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On Earth Day: Choose an ‘Act of Green’

What started as an environmental teach-in held in 1970 and aimed only at the United States has become a global observance. Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 175 nations and too many communities to count. April 22 of each year is now a day for each of us to pause and consider how we might ease the demands we make on the planet.

Earth Day organizers are asking everyone to consider ‘Acts of Green,’ small actions that can contribute to diminishing the damage done to the planet by energy production, pollution, and overpopulation.

Possible ‘Acts of Green’ include:

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“We are more than just workers — we’re people.”

photo of Lisa Maldonado Robinson

Lisa Maldonado Robinson

It takes an hourly wage of $13.09 and a full-time job to be able “to make ends meet” in San Diego County, according to Lisa Maldonado Robinson of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice (ICWJ). Robinson spoke to  Escondido Democrats at their April 12 meeting about the ICWJ’s ongoing program in San Diego County in which religious leaders strive “to lift workers out of poverty.” The program has a North County component and Robinson described efforts to organize workers at Casino Pauma and Northgate Markets.

See video of Robinson’s presentation on the Escondido Democrats YouTube Channel.

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Where is the public support for charter city?

by Rick Moore, VP for Communications

charter city graphicWe’ve had two meetings this week about the proposal that Escondido become a charter city. One was public; one was not. Both, however, indicate there is minimal public interest in the issue, and that’s a shame.

The City Council held the first of two required public hearings during its meeting Wednesday, April 9. Thirteen members of the public spoke to the issue. Combining that with the four who spoke at the first “workshop” held March 19, that means a total of 17 people have spoken about a document that would forever change the nature of city government. Interestingly, not one person has spoken in favor of the proposal. Not everyone was against — one had neutral comments — but no speaker has been a charter city booster.

Read another perspective from the Escondido 2014 blog.
Read another perspective from the A Blue View Escondido blog.

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Olga Diaz for Mayor campaign office opening soon

photo of Diaz for Mayor campaign officeOlga Diaz has acquired a campaign office at 431 N. Escondido Blvd., across from the California Center for the Arts, Escondido and near Chin’s Chinese restaurant.
The 1,600+ square foot space promises to be a beehive of activity until the November election, with lots of campaign and other events.

A grand opening event will be announced soon, but as volunteers work to get the space ready, Diaz has put out an appeal for office items:

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The workshop that wasn’t

The first opportunity for public input on a proposed Escondido charter occurred March 19 during a “workshop” before the City Council. There were four public comments. (Escondido Democrats can be proud that all of the speakers were members!) All of those speaking repeated requests, heard earlier, that any charter document be written by an elected citizens commission, not by city staff at Council/Mayor direction.

While Mayor Sam Abed seemed receptive to public comment, he made it clear he felt it was not necessary. “We’ve have had enough input,” he declared. “It’s the same charter minus the prevailing wages — it’s not a process we’re starting all over again.” (Prevailing wage language was removed from the earlier charter after passage of SB 7, which penalizes charter cities that avoid prevailing wages for construction contracts. SB 7 is being challenged in the courts.) However the Mayor feels, state law requires at least two public hearings, and they are scheduled April 9 and May 21. This “workshop” was extra.

Read another view of the meeting from Escondido Democrat Margaret Liles at her “A Blue View Escondido” blog.

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Charter offers few benefits, many hazards

Mar14Meeting-400City charters offer few benefits and many hazards, according to Kyle Krahel-Frolander, who spoke to Escondido Democrats at their March 2014 meeting. Krahel-Frolander is a Community Outreach Coordinator for Smart Cities Prevail, a California non-profit that provides information, research and education on how prevailing wage standards on public construction projects benefit taxpayers, local governments and working families.

Krahel-Frolander, who hails from Oceanside and worked as an aide to Council member Esther Sanchez when that city changed to charter status, monitors charter city proposals in Southern California.

Watch video of Krahel-Frolander’s presentation on the EDC YouTube Channel.

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News from State Party Convention

State Party 2014 Convention logoFracking, marijuana and contested endorsements made news at the 2014 convention of the California Democratic Party, held in Los Angeles March 7 to 9.

Read media coverage, watch videos of the speeches and see photos of the Escondido Democrats who attended on the EDC Party News page.

State of the City brings much of the same rhetoric

by Don Greene, President

State of the City

Crowd listens to the State of the City address

In his fourth State of the City address, Mayor Abed continued to tout successes brought to the city by its “forward thinking council.”  After playing yet another campaign informational video, produced by the city’s media department at taxpayer expense, the Mayor presented slides demonstrating the success stories that Escondido has and will experience.

Read coverage in U-T San Diego.

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