Thanks to GRF and Gov. Newsom

The Democratic Club joins other residents in expressing appreciation to GRF for their ongoing efforts to ensure that our Leisure World community is as safe as possible from the spread of the COVID-19 virus Thanks also go to Gov. Newsom for his new order mandating the use of masks throughout the state, with few exceptions.

Unfortunately, the Orange County Sheriff, Republican Don Barnes has issued a statement saying he will not enforce the Governor’s order.  County Board of Supervisor Michelle Steel who is running for election against Representative Harley Rouda in November has been heard on video saying that “it’s not healthy” for us to wear masks and that it’s a form of species “discrimination” to require us to do so because masks are not required for dogs.

Congressman Rouda, on the other hand, has issued a statement saying that “masks are a proven way to drastically reduce the chances of spreading coronavirus, allowing people to stay safe and our economy to reopen sustainably.”

Not satisfied to be merely issuing statements, Rouda has been working tirelessly to assist local health care workers to get the protective equipment they need.   He has urged his supporters to donate money to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as one small step in addressing deeply embedded and challenging societal issues like systemic racism and police brutality that still exist in our society.  He also hosted a blood drive in Costa Mesa to help ensure that the American Red Cross had enough blood to support patients across the country.

Congressman Rouda has also been reaching “across the aisle” to lead on commonsense, business-friendly policies.   As a result, the US Chamber of Commerce is awarding him the Abraham Lincoln Leaders for America Award.  At the federal level, the Congressman has called on the Senate to pass the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 in order to make sure all Americans can vote safely.

Leisure World residents can be thankful that, due to the forward thinking on the part of the State’s political leadership, none of us will need to expose ourselves to the virus by having to stand in long lines and enduring extended delays in order to vote in November.   The Democratic Club stands ready to assist anyone who needs help in this process of casting their mail-in ballot.  As soon as it is safe to do so, Club members will also be available at Clubhouse 6 to assist would be voters to register or reregister to a different party.  In the meantime, you can email lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com or call Vice President Kathy Moran at 562-596-0450 for assistance.

* * * * * *

If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Democratic Club’s electronic newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com or call 562-296-8521 with your contact information.

Black Lives Matter Statement

The SBLW Democratic Club has issued the following statement relating to the Black Lives Matter movement:

The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others to be named has focused a painful spotlight on the racial injustices that still exist in our country.  As Democrats who live in Seal Beach Leisure World, we pledge to listen, learn and work together -with activists, community leaders, and our elected officials at all levels – in the effort to create a more just and fair community.  We do this with the full knowledge that we, as a community of seniors, have a unique role to play within our rather sheltered enclave as well as in the broader community beyond our walls.

There is no longer any room anywhere in the United State for tolerance of unequal treatment of anyone based upon their racial or ethnic heritage. 

 We, individually and as an organization, are committed to working to the best of our ability to bring about the elimination of all forms of dignity-destroying racism both here in Leisure World and beyond.  At the same time, we recognize that words alone are not enough.    

We confess that we have much to learn.   We won’t reach a point of complete enlightenment in one day and suddenly say and do everything just right. It will require the realization that we are imperfect; that we need to be constant listeners, willing to learn and to remain teachable.

We also confess that we have known about unequal treatment that has existed within our own community as well as beyond and that, other than talking about it amongst ourselves, we have done little about it. 

We pledge to stand in solidarity with the families who have been most directly impacted and with our fellow Americans everywhere who are calling for justice, equal economic opportunity, respect and understanding. We’ve heard the voices of people across our country — including local leaders here in our community and in our backyard — speaking out and marching peacefully. 

We invite all those who are interested to listen and learn and, for those who are physically able to do so, to play a part – no matter how big or small – in creating a more just and equal community. We also seek discussion and input from anyone who can help us more clearly see our way forward.

Adopted by the SBL Democratic Club Board of Directors on June 14, 2020

If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Democratic Club’s electronic newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com  with your contact information.

* * * * * *

Democratic Club Issues of Interest

This week’s SBLW Democratic Club article features happenings from across the county relating to the still raging pandemic, as well as responses to the death of George Floyd. 

