Three. Years. Later

Democrats for Equality,

It’s incredibly awkward drafting a message about so many different events going on within our Democratic Party, our endorsed candidates, and our club — while at the same time acknowledging that today marks three years since the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

And it feels awkward, surreal even, because while we can issue call after call for people to get active and involved in our party and in the issues they care about, the fact remains that three years after Pulse, mass shootings continue to be a common place event in our country.

It is a fact of daily life.

As much as pouring coffee every morning before work, eating lunch with a friend or co-workers, opening your work email every day, and a routine gym session in the evening — so goes another mass shooting. And that is an incredibly sad commentary on every day life in America.

The graphic and numbers below from CNN compared to other countries would probably be pretty standard for a #TeamUSA Olympic medal count… until you stop and realize that it illustrates only school shootings since 2009:

A quick Google search on mass shootings in America — just this year — showed that there have been 148 individual events, 149 fatalities, and 585 wounded by gunfire.

And yet, as sure as the Mega Millions lottery will increase, so too will the number of events, fatalities, and those affected by this horror.

We will not let hate win.

So, my final two points on this topic are this: below are a list of those names who were killed at Pulse Nightclub three years ago — because it’s important that we see, remember, and acknowledge those who were killed — and below that are the contact numbers for our 2 United States Senators and our 5 San Diego House members who should hear from us.

We Remember

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez,31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez,21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado,35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez,50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

We Call

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
District Office: 619.231.9712
D.C. Office: 202.224.3841

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
District Office: 619.239.3884
D.C. Office: 202.224.3553

Representative Mike Levin
District Office: 760.599.5000
D.C. Office: 202.225.3906

Representative Duncan Hunter
District Office: 619.448.5201
D.C. Office: 202.225.5672

Representative Juan Vargas
District Office: 619.422.5963
D.C. Office: 202.225.8045

Representative Scott Peters
District Office: 858.455.5550
D.C. Office: 202.225.0508

Representative Susan Davis
District Office: 619.280.5353
D.C. Office: 202.225.2040

In other news…

You may have heard that at our recent California Democratic Party Convention, Rusty Hicks was elected as the new Chair of our state party.

We, of course, offered our congratulations to Chair Hicks on our Facebook page. It is important that our new state party Chair be successful, and we are hopeful that he will bring his own strength, experience, and perspective into that role.

Absolutely, we’d like to offer a special shout out to Kimberly Ellis — she is an outstanding, inspiring, and important voice in our party. It be would be encouraging to see our new Chair tap her incredible talents to ensure our party continues it’s success rolling into the 2020 election cycle.

The other election that occurred was for Region 20 Director, and we would like to congratulate our longtime club member and club executive board member Michelle Krug on her election. All three candidates who ran were all longtime members of our club.

Much like the Chair’s race, Michelle will bring her own strength, experience, and perspective into that role, and we wish her all the best success as our new CDP Regional Director.

This Sunday at 4pm, our club is hosting a fundraiser for our endorsed candidate Stephen Whitburn for San Diego City Council District 3.

Council District 3 is home to a number of older neighborhoods in our city, and there is a significant infrastructure challenge that needs to be met. We have a serious homelessness crisis — and the city needs to implement a compassionate, comprehensive plan. We have a housing crisis and housing affordability crisis. We are living in a climate crisis.

If you’re able to make it, let’s come together to support a longtime member of our club, and President Emeritus of our club, in support of his campaign for City Council! You may donate and purchase tickets here.

Also, we have launched our ticket page for our 2019 Pride Kickoff Event set for Thursday, July 11th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Fruitcraft in Hillcrest.

Tickets are $40 for club members and $50 for non-club members.

As we are roughly a month out from San Diego Pride, we will be marching in the parade on Saturday, as well as hosting a booth on Saturday and Sunday during the festival with the San Diego County Democratic Party.

We’ll have information for the parade and volunteer opportunities for the booth as early as next week. It should be a great time — we are also conducting a Presidential Straw Poll for the Democratic candidates at the booth! Of course, we will all be interested in seeing the outcome of those results.

Finally, our next club meting will be held on Thursday, June 20 at 7:00pm. We’ll be meeting at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest (3900 Vermont Street, San Diego, CA 92103).

We are looking to endorse in three races: Friendly incumbents in the 76th and 79th Assembly Districts, as well as make an endorsement for the 78th Assembly District.

We will also fill a vacancy on our executive board for Controller, and our new Legislative Advocacy Director Brandon Torres will present on two bills that we’ve been asked to take a position on: SB 338 (Hueso bill regarding senior and disability victimization), and HR 5 (The Equality Act).

Excelsior! (taken from the legendary Stan Lee)

Ryan Trabuco
Club President
San Diego Democrats for Equality