THE VOORHIS VOICE

MAY 2019

 

      

www.claremontdems.org

MEETINGS AND SPEC IAL EVENTS

 

DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF CLAREMONT MEETINGS

 

Fridays, 11:30-1:00 pm 
Issues Luncheon

Village Grill, Claremont
Get informed – and inform

 

Friday, May 1012-1:30

Luncheon

Eddies’ Itali an Eatery

Stater Bros Shopping Center (Foothill Blvd)

Speaker: Ed Reece, founder of ISN Global Enterprises (and current Claremont City Councilmember), will discuss The Politics of Small Business.

Cost:  $17 includes non-alcoholic beverage, tax and tip – Italian dishes, some vegetarian.  Note :the meal is served promptly at noon (arrive at 11:45) - the talk begins at 12:45 and is free and open to the public

 

Saturday, May 18, 9:30am

Executive Board Meeting

 

Monday, May 27, 7-9 pm

(Memorial Day)

Member’s Meeting

Napier Center, Pilgrim Place

SpeakerBob Nelson, speaking on “The Fight for the Party’s Soul”.  Nelson, representing AD 41 is currently a member of the ADEM Executive Board. In his long political career he has been a founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America, the Progressive Democrats of America and the Pasadena Foothills Democratic Club. The meeting is free and open to the public.  A club membersbusiness meeting (beginning about 8:15) will follow the speaker 

 

OTHER MEETINGS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

 

The Agenda for a Prophetic Faith is sponsoring two events in May in their Dismantling Racism series

 

Sunday, May 5:  Shelly Tochluk, PhD: “So you care about racial justice? Now What?”, La Verne Church of the Brethren 2425 E Street, La Verne, 7-9pm

Saturday, May 11: Dr. David CamptWorkshop: Becoming Compassionate Warrior: Skills for Anti-Racism Allies, 8:30 am – 3 pm, Lunch Provided, Tickets $35 – call 909-542-9544 to RSVP; Claremont United Methodist Church211  Foothill, Claremont.

 

Saturday, May 4, 3-5pm: State Senator, Anthony Portantinofor a Q&A with local progressive groups about upcoming environmental legislation in the California legislature and about what we can do to advocate for our favorite bills, Learning Works Charter School, 90 N. Daisy, Pasadena, 3-5pm.

RSVP to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/environmental-qa-with-senator-anthony-portantino-casd-25-tickets-60611016181

Monday, May 6, 7-8:45 pm: General Meeting, Indivisible Claremont/Inland Valley, Louise Roberts Room, Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave, Claremont, 7-8:45. The meeting will focus on climate change, its local effects, and the problem of energy storage.  Dr. Char Miller, W. M. Keck Professor of Envir onmental Analysis & History at Pomona College, will speak about climate change and what we in the Southwest can expect.  Peter Coye, owner of a local wind energy company, will talk about a new energy storage technology that holds the potential to make renewable energy costs cheaper than fossil fuels.

 

 

Democratic Club of Claremont News

 

From the Editor:

 

I had things I needed to do in Santa Fe and so drove there last week (missing two important meetings).  One thing I learned from my (oldest) son w ho went with me (the dog also went with me but made no politically insightful comments) is that one important reason that so many Republicans who definitely aren’t part of Trump’s base nonetheless are sticking with him no matter what a mess he makes of their principles much less the constitution is that alone is between the Republican Party and its annihilation.  Without him, there is nothing remaining of the Grand Old Party except impotent scraps.  Republicans, especially elected ones, know this and cravenly support him no matter how he makes a mockery of deep conservative principles.  Recall all the Republicans who competed with Trump for the nomination for the Presidency, what was then called ‘the clown circus’.  They included empty containers such as Rick Perry, Ben Carson and Herman Cain; even the so-called heavy weights, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubi, proved to be non-entities.  The Republicans have the weakest bench in memory – contrast that bunch with all the exciting Demo cratic possibilities for this election.  We are suffering from an excess of excellence.

