We had a great attendance at our January meeting with many people wanting to get involved and figure out ways to contribute; seven new members joined the Club. This was followed two days later by the ADEM elections in AD 44 (and around the state) on January 7-8. The turn-out at the Orchid Building on a rainy Saturday morning was amazing. The previous ADEM election was a fairly relaxed affair. Not so this time. Statewide, the number of candidates was double that of the last election. Hundreds turned out from across AD 44. Friends and neighbors lined up to vote in an atmosphere of friendly animated discussions, speeches (a generous 45 seconds allotted per candidate!) and retail politicking with leaflets by candidates and their slates. AD 44 featured many great candidates who received vote tallies that would easily have won in previous years, but many fell short because of the large number of people running. I want to thank the many members of the Club who turned out, as well as the Central Committee who did the hard up-and-down lifting of holding the election and counting the votes. Carla Castilla, Rick Gardner, and I were elected from our Club. The enthusiasm and turn-out among our members participating in the ADEM elections bodes well for our activities over the next few years.
January 21st was another great day of activism. Almost two thousand buses converged on Washington from around the country to join more than 200,000 locals for the Women’s March. Many have commented that it appeared more people turned out in Washington for the Women’s March than showed up for the inauguration. The Star reported that as many as 750,000 people participated in the March in Los Angeles and that some 670 marches (including in Ventura) were held in all fifty states.
This energy is very welcome and it is clear that we will have plenty to do at the Club. We will continue to invite speakers who can help us become better educated about issues of importance to our membership, starting with Professor Herb Gooch at our February 2nd meeting.
At our E-Board meeting last week, we discussed setting up a new Committee that would track Congressional legislative activity and the Administration’s policy initiatives, as well as information of interest to our members about local activities. The idea is that this Committee will be in a position to raise our awareness with a brief (2-3 minute) report to our monthly meeting when issues of concern are about to be taken up. The Committee could also act as a clearinghouse for upcoming activities that our members may be interested in. Volunteers for this Committee, as well as our other committees, and your ideas are always welcome – there is always more work to be done than time or hands to do it!