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Feb. 11 Mtg Update, Down Ballot Voting!

It's been a brutal week. The impeachment verdict, the Iowa Caucus mess, the State of the Union, the total necessity of winning the Senate, keeping the House and beating the worse-than-ever Trump. Bright spots included Rep. Adam Schiff's brilliant arguments and closing, and Mitt Romney standing as a conservative with character in a room full of cowards. We will talk about all of those things and more on Tuesday evening at our meeting. I hope you will join us. We will also learn about the new voting rules (you might want to bring your ballot!). Details are below.

Please, please, please, before you send or submit your ballot, be sure to vote in the down ballot races, which are more important than ever before. If you missed our meeting about the OC Board of Education, you missed an extraordinary evening where we learned that quietly, the right wing has been taking over our County Board of Education without our noticing. It is a true travesty. You MUST vote in this County School Board race...for Andy Thorburn, Jordan Brandman or Beckie Gomez (the only incumbent and the only Dem currently on the Board). Who you vote for depends on what district you are in. The takeaway from the last meeting is that the County Board has the right to overrule much of what local school boards do, particularly with regard to Charter Schools. We cannot let the right wing control our County Schools. See BELOW ABOUT THE THREE CANDIDATES TO SUPPORT ON MARCH 3. The money to control our schools comes from unsavory national sources. Please, take this seriously and VOTE!

Of course Tuesday, Feb. 11 is the New Hampshire Primary and we will keep you updated with the results throughout our meeting.

We will discuss any topic of your choice after we have learned about the new voting system....

A representative from

Neal Kelley's office,
the OC Registrar of Voters
will talk to us about
the New Voting System

Tuesday, February 11
6:30 pm
University Synagogue
3400 Michelson Drive, Irvine

$5 members, $10 non-members

RSVP appreciated, reply to this email

# # # # # #

Finally, we are in the midst of our membership drive. We raise money to give Senate, Congressional and possibly Presidential candidates. Through our Political Research Committee, we give to candidates in hard, key, races where they are fighting to win. In 2018, we gave to $35,000 to 18 candidates (including Levin, Porter and Rouda) and we made a difference.

In the 10 years we have been a PAC, it has NEVER been more important to give this money than it is this year. We choose carefully, we give thoughtfully and we will make a difference in a year where nothing could matter more than helping to win the win the Senate, keep the House and the White House and save our Democracy. We hope you will join us and help us meet our goal of $70,000 so we can really make the difference in 2020.

Membership dues for 2020 are only $100 per year. But don’t be constrained, especially this year, by our basic level of dues. Many people pay more, up to $2700. You can join at the $100 level or $250 or $1000 -- whatever suits your budget. Please be generous this year, the most important year ever. And feel free to break your dues into monthly payments. Monthly subscriptions start at $10 a month...feel free to give $25, $50, $75, $100 or more. 
Please renew online today at    
Scroll to the bottom and click on “Join the PAC”.

We look forward to seeing you Tuesday evening!

Lita and the DemOC PAC Executive Committee
Dear DemOC PAC Members and Friends,
2020 DemOC PACTIVISM Update