Locally, the Democratic Party of Orange County has passed a broad, comprehensive reform resolution that requires endorsed candidates to commit to introducing legislation for racial justice and equity.  Orange County’s chief health officer has resigned after facing push back from Orange County Board of Supervisor Chair Michelle Steel and others for her order to require face coverings for the public.  The newly appointed chief health officer has reversed Dr. Ouick’s mask order, suggesting that masks are only recommended, but not mandatory.

 The Orange County Register has reported that there are 17,000 entirely separate police and sheriff’s departments in the county.  They have asked readers to respond to a series of related questions about the future of policing in the county by emailing opinion@scng.com.

At the State Level, our Supreme Court ruled against the City of Hayward in a case in which the city had tried to charge the National Lawyers Guild for the city’s costs incurred in editing hundreds of hours of body camera footage.  The Republican National Committee has sought a preliminary injunction to block Gov. Newsom’s order calling for every registered voter in the state to receive a mail-in ballot for the November election.  Democrats are mounting a new effort to push back against a well-funded campaign at both the state and national level that seeks to undermine public confidence in mail-in voting.

Also, at the federal level, two members of the House (one a Republican and the other a Democrat) have introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act which they say would restore the original intent of the 1871 Civil Rights Act.  More recently, Democrats in the House introduced a new Justice in Policing Act, the text of which can be found at https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/justice_in_policing_act_of_2020.pdf   Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has identified three possible points of common ground with Democrats: raising the level of officer training by linking training standards to federal money, requiring more transparency about misconduct allegations so police officers can’t escape past problems by moving to another city, and making it easier to remove bad officers.  Everyone seems to be talking about the unchecked political power of the police unions across the county.

Leisure World’s representative in Congress, Harley Rouda, has been working tirelessly on all of the above issues.  He has condemned rhetoric and actions of hate in our community from his first day in office and has recently written about Orange County’s history of white supremacy and anti-Semitism that cannot and should not be swept under the rug.

For more information about any or all of these issues, LW Democrats and their supporters are invited to subscribe to the Club’s newsletter by emailing lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com or calling the editor at 562-296-8521.

Civil Unrest

In the midst of concern as to what the Democratic Club could write about during this stressful period, we came across a posting on Next Door by Geneva Potepan that had been forwarded to her by a member of her extended family.  In talking with Geneva, we discovered that her parents Helen and Allan Potepan were members of our Democratic Club in the 1990s and were- at one point – named Democrats of the Year.  With Geneva’s permission, we are sharing her post titled “Dismantling Racism.” While written from a Christian perspective, the message is universal, embraced by all faiths as well as those with no religious affiliation.

For my friends who are not sure what to do to make progress in dismantling racism, here is what I am doing in addition to specifically praying for guidance on how to proceed:

 1. I am white. If I want to be in active solidarity with people of color, I have to listen to them. I am willing to be led in the movements for racial equality.

 2. I must be willing to have the self-examination of my own privilege and remnants of racism wherever I might spot them in my own self. It is really hard to see one’s own biases and habits.

 3. I have conversations about white privilege every day. These are tough conversations. Do not be put off by off-handed dismissals of “political correctness.” That is code for “I refuse to do the homework.” Have the conversations with the children in your life.

4. In PARTICULAR, the legacy of chattel slavery is the continued economic and social oppression of black Americans, which is why we must not be afraid to say Black Lives Matter. I say it as often as possible because it is specifically the black lives in America that are being systematically treated as if they don’t matter.

5. I’m getting faster at writing to legislators with my opinions and ideas for legislative relief. If you don’t know who your legislators are, ask Google who they are for your address.

6. Within my purview as a Jesus follower and a pastor, I call out racist comments when I hear them. Yes, I get it that it bothers some of you, but it’s a matter of life and death, and my baptismal covenant demands fidelity. This includes racist actions. See #5 above; writing legislators and media pundits who say racist things is also good.

