By Ann Nye —
NOTE: A video of the meeting can be seen after this article.
Connie Sullivan, PV Dems President, opened the Palos Verdes Democrats February 19 meeting and said a few words about President Carter who announced he is in in-home hospice care. She was totally shocked about this announcement since a few hours before that announcement she saw on twitter a video of him walking the aisles in economy class coach shaking the hands of all the passengers. The person who posted the video said, “Jimmy Carter, the people’s president.”
Connie talked about the assembly district elections and announced the Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMS) 2023 results for our 66 AD. PV Dems Activism Chair, Caryl Schwartz, was the winner on the female side. You can view all the ADEMS results here. Read Connie’s CA Democratic Party Report article about the appeal made after the results came out.
The CA Democratic State Party Convention is back in person and in Los Angeles! CADEM is looking for dedicated volunteers to help make this event to elect new Regional Directors, adopt resolutions and begin organizing for 2024 a success. The convention will take place May 26-28, 2023 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE and at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and over 500 volunteers are needed to assist with a wide range of tasks – registration, credentialing of convention attendees, greeting guests, or lending a hand wherever needed. All volunteers will receive an Observer Pass to attend events typically reserved only for credentialed delegates, after you’ve completed your volunteer shifts! Connie mentioned she was a volunteer the last time the convention was at this location and claimed she had more fun as a volunteer than when she became a delegate. The link to sign up to volunteer will be posted on our website soon.
Caryl Schwartz, PV Dems Activism Chair, is focused on the critical election for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court on April 4. Please read Caryl’s Activism article and go to our website’s Activism tab.
Preview the PV Dems March19 and April 16 meetings in our Save the Date article.
For Black History Month, Connie had asked Harold Williams, Water Basin Municipal Water District Director, Division I, to speak, but he couldn’t make it due to a schedule conflict. She noted that Harold, a long time PV Dems member, is the only African American elected official who represents us.
In light of Black History Month, I talked about the legendary debate in February 1965 between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley with the Cambridge Union Debating and Free Speech Society in Cambridge, England. The question they debated was, “Is the American Dream at the Expense of American Negros?” This debate question is still painfully relevant today.
Each side had 15 minutes to debate their position and Baldwin went first. At the beginning, Baldwin questioned, if the 15th amendment wasn’t honored for the last 100 years, how can he have much faith that the 1965 Civil Rights amendment will make much of a difference either. While I encouraged everyone to listen to the full debate here, I spoke about a few key moments during their meeting, one at minute 22:00 and another at minute 33:47. The first is Baldwin saying, “I picked the cotton…and I built the railroads under someone else’s whip for nothing …” and the second one reflected on former attorney general Robert Kennedy’s 1965 observation that in 40 years we may have a Negro president. Baldwin questioned why Kennedy could become president “when he only got here yesterday and he’s already on his way to the presidency.” “We’ve been here 400 years and now he tells us that maybe in 40 years if you’re good, we may let you become president.” It took 43 years for Obama to be the first Black president.
Baldwin’s elegy starts at 14:40 and Buckley’s response starts at 39:00. At the end of Baldwin’s assertion, the debate audience gave him a standing ovation. The debate narrator said he had never seen this happen before. At the end of the debate, they took a vote of the audience and Baldwin won 544 to 164 over Buckley.
A report of our featured speaker journalist Michael Hiltzik, may be found in the February Meeting Report article.
Here is the PV Dems January Treasurer’s Report from Treasurer Al Shadbourne: