County party head, City Hall reporter headline June meeting

By  Linda Armacost and Jeff Benesch

It’ll be another star-studded affair for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. On Wednesday, June 1, just six days before the vital California Primary Election, none other than Francine Busby will highlight our program. Head of the San Diego County Democratic Party, Busby is a frequent guest of the club and will no doubt give her progress report on the state of Democratic candidates running for office in many crucial primary races.

She’ll be joined on the program by noted City Hall reporter and longtime Voice of San Diego (VOSD) scribe, Andrew Keatts. It should make for a fascinating conversation, with Busby relating her views of what we need to do as activists and progressives to help Democrats win at the polls on June 7, and Keatts telling it like it is — his observations as to who is probably going to win in several vigorously contested city and county races. Will the San Diego City Council keep its Democratic majority? Will Mayor Faulconer win without a November election contest? Keatts will relate why it’s so difficult to unseat an incumbent in San Diego primary elections.


Francine Busby

Busby has distinguished herself as a strong advocate for women and girls, public education and equal opportunity for all Americans. She is the former executive director of Run Women Run, a nonprofit organization dedicated to electing pro-choice women. Busby has also served as the president of the Cardiff School District and previously ran for Congress. Since 2004, she has been at the forefront of the dynamic growth of the San Diego County Democratic Party as a candidate, mentor, volunteer, North Area Vice Chair, and fundraiser.

Keatts has the City Hall beat at VOSD and, in his own words, “writes about land use, development, politics, all the things that work together to make the city the way it is for the people that live here.” Keatts is a 2006 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, and previously worked for the San Diego Daily Transcript. He claims to like the Baltimore Orioles, food, music, beer, his dog Bodie and his wife, not necessarily in that order.

Also on the docket, we’ll hear from our friends on the Lemon Grove City Council — both now running for mayor of that neighboring town — George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez. We hope to not only hear them tout their accomplishments, but endorse one or the other. They’ve been longtime members and supporters of our club, and it appears it’s a no-lose proposition for our membership and the city of Lemon Grove.

We’ll also be voting on the 2016 slate of officers for the club, and Busby will do us the honor of swearing the newly elected into office.


Andy Keatts

And lastly, on Saturday, June 4, the LMFDC will proudly march in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade, now an annual tradition, one in which a “President Obama” joins our procession with a special “Secret Service” detail. It’s always an honor and a lot of fun to join our many fellow La Mesa organizations in walking the couple mile parade route through the heart of town.

La Mesa, like many of the communities we represent, is filled with fellow Democrats and supporters. Our members also live in San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro, College area and several other close in East County communities. Our meetings are open to all and take place in the lovely La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just North of University Avenue.

We gather on the first Wednesday of every month and begin at 7 p.m. after a half hour of social time with snacks, salads, beverages, desserts and much camaraderie. Don’t forget our Annual Party in the Park on July 6 as we celebrate Independence Day at the beautiful Mission Trails Visitors Center. Details can be found on our website and follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.

—Linda Armacost is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Reach them at

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