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DEM PARTY CHAIR TO SPEAK IN EL CAJON FEB. 20

 

February 18, 2014 (El Cajon)- - Francine Busby, Chair of the San Diego Democratic Party and Executive Director of Run Women Run, an organization that recruits progressive women to run for political office, will be speaking at the East County Democratic Club meeting on February 20 at 7 p.m.  

FAULCONER ELECTED NEXT SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

By Nadin Abbott; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

February 12, 2014 (San Diego) Republican Councilmember Kevin Faulconer was elected as the next San Diego City Mayor in the special election by a substantial margin. The Registrar of Voters final tally has Kevin Faulconer with 12,7296 votes, translating to 54.53% of the vote, and David Alvarez with 11,4478 votes, translating to 45.47%.

Faulconer’s election opens a vacancy on the Council—and an opportunity for Democrats to pick up a consolation prize. The Democratic-controlled Council will name Faulconer’s replacement, which is expected to give Democrats enough votes to override a mayoral veto.  Still with San Diego’s strong mayor form of government, Faulconer will have many options for implementing his policies without Council approval.

CITY OF SAN DIEGO SETTLES WITH IRENE McCORMACK JACKSON

By Nadin Abbott

 

February 11, 2014 (San Diego)-- Yesterday City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told reporters, “The lawsuit filed by Irene McCormack Jackson based upon claims of sexual harassment against former Mayor Bob Filner has been settled.” The settlement was agreed unanimously by the City Council. Under the settlement, the City will pay McCormack Jackson $250,000 as full settlement including attorney’s fees.

HUNTER BILL TO CREATE SAFE PUBLIC SHOOTING RANGES PASSES HOUSE

 

February 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – This week, the House of Representatives passed legislation that includes the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, a bipartisan and deficit-neutral measure introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) to help states create and maintain public shooting ranges for hunters and sportsmen.

DAVIS AMENDMENT TO KEEP EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE PART OF CONSERVATION DECISIONS KILLED BY HOUSE

 

 

February 7, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) joined her colleagues in offering an amendment to let the Secretary of the Interior include climate change in considering decisions on conservation and recreation on public lands.  The amendment was an effort to improve a House majority bill attempting to undermine environmental protections for National Parks.  However, the House Republican majority blocked the amendment’s passage.

OBAMA ENDORSES ALVAREZ FOR MAYOR; SAN DIEGANS HEAD TO POLLS TUESDAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

San Diegans head to the polls on Tuesday to elect the city’s next mayor.   Councilmembers David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer are vying for the spot.  The race is a classic matchup pitting interests of working people vs. big business.  Urban poor and minorities vs. wealthy powerbrokers   Boosting budgets to help those in need vs. belt tightening and fiscal restraint.

As the election draws near, some high-profile endorsements have been announced.  Today, President Barack Obama weighed in on San Diego’s mayoral race, throwing his support behind Alvarez.

ANDERSON BILL AIMS TO PULL THE PLUG ON NSA SPYING ON CALIFORNIANS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2014 (Sacramento)—Two California legislators have teamed up in an effort to curtail the National Security Agency (NSA) from warrantless surveillance of all Americans.  Senate Bill 828 is coauthored by  Republican State Senators Joel Anderson, who represents most of East County, and Democrat Ted Lieu from Torrance.

“I support this bill because I support the Constitution, our Fourth Amendment rights and our freedoms to live in the United States of America,” Senator Anderson stated in a press release.

The bill would prohibit state agencies and officials, as well as corporations that provide services to the state, from assisting the NSA in collecting data without warrants on 38 million Californians. Services that the NSA relies upon include power and water needed to cool its powerful supercomputers. 

DROUGHT SETS UP WATER FIGHT IN HOUSE

By Lori Abbott, Public News Service-CA



 


February 3, 2014 (Sacramento) - Emergency drought-relief legislation for California is heading to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill by Central Valley lawmakers would halt the restoration of the San Joaquin River and send more water to farmers. In announcing the bill, Rep. David Valadao blamed California's water shortages primarily on failed government policies.

JACOB CALLS FOR COUNTY-RUN ELECTRIC UTILITY TO GIVE CONSUMERS ALTERNATIVES TO SDG&E

 

State of the County address also calls for improved public safety, oversight of senior care facilities, and support for agricultural entrepreneurs

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2014 (San Diego) – In her state of the county address yesterday, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob  said the County has saved nearly $2 million a year by buying 90 percent of its electricity from sources other than SDG&E.  “The problem is, consumers don’t have the same right. You can’t shop around like the County.  But if it’s good enough for government, it should be good enough for you,” she said, then announced support for a community choice aggregation to give consumers new choices in where to buy electric power.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESIDENT’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2014 (Washington D.C.) -- President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday with a theme of “opportunity for all.”  He pledged to make this a “year of action” to restore the promise of American and opportunities for every American.   View the full video here, or scroll down for highlights.

The President said that after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher and those at the top have never done better – but average wages have barely budged, inequality has deepened, and upward mobility has stalled.  “The cold hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by—let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all,” he said.

He then laid out a set of goals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. His goals include executive actions he plans to take as well as other actions that would require Congressional approval.

LA MESA ANNOUNCES TOWN HALL MEETINGS FEB. 6 and 18

 

January 27, 2014 (La Mesa) --In an on-going commitment to communicate with residents, the La Mesa City Council will host two Town Hall Meetings. These open-forum sessions provide an opportunity for citizens to share their ideas, comments, and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City.

BLOCK TO INTRODUCE BILL FOR OVERSIGHT REFORMS OF ELDERLY CARE FACILITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2014 (San Diego)—State Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) has announced he will introduce Senate Bill 911 to provide oversight  and reforms of residential elderly care facilities (RECF).    

Investigative reports by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and newspapers around the state have highlighted lack of training standards, neglect, ineffective penalties and inadequate enforcement plaguing residential care facilities. According to an in-depth investigative report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, hundreds of seniors have suffered broken bones, deadly bedsores and sexual assaults in San Diego alone.  More troubling, since 2008, 27 elderly residents have died from injuries and neglect suffered in San Diego County RCFEs.

CAMPAIGN SERVICES PRO ARRAIGNED FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE CRIMES IN SAN DIEGO RACES

Ravneet Singh Allegedly Facilitated Nearly $300,000 in Illegal Foreign Contributions to Campaigns in San Diego, including D.A. Bonnie Dumanis, ex-Mayor Bob Filner and a federal candidate

As part of conspiracy, Former SDPD Detective Ernesto Encinas Allegedly Sought to Fire Sam Diego’s Chief of Police and Pick His Replacement

January 23, 2014 (San Diego)--Ravneet Singh,  proprietor of Washington, D.C.-based ElectionMall, Inc., was arraigned January 21 on charges that he conspired to finance political campaigns using money from an illegal foreign source. Singh was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents on Friday, January 17,  pursuant to an arrest warrant.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ PROPOSES PAID SICK DAYS FOR CALIFORNIA'S WORKERS

 

Gonzalez’s AB 1522 Would Require Workers Are Compensated For At Least Three Days Lost To Illness Annually

January 22, 2014 (San Diego) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) this week announced she has introduced legislation to guarantee workers in California at least three days of paid sick leave annually.

GOVERNOR DELIVERS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS; LOCAL LEGISLATORS REACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2014 (Sacramento) – In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown emphasized the state’s improving economic outlook while also pledging to “pay down our debts and remember the lessons of history.”   He also laid out a long-term water plan for the state, renewed calls for water conservation amid a drought declaration, and vowed to continue reforming school funding and battling climate change.

COUNTY SERVICES IN JEOPARDY IF CONGRESS FAILS TO PASS PILT

 

January 21, 2014 (Washington D.C)--America’s counties will have no option but to severely reduce or eliminate critical county services to the public if Congress fails to deliver funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus spending bill.

Without annual PILT payments, many services including fire and emergency medical services, search and rescue, public health, law enforcement and justice operations could be affected. In many cases, counties will face more severe consequences including insolvency, default, and bankruptcy.

DEMOCRATS KILL JONES' BILL TO EXPAND DEFINITION OF SERIOUS FELONIES

 

January 20, 2014 (Sacramento)-- On a strict 5-2 party-line vote, Democrat committee members killed legislation by Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) last week that would add human trafficking, solicitation to commit murder and felony child abuse to the list of “serious crimes” in the Penal Code. Assembly Bill (AB) 1321 was defeated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

“I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not,” said Assemblyman Jones.  “The Democrats are more fearful about prison overcrowding than they are of dangerous felons roaming the streets.”

A REVIEW OF JUAN VARGAS’ FIRST YEAR IN CONGRESS

 

By Jordan Schaffner

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

January 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – What has Congressman Juan Vargas accomplished during his first year in office and how effectively is he representing his constituents?

