“The primary purpose for governmental law is the distribution of wealth. If we want to be part of a society that shares wealth we have to protect the least among us.” Jessica Hayes, San Diego County Democratic Party chairwoman, opened her talk to club members in January by recalling this most relevant proclamation from a class she took 40 years ago.
In particular, Jessica explained it in terms of the current issue of homelessness in the San Diego area. Although the hotel tax initiative shaping up in the city is not something North County voters will vote on, it is still an example of how Republicans seem to “want their cut” before homelessness is dealt with. This proposition revolves around the raising of a hotel tax to be used for the Convention Center expansion and for helping the homeless at the same time. “Why does homelessness have to be tied to the Convention Center expansion,” she asked? “They forget that it’s us who gave them water, sewage and prime space so they can make money.”
Jessica used this example “as a stark reminder of who they are,” reminding all of us that we are the soldiers on the front who have to talk to our friends and family and knock on doors to ensure that we can replace candidates and electeds who support Trump’s policies. Another example of the profit first policies is expansion of the privatization of prisons. This has already been an out of control use of taxpayer dollars. “Our money should be spent on what what we want it spent on,” she said. “We have to stop responding and start making war!”
With her passionate opening remarks the audience was indeed all ears! Jessica continued by reviewing Democrats key successes in 2017. Democrats have registered over 6,000 new voters with 75% of them under the age of 25. Chartered Democratic Clubs increased from 38 to 51 throughout the county. The email list increased by 15% while the social media following increased by 20%. 6 candidate trainings were held with over 200 attendees. The “Neighbors in Action” program, where residents door knock in neighborhoods to familiarize voters with the key issues and upcoming election information, trained over 300 volunteers.
For the upcoming June 5th primary election there are a number of great Democratic candidates running for various positions, some unopposed. Already the County Party has endorsed Genevieve Jones-Wright for District Attorney, Dave Myers for County Sheriff, Matt Strabone for Assessor-Recorder-Clerk, Nathan Fletcher for Board of Supervisors District #4 and Esther Sanchez for Board of Supervisors District #5.
San Marcos, like many other cities this year, has moved from candidates running city-wide “at large” to a district system, where you will vote on one city council candidate in the district where you live. The county party is in the process of analyzing the data, demographics by district, to prepare for the canvassing and campaigning to come as well as to recruit candidates for the new districts.
Jessica also reviewed the new laws affecting elections that recently went into effect. The “Motor Voter” law that provides automatic voter registration though the DMV is now in place and voters who don’t select a party preference will be marked as “Unknown” rather than “No Party Preference”. Political canvassing will now be allowed in condo associations. Canvassers will now be able to pick up mail ballots from voters and turn them in for them. And conditional voter registration will be allowed up to election day but only at the Registrar of Voters office.
Jessica also highlighted some key upcoming dates and events. There will be a countywide walk on January 27 “to engage new and occasional voters leading up to the Primary Election” on June 5. Voter turnout will be critical in the primary election in June because if a candidate wins 50% plus 1 vote over their opposition that race is over and does not need to proceed to the November General Election.
Over 3,000 electeds, candidates and delegates will gather at the County Convention in San Diego Feb. 23-25. Official Party endorsements will be considered for all state and federal races (70% vote required). More convention information can be found at www.cadem.org/convention.
Another exciting event to watch is a Gubernatorial Debate to be held in San Diego on February 22. This is a great opportunity to get out and hear for yourselves how the various and very similar candidates differentiate themselves.
The annual Roosevelt Dinner will be held at the Bayfront Hilton on April 7 with a discounted price of $115 for Democratic Club members and GO team members. This is the main fundraiser for the year so please consider attending. Tickets will go on sale online soon.
Lastly, and most importantly, mail ballots will be mailed on May 7th for the June Primary, a month before the actual election day of June 5. We hope all Democrats are as impassioned and committed as Jessica so that we can help the “Blue Wave” continue to wash over California!
See the details of Jessica’s presentation here.