The Poway Democratic Club regularly holds informative meetings for members. Past events are highlighted below.
See the homepage for upcoming events.
Wed, Apr 20, 2022 7:00-9:00pm (in-person)
Endorsements & June Primary Preparation
The following candidates were endorsed via the Consent Agenda: Kartik Raju, friendly incumbent endorsement, Palomar Community College Area 4 (Nov general election); Joseph Rocha, CA State Senate District 40 (June primary); Stephen Houlahan, US Congress District 48 (June primary).
Strategically Critical Races: Club members voted to rate the following races as strategically critical, allowing the club to endorse before filing deadlines:Poway City Council District 1; Poway Unified School District Area B.
Endorsements: Club members voted to endorse Hiram Soto for Poway City Council D1 (Nov general election); and Frida Brunzell for Poway Unified School District Area B (Nov general).
Wed, Mar 16, 2022 7:00-9:00pm (via Zoom)
Ami Admire on San Diego's Tribal Communities
Guest Speaker: Ami Admire, a Payómkawichum Nation Citizen, gives an introduction to San Diego Tribal Communities and provide information about the Rincon Education Center.
Members approved updates to the bylaws.
Members voted to rate both Michael Flemming and Rebecca Kanter as qualified for the San Diego County Superior Court Seat 36 in the June primary.
Members re-elected all club officers for the 2022 year.
Wed, Feb 16, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Candidate Announcements, Senate Update, & Effecting Change at PUSD
Senate Update: Will Democrats hang on to the Senate in November? Learn what the critical seats are and how you can help, in this update by club Vice President Jana Johnson.
Case Study: How to Effect Change at PUSD. Convincing a city council, a school board, or government staff to change what it's doing can often be a frustrating experience. Palomar Council PTA President Frida Brunzell shares how her son's struggles at school led her to advocate for a big change in Poway Unified's dyslexia program, and the process she took to make it happen.
Wed, Jan 19, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Meet the Candidates Vying to Oust Darrell Issa and Joel Anderson?
Poway will belong to Congressional District 48 in June. GOP Congressman Darrell Issa has announced his intention to run for the seat. Democratic candidates Mari Barosay and Stephen Houlahan will answer members' questions and give an update on issues in the district.
Also: Joseph Rocha, who is challenging CA State Senator Brian Jones in the newly formed District 40, will discuss his campaign and answer questions.
Wed, Dec 15, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Should Poway Dems Support the Vaus Recall?
Members will consider a resolution brought to it by proponents of the Recall of Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, asking for the club's support on the issue.
Post-Meeting Update: Members took no position on the resolution.
Wed, Nov 17, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Meet the Candidates for Sheriff
Endorsement Consideration: Members of the Poway Democratic Club will meet Kelly Martinez and Dave Myers, the two Democratic candidates running for the San Diego County Sheriff's seat, and will consider making an endorsement in the race.
Post-Meeting Update: Members took no position on endorsing a specific candidate and rated them both qualified.
Wed, Oct 20, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Sacramento Update, with Asm. Brian Maienschein
First: Q&A with Jason Bercovitch, Director of Constituent Services for Congressman Scott Peters, answers questions about Peters's decision to vote against a plan that would allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices.
Main Program: State Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (AD77) gives an update on what's happening in Sacramento, including bills and initiatives he's working on.
Maienschein has represented California's 77th Assembly District since 2012. Before joining the Assembly, Brian served eight years on the San Diego City Council, and as the city's first Commissioner on Homelessness.
Tue, Sep 14, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
The Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Poway Democratic Club member Aleena Jun Nawabi provides an update on conditions in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal, and discusses her work coordinating evacuations.
Nawabi is Chair of the Civil & Human Rights Coalition Council AFSCME 3930 District 1, Outreach Coordinator for the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of San Diego, and a delegate to the CA Democratic Party for Assembly District 77. She has written previously in The San Diego Union Tribune about her concerns for the future of Afghanistan and her father's abduction there in 2018.
Wed, Aug 18, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
No-on-Recall Strategy Meeting
Club President Amit Asaravala discusses the latest polling on the CA Gubernatorial Recall attempt, explains the strategy for fighting the recall, and shares how you can get involved. Bring your questions.
Also: We'll take a look at the latest Census data and what it means for Poway and the region.
Wed, Jul 21, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
How do We Alleviate the Housing Crisis?
San Diego Housing Federation CEO Stephen Russell discusses the federal and state bills seeking to address the housing crisis and outlines which ones could lead to more affordable housing for low income residents.
Russell has a 23-year history working in community and economic development in San Diego. He was an advisor to then-San Diego City Council member Toni Atkins on issues related to redevelopment, infrastructure financing, small business support, and the City's General Plan (the "City of Villages".) He is currently a Board Member of Civic San Diego, Housing California, and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).