 

As I drove home on I-40 through northern Arizona, Trump’s claim to people that want to come into the United States that “we are full” came to mind.  Out where pinons and juniper s outnumber people about 10,000 to 1, I was struck by Trump’s amazing insight into our lack of space.  Of course there are the congested streets of Ash Fork, the teeming tenements of Peach Springs!  As I passed through Golden Valley (if you don’t know that strange place, which is between Kingman and Bullhead City) it struck me that it could hold at least an additional 100,000 and would prosper thereby.  

 

This last note is not political, at least at the start.  Included in this issue of the Voorhis Voice is a piece I wrote on Dr Seuss (one of California’s Great Progressives).  In writing it I had to think once more about his books.  Green Eggs and Ham was one of those I thought about.  Now while in Santa Fe I invited my wife’s sister and brother out to breakfast at their favorite New Mexican restaurant.  The ite m on the menu that struck my fancy was Green Chile Stew with Eggs.  When I started to tell the waitress that that was what I wanted, I got the word’ Green’ out when I realized that I was just about to tell her that I wanted Green Eggs and Ham – I caught myself just in time.  (Some day I may actually order that and see what the wait person does.)  But the theme of the book encourages me to offer up a recommendation:  try Democratic Socialism – you may find you like it.

 

 

Email Contact:  on the subject line write EDITOR VV and address the message to m36ring@earthlink.net

 

President’s Letter

Sam Pedroza

 

So far we are at 20 Dems for 2020 and we have a year and half to go. Is it good that we have so many candidates? 

 

Like you, I am reading and watching our candidates as we are well on our way down the 2020 election road.  I admit that I am on information overload and som etimes cannot decipher significant differences among all the great candidates. One article written by a behavioral scientist calls this “choice overload,” stating that having too many choices can make it harder to make a decision, potentially resulting in a negative effect for the 2020 campaign. The article points to the 2016 Republican race consisting of a cabre of candidates where policy discussions dwindle down to meaningless mantras and slogans. 

 

In another article, Nate Silver argues that a very large candidate field is dangerous for the Democratic party. He points out that in recent presidential contests where more than 12 major candidates reached the formal announcement stage, the party ultimately ended up with a nominee that the party didn’t want, namely Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump.  However political insider and Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institute, Elaine Kamarck, argues that because the modern nominating system unfolds in a sequence of events, (i.e. nominating rule and primary date changes), it has many ways of winnowing out a crowded field. She states that if history is any guide, by mid-March 2020 there will be many fewer players and by summer 2020 there is likely to be only one. 

 

That said, we have less than a year to vet our candidates and promote a strong vision of what we want for our country. We will continue to campaign on the strength of our preferred candidate and ultimately we will support our party’s nomine e, even if he or she is not our initial favorite. 

 

I look forward to hearing your input on how we, as your Democratic Club, can better understand and learn the platforms of our candidates.  To my knowledge, Claremont has already been visited by Mayor Pete and Senator Harris. Let’s be the Club that attracts all the Presidential candidates and make Claremont one of the essential stops for the next President of the United States.

 

 

 

DCC Earthday Booth

By Carolee Monroe, Club MVP

 

Our booth presented visitors to Claremont’s celebration of Earth Day with a multi-faceted display of items and issues related to the Green New Deal.  Not only did Stephen Simon get down to the level of the many children who were fascinated with his beetles, he actually got down to the level of the bugs - ground level - as he shared with them the wonders of Earth’s little creatures.  Peter Coye, meanwhile, stood tall but not as tall as his 8’ tripod, pulley system and “bag of rocks”.  This alternative energy display held visitors in thrall as Peter demonstrated and explained its purposes. 

 

The staffing for sharing the other components of our booth were Barbara Hughes, Merrill Ring, Louie Duran, Sam Pedroza, Roberto DeLaCruz, Gayla Sanders, Ralph Spaulding, Ivan Light, Don Martens, Marguerite Gee Royse, Joan Reyes, Karen Chapman Lenz, Holly Kurtz and CHS Young Democrat Lucy Chinn. They ably gave cricket cookies (alternative protein source), pinwheels (alternative power source and the “last straw”), bee magnets (with a link to saving bees) and leaflets that summarized the Green New Deal to visitors. They also gave “Register to Vote” forms to several prospective voters. Many thanks to them for sharing their time and energy!

