Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We're Going to Lose?

Little Billy or Those People

One of the most popular social media "definitions" of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By this definition, the way progressives speak to voters is insane. If the upcoming campaign to defend Councilmember Todd Gloria's minimum wage/paid sick leave law follows our progressive pattern, it will get the same results from voters that past Referendized laws have gotten - i.e. we're going to lose.

The Pattern

Step 1 - We propose/enact a plan to help

Because San Diego has a lot of hard working people who don't make enough to provide for their families, Gloria proposed a plan to gradually raise the minimum wage to $11.25 an hour over a few years. It also calls for paid sick leave. While mandatory sick leave applies to all San Diego workers, most of the higher paid workers in town already have it so it primarily effects the same pool of low wage people, a large number of which are working in the tourism/restaurant and retail sectors. 

This law is a good thing. Everyone can see it is a good thing and most voters want to do the right thing. It's very popular.

Step 2 - Lincoln Club, San Diego County Taxpayers, the tourism industry and that umbrella organization that fronts for all of them, the Republican Party, steps in

Republicans: "We all want to help the poor. but If we raise the minimum wage/pay people for staying home when they're sick, we will need to raise prices and cut jobs. Instead of taking money from your family to pay for them, they should just pull themselves up, like you did."
Most studies find that a desire toward altruism is a real motivation for most voters. In the absence of the threat to other basic human motivations, they "will do the right thing". The problem is that the Republicans are ALWAYS going to provide that threat by describing it as a zero sum game situation. Specifically, they are going to couch it as we can only help them by hurting us.

Step 3 - We lose

Most voters want to help that little unnamed and unknown kid whose parents can't afford to take the time off from work to take him to the doctor when he's sick, but if it means we won't have the money in the tuition account when our little Billy is ready for Harvard, well, that just can't happen.

Not surprisingly, I blame it on Reagan. Before him there were enough people who remembered how the Democratic Party and progressive policies pulled our asses out of the fire caused by the trickle-down Republican policies of the 1920s. Reagan managed to turn selfishness and greed into a civic virtue and, progressives never learned to adapt. In a society which has been taught for 35 years that giving people a hand is going to hurt me, "do the right thing" is no longer a good enough campaign cry.

The sad part of this is that it is totally unnecessary. Mayor Faulconer's and Councilmember Sherman's arguments are BULL - as has been the trickle-down, supply side, or as I like to call it, "Screw the grandkids' inheritance, I'm buying a deluxe motor home and driving to Branson" theories of the Republicans since day one.

Rather than focusing on the benefits to the working poor (who for a wide range of reasons don't vote as frequently as their more affluent counterparts), we should talk about the benefits to the middle class (who do vote). Democrats, the working poor and voters in general already know what a minimum wage increase can do for the working poor. We should be telling middle-class voters what it will do for them and we should be calling out Faulconer/Sherman - turning the veto into a liability rather than a campaign talking point.

Fact:  13 States increased their minimum wage in early 2014. With one exception, those States' level of job creation was higher, not lower, than the national average. The exception was New Jersey, whose Governor seems hell bent on destroying his State's economy to make himself look more attractive to the teabagger Republican primary voter.

Fact: Following the City of Seattle's increase of the minimum wage to $15, the City's unemployment rate decreased 17.46%, falling from 6.3% to 5.2%. The unemployment rate drop was larger than other cities in the State that did not increase the minimum wage.

San Francisco and Los Angeles have recently enacted minimum wage increases so there aren't any serious studies of the effects, but it was noted from San Francisco's previous increase that economic activity in the City increased in comparison to other cities in the region. There was also an increase in new businesses that moved into the City from the region because, well, more people with more money make a more attractive market for businesses.

We'd all like to have a large majority of voters willing to bite the bullet and vote to help others, but it's going to take some time to convince a lot of people that Republican selfishness is not good for anyone. We need to start to talk to voters about their own families more. 

- Minimum wage is good for everyone because more money in the economy benefits everyone. 
- Good jobs will not be cut - more will be created. 
- Less taxation will be necessary to provide subsidies (Food Stamps, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credit, etc.) to businesses that can't, or won't pay the cost of their employees. 
- You're going to have more money to put away in little Billy's Harvard fund. 
- And, little Billy is also not going to get sick because you ate at a restaurant where the cook had to come to work with the flu. 

And, just why are you supporting this Mayor or these Council members who are fighting against little Billy's well-being anyway?


Dems for Equality to Consider Endorsement in SD 39 at October Meeting

October's Club meeting should be interesting. We hope to generate a little more light and a little less heat as we consider endorsements in the San Diego City Council District 7 race and the California State Senate District 39 race. Because October is traditionally our last meeting of the year we will also be electing our delegates to the State Party's Pre-endorsement Conference in January. 

