Politics

50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES DEBATE ON HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, EQUALITY AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, from top left:  Ammar Campa-Najjar, Carl DeMaio, Helen Horvath, Brian Jones, Darrel Issa, Henry Ota

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) – Six candidates vying to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s resignation took to the stage Friday in a debate sponsored by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley.  Democrat Ammar Campa Najjar squared off against Republicans Carl DeMaio, Darrell Issa and Brian Jones as well as independents Helen Horvath and Henry Ota.

In response to questions, the candiates delved into issues including housing affordability, stabilizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,  reducing homelessness, fairness and equality, bringing jobs to our region, taxation, traffic, and more.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ON SUSAN B. ANTHONY’S 200TH BIRTHDAY, BEWARE OF MEN RUNNING IN THE 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WHO OPPOSE WOMEN’S RIGHTS

“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less. I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand. Independence is happiness.” – Susan B. Anthony

By Hope C. Justice

Photo: Susan B. Anthony, public domain image, drawing by J.E. Baker, Boston

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) – Today is the 200th birthday of Susan B. Anthony, who fought tirelessly to win the constitutional right for women to vote- a victory finally attained 100 years ago. She also fought for equal rights for women – a battle that two centuries later, has still not been won.

Alarmingly, as we see an erosion of protections for women across the nation in everything from equal pay to violence against women to reproductive health, we have men running for Congress here in California's 50th  Congressional district whose voting records indicate that they are dangerous for women. 

Two of them, Brian Jones and Darrell Issa, have long legislative records of voting against freedoms for women and touting policies that belong in the Stone Age, not the modern era. A third Republican, Carl DeMaio, is less extreme but still opposes full equality in pay and health services access. (Mercifully, there are other choices in this race, including at least two candidates who support equal rights for women.)

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRO-CHOICE DANGEROUS DESCENT

By Sylvia Sullivan

February 16, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This year marks the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision 47th anniversary. While mourning the deaths of over 61 million babies, it is also time to reflect on the direction of the pro-choice movement. For years those who defended a woman’s right to abort her baby were thought to be merely confused or misinformed.

Although, some disturbing incidents occurred in front of abortion clinics between pro-lifers and those against. Pro-choice young punks kicking a little old lady as she knelt in prayer. Or spewing the vilest language at pro-life teen girls as well as spitting in their faces. Pro-choice activists cheering a plane banner that proclaimed late term abortionist, George Tiller, a “national treasure!" These incidents were believed to be from extreme fringe elements but not representative of most of the pro-choice supporters.

MEET CANDIDATES FOR SUPERVISOR D2 FEB. 25 IN ALPINE

East County News Service 
 
February 15, 2020 (Alpine) – The Alpine Chamber of Commerce will host a business townhall and candidate forum for those running in the San Diego 2nd Supervisorial District to fill the vacancy to be left by Dianne Jacob’s retirement. The forum will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 5-7 p.m. at the Alpine library, 1752 Alpine Blvd., Alpine CA 91901.
 
All four candidates running have confirmed that they will attend. They are former State Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/rancher Brian Sesko.  

SUPERVISOR CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 12, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with three of the four candidates running for County Supervisor in District 2 to replace Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is retiring due to term limits.  

We will have highlights and transcripts of the interviews posted in the next few days, but since many are filling out mail-in ballots already, here are the full audio files of our fascinating interviews with:

  • former State Senator Joel Anderson,  who says fixing roads and providing attainable housing are his top priorities,
  • Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who wants to focus on public safety, infrastructure, building housing and preserving open spaces, and
  • Kenya Taylor, an expert in behavioral health and community activism who wants to put public safety and health first, opposing sprawl development and voicing concerns over projects such as sand mines and wind farms close to rural homes.

A fourth candidate, Brian Sesko, a homebuilder and chair of Lakeside's Community Planning Group, has not yet responded to our interview request.

