By TINA RYNBERG and JEFF BENESCH
“Step on up” is the theme of the Wednesday, Oct. 2 general meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. With the recent shocking news that 53rd District Congress member Susan Davis has decided to retire, her personal story carries a great lesson for those seeking public service. She started as a social worker, joined the League of Women Voters and became chapter president, sort of stumbled into a run (and win) for San Diego School Board, and followed those offices with tenures in the California Assembly and in the U.S. House of Representatives (10 terms!).
We are looking for the next generation of Susan Davis’s, and are providing our membership and guests with a great panel of young politicos who ran against Republicans in traditionally conservative districts, and managed very successful campaigns to break barriers. We continue to have many members of local school boards, water boards, planning groups, city councils, judgeships, and other government entities where ultra-conservative values affect policy and law. People still get appointed to local school boards simply because of their church affiliation.
We must continue our fight for middle class values such as science, women’s health rights, criminal justice reform, climate action, sensible gun laws, affordable health care and economic equality. We need more affordable housing, transit choices, immigrant justice, stronger union representation, living wages, and an end to discrimination and hate in all sectors of public life. How do we get activists on all levels of local government who share these progressive ideals?
We’ll hear some of the answers from County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, La Mesa City Council members Colin Parent and Dr. Akilah Weber, and Helix Water Board Director Mark Gracyk. They will gladly share their stories and strategies to run strong and successful campaigns to achieve office for those altruists aspiring to a career of public service for the common good.
Our October general meeting will take place at our usual meeting location, the spacious and recently remodeled La Mesa Community Center at 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Please follow us on Facebook, and visit our website at lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com.
— Tina Rynberg is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.