The State Party awards one Pre-endorsement Conference delegate to Democratic clubs for each 20 members of that club in an Assembly District. Based on our membership as of July 1st of this year, that means Dems for Equality will get about 12 delegates in the 78th AD, and 1 delegate in both the 79th and 80th AD. This number represents a large block of all the votes at the Conference which proposes endorsements in area Congressional, State Senate and Assembly District races. If you are a Dems for Equality member in one of these Assembly Districts who would like to represent the Club at the Pre-Endorsement Conference, let us know HERE. The Conference will be held in San Diego and our By-laws bind delegates elected by the Club to support the candidates endorsed by Dems for Equality.    

The Club's October 22nd meeting will be held at Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 3900 Vermont Street in Hillcrest. (Please use the underground parking structure behind Trader Joe's to avoid ticketing).

          Social Half-Hour          6:30 PM
          Business Meeting       7:00 PM


No Club Meeting, What Will I Do?

The Club doesn't meet in November or December. That doesn't mean we won't still be getting together to make plans and swap stories.

We will be celebrating our 40 years of activism with a brunch on November 7th. We're still finalizing special guests and venue, but please mark it on your calendar and plan to attend.

Likewise, we're also working on our annual Holiday Party. We'll let you know when in December it will be and what you can bring, but it's always a lot of fun and we hope to see you there.


 Celebrate 40 Years of Activism by Joining the Club

Democrats for Equality had a very successful 1st half of 2015 and we're well on our way to our goal of 400 members to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. Much of the progressive change in San Diego and in our community can be traced directly or indirectly through the work of our members.

We're not finished and we need you to get the job done. If you've let your membership lapse, NOW would be a good time to renew. If you want to be a part of the change, join NOW. Our members make history. Join us.

The Club depends on membership dues to keep the lights on and promote our candidates and issues to the community. A large number of community members depend on our Voters Guide to help them make an intelligent choice when marking their ballots so your membership renewal is critical to ensure those Guides get into those hands. At the risk of sounding like a Public Television pledge drive, if you depend on our endorsements, Voters Guide, newsletters, social media posts and programs, you should be a member! 
If your membership has lapsed or if you know your membership is soon to expire, please re-up now. You might also consider upgrading your membership to a higher level.

We'd like to thank Ashish T. Agrawal and Bryan H. Wildenthal who renewed their Patron level membership. We'd also like to thank David Sullivan for renewing. Welcome back. We're also please to welcome Nick Serrano who joined Democrats for Equality as a new member. 

Our accounting software supplier recently decided to upgrade their product and made our online credit card processing unusable. We can get your money, but we don't have any way of knowing who paid the dues so, while we're working out the solution, please try to drop us a check to the address below.
You can find out more about the Club's membership levels and benefits online HERE. If you would prefer to use a check, send the check, made out to Democrats for Equality to:
San Diego Democrats for Equality
PO Box 33050
San Diego CA 92163
Note that in order to comply with Federal and State election laws, please include your full address where you are registered to vote and your job title/employer with your check. Telephone number and email address would be nice too!
Like Us, Really Like Us
San Diego Democrats for Equality's Facebook page has been number 1 among County Democratic Clubs for a while now. Even so, we've got quite a few new members so we're putting this out again. Please Like Us! Facebook includes the number of likes on a page as part of their complex algorithm to decide if our posts should be widely distributed or not. If you like us now, more people will see our Voter's Guide in their timeline next year. Twitter has different rules, but the effect is the same. The more people who follow us on Twitter means more people seeing our Tweets.

If you are on Facebook or Twitter and you haven't already liked/followed us, please do it now.




Dems for Equality Endorsed Candidates 2016

                                   Hillary Clinton

                      CA-53          Susan Davis
                      CA-52          Scott Peters

            California Assembly
                      AD-78          Todd Gloria
                      AD-79          Shirley Weber

            Board of Supervisors
                      Dist 3         Dave Roberts

            San Diego City Council
                      Dist 3         Chris Ward
                      Dist 9         Georgette Gomez     

                      Sub-Dist D    Richard Barrera
                      Sub-Dist A    John Lee Evans


As we work toward a better future for our community and Country, take a couple minutes to remember what we've already done with a short history of the our accomplishments.

Ashish T. Agrawal & Bryan H. Wildenthal 
Assembly SpeakerToni Atkins 
Laurie Black 
Susan Guinn & Denice Feldhaus
Eric Isaacson & Susan Weaver 
Chris Kehoe & Julie Warren
John McConnell & James Kinney 
Don Mullen
Dr. Bob Pedrick & Josť Guzman 
Craig Roberts 
Stephanie J. Swift


Thank you for your continuing support of San Diego Democrats for Equality.

Self Evident Truths
David Warmoth, President 
San Diego Democrats for Equality 
Defending LGBT Equality since 1975
Email: info@democratsforequality.org