By Nancie Silver —
The Palos Verdes Democrats gathered in person for the 2023 picnic at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon, July 16. Many of the more than 120 attendees purchased delicious meals provided by Lunada Bay Market while others brought their own food, and the club provided a variety of drinks. The warm weather and beautiful venue made for a perfect event!
We had a full line-up of speakers from local, county and state government. Ann Nye, PV Dems 2nd VP, emceed the event, with additional comments from PV Dems President Connie Sullivan.
St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church Pastor, Rev Joshua Yee, opened the event by welcoming us to their beautiful garden, where they host summer concerts on the last Sunday of the month, 5 pm to 7 pm. Ann Nye recognized the other elected officials in attendance, including Water Replenishment District Board Member Rob Katherman, LA Superior Court Judge Tom Long, and West Basin Municipal Water District Board President Scott Houston.
This year we were fortunate to have a local Palos Verdes Student Environmental Advocacy (PV SEA) group join us to discuss their mission, goals, and upcoming South Bay Youth Climate March taking place on Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 am in Wilmington. The students are marching to protest the proximity of oil refineries to schools in underrepresented areas. Follow them on Instagram at @pvseadvocacy or visit their website at https://sustainableenvironmentaladviso.godaddysites.com.
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn kicked off the event with her enthusiastic support for our club, and the importance of working to elect Democratic candidates and voting for Democrats. She spoke about the devastating RHE landslide, and what is being done to support the affected families. Supervisor Hahn congratulated the Palos Verdes SEA students for their important work building a new generation of students dedicated to Democratic values and goals.
RPV Council members Eric Alegria and Paul Seo spoke about the local challenges facing their city and congratulated the local students for their environmental advocacy work. They also mentioned the creation of a RPV Youth Advisory Council to bring young voices into local government.
PVPUSD Board Member Sara Deen talked about the importance of standing up for Democratic values related to treatment of marginalized students and teaching materials in the local school district. She gave a passionate plea to attendees to support PVPUSD Board President Ami Gandhi in her re-election next year. Ami Gandhi focused on progress by the school board in her first year, as well as the search for a new district Superintendent.
PV Library District Board Member Zoe Unno discussed the issue of book banning as it related to library materials.
Torrance Unified School District Board Member Betty Lieu spoke about support for STEM education and support for mental health services for students.
Writers Guild of America member Gary Wright discussed the current writers’ strike and the important negotiation issues of pay, streaming residuals, and more.
LA County Sheriff Robert Luna discussed the tremendous number of issues facing the Department since he was elected last year, and the slow but steady progress he is making to change the culture and implement changes. He also discussed the difficulty of hiring new officers and encouraged everyone to focus on the positive behaviors of most police officers.
Assembly member Al Muratsuchi, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, spoke about the criticism he faced after not supporting a bill negatively affecting transgender students.
The final speaker was Congressman Ted Lieu who championed all the successes of the Biden administration, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that makes big investments in the nation’s roads, bridges and rails, access to high-speed internet, and much more; the Inflation Reduction Act that lowers costs for families, combats the climate crisis, reduces the deficit, and makes the largest corporations pay their fair share; the CHIPS and Science Act that ensures more American-made technologies and semiconductors, and more manufacturing jobs and lower costs for goods; and, the PACT Act that increases benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans.
At the end of his comments, Congressman Lieu delivered the oath of office to the 2023-24 Palos Verdes Democrats Slate of Officers. To see photos from the event, visit our July Summer Picnic photo gallery.