7. I am unafraid to hear someone’s rage without trying to “fix it” and say “It will be ok.” It’s really hard but it’s a skill that can be developed. This is not my moment to rage, but to act, so that’s what I am trying to do. This is my plan of action, maybe yours will be different, but know that unless we all take some steps to mitigate racial injustice, nothing will change. We can do this, but only if we are willing to do so. I am.

COVID-19 in Leisure World

With heavy hearts, we write about the first reported death from COVID-19 amongst the families of our Democratic Club members.

Former board member Mary Romero’s mother passed away on Sunday May 24th after being infected with the virus. 

Mary Lou Trujillo was born on January 20, 1917 and she lived a full life according to her daughter.  Due to Alzheimer’s disease, she had been residing in a nursing home for the last five years.

There will be a small graveside service for Mary Lou with only 10 close relatives in attendance as permitted by the cemetery.  At a later time, the family will hold a memorial service in honor of her life.

Mary has asked that, as a tribute to her mother, those of you wishing to express your condolences make a contribution to help fight Alzheimer’s disease In lieu of sending flowers.  This can be done online at Orange County Alzheimer’s Association orby mail addressed to the organization, located at 770 The City Dr South, Suite 7400, Orange, CA 92868.

* * * * * * *

In this period of self-isolation which could very well extend through Nov. 3rd here in Leisure World, if not the country or state as a whole, we can be thankful that we here in California can all vote by mail.  However, having the right to vote by mail is not enough, especially if we, as Leisure World voters, don’t participate.

The reality here in Leisure World is that only 4,064 of the over 6,000 persons registered to vote actually voted for their presidential preference in the recently completed Primary. There were over 200 more persons who voted for a candidate of their choice in the 72nd Assembly District race but that was not a surprise, considering how contentious that election was.

Given the situation, the Democratic Club leadership is in the process of determining how best to increase the number of voters in the General Election.  It is very unlikely that there will be any face-to-face Club meetings or door-to-door canvasing before Nov. 3rd, due to our continued self-isolation. A scheduled Town Hall for September featuring our Congressman Harley Rouda hasalso been canceled. 

The Club will be sending its usual letter to all registered Democrats and No Preferred Party voters in Leisure World.  Plans are also being considered that would involve expanding our current “calling” list participants to reach voters, whether or not they are Club members. Club members who have other ideas are urged to share them by phoning our Vice-President Kathy Moran at 562-596-0450 or emailing lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com

* * * * * *

If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Club’s electronic newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com  with your contact information.

Congressman Harley Rouda on Opening the Economy

Preparing for a national election in the midst of a total clubhouse shutdown, plus social distancing on the part of its members has led the Democratic Club leadership to revamp its plans for the coming months.

Regretfully, the club has had to cancel a Leisure World Town Hall originally scheduled for September.  In its place, we will be periodically using this space to bring reports from our elected representatives and/or candidates.  This week we asked our Congressman Harley Rhoda to elaborate on a brief presentation he recently made on MSNBC relating to opening up the economy.  Here is his reply:

“I applaud Governor Newsom and his team for their work in successfully flattening the curve in most of California. We need to find ways to recreate and work in a safe, sustainable way if we are to protect the gains we have made. Our hard work and sacrifice were all for nothing if we don’t adjust to the ‘new normal’ in the weeks and months to come.’

Unfortunately, the discussion on the economy has become political and polarizing and there are two extremes to this debate – many leaders are pushing to reopen as soon as possible, despite inadequate testing and tracing methods, which is irresponsible. The other side is to lock down with no end in sight. 

This is no time for extremism of any kind, we need common sense and science to guide us through the next few months. Just like we can’t reopen without a comprehensive plan, we also cannot continue ‘locking down’ for the next 18 months until a vaccine is developed. I worry people will get restless, quickly undo the gains we’ve made, and catalyze the dreaded second wave of this virus months ahead of schedule.’

It is clear that some areas of the state are doing better than others and are more ready to start easing stay-at-home orders.’

At minimum, reopening means establishing clear time intervals and benchmarks in addition to the increased testing and contact tracing capabilities. That’s why I’ve put out a call to businesses and chambers throughout Orange County, to hear what they’re hoping reopening looks like.  I am also discussing next steps with the various scientists and public health officials I meet with practically daily.”

