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May 2013 Democratic Club Meeting

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The Democratic State Convention general session on Saturday, April 13, featured speeches from State party leaders as well as a few private citizens with important messages who were invited to speak. Steve and Rosemarie Smallcombe, and Christina Oborn, put together a video montage (above) of some of the Session's representative moments to share with Mariposa Democratic Club and Central Committee members. (Full versions of the various videos can be found here.)

The video begins with Nancy Pelosi, Miniority Leader of the US House of Representatives, paying tribute to state party chair John Burton's leadership and service. She thanks the membership for electing 11 new Democratic representatives to the House, making the CA democratic caucus the most diverse in the history of Congress and "the world." But, she said, we are "just getting started," vocalizing a major theme of the Party as it gears up for the 2014 election year.

The next selection, John Vigna, president of the California Young Democrats, hails from Redding and Bakersfield, and speaks about becoming active in the Democratic Party when he was in high school. He pledges his group to be the party's "youth army" in getting out the vote to elect more Democrats to office.

Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner, speaks about the importance of health insurance, implementing the Affordable Health Care Act, and working together to pass legislation in California that will allow his office to reject excessive rate increases proposed by health insurance companies.

Gavin Newsome begins his speech with jokes about his six day "reign" as Acting Governor since the governor, Jerry Brown, was on a business development trip to China, but he quickly gets serious in listing the major progressive issues that still, he feels, need to be accomplished: chronic homelessness, poverty, joblessness, immigration reform, marriage equality, ending the death penalty and legalization of marijuana.

The next speaker, Barbara Andridge, was invited to speak to the Convention attendees because of her experience as a Walmart employee. Although technically a full time employee, her work schedule is so erratic that she can not accrue enough hours to afford health care for her and her family. She has become politically active with other employees to fight the Walmart work schedule policy and to stand up for the right to a basic living wage.

Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, discusses the current political trend to require voters to have a photo ID which she labels 'pure partisan politics' since those most likely to not have a photo ID are urban, elderly, and low income, all of which most likely vote Democratic.

Another private citizen invited to speak was Tom Steyer. He is an asset manager, philanthropist, and self-described as " passionate about energy, climate and the state of California." Tom was the major financial backer on the "no on 23" campaign in 2010 and was also the major driver behind the "yes on 39" campaign which closed a tax loophole used by multistate corporations to avoid paying taxes in California and is expected to increase state revenues by about $1 billion over the next five years.

The last speaker on the video montage is Kamala Harris, Attorney General. She pays tribute to the leadership of Jerry Brown and John Burton who addressed and worked to solve California's $27 Billion dollar deficit, bringing to the state a balanced budget for the first time in ten years. She discusses how California has been the leader on other issues, the latest being the fight for marriage equality. She reminds the Convention attendees that more needs to be done - for immigration reform, gun laws, worker and collective bargaining rights, women's reproductive freedom, and more funding for education.