Notes and photos from September’s Meeting with Congressmember Scott Peters

The meeting was called to order by Patti Flores-Charter at 11:03am.
Harry Smith explained that Ron and Mercy were unable to attend the meeting as Mercy had fallen and broken her hip the day before, and was scheduled for surgery. A collection was held for flowers and everyone wished Mercy a speedy recovery.

Minutes
Tom Burnett proposed a motion to accept the minutes of last meeting. Sylvia Silverman seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Anne Irving gave the report.
Jerry Greenspan proposed a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Judy Bambace seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Candidates
Southwestern Community College Board
Seat 1: Griselda Delgado

Griselda could not be present but others spoke on her behalf.

Patti Flores-Charter spoke as faculty and explained that Southwestern College is the only community college in the area, and is the largest employer in South Bay. There are campuses at – Otay Mesa, San Ysidro and an aquatic center at the strand. Four of five of the governing board are on the ballot. All four have support of unions and Democratic Party endorsements. Griselda Delgado is the new candidate.

Norma Hernandez first ran for the board in 2010 when the college was frequently in the news for all the wrong reasons. Corruption and scandal plagued the board then, and the college was on probation with the accreditation body. Since then new policies have been put in place and the college has glowing reports from throughout the district, of which Coronado is part. Nora won Coronado last time and is running unopposed this year (barring a last minute write-in candidate. She asked that we consider Griselda Delgado.

Tim Nader is also running unopposed and again stressed to consider Griselda Delgado.
Kerri Downer was asked how many students are enrolled at the college, and replied that it was almost 20,000 students.

Nora Vargas spoke last as a former Southwestern College student (Poly Sci, before she transferred to San Francisco), current board member and Vice President of Community Engagement, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She explained the importance of the community colleges and working for better education, better jobs, and creating advocates for the community. Griselda Delgado will work well with the existing board members and we should consider her for the open seat.

New Business
Harry Smith asked that we promote the new website and Facebook page to our friends and colleagues. It helps to get information out, not just to our members but to the wider community.

Harry thanked Joann Palmer and Kitty Rosania for refreshments and reminded us that the local candidate forum will be on October 7 at 7pm

Congressmember Scott Peters
Scott began by wishing us Happy Poway Day! He’d just driven 42 minutes from Poway, which is about the length of the 52nd District. Growing up a Lutheran he’d been taught to respect responsible GOP members and so he feels he can represent the 30.30.30 (Democratic, Republican, No Party Preference by registration) split of the district.

He commented that the Tea Party dysfunction in the present congress is something new.

He introduced one of Carl DeMaio’s staffers who was present to video Scott’s talk, as a way of explaining that he’d have to be polite about his opponent.

Scott spoke on three main areas:

1. Science
We train a lot of great scientists in the area and we need an immigration policy that let’s smart students stay. We should revisit the removal of tax breaks from manufacturers of medical devices. We are well positioned to create leaders in mobile health to deliver better health care results.

2. Veterans
We need to shelter homeless veterans and provide a one-stop shop for vets to come to.
Scott is part of the Military Transition Support Project that has been setup without Federal money by working with private businesses like Blue Shield and WebMD. This didn’t require an act of congress, that is hard to get these days.

3. Energy in the Military
The U.S. military is the biggest consumer of energy in the world. The Navy wants to use biofuels, with algae as a feedstock. Scott is Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Algae Caucus! When Scott recently met with the Commandant of the Marines his biggest interest was in Solar Energy. Moving gasoline is dangerous, and hard to do in combat zones. Many Marines die guarding convoys of fuel. If we can power bunkers with solar panels, and desalinate water with solar, we can make conditions safer for our troops. Scott confided that although publicly Tea Party members are climate deniers over a beer several will admit they know climate change is happening.

Scott wants a Federal budget for improved infrastructure, basic science research and investments in education.
He was able to succeed because of a great public school education and financial aid. Over the last 30 years the cost of education has increased over 300%. He has a Bill to refinance student loans to 4% (from 7-8%).
This campaign is one of the top 5-10 races in the country. He believes the district wants a pragmatic, center person. Carl DeMaio is trying to redefine himself as moderate, but in San Diego we remember that in 4 years on City Council, Carl was the one ‘No’ vote 102 times. Carl voted against all of Jerry Sanders’ budgets. Even proposals for big savings in healthcare, he voted against as they weren’t extreme enough. When Carl was asked if one person can make a difference in congress, he replied ‘Just look at Ted Cruz’.

Scott suggested we watch the video of Carl talking about the Tea Party for ourselves (as Carl’s team suggested that we’d cherry picked segments). Carl refers to the Tea Party as the conscience of the accountable government movement.

