By Linda Armacost
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club — representing members from San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, La Mesa, College area, Mt. Helix and other surrounding communities —will have Davin Widgerow, environmental lawyer and activist, keynote its Jan. 7 meeting.
Though not a longtime San Diego resident, Widgerow nonetheless represents the new wave of nature lovers and conservationists, who expertly blend policy and politics, volunteerism with occupational advocacy. Not long after moving to San Diego to work with a local environmental law firm, Widgerow joined the local chapter of the Sierra Club. He was soon appointed to join the new executive steering committee and was recently elected chair of the club’s political committee.
Though a native South African, Widgerow has fallen in love with U.S. national parks and forests. Between his undergraduate years at U.C. Berkeley, law school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and subsequent years in Southern California, he’s traversed the country’s most scenic and breathtaking monuments and landmarks. In San Diego, he has explored many of our county’s hiking trails using Jerry Schad’s hiking bible, “Afoot and Afield: San Diego County.” He will address his commitment to establishing dynamic networks of activists and elected officials to realize our shared visions for a beautiful, sustainable county. Davin has been inspired by the works of John Muir, Edward Abbey, Theodore Roosevelt and David Brower, and he is passionate about devoting his talents, energies and law career to protecting the Earth.
Also attending our January meeting will be newly elected La Mesa City Councilmember Guy McWhirter. A longtime city resident and businessman, Guy will address the club about his personal goals and reflections and is eager to hear our input into the direction the city should be taking. If you are a La Mesa resident, this is your chance to direct some personal recommendations to the newly sworn-in Councilmember McWhirter.
We were fortunate at our December meeting to hear the eloquent and learned professor Marjorie Cohn and her in-depth review of her latest book about the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) in targeted killings and intelligence gathering. Many of us walked away with a new outlook on our country’s growing reliance on such clandestine weapons in war and peacetime.
We also had the pleasure of hearing the wonderful flamenco guitarist Anthony Garcia play during our holiday feast, and he was spectacular as expected. Everyone should have the experience of listening to Garcia’s wonderful musical talents.
Over 100 of our members partook in the robust holiday potluck at La Mesa Community Center, with more than enough roast turkey, ham and all the trimmings for an army. Many thanks to all the great board members and club members that helped out and/or brought food to share — and to vice president of membership Jane Inglese for her spectacular decorations and centerpieces that a few lucky members got to take home.
What made the evening even more special were the boxes and boxes of food and nonperishables that were donated by our membership to our holiday giving partner, the St. Vincent De Paul Society Food Bank at Santa Sophia Catholic Church in Casa de Oro. What a great outpouring of generosity to those less fortunate, especially at this time of the year. Hunger takes no holiday. Please visit LaMesaFoothillsDemocraticClub.com or our Facebook page for more information about future and past events.
—Linda Armacost is president of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.