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Monday, June 11, 2007

Lt. Governor Garamendi and Many Local Candidates Highlight Champagne Brunch

The Davis Democratic Club had its annual Champagne Brunch Sunday, drawing around 80 people from Davis including two statewide officials and many local officials and candidates for local others.

The key note speaker was Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who represented Davis for eight years as a State Senator. He described Davis as home.
"It's good to be back in Davis, it's always good to be in Davis. Why? I don't know of another community in California that cares so much about the future, not only of its community, but the city, the county, and the state and beyond. And your caring and your concern about where we are today, where we're going to be tomorrow and beyond, really makes this an extremely important community, not only for California but really across the nation. You are leaders in many many ways. This incredible university here, the research that's going on, the educational facilities, and the opportunity to have three of my daughters go through this university makes this home."
Garamendi spoke about four key issues--calling these security issues as he talked about issues that go beyond simply what he called the horrific debacle of Iraq. Issues that are key to our well-being.

First he talked about the climate crisis.
"It is absolutely crucial that we immediately engage in reducing not just as far as we can, but even more than we can the greenhouse gases. If there is ever a community that has led the way it is this community with some extraordinary urban planning, and the community here with its awareness of climate, its awareness of urban planning. If there is ever a community that has led the way it is this community. But that is not enough, we have got to move beyond carbon based fuels, and we can."
He also talked about the water system, "the water system is not going to work as it has for the last century."

The second issue was education.
"This economy will not continue to be the strongest and the most robust in the world, giving us an opportunity to share the great wealth, with all of our people, if we don't have the best educated workforce in the world and we're not there. We have to talk about this as a national security issue, because it is. If the economy falters all sorts of bad things will happen in this nation and around the world."
Next was health care.
"Again this is a national security issue because the economy of this state and nation cannot continue to put money in this wasteful system. And it is a wasteful system as it puts a full 30% into administration costs... It is not just an economic problem, it is a human problem. One job, one illness, and you are out of luck."
He spoke in support of a single payer system. "When people say we can't do it, tell them we have done it." He was referring to Medicare. This is a system that has worked for fifty years, it is a single payer system. He talked about simply expanding that system to the rest of the country in order to provide the uninsured with affordable health care.

Finally, he spoke of the need to protect civil liberties and civil rights from government encroachment.
"The security of this nation is in fundamental jeopardy, when we forget the bill of rights, when we forget to fight each and every day for every one of the bill of rights. And what's happened the last six years with the Bush administration is incredible erosion of our civil liberties, in ways that most of us don't understand yet."
Garamendi's speech highlighted the day, but we also got a visit from Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who said a few brief words late in the event.

The other important aspect of the day, was the number of local candidates who came, some of whom spoke briefly, others did not. The Vanguard will be the top place in the coming year for local campaign and election information. There will be feature interviews with several of the local announced candidates in the coming weeks.

We start at the top of the local ticket, State Assemblywoman Lois Wolk was there introducing Lt. Governor John Garamendi, which is of some intrigue because John Garamendi, Jr. was also at this event, although he did not speak. The younger Garamendi is widely expected to run against Assemblywoman Wolk for the State Senate seat that his father previously held.

Both candidates for the 8th Assembly District spoke, Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. These two will face each other this evening in Fairfield in their first debate.

Two of the three candidates for 4th District Yolo County Supervisor were there. Jim Provenza, currently a school board member. And John Ferrera was there with literature and endorsement forms. Ferrera is State Senator Denise Ducheny's chief of staff and this was almost his formal announcement.

Three likely Davis City Council candidates were there--all incumbents--Mayor Greenwald, and Councilmembers Stephen Souza and Don Saylor.

Two school board candidates were there, Richard Harris who spoke and Bob Schelen who did not speak.

Undoubtedly there will be more candidates for these offices as time goes on, but here we are in June of 2007, and we already have a large slate of candidates lined up.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting