March President’s Column

We did it! Election Night was a resounding success for Democrats, all across the country and right here in California. President Obama was overwhelmingly re-elected, we passed Prop 30 to spare our education system from Draconian cuts and we beat back the Republican power grab Prop 32. And Democrats picked up super-majorities in both the state assembly and the state senate!

We, the members of the PDC, the largest and oldest Silicon Valley Democratic Club, helped make these victories possible. We volunteered for thousands of hours to ensure Democratic Party success all across the country. We worked tirelessly for almost a year to help turn the Democratic Volunteer Center (DVC) from idea to reality. What a success it was, with hundreds of volunteers working for everything from local initiatives to the President’s re-election. Some of us volunteered in Democratic Party offices up and down the Peninsula, while others traveled to battleground states to do everything from knocking on doors to voter protection efforts on Election Day. And your membership dues and additional contributions allowed our Club to make a record amount of donations to Democratic candidates and propositions in 2012. See the November-December 2012 Newsletter (at www.peninsulademocrats.org if you don’t have a copy) for some of the details and to remember all we did in glorious detail!

 

We must build on our momentum. You know the Republicans aren’t going to take this lying down. The worst thing we can do is be smug or complacent. During this quiet electoral year is the time to institutionalize and develop our strengths. That’s why this year my goal is to lay the groundwork for the 2014 election by continuing our work while expanding our membership and new participation in the club.

To do this, the Board needs your help. In addition to supporting by contributing to the club financially and by attending events, every month I’ll ask you the same two things:

  • What are your favorite things about the PDC, and what ideas for speakers and programs do you have? Have you read or heard someone locally that you’d like us to consider?
  • Do you have a friend (or two) who likes to talk about current or historical politics who you could bring to an event and introduce to the PDC? That’s how I got here: a neighbor introduced me to the PDC and kept inviting me to events until I started attending. Just like electoral politics, much of this is person to person. I want our Club to reach out to new communities. Last year

I want our Club to reach out to new communities. Last year we became chartered in San Mateo County, in addition to our long-standing charter in Santa Clara County. Do you have San Mateo County friends who want to be part of a great Democratic Club (at a very reasonable price!)? And the speakers at our first two programs this year feature new faces with fresh and different perspectives. If you came to the annual meeting, you met newly minted Congressman, 32 year old Eric Swalwell, who showed us that incumbent Congressman Pete Stark didn’t just lose his seat, but that Eric won it. If you weren’t there, you missed an introduction to a dynamic new Democratic leader. And our April 20 program will feature a unique speaker, Sabahat Rafiq, giving a historical perspective on religion and the politics of Pakistan and its neighbors. We are strengthening our relationship with the Peninsula Young Democrats Club. We hope all these new Democratic leaders will help our Club reach out to a wider audience.

So, next time you’re having that political discussion with a friend, ask them if they are a PDC member and if they’d like to come to one of our great events. And then, let them know what’s coming up. And if you have feedback about the club, or ideas for local speakers, please pass them along. This is our club and it makes a difference to the future of our country how much and how well we do. Here’s to a great 2013! 

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