Senator Hears ECDC Loud and Clear

In November 2013, ECDC members unaniously approved the following statement:

 We support the diplomatic efforts pursuing an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program, and oppose additional sanctions while Iran cooperates fully with the agreement made with the United States on November 23, 2013.

 Senator Diane Feinstein received the statement and sent a response:

 Dear ECDC,

Thank you for contacting me regarding U.S. policy towards Iran.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important topic, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

 I remain deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, and I strongly believe that Iran should not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.  As such, I have supported significant multilateral and unilateral sanctions against Iran in an effort to compel its government to uphold its international obligations and to come to the negotiating table regarding its nuclear program.

 It is clear that these economic sanctions have been successful in constraining Iran’s economy and putting enormous pressure on its political leaders.  Iran’s ability to engage in international trade has been almost entirely halted, its banking sector has been cut off from financial markets, and its currency has been significantly devalued.  Moreover, international unity in enforcing these sanctions has left Iran more isolated than ever before. 

 While no option should be removed from the table, I support diplomatic efforts to resolve concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, and I want to give the current Geneva talks led by the P5+1 countries (United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom, and France plus Germany) a chance to succeed. 

 After the June 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s former nuclear negotiator, these diplomatic negotiations represent the best opportunity to curtail Iran’s nuclear program that I have seen in a decade.  I do not believe Congress should risk undermining the delicate negotiations underway through the imposition of further sanctions or threats of military force. 

 Please be assured that I remain fully engaged in this matter, I have carefully noted your views, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to discuss and debate U.S. policy towards Iran with my Senate colleagues and the Obama Administration.

 Once again, thank you for writing, and I hope that you will continue to keep me informed about issues of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at www.feinstein.senate.gov. Best regards.

 Also, may I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

 Sincerely yours, 

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

 

 

 

January Meeting Preview

Happy New Year!

The Club is kicking off 2014 with an important January meeting:

 

Club Meeting

6:00 p.m.

Zion Presbyterian Church
545 Ashbury Ave

Executive Board Reorganization

It’s time for the executive board reorganization. Sadly, we are saying goodbye to Scott Lyons as our Club President, Hilary Crosby as our immediate past President, Marty Suess as our Vice President of Membership and Jason Freeman as our Vice President of Media (although all of them won’t be far away). We thank them for their tireless service and dedication to the Club. Club members present at the meeting will be electing new officers. The list of nominations is below:

Executive Board Nominations

  • President
    • Carla Hansen
  • Executive VP
    •  Greg Lyman*
  • VP of Membership
    • Mister Phillips
  • VP of Media
    • Scott Lyons
  • Treasurer
    • Brad and Pat Craftel*
  • VP of Programs
    • Gabe Quinto*
  • VP of Publications
    • Carla Hansen*
  • VP of Records
    • Vacant

*Incumbents

2014 Budget

The Club is closing the 2013 books with a $1,225 surplus! Club members will consider the approval of the 2014 budget. Please see budget overview on the Club’s website. The executive board is requesting Club members reauthorize the expenditure of funds within the proposed 2014 budget categories plus 10%. 

Upcoming Events and Meeting Topics

Club members will get a good look at the 2014 events and meeting calendar. Because it’s an election year, we’ll have special endorsement meetings and plenty of opportunities for precinct walking and phone banking. There are a few meetings where topics have not been finalized. Do you want a specific topic or discussion covered? Feel free to share your ideas at the meeting.

Save the date for our endorsement meeting on Saturday, February 22. The meeting will feature a panel of the AD 15 candidates and a few State-wide candidates will stop by. In order for your endorsement vote to count, you must be a full-voting member by January 27th.

Complete the membership form included in the newsletter or go to http://ecdclub.dev.haveabyte.com/ and become a member through Paypal.  

Congratulations to El Cerrito Councilmember Rebecca Benassini  and Scott Lyons on the birth of their twin boys on January 9!

ECDC Member Denounces West County Wasterwater District Director

By Mister Phillips

 I first registered as a Democrat in 1996. I was 18 years old then. Now I am a deacon, husband, father, veteran, attorney, and Democratic Party official. I have the honor and privilege of representing the people of West Contra Costa County, including Richmond, California, on the Democratic Party County Central Committee and the Democratic Party State Central Committee.

 Overall, my experience with the Democratic Party has been positive. As a political party, “[w]e [Democrats] take pride in and celebrate our diversity and work to foster the common values and commitments that unite all people regardless of their age, cultural heritage, national origin, disability, socio-economic status, gender, race, sexual orientation or views on religion.”

 That is why I was saddened by the recent comments of my fellow Democrat, West County Wastewater District Director Leonard Battaglia. According to the article,

$1,100 an hour? Part-time service at little agencies means big bucks and benefits for politicians” in the San Jose Mercury News:

 [Mr. Battaglia] repeatedly used slurs during an interview to describe Asian people. He was also critical of African Americans, who make up a large part of his Richmond [California] constituency.”I flew with black pilots [in the Korean War]. I’d say ‘break’ (suddenly turn right or left) and they’d hesitate. They’d miss it because they think slower. They have an African-American mentality. They can’t help it. It’s the way God made them,” he said. “Like in Richmond. It’s a mess.” When a reporter later asked Battaglia about those remarks, he said, “I am not a prejudiced person.”

 He said he intends to seek another term on the board next year and insisted his constituents should not be offended by his comments because he is only saying “how things are.”

 That kind of language has no place in today’s Democratic Party. We have come too far as Democrats, and more importantly as Americans, to allow anyone to turn back the clock on racial progress.

 Therefore, while I thank Mr. Battaglia for his many years of service, I will be working with like-minded individuals to identify a more respectful and more progressive candidate to support in the upcoming West County Wastewater District election.