Click "read more" to find audio links to our full 45-50 minute interviews originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

Audio: 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES FOR MARCH 3 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo courtesy: County of San Diego Registrar of Voters (ROV)
 
February 12, 2020 (San Diego) -- You have only until Feb.18 to meet the deadline to register to vote or change your voter registration status in the March 3 Presidential Primary Election.
 
“If you’ve recently moved, changed your political party or changed your name, you’ll need to fill out a new registration form,” said Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. “If you’ve visited the Department of Motor Vehicles in the last two years, confirm your registration to make sure we have your party status on record. You can go online to do so, the process is quick, easy and convenient.”

POLL WORKERS STILL NEEDED FOR MARCH 3 ELECTION

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo courtesy: County of San Diego
 
February 11, 2020 -- Time is running short, and poll workers, especially those who are bilingual in any one of six specific languages, are still needed for the March 3 Presidential Primary Election. The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. A survey by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Arabic and Korean at about 90 precincts, so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting bilingual poll workers in those languages for the March 3 election.

HOULAHAN DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR SANTEE MAYOR

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee Councilman Stephen Houlahan wants a larger say in molding the city’s future and has declared his intention to run for mayor, opposing incumbent Mayor John Minto.

Houlahan says the main issue motivating him to throw his hat into the ring is the disturbing trend by a majority of his Council colleagues to consistently undermine Santee’s General Plan and approve higher density projects.

COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION RANKS JUDICIAL CANDIDATES SHAWN MCMILLAN AND STEVE MILLER AS “LACKING QUALIFICATIONS”

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

February 10, 2020 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Bar Association has issued its ratings of candidates in local Superior Court judicial races.  All but two were rated “well qualified” or “exceptionally well qualified.”  But two ranked the lowest possible “lacking qualifications” rating:  Steve Miller and Shawn McMillan.

Lacking Qualifications is defined by the SDCBA asPresently not possessing professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and/or temperament indicating ability to perform the judicial function.”

McMillan, a plaintiff’s civil rights attorney, is running in district 36 against Michelle Ialeggio, a deputy district attorney. 

Miller, a criminal prosecutor, is in a 3-way race against Alana Wong Robinson, a federal prosecutor, and Mark Skeels, senior chief deputy attorney for San Diego, in district 22.

CAMPA-NAJJAR WINS STRAW POLL BY BUSINESS GROUP AFTER CANDIDATE FORUM FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

East County News Service

February 8, 2020 (Valley Center) – Following a debate among the top four-polling candidates in the 50th Congressional District, the Valley Center Business Association and Valley Roadrunner newspaper released a  press release with results of a straw poll. The poll found Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar “dominated with 61% of the vote,” earning more votes than all three of his Republican opponents combined in the race to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Duncan Hunter's resignation.

THE TALLY

• 61% – Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)

• 22% – Carl DeMaio (R)

• 9% – Brian Jones (R)

• 8% – Darrell Issa (R)

View the full debate:  https://www.facebook.com/valleycenter/videos/186686705769417/

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND HEALTH AMONG HOT TOPICS AT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES' FORUM

View video of full debate here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daR2Gmad0g4





By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Candidates Joel Anderson, Brian Sesko, Kenya Taylor, and Steve Vaus

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) – Four candidates running to represent East County in the San Diego County Supervisors 2nd district seat participated in a lively forum on Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary, hosted by the Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association and sponsored by East County Magazine.

Candidates fielded a broad range of in-depth questions provided by the public during the forum moderated by the League of Women Voters before a capacity crowd. 

The four candidates are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, former State Senator Joel Anderson, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/cattle rancher  Brian Sesko.  They are running to fill the vacancy soon to be left when long-serving Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves office next January due to term limits.

