Join us at 7 pm Thursday, March 12, in the Lafayette Library Community Room for an informative, challenging evening.  Ramsey Thomas, a retired Acalanes High School AP social studies teacher, will make a presentation on Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  There will be a post-talk discussion of how you can get involved locally to address income disparity.  A $5 donation is requested to cover meeting expenses.

Income inequality has grown to become one of the key public policy issues of the decade.  It was the subject of our April LDC Movie Night when we saw Robert Reich in the documentary “Inequality for All” and heard his eloquent description of rising inequality in the United States.

Our March meeting will provide an introduction to what Paul Krugman has called, “the most important economics book of [2014] and maybe the decade. “  Krugman says that Piketty, “makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to ‘patrimonial capitalism,’  in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent.”  Piketty’s conclusions are based on over a decade of research by a small group of economists and data collected from 20 countries and reaching back three centuries.

Ramsey will give an insightful and engaging synopsis of Piketty’s 700+ page book featuring an overview of Piketty’s data, conclusions, and controversial recommendations.  The presentation grew out of a Bay Area Piketty study group in which Ramsey participated.

The Lamorinda Democratic Club is joining the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club, Diablo Valley Democratic Club, the Democrats of Rossmoor, and the Contra Costa Young Democrats to host a Senate District 7 Candidates Forum on Wednesday, February 4.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Community Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. This will be the Lamorinda Democratic Club’s February meeting. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door to help cover meeting expenses.

The election of the Honorable Mark DeSaulnier to Congress left his senate seat vacant. As a result, Governor Brown has called for a special election to fill the remainder of DeSaulnier’s term in the Senate. The primary will be on March 17 and the general election (if necessary) will be on May 19.

As of the close of filing on Friday, January 23, four Democrats have filed. All four have been invited, and at the time of writing this article Assemblymember Susan Bonilla and former Assemblymember Joan Buchanan have accepted the invitations.

The Lamorinda Democratic Club will host a Brunch Reception to Honor Our Past Legislative Champions on Saturday, January 10, from 10 a.m.-12 noon, at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette.

The event will honor recently termed out State Assembly members Joan Buchanan and Nancy Skinner, retiring Congressman George Miller, and outgoing State Senator (and incoming Congressman-Elect) Mark DeSaulnier.

Skinner represented Lamorinda prior to California’s last legislative redistricting in 2012. Since 2012, Buchanan represented our area until she termed out of office at the end of the 2014. Miller has represented Lamorinda, depending on redistricting, during portions of his 40-year career in Congress. DeSaulnier has represented our area in the State Senate since 2008, and will continue to serve our area as our new Congressman beginning in January 2015.

There will be limited seating for this special event, so please RSVP as soon as possible with John Hall at The event will be free, but a $5 (or more) donation is requested to help cover the club’s costs in hosting this meeting.

Following the club's endorsement process, the Lamorinda Democratic Club's membership has voted on the following endorsements for the 2014 general election:

Local Candidates:

  • Moraga Town Council: TERESA ONODA and KEN CHEW
  • Pleasant Hill City Council: SUE NOACK and MICHAEL HARRIS
  • Orinda City Council: CARLOS BALTODANO, DEAN ORR, and AMY WORTH
  • Moraga-Orinda Fire, District 1: KATHLEEN FAMULENER
  • CC Board of Education, Area 2: RAYMOND ANDERSEN
  • Acalanes Union High School District: ROBERT HOCKETT
  • Orinda Union School District: HILLARY WEINER and CAROL BROWN

Federal and State Candidates:

  • 11th Congressional District: MARK DESAULNIER
  • 16th Assembly District: TIM SBRANTI
  • Governor: JERRY BROWN
  • Lieutenant Governor: GAVIN NEWSOM
  • Secretary of State: ALEX PADILLA
  • Controller: BETTY YEE
  • Treasurer: JOHN CHIANG
  • Attorney General: KAMALA HARRIS
  • Insurance Commissioner: DAVE JONES
  • Supt. of Public Instruction: TOM TORLAKSON
  • State Board of Equalization 2: FIONA MA

State Propositions:

  • Prop 1: Water Bond. Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment and Storage Projects: VOTE YES
  • Prop 2: State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account: VOTE YES
  • Prop 45: Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes: VOTE YES
  • Prop 46: Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits: No Recommendation
  • Prop 47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties:  VOTE YES
  • Prop 48: Indian Gaming Compacts: VOTE NO

The Lamorinda Democratic Club membership approved the following endorsements at the Club's September 11 meeting:

Tim Sbranti for Assembly
Yes on State Proposition 2
Yes on State Proposition 45
Yes on State Proposition 47
No on State Proposition 48

The LDC Endorsements Committee has not completed its analysis of State Proposition 1. The Club takes no position on State Proposition 46.

At the September 11th meeting the Club also heard from eight Democrats running for local offices. Eight more candidates are schedule to speak at the October 9th meeting.  Additional endorsements will be presented to the membership for approval at the October meeting.

The next Lamorinda Democratic Club meeting will be on Thursday, September 11.

