Workers Rights and the Middle Class

Robert Reich has a great column in today's San Francisco Chronicle. As he writes about the Republican Party's battle against public employee unions across the country:

This war on workers' rights is an assault on the middle class, and it is undermining the American economy.

The American economy can't get out of neutral until American workers have more money in their pockets to buy what they produce. And unions are the best way to give them the bargaining power to get better pay.

Worried about income inequality? You should be worried about this.

Afghanistan and Iraq Highlight Our National Priorities and Choices

NPR has a story about how the U.S. military is spending $20.2 billion for air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If we are going to have troops in that climate, providing air conditioning is absolutely the right thing to do. But that figure should make us all wonder about our national priorities.

After all, as Alternet's Joshua Holland noted on Twitter this afternoon using data from the National Priorities Project, $20.2 billion could also:

help 9.9 million children get health insurance give 2.4 million university scholarships hire 295,267 elementary school teachers create 2.5 million Head Start slots provide wind energy to 11.6 million homes hire 337,522 firefighters

So, what does this say about our national priorities?

Diablo Valley Democrats will Table July 4 in Concord’s Todos Santos Park

Join the Diablo Valley Democratic Club to register voters and distribute information about the club and its projects at a table the club is hosting during July 4 festivities at Concord's Todos Santos Park from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Email Edi Birsan ( to sign up to volunteer  for a time slot.

East County Democrats for Action Host Mayors’ Symposium on June 29

The East County Democrats for Action will host a Mayors Symposium featuring the mayors from Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, and Pittsburg on Wednesday, June 29, from 7-9 p.m. at the Antioch City Council Chambers, 200 H Street, Antioch.

At the meeting the club will discuss local community concerns like budget deficits and layoffs, foreclosures, public education, and crime.

For more information, visit the East County Democrats for Action's web site.

Join Us for a Taste of California Summer Event on July 23 with Special Guest U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Join us Saturday, July 23, 2011 for a Taste of California Summer. The event will feature a Special Guest: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, who will be introduced by U.S. Representative George Miller.

The event, sponsored by the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County, will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the Shadelands Ranch, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Click here to purchase your event tickets today!

General tickets are $50 with Friend tickets for $100, Advocate tickets for $250, Sponsor Tickets for $500, and Host Committee memberships available at $1000. Host committee members will be listed on future correspondence and have other special opportunities. Contact Melody at 925-299-1612 for more information. 

Please click here to download a pdf of the Taste of . . . → Read More: Join Us for a Taste of California Summer Event on July 23 with Special Guest U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Join the Lamorinda Democratic Club and March in the Orinda July 4 Parade

The Lamorinda Democratic Club invites you to join them at the Orinda Fourth of July parade! Club members will be marching again this year.

Join the club in the Orinda BART station's parking lot on the east side of Camino Pablo between 8:45-9:30 a.m. (please note updated time). The parade starts promptly at 10 a.m.!

Wear your Democratic t-shirts and buttons and great ready to show your Democratic spirit!

The Lamorinda Democratic Club will also have a booth in front of the old Orinda library for voter registration and to pass out information. You can volunteer to staff the booth by contacting John Hall at

Click here to download a pdf of the event flyer!

California Democratic Party Region 6 Meeting

The California Democratic Party's Region 6 Meeting will be held on Monday, June 27, from 7-9 p.m. at the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703.

The agenda will include a political update from California Democratic Party Executive Director Shawnda Westly, a call for testimony on the proposed delegate selection plan, discussion about making endorsements in the "top two" primary process, and other resolutions that may be considered at the July California Democratic Party Executive Board meeting.

Please contact Region 6 Director Royce Kelley if you have any questions, comments, or concerns at

Antioch Democratic Club Meets on a Special Night: Thursday, June 30

The Antioch Democratic Club will meet on a special night: Thursday, June 30. The club meets at The Hidden Dragon Restaurant, 4106 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, at 7:30 p.m.

The club will discuss its voter registration efforts, the eBART project, and report on activities at the recent California Democratic State Convention in Sacramento.

For more information, please visit the club's website.

Misleading Medicare Mantra

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein does not want scare tactics about the Medicare program's finances to allow the Republicans to get away with privatizing the program. As he notes:

In fact, if the trust fund were to exhaust in 2024, income coming into the fund would still finance 90% of benefits.  That’s something to be avoided, but it’s a different kind insolvency than that implied by the R’s mantra.

Finally, Ryan and company did not discover this challenge of paying for health care.  We have a law on the books to meet the challenge—the Affordable Care Act.  It has already improved Medicare’s fiscal outlook, though the real work—reducing the rate of health care costs for years to come—hasn’t even . . . → Read More: Misleading Medicare Mantra

San Ramon Valley Democratic Club to Feature Emerge America President on June 23

The San Ramon Valley Democratic Club will feature a presentation by Emerge America President Karen Middleton at its Thursday, June 23 meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive, in Danville. Social time at 6:15 p.m., dinner at 6:45 p.m., with the program at 7:15 p.m. Members and invited guests can enjoy the dinner and program for $25, non-members $30, presentation only is $5 (requested donation).

Middleton joined Emerge as its president on September 1, 2010, and subsequently relocated with her family to Danville. She served in the Colorado State Legislature from February 2008 through 2010, where she was in a leadership position as Majority Caucus Chair and a member of the Education and Business Affairs and . . . → Read More: San Ramon Valley Democratic Club to Feature Emerge America President on June 23

Upcoming Contra Costa Democratic Events

October  2014
  • Concord Democratic Club October Social Event Featuring Senator Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla

    Starts: 6:30 pm

    Location: The Hop Grenade, 2151 Salvio St, Concord, CA 94520, United States

    Description: The Concord Democratic Club will host an October Social on Tuesday, October 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hop Grenade, 2151 Salvio St., in Concord.

    The event will feature Senator (and Congressional Candidate) Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla.

    For more information, please visit the club's website at

  • League of Women Voters to Moderate Assembly District 16 Debate at Rossmoor

    Starts: 12:30 pm

    Location: Rossmoor Events Center, 1021 Stanley Dollar Drive, Walnut Creek, CA

    Description: The Democrats of Rossmoor and the Republican Club of Rossmoor will jointly sponsor a debate featuring the Democratic and Republican candidates for California’s 16th Assembly District on Thursday, October 9, at the Rossmoor Events Center. Seating will be available at 12:30.

    Democrat Joan Buchanan has held the Assembly seat since 2008, and terms out this year. The 16th District, which includes Rossmoor, is one of 80 California Assembly Districts.

    Campaigning for the seat are Democrat Tim Sbranti and Republican Catharine Baker. Sbranti is a teacher, coach, and former Dublin Mayor. Sbranti was first elected to the Dublin City Council in 2002, and was elected Mayor in 2008 and re-elected in 2010. The City of Dublin enjoyed a budget surplus in 2012 after several years of an economic downturn. Catharine Baker is a local attorney with Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel and has received awards for her pro bono work. In 2011, she received the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services from the California State Bar Association, one of the most prestigious awards of its kind. Baker is Vice President of the Dougherty Elementary School Site Council, and has served on the school’s Safety Committee for five years, two as chairman.

    The debate will be moderated by the non-partisan League of Women Voters. It will be structured; responses will be timed. The debate will be followed by a wine reception in the Donner Room (also in the Event Center) so that attendees can meet the candidates. Food will not be served.

    Questions for the candidates will come from two sources. They will be collected ahead of time by the respective clubs. Questions from the Republican Club of Rossmoor members should be emailed to Tom Fryer at, or mailed to Tom at 1708 Golden Rain Road Apt. 6, Walnut Creek, CA 94595. Questions from Democratic Club members should be emailed to Jane Walter at or mailed to Jane at 1832 Golden Rain Road, Apt. 3, Walnut Creek, CA 94595. Questions will also be gathered from the audience on note cards and organized by representatives of the League of Women Voters.

    There is no charge for the debate and everyone is welcome. If you have questions please contact Fran Cavenaugh (Republican Club of Rossmoor) at 945-7211, or Jane Walter (Democrats of Rossmoor) at 945-1429.

  • Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Reception Featuring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

    Starts: 5:00 pm

    Location: Home of Amy and Tom Worth (Address to be provided upon RSVP)

    Description: The Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Campaign invites you to an Orinda Reception featuring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer on Thursday, October 9, from 5-7 p.m. at the home of Amy and Tom Worth (address provided upon RSVP).

    All donations, up to the maximum, will be accepted.

    For more information please call (925) 957-1123 or visit the campaign's web site at

  • Lamorinda Democratic Club will Present Night Two of Local Democratic Candidate Information Series

    Starts: 7:30 pm

    Location: Lafayette Library - Contra Costa County Library, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549, United States

    Description: The Lamorinda Democratic Club will host a second night of its Local Democratic Candidate Information Series on Thursday, October 9, from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette.

