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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, September 19, 2008

    CALIFORNIA FOCUS: Blogs, Progressive Candidates, Alternative Energy, Peace Events and Groups and Events

    BLOGGING CALIFORNIA: Here are some blogs covering California Politics

    Calitics is an open source news organization for California.

    The California Progress Report is published by Frank D. Russo, a longtime observer of and participant in California politics.

    The Liberal OC covers politics in Orange County.

    Peter Stark is one of the most progressive members of Congress. Keep up with what he is doing here, or here.

    THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS of the California Democratic Party: The last election cycle in the United States unveiled an unprecedented political landscape in this country, with hundreds of thousands of previously politically naive individuals becoming involved in the process of electing new leadership. What united many of these people was an underlying groundswell of progressive thought and deep concern about the direction of the country under a Conservative Republican administration. With the goal of providing a unified, Progressive voice within the existing State Democratic Party structure, the Progressive Caucus was founded.


    Some articles of note:

    Proposition 8: California Psychological Association Encourages Members to Vote No on 8. Also, The Desert Sun Newspaper Endorses No on 8.

    Living wage win! Workers get 1.65 mil in unpaid wages

    Unions already looking to repeal portions of budget deal

    Most California House Republicans for drilling. Remember, the Republican oil drilling plan would at best lower oil prices by $1 a barrel (less than one percent) in 20 years. That's it! Ruining the environment for a 1% decrease in gas prices in 20 years...THAT is the Republican energy plan.

    GOP's inland empire may be vanishing

    SF League of Women Voters releases YouTube video channel for SF Supevisor candidates. You can get your fill of local politics. There's literally hours of this stuff.

    Without Transit Funding, State's Smart Growth Efforts Not Enough

    Many California bridges still need earthquake upgrade. Remember, infrastructure has been neglected in America by Republicans for way too long. Don't let California suffer what the Midwest and Gulf Coast have suffered.


    Here is a candidate endorsed by the Indigenous Democratic Network (INDN List):

    Commissioner Todd Gloria
    Candidate for San Diego City Council
    Enrolled Member of Tlight-Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

    Congratulations, Todd! Todd won his June 3, 2008 primary with 40.56% of the votes. He will be on the general election ballot on November 4. INDN's List is proud of Todd's success!

    Commissioner Todd Gloria is running for San Diego City Council. He brings a wealth of experience in housing policy to the campaign trail. Todd was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2005. Since 2001, he has been the district director and housing advisor for U.S. Congresswoman Susan A. Davis. Todd has worked with the Congresswoman to support federal funding for affordable housing programs, expand local military family housing, and improve the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs home loan program. Before joining Congresswoman Davis, Todd worked in the County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency.

    In addition to his dedication to housing concerns, Todd is dedicated to his community. He has served on the County of San Diego's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS grant allocation team and helped establish the Sunburst Apartments, a 24-unit affordable housing complex for young people in East Village, San Diego. Todd has received several awards for his service. He was named a 1999 Harry S. Truman Scholar and one of San Diego's "Top 40 Under Forty" by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine in 2005.


    Here is a list of Progressive candidates running in California worth your support (all endorsed by Progressive Majority):

    Marty Block
    Candidate for State Assembly - District 78 (Open Seat)
    San Diego County



    Marty Block is a candidate for the 78th Assembly District. He is currently elected to the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees, and previously served on the San Diego Board of Education. The 78th is currently held by a conservative, but she is term-limited out of office. This district has grown more Democratic over the years and is one of the best opportunities for a progressive victory this year. Marty would provide a strong platform for progressive issues in San Diego.

    Click here to support and learn more about Marty.

    Mark Ridley-Thomas
    Candidate for Los Angeles County Supervisor - District 2 (Challenger)



    California Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas is running for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District, in the highest priority race for progressives in Los Angeles County. Mark is running against a formidable candidate, former chief of police and current Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks. Although elected by a majority African American district, Parks has a conservative voting record when it comes to investing in communities. If Parks wins, Los Angeles County will be controlled by a conservative majority at a time when county hospitals and emergency services in communities of color are facing closure. Mark has been a staunch supporter of progressive issues such as the establishment of school health centers, consumer protection, community reinvestment, jobs and workforce development.

