Please join the Lamorinda Democratic Club to TOAST and celebrate: the victories of our candidates & issues, your hard work and support, and that the election is over!

Thursday, November 10th at 7PM
The Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd

Enjoy a glass of something bubbly and a presentation of election results by experts in the field: Alex Evans and Rebecca Barrett.

As usual, members will be admitted free.
A $5 donation is kindly requested from guests.


We are nearing the end of the election season (FINALLY!).  Come and try something different: an ice cream social and a vote on LDC local candidate endorsements.

First, chill out with ice cream and enjoy the company of your Democratic friends and neighbors.  Next, warm up to our invited Democratic candidates who will give us their best reasons why we should vote for them.

After this, help ignite a discussion of local candidates who have been recommended for endorsement by our Board and vote your preference.  To see a list of the recommended candidate endorsements click here.

Finally get on fire to Get Out The Vote (GOTV)!

We regretfully announce the postponement of a panel discussion on Common Core scheduled for the September Club Meeting on September 8.  

As a result, the Club business, including a briefing and membership voting on some upcoming November ballot measures, propositions, and candidates, will be moved to an earlier 7PM start time.  Click here to see the endorsements recommended by the Board for Club approval.

We will also be honoring one of the Club’s founding members, Paul Popenoe, and wishing him luck in his new adventure and move to Maine. We will miss him!

We hope you can join us on Thursday, September 8th, for a productive and informative evening, and a fond farewell to our friend.

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.  A donation is not necessary for members with paid-up 2016 membership or students.

The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s next meeting on Thursday, September 8, will feature a panel discussion of Common Core and a vote on endorsements for the November election.

It has been six years since California adopted K through 12 Common Core standards.  Please join us for a provocative panel discussion with four Lamorinda educators.  Topics include:

  •  Where are we now?
  •  How have Lamorinda schools adjusted to the new standards?
  •  How has Lamorinda learning and teaching been most affected?

The panel discussion will be followed by a business meeting to vote on the recommendations of our Candidates and Issues Endorsement Committee and the Club's Board of Directors.

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.  A donation is not necessary for members with paid-up 2016 membership or students.

The Lamorinda Democratic Club, Diablo Valley Democratic Club, San Ramon Valley Democratic Club, Contra Costa Young Democrats, Tri-Valley Democratic Club, and Democrats of Rossmoor invite you to join them as author David Dayen discusses his new book on Tuesday, August 16, at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Community Room. The social time will begin at 7 p.m. with Dayen’s presentation to follow at 7:30 p.m. and a book signing with the author to follow at 8:30 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

"Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud" was the 2016 winner of the Ida and Studs Terkel Prize. The book tells the dramatic true story of how, in the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history—a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.

Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anti-corporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.
The New York Times called Dayen’s book a “gripping story of foreclosure fraud,” Publisher’s Weekly said that Dayen’s “absorbing account grabs the reader early on and doesn’t let go,” and Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book is, “an inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account.”

Dayen, currently touring the country to support the book’s release, is a journalist who writes about economics and finance. He is a contributing writer to and The Intercept, and writes a weekly column for The Fiscal Times and The New Republic. He also writes for The American Prospect, Vice, The Huffington Post, and more. He lives in Los Angeles, where prior to writing about politics he had a 15-year career as a television producer and editor.

Updated 7/11/2016

Join the Parade on July 4th

By Mike Rusk | Comments Off

The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s next meeting on Thursday, April 14, will feature Common Sense Kids Action Co-Director and Vice President for California Policy Craig Cheslog, who will report on the release of the Right Start Commission’s blueprint for a child-centered system that nurtures every child from the beginning of life.

The Right Start Commission, a team of business, education, health and early childhood experts convened by Common Sense Kids Action, will release a report the day before our next meeting detailing gaps in California’s early childhood services, including recommendations to improve delivery and provide more resources to create a “child-centered” and streamlined system of early learning and care for children ages 0-5.

