Minutes of the February 23, 2015 General Membership Meeting

The Democratic Club of Claremont
General Membership Meeting
February 23, 2015 7:00 PM
Porter Hall, Pilgrim Place

John Forney, President, welcomed about 30 members and guests. Added to the agenda was a report about the lawsuit, by Debi Evans.


Merrill Ring, Vice-President, Issues and Programs, introduced Dr. Amanda Hollis-Brusky.

While the U.S. Supreme Court is supposedly to be removed from politics, its recent decisions have led many to question possible political influences. Dr. Hollis-Brusky in her recently published book, Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution, examines and documents the conservative tilt in the Court's make-up and decisions. The Federalist Society, founded in 1982, has approximately 42,000 members. The Society is organized around issues; its individual members produce position papers, endorsements, money and lobbying efforts. Questions about Shelby County, selections of nominees to the Court, and "conservative" versus "originalist" were discussed. An interview with the author and a review of the book can be read at: http://www.pomona.edu/news/2015/01/15-hollis-brusky-book.aspx

Oxford University Press publishes Dr. Hollis-Brusky's book. The link to buy the book is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0199385521/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1424821322&sr=8-1&keywords=hollis-brusky&dpPl=1&dpID=41Q6GBiGQ1L&ref=plSrch&pi=AC_SY200_QL40


Minutes for Approval: MSA (Carolee Monroe) The Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of January 26, 2015 were unanimously approved.

President's Report: MSA (Hugh Wire) The appointment of Debi Evans as Political Strategy Chair was unanimously approved.


Finance: Carol Whitson, Treasurer, reported a balance of approximately $2900. Financial reports have been filed on time and she is working on the annual budget.

Programs & Issues: Merrill Ring said that the Club President has signed the letter regarding fracking and sent to Jerry Brown, Judy Chu, Carol Liu, Chris Holden, Connie Leyva and Anthony Portantino. Gar Byrum, Past-President, is arranging follow-up meetings. Merrill will speak at the next Claremont Hi Young Democrats meeting regarding income inequality. Future programs for Club meetings and luncheons will focus on voter expansion, determinants in choosing members of the police force and finances.

Communications: Brenda Lewis was unable to attend the meeting.

Membership: Sandy Hester was sick and unable to attend the meeting.

Political Strategy: Debi Evans said that Pete Aguilar (CA 31) is targeted by the GOP for 2016. His election was the only Congressional "flip" to the Democrats in this past election. Aguilar's swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 7. Invitations will be emailed. Debi has been appointed representative to the CDP by Aguilar while Curt Lewis has been hired as an outreach staff member. Locally and nationally, Democrats need to reengage with voters, determine a message and focus on state legislatures and redistricting. Inequality must be addressed with a progressive approach.

Report of LACDP/CDP: Bob Gerecke said that the LA Democratic Central Committee's budget of approximately $1.7 million was approved with reserves of about a quarter million dollars. The money will be spent in preparing for next year's election. The committee approved of a resolution raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles City. Concerns regarding wage theft are noted. Carolee Monroe asked those present to sign the petition supporting a minimum wage increase for in-home caregivers.

Earth Day Booth: Carolee Monroe asked members to staff our booth during the Saturday, April 18 event. The backdrop of the booth was displayed.


Club Events

  • Friday, March 13, luncheon
  • Saturday, March 21 Executive Board meeting
  • Monday, March 30, General Membership meeting

Other Events

  • Tuesdays, March 3 and March 31 The American Institute for Progressive Democracy's Two-part series on Economic Inequality in America, 7:00 PM Rose Hills Theater, 170 E. 6th Street, Claremont
  • Sundays March 1, March 8 and March 15 Agenda for a Prophetic Faith Series all begin at 7:00 PM
    • March 1 - Chris Hedges at Claremont United Church of Churc (John passed around several of Hedges' books)
    • March 8 - Serene Jones at Claremont Presbyterian Church
    • March 15 - Cecelia Tichi at LaVerne Church of the Brethren

    The next series, 2015-16, will focus on "Jubilee" a religious concept of 50-year renewal.

  • Tuesday, March 17 - United Nations Association meeting Porter Hall, Pilgrim Place 5:30 PM - Barbara Aswad "Arab Women: Appearance and Reality"
  • Saturday, October 3 Agenda for a Prophetic Faith Series: Bill Moyers. Also scheduled (for 2016) are Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich and Galen Guengerich. The series will focus on "Jubilee" a religious concept of 50-year renewal.
  • Young Democrats Club, Claremont High School speakers will be:
    • Merrill Ring (Income Inequality), Ivan Light (Free Speech Movement),
    • John Seery (Importance of Politics) and Al Villanueva (Gangs)

Adjourn at 8:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolee Monroe, Recording Secretary