Congressman Rhoda has also joined other Orange County members of congress in formally asking the Orange County Health Care Agency why OC trails so far behind its neighbors in testing.  He has also joined 43 other House colleagues in calling on the Federal Reserve to join the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).  The NGFS was established in 2017 by eight central banks to meet the goals set forward in the Paris agreement and to protect the financial system against risks associated with the climate crisis.

* * * * *

Email mlarson.telfords@gmail.com if you are interested in receiving the Club’s monthly newsletter on a regular basis.

Plans for November Election

This week’s article was intended to be the first of a series dealing with the Democratic Club’s plans for the November General Election.  Instead of doing that, however, we are using the space to express our response to the culture wars reportedly raging across the nation over whether or not to wear protective masks.

Democratic Club members can indeed be thankful for the precautions being taken by the leadership within Leisure World and the surrounding community to protect the safety of our residents. This is especially true at a time when we hear from some quarters that we “seniors” are expedient, along with the Post Office!

With 83% of the 80 Orange County residents who have died from COVID-19 in Orange County (as of May 14) being 55 years of age or older and with nearly half of California’s death’s being linked to elder care facilities, thanks also go to the city of Seal Beach for requiring all essential business employees and customers to wear protective masks.

Unfortunately, however, the situation can be complicated since not all businesses or local governments in the County have enacted uniform rules or regulations.  The Board of Supervisors has adopted regulations requiring face coverings for all essential business employees but only “recommends” that people wear them in public. Target says only that they comply with all local regulations governing the use of protective masks by its employees and customers.  Walmart said it also “encourages” customers to wear face coverings but appears to require them  only in cities where local orders are in effect.

On the other hand, Fullerton, Buena Park, Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach have joined Seal Beach in requiring essential business employees and customers wear masks.  Costco also requires customers to wear face coverings at its stores.

Regardless of the debate and conflicting regulations, face masks, social distancing and handwashing remain as the best defense against COVID-19.  For the most part, Leisure World residents support following these guidelines and for that we can all be thankful.

* * * * * * *

We are still interested in hearing about how you are managing during this new reality of enforced isolation. Please share your story by emailing the club president, Mary Tromp, at lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com.   As an example, on the birthday of one of our members, her sister asked friends to celebrate by leaving a roll of toilet paper at her door!  What better gift could anyone receive in this time of shortages of such an essential item.

* * * * * *

Watch this space for more information in coming weeks about the Democratic Club’s plans for the November General Election.

* * * * *

If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Club’s newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com with your contact information.

LW voters brought surprises during Primary Election choices

2020.05.07 joe-biden-official-portrait_1600jpg

As promised, this week’s Democratic Club article deals primarily with the results of the March 2020 Primary Election.  Of special interest will be the report as to who Leisure Worlders preferred as their candidate for president of the United States.

There were 4,064 votes cast in March by Leisure World residents as to their choice for a presidential candidate.  Only 28 of those votes were for a candidate running in one of the minor parties. There were 60 more votes for a Democratic candidate than a Republican.

Donald Trump received 1,887 votes of the 1,988 cast for a Republican candidate.  Democrats running for president received 2,048 votes. Top voter getter among the Democratic candidates was Joe Biden with 594 votes, followed closely by Mike Bloomberg with 553 votes. Sanders and Warren came in third and fourth, with 320 votes for Sanders and 200 for Warren.

The vote as to who would make it to the November General Election as candidates for the California Assembly was somewhat of a surprise.  District 72nd incumbent Tyler Diep lost out to two women in the Leisure World vote, as he did district wide.  In what turned out to be a cliff hanger, former state senator Republican Janet Nguyen received 132 more Leisure World votes than the Democratic Party endorsed candidate Diedre Nguyen. This means there will be two candidates on the November ballot with the same last name. Bijan Mohseni who also ran as a Democrat, despite not being endorsed by the Party, received 414 Leisure World votes which would have been enough to put Diedre in the lead in LW if he had not entered the race.

