CD-10 Happy Hour in WC, Aug 14

Join the fun at Extreme Pizza- back patio, 1630 Cypress St, Walnut Creek, CA. Most importantly, there will be a 20% discount on beer, soda and pizza. We’ll be on the patio in the back.

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Brian Lawrence and the Iron Horse Democrats invite all of the CD 10 Democratic Congressional Candidates to join friends for a Happy Hour this Friday (August 14th) from 6:30-8:30 PM. Several have already confirmed and Brian believes he can get all five to attend. I’ve asked them to each speak for 5-10 minutes and then take a couple of questions regarding issues that concern younger voters.

Join the fun at Extreme Pizza- back patio, 1630 Cypress St, Walnut Creek, CA. Most importantly, there will be a 20% discount on beer, soda and pizza. We’ll be on the patio in the back.

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GOP Boot Camp, Aug 21-22

So far this looks like a trip down memory lane. Maybe we can find some veterans of the last Deukmejian campaign. This is the problem with Republicans…they are stuck in the past. While the Democrats are campaigning using 21st century organizing methods the GOP is still running Reagan’s Morning in America Ads.

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The Republican Party at every level—federal, state and local is dying. Obama and the Democrats have the GOP completely encircled with all escape routs cut off.

As the Republican Party is cut off and starving, they have been whittled down to their true believers (the bad hair conservatives) who are actively working to purge all moderates from the party. Meanwhile the Democrats, headed by President Obama, are taking every moderate Republican they can into their administration or welcoming them into their bigger tent, so to speak. 

I have never seen the Republicans so demoralized. Locally they are diminished to weird fundraisers like their recent Bread Line Ball or phony accounting reports. Now they have a new venture. They are bringing back that old time religion. Come one come all on 08/21-22/09 to the Contra Costa GOP Boot Camp. Yep throw your saddle over your horse and get  in the game boys and girls. The Contra Costa GOP is going to show you how to win 1980’s style. 

Lets go through the highlights:

Dealing with the Media: Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Political Editor Contra Costa Times,
Tom Del Beccaro, CRP Vice Chair, Founder FirstAmendmentNow

tom-del-beccaroWhy Lisa Vorderbruggen would want to address this crowd beats me because they cannot stand her. They must be the last subscribers to the newspaper. She can give them good advice like don’t call supreme court appointees or any one else a racist!

As far a self promotion, Machiavellian politics and dealing with the media  for self promotion—who better the Tom Del Beccaro? He can talk about how to try to become a local pundit and spin the media while his sycophants in the local party grovel at his feet while you continue to get crushed every year at the polls.

Public Speaking: Lynne Leach, Former Assemblywoman, 15th AD;

lynne-leach-not-paying-attentionWhat can I say; Leach is the last of her kind. They call her their Beloved Lynne Leach. She can pump up a right wing crowd like no other. I am sure she will have something very bright on because, as she has told me, that is how you get attention when you are speaking. That said I wonder what kind of message she will deliver to the folks in attendance? I mean, Republican speakers are like Hummer salesmen in a gas shortage. Nobody wants what they are buying. So I wonder if there is anything different she is going to sell them on.

Effects of Campaign on Family: Mary Piepho, Contra Costa County Supervisor:

mary-piephoPlease… Like any politician running for elected office gives two shits about their kids other than to use them as props. If they did care, they would spend time with them and not other politicians. Just look at how Sarah Palin has exploited her children. It is disgusting. Of course I think a better subject for Piepho would be how to beat your political opponent without a college education. She gives many drop outs hope. After all, President Andrew Johnson made it all the way to the presidency without any formal education.

Fundraising: Heuter & Associates

Well here is a bright spot. This woman is a star fund raiser. She does all the big Republicans. So what is she doing here? Maybe it is a sign of the times, like waters that are over fished, there are not big  any Republicans left in the Bay Area to raise money for. I love her restaurant in Dublin!