REZ RADIO 91.3 TO AIR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FORUM IN VALLEY CENTER FEB. 7

East County News Service
 
February 6, 2020 (Pala) -- Rez Radio 91.3 will broadcast and live stream the 50th Congressional District candidates forum scheduled for Friday, February 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Valley Center High School’s Maxine Theater.  Candidates expected to attend include in alphabetical order, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Carl DeMaio, Darrell Issa, and Brian Jones.  Moderators for the forum will be VCBA’s William Del Pilar and VC Roadrunner editor David Ross.

CALDERON DROPS OUT, ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR FOR CONGRESS

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Marissa Calderon, a Democrat  who entered the 50th Congressional district primary race belatedly after the resignation of Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter in January, has announced she is dropping out of the race to care for two family members with serious health conditions.  Calderon has endorsedAmmar Campa-Najjar, who is also endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Calderon’s name will still appear on ballots which were printed before her withdrawal.

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP: MITT ROMNEY IS LONE REPUBLICAN WHO VOTES TO CONVICT

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After refusing to allow any witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the Senate voted to acquit the President, who will remain in office.  The vote split down party lines with the exception of Utah Senator and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the lone Republican who voted to convict on one of the two counts.

Romney said that his vote stemmed from his “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it.” He said Mr. Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust” and indicated he was voting to convict despite the prospect of retaliation for becoming the first member of Congress ever to vote to convict a president in his own political party. Read his floor speech.

BRIAN JONES COAUTHORS BILLS TO REPEAL, REFORM AB 5 “GIG WORKER” LAW THAT IS HARMING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS’ LIVELIHOODS; CONGRESS TO VOTE ON BILL SIMILAR TO AB 5 THIS WEEK

 

A national version of AB 5 is slated, which radically revises employment laws, is slated to be voted on in the House of Representatives this week with backing of California's two Senators

By Miriam Raftery

Image courtesy of #FightForFreelancers, which is battling a measure similar to California's AB 5 law. The seriously flaws legislation in our state is being emulated across the nation even as lawsuits, reform and repeal measures are pending in California.

February 4, 2020 (San Diego) – State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) is  coauthoring multiple bills to repeal and/or reform Assembly Bill 5, which took effect January 1, decimating independent contractors in a wide range of fields as well as the businesses and nonprofits that have long relied on freelancres.

AB 5 was introduced by Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego), a former labor leader who touted it as a way of cracking down on companies such as Uber and Lyft for exploiting workers and forces even small businesses and nonprofits to make most workers employees rather than independent contractors.

But the costs of doing so are prohibitively high for many businesses and organizations, putting their futures at risk. The law has also had devastating effects on freelancers across at least 150 fields including musicians, writers, artists, actors, dancers, nurses, consultants, translators, photographers, teachers and other independent contractors who value their freedom and flexible schedules and don’t want to be employees.

Some are now unable to find work due to AB 5, as out of state companies cancel gigs with California freelancers, unwilling to risk criminal penalties and huge fines for misclassifying workers under the convoluted, complex and confusing terms of the law. Other freelancers have shelled out high costs to start their own companies in order to qualify for business-to-business exemptions in the bill, but receive no benefits for those expenditures.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NANCY CASADY, GREEN NEW DEAL CANDIATE IN 52nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT



By Miriam Raftery

February 1, 2020 (San Diego) – Nancy Casady is a life-long Democrat, environmental champion and women’s rights advocate challenging Democratic Congressman Scott Peters in the 52nd Congressional district primary.  She recently sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine on our radio show on KNSJ 89.1 FM.   Casady discussed her support for the Green New Deal, as well as her passion for protecting women’s health.

Hear our interview by clicking the audio link and scroll down to read highlights.

Nancy Casady has served on the Food and Agricultural Board in Sacramento, has worked as a pro-choice advocate, was co-founder of the San Diego Climate Mobilization Coalition, and for 12 years was general manager of the Ocean Beach People’s Food Cooperative. 

The 52nd district includes coastal communities as well as some inland communities including Poway and Rancho Bernardo.  Of note: Casady has an East County connection – her husband, Derek Casady, was the long-time editor of the East County Californian.

