Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dennis Kucinich

Elizabeth Kucinich

Governor Jerry Brown

Former California Governor,
Oakland Mayor,
Presidential Candidate,
Chair of the California Democratic Party,
and current Attorney General,
Jerry Brown

I have always been an enormous fan and his signature appears as then Governor, on my University of California at Davis Diploma.

Henry Vandermeir

Henry Vandermeir is the current President of the California Democratic Council, although I got to know him when he had just taken over as the President of the Big Bear Democratic Club and I was just starting in as the President of the Mojave Desert Democratic Club. We exchanged memberships in each others clubs and we served together as delegates to the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee. At that time we came up with the idea of having a County wide council of club presidents which met monthly and allowed club presidents to exchange ideas.

The California Democratic Council (often called "the CDC") is the statewide association of Democratic Clubs and County Committees. Founded in 1952 by a group of great Democrats, including Alan Cranston, to win back political control of the state from Republicans, CDC supported the growth of California's modern Democratic club system. CDC was a driving force behind the state's development as a Democratic stronghold in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Although other states have Democratic clubs, the CDC is the only organization of its kind in the United States.

Click here to see CDC's stance on current issues.

At its height, the CDC coordinated hundreds of Democratic clubs in every corner of the state with many thousands of members. In some years, the CDC's conventions were attended by as many as 1,800 delegates. The effectiveness of the CDC as a party-building institution was officially recognized by Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and many other leading national figures. Among CDC's past presidents were former US Senator Alan Cranston, former State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton and legendary Los Angeles activist Quincy Beaver. We now have a new group of dynamic leaders, led by Henry Vandermeir, who has worked tirelessly to ensure CDC is ready to step forward to face the challenges ahead.

The CDC provides a powerful forum for local Democratic clubs to communicate with one another and forward a statewide progressive agenda. We support clubs and Democratic County Committees by providing training, operational best practices guidance, and a variety of services to help clubs and county committees grow and prosper. In addition, we are primarily responsible for fostering the growth and development of geographically focused Democratic clubs. Our President serves on the executive board of the California Democratic Party and appoints three delegates to the CDP convention each year.

The Republicans have used a 25 year plan to turn this country in the wrong direction. Now the California Democratic Council has a plan to help take back our government - one that starts locally and builds outward. The CDC intends to broaden California's Democratic base from the ground up by strengthening local grassroots Democratic activity. To accomplish this extraordinarily important task, we intend to transform our operations from a completely volunteer organization to a professional association with full-time staff and round-the-clock outreach. We will work with county committees to launch 100 new Democratic clubs across the state. And we will make sure that every club and county committee has the ability to attract energetic leaders who can help ensure that Democrats consistently beat Republicans in every election for every office, from local School Boards and Neighborhood Councils to Governor.

If you are interested in helping us rebuild the progressive Democratic base in California and beyond, please join your local Democratic Club or County Committee, which can be found using the club search feature that appears on practically every page on this site, including this one. If no club exists in your city or town, contact us and we will help you launch one. Also, please consider joining our new Member-at-Large Division and/or making a generous donation.

As we embark on this huge endeavor, the California Democratic Council thanks you for your commitment, your efforts, and your support. For more information, please feel free to e-mail us, contact your local CDC officer, or call us at 1-800-446-9709.

Senator Carol Migden

Larry D. Halstead, Senator Carol Migden, 34th AD Candidate Desmond Farrelly
March 30, 2008 at Democratic Convention in San Jose, CA

Carole Migden represents the 3rd District in the California State Senate, which comprises the eastern half of the City and County of San Francisco, all of Marin County, and portions of Sonoma County, including the communities of Petaluma and Rohnert Park. She was elected to the Senate in November of 2004.

Currently Migden is chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, a key Senate leadership position. Sen. Migden also serves as Chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. In 2004, she started her path into Senate leadership as Chair of the Appropriations Committee—an extraordinary accomplishment for a freshman member.

In 2007 Migden tackled many issues important to Californians. Believing California owes foster children, and children under supervision by Child Protective Services, a safe environment in which to grow up, she introduced legislation to make the system more accountable to the public and more protective of these children’s lives.

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration poised to allow products from cloned animals to be sold for human consumption, Migden authored legislation in 2007 and again this year to require clear labeling of those products in the event they reach California grocery shelves. In 2007 Migden legislation also created a state program that increases awareness of the lifesaving properties of umbilical cord stem cells in combating 70 blood diseases and the value of storing cord blood in case of future need, and provides cord blood stem cells to researchers looking for cures and treatments for blood disorders.

During 2007 Senator Migden also worked hard to secure over $503 million for deserving needs in her Senate district including substantial funding for Highway 101 traffic improvements, LGBT domestic violence prevention, North Bay flood prevention reimbursements, employment assistance for transgender individuals and historic preservation projects.

In 2008 Migden has introduced several consumer protection measures including legislation to halt price gouging by airport rental car companies and another to ensure that new car warranties aren’t voided by improper practices encouraged by insurance companies and auto-body repair businesses. Migden also responded to flaws in our state oil spill prevention plan by introducing legislation that requires much quicker responses to oil spills.

This year Migden continues to work on equality issues that strengthen our families and our communities. Recognizing that many straight couples decline to marry, she introduced legislation in 2007 and again in 2008 to allow any committed couple over the age of 18 to register as domestic partners. This legislation respects the decisions made by modern-day couples on how best to structure and protect their families.

In her first years as a Senator, Migden had many substantial accomplishments, including new laws requiring cosmetics companies to disclose to the state cancer-causing agents in their products; a measure to increase the state’s focus on vocational education in our schools, and a bill to provide mental health assessments for young people in California’s beleaguered juvenile justice system, among many others. On top of that, Migden secured over $30 million for wildlife, transportation and education programs in San Francisco and Marin and led the effort to bring the headquarters for the new Stem Cell Research headquarters to San Francisco.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, Carole Migden served as Chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization (BOE); the nation's only publicly elected tax commission; represented San Francisco's 13th District in the California State Assembly; and for five years served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

During her tenure at the BOE Senator Migden worked to modernize the state's outdated tax system and manage taxpayers' money responsibly. Her accomplishments at the BOE included strengthening domestic partners' property rights, leveling the playing field between Main Street and on-line retailers, protecting California's precious open space, and advocating for increased revenues to fund vital services by eliminating obsolete tax breaks.

In the State Assembly, Migden served for five years as Chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. She was the first woman and the first freshman legislator to chair that influential committee. For four years she also served as a conferee on the state's Joint Budget Conference Committee, which writes the final version of California's state budget.

In that time Carole Migden authored legislation to create California's landmark domestic partner registry, promote children's health, preserve the old growth Headwaters Forrest, increase accountability in K-12 schools, protect borrowers from predatory and deceptive lending practices, protect consumers from manipulation by energy generators, and promote the use of emergency contraception.

Senator Migden has received numerous awards for her service. California Journal named her among California's power elite of women elected officials and awarded her with their "Rookie of the Year" award in 1998, taking top honors in the categories of most integrity, most intelligence, hardest working, most ambitious, and most influential. She received "Legislator of the Year" honors in 1999 from the California School Employees Association and in 2001 from the California National Organization for Women (NOW), as well as leadership awards from prominent environmental and civil rights organizations. She continues to receive high honors in California Journal's annual rankings, including "Quick Study" in 2002.

Carole Migden is a longtime member of, and current super-delegate to, the Democratic National Committee. She also served as chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party for eight years.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Gavin Newsom

San Francisco Mayor
Gavin Newsom