    Click here to support and learn more about Mark.

    Bob Blumenfield
    Candidate for State Assembly - District 40 (Open Seat)
    Los Angeles, Northridge, Van Nuys



    Bob is running for the California Assembly, 40th District. For the past seven years Bob has been the District Director to Congressman Howard Berman. Bob is Chair of the Valley Anti-Defamation League, Vice Chair of the California Trust for Public Schools and a former board member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. Bob is a strong proponent of progressive issues in such key areas as education, healthcare, the environment and economic justice. Bob has two formidable primary opponents who are conservative Democrats: Stuart Waldman is the former Chief of Staff to the current Assembly member, and Laurette Healey is a former Deputy State Controller. Bob has received the endorsement of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressmembers Howard Berman and Henry Waxman, California State Speaker Fabian Nunez, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    Click here to support and learn more about Bob.

    Richard Barrera
    Candidate for San Diego Board of Education - Subdistrict D (Challenger)



    Richard Barrera is a candidate for the San Diego School District in Nominating Subdistrict D. Richard is Latino and a union organizer with SEIU Local 399. Richard faces a difficult race in the general election against conservative incumbent Luis Acle, a former Reagan administration official who has openly expressed interest in higher office. A Barrera victory would create both a working progressive majority and a Democratic supermajority.

    Click here to support and learn more about Richard.

    Sherri Lightner
    Candidate for San Diego City Council - District 1 (Open Seat)



    Sherri Lightner is running for the 1st City Council District in San Diego. A community volunteer and leader, Sherri has served as president of both the La Jolla Town Council and the La Jolla Shores Association. An engineer by training, she is a recognized expert on land development law. Because of term limits, the 1st will be an open seat. Sherri represents an opportunity to elect a progressive woman to a historically moderate to conservative seat, allowing for a potential progressive majority.

    Click here to support and learn more about Sherri.

    Stephen Whitburn
    Candidate for San Diego City Council - District 3 (Open Seat)



    Stephen Whitburn is an openly gay candidate running for the open 3rd City Council District in San Diego. This seat is safely Democratic, but Stephen's election could mean the difference between a Democratic majority and a true progressive majority. In particular, he will fight for progressive values on housing issues, especially for renter's rights and against development that is forcing longtime residents (many elderly and people of color) out of what had been affordable housing. As a community activist, he has worked very closely with labor, walking picket lines and working to pass a living wage ordinance. Stephen is also a former union member with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

    Click here to support and learn more about Stephen.

    John Lee Evans
    Candidate for San Diego Board of Education - Subdistrict A (Challenger)



    John Lee Evans is a clinical psychologist and long-time progressive activist on education and social justice issues. He is running against an incumbent Republican, Mitz Lee. If elected, John will provide a strong progressive voice on the school board for local control and improved opportunity for children in low-income and immigrant communities. A win would create a progressive majority and a Democratic super majority.

    Click here to support and learn more about John.


    Alternative Energy in California:

    Here are some Biodiesel Cooperatives in California. If you have a diesel truck or car, joining one of these co-ops can help you drive more green.

    The Berkeley Biodiesel Collecctive
    Berkeley, CA
    email: berkeleybiodiesel_at_yahoo.com. Or check out their website.

    The Biofuels Research Cooperative
    Sebastopol, CA
    email: veggieoilcoop_at_yahoo.com.

    Here are other alternative energy resources for Califorina:

    Alternative Energy Resources in California: a short summary of alternative energy resources for California. For more information on each technology, visit the State Energy Alternatives Technology Options page.

    San Francisco Community Power pilots innovative programs that improve our neighborhoods' environmental and economic conditions. We help small businesses and low-income families lower their expenses and reduce their ecological footprint. Our work provides policy makers with demonstrative ways to solve complex resource allocation issues.

