PV Dems September Newsletter

Upcoming Meetings

By Ann Nye – Save the Dates for our upcoming monthly meeting.

The theme for our October 15 meeting is Legislative Action to Address the Climate Crisis

Our meeting starts at 2:30 pm, but join us at 2 pm to chat with other Democrats.  

We are meeting in-person at the Peninsula Center Library Community Room.  Zoom access will be provided for those who cannot attend in-person.

Our featured speaker is Jeff Cohlberg, a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) since 2016.  Jeff spoke to our club in January 2019 when his talk focused on CCL’s hopes to gain bipartisan support in the new Congress.  A lot has changed since then and CCL, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy climate change organization, has expanded their climate solutions to include: 1) Price on carbon, 2) Healthy forests, 3) Building electrification and efficiency, and 4) Clean energy permitting reform.

Jeff Cohlberg, a native of Philadelphia, attended Cornell University and UC Berkeley and spent 41 years as a professor of biochemistry at California State University, Long Beach, retiring in 2016.  After many years in Long Beach, he moved to Rolling Hills Estates in 2003.  He served as President of the Long Beach ACLU in the early 1990’s.

Our November meeting will be a week earlier on November 12 and will only be on Zoom; the theme is TBD.

PV Dems Board Announces New 1st Vice President

Please join us in welcoming Rob Wynne as the new 1st VP to the PV Dems Board.

Robert Wynne is the president of Wynne Communications, a public relations and events company based in the South Bay.  He and his family have lived in Palos Verdes Estates for 11 years.

He has provided public relations strategy and counsel to business schools at Cornell, TCU, MIT, Johns Hopkins and others.  He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is a former board member of the PV Homeowners Association.  In his spare time he plays tennis.


September Meeting Report – What’s Happening With Our Schools

By Nancie Silver —

The Palos Verdes Democrats met in person at the Peninsula Main Library and on Zoom.  First, Ann introduced the PV Students Environmental Advocacy group (SEA) and their spokesperson, Reina Jo, to hear about what they have been doing to encourage student activism, to grow their organization, and to register/pre-register students to vote.

The main presentation focused on what is happening in the PVPUSD school district and featured four speakers:

  • Dr. Sara Deen, PVPUSD Board Member, elected to a four-year term in 2022, and President of the South Coast Interfaith Council
  • Al Muratsuchi, Assemblymember and Chair of the Education Committee, and advocate for our schools
  • Dr. Tim Coleman, President of the Palos Verdes Faculty Association, and a Peninsula High School teacher; Tim held a fabulous TEDx talk at PENHS five years ago, titled If You Can Do, Teach, to inspire his students and encourage more to go into teaching
  • Paul DiCarmine, Founder of a Facebook group called Reasonable Parents of Palos Verdes. Paul had Covid so he joined via Zoom. Paul talked to us in May about how he got ‘Activated’ to create Reasonable Parents, a non-partisan, grassroots group of PV parents, teachers, and school staff collaborating to ensure that PVPUSD policies are evidence-based and grounded in objective truth and reason.

Unfortunately, Palos Verdes Estates Mayor Jim Roos was unable to join us via Zoom because he had Covid and wasn’t feeling well.

Please read the full report and check out more photos and the video here.

From the Activism Chair

By Carol Moeller —

There are critical elections this Fall and your participation in educating voters will make a big difference!  Issues matter!  Women’s Reproduction Rights, Gun Safety, Education, Climate Change, Voter Suppression are all on the ballot.  Join me and Work to Save Democracy for our children and grandchildren.  We are fighting Authoritarianism in every election.

Phone Banks:  If you’ve ever joined a phone bank, these new types are fun!  You connect with the bank leaders and other participants via zoom, and your phone is used to make calls (many use automatic dialers) disguising your number and at no cost to you.  Phone banking is where help is needed most.

Call for Change has a Phone Bank every Sunday from 3-5 PM starting Oct 1 and they give a choice of elections to choose from while providing training and tech support.   It’s a large phone bank (150- 200 participants), they are well organized plus they give background on the campaigns.  https://www.mobilize.us/call4change/event/568463/  Here are their current choices:

KENTUCKY:  The Democratic governor (Andy Beshear) is running for re-election, and he is the only safeguard against that state’s ruby red repressive bills.

VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES November election: Help flip Virginia to Blue! In Virginia, Republicans control the House of Delegates as well as the Governorship (Glenn Youngkin).  Your efforts will help Dems hold the VA Senate and flip the House of Delegates!

HELP US WIN BACK THE HOUSE AS WE CALL INTO CALIFORNIA:  The road to winning the House back is through California.  We’ll be calling into CA 13, 22 and 27!

Text Banks:  Here’s an opportunity to learn text banking: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/405150/

Letter writing: Vote Forward Letters:  https://votefwd.org/campaigns (sign up for Virginia or Kentucky campaigns).

Postcards:  To help, go to Postcards To Voters, text “join” to Abby the text bot at 484-275-2229.

LACDP Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner

By Connie Sullivan —

This year’s Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held at the LA Convention Center.  The date of the event is Sunday, October 15.

Our Assembly District 66 Democrats of the Year are both from the Beach Cities – Susan Goodlerner and Al Lay.  Susan is the vice president of the Beach Cities Democrats and an alternate to the LACDP. Al is the founder and long-time president of the LAX Area Democratic Club.  Both are very deserving of this prestigious award.  For more information about this event, the main annual fundraiser for the LACDP, click on this link: https://www.lacdp.org/roosevelt2023

LACDP Report

By Jon Munoz —

The LACDP meeting was held on Tuesday, September 13.  A large part of the meeting was spent on updating the status of various labor issues.  The advancement of a bill mandating a statewide minimum wage of $25 per hour for nurses was key among them.  The labor committee reaffirmed its support for SAG, WGA and SEIU during their current strikes.  Support for an increase in minimum wage for fast food workers and a planned action at Kaiser-Permanent also were noted.  On the legislative front, two  bills that were approved for endorsement have already been approved by the California Senate.  AB 316 requires in-person supervision of autonomous vehicles over 10,000 pounds and SB 403 prohibits discrimination based on caste.  AB 316 was not signed by Governor Newsom; SB 403  still awaits his signature.

Climate Corner September 2023 – In Celebration of the Arch, Romans, and…Oroville Dam?

By Fraser Perkins —

Though the Mesopotamians invented the arch, the Romans refined, perfected, and incorporated it into their bridges, aqueducts, and buildings.  The utility of the arch comes from its ability to distribute a load along its entire span, not just in the middle of the arch.  The same principle applies also to dam construction.  Flip an arch on its side with the convex surface facing a force and it works just as well on its side, as it does when oriented vertically.  The Bureau of Reclamation finished Hoover Dam in 1935 on the Colorado River with just this arrangement – convex side facing upstream and concave side facing downstream.

Regrettably, cement arch dams have a major flaw – they fare poorly in major earthquakes and risk failure, making them unsuitable in California.  Enter the embankment dam.  An embankment dam, though far less elegant than the delicate, graceful curve of an arch dam, does well in earthquakes.  In its usual form an embankment dam has a core of clay buried under rock, gravel, or earth, and covered with concrete.  Oroville Dam is such an embankment dam.  Sadly, embankment dams like Oroville also have a potential flaw.  If water flows over the top, called overtopping in dam-speak, the entire structure is at risk of catastrophic collapse – like a sandcastle disintegrating before a wavelet.

Oroville Dam, completed in 1961 to impound the Feather River, contains both a primary spillway and an emergency spillway to prevent overtopping.  It was also designed to withstand likely floods.  Sadly, since 1961 several factors have undermined confidence in Oroville Dam.

Read the rest of the article about how Climate Change is necessitating the upgrade of our water infrastructure.

Color Me a Democrat – September 2023

The Road to Misogyny  By Fraser Perkins —

In the 2022 Case Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe, allowing individual states to set abortion policy.  In April 2023, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk halted approval of mifepristone, a key drug in medical abortions which now account for over half of all abortions performed nationwide.

Former President Trump caused this erosion of abortion rights.  He not only appointed three judges to the Supreme Court, all of whom sided with the six justice majority in the Dobbs decision, but also appointed Judge Kacsmaryk to the Amarillo Division of the Northern District of Texas encompassing the Texas Panhandle.  This one two punch against abortion rights upended Roe v Wade, left wide swaths of the country without a single abortion provider, and provided a clear distinction, with a difference, between most Democrats and most Republicans.

The Dobbs decision has been well documented, but the narrative behind Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling banning mifepristone deserves equal consideration and consternation.   Read how it was no accident that the mifepristone case landed in Amarillo.

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