Wed, Jul 16, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Updates: Climate & Environment, and Immigration
What is a Climate Action Plan and how are other cities in the county doing their part to fight climate change? How is the situation at the border changing under the Biden-Harris administration, and what is on the horizon for immigration laws? Club members provide updates on their work in these areas and answer your questions.
Wed, May 19, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Deterring Anti-Asian Racism
Join us as Michael Yee gives us a look at the contributions of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders to the development of San Diego County, explores the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, and provides tips on how you can be an ally against anti-Asian racism.
Yee is a member of the education outreach team of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and a longtime Poway resident. He received his Masters in History from Cal State San Marcos.
Wed, Apr 21, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
When Will the US Deal With Gun Violence?
Gun deaths in the US reached record rates in 2020, with homicides and suicides spiking. Meanwhile, mass shootings are on the rise once again. What's it going to take for the US to get serious about curbing gun violence?
Join us as Kasey Zahner, co-lead of Moms Demand Action of San Diego discusses the status of gun safety measures, what the group is doing locally and nationally, and how you can get involved.
Zahner has been a member of Moms Demand Action since 2015 and has been co-leading the San Diego group since 2018. Based in La Mesa, she is an educator, spouse, and mother of two young children.
Thurs, Mar 11, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
The Future of Poway Road
Poway Director of Development Services Bob Manis discusses what the Poway Road Specific Plan aims to accomplish, and answers your questions on where Poway's main road is headed.
Thurs, Feb 11, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
Getting to Zero Emissions; plus: Ranked Choice Voting
What does San Diego County's new plan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2035 mean for you? Join us as Cody Petterson, Senior Policy Advisor on Environmental Issues for County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, answers your questions.
Then: Is Ranked Choice Voting Better for Democracy? The way we choose candidates on ballots isn't set in stone -- nor is it perfect. Codi Vierra, Deputy Chief of Staff for SD Councilmember Stephen Witburn, explains how changing the way we vote could save money and better respect what voters actually want.
Thurs, Jan 14, 2021 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)
2021 Kickoff Meeting
Members will discuss issues they would like the club to focus on and actions they plan to take in 2021, including a voter registration drive to close the gap between registered Democrats and Republicans in Poway. Bring your ideas!
Thurs, Dec 10, 2020 7:00-9:00pm (via Zoom)
Working With a Conservative City Council
In 2008, Olga Diaz became the first Latina elected to the Escondido City Council, which was then dominated by conservatives.
Join us as Diaz shares how she won in liberal and conservative areas, and how her work over the past 12 years has helped change the harsh, anti-immigrant rhetoric at City Hall to one that better reflects and serves the community.
Thurs, Nov 12, 2020 7:00-9:00pm (via Zoom)
Election Analysis & Followup
Join us as we review the results of the election, including how candidates, propositions, and measures fared in down-ballot races -- and what the results mean for the future. More information to come.
Thurs, Oct 8, 2020 7:00-9:00pm (via Zoom)
Grab your sample ballot and tell a friend. It's time for the ever-popular ballot review.
We will go over every candidate, measure, and proposition appearing on the Poway ballot. Be an informed voter!
Mon, Oct 5, 2020 6:00-9:00pm (via Zoom)
Poway Candidates Forum
We interviewed the candidates in several local races to find out where they stand on Democratic issues.
- PUSD Board Area E: Jimmy Karam and Cindy Sytsma
- SD County Supervisor D2: Mayor Steve Vaus and Senator Joel Anderson
- Poway City Council, D2 and D4: Phil Factor, Caylin Frank, Frank Fournier, Barry Leonard, and Chris Olps
class="event-description">Watch the videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMQe3aywmTcaTswFMDciXCQ
Thurs, Sept 10, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Everything You Want to Know About Prop 15
You've likely heard about Prop 15 under a different name such as the Split Roll Initiative or the Schools & Communities First Initiative.
It is now officially the Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative and it's going to be one of the most talked-about items on November's ballot.
Educator and California Teacher's Association Board Member Roberto Rodriguez explains what Prop 15 seeks to accomplish, who it will affect, and who benefits.
Then, Jordan Marks, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate for the San Diego County Assessor, discusses why he advocates against passing Prop 15.
ALSO: On the Consent Agenda, the PDC Board will recommend the endorsement of Fire Captain Jeff Griffith in the Palomar Health Board District 6 race. AND: Voting members will consider whether to rate Chris Olps (No Party Preference) in the Poway City Council District 2 race.
Thurs, Aug 13, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Registrar Michael Vu on Voting in a Pandemic
With the coronavirus pandemic raging, potential interference from foreign governments, and concerns of voter disenfranchisement, how do we ensure access and security in the November 2020 general election? San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Michael Vu answers those questions and more.
Also: Club members will consider endorsements in the Palomar Community College Board, Districts 2, 3, and 4, for the Nov 2020 general election. Stay informed on down-ballot races like these!