    This is an opportunity for you to come and meet many of the Democratic Candidates for our local City Councils, School Boards, and Regional Districts. These elections are important because these officials make decisions that directly impact our lives and local officials often run for higher office. These candidates are running for office out of civic duty; they look forward to working long hours for no salary and yet they will represent our values. Thus, it is our civic duty to understand each Democratic candidate we endorse and help them win in November.

    The club will also be voting on endorsements. For more information, please click here to visit the club's web site at

  • Betty Yee for Controller Sunday Brunch in Benicia

    Starts: 11:00 am

    Location: Veterans Memorial Hall, 1150 1st St, Benicia, CA 94510, United States

    Description: Please join community leaders from Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa Counties for a Sunday Brunch supporting Betty Yee for State Controller on Sunday, October 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Veterans Hall, 1150 First Street, in Benicia.

    Tickets are $40 with sponsorships available at $100, $500, $1000, and $2500.

    To contribute online, visit

    RSVP by Friday, October 10, 2014 to Patricia Cheng by emailing or by calling (415) 813-1933.

  • Democratic Party of Contra Costa County Central Committee Meeting

    Starts: 7:30 pm

    Location: John F Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA, United States

  • Mike Thompson for Congress Bocce Tournament

    Starts: 8:30 am

    Location: Martinez Waterfront Park, Martinez, CA 94553, United States

    Description: The Mike Thompson for Congress Committee invites you to attend his Bocce Ball Tournament on Saturday, October 18, at the Martinez Waterfront Park, Joe DiMaggio Drive, in Martinez.

    Sign in at 8:30 a.m. with play starting at 9 a.m. Fee is $25 per player. Team sponsorships are available for $250. Team entries are limited and must be completed by October 11. Entry fee includes continental breakfast and a BBQ lunch. Click here to purchase your event tickets today!

  • Contra Costa Young Democrats' 2nd Annual Young DemOktoberfest

    Starts: 1:00 pm

    Location: IBEW Local 302, 1875 Arnold Drive, Martinez, CA

    Description: The Contra Costa Young Democrats invite you to join them for their 2nd Annual Young DemOktoberfest -- an afternoon of brews, brats, and blue on Sunday, October 19, at 1 p.m. at IBEW Local 302, 1875 Arnold Drive, in Martinez!

    Tickets cost $25 for Young Democrats belonging to any chapter, seniors (60+), and military veterans, $20 if you're a full-time student or under 21, and $40.00 for "Young-At-Heart" supporters aged 40 and up. Purchase your ticket today!

  • Diablo Valley Democratic Club Meeting to Feature Assemblymember Joan Buchanan Discussing Women in Politics

    Starts: 7:00 pm

    Location: Ygnacio Valley Library - Contra Costa County Library, 2661 Oak Grove Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, United States

    Description: The Diablo Valley Democratic Club's next meeting on Wednesday, October 22, with feature Assemblymember Joan Buchanan discussing "Women in Politics: What is the Status in Califormia?"

    Women make up half of the population, but only 28 percent of the state legislature and that number has been going down. Assemblymember Buchanan has been in the Assembly (AD 16) nearly six years. Learn from her what it's like to be in the female minority in the legislature and what the trends are for women in politics across the state.

    The DVDC meets from 7-9 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. Please park on Deerpark Drive, the first right after the library, unless you have difficulty walking. For more information, call 925-946-0469 or visit the club's web site.

  • San Ramon Valley Dems - Net Neutrality, What It Is and Why It Matters

    Starts: 6:15 pm

    Location: Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr, Danville, CA 94526, United States

    Description: Have you heard of Net Neutrality, or Internet Slowdown Day, and do you wonder what all the fuss is about? In simple terms, net neutrality means that Internet providers should treat all data that travels over their networks equally, rather than slowing down or even blocking access to sites of their choosing. This sounds fair and reasonable, and yet our very own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering rules that would let Internet providers violate Net Neutrality.

    The San Ramon Valley Democratic Club meeting on Thursday, October 23rd features Vera Ranieri, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, focusing on intellectual property and innovation. Ms. Ranieri will discuss "net neutrality": what it is and why it matters. She will talk about the development of the Internet, the history behind FCC's previous attempts at regulation, and why the current debate has generated over 1.5 million comments to the FCC. She will present the arguments for and against net neutrality as put forth by various stakeholders, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the various positions. This will help you form your own opinion and learn what you can do to influence government policy.

    The meeting is free and open to the public (suggested $5 donation). Come at 6:15 to talk with the speakers before the meeting. Buffet dinner ($25) is at 6:45 pm with the program beginning at 7:15 pm. To reserve a dinner, please RSVP to Jim Donnelly, (925) 570-9289 or