    West Coast Green 2008
    Sep 25, 2008 - Sep 27, 2008

    San Jose Convention Center, CA - As the leading venue for residential green building, West Coast Green will serve as a central gathering point for regional movements including those in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Boulder, Salt Lake City, and Boise. Thousands of green professionals, businesses, and individuals will be coming together to network, display their resources, and grow strategic alliances. More info and registration here.

    Solar Power 2008
    Oct 13, 2008 - Oct 16, 2008

    San Diego Convention Center, California - Solar Power 2008 is where solar business takes place! If you have a professional interest in solar energy (photovoltaics, concentrating photovoltaics, solar thermal electric or solar hot water), this event has something to offer your business. Whether you walk the show floor to our 400+ exhibitors or you attend the 75+ conference sessions to learn about the latest market, policy, finance and technology happenings in the industry, you'll walk away with invaluable information and relationships. For the 5th year, Solar Power Conference and Expo will be the largest solar event in the US. More info and registration here.


    Here are some local political meetings in California:

    Desert Stonewall Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Palm Springs' Desert Stonewall Democrats Democratic Club Monthly Meeting
    NATIONAL STONEWALL DEMOCRATS MISSION:
    Pride in Our Country
    - Pride in Our Family
    - - Pride in Our Party

    MONTHLY MEETINGS
    The second SATURDAY of each month, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Desert Pride Center
    611 South Palm Canyon
    Palm Springs
    760-327-2313

    San Ramon Valley Democrats Meetings
    We are a group of dedicated Democrats living in the San Ramon Valley who have come together to support and promote the progressive social and political principles that always have been fundamental to the Democratic Party. The San Ramon Valley is comprised of Alamo, Blackhawk, Diablo, Danville, San Ramon, and southern Walnut Creek, and members of our club come from each of those communities. We meet once a month for an educational program at Mudd's Restaurant in San Ramon, alternating between lunch on the second Tuesday, and appetizers (no-host bar) on the evening of the fourth Thursday (6:30 PM). We register people to vote, walk precincts to arouse voters, raise money for candidates, and enjoy the opportunity to socialize with people of common interests. Go here for more info.

    Our meetings are lively and our programs are focused on issues of concern to Democrats, locally, statewide, and nationally. Our speakers are chosen for their astute insight into the problems before us as citizens and as voters. We socialize before and after the formal meetings, and enter into animated discussions about the topic of the day. In the process we become fast friends.

    Mudds Restaurant
    $22 per person (meal included)

    Democrats of North Orange County
    Bill Daly, President
    714-990-6767
    Bruce Sandercock, Vice-President
    714-871-5244
    P. O. Box 6597
    Fullerton, CA 92834
    Monthly meeting: First Thursday, Sizzler Restaurant,
    1401 N. Harbor, Fullerton; 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. meeting

    Santa Clara County (San Jose) Democratic Party Meetup
    We meet at 7:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Dem Party Office, 2102 Almaden Road, Suite 114, San Jose, 95125. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

    Brought to you by the Santa Clara County Democratic Party (http://www.sccdp.org).... Please join us to learn ways to help elect Democrats in Santa Clara County and beyond.

    ~~Together, America Can Do Better!~~

    On Almaden ROAD (not Expwy), between Curtner and Canoas Garden. It's OK to park in the big lot, despite posted warnings.

    Internet directions usually suggest taking Almaden Expressway, which is sometimes backed up. A lower stress route is to take Bird Avenue west from 280 and follow it all the way until it dead-ends at Malone. Left on Malone, Right on Almaden Road and 2102 is on the first corner on your left.

    We meet in Suite 114, first door on your left as you enter the glass doors marked Main Entrance.

    Peace Vigils in Tri-Valley Area:
    (Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton)

    Grandparents for Peace Weekly Vigil - Fridays from 3:30 to 4:30 in front of Rite-Aid Corner of Tice Valley Blvd and Rossmoor Parkway on the way to Rossmoor.

    Weekly Vigil at Oakland Federal Building Tuesdays at Noon, 1301 Clay Street (2 blocks west of 12th St. BART station). This vigil began in the Spring of 1998, when Madeline Albright tried to gain support for a war against Iraq. The focus has changed over time, and is now calling for an end to the Iraq War and the occupation.

