A few weeks ago, as I drove up the 101 on our way to a local protest, I played Aretha Franklin's legendary hit "Respect" for my 8 year old daughter. Listening to one of the Queen of Soul's most famous songs made me think about the impact that these types of strong anthems have had on me growing up. I remember growing up listening to provoking songs such as “Fortunate Son” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969), “Treat Me Right” (Pat Benatar, 1980), and the ever so popular and inspirational “Don't Stop Believin'” (Journey, 1981); and, I am almost certain that my activism started the day that my parents bought me the “We Are The World” 45 (USA for Africa, 1985). (This is where our younger members will be Googling what a “45” is.)
I know that this may come across as a music blog versus a blog for a Democratic Club, but I can't but help connect the messages of all of these songs and others, that speak out from countless musical genres, to the social and political climate in which each of them were written into. These songs were born from pain, frustration, fear, and the desire to make a change. These are the exact circumstances that many of us find ourselves in today.
I think it would be difficult to write a song that expresses the trauma that the Trump administration is causing so many people. As of today, there are still nearly 500 migrant children who were taken from their families and continue to be psychologically traumatized (I would like to remind you that this tactic was intentional– the President's intent was to cause trauma to these families as a form of deterrent. He willfully and purposefully traumatized children.). His intent on appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a threat to civil liberties of our citizens, especially to those with internal reproductive organs. It has come out that the White House is withholding 100,000 pages of Judge Kavanaugh's records. Why?... Well, we all know why. Because there is incriminating information in there that would likely make it very difficult for Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed as SCOTUS.
Hopefully soon the President will be having his own difficulties. The Mueller investigation is heating up, with the Special Counsel's investigation having so far produced nearly 200 criminal charges against 32 people and three businesses. Six people have pleaded guilty to crimes, including former Trump associates (former campaign adviser George Papadopoules, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign adviser Rick Gates, and now Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney). Former Trump associate and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was also found guilty of eight of the 18 financial crimes charged against him. Mueller is closing in on Trump and many speculate that the Special Counsel is close to being able to connect Trump to illegal activity to which he will suffer consequences - which may include indictment. Hopefully soon, the only wall that will be built, will be the walls of a jail cell built for a former president.
With all of the political turmoil going on, I find myself looking somewhere for inspiration, somewhere for strength. I often look to the powerful anthems and songs that have come out of the events we are living today, such as “Where is the Love” (Black Eyed Peas Ft. Justin Timberlake, 2003), “Run the World (Girls)” (Beyonce, 2011), and “Born This Way” (Lady Gaga, 2011). Music will always connect us to the world, connect our hearts and souls with the plights of those around us, and if we listen close enough, we can hear that even though many of the words seem to be coming from a place of anger and fear they always end in hope. As long as we care, as long as we fight these injustices, fight for the earth, and fight the current administration... there is hope; and, this hope reminds me of the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac... “Don't stop thinking about tomorrow” (“Don't Stop”, 1977).
Closer To Home
As I am sure all of you know, there are three seats up for election for Camarillo City Council. Nine candidates are running for the three seats, and several of those candidates are members of our own club, including our former President Angus Simmons. We will be hosting our annual fundraiser, Camarillo Blue, on October 7th. This is where we will provide the community an opportunity to meet our local Democratic candidates and contribute to their campaigns. I encourage everyone to attend, and if you are not able to, please carve out some time to speak with all of the candidates to see which resonate most with you and your values. We also have two City Council term limit measures that will be on the ballot in November - Measures E and M. Measure E allows up to 12 years service (three four-year terms), followed by a required four-year break before running again. Measure M allows up to eight years service (two four-year terms) and that's it. There is much more comprehensive information online on each measure, and I certainly encourage everyone to read as much as they can before making their informed decision.
Additionally around elections, those of us in the Democratic Club of Camarillo, who are interested in helping to flip a House seat can participate in the CA-25 race, where Katie Hill is running against Republican incumbent Steve Knight.
Calls To Action
- There are still more than 500 children who are separated from their families. Every day away is causing them more and more trauma. Make calls, protest, donate, talk about it. Whatever you can.
- SB100 – Call Governor Brown (916-445-2841) and ask that he sign SB100, pledging to make California 100% renewable grid energy by 2045.
- Kavanaugh cannot become SCOTUS. If Kavanaugh is seated, then he will be making decisions on if a sitting President can be indicted. Continue to call and express your discontent with the nomination.
- In February the Ventura County Planning Department approved three new oil and gas wells in Oxnard, on the close border to Camarillo. We need to work to change the archaic “zoning clearance” process by which these wells were approved.
- Flip the House - we still have a lot of work to do to keep fighting to win back the house. Write those post cards, make those calls, and advocate, advocate, advocate.
Dates To Remember
- September 8- People's Climate March and RISE
- September 16 – Kennedy Legacy Awards Dinner
- September 25 – National Voter Registration Day
- October 7 - Camarillo Blue (Our annual fundraiser for Democratic candidates)
- November 6 – Election Day
Our Club Meetings
I hope to see you at our Club meeting this Thursday, September 6th. Our speaker will be Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, who will discuss issues and legislation of importance to Ventura County. She will also fill us in on her re-election campaign.
On October 4th I will be speaking on Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Project. I am a recent graduate of his training held in Los Angeles.