Thurs, Jul 9, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Should Poway Dems Support "The Farm"?
Club members will consider whether to endorse The Farm in Poway, Developer Kevin McNamara's plan to place housing and community ammenities on the site of the former StoneRidge Country Club golf course.
Members will also consider endorsing Ammar Campa-Najar for Congress D50, and Tim Nader for SD County Superior Court Judge Seat 30.
Thurs, Jun 11, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Endorsement & Resolution Considerations
Club members will consider endorsing the followng candidates for the Nov 2020 general election: Scott Peters, Congress D52; Brian Maienschein, CA Assembly D77; Darshana Patel, PUSD School Board, District A; Jimmy Karam, PUSD School Board, District E; Terra Lawson-Remer, SD County Board of Supervisors, D3; and Marni von Wilpert, SD City Council, D5. [Final vote: The club endorsed these candidates for the Nov 2020 general election.]
Club members will also consider whether to adopt a resolution supporting H.R.2407, the "Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act." [Final vote: The club takes no position on this resolution.]
Thurs, May 14, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Al Johnson, TransFamily Support Services
Al Johnson (they/them/theirs), Community Engagement Coordinator for TransFamily Support Services, discusses the challenges members of the LGBTQIA community face, the resources TransFamily provides, and how you can be a good ally.
In addition to their role with TransFamily Support Services, Al Johnson is a social work student at SDSU. They have joined TransFamily for trainings and panels for the past three years, sharing their story to increase awareness of the issues facing nonbinary youth.
Thurs, Apr 9, 2020 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Border Update: Alliance SD's Hiram Soto
Alliance San Diego communications director Hiram Soto provides an update on the situation at the border, and explains how Alliance San Diego is working to provide critical services and support to immigrants.
Soto is a resident of Poway via Tijuana and San Diego. He leads communications at Alliance San Diego, a community empowerment organization that works to strengthen our democracy through civic participation. He is one of the intervenors in the successful federal case to protect Poway's district elections, and the California Voting Rights Act. He has also worked as a cross-border reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Thurs, Feb 13, 2020 7:00pm
The club will go over the candidates and issues appearing on the March primary ballot. This is your chance to get informed on some of the down-ballot races and initiatives you may have missed this election season. Don't forget to bring your mail-in ballot and a friend!
Also: Ever wonder how to fill out the Superior Court Judges portion of your ballot? In Jan & Feb, Democratic candidates for Superior Court Judge seats will be visiting the club. Learn about this important position and vote with confidence!
Thurs, Jan 9, 2020 7:00pm
It's a Jam-Packed Meeting to Kick Off 2020!
As a follow-up to the club's Dec meeting with Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps, members will discuss and vote to potentially take a position on Measure P, the $448 Million school bond measure that Poway Unified School District has placed on the March 2020 ballot.
Ever wonder how to fill out the Superior Court Judges portion of your ballot? In Jan & Feb, Democratic candidates for Superior Court Judge seats will be visiting the club. Learn about this important position and vote with confidence!
Finally, members will vote on proposed amendments to the club bylaws.
Thurs, Dec 12, 2019 7:00pm
Dr. Marian Kim Phelps, PUSD Superintendent
Superintendent Dr. Marian Kim Phelps answers your questions about the $448 Million school bond measure that Poway Unified School District will place on the March 2020 ballot. (See PUSD's FAQ on the bond measure.)
Prior to joining Poway Unified, Dr. Phelps served as Superintendent in Orange County's Westminster School District. In her 25 years as an educator, Dr. Phelps was an elementary and middle school teacher, a vice principal, elementary principal for 10 years, and Area Superintendent for four years serving 32 schools in the San Diego Unified School Distrct.
The club will also hear from opponents of the proposed Newland Sierra site, which calls for over 2,000 new homes on county land west of Interstate 15, near Escondido, San Marcos, and Vista. Voters will decide to approve or reject the development on their March 2020 primary ballot.
Thurs, Nov 14, 2019 7:00pm
Medicare for All
Public health advocate Ramon Bieri takes us on a deep dive into Medicare for All, a rethinking of how health insurance works in America. Medicare for All is supported by many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
Bieri is an independent consultant working with nonprofits in healthcare. His research focuses on public health policy in healthcare coverage, among other areas. He received his Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Connecticut and his Bachelors degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University.
Thurs, Oct 10, 2019 7:00pm
Countering Hate Extremism
San Diego City director & homeland security advisor Dr. Joel Day discusses how communities can combat violent extremism and radicalization.
Dr. Day provided civilian support to the SDPD in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Chabad of Poway. He oversees the City of San Diego's 49 public policy Boards and Commissions. He has also served as the city's representative to many local and global organizations, including the Regional Hate Crimes Task Force and the Immigrants Rights Consortium.