Organizing Volunteers: Jean Meredith

Lets bring back the 70’s. Meredith was a Reagan delegate to the 1976 Republican National convention in Kansas City, MO. She has some nice stories about the convention. Like how the Reaganites crushed President Ford and set the stage for his 1980 election. She is a long time Republican veteran of conservative politics. She is a long time grass roots organizer for many Bill Baker and Lynne Leach campaigns. As the folks who worked for Dean Andal learned last year, the Bill Baker method of grass roots organizing can be a real turn off. You are either a true believer or you get off the team. 

So here we are. I can only hope that there will be other speakers willing to share modern campaign techniques. How about organizing on Facebook or using Twitter? How about blogging, Web pages etc.

So far this looks like a trip down memory lane. Maybe we can find some veterans of the last Deukmejian campaign. This is the problem with Republicans…they are stuck in the past. While the Democrats are campaigning using 21st century organizing methods the GOP is still running Reagan’s Morning in America Ads.

The wilderness years continue.

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Guys and Dolls for Hospice, Jul 30

Purchase your tickets now for a performance of Guys and Dolls, benefiting Hospice of the East Bay , on Thursday, July 30th, at 8:00 pm, at San Ramon Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd. , Danville .

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Purchase your tickets now for a performance of Guys and Dolls, benefiting Hospice of the East Bay, on Thursday, July 30th, at 8:00 pm, at San Ramon Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd. , Danville .

You will have the opportunity to meet the cast at a reception immediately following the performance.

This fast-paced, hilarious show features bright and brassy music, taking you from the heart of Times Square, to the cafes of Havana , and even the sewers of New York City. This funny and romantic story makes Guys and Dolls a celebration of the absolute best American musical theatre has to offer! The show features wonderful music, exhilarating dance numbers and a cast of exciting characters.

For further information and to purchase tickets call (925) 943-7469.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A1HWEub0hg

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Can ordinary folks fix California?

A new study from the New America Movement says 400 ordinary citizens should be randomly selected to act as delegates to a Constitutional Convention to fix California

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A groundbreaking report released today by the New America Foundation and Repair California (www.RepairCalifornia.org) recommends that a constitutional convention in California be comprised of citizen delegates.

“As California grapples with a crisis of historic proportions, it is time to draw upon the genius of what has always been the Golden State’s greatest resource – Californians themselves,” concludes the report, “A Citizens Constitutional Convention for California: How to Avoid Partisanship and Special Interest Influence” written by Steven Hill, director of the Political Reform Program at the New America Foundation.

California has been called an ungovernable state, plagued not only by systemic gridlock but also by bitter partisanship, special interest influence, and incumbent self-interest. Californians are calling for reform, with one of the options on the table being a constitutional convention.

The Bay Area Council has called for a convention composed of 400 “citizen delegates,” randomly selected to form a scientifically representative sample of average Californians. But would non-experts have the ability to propose complex public policy? Or, as one skeptic put it, “How can a room of dummies do something smart?”

If you were about to ask, ‘If 400 people selected randomly can be put in a room and straighten out California, why on earth do we need legislators?”

That’s a great question that oild farts will bring up just to be grumpy and complain. But such a harrumph observation only has value if the same old farts seriously consider the role and value of representative democracy.

Leaving aside this new iteration of the romaticized myth concerning the rustic nobility of American natives can be set aside, perhaps for just a second, so that we might posit a more critical question,”should unelected representatives of any kind determine law and public policy for millions of Californians?

Does a random draw truly represent a polity? It’s been asked before. Since 500 B.C. political communities have struggled with this question as societies evolved from agricultural elites, to urban trades and finance plebes; from the roiling masses to the tyrant.

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MCP broadens services

The Monument Community Partnership (MCP), located in Keller House off Concord Ave., is the focal point for a number of service organizations including its own that serve what is called the Monument Corridor.

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In its 10th year, the Monument Community Partnership (MCP), located in Keller House off of Concord Ave., is the focal point for a number of service organizations including its own that serve what is called the Monument Corridor.

Its current staff of 12 assisted by 50-75 volunteers spread out and return from the sprawling district that reaches from the Concord Police HQ on Galindo to HWY 680 and out Oak Grove Road to the BART tracks at Minert/David.

