Did you know there are currently 11,000 survivors of politically motivated torture living right here in San Diego? This is a frightening but real statistic that is being compassionately addressed by a local non-profit organization called Survivors of Torture International (SURVIVORS). Since 1997, this amazing organization has been helping survivors and their families recover from their traumas through a holistic program that includes mental health, psychiatric and social services, as well as medical case management. SURVIVORS empowers these vulnerable individuals to reclaim the strength and vitality that were stolen from them by brutal dictators and governments and allows them to become self-sufficient and healthy members of our community. In addition, SURVIVORS educates professionals and the public about the plight of torture survivors and their families, and advocates for the abolition of torture throughout the world.
Every year, SURVIVORS holds a fundraising luncheon, called Helping Survivors Heal, to raise money to continue its mission. This year, more than 400 people attended, and the Coronado Democratic club was well represented at a table for 10, organized by Susan Enowitz. The luncheon was held on September 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel Hazard Center. Those who attended enjoyed a delicious lunch and were inspired by how SURVIVORS is creating a safe haven for torture survivors and helping them rebuild their lives. Most memorably, we heard inspiring and heartrending stories of resilience from some of the survivors themselves. There was not a dry eye in the house. All of the money donated at the luncheon will go directly to SURVIVORS’ programs and its clients.
To learn more about SURVIVORS, visit the website at www.notorture.org.
If you need transportation to our meetings or events please let us know. Although we seldom have evening events some people find night driving difficult. Please do not hesitate to call Frank King at 992-8929, or any other board member and we will provide transportation for you.
Members of the club are always welcome to attend our Board meetings. This is an opportunity to meet and interact with board members and also a chance to gain an insight into the issues facing the club. Of course your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Our next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5th in the library’s small conference room opposite the computers. Since the conference room has limited seating please call Frank King at 992-8929 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.
The Club’s next general membership meeting will be held on Sat., Nov. 4 in the Winn Room of the Coronado Public Library. The meeting will begin with coffee and light snacks at 10:30 am; the business portion will be called to order at 11:00 am.
Our program for November will feature our Assembly member, Todd Gloria. He will discuss the Legislature’s accomplishments for 2017 and his agenda for 2018. The presentation will include time for questions and answers.
Also scheduled to appear is Matt Brower, who is challenging censured Judge Gary Kreep for Superior Court. He will introduce himself and seek our endorsement.
We look forward to a most interesting program, and to recognizing the important work that our representatives in Sacramento do every day to advance the interests of all Californians.
– Frank King
Our President, Ron Mandelbaum is resigning his office as of September 16, 2017 the date of the next General Meeting. In accordance with our bylaws the board has appointed our Vice-President, Frank King to the office of President and Tom Bernitt to the office of Vice-President effective as of that date.
These appointments must be ratified by the membership, which will be sought at the September 16, 2017 meeting.
Most of our general meetings are on a Saturday morning although once in awhile we do have an event in the evening. We have some members who would like to attend our meetings or events but need transportation. If any member needs a ride to a meeting or event, please do not hesitate to call any of the board members and we will provide transportation for you.
The Coronado Democratic Club is known as a group that “Lends A Hand”. Since the 2016 election we have brought hygiene products to Survivors of Torture International and Jewish Family Services, which are groups that work with marginalized members of our community. The club’s next project is with the Iraqi Chaldeans who live in El Cajon.
Within the Chaldean community there is an effort to help people find jobs and engage in job training. A new apprentice program has identified 15 individuals who need proper clothing for professional jobs and or job interviews. To help in this effort, we will collect men’s dress shirts, slacks, shoes, ties and women’s blouses, skirts, slacks, and shoes. A member of the Chaldean community has lined up a tailor to assist in alterations, etc. If you have any of these items you are willing to donate, please bring them in a bag to the September 16 Democratic Club meeting or give Susan Enowitz a call to pick them up, 619-861-5778. Susan will make sure they are delivered.
Today El Cajon has a Chaldean population of over 60,000, which makes this city the home of the second largest Chaldean community in the United States after Detroit. While these refugees have found a safe haven here, the friends or relatives they left behind in Iraq now face what one man calls “a Christian genocide.” New refugees from Syria are landing in El Cajon. Local groups like the Minority Humanitarian Foundation and the Chaldean Democratic Club are doing their best to offer social services. These groups are currently running a campaign to find jobs for refugees and they welcome our help. Won’t you lend a hand?
If you want to learn more about this community and the Chaldean culture, you can visit the exhibit at the New Americans Museum in Liberty Station.
The next general membership meeting will be held on Saturday, September 16 in the Winn Room of the Coronado Library.
Coffee and light snacks will be served at 10:30 am, and the meeting will be called to order at 11:00 am.
Our featured speaker will be Ann Marie Bryan, Professor of World History at Grossmont College. She is also a Coronado High School graduate and staff writer for the Coronado Times.
Prof. Bryan will give a presentation on the Middle East in a historical context.
Kate Lyon from Representative Scott Peters’ office also will be present at our September meeting.
This promises to be an interesting and informative meeting.
– Frank King
We had a blast (no pun intended) marching in the parade. Our banner led the way for members walking, on bikes, and in cars and marchers of all ages! If you missed it this year, there were so people all along the route cheering us on. It was memorable and moving to have that support for our club and party. Below is the script the announcers used as we marched by them.
Coronado Democratic Club is proud to participate in “A Salute to America”. Our Democratic Club strongly supports our military, public schools, equality of all people, religious freedom, and our constitution. The Democratic Club continues to do our part to preserve and respect our natural resources and environment. The Democratic Club shares in your love of our country and the freedoms we stand for.
Next year we will again be out marching and hope you will join us. We can provide rides to and from the parade. We hope to see you there in 2018, a critical year with the mid-term elections!
Update: Thank you and congratulations to Richard McKnight who has volunteered to be our new GO Team Chairperson!
The Go Team is made up of club volunteers who, prior to elections canvas their voter precinct and contact registered Democrats to answer questions and distribute voting recommendation materials.
The club extends a big thank you to Tom Bernitt, who ably and enthusiastically served as GO Team chair for the past several election cycles. Through Tom’s efforts, our club put volunteers in many precincts in Coronado and helped elect Democrats to office. This work is vital to our mission. Tom is unable to continue in this position and the club is now looking for a new GO Team Chair.
Luckily for us, Don Fink will continue to use his expertise to compile the data gathered from the precinct workers.
The duties of the chairperson are as follows:
1. Connect with GO Team San Diego county/attend meeting(s) and be the contact person between our club and the San Diego Democratic party’s main office.
2. Plan/arrange kick-off meetings and any follow-up meetings as indicated.
3. Provide volunteers with instructions
4. Coordinate material handout
5. Work with Don Fink who is the data-guy. Help to get materials to him on time (includes dropping work sheets off at his residence)
6. Monitor progress throughout the election cycle
7. Understand how to work the GO Team website
8. Attend club board meetings to update board on GO Team progress