PROTEST PLANNED MONDAY IN SAN DIEGO TO URGE PRESIDENTIAL VETO ON BILL ALLOWING INDEFINITE DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS
December 18, 2011 (San Diego) --San Diegans to Save the Bill of Rights, a coalition of local activists from progressive groups, plan a sit-in at San Diego County Democratic Party offices beginning Monday, December 19.
CONGRESS AVERTS GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN, BUT BATTLE LOOMS OVER PAYROLL TAX CUT, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND OTHER KEY ISSUES
By Miriam Raftery
December 16, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – Final votes are expected today in both houses on a compromise funding measure to avoid a government shut-down--just in time for the holiday adjounrment.
The deal came after Democrats conceded to Republican demands to remove extensions on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, which will be voted on separately.
Click here to view ECM’s video interview with Racquel Vasquez,Lemon Grove City Council candidate
Story by Miriam Raftery, video by Jack Winemiller
December 13, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – Racquel Vasquez clearly loves Lemon Grove. “I think it has great character, great appeal, and really great people,” she said in an exclusive video interview with East County Magazine.
Recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010, she also has a strong track record of public service with the cities of Lemon Grove and San Diego as well as the U.S. Navy. Her platform includes three goals: improving public safety for residents and businesses by creating a safe and walkable community, creating quality neighborhoods, and fostering economic development to help businesses thrive.
December 11, 2011 (Washington, DC) --U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (CA-52), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has been named to the congressional conference committee that will negotiate differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUPS FUTURE AT RISK; COUNTY TO HEAR RECOMMENDATIONS WEDNESDAY TO GUT OR ELIMINATE RURAL BOARDS
Proposals aim to sharply reduce communities’ input on major development projects
By Jeremy Los
Update Dec. 8, 2011 --After hearing a proposal yesterday to streamline the regulatory process for developers, Supervisors postponed a decision until Feb. 29, 2012.
Dec. 6, 2011- Local elected planning groups fear that their days are numbered, as the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will hear recommendations from the Red Tape Reduction Task Force on Wednesday.
Recommendations by the task force could greatly diminish community driven input on major developments in East County communities.
Editor’s note: When Governor Jerry Brown spoke at San Diego State University last year, he pledged to support public education and fight to restore funding. Now he seeks support from voters for a ballot initiative to raise funds to restore deep cuts made in funding for public schools including grades K-12, colleges, and universities in California.
December 7, 2011 (Sacramento)--When I became Governor again -- 28 years after my last term ended in 1983 -- California was facing a $26.6 billion budget deficit. It was the result of years of failing to match spending with tax revenues as budget gimmicks instead of honest budgeting became the norm.
December 7, 2011 (Ramona)-- East County residents will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of three candidates running against Congressman Duncan Hunter at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, December 7 at 6 p.m. in the Ramona Library, 1275 Main Street in Ramona . The three candidates are David Secor (D), Terri Linnell (R), and Connie Frankowiak (D).
LUTZ FILES CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT AGAINST BUILDING MANAGER OVER ARREST WHILE REGISTERING VOTERS AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA
Goldman Sachs is majority owner of property management firm headed by Senator Feinstein’s husband
Story by Miriam Raftery, photos by Ron Logan
November 30, 2011 (San Diego) –Startling ironies came to light today in the case of Ray Lutz, an East County political activist and former Democratic Congressional candidate arrested yesterday for refusing to move a voter registration table out of the Civic Center Plaza.
LEGAL EXPERTS BLAST SAN DIEGO FOR ARREST OF RAY LUTZ, FORMER CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, OVER VOTER REGISTRATIONS AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA
“This is what they do in banana republics and undemocratic societies.”—former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, calling arrest a violation of the Civil Rights Act and the First Amendment
By Miriam Raftery and Ron Logan
November 29, 2011 (San Diego) Updated November 30, 2011—Attorneys, civil rights activists and community leaders tonight are expressing outrage at the arrest tonight of Ray Lutz, former Democratic Congressional candidate who ran against Duncan Hunter in 2010 seeking to represent East County.
San Diego Police arrested Lutz late today for refusing to remove a voter registration table at the Civic Center Plaza downtown (dubbed "Freedom Plaza" by Occupy San Diego protesters). View arrest video.
November 23, 2011 (El Cajon) -- Senator Joel Anderson is inviting the local community to a holiday open house, Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. - 8 pm. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Avenue in El Cajon.
The holiday season is a time to reflect on the experiences of the past year and this open house will provide legislative updates. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided (Paid For With Private Funds, Not Tax Dollars). RSVPs are requested to ensure there are enough hors d’oeuvres and refreshment.
By Miriam Raftery
November 23, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The Congressional budtet “super committee” charged with reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years failed to reach a deal by Monday's deadline. This sets in motion triggers forcing automatic deep cuts starting January 2013 in Defense spending and social programs including Medicare, Social Security, veterans’ benefits and food stamps.
The six Republicans on the 12-member committee demanded spending cuts in domestic programs listed above and sought to extend Bush tax cuts. Democrats wanted to raise taxes on millionaires, minimize cuts to social programs and add stimulus spending aimed at creating jobs while off-setting costs with savings from ending the Iraq War.
November 15, 2011 (San Diego) – As a way to protect the federal workforce and visitors to federal facilities from secondhand smoke, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation Friday to ban all smoking in federal buildings across the nation.
