February, 2016 Letter From the President

Dear ECDC members,

Many thanks to everyone who attended our blockbuster January meeting! 81 people, including 21 new members, managed to fit into our meeting room for our officer elections and to vote on a significant and hotly contested change to our standing rules for endorsement votes.

Our new and continuing officers are:

President – Hilary Crosby

Executive Vice President – Mister Phillips

Vice President, Finance – Greg Lyman*

Vice President, Membership – Igor Tregub*

Vice President, Publications – Kip Crosby

Vice President, Records – Mollie Hazen

Vice President, Programs – Gabriel Quinto*

Vice President, Media – Scott Kagawa*

Immediate Past President – Carla Hansen

I’m very happy to say that every position is filled; the * shows who is continuing from last year, which means that half of our executive board is new! (Although I’m not really new. Like our Governor Jerry Brown, I took a hiatus from service; I served as ECDC president from 2006 to 2009.)

Many thanks to Greg Lyman and Igor Tregub who had two parallel methods for verifying that every ballot was properly cast. Overall, although the record-breaking attendance at this meeting put a real strain on our capacity as volunteers, we can be confident in the integrity of our election results.

Once our officer elections were completed, we voted on a change to the standing rules that had been carried over from November, 2015. This was to add a limitation to state that only those members who live in El Cerrito would be eligible to vote for endorsements of El Cerrito City Council candidates and measures that were specific to El Cerrito. This was a very contentious issue; it passed narrowly, and is now part of our standing rules.

Our first eboard meeting took place on January 30, 2016 in order to hit the ground running and give us time to prepare our February newsletter. We reviewed our finances (we’re solvent), resolved the mailing requirements for our next newsletter, and discussed the calendar of meetings for the coming year.

Since 2016 is an election year, we know that our July and August meetings will be taken up voting on endorsements in local races, and on the ballot propositions. At our September meeting we will prepare to organize our precinct walks for the November election, and review a possible new dues structure. We’ll have our annual dinner in October, post-election analysis in November, and our holiday party in December.

For our upcoming February meeting, we will discuss our meeting calendar for 2016, and our speakers will be Cindy Ellsmore, Chair and Sierra County Coordinator, and Dolly Verrue, Secretary and Siskiyou County Coordinator, of Keep It California, a non-partisan PAC and advocacy organization. They will discuss the ongoing campaign to thwart the establishment and secession of the so-called State of Jefferson.

In March, we should vote on endorsements in the Senate District 9 race and the two propositions on the June Ballot: the statewide proposition regarding suspension of state senators, and the Clean and Healthy Bay parcel tax that will be on the ballot for the 9 Bay Area counties. We may also consider endorsing the U.S. Senate race between Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

At the March meeting, we will also consider how our club will campaign for our endorsements in the June primary.

For the April, May and June meetings the eboard is proposing the following topics:

  • The Make It Fair Campaign from California Calls (aka Commercial Property Tax Reform)
  • The impact on local communities of the anti-Muslim/anti-immigrant xenophobia
  • The inherent value of public schools.

The next EBoard meeting will take place on Monday, February 29. This will give us time to publish and distribute notice of the March meeting agenda; since it’s the fifth Monday, we know it’s not a date of a regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The meeting will take place at my home; please contact me at ecdc.pres@gmail .com for the address.

As you can see, 2016 will be a very exciting year! I look forward to spending it with all of you.

Hilary Crosby, CPA
President, El Cerrito Democratic Club