Do what you can, give what you can, and amplify your efforts by getting new friends involved in 2020. We need all players on the field; there are no sidelines to sit on this year! 
Drop 50 Blue Voter Guides at UCI
Friday, February 14th, 10:00am-2:00pm, meet at Peet’s Coffee, University Town Center, 4213 Campus Dr Suite P-166A, Irvine, CA 92612
Join us on Valentine’s Day to show your love for Democratic candidates in the OC who are working hard to make things better for everyone, not just for those at the top! Come prepared to drop 50 cards (or more). Please wear comfy shoes and bring your best vote-blue “pick-up” lines (e.g., roses are red, violets are blue… and so are Democrats). We will be distributing blue card voter guides to students on UCI campus to “pick up” more wins for OC Democrats. Training provided 10-10:30am.
Sign up here:
Drop 50 Blue Voter Guides at UCI
Friday, February 21st, 10:00am-2:00pm, meet at Peet’s Coffee, University Town Center, 4213 Campus Dr Suite P-166A, Irvine, CA 92612
Join us on Feb 21st to drop 50 (or more) blue card voter guides to students on UCI campus. Get your steps in and have fun with DemOC PAC friends in the process! Students will have received their ballots, and many will need additional information about Democratic candidates as well as registration and voting information. Training provided 10-10:30am.
Sign up here:
Get Out the Vote for OC Blue Candidates at UCI
Tuesday, March 3rd, 10:00am-2:00pm, UCI Vote Center at Mesa Court, 4053 Mesa Rd. Irvine, CA 92617
Make Super Tuesday extra super this year, and help us set a record for voter turnout at UCI! We will be handing out blue card voter guides to UCI students at the Mesa Court Vote Center, and talking up the importance of voting around campus. Students need to know who the blue candidates are in nonpartisan races such as OC Board of Education, and we will be there to help them get the info they need to vote blue and/or register to vote on March 3. Training at Mesa Court Vote Center throughout the day.
Sign up here:
Want to help DemOC PACTIVISM in some other way or at some other time?! Yay!!! Thank you! 

Contact Julie Tapp at


Notes from our last meeting....thank you Ann Haley!

“There’s some bad news but there’s also some good news,” DPOC chair emeritus Fran Sdao told DemOCPAC members Jan. 14. “The bad news is that our local school districts and our Orange County Board of Ed are under attack by a very conservative group of Republicans in Orange County. The good news is that education policy is set by our state Legislature which is overwhelmingly Democratic.”

An O.C. group called Education Alliance is promoting back to basic education, American values, and creationism. They are anti-public school, anti-teachers, anti-teachers union, and pro-charter schools. In 2007 this group recalled three Capistrano Unified board members. In 2008 they successfully recalled two board members who were up for election in November. Former DPOC chair Fran Sdao and others studied what happened, started a PAC, and found candidates to run in a 2010 recall to oust 2 of the people who’d won board seats in 2008. “The people who were against us are still out there operating against public schools in every school district in Orange County and the OC Board of Education which can veto local school policy.

There are 5 members on the County Board of Education, and there’s an elected county superintendent (in most counties, the board of education hires the superintendent). 

OCBE provides programs for our most vulnerable students, who might not have the support that student in wealthy districts have. OCBE also has a legal department that offers help to school districts.

There are three trustee areas up for election on March 3. 

In District 1, incumbent trustee Beckie Gomez is running for re-election in a heavily Democratic district. She’s got a good chance to win, Sdao said.

The District 3 seat is currently held by incumbent Ken Williams. He stands for abstinence-based sex ed programs and promotes Judeo-Christian values as the reason for our nation’s greatness.

In District 4 in North OC, the non-conservative incumbent is retiring and sought out Jordan Brandman to run in his place. Brandman is in a tough race.

When a charter school’s application to a local school board is denied (if it doesn’t meet all legal requirements), the only place it can appeal is to the OCBE. In the last 4 1/2 years there’ve been 15 appeals; 12 have been reversed.

District 1: Andy Thorburn
“Public education is at risk,” said Andy Thorburn, running for District 3 against incumbent Ken Williams, a 24-year OCBE member who’s now the leader of OCBE’s rightwing majority. Williams supports conversion therapy.

District 4, Jordan Brandman
Brandman is well-versed in education policy. He’s a former Anaheim Union High School District board member and is an Anaheim City Council member. Brandman is the only candidate endorsed by the OC Teachers Association and Orange County CSEA.

District 1, incumbent Beckie Gomez seeking re-election
Beckie Gomez worked for 25 years in health care, was a Tustin City Council member, and now is dean of Health Science at Cypress College. “I see how education changes peoples’ lives,” she said.