“WORKING MAN” ENTERS RACE FOR CONGRESS: DAVID SECOR CHALLENGES HUNTER ON JOBS, SOCIAL SECURITY, EAST COUNTY POVERTY AND MORE
By Miriam Raftery
November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – “I’ve been a working man for 40 years,” says David Secor, a military veteran and resident of Crest who has thrown his hat in the ring as a Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat held currently by Republican Duncan D. Hunter.
“I am running to support the working men and women of this district…to be the representative of all the people in the district and to restore the American dream for all of our citizens.” (View a video of Secor speaking on addressing joblessness: http://www.davidsecorforcongress.com/jobvid.html)
Approving a 90% sewer rate hike, killing a commission that helps the elderly, and pushing for broad powers under charter city status were just some of the controversial actions taken
By Karen Marie Otter
November 9, 2011 (El Cajon)--It was fortuitous that I had the opportunity to attend the meeting of the El Cajon City Council last night. All I can say is, "Wow, what just happened?"
Members seek deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare, refuse to consider new revenue options
By Jeremy Los
November 3, 2011 (Washington D.C.– Deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are all on the table as the newly minted “budget super committee” in Congress works to slash trillions of dollars from the nation’s soaring debt.
November 4, 2011 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett did not violate the County’s conflict of interest rules in voting on issues related to SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink, according to a letter sent by Jarrett Ramaiya, Planning Manager at the Department of Planning and Land Use. That’s because DPLU has now determined that “the ACPG, including any of their subcommittees, does not have the authority to vote on the Sunrise Powerlink project, or any related action of SDG&E.”
“It looks like my purgatory is over,” Barnett wrote in a letter to ECM after learning the news.
November 1, 2011 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Lawyer Chapter and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society present: The Financial Crisis: “What is the Role of Government in Regulating Wall Street?”
The event will take place on Wednesday, November 9 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. at the San Diego County Bar Association, 1333 7th Avenue, San Diego.
By Jonathan Goetz
October 27, 2011 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon may become another in a string of cities to remove itself from the safeguards of state law and give “supreme authority” in municipal affairs to the city council. The measure is touted as a cost-savings step. But in some areas, charter city status has led to abuse and even fleecing of taxpayers—notably in Bell, California.
By Buck Shott
October 24, 2011 (San Diego) – Several East County participants have informed ECM that Occupy San Diego supporters will march to San Diego City Council’s meeting tomorrow morning, Tuesday October 25, to present a resolution supporting the protests. Afterwards, a protest at a Federal Reserve banker’s roundtable meeting in San Diego is planned.
The public can sign a petition asking Council members to support peaceful demonstrations by Occupy San Diego. The movement is protesting big banks and corporate influence on government that supporters believe are hurting the interests of "99 percent" of Americans. A similar resolution has been adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in support of Occupy Los Angeles.
October 22, 2011 (Rancho Penasquitos) – Assemblyman and Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) stopped by Rancho Penasquitos as part of an “education listening tour” on Friday.
But advocates for public education staged a protest outside the school, passing out flyers faulting Fletcher for repeatedly voting against measures that would have prevented painful cuts to schools in an era when California K-12 schools have fallen from among the top-ranked to nearly last in the nation.
Other topics include new “top two” primary system and Twitter ID thefts by GOP leader
October 20, 2011 (La Mesa)--How will final redistricting boundaries affect races in East County? What does the "top two" primary system really mean?
Find out from a Democratic perspective on Wednesday, November 2, when Jess Durfee, Chairman of the San Diego Democratic Party will be guest speaker at Foothills-La Mesa Democratic Club. The event will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa.
Local Republican Congressmen vote to deny emergency care to save mothers’ lives
By Shannon Michael
October 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Republican-controlled House this week passed a restrictive measure that would let hospitals refuse to provide an abortion even if urgently needed to save a woman’s life.
“The misnamed Protect Life Act is about allowing women to die if they need an emergency abortion,” said Meghan Rhoad at Human Rights Watch. “It is a vicious attack on women’s rights and on the most basic right to life.”
Local Republicans Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray, and Darrell Issa voted for the bill, H.R. 358, while San Diegio Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted against it.
October 15, 2011 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) announced a $790,000 federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services awarded to SAY San Diego for its work with low-income fathers to help them be better dads and husbands. Entitled “Project COMPASS” (Creating Options for Men to Participate Actively, Safely and Supportively), this program serves both civilian and military dads, including the more than 46,000 military personnel in San Diego who are fathers with children. The grant has an option to renew for an additional two years.
October 15, 2011 (Santee) – Born in San Diego on the 4th of July in 1925, Democratic leader Sarah Lowery passed away on October 5, 2011 of congestive heart failure. Active in politics at the local, state and national levels, the Santee resident was known for her passionate advocacy of civil rights and equality for all individuals. In 2001, the San Diego Democratic Party honored Lowery with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“She was a great patriot who believed so strongly in democracy that she wanted everyone to participate,” Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) reflected.
By Miriam Raftery
October 12, 2011 (Santee)—Without a squawk of opposition from the audience, the Santee City Council voted 3-2 to let city residents keep chickens. Roosters, however, are still banned, since only hens for egg production are allowed.
October 12, 2011 (La Mesa) –“We’re astounded,” Nancy Ryan, a La Mesa resident who asked the Council to adopt a resolution that would have declared the community a free-trade city, upon hearing that Council voted down the resolution 3-2 last night.
Mayor Art Madrid and Council member David Allan voted for the measure, while Council members Ruth Sterling, Mark Arapostathis and Ernest Ewin voted against it.