April 14, 1997

California Democrats Hold Convention

Congressman Fazio Visits Davis Kids

From the Vice President

College Democrats Update

1998 Election Preview - State Senate

Did You Know?

Democratic News Bites...

California Democrats Hold Convention

Nearly 2,100 dedicated Democrats gathered April 4-6 at the Sacramento Convention Center for the California Democratic Party's annual Convention.

The convention's focus was the election of party officers to a variety of posts that will lead the Party to victory in 1998. Offices from Regional Director to Chair were on the ballot, and an impressive number of delegates turned out to participate in the election.

Chairman Art Torres - a former State Senator - was reelected to a second term. Torres replaced Bill Press when Press stepped down to take a job as a commentator on Cable News Network's popular political talk show "Crossfire".

First Vice-Chair, replacing Angela Alioto, who did not choose to run for reelection. The office of Second Vice-Chair went to labor activist Alexandra Rooker, a member of the Communications Workers of America local in Los Angeles. She replaces Arlene Holt, who recently moved to Washington, D.C.

Jim Clarke was reelected to the office of Secretary, closely defeating Eric Bauman.

The office of Controller was filled by Antonio Salazar-Hobson, who replaces Tal Finney. Finney did not run for reelection.

Elected to represent Region 3 of the party, which includes Davis, was Dan Weitzman, the former Treasurer of California Young Democrats.

The convention was much more than a forum for electing party leaders, however. Many elected officials and possible candidates were present to address convention delegates.

Potential gubernatorial candidates Al Checchi, Controller Kathleen Connell, Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and former Chief of Staff Leon Panetta were all present.

Davis made a passionate speech to delegates charging Attorney General and probable GOP nominee Dan Lungren with being closely allied with the tobacco industry. Connell delivered an address about her accomplishments in creating a more efficient government. All of the caucus meetings of the Party were well-attended, with many lively debates on issues and speeches by candidates and elected officials.

In addition, delegates found plenty of time to socialize at hospitality suites after the regular convention hours. Assemblymember Helen Thomson co-sponsored one such suite, which was well attended. At the suite, newly elected Northern California Democratic Assemblymembers offered thanks to the many volunteers who assisted in their campaigns.

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Congressman Fazio Visits Davis Kids

It's not often that kids get to turn the tables and teach adults, but that is what happened at Birch Lane Elementary in Davis on March 26.

On this bright, spring day, Congressman Fazio stopped by the school to learn from the students what the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) program was teaching them.

The program which was initiated by Vice President Al Gore to encourage students to use technology to better understand the needs and conditions of their local environment, teaches students about weather, biology, hydrology, water chemistry and geology.

The students didn't just show Fazio the advanced equipment, however. They insisted on quizzing the Congressman. One student tested the congressman's knowledge of atmospheric science


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Vice President's Report

It was with initial uncertainty that I attended the recent California Democratic Party Convention in Sacramento. Frankly, I thought it might be boring.

I figured the enthusiasm of delegates would be down at an off-election year and potential candidates would stay away until the 1998 Convention. In addition, there were no big-name speakers like in years past (Hillary Clinton last year, her husband, our President, the year before).

The mood of the delegates was spirited and determined, no doubt the result of our party's success last November. There was so much enthusiasm, in fact, it seemed people were already focused on winning big in 1998.

There was huge interest in workshop that, on paper, seemed certain to be dull. A packed crowd listened to the state Party's attorney explain how Proposition 208 will impact spending on campaigns, and very thoughtful questions were asked. And at the Rural Caucus, delegates were downright demanding. They charged state Party leaders with withholding support to state and federal candidates from rural areas.

Contrary to what I had anticipated, our elected representatives did not stay home, and neither did potential candidates. Assemblymember Helen Thomson was there very step of the way, even hosting a hospitality suite one evening. Senator Mike Thompson was there, as were representatives from Congressman Vic Fazio's office (chiefly Bill Ritter). There were plenty more local elected officials on hand then in previous years.

