The November monthly meeting was dedicated to hearing from various local candidates in a format that was a bit longer than a two minute drill. We were pleased to hear from Doug Applegate, Andrew Masiel, Rafael Castallanos and Dave Roberts. Eve Simmons, formerly a candidate for state Assembly, recently withdrew from the race so she did not speak.
Dave Roberts, running for re-election of the Board of Supervisors, was first up. While he doesn’t represent San Marcos City, he does represent our neighbor, Escondido, and has been a good friend to our club for years. He updated us on his efforts to affect issues in greater San Diego County:
- People are struggling to make ends meet as there has been a 217% increase in applications for food stamps, known as the “Cal Fresh” program;
- Domestic violence and female trafficking are too prevalent in our county;
- He’s pushing to build housing for Vets on the Columbine Scales Model;
- There are over 400 suicides annually in our county. When asked he said there was no data on how many of those individuals were veterans.
There are 296 Supervisors in California. Roberts was recently elected to become President Elect to the CA Board of Supervisors organization. When asked about three disgruntled employees who brought a complaint against him, the complaint was found to be without merit and was denied.
Rafael Castallanos, an attorney running for San Diego City Attorney, spoke eloquently about his experience in San Diego as a Board Commissioner of the Port Authority and his commitment to the 1.3 million people who live in the city to improve their lives. While we aren’t residents of San Diego, the city affects us.
Andrew Masiel, Sr. is running for State Assembly District 75. An engaging speaker, Masiel served on the Pechanga Tribal Council of the Pechanga Indian reservation for 25 years. He planned to retire but people convinced him to run against the incumbent, Marie Waldron, who once was a Democrat and became a Republican. He stated our district is very diverse economically and geographically large, encompassing agriculture as well as small industry and small businesses. He feels a need to work with the higher education schools in our District to improve job readiness for our workforce. He stated Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido do have a good workforce that deserve better employment. He wants to address traffic and transportation issues as well as improving our quality of life.
Doug Applegate is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative, District 49 running against Darrel Issa. While unforeseen circumstances caused him to arrive late, he more than made up for it with his powerful presentation. He stated he is not running to beat Issa but is running for two major causes: to represent the 80,000 Veteran households in our district, and to create financial parity for women in the workforce – equal pay for equal work. A retired Colonel from the USMCR, he served as a Marine officer for 32 years. Applegate has extensive knowledge about the Middle East and an excellent grasp of the Sunni/Shia conflicts that is impressive. He believes we had no understanding of religious differences in the societies we fought and felt we should never send our soldiers off to a war if we don’t understand the underlying conflicts. He quoted a saying: “Before you begin on a journey of revenge, you need to dig two graves.” Regarding energy, he stated the US Navy and Marines are already investing in finding alternative sources of energy, especially the Navy as our oceans are first to feel the affects of climate change. We need to be diligently finding alternative, renewable energy.
Our meeting ran over but no one wanted to leave, our speakers were so impressive. The 2016 election is heating up to be an exciting chance to make the changes we seek in our government.