The answer varies, with the Congressman showing strong interest in representing the interests of Latinos, seniors, and labor interests -- while largely ignoring the interests of rural constitutents and enviornmentalists concerned over the industralization of East County with large-scale energy projects.

TO HONOR MARTIN LUTHER KING’S LEGACY, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL FOR RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT

 

By Mark Gavit

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we look back 50 years, to when Dr. King shared his wise words with the nation, words which altered the nations views on civil injustice.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly," Dr. King wrote in 1963. Half a century later the words are just as relevant to today's society.

Dr. King fought for enactment of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Civil Rights Act, to assure equal rights for all Americans.  But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act -- and now a bipartisan coalition of Senators hopes to restore the Voting Rights Act's powers.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: WEEK OF JANUARY 20

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --  What’s on the agenda this week at local boards and commissions impacting East County?   Find out in our Local Government Report.  This week, we have information on meetings in Lemon Grove, Santee, La Mesa and Jamul.

VACANCY ON LAKESIDE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

 

The Lakeside Community Planning Group announces a vacancy  in seat #1 due to the resignation of Chad Ennis.  Applications are now being accepted to fill the seat. The original two-year term of office expires January 1, 2015.

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER TO ADDRESS EAST COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CLUB JANUARY 16

 

January 14, 2014 (El Cajon) –El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford and Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works Majed Al-Ghafry will be the guest speakers at the East County Democratic Club meeting on Thursday, January 16.  The event will be held at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon at 7 p.m., with social hour/dinner at 6 p.m.

SUPERVISOR JACOB NAMED BOARD CHAIRWOMAN FOR 2014

 

Source: County News Service

January 8, 2014 (San Diego) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob was named chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors for 2014 Tuesday in the Board’s first meeting of the new year.

Board members voted unanimously to appoint Jacob as chairwoman, Supervisor Bill Horn as vice chairman and Supervisor Dave Roberts as chairman pro tem for 2014.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- What's on the agenda this week for the County Supervisors, Councils in Lemon Grove and Santee, Lakeside's Community Planing Group and Helix Water Board?  Find out below.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS IN 2014

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2013 (Sacramento)--A flurry of new laws are slated to take effect in California in the New Year.  Here are a few of the new laws that could affect you, your family, or your business:

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS INSTAR BALES TO FILL VACANT CITY COUNCIL SEAT

Instar "Star" Bales takes oath of office, alongside her husband, Gerald

By Janis Mork

December 19, 2013 (El Cajon)- At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, Council appointed InStar Bales, an Iraqi Chaldean woman who has served on the planning commission, to fill the Council vacancy after interviewing 27 candidates.

After the meeting, Bales told ECM that she is “very honored” to be chosen.  “When Councilman Bob McClellan said my name, I cried a little bit,” admitted Bales, whose integrity and willigness to stand up against special interests as a planning commission member were key factors in Council's decision to select her.

REP. SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PRE-K EDUCATION

 

December 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to expand access to Pre-K education.  The EARLY Act (Expanded Access to Real Learning for our Young Act) would establish a competitive grant program where states could receive federal funding to make Pre-K education available to families with a combined income of up to 400% of the federal poverty line.

“The argument for universal Pre-K is not just a lofty moral imperative – it’s also good science and economics,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Kids who receive high-quality early education are more likely to achieve success in both school and life. The research shows they’re more likely to graduate high school, earn higher pay, and live more productive lives.”

CANDIDATES FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL REFLECT DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND VIEWS

Photo:  Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council.  This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting.  The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.

REP. HUNTER BACKS USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IF AIR STRIKE IS LAUNCHED AGAINST IRAN

 

East County Rep also calls Middle Easterners liars, draws fire for remarks

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated 8:40 p.m. – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has long been known as a hawk on military matters.   But in an interview on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this week, the former Marine went further, voicing support for use of "tactical nuclear devices" if the U.S. launches an air strike against Iran. He backed use of tactical, or non-strategic nuclear weapons to set Iran's reported effort at developing a nuclear weapon "back a decade, or two or three."

Hunter, whose San Diego region district includes over 80,000 Middle Eastern immigrants, also ignited controversy when he stated,”In the Middle Eastern culture, it is looked upon with very high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes. That includes lying.”  (View video of full interview.)

EL CAJON COUNCIL TO INTERVIEW CANDIDATES FOR VACANCY ON DECEMBER 10

 

December 5, 2013 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council received 27 applications for the currently vacant councilmember position. The application period closed yesterday 

The City Council is scheduled to interview applicants in Council chambers at the 7:00 p.m. Council meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

A list of applicants is below.

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