Club Meeting This Week! The Next Chapter Begins…

Democrats for Equality,

This is the week! Our new executive board will be sworn-in at our club meeting next week on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00pm. We’ll be meeting at Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest.

Due to ongoing discussions at the County Democratic Party regarding the equitable representation of Democratic clubs, we are going to hold off on the formerly-proposed language regarding adding Regional Directors onto our club’s Executive Board.

We will bring this proposal back at our April meeting with different language and will consider that item at that time.

We will be honoring and thanking our outgoing executive board members — Craig Roberts, Mary Latibashvili, and Sapphire Blackwood for their contributions in service to our incredible club. We’ll have something special for Will Rodriguez-Kennedy to honor his leadership as our club president, too!

And we will swear-in our new 2019-2020 Executive Board:
President: Ryan Trabuco (me)
Vice President for Resource Development: Amy Kuhn
Vice President for Political Action: Susan Guinn
Secretary: Rickie Brown
Controller: Carlos Salazar
Sergeant-at-Arms: Ryan Darsey
Board Members At-Large: Michelle Krug, Ilka Weston, Brandon Coopersmith, Andrea Cubitt
Immediate Past President: Will Rodriguez-Kennedy

Last weekend, we held a joint board meeting of our outgoing and incoming members of our club’s Executive Board. We will be bringing some small additions to our 2020 Candidate Questionnaire forward that we will ask club members to adopt.

Also, Jean Huy-Tran, the newly elected President of the AAPI Democratic Club has asked to present on some proposed legislative bills regarding criminal justice reform, including:

  • AB 392, this bill is to raise the minimum standard requirement that allows police officer to use deadly force on civilian from “reasonable” to “necessary”. This law has not changed since 1872. If passed, the police officer will be required to exhaust all alternative tactics including de-escalation first.
  • SB 230, this bill requires POST to develop training. However, this training only includes “adequate consideration” of a list of subjects but without any specificity as to how that training should look like. In addition, this bill does not require that any officer actually go through the training.
  • ACA 6, this bill is to restore the voting right of felons who have completed their sentence & are currently on the parole.
  • AB 1076, this bill is to eliminate the complicate court process of expunging arrest & conviction records & change it to automatic. This law will only apply to cases that are already eligible for expunge.

He is looking for our club to weigh in on those four bills, so we may take action to formally support or oppose those legislative proposals.

Finally — and, this will be a difficult topic to discuss — so, bear with me. We will formally take action on a resolution calling for the resignation of Kevin Beiser as a member of the San Diego Unified School Board.

This week, one of our own LGBTQ elected officials — an individual that our club has stood behind and endorsed for THREE elections — was accused by four men of sexual assault and harassment. If you would like to read the full story by Andy Keatts from Voice of San Diego, you may do so at this link.

Yesterday, our club released a statement.

I am going to reiterate what was said at the top of that statement, because maybe some folks in the back of the room didn’t hear the message loud and clear…

Sexual harassment and assault will not be accepted or tolerated by the San Diego Democrats for Equality.

So, imagine my complete shock when I received a number of e-mails expressing their disappointment about our statement. Not that it didn’t go far enough, no — but that we even made it at all.

Listen, I am not going to pretend to understand someone’s ultimate rationale on why they didn’t want our club to issue that statement, or wax poetic about what color the sky is in someone’s world.

What I am going to say is this: a member of this club — an LGBTQ elected, public official no less — has been accused by four individuals of sexual assault and harassment. When there’s four, there’s likely more.

Furthermore, I want you to comprehend the following concept: that some of the individuals — who have gone public, and were brave enough to step up and put their own names out there for the world to see — are also fellow members of the club. Take a moment, and think about that.

As of Thursday evening, I will have the honor of becoming this club’s newest president. It will not just be my duty, but the duty of our new executive board, and our duty as fellow club members to ensure that our meeting spaces are also save spaces for our members, for our guests, for our candidates, and for anyone interested in joining and becoming a member of this long-storied club.

How are our members, guests, candidates, and anyone else interested in becoming a member of our family here supposed to think when they feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or in danger at any one of our meetings or events because someone couldn’t keep their hands, arms, legs, and other bodily appendages to themselves?

What kind of environment are we creating?

What kind of example are we setting — not just for ourselves — but, for other Democratic clubs? If that truly is the image and perception that we are putting out there to people.

We can expand on this more another time, but I am telling all of you upfront… right now… We absolutely made the right call issuing that statement.

Last night, the San Diego County Democratic Party voted 58-4 to officially call for Mr. Beiser’s resignation.

I formally made that motion as a member of the Central Committee, and was proud to do so. It was the right thing to do.

As the next club president, we are not going to run an organization that does not take sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations seriously.

If you have a problem with that philosophy, then by all means when your membership comes up for renewal — please do us a favor, do not renew.

We will grow this club to a 1,000 members, and we will do it by gaining more members who understand that the old order is changing. We will grow this club by doing the right thing. We will grow this club by being the conscience of our Democratic Party.

That is the commitment I am making to all of you moving forward.

Ending on a much less dramatic note…

Next week, our Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Senator Ben Hueso, and Assemblymembers Dr. Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez are hosting an informational community forum on the state budget, and how it affects the San Diego region.

The forum will be held on Thursday, March 28 at the Educational Cultural Complex (4343 Ocean View Blvd. in San Diego) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP at this link.

Hope to see you all on Thursday!

Your Club VP (for 1 more day)

Ryan Trabuco
Vice President for Resource Development
San Diego Democrats for Equality