 

Before the event, Ivan Light had written the summary of the Green New Deal back drop and flyer. Merr ill Ring purchased the cricket flour that Betty Hagelbarger, Barbara Hughes and her granddaughter Sirena and Carolee Monroe used to make the 500+ cookies that were given out. Karen Rosenthal and Dean McHenry donated the straws that Barbara, Sirena, Carolee and her granddaughter, Jade Nakama, used to make the 150 pin-less pinwheels given away. Carol Whitson formatted the Green New Deal flyer.

 

Gabe Monroe and Murray Monroe did the set-up. Gabe broke down the booth. Mel Boynton posted pictures on our Facebook page and Marlena Monroe’s pictures were sent to the volunteers.

 

To all who shared in this endeavor that celebrates sustaining our Earth: it wouldn’t happen without you! You are appreciated!

 

DCC July 4th Booth

By Carolee Monroe

 

Do you want to d isplay your patriotic spirit?  This Independence Day the Democratic Club offers you several different opportunities.  

 

BEFORE JULY 4 - Donate ribbon, crepe paper streamers or whatever decorating items that can be used to decorate bikes and helmets.

 

JULY 4 BOOTH - (10 AM - 2 PM) 

Be a “poll worker”  at our straw poll of all Democratic presidential candidates. Hand out ballots, count the votes and post the results hourly. 

Help decorate the bikes of those who will ride in the parade with Sam, our club president.

 

JULY 4 PARADE - (3 PM)

 

Please help demonstrate the unity among all Americans.

 

An Open Lette r to DCC Members 

By Murray Monroe, V-P Membership 

 

Thank you to all who have renewed their memberships for 2019! 

We are currently 150 members strong! 

Thank you to all who have made an extra contribution!  

Our improved treasury will provide us with resources so that we can determine how our club can effectively contribute to the 2020 campaign.

Membership numbers, especially those DCC members who live in Assembly District 41, are important during campaigns and elections. For every 20 members in AD 41, the Democratic Club of Claremont is permitted one delegate at the Pre-endorsing Conference that will be held in early October. The purpose of the October meeting is to issue endorsement recommendations for Congressional, State Senate (odd-numbered), and State Assembly Races in 2020.

To meet the requirement of every 20 members for one delegate, I will follow-up with phone calls to those members who have not yet renewed.  

Summaries of Talks at DCC April Events 

 

Alma Trejo spoke at the April club luncheon.  Her topic was ‘Environmental Justice’. ( Notesby Carolee Monroe)

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Alma Trejo’s background is one that many members of  Southern California’s Hispanic immigrants share.  As an undocumented student she worked to overcome several challenges.  One was gaining permanent residency status through the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.  Another was working with the students like herself who used AB 540 to pay in-state tuition fees.  Reaching beyond themselves, they extended their focus to one of comprehensive immigration reform.

 

Her work experiences also presented challenges as, growing up in the Inland Empire, Alma experienced first-hand what it was like to work as a warehouse temporary worker, hired through a staffing agency, with no job security or benefits. 

 

Now, having earned an MA in Sociology, Alma continues to work for employee rights.  She is a Field Organizer for the California Labor Federation and is implementing a California Works Foundation project.  Funded by the Energy Foundation, the outreach project’s purpose is to educate union members of possible clean energy futures. 

 

The labor movement has been facing on-going threats including anti-labor legislation, court rulings and policies that negatively affect workers, their safety and the work-place.  The labor movement, threatened by these issues, along with anti-immigrant propaganda, has not focused on climate change, although its members are more likely to be subject to the effects. 

 

Especially in the Inland Empire, environmental issues, such as polluted air and drought, are now being attended to. California has enacted legislation and implementation is ongoing.  Because workers need to learn where and how they can fit into the changing environment and workforce, a program to educate them is being piloted.  The need for training for new technologies and new jobs in renewables are beginning to replace those that are becoming obsolete.

 

The challenge is, for unions and union members, to realize that short-term gains of saving and making jobs even if in declining industries needs to be replaced by training for new technologies and new jobs in renewables. This is the challenge of the project in which Alma is engaged.

Jeannette Ellis-Royston, President of the Pomona Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was the main speaker at the April DCC Members’ meeting.  Her topic was “Institutional Racism”. (Notes by Carolee Monroe.)