Scott also suggested we check out The Hill articles by national reporter Cameron Joseph.

Scott reminded us that the UNION-t endorsed DeMaio, but when the GOP met in San Diego to choose a candidate for Mayor they decided that Carl was too divisive to run for Mayor and should be in Congress (at this comment even Carl’s videographer in the room, smiled).

Scott has been endorsed by the Chamber of Congress, as they don’t want more TeaParty folks who are bad for business.

Scott is happy to talk with the American Petroleum Institute on how, if possible, to make fracking safe.
At a recent Coronado Rotary meeting (that has 2 or 3 Republicans!) Scott was given a nice shout out.
Scott is working to create jobs, to build for the future. He asks that we don’t just stop at talking to Democrats but talk to all friends. Just think, for Mayor in 2012 San Diegans picked Bob Filner as a trade unionist, left-wing, 70s Liberal over Carl DeMaio, and that’s because they knew that Carl representing San Diego is wrong.

Get your lawn signs. Coronado is tough to win, but we can keep it close.

Scott then took questions.

Q. Doug St Dennis thanked Scott as recently his office had helped her with a 501c3 application for the Coronado Island Film Application that had been held up. She stated that we she is a registered Republican who will be voting for Scott (that drew a nice round of applause).

Q. Edith Kaspin asked if there had been any progress on USPS legislation?
A. In a word, no. That was true of a lot of legislative efforts.

Q. about turnout.
A. Yes, problem for Democrats in non-Presidential years. It was a close race in 2012. Important to get every Democrat registered as a Permanent Mail Voter.

Q. about the Motion picture industry, with movies down 50% and TV down 70% in the state what more can be done for the industry in CA?
A. Scott referred to the movie Anchorman being filmed in Atlanta and that Toni Atkins (who had driven legislation in that area this year) was the right person to talk to.

Q. Will there be organized walking for the campaign in Coronado?
A. Yes, Coronado is one of the better areas of the district to walk as it’s flat, the houses are close together, and there’s a 25mph speed limit.

Q. Petitions, are they worth signing, do they garner attention?
A. Yes. Gives feedback on issues. Let’s office know what concerns people have. Scott’s office run petitions and they are not linked to money raising.

Q. Tom Jeter asked about renewables, fracking and natural gas and if it’s possible to make advances on both fronts together?
A. Yes. Driving both forward is important for example on fracking there are 4 factors that must be addressed:
1. Consumer protection
2. Water supply
3. Water quality
4. Methane release
UCSD based research has investigated swapping coal for natural gas good. It’s good but not if methane is leaked as a consequence, then it could be worse.
Scott pointed out that there are more electric vehicles in San Diego than any where else in the country.

Q. How was it working with Nancy Pelosi?
A. She is very hard working, and has mastered something that Soctt has yet to do, she knows how to fall asleep on planes.

Scott thanked us all for being engaged, and coming out on a beautiful Saturday morning.

(Somebody’s cell phone rang, and Scott recalled that in a meeting he had with Irwin Jacobs, Mr Jacobs cell phone went off, and nobody told him to turn it off. )

Voting starts at the beginning of October.

Announcements
Tom Bernitt (also a student at Southwestern) gave us an example from Ferguson, MO as to why she should vote in in Coronado. In Ferguson, MO 67% of the population is African American but in the last elections there was only a 6% turnout of African American voters.

Tom is the self-described – GOTeam Bubba for Coronado after the meeting you can review the local precinct map and he and Don Fink will generate walk/call lists for you chosen precincts.

William Rodriguez-Kennedy is a member of the Party Central Committee for 78AD and working on Scott Peters’ campaign. He’s a Marine veteran and former member of the Republican party having worked for a PAC that supported DeMaio, so he knows how far DeMaio will go to win. Although young Veterans tend to be conservative he’s working with Jack Hawkins on outreach to Veterans and he’s coordinating with clubs for walking and phone banking for Scott. He’s also working with local high school students. He wants to make sure that we never have Carl DeMaio representing the district.

Carrie Downey asked that we check out her Facebook page.

Howard Wayne reminded us that if we don’t get Democrats out to vote in November the results will look like 2010. In 2008 Obama received 8m voters to McCain’s 5m in California. In 2010 there were only 8m voters in total! In Coronado, and the 52, we will make the difference. For good or ill, we are the difference.

Adjournment
The Meeting adjourned at 12:05pm

September 6, 2014
General Meeting
Coronado Library

Photos: Susan Peinado.

If there are errors or omissions to these notes please let us know in the comments below.

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