Audio: 

SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS HOSTS FEB. 14 DEBATES FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES AND SAN DIEGO MAYOR

East County News Service 
 
Image based on creative commons photo via Bing
 
February 1, 2020 (San Diego) — The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS (SDAR) and SDMLS will host back-to-back candidate debates on Friday, February 14 for California’s 50th Congressional District (the race to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Rep. Duncan Hunter) and City of San Diego Mayor. The #SDARdebates is a special event that will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., following the annual New Laws & Industry Outlook event. Moderating both debates will be Matthew T. Hall, editorial and opinion director at The San Diego Union-Tribune and president-elect of the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists.
 
You are invited to attend and cover this major political event with an expected audience of 400 people. Registration is free and required for admittance to this event.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS GREG HUMORA AS NEW CITY MANAGER

Source: City of La Mesa

January 31, 2020 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa's City Council voted on January 28 to approve  an employment agreement designating Greg Humora as La Mesa’s new City Manager.  He served as Assistant City Manager for  La Mesa since 2016.  Prior to that, Humora had been the La Mesa Director of Public Works/City Engineer since 2004, and Engineering Project Manager beginning in 1999.  He has worked for the City for a total of 20 years.

SENATOR BRIAN JONES HOSTS BORREGO SPRINGS TOWN HALL FEB. 1

East County News Service

January 31, 2020 (Borrego Springs)  -- State Senator Brian W. Jones invites you to attend a Borrego Springs Town Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the County Library, 2580 Country Club Rd., Borrego Springs.

A nonprofit expo will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a town hall from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Share your views, ask questions on issues important to you, and learn about great work being done by nonprofits in the community.

ISSA, DEMAIO RIP EACH OTHER IN MUD-SLINGING ADS

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Darrell Issa and Carl DeMaioi, the two highest-polling Republicans in the 10-man race to replace Congressman Duncan Hunter have released campaign ads that bring the term mud-slinging to a new low.

Former Rep. Issa’s new commercial features old newspaper headlines that describe DeMaio as “gay.”  The video also slams and distorts DeMaio’s immigration stance, showing photos of hardcore MS-13 gang members and suggesting DeMaio would support amnesty for such individuals. DeMaio has stated that he supports a path for well-educated immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

DeMaio meanwhile has released a video on YouTube of his own portraying Issa as a “snake oil salesman.” DeMaio’s campaign ad accuses Issa of betraying President Trump by claiming support for a border wall while voting against it. He also slams DeMaio for supporting an investigation of the President, but fails to mention Issa sought to investigate President Barack Obama.

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT WEDNESDAY TO ALLOW TEMPORARY AGRITOURISM EVENTS

 

Update January 30: Supervisors voted to approve the agritourism items 5-0  as recommended by staff, with no amendments.

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism.  The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 

DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.)- - As  Democrats wrapped up their arguments for removing President Trump from office during the Senate impeachment trial this week, Republicans controlling the Senate have thus far refused to allow new witnesses to be called. The White house continues to defy requests for public records. 

Now, CBS news reports that a confidant of President Trump told CBS that senators were warned quote: “vote against the president & your head will be on a pike.”

Such a threat, if true, could amount to witness tampering and threatening federal officials with violence.

In addition, MSNBC reports hearing a tape in which Trump demands that Marie Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine, be removed, though whether he was calling for her firing or assassination is unclear.

 “Get rid of her...Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,.” A voice that sounds like  Trump is heard demanding on the tape, ABC News reports. 

