A parade of excellence contributed to the wonderful El Cerrito Democratic Club dinner on October 22. Attendance was great – by the end, 90 people had arrived. See Rita Xavier’s photos here. Our members brought an amazing selection of vegetable side dishes, desserts and salads. The pineapple rice, mixed vegetable medley, fresh spring rolls, and chicken curry from Atcha Thai Bistro were even more delicious than we anticipated.
But the most splendid feature was the presentation by our California State Treasurer John Chiang. He gave us some background information on himself, but then went into a detailed explanation of the state Treasurer’s duties, an in-depth description of our state’s investment portfolio, the factors he uses to evaluate investments, how he balances our state’s commitment to a sustainable environment and family friendly jobs with the economic realities of maintaining steady cash flow, studded with informative examples.
Our audience, mostly ECDC members with a hefty sprinkling of out of town guests and elected officials (many of them also members) was attentive or, I would venture to say, spellbound. That was reflected in the questions which ranged from Peter Chau’s query about the prospects for young people with huge student debt to Dana Dean’s inquiry into how Treasurer Chiang weighed a company’s financial performance against its ethical profile, not only in widely publicized cases such as the current Wells Fargo Bank scandal, but with other, less well known companies that might have even more egregious practices.
As usual, many volunteers and helpers were crucial to the effort. Our club treasurer (and current Mayor of El Cerrito) Greg Lyman, past president and Stege Sanitary District board member Al Miller, and the aforementioned Peter Chau set up the room; Gloria Merrill provided and arranged the centerpieces; Art and Sue Walenta and Nancy Thomas brought and served wine and pre-dinner snacks; Grace McNeill, Marty Seuss, and Sue Roberts kept the kitchen running smoothly and the tables filled with food.
And many folks helped with the cleanup. It was a great El Cerrito Democratic Club evening! Thanks to everyone who came, who helped, and who enjoyed.