 

Institutional Structural Racism is defined as a condition in which minorities are intentionally disadvantaged within the established systems of: prisons and rehabilitation; schools and education; housing; finance; health and prescriptions; and labor/employment.  The ability to succeed in any of the above-named systems, for people of color, is limited as our courts and legal system uphold 400 years of discriminatory law.  An idea to effect change, Ellis Royston submitted that as each of us has skin tha t is “colored”, each one of us advance each other.  Implied in her suggestion was an understanding of socialism and capitalism as systems. 

Ellis-Royston then gave a brief history of the structure of the NAACP at its national, regional and local levels.  At each level, she said, people of all races have joined in founding and maintaining the organization.

Ellis-Royston surprised the audience with her assertion that voter suppression exists in California. She listed on-going changes in America that are negatively affecting many different groups so that they continue to be marginalized.  

Ellis-Royston ended her talk by offering a strategic plan to address Institutional Structural Racism. It would provide free education and economic stability such that all Americans live the “American Dream” through equitable justice, secured voting rights and equitable representation.  She urged that we develop policies to empower all stakeholders as we collaborate with a concentration on impact.

Books referenced were: Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia RankineThe Third Option: Hope of a Racially Divided Nation” by Miles MacPherson;  “Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California” by Tomas Almaguer and The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement” by the Reverend William Barber. 

 

Other speakers:

 

Shayok Chakraborty: a graduating senior at Pomona College, discussed his senior thesis on housing in Claremont before inviting the audience to a meeting on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM in the Pomona College SOCA Lounge at the corner of E. 6th Street and N. College Way. The group, Inclusive Claremont, is forming to address the needs of affordable housing in Claremont.

There was much discussion afterwards, much centered on California’s SB 50. 

 

Jason Chung: Union Representative UFCW 1428, gave an update of negotiations between union grocery workers and Southern California grocery s tores. One union demand is for a 32 hour work week so that employees work just one job.  Jason predicts the negotiations will be on-going yet, with the community’s and shoppers’ support, ultimately successful.  He asked that support be shown by signing on at FOODFIGHTUS.COM.

 

 

 

Essays Etc. by Club Members

 

Great California Progressives #4

The Democratic Club of Claremont is in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  We California Progressives have a long tradition of producing some of the great figures in American political thought and action.  These essays are dedicated to ensuring that we current members of the club and the party know our ancestors. 

The fourth of the great California Progressives to be noticed here is Theodor Geisel more widely known as Doctor Seuss.

 

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) 1904-1991

By Merrill Ring

Why is the author of children’s books being presented here as one of California’s Great Progressives?

 

Take the smaller question first:  while Seuss/Geisel was not born in California, he was stationed here in the Army during WWII and returned permanently in 1948, living in La Jolla until his death 40 some years later.  Moreover, he has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.  So he is clearly a Californian despite having been born elsewhere, as so very many Californians have been.

 

Now the more important question:  why is he being recognized here as a Great Progressive?  Didn’t all he do was write (best-selling) children’s books?

 

That’s not all he did. Still in his ‘20’s Seuss/Geisel began his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books.  That not very successful career was interrupted by WWII.  He first became the editorial page cartoonist for a leftish New York newspaper.  That was his first work as a progressive political figure.  

 

That newspaper job led to his being taken into the Army as a creator of wartime propaganda.  

 

After the war, he returned to California and took up his earlier career as a children’s author.  Progressive politics began peeking through the books of those earlier years until he hit the progressive jackpot with Horton Hears a Who (1950):  theWho’s were invisible to the larger world but Horton heard them calling out for protection.  

After that his work was thoroughly in the progressive tradition.  

 

The problem for us is that he didn’t preach to the children – he let the stories speak for themselves and that may tend to make the themes largely invisible to adults who do not have the hearing of Horton.  (There is a story that the noxious Ted Cruz read with enjoyment Green Eggs and Ham to his children without seeing how the advice to be willing to try new things can be, should be, taken to warn against being conservative and sticking to what we’ve always done.)

 

A suggestion for adults:  re-read all the post-1950 books asking how each is a political education for the target audience of children.  You might even go so far as to re-read them all to your children or to your grand-children or volunteer to read them at your local library:  and then to talk about them with the children.