Plenty of politicking went on as well. Gray Davis, Leon Panetta, Dianne Feinstein, Kathleen Connell, and Al Checchi were on hand to pitch their potential candidacies for Governor. Barbara Boxer made a passionate appeal for help with her re-election campaign to the U.S. Senate. A little closer to home in Davis, Lisa Chin was elected Regional Director for the Central Valley of California Young Democrats. Cinthia Hamner-Portugal and Fiona Moore were elected President and Vice President, respectively of California College Democrats.

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College Democrats Update

April 13 - Watsonville
College Democrats of UC Davis will be joining Democrats from across the state for a rally supporting the United Farm Workers. This union rally against unfair working conditions will feature speakers including Rainbow Coalition's Jesse Jackson and National Organization of Women's (NOW) Patricia Ireland. Buses will be departing from selected college campuses at 7:30 AM.

April 18, 19, 20 - Claremont
The College Democrats of America Region 14 Conference (which encompasses California, Hawaii, and Nevada) will be hosted this year by the College Democrats of Claremont Colleges. College Democrats of UC Davis will be traveling to Southern California to attend the conference, which will include workshops and guest speakers including Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis.

Late June - Washington, D.C.
College Democrats of UC Davis will be sending a delegation to the annual College Democrats of America conference. Besides attending workshops and seminars, nationwide CDA officers will be elected, and members will be lobbying on Capitol Hill on behalf of college students nationwide! Last year's featured speakers included Vice President Al Gore and the Department of Energy's Hazel O'Leary.

To assist in the cost of sending club members to Washington, D.C. for the CDA convention, the club is currently holding a fund raising drive. If you would like to assist in the fund raising efforts of the College Democrats by fully or partially sponsoring a member's trip to Washington, please contact Lisa Chin at 916-731-1646.

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1998 Election Preview - State Senate

Is it possible for Democrats to take back the 4th Senate District, currently held by Republican Maurice Johannessen in 1998? Certainly suggests the data.

Let's look at the numbers. Voter registration alone give Democrats a slight edge, with Dems boasting 45.17% of the registered voters and Reps carrying 39.22%. In addition, if you add the total votes that both Democratic Assembly nominees received in last November's election, a Democrat running in the Senate seat would have won! (Each Senate seat is composed of two Assembly districts). Helen Thomson received 75,010 votes and John Growney received 63,029, for a total of 138, 039. That easily beats the 129,534 that the two GOP members received.

Voter registration figures are as of October, 1996.

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Did You Know?

  • ...that your State Senator Maurice Johannessen has taken these contributions? $500 Phillip Morris USA - 12/13/93; $500 Phillip Morris USA - 5/11/95; $500 Phillip Morris USA - 3/21/96. Phillip Morris is one of the nation's leading tobacco companies.

  • ...that Senator Johannessen voted against requesting the Attorney General to join the multistate lawsuit against the tobacco companies for smoking-related medical costs? (SCR 4 - 4/20/97)

  • ...that Senator Johannessen co-authored a bill to exempt religious and civic groups from state civil rights laws? (SB 806-1995)

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Democratic News Bites

  • The DDC Executive Board continues to meet the first Monday of each month, and any member is welcome to attend. If you are interested in attending, contact Bill Ritter at 757-2925.

  • The Executive Board has formed a by-laws review committee that will be recommending changes in the next few months.

  • Bill Ritter - DDC President - has been appointed by Congressman Fazio as Field Representative for the southern section of the district.

  • Kudos go to Davis Democratic Club members Lisa Chin and Cinthia Hamner-Portugal who were staff for the California Democratic Party's State Convention

  • More kudos to the many Davis Democrats who volunteered many hours to make the Convention a success.

  • Congratulations to Supervisor Dave Rosenberg who was recently appointed by Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante to the California Council on Criminal Justice.

  • 8th Assembly District Chair Cindy Tuttle is off to a great start, convening special groups to address such issues as fundraising under Proposition 208.

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This web page is authorized and paid for by the Davis Democratic Club (Copyright ©1997) and
updated by
Cinthia Hamner-Portugal. Last updated: June 10, 1997

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