At the January monthly meeting club members celebrated the club’s 10 year anniversary! It was also the first meeting at our new time of 11 am so it was a great relief that members remembered and arrived in time for coffee and committee discussion prior to the meeting. Attendance was outstanding!
Our Vice President, Avi Karnik, presided in Mary’s absence. Before the celebration began, several visitors were introduced, including Cipriano Vargas, a student at CSLM and member of CSU Board of Trustees; Dr. Michael McQuary, running for President of Council of Clubs of CA; and Frank Tsimboukakis, running in region 38 for the CA State Senate, who briefly spoke passionately. A lifelong Democrat, Tsimboukakis believes in being “financially efficient.”
Betty Ball and Fran Thomas, who had been instrumental in creating the club ten years ago, proceeded to reminisce with the club, describing its origins 10 years ago. Accompanying their discussion was a slide show of the people and activities that have made the club successful over the last decade. Fran recognized all of the people who held offices through the years. Betty further described some of the photos and discussed a function that had raised $8,000.00 for Francine Busby’s campaign before turning over the meeting to Francine, now Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party.
Francine’s infectious enthusiasm added to her year end report and “looking forward to the future” report. She took over the Chair at a difficult time for the City of San Diego and felt she learned a lot in her position. She understands we’re not a corporate, top-down organization, but an organic, grassroots party that, while we have differences, comes together when it counts as we all share the same values. The overall Democratic voter registration advantage for the County is now 24,000. The county definitely has the possibility of staying blue – if we turn out the vote!
Francine went on to enumerate 2013 Achievements including:
- Establishing a Go Team Board
- Creating pages in Spanish for the website
- The sold out Roosevelt dinner
- New Democratic Clubs were added – City Heights and Rancho Peñasquitos
- The County convention at Pala Casino which drew 500 participants. Over half were new participants to the party.
- There were campaign training events to assist the special elections in the Spring and for David Alvarez’s special election for SD Mayor this fall
Francine spoke of the party’s goals and demographic details for the future:
- In 2012, 71% of the races in the county were won by Democrats. She hopes to beat that record this year.
- The Central Committee now reflects the diversity of the population in our county.
- Increase the technical support for candidates and utilize a far-reaching Go Team
- The percent of Democrats in the County continues to rise, while the Republican count continues to fall. “Declined To State” voters, however, is the largest growing demographic.
She concluded her remarks about the future by stating the County Party cannot use corporate, union, or PAC funds. Financial contributions must come from individual donors.
The meeting then was turned over to James Kimber, our candidate to replace Duncan Hunter in District 50, who brought us up to date on his excellent progress. He has garnered the attention of the National Democratic Party and was invited to meet the President when Obama was in California recently. Check his Kimberforcongress.com website for more information.
Once the meeting concluded, all were invited to delicious cake and coffee to celebrate ten progressive years! Thanks to Betty, Fran and Francine for getting our club going and keeping it growing, and to everyone who helped make this celebration a success.