 

A final note about Yertle the Turtle.  Yertle was part of the 1% of turtle life in the pond – he stood on the backs of all the other turtles in order to get his glorious view of the world as they were forced down and further down into the muck of the pond.  Finally Mack, at the very bottom of the stack, decides to end that arrangement and causes Yertle to come crashing down and giving all the turtles their freedom.  Mack’s words were:

I don’t like to complain

But down here below, we are feeling great pain.

I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,

Bu down at the bottom we, too, should have rights

 

 

Book Review

by Holly Kurtz

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh.  2018. New York: Scribner. 

 

 

Heartland is part of a growing genre of books exploring inequality and the dilemma of the poor and working class from the Reagan to Trump years.  Smarsh’s memoir takes us to her turbulent growing up years in the 1980s and 1990s on a farm west of Wichita and her efforts to break away from the cycle of poverty. She succeeds.   

 

Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her father’s side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side.  There was constant moving, domestic violence and addiction in the community, dealing with the embarrassment of being poor, and watching people grow old before their time, often by work-related injuries.

 

As she put it, “Every moment of my childhood required vigilance.”  She also writes, “I knew…that my family was on the outside of something considered normal” and that much of the country devalued “flyover country.”

 

The book is a combination of beautifully written memoir plus economic and political information:  the falling of farm land prices and growth of factory farms in the 1980s, economic collapse, the rise of for-profit hospitals, the mortgage industry’s predatory loans. 

 

The problems reflect onto the broader community:  “If you live in a house that needs shingles, you will attend a school that needs books.”

 

Her neighbors are trying hard and believe in personal responsibility, but there are forces working against them.  Poverty is monetized to benefit the rich through interest, la te fees, and court fines.  Society tells them that someone in a bad financial situation must be a bad person or lazy.  

 

“Americans in the late twentieth century clung to the economic promise that reward would find those who worked hard. ”  Sometimes it does, but the obstacles keep growing, as does the sense of shame.  Smarsh writes, “To be made invisible as a class is an invalidation.”

 

Smarsh does a very good job at combining memoir and economic facts.  One drawback to me is that she frames the book around what she would tell the daughter she would never have as a teenager if she hoped to get ahead in life.  This seemed like an artificial device. 

 

The author did break away from the generational cycle, attending college and becoming a professor and journalist.  

 

Note:  Among the other books in this socio-economic genre are Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Educated by Tara Westover, Evicted by Matthew Desmond, Janesville by Amy Goldstein, and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.

 

 

 

Letters from Club Members

 

 

Letter From Bob Gerecke (submitted to the LA Times)

 

The Central American countries from which families are fleeing life-threatening danger are in crisis, and it's largely caused by us.

Our country's drug use, and our unwillingness to legalize and regulate drugs, bankroll the gangs which terrorize those countries.  Those gangs get the ir arsenals of arms from our gun industry.  Our big country has messed up the Central Americans' little countries, and the good people who don’t belong to the gangs are the collateral damage.

We owe them asylum until their countries get straightened out, and we owe their countries the help they need to do it.

 

 


Now YOU write!

 

Do so!  Of course, newspapers have so many restrictions (especially space) that very worth while letter do not get published.  But try! And if it doesn’t get published there, sent it to the VV and it most likely will be published here.  (Or if it does get published, send it here also and have it republished.)< /span>

 

Or call . . . .    & Complain (or Praise)

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP:  JOIN THE DCC or RENEW  

 

 

We have no corporate sponsors. Your membership dues pay all DCC’s expenses which include our meeting expenses, P.O box, club charter, storage space for our booths, publicity, political donations, support for the CHS Young Democrats, and events such as Claremont’s July 4th celebration and Village Venture,.Take this opportunity to renew if you haven’t already done so. Just complete and mail this form. 

 

Mail this form with your check to: Democratic Club of Claremont, P.O. Box 1201, Claremont, CA 91711

 

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The Voorhis Voice is published by the Democratic Club of Claremont, PO Box 1201, Claremont CA 91711.  The newsletter’s name commemorates the late Jerry Voorhis, a talented and courageous Co ngress member from Claremont.

 

 

Newsletter Editor: Merrill Ring

M36ring@earthlink.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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