December Meeting Preview

We’re in the thick of the holiday season and you know what that means:

ECDC Holiday Party

7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 13, 2013

1001 Elm Court, El Cerrito

Hilary Crosby is hosting the Holiday Party at her home in El Cerrito. Please bring a dessert and/or drinks to share.  The party takes place of our regular December meeting and it starts at 7:00 p.m. (not 6:30 p.m. as a previous newsletter noted).  

Because we aren’t having a formal meeting in December and holiday amnesia is sure to set in, here are a few important items to keep on your radar:

  • At our January meeting, we will be electing new executive board members. Open seats include: President, VP of Membership, VP of Records and VP of Media.  What do those positions do? Ask our Club President Scott Lyons . More information will be included in the January newsletter as well.
  • Save the date for our endorsement meeting on Saturday, February 22.  Be sure to check your membership status. Not a member or a “voting” member? Complete the membership form included in the newsletter.  

December Events

  • EC Library Presents: Get Covered CA-Understanding the Affordable Care Act-Tuesday, December 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 6510 Stockton Ave
  • Contra Costa County Central Committee Holiday Party-Thursday, December 12, 7:30 p.m. 1875 Arnold Dr. Martinez
  • ECDC Holiday Party-Friday, December 13, 7:00 p.m. 1001 Elm Ct El Cerrito
  • Kensington Fire Protection District Board Meeting-Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.  Kensington Community Center, 59 Arlington Ave
  • Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District Board MeetingThursday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. Kensington Community Center, 59 Arlington Ave
  • Democratic Clubs Seasonal Party and Pot Luck Saturday, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m. 6250 Village Parkway, Dublin  
  • “White Christmas” at Rialto Cinemas  Fundraiser for Holiday Toy ProgramSaturday, Dec. 14, 10:00 a.m. 10070 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
  • Beginning of Sundar Shadi Holiday Display-Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:00-10:00 p.m.-Displays until Dec 27 on Moeser Lane El Cerrito
  • El Cerrito Recreation Department Pancake Breakfast-Saturday, Dec. 14, 9:00-11:00 a.m. 7007 Moeser Lane El Cerrito
  • El Cerrito City Council Meeting– Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m. City Council Chambers, 10940 San Pablo Ave
  • El Cerrito Planning Commission-Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. El Cerrito Council Chambers, 10940 San Pablo Ave

November Meeting Recap

The November meeting was all about education. West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD) board representative Todd Groves was under the weather and the WCCUSD Board President Madeline Kronenberg addressed the Club.  The two main topics she addressed were the new common core standards and the new State funding formula for local schools.  In her 30-year tenure as an educator and her time on the School Board, she’s never experienced more sweeping change in the education arena.

 The new Common Core standards refocus teachers’ curriculum on critical thinking. In the past, teachers taught to the standardized tests.  The tests were flawed because it only awarded memorization instead of understanding the “why,” providing explanations and cogent arguments. These new standards are incorporated into the WCCUSD five-year strategic plan.  California discontinued using the old tests this year and is focusing on training teachers in the new curriculum. As a result, the Secretary of Education is threatening to withhold federal education funding from the State. 

 The way local school districts receive education funding from the State is also brand new. Governor Brown attached “local control funding” to the last budget which provides more money to school districts who have a higher concentration of students receiving  free or reduced-price meals, English learners and foster youth. Sixty-six percent of students in WCCUSD fall into this group which translates into $109 million more in funding for the district over the next 10 years.  To receive this funding, the District must draft a Local Control Accountability Plan that outlines how the money will be spent on the targeted student population.

 Also at the meeting, the Club voted to endorse the following statement, “We support the diplomatic efforts pursing an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program, and oppose additional sanctions while Iran cooperates fully with the United States.”