With the exit of City staff from Keller House due to downgrading of capacity at the municipal level, the MCP solicited interest from other non-profit groups providing services in the community for the opening of office space. Based on replies, MCP anticipates sharing space and increasing its collaboration with Catholic Charities and Brighter Beginings. Additional service providers expressing interest include Stand Against Domestic Violence and Community Violence Solutions.

According to Bryan Balch, the new Executive Director, the contraction of government services it has caused an increase in the demands on MCP as residents’ needs are increased due to the economy. Concurrently, and most fortunately for the area, there has been a greater penetration of the neighborhood by the growing cadre of leadership and community outreach people typified by their ‘Community Listeners’ program and their Neighborhood Action Teams (called NATs).

There is a wide service network that meets once or twice a month in a conclave at Keller House hosted by MCP for the benefit of the neighborhood. Amongst the things that they have been doing are

– The First Five program for youngsters and their parents.
– Helping Senior Residents with yard clean up.
– Creating an urban gardening/farming group to get vegetables in small plots throughout the area.
– Mentoring youth on leadership development.
– Bringing service providers and residents together by acting as a channeling vortex
– Setting up a transportation advisory group that gave ideas to the City staff on improvements,
– Acting as a conduit for such government programs as Lead Removal Program from residential homes, funded by H.U.D., via the City of Concord.
– Helping people deal with the web of services out there when there are personal crisis that would otherwise overwhelm families.
– Providing direction and volunteers for a Nursing research study.

Balch stated additional service expansion in the near future will include helping seniors with yard clean up, collaborating with agencies such as SeniorHelpLine. Volunteers can call on isolated seniors on a regular basis, and longer term goals of providing local transportation to seniors and individuals with disabilities. ANother goal is the creation of a community center close to the center of the Monument Community.

Balch concluded that an immediate focus is being placed on getting the residents to support the local businesses and, in turn, the businesses help support the organization. It takes everyone to make the community whole. With MCP fostering partnerships between residents, businesses, and the service providers, the end result will be a greater cohesive community.

There are no restrictions on the people that they help. Even when people leave the Monument area, they come back as they make transitions to their new locales because of the excellent staff and support provided here.

The experienced staff is familiar with the great diversity of the area including its high concentration of residents of different status combined with the whole range of issues that come with any economic area that is hurting.

Kathy Renfrow, the Business Manager who has had to confront many of the issues, commented that many people think that these things are very simple.

“However the complexities of legal residence let alone lapses can be very stressful and frustrating to those who are trying to help, let alone to the individuals who get caught up in a bureaucratic paper tornado while trying to feed their family at the same time as caring for a sick kid or an elderly relative.”

In addition to the 300 plus families assisted through First Five, the MCP directly has worked with 500 or so cases of families in need. The raising of awareness of the community to local issues is hard to judge but the recent Concord City Council meeting on the Monument Street Redesign Plan saw a surprisingly large cross section of the neighborhood organizations and ad hoc groups turn out. Much of this could be attributed to the communication network by the Listener group to get the word out to businesses as well as groups like the Soccer League and the Cambridge School group concerning potential opportunities to improve the Community.

What is astounding is that this network is maintained with a budget of $480,000 most of which is from corporate and major donors such as Kaiser Permanente and John Muir Hospital, in addition many smaller donors that help keep the lights on.

With a little luck and the continued hard work of all concerned the Monument Community will weather the current storm of darkness in the economy and emerge even more united with the greater city of Concord as a vibrant force for community directed action.

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CD-10 candidate forum, Aug 7

The Contra Costa Council & the Bay Area Council will host a 10th Congressional District Candidates Forum, August 7, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 45 John Glenn Drive, in Concord-Calif.

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The Contra Costa Council & the Bay Area Council will host a 10th Congressional District Candidates Forum, August 7, from 7:30 a.m.. to 9:30 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 45 John Glenn Drive, in Concord-CA.

Costs is $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Register by August 3 at: www.ContraCostaCouncil.com

The event is hosted by Chevron and sponsors: AAA of Northern CA, NV & UT, Mechanic’s Bank, Safeway, and will be moderated by Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Political Editor, Contra Costa Times.

Photo Courtesy Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Facebook Photo Page.

CD-10 Candidate Forum

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