    Martinez Peace Vigil - Sundays from 5:00 to 5:30 PM in front of Martinez City Hall. For iinfo: Barbara (925) 372-4152

    MONTHLY DEMONSTRATION: Seniors Against War Seal Beach
    Last Saturday of every month from 10 to Noon
    Contact: email: to2runners @ verizon.net
    Details: Senior Patriots Against the War in Seal Beach

    End the war-Bring the troops back home-Take care of them when they do come home.

    Senior Patriots Against the War is tightly focused on the above agenda only. We ask that other demonstrators joining us not bring signs regarding other causes which may dilute our message.

    Protest at Seal Beach Blvd
    At the entrance to Leisure World right next to Boeing plant and not too far from the Naval Weapons Stations, Seal Beach exit off the 405. Parking is at the Seal Beach Market. People need to bring their own signs.

    For more info: Tom Pontac at: to2runners@verizon.net
    or Jackie Bunnell at jackie.bunnell@verizon.net

    WEEKLY PEACE VIGIL IN HUNTINGTON BEACH: Every Sunday, 7 PM

    It's hard for most people to imagine a world at peace. We are a very small group of people who believe that this is indeed possible and that peace will happen once enough people believe that it can. So we stand at the pier every Sunday night with a sign that says: "Visualize World Peace. It's up to you". We also believe in non-violence both physically and in our thoughts. We will discuss peace and non-violence with anyone who is rational and smile quietly at those who aren't. We hold this vigil in a spirit of dignity and respect for all as we try to build bridges with those who don't share our philosophy.

    Please bring a candle or just help us hold up our banner (no signs please; we have our banner!)

    Contact: mtheriault@socal.rr.com


    California for Democracy:
    Here are some local Democracy for America groups (click on the link for more info)

    DFA Marin

    Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley

    Democratic Club of Coarsegold

    DFA - Central Coast

    DFA-CFD of Fresno & Madera Counties

    DFA-CFD of Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties

    Democracy for Monterey County

    DFA-Orange County

    East Bay for Democracy

    Sacramento for Democracy

    San Diego for Democracy

    (San Fernando) Valley Grassroots for Democracy

    San Francisco for Democracy

    San Mateo County Democracy for America

    Santa Barbara Progressive Coalition

    Sonoma County DFA


    Drinking Liberally:

    For those who like a more social, and beer focused, environment, there's Drinking Liberally. Here are the Drinking Liberally groups in California:

    San Jose
    * Second Thursday of each month, 6:30 and on
    * Trials Pub in downtown San Jose, 265 N 1st St (main cross streets: W St James and W Julian)
    * September is our first meeting with our new host! I'm looking for a co-host, so let me know if you are interested
    * Hosted by Mia White, sanjose (at) drinkingliberally.org


    Downtown Los Angeles
    * Third Wednesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 pm
    * The Edison, 108 West 2nd St
    * We'll be in the area past the bar, known as the "Generator Lounge" (the entrance to the bar is through the alley off of 2nd street)
    * Hosted by Vincent Jones, Cecilia Cabello, Becca Doten, Roxi Reeves and Jim Kennedy, downtownla (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Hollywood
    * Second Wednesday of each month, 7:00-9:00 PM
    * Molly Malone's Irish Pub, 575 South Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles 90036 (near corner of 6th avenue)
    * http://www.mollymalonesla.com/
    * Hosted by Vincent Jones, Jim Kennedy and Mary Jack, la (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Pasadena
    * Every Tuesday, 7:30-10:00 pm
    * Madeleine's Wine Bistro, 1030 E Green St (between Wilson and Catalina)
    * We'll start out in the wine bar, then move out to the front patio.
    * Hosted by Asa Hopkins, pasadena (at) drinkingliberally.org