Thurs, Sep 12, 2019 7:00pm
Democratic Solutions for Climate Change
Scientists warn that we are running out of time to change course and avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. But what are the options? How do we craft effective climate policy? Bring your questions for this informative, two-part meeting.
First, SD350's Darlene Garvais explains what the Green New Deal means and why the climate action group has put forth a resolution calling on elected officials to sign on to the plan.
Then, Jason Bercovitch from Congressman Scott Peters's office discusses the representative's "Climate Playbook" approach and the legislation it includes.
Sat, Aug 24, 2019 1:00pm
Congressman Scott Peters
Join us for a chat with Congressman Scott Peters, as he discusses issues affecting the region and answers questions in this special meeting of the Poway Democratic Club, to be held in the Poway Library Community Room.
Congressman Peters serves California's 52nd Congressional District, which includes the cities of Coronado, Poway and most of northern San Diego. He currently serves on the House Committee on the Budget and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Thurs, Aug 8, 2019 6:30pm
Kevin McNamara, Developer, "The Farm at StoneRidge"
Property owner Kevin McNamara answers questions about "The Farm at StoneRidge," his plan to develop a mix-used community on the site of the former StoneRidge golf club in North Poway.
A Poway citizen, McNamara has served on the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and the Poway Corridor Study Subcommittee. His properties include the retail center containing the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Walmart.
Thurs, Jul 11, 2019 6:30pm
Ammar Campa-Najjar, Congressional Candidate
Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar discusses his bid to unseat indicted GOP congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. and represent California's 50th District, which neighbors Poway.
Campa-Najjar served in the Executive Office of the President, selecting letters bound for President Obama's desk, and was a deputy regional field director for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. He has also worked as a communications and marketing director for the US Hispanic Chamber of Congress and a public affairs officer for the US Dept of Labor.
Thurs, Jun 13, 2019 6:30pm
Michael Gaulden, Author & Homelessness Activist
Author Michael Gaulden shares his experience growing up homeless in San Diego and addresses myths and misconceptions about homelessness.
Gaulden is the author of My Way Home: Growing up Homeless in America, a memoir of the ten years he spent living in shelters with his mother and sister prior to being accepted to UCLA. He is an activist who speaks regularly on the topic of homelessness and is also the CEO of Creating First Impressions, a nonprofit that provides assistance to disadvantaged youth.
Thurs, May 9, 2019 6:30pm
Kenya Taylor, San Diego County Supervisor Candidate
Due to a family emergency, Ammar Campa-Najjar was not be able to speak as scheduled.
Kenya Taylor discusses her campaign for the San Diego County Supervisor seat in District 2 and issues affecting the region. In addition, members will provide updates on changes at SANDAG and 2020 Senate races.
Taylor is the Co-Chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup. She is also a member of Ramona's Art Docent Steering Committee, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the NAACP San Diego Branch Executive Committee, and Membership Chair of the Black Womenís Institute for Leadership Development. She holds a Master of Science in Counseling, specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from San Diego State University.
Thurs, Apr 11, 2019
Brian Maienschein, Assemblyman - 77th District
CA State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, whose 77th District includes Poway, will discuss issues affecting the region along with his recent decision to leave the GOP and join the Democratic Party.
Maienschein was elected to his fourth term in the State Assembly in 2018. He previously served eight years on the San Diego City Council.
Mar 14, 2019
Nicole Capretz, Community Choice Energy
Community Action Campaign Executive Director Nicole Capretz explains why cities like Poway should explore shifting to Community Choice Energy plans to deliver cleaner electricity to residents.
Nicole Capretz is an environmental attorney with 20 years of experience as an energy, equity, and climate justice policy advisor for local governments and the nonprofit sector. Nicole was the primary author of the City of San Diego‚Äôs Climate Action Plan adopted in late 2015.
Jan 10, 2019
Pete Babich, Election Analysis
Poway Democratic Club President Pete Babich provides a post-election analysis of voter data.
Nov 8, 2018
Craig Roberts, The Democratic Party Structure
California Democratic Party Regional Director Craig Roberts gives a rundown of the various groups and organizations that make up the Democratic Party at the local, state, and national level.
Oct 11, 2018
Jason Bercovitch & Pete Babich, General Election Preview
Jason Bercovitch, Field Representative for Congressman Scott Peters, joins Poway Democratic Club President Pete Babich in providing a preview of the candidates and issues at stake in the upcoming general election.
Sep 10, 2018
Poway City Council Candidate Forum
The Poway Democratic Club hosts a public Candidate Forum featuring incumbents and challengers discussing their ideas and qualifications for a seat on the Poway City Council.
Aug 16, 2018
Congressman Scott Peters, State of the House
Congressman Scott Peters discusses the State of the House of Representatives and issues affecting residents in Poway and San Diego County.