised to submit the resolution to the national convention.

2018 Assembly Endorsements

The fifty voting members of the ECDC did not reach a majority endorsement for the California State Assembly District.  The vote count was as follows:

  1. Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto -22
  2. Judy Appel -9
  3. Buffy Wicks – 8
  4. Jovanka Beckles – 3
  5. Dan Kalb – 4
  6. Ben Bartlett – 2
  7. Cheryl Sudduth – 1
  8. Owen Poindexter -1

The club can further discuss this endorsement at the March 27th meeting.

Candidate Presentations – California State Assembly District 15

During Candidate presentations, President Abelson did not participate throughout the Candidate Forum section and she moved to the back of the room.

Below are brief key words mentioned by each of the candidates as recalled by this volunteer.  All candidates present professed to have progressive values but they were asked to identify what makes them different from the other candidates.

Judy Appel

  • https://www.judyappel.com
  • Pro cannabis reform
  • Pro labor and for job creation
  • Pro union
  • Will request Education, budget committees
  • Raised $163k, 3% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), 0 PAC, $500 from Scott Weiner, Linda Mays, Loni Hancock, 9 are maxed out

 Ben Bartlett

  • https://www.benbartlettca.com
  • Wife Yelda Bartlett represented Ben
  • Current Berkeley City Council
  • Pro Health innovation zone
  • Pro homeless housing model
  • Will request Housing and Banking committees
  • Raised $106k, 3% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), NAACP and black caucus PA

 Jovanka Beckles

  • Jovanka.org
  • The “wrap around candidate – join the revolution”
  • Current Richmond City Council member
  • Pro rent control
  • Pro sanctuary city
  • Pro health care
  • Pro changing current justice system
  • Will request Crime and Appropriations committees
  • Raised $82k, 0% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), <5 local max outs, 0 PAC.

 Dan Kalb

  • https://www.dankalb.net
  • Current Oakland City Council
  • Served with the Union of Concerned Scientists on Climate change and energy issues
  • Pro clean energy
  • Pro housing
  • Pro police reform
  • Fought against the coal terminal
  • Created civilian oversight committee
  • Member of Air pollution science club
  • Pro SB100
  • Pro clean up
  • Pro increasing California solar energy
  • Will request Budget, Environment, transportation, and housing committees
  • Just started accepting funds: Raised $156k, <2% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), 0 PAC., supported by Jarred Hoffman, six maxed out

 Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

  • Rochellead15.com
  • Current El Cerrito City Council member
  • Pro single payer health care
  • Opposed west county jail expansion
  • Pro affordable housing
  • Removed ban on cannabis
  • Will champion SB 52
  • Endorsed by Black Caucus
  • Raised $100k, 20% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), working on nursing and recycling PAC funding.

Owen Poindexter

  • https://www.owenpoindexter.com
  • Pro basic income
  • Pro racial justice
  • Just started accepting funds: Raised $20k, 0 PAC, no max outs, not accepting donations of over $2,200 per individual (half the current legal max)

Cheryl Sudduth

  • https://cherylsudduth.nationbuilder.com/
  • Pro changing current justice system
  • Pro youth
  • Pro woman and children
  • Pro SB10
  • Will request Budget and Appropriations committees
  • Just started accepting funds: Raised $3.5k, 85% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), <$50 per donation, 0 PAC

Buffy Wicks

  • https://buffywicks.com
  • Past activities: Anti-war organizer, health care organizer
  • Worked on Obama ACA legislation
  • Pro Proposition 13 reform for closing business loopholes
  • Will request Budget, transportation, education committees
  • Raised $528k, 0% from West Contra Costa County (WCC), $15k from labor PAC, no independents

*  Question on funds raised was based as of the January 2018 report prior to December, 2017.

Meeting adjourned around 9pm