    San Fernando Valley
    * First and third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * The White Harte Pub, 22456 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills (Two blocks west of Shoup Ave.)
    * Hosted by Andy Beaton and Jon Hytowitz, sfv (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Westside
    * Fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00-9:00 pm
    * Cock and Bull Pub, 2947 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
    * Hosted by Vincent Jones, Mary Jack, Robert Coyner, Gisele Perez, Jeremy Bloom, Tami Reiss, Marc Saltzberg and Jim Kennedy, westsidela (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Monterey, California
    * First Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm onward
    * Ol' Factory Cafe, 1725 Contra Costa St (In Sand City, off of Del Monte Blvd)
    * http://www.olfactorycafe.com/
    * Please note that The Ol' Factory Cafe currently only takes cash and local checks.
    * Hosted by Annie Ho, monterey (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Santa Ana
    * Every Thursday, 8:30 pm onward
    * Memphis Bar, 201 N Broadway (Artists Village)
    * Hosted by Mike Lawson, orangecounty (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Rancho Santa Margarita
    * Every Thursday, 7:00 pm onward
    * Canyon Fireside Grille, 22312 El Paseo
    * Hosted by Gary Kephart, rsm (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Huntington Beach
    * First and third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co. - Out Back On The Patio, 19461 Main St
    * Next Meeting will be on Thursday November 15th
    * Hosted by Scott McKown and Louise Stewardson, huntingtonbeach (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Sacramento, California
    * Second Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * BJs Restaurant and Brewery, 3531 N Freeway Blvd (Natomas)
    * Come check out our new venue and meet some new people!
    * Hosted by Leslie Simmons, sacramento (at) drinkingliberally.org

    San Diego, California
    * Every other Tuesday, 7:30 pm onward
    * Nunu's Cocktail Lounge, 3537 5th Ave (Between Brookes and Ivy Ln)
    * We will also be meeting periodically at Firehouse in Pacific Beach for special editions of Drinking Liberally. 722 Grand Avenue Pacific Beach, CA 92109
    * Hosted by Jesse Rubin and Jason Miller, sandiego (at) drinkingliberally.org

    San Francisco
    * Every Monday, 7:00-9:00 pm
    * Nickie's, 466 Haight Street (between Fillmore & Webster) (Look for our red, white and blue striped bottle!)
    * Hosted by Susan Harrison, sf (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Oakland
    * Second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
    * Luka's Taproom & Lounge, 2221 Broadway
    * Join us for the Eating Liberally Oakland Brunch at Luka's
    * Hosted by Cyril Allen and Philip Combs, oakland (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Napa
    * First and third Monday of each month, 5:00-6:30 pm
    * Compadre's, 505 Lincoln Ave
    * Hosted by Mick Winter and Lauren Coodley, napa (at) drinkingliberally.org


    San Luis Obispo, California
    * First and third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * The Graduate, 990 Industrial Way
    * Hosted by Lorrie Toles and Sergio Monge, slo (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Santa Barbara, California
    * Every Wednesday, 8 pm - 10 pm
    * Elsie's Bar, 117 W de la Guerra St (behind Paseo Nuveo Mall)
    * Elsie's is 21+ and cash only
    * Hosted by Daryl Chrisman and Bart Woolery, santabarbara (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Santa Clarita, California
    * Second Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * Mulligans, 25848 Tournament Rd (Near Cal Arts)
    * Hosted by Michael Cruz, Bill Bailey and Minerva Williams, santaclarita (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Santa Cruz, California
    * First Tuesday of each month, 8:00 pm onward
    * Cafe Pergolesi, 418 Cedar St (In the orange room to the right and back)
    * Hosted by Brandon Smith and Natalie Rojas, santacruz (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Stockton, California
    * Third Friday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * Stockton Grand Hotel, 2323 Grand Canal Blvd (Front of Bar)
    * Grand Hotel tel. 209-957-9090
    * Joel's Cell: 209-351-3397
    * Hosted by Joel Carignan, stockton (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Ventura, California
    * Second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 8:00 pm
    * JJ Brewsky's, now and forever, 2344 Ventura Blvd, Camarillo (in the heart of Old Town Camarillo)
    * Join us every second and fourth Wednesdays at 8:00 PM for a pint and some politics!
    * Heather, Marie, Mark and Brian
    * Hosted by Heather Schmidt, Marie Davis, Mark Eggertsen and Brian Mack, ventura (at) drinkingliberally.org

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