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Club to honor Marty Block

Davis, Ward, more to speak

By Linda Armacost and Jeff Benesch

At our next meeting, just six days before the momentous 2016 presidential election, the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (LMFDC) will honor Senator Marty Block as he faces his last couple months before leaving office. Our meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just North of University Avenue in La Mesa.

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Sen. Marty Block

Block, a longtime member and frequent guest at LMFDC, steps down after many years of service as assembly member and state Senator representing La Mesa and much of the city of San Diego. Block was elected to the California State Assembly in 2008 where he represented the 78th Assembly District until his election to the Senate. He served as chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee for three years.

In Sacramento, many think his crowning achievement is SB850. This game-changing legislation for higher education will allow a number of community college districts across the state to develop four-year degree programs, increasing access for quality higher education in areas that have a demonstrated workforce need. Block’s long career as a lawyer, teacher, dean, trustee, magistrate and legislator is an incomparable model of altruism and devotion to public and community service.

Rep. Susan Davis

Rep. Susan Davis

We’ll have another star-studded group to talk both about Senator Block and give us a little insight as to what we can expect in the election.

Congressperson Susan Davis, whose background mirrors Block’s, represents California’s 53rd Congressional District and therefore most of our membership. Her interest in public affairs and service grew out of her experiences as a social worker, parent, youth mentor, and military spouse.

Prior to Congress, Davis served three terms in the California State Assembly (1994-2000) and served nine years as a member of the San Diego Unified Board of Education (1983-1992).

Chris Ward

City Councilmember-elect Chris Ward

Chris Ward serves as the chief of staff to Senator Block and is a city councilmember representing San Diego’s District 3. In this capacity, Ward is strongly committed to excellence in constituent services, facilitating public participation in policymaking, and organizing state and local resources to make our neighborhoods a better place to live.   In the June primary, Ward won the District 3 seat outright and will take his place on the San Diego City Council in January.

Rich Grosch was the district director when Block served as assembly member. He currently serves as executive vice president on the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees. Over the years, he’s been a teacher, university alumni director, city councilmember, school administrator, and community planner. He’s also a business owner and proprietor of the Ocean Beach Hotel.

Colin Parent

Colin Parent

Colin Parent is in the homestretch of his vigorous campaign for La Mesa City Council and will be urging all members and guests to participate in six more days of get-out-the-vote efforts by walking precincts and making calls from our local campaign office. Parent is Policy Counsel for Circulate San Diego, a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes better transportation and living choices for more vibrant local communities. Parent is, by far, the most informed and progressive of the three candidates running for City Council.

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club represents the communities of San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Santee, Casa de Oro, and other nearby East County communities. Watch for event updates on our website: Lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com or follow us on Facebook.

—Linda Armacost is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, Reach them at jeffbenesch@gmail.com.

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