Come and meet many of the Democratic Candidates for our local City Councils, School Boards and Regional Districts. These elections are important because these officials make decisions that directly affect our lives and often run for higher office. These candidates run for office out of civic duty; they look forward to working long hours without salary and yet they will represent our values. Thus, it is our civic duty to understand each Democratic candidate we endorse and to help them win in November. Click here to see a list of Candidates that will speak at our September 11th or October 9th meeting.

At the meeting we will also be voting on the recommendations of our Candidates and Issues Endorsement Committee and the Club's Board of Directors, including an endorsement of Tim Sbranti for Assembly District 16. Click here to see a list of Board recommendations.

The meeting begins at 7:00 pm and will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette. There is a $5 donation at the door to help cover meeting expenses.

Please invite your friends and family to join in the fun of an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration.

Members of the Lamorinda Democratic Club will be walking in the annual Orinda Fourth of July Parade to display their patriotism. Each parade participant is asked to wear a “Democratic” T-shirt and bring a “Democratic” banner. Arrive early to receive a new Lamorinda Democratic Club T-shirt to proudly demonstrate that BLUE really is the new black!

Please join us on Friday, July 4th between 8:45 am and 9:30 am at the parade staging area: BART parking lot on east side of Camino Pablo. Coffee & bagels while they last!

The parade begins promptly at 10 am and lasts about an hour, ending at the Orinda Community Center Park and Library, where there will be games, food, music, and even a petting zoo! Following the parade, stop by the LAMORINDA DEMOCRATIC CLUB BOOTH in front of the old Orinda Library on the way to the park.

To volunteer to participate in the parade or to help staff the Lamorinda Democratic Club booth, please send an email to

Contra Costa Auditor-Controller: Ayore Riaunda

Ayore is well qualified to be our Auditor-Controller. He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).  He is an 18-year U.S. Navy veteran and is now a Navy Reserve officer.

Yes, he is a Democrat and his opponent is a Republican who ran unopposed in 2010.

The MOST IMPORTANT election this June is for Auditor-Controller.


State Superintendent of Instruction: Tom Torlakson

Tom has worked hard to begin fixing the California Education System.  We want to keep Education on the right track.


U.S. Congress CD 11: Mark DeSaulnier

Mark has been our loyal and accessible State Senator.  As George Miller is retiring, he has endorsed Mark and we expect Mark to be as well respected and influential in Washington as George.


State Propositions: Yes on 41 & 42

Proposition 41 is a bond measure to provide affordable multifamily housing for low-income and homeless veterans. What is not to like about fulfilling our obligation to our VETERANS!

Proposition 42 requires local governments to comply with state public-access laws.  It also eliminates state reimbursement for the cost of such compliance. Public-access is the law for all levels of state government.  Each level should shoulder the cost of the statewide law.

VOTE for YES on 41 & 42

Contra Costa Community College District: Yes on Measure E

• Construction of new science and allied health center
• Modernization of campus buildings
• Modernization of gymnasium and physical education facilities

VOTE YES on Measure E!

The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s next meeting on Thursday, May 8, will include presentations by Tiffany Whiten from End Poverty and Inequality in California (EPIC) and Ben Grieff from Evolve as well as presentations by three local candidates, presentations for one state-wide candidate and two state propositions, club member vote on endorsements recommended by the Board, and election of club officers for 2013-14.

The meeting begins at 7:00 pm and will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette. A $5 donation is requested to help cover meeting expenses.

Three candidates for Contra Costa County positions have agreed to speak to the club, Karen Sakata and Linda Delehunt, candidates for County School Superintendent, and Ayore Riaunda candidate for County Auditor-Controller. Vicki Gordon, Contra Costa Community College Governing Board Secretary, will speak for bond Measure E.  Craig Cheslog will speak for Propositions 41 and 42 and on behalf of Tom Torlakson candidate for State School Superintendent.

Club members will vote at the recommendation of the Board to endorse Ayore Riaunda, Tom Torlakson, and Propositions 41 and 42. Club members will also vote on officers for the coming year. The Board has nominated: Katie Ricklefs – President, Tom Duckworth – Vice President, John Hall – Treasurer, and Mike Rusk – Secretary. 

The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s next meeting on Thursday, May 8, will include presentations by Tiffany Whiten from End Poverty and Inequality in California (EPIC) and Ben Grieff from Evolve with a focus on state funding and services for our kids, our poor, and our communities.

The meeting begins at 7:00 pm and will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette.  There is a $5 donation at the door to help cover meeting expenses.

Tiffany Whiten will provide background information on EPIC – a state legislative caucus initiated by Senator Mark DeSaulnier. EPIC’s mission is to reduce the number of people living in poverty and to increase economic opportunity for all Californians. EPIC partners include state legislators, business, labor and non-profit organizations throughout the state.

Evolve’s Campaign Director, Ben Grieff, will give a presentation on his organization's efforts to take on the "third rail" of California politics, reforming Prop 13. Evolve, a member funded community organization based in San Francisco, is advocating for a change to the way commercial property is reassessed. Ben will describe the unintended consequences of Prop 13 and his group’s exciting campaign.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about EPIC and Evolve and how they can get involved with both efforts.