The Commission is co-chaired by former Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris of the Center for Youth Wellness. Former Congressman George Miller is one of the Commission’s members.

In California, millions of children face challenges that could put them at a disadvantage later in life. Our state has the second-worst standard of living for kids in the nation. In families with young children, a single minimum wage earner cannot afford both rent and child care—the two largest expenses for most California families.

Common Sense Kids Action convened the Right Start Commission based on the fundamental principle that every California child deserves the right start. High-quality early learning and care, supportive family environments, and preventive health care are essential to ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive in school and in life.

Craig served as the staff director of the Commission that has worked over the last several months to develop strategies to better serve California’s 9 million children, with a particular focus on the 3 million children age 0–5. This report will serve as a foundational document, reflecting the commission’s ideas and priorities for a more child-centered approach to our workplaces, our policymaking, and our civic life.

Craig joined Common Sense Kids Action ( in January 2015 as its Co-Director and Vice President for California Policy. Based in Common Sense’s San Francisco office, Craig is the co-director of the organization’s advocacy platform and is responsible for California-specific policy development and legislative campaign execution across all of Common Sense’s policy areas.

Craig previously served as the Principal Advisor to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at the California Department of Education for four years. Before joining the California Department of Education, he served as Torlakson’s district director for his Assembly and State Senate offices for eight years. A past president of the Lamorinda Democratic Club, Craig was elected the California Democratic Party’s Region 2 Director in April 2013 and re-elected in May 2015. He is a member of the Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund’s Board of Directors. Craig also serves on the Leadership Council, and is a past chair, of CREATE CA: California’s statewide arts education coalition.

The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s Nominations Committee, in accordance with the Club’s by laws, announces its slate of club officers for 2016-17. The officer elections happen at our Club’s June 9 meeting.

President Katie Ricklefs, Vice President Tom Duckworth, Treasurer John Hall, and Secretary Mike Rusk have all been nominated for another term. Nominations can also be taken from the floor.

The LDC met Thursday, March 10 at the Lafayette Library.  About 35 people heard about BART improvements, labor relations, future plans, and a proposed bond measure from BART Director Rebecca Saltzman.

Saltzman shared some interesting statistics about recent growth in ridership and BART’s importance in Lamorinda. This February, BART ridership grew to an historic high of 446,000 riders per weekday.  The benefit to Contra Costa County is illustrated by the fact that nearly as many people travel on BART into Oakland as through the Caldecott tunnel on a weekday morning peak hour. Another example of the benefit is that residential property values are 12.8% higher 1/2 mile from a BART station compared to 3% higher within 2 to 5 miles.

Saltzman described a number of areas where BART is making improvements.  A $1 billion project is underway and under budget that will make BART safe in an earthquake and reduce recovery time afterwards. Other current projects include improved station access and signage, additional bicycle storage (which is always fully utilized), canopies above entrances to underground BART stations, and the system extension to Antioch utilizing Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) technology. 

There is a significant need to update BART’s infrastructure, some of which is 45-years old. Projects to address aging infrastructure include 775 more comfortable and efficient cars with additional doors and a new train control system for a 25% increase in traffic through the transbay tube. It is interesting to know that the new train control system will allow closer spacing between trains, because the location of trains will be more precisely known.

A $3.5 billion bond measure is one potential funding source for the estimated $9.6 billion cost of these infrastructure projects.  There will be benefits of reduced crowding and delays as well as increased safety.

Saltzman received many questions from the audience were many about labor relations. She responded that steps are being taken, which she believes ensure negotiations, to start next year, will be successful.  She said there has been a recognition of the mistakes made and the management inexperience that led to the strike. There are also joint labor-management efforts this year to build trust and a common understanding of BART data. She also explained that the right-to-strike for BART workers was established by state law and is therefore not up to the Board.

Saltzman also received questions about station conditions, parking, late night hours, and expansion around the bay. Generally what the Board can do is limited by funding and may also require action by others.