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I hope that you’ll pardon my getting all “Democratic Party” on you, but I do have some news. It’s a big weekend for us.
(1) DPOC Office is Moving … Today!
Today – Friday, August 30, 2013 – is the day that many OC Democrats have long awaited: the Democratic Party of Orange County (or “DPOC”) is moving its office from the mezzanine at 200 N. Main Street in Santa Ana, where it has been for nearly two decades, to 1916 West Chapman Ave., Suite B, Orange, CA 92868. Until this month, that was the same building housing the Carpenters Union Hall — where DPOC’s monthly general meetings have been and will continue to be held — but those guys have moved over to Buena Park. so as of this past month it has become the Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Hall.
While I don’t wish to speak for the DPOC, I think I can safely say that we’re looking forward to a familiar, newer, and freeway-friendly ground-floor location with more room, better lighting, better parking, better equipment, a dungeon, a private bowling alley, and lower rent — which we’ll be paying to a union that we’d like to support anyway.
Starting Friday morning at 10 a.m., we’ll finish packing up the old office and having everything moved into the new digs by 5:00 pm. Volunteers are welcome to participate; call 714-835-5158.
A week from Saturday, on Sept. 7, the new DPOC Office will have its Grand Opening Party from noon until 3:00, at which time visitors will have the chance to find out that we don’t actually now have a private bowling alley and the people there will claim that we don’t have a dungeon either. We will have food, though!
(2) A Weekend Full of Events that DPOC Supports, but Didn’t Plan
Lots of us happen to be going to two events this holiday weekend. First, on Saturday, August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the annual Orange County Labor Federation (“OLCF”) Labor Day Celebration will take place at the Santa Ana Zoo, located at 1801 E. Chestnut Avenue. Admission to the Zoo is free! There will also be refreshments, political figures, speeches, and playhouses for the children — although this year the plan is for bearable rather than unbearable heat. (Will 90 and non-humid be OK? After Thursay’s 150-degree high, sure it will!) This is the event where, three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown began his two months sprint past Meg Whitman — can you believe that she was favored to winas of Labor Day 2010 — with a strong speech laying out how he’d campaign and how he’d govern.
(An anecdote from that event: as his senior County Campaign Coordinator, my one job — my one job! – that day was to make sure that he came in around the back rather than going in the front gate. Naturally he came in the front — and was soon surrounded by a throng. When I said “Governor, for security, we need you to –” he waived his left hand at me while shaking people’s hands with his right one and said “Security? I don’t need security!” and crowd-surfed towards the speaker’s stand. The heart attack I had immediately afterwards wasn’t even that painful, due to the distraction from the heat stroke.)
Then, on Sunday, September 1, Orange County — having had the benefit of studying what did and didn’t work at the Aug. 24 “March on Washington / I Have a Dream 50th Anniversary Event” in Los Angeles and the Aug. 28 rally with a few Presidents and such in DC — will hold its own March on Washington 50th Anniversary Celebration at Sasscer Park. (While the Park is at 4th and Ross, the organizers with the “We Still Have a Dream Coalition,” discussed in a separate article, suggest that you park — for free! — in the structure at 3rd and Birch.) Yes, Orange County’s celebration will be the only one of these three to begin safely after the 50 year anniversary was in the books! Come show your gratitude from any or all of 2:00-6:00 p.m., which will include a short march around parts of downtown Santa Ana for those so disposed.
All of this comes after Wednesday’s Annual Fundraiser for OC Young Democrats, which I invite anyone who went to cover.
(3) Democrats Announce Honorees for Truman Awards Dinner
As if that weren’t enough, on Thursday the DPOC announced its honorees for its annual fundraiser, the Truman Awards Dinner, which is slated for October 19th in the Disneyland Resort. It’s an awfully impressive slate of nominees this year — enough so that even Vern and our Green Party friends will approve of several choices. As was previously announced, the keynote speaker, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro — a key figure on immigration reform and pretty much the Anti-Ted-Cruz (who keynoted the Republican equivalent) — will be introduced by California Congressman Raul Ruiz. Here are the honorees:
That’s right: Assembly Speaker John Perez — whom I will either convince to be the party’s savior and run for SD-34 instead of running for Controller against the supremely qualified Betty Yee or die in the attempt (or, better, not actually die in the attempt) — will be the Truman Award recipient.
Jim Adams of the Building and Construction Trades Council — who I’m told knows my name personally and has attached a variety of adjectives to it in the context of the 405 toll road project, the Poseidon project, the GardenWalk Giveaway, and so much more — does in fact deserve the Gompers Award in the year of his retirement because he also has done lots of things that have had universal acclaim within the party.
Monika Broome — a key supporter of DPOC Chair Henry Vandermier and “the straw that stirs the drink” in North OC Democratic activist circles — will receive the Richard O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, although she appears ready to live another 50 or so years with little effort.
And then look down at the second half of the program!
Just as Richard O’Neill was honored with the first DPOC award in his name, Gus Ayer is being honored posthumously as co-recipient of the first Environmentalist Award with his name. (DPOC has given out such an award in the past, but this is the first time that it will have be named after an individual.)
As is so fitting and proper that you just know the tears are gonna flow that night like spring rain, Gus’s friend and protege (or mentor or both, depending on the subject) Debbie Cook of Huntington Beach will share the award with Gus. So you’re not going to want to wait too long to get your tickets.
And … that’s not all!
When, late in the game, word reached DPOC’s Executive Board that Tefere Gebre was leaving us to become the #2 figure are the AFL-CIO behind Richard Trumka, there was strong sentiment to give him a proper tribute on the way out of town. We don’t give our Social Justice Award every year, but it’s every bit as fitting an award for Tefere as the Gompers Award would be — because his legacy within OCLF has been to tie together the Labor movement with a variety of Social Justice causes.
So, in review:
Wednesday was the Young Democrats annual dinner
Thursday the Truman Dinner Awards recipients were announced
Friday we’re moving into a new office
Saturday is the OCLF Dinner
Sunday is the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the “March on Washington”
What are we doing on Monday, Labor Day itself? I don’t know, but I’m sure we’ll think of something. Somebody’s got to be having a barbecue, right? And then Tuesday is the next Anaheim Council meeting — does this ever end?