Dems are fired up

By Linda Armacost and Jeff Benesch | La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (LMFDC), already one of the largest and most active chartered Democratic clubs in the county, is experiencing a record influx of new members and intrigued guests as we explore the actual facts of a Trump presidency and their effect on our long held American values.

We had a standing room crowd of over 210 attendees to hear our all-star panel of environmental heroes at our Feb. 1 meeting, and are expecting big turnouts for our March 1 panel about the utterly contemptible Trump immigration policy, and then our April 5 meeting featuring the renowned environmental activist Tom Steyer, founder of NextGen Climate.

If ever there was a time to join with fellow Democrats and progressives, Trump’s alarming group of Republican anti-government ne’er-do-wells should be your clarion call.

It turns out that all one needs to head a Trump cabinet department you are totally unqualified to lead is to make millions of dollars of campaign contributions to Republican senators. Or direct the EPA if you have sued it multiple times in the past. Or head Housing and Urban Development if you admit you have no expertise in that field. Become Secretary of State if you head a large corporation that does mega-business with our sworn enemy. Head the Labor Department if you are against all manner of employee protections.

Want to reform banking? Add six Goldman Sachs people to your inner circle. Want peace in the Middle East? Put hawks in charge of the Defense Department. Want to create transparency in the White House? Put a spin-mistress propagandist in charge of your messaging. And this is just a partial list.

Want to fight back? Resist? We have proven strategies to influence our elected representatives and hold them accountable. Join LMFDC for as little as $30 a year and become involved. We serve the communities of La Mesa, San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, the College Area, Mt. Helix, Santee, Casa de Oro, and other nearby East County communities.

We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the very nice La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just off University Avenue in La Mesa. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting and program kicking off at 7 p.m.

Michael Provence

Our March 1 meeting will feature UCSD professor Michael Provence, a modern Middle Eastern historian who specializes in Syria and the Arab region.

He will talk about recent U.S. Middle East policy and the possible consequences of the new rhetorical landscape.

We hope Provence will unravel the effects of the Trump immigration ban on refugees in the U.S. and in this volatile war-torn region.





Ben Kalasho

We’ll also be privileged to hear from Democrat Ben Kalasho, himself an Iraqi-American, and an influential member of the large Chaldean Community in East County.

Councilmember Kalasho was elected to the El Cajon City Council in November.

Prior to his landmark election, he was the founder and president of the San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, which is one of the fastest growing business groups in San Diego.



Jessica Hayes


Lastly, the newly elected chairperson of the San Diego County Democratic Party, long-time activist Jessica Hayes, will highlight the party’s efforts to fight and counter radical right-wing policies and push San Diego County to the forefront in our efforts to elect Democrats on all levels.

Hayes has been a lifelong advocate for women, workers, and equal justice. She was previously a member of Dianne Feinstein’s kitchen cabinet, organized studio employees with the Teamsters, and has volunteered for countless campaigns.

Find out more about our meetings visit our website at, or friend us on Facebook. Here’s hoping to see you on Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m.

—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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