Veterans Caucus Meets in Burlingame
CDP Veterans Caucus: Dick Price, Roger Hart, Armando Telles, Karen Marie Otter, Russ Weed, and Rick Reyes.
As part of the California Democratic Party's Executive Board meeting in November, the Veterans Caucus met several weeks ago on a chilly night in Burlingame, a San Francisco bedroom community, to recap the year's accomplishments and plan for the big 2012 election year.
At its rather sparsely attending meeting, the Caucus unanimously supported four veterans-related planks for inclusion in the 2012 Platform. Brought forth by former Caucus Chair Bob Handy, the four planks addressed
- upgraded discharges for veterans involuntarily discharged under Don't Ask Don't Tell,
- providing electronic ballots for overseas service members,
- supporting veterans courts, and
- offering lay leaders to service members.
Jess Durfee, four-term Chair of San Diego County's Central Committee, updated us on the ongoing redistricting process, which promises good things for California Democrats across the board, with potential seat pickups in both State Legislature houses and in California's Congressional contingent. Durfee indicated that the badly needed super majority in the State Assembly might be within reach, which explains the current Republican legal challenge.
Also speaking were Los Angeles Congressmembers Howard Berman and Janice Hahn, who both will likely face primary challenges from fellow Democratic incumbents this coming spring thanks to the redistricting process. Berman recounted his service as a National Guardsman and efforts to keep the Westwood VA for veteran use. Newly elected Hahn pledged to work for better care for returning Afganistan and Iraq War veterans.
Caucus Chair Rick Reyes announced the creation of a Caucus Resolutions Committee and Organizing Committee, with Secretary Armando Telles taking charge of the latter and the former possibly becoming part of the Communications Committee.
I reported that we now have a full suite of media tools in place to communicate with Caucus members, key California Democratic Party members, and the general public. Special thanks go to Bill Lachmacher for building the website and to Cres Velluci for heading the fast response press relations effort.
We now have an attractive website, a lively Facebook page, an electronic newsletter, and a Twitter feed, in addition to the press release capability. These tools are being used, but could support much more activity. Caucus members can contact me or any of the officers and members of the communications team with their ideas, stories, and events.
See you at the San Diego Caucus meeting.
Communications Team Chair