Probably the closest watched Primary Election race was the contest for Congress in the 48th Congressional District.  Incumbent Harley Rouda, who had handily defeated Dana Rohrabacher two years ago, got 161 less Leisure World votes than challenger Michelle Steel.  However, Rouda was the top vote getter in the District as a whole.

Watch this space for more information in coming weeks about the Democratic Club’s plans for the November General Election.

* * * * * *

The Leisure World Democratic Club is still interested in hearing from its members and supporters as to how they are managing during this new reality of enforced isolation. Please share your story by emailing the club president, Mary Tromp, at lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com.   If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Club’s newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com with your contact information.

Birthday Celebration

2020.04.30 Dolores #3

The SBLW Democratic Club congratulates Dolores Volpe on her 90th birthday.  Dolores, who has worked in Democratic politics for the better part of her life, has been a long-time member of club’s board of directors. Friends organized a very small party for Dolores where there were more balloons than participants, all of whom took pains to maintain “social distancing.”  Club members are encouraged to wish Dolores a belated “Happy 90th.”

* * * * * *

As Democrats and their supporters begin to organize for the 2020 General Election, they may be interested to know if and how much voter registration has changed over the years.  As expected, there are more registered voters in Leisure World on April 30,, 2020 than there were at the end of March in 2018.  333 of that increased number are registered Democrats, 192 are Republicans and 66 are registered as having No Preferred Party.   Other minor parties have lost 234 members during this period, making for a total of 357 new potential voters in Leisure World in the last two years.

There are currently 6,142 registered voters in Leisure World, 2,434 of whom are Democrats and 1,048 who have listed themselves as No Preferred Party voters.

Next week’s press release will contain a report on how Leisure Worlders actually voted in the 2020 Primary election.

* * * * * *

Items of interest in the news:  Rebuffing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, the court has ruled that the state of California cannot usurp the power of local authorities and order the release of more incarcerated inmates and juvenile wards from custody due to the coronavirus threat.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has voted to adopt guidelines to help businesses reopen when local health officials deem it safe to resume operations. The decision came just as California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out his 4-phase plan to reopen the state. While the county approved these measures, they apparently still have to wait for the Governor’s stamp of approval.

At the time of this press release, workers at some of the nation’s biggest companies including Amazon and Target were preparing to symbolically lock arms for a May 1 strike and demand better protections on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

* * * * * *

The Leisure World Democratic Club is still interested in hearing from its members and supporters as to how they are managing during this new reality of enforced isolation. Please share your story by emailing the club president, Mary Tromp, at lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com.

If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Club’s newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com with your contact information.

Hearing from Members

2020.04.23 Mary Tromp. #2JPEG

The Leisure World Democratic Club is interested in hearing from its members and supporters as to how they are managing during this new reality of enforced isolation. Please share your story by emailing the club president, Mary Tromp, at lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com.   If you want to stay informed and are interested in receiving the Club’s newsletter on a regular basis, email the editor, Mary Larson,  at mlarson.telfords@gmail.com.

We can all be thankful that, as of Friday, April 17th, none of the 1,501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County were in Leisure World.  Unfortunately, as of that same date, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported that the Alamitos West Health Care Center, located across the street from the hospital that services most LW residents, had more than one but less than 11 cases amongst its staff.  There were no cases reported amongst the Center’s patients as of that date.

When face-to-face club meetings resume, on of the first Voter Awareness sessions will be devoted to nursing home reform.  In anticipation, members are urged to review a recent report by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform which was published just before the current pandemic.  For a copy, email mlarson.telfords@gmail.com .

The Club has sent their congratulates to Garden Grove City Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for election to the California Assembly from District 72.  She will face Republican Janet Nguyen in the November General Election.  Congratulations also go the Congressman Harley Rouda who will be facing Micelle Steel in that same election.  Plans are still underway for a possible LW Townhall in September to which all voters, regardless of party, will be invited to come hear from their Congressman.

. * * * * *

Readers should email lwsbdemocraticclub@gmail.com or go to the newly updated website sblwdems.wordpress.com for more information about ways they can be involved in getting prepared for the Nov. General Election, regardless of when regular Club meetings are resumed.