By Ted Vaill
More than 50 Malibu Democrats gathered at the Malibu City Hall Sun, Feb, 15, to hear California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric Bauman, newly-elected Congressman Ted Lieu, and newly-elected Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl address the Annual Meeting of the Malibu Democratic Club.
Eric Bauman, in his seventh term as Chair of the Los Angeles County Democrats, said he was there to speak the Progressive truth, and recalled that during the George W. Bush Administration, he loved to watch The West Wing, because “for one evening a week we had President.”
He characterized himself as “the ambassador for our party and belief systems,” and warned that the Republicans will be making a big play for Fran Pavley’s State Senate seat, as she is termed out in 2016.
Rep. Ted Lieu, just back from D.C., talked about the VA facility in Westwood, and his expectation to work closely with Sheila Kuehl to develop the property into a facility for homeless veterans. He also discussed his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed treaty which would take jobs away from Americans and send them abroad, and could adversely affect climate change.
He also talked at length about his decision to oppose the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the first Democrat in Congress to come out against the AUMF. He said he was concerned with the text of the resolution, which was not constrained geographically, had an uncertain time span, and had no cap on the number of U.S. ground troops that would be committed.
He characterized the resolution as “overly broad” and something he could not support as it now stands, noting that the Progressive Caucus in Congress also has come out against it.
What did he most want to accomplish during his time in Congress? Meaningful progress on resolving the climate change problem, he said.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl discussed her experience over the past two months in helping to run Los Angeles County, which if it were a state would be the 10th largest, and noted that her 3rd District, with two million people, is bigger than half the states. I t is “the most complicated job I have ever had.”
She characterized the County Jail as “a mental health asylum” that needs reform, as does the County’s juvenile justice system. She hopes that in the future there will be a train from the San Fernando Valley to LAX (but not down PCH).
Regarding the Malibu Bluffs development, she noted that the Coastal Commission just turned it down, so it won’t come before the Board of Supervisors “soon or ever.” Regarding the Coastal Development Permit for the Malibu Institute golf course project to build a hotel resort and conference center, she said the project was written into the LCP, which was finalized before she took office, and that it was to be built as part of an existing golf course in the Santa Monica Mountains. She was not hopeful that it could be turned around at this point.
After the featured speakers left, President Ann Doneen introduced Acting Treasurer Doug Rosen, who gave the MDC Treasurer’s report, noting that the MDC had over $5,000 in its treasury.
She then introduced Vice President Ted Vaill, who urged that the MDC members ratify the new Board members appointed by the Board to fill vacancies since the last membership meeting: Doug Rosen as Acting Treasurer, Roy van de Hoek as Secretary, Amy Alcini, Anna Gorby, and Ken Swope as new Board members, and former write-in Board members Jim Hensley, Jennifer deNicola, Marsha Hanscom and Mary Fleischbein. All were confirmed formally as Board members after a duly seconded motion. The Board now has 17 members. Ted then outlined the redrafted MDC bylaws, which were accepted with minor changes by the MDC membership using the amendment procedures authorized by the old bylaws. The new bylaws can be found at this website on the Resolutions pulldown menu.