‘Cavalcade of Stars’ featured at Democratic picnic event

By Tina Rynberg and Jeff Benesch | La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

We’d like to invite you to join our club’s annual salute to Independence Day, democracy, progressive idealism, and those heroes that choose public service to advance the principles that really make America great.

Continuing a popular summer club tradition, La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (LMFDC) will hold “Cavalcade of Stars” as part of its Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, July 11. This year, we’ll meet at beautiful Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden St., La Mesa, nestled behind Grossmont High School, and we’ll enjoy a terrific picnic dinner at the amphitheater. The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. and include current and future Democratic standouts, along with the beautiful flamenco guitar stylings of Anthony Garcia. As at our past summer picnics, we’ll again have a variety of sub-sandwiches, chips, veggies, fruit and beverages. And we’ll continue with our great tradition of the pie contest with prizes for the winners.

Chris Ward

Among the notables speaking, we’ll have last year’s winner of the club’s Rising Star Award, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, who’s certainly shown a flair for tackling tough issues and being a shining light to those of us who see her as a champion of the common good and the under-represented in our community.

In that same category is San Diego Councilmember Chris Ward, longtime friend of the club, who doesn’t care whose feathers get ruffled by his principled actions for his constituents. Whether it’s advocating for fair housing; railing against Trump’s immigration policy, which rips children from their parents; stridently working on solutions to gun violence, climate change and homelessness; or advocating for public safety, Ward always seems to be on the compassionate, and proper side of an issue.

Dr. Akilah Weber

Our county party chair Jessica Hayes will speak to the new political landscape and the blue wave building for Democrats in November. And we’re very excited that our own board member, Dr. Akilah Weber, will be kicking off her campaign for La Mesa City Council at our Cavalcade of Stars. What an impressive candidate she is, and you’ll be enthralled with her background, her grasp of the needs for our community, her enthusiasm, progressive idealism, and graceful demeanor.

We’ll also be hosted by wonderful local politicos Colin Parent and Mark Gracyk; the former who, since his election in 2016, has been pushing a forward-looking agenda at La Mesa City Hall, and the latter, while sitting on the Helix Water Board, cares about the ratepayers’ stake in making good decisions on water issues.

This year, we’ll be situated in the amphitheater, so please be sure to bring lawn chairs, blankets or cushions to sit on. We’ll not have tables and chairs as provided in the past.

The cost of the picnic dinner and beverages is $10 each for members and $15 for non-members. However, for guests who wish to join the club on July 11 at the picnic, we’ll be kicking off our summer membership campaign with half-price dues. For only $15 you can join the club for the rest of the year on the spot, and immediately get $5 off the cost of your picnic dinner. You’ll have your choice of turkey, roast beef, Italian and veggie-delight sub sandwiches from Cheer’s Deli, a long-time local favorite.

Help grow our club and its powerful influence in getting out the vote and putting progressive candidates in local, regional and statewide office.

Beginning July 1, for those that wish to join the club and can’t make the picnic in the park, take advantage of our half-price dues deal and join via our website,

— Tina Rynberg is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming of La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Reach them at

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