The recording was allegedly made during a 2018 dinner party with Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas’ attorney, Joe Bondy, has issued a statement which says of the recording, which he indicated was not released by his client, “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’s version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”

Trump has used the phrase “take out” when he referred to his order to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq.  Trump, who formerly starred in the Apprentice game show, famously used the phrase “You’re fired!” when referring to terminating a job.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

 

Girl Scouts unveil "Lemon Ups," official new city cookie

By Kathleen Connell

January 23, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On January 21st, Lemon Grove leaders kicked off the new year in a well-attended meeting, with many citizens clearly interested in the medical marijuana dispensary item on the agenda.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

SENATOR BRIAN JONES BILL SUPPORTING LEGAL GUN OWNERSHIP RIGHTS APPROVED BY SENATE

East County News Service
 
January 23, 2020 (Sacramento) - Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced yesterday that his Senate Bill 723 passed the Senate unanimously. This bill corrects a hastily written state law that could cause an otherwise legal gun owner to become a felon if a warrant was issued in their name, whether or not they have knowledge of the existence of the warrant.
 
"Simply owning a legal firearm should never put an individual in danger of becoming a felon," said Senator Jones. "California's current law could cause a gun owner to lose their due process rights that should be guaranteed to all Californians."
 
SB 723 corrects a policy that was improperly added through the budget process and never received a policy committee hearing. This bill clarifies that any person for whom a warrant has been issued must have knowledge of the warrant before they can be arrested for a specific firearm related charge.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MEASURE A WILL REDUCE FIRE RISK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nona T. Barker and Richard W. Halsey

Photo: 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, courtesy of La Mesa Fire Dept.

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As we watch Australia burn, many Californians remember the fear they felt as fires raged near their homes in recent years. Fires are a fact of life in much of California, but there are steps we can take to reduce the damage to people, property and our regional economy. One important commonsense step is to avoid building new houses in areas at the highest risk of burning.

Unfortunately, the urge to maximize profits seems to outweigh common sense for many big developers. Time and again, developers have requested amendments to the county’s General Plan to build massive sprawl housing projects in fire-prone areas of San Diego County. Our General Plan is a guide to sustainable growth in San Diego County. Despite the 13 years, millions of dollars, and widespread public input and support that went into developing the plan, our Board of Supervisors has shown time and again that it is inclined to support sprawl developments in our backcountry.

Measure A would put a stop to this short-sighted behavior. Under Measure A, voters get a direct voice in deciding whether large proposed housing developments that would increase zoned residential density in fire-prone rural and semi-rural areas can be built.

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE NEW HOMES IN FIRE-PRONE AREAS MORE RESISTANT TO WILDFIRES

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today gave preliminary approval to change the county’s building code in order to require fire-resistant construction of all new homes in areas with moderate to high wildfire risk in unincorporated areas. The standards are tougher than those mandated by the state.  A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for January 29.

 

The changes were proposed by East County’s two Supervisors, Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond. Jacob said she hopes the new requirements will serve as a “model for fire protection” statewide, also saving lives during wildfires.

 

San Diego County has been devastated by numerous major wildfires, including the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms which killed 17 people and destroyed thousands of homes, causing billions of dollars in property damage.

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Women’s march is slated in San Diego Jan. 18

By Miriam Raftery

View video of applause after ERA passage in Virginia Legislature today

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – It takes two-thirds approval by 38 states, plus Congress, to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The Virginia Legislature today became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA) long after Congress did so, too. But the action sets the stage for legal challenges, since the deadline for ratification of the amendment granting equal rights to women has long since passed.

Virginia legislator Mark Keam tweeted, “On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 91st birthday, a dream came true in Virginia. A Dream of generations of women who have fought for equality under U.S. Constitution. With this vote, I and 58 of my  @VaHouse colleagues voted on the right side of history.”

Efforts to attain Constitutional rights for women date back to the early days of our nation, when Abigail Adams implored her husband, founding father John Adams, to “remember the ladies” when drafting the Constitution, “for all men would be tyrants if they could.” She warned that if women were not granted rights, they would foment rebellion.  But Adams ignored his wife, and women were omitted from the Constiution, following after the Declaration of Independence which stated that “all men are created equal.”

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