Archive for January 26, 2014

Richard Pan speaks at American River Democrats meeting

Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan spoke at the January 15 meeting of the American River Democrats club at their monthly meeting at Samurai Sushi. Dr. Pan represents the 9th district, which covers south Sacramento, Elk Grove, and down to Lodi. He was elected to the Assembly in 2010, and for two years served the 5th District, which covered Folsom and parts of East Sacramento County, before redistricting.

Pan stressed his message from 2010 was investing in jobs for middle class people with benefits, as well as in education, people and healthcare. He shared that the work of local clubs like the American River Democrats was crucial to the success of candidates and issues that are important to those goals.

Dr. Pan shared some of what he had been working on since being elected, such as enhancing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act by sponsoring a bill to allow people to keep their providers when plans change due to the ACA. He wants to work on eliminating fraud in the drug rehab program, while preserving the program and its benefits.

He spoke about the issue of hydraulic fracking, and how the recent bill to regulate the practice was perhaps not enough to cover the whole issue, but was at least a good start to provide a framework for regulation.

Education was also on the forefront of his mind. He wants to insure that new funding for the U.C. and C.S.U. systems goes toward reducing tuition and establishing middle class scholarships. Early education was also crucial. He stressed that the importance of universal preschool often is not shown in improved test scores, but in social skills that help keep kids on the right path throughout their educational careers.

Back to the topic of the Affordable Care Act and its impact over the years, he pointed out that the first few years may see an actual increase in some problems because many of the new people in the system could put a strain on resources, as they seek help for delayed issues they have been living with. There may even be an increase in emergency room visits as people with new insurance plans will now have easier access. It will be important to educate these new customers to use their primary care doctor for early help and checkups. It may take a few years to overcome this backlog, and efficiencies will be needed to help, but in the end the outcome will be much better.

Dr. Pan pointed out that in the old system, health care organizations were often most successful by denying care and avoiding having sick people in their systems. A true measure of success will be when health care companies advertise how well they can help sick people and treat disease – and actually try to bring in patients who need help, because they can deliver treatment best. There are features in the new system that reward successful and efficient treatment that will help spur this concept on.

Dr. Pan was warmly greeted by the crowd, and said that even though he no longer represented most of the people there, he always had fond memories of the help he got when running in 2010, and he would always try to help out when he could, even though his district had changed.

President’s message 2014 ­‐ Into Another Election Year!

From Barbra Leary, President, American River Democrats

I want to start this year’s message with a big thank you to all of our board members for helping to keep our club vital through some difficult times in 2013. Each person provided support in various areas. Jen Jacobs has provided ongoing insight as an at large board member from her long campaign experience; Ken Kiunke provided timely and informational notices via our Facebook page, website, local newspapers and club emails; Debbie Martinez has done a skillful job as Secretary and also served as Parliamentarian and Bylaws Chairperson; Frank Martinez stepped up to take on the Treasurer position when it was vacated and LaTanjia Robinson will be stepping up to take on the Bylaws subcommittee after serving as an at-large board member. We are fortunate to have two new Board members join us, Betty DiRegolo as an at large board member and Andrea Targos who has agreed to take on the Parliamentarian position.

I’m looking forward to continued club growth through outreach to the Northeastern area of Sacramento County and to give support to Democrats in areas where they have previously felt isolated. More members will mean that the club can participate effectively in voter outreach, campaigning, fundraising and other activities that will aid Democrats in achieving a stronger presence in our area.

One specific goal I have for the club for 2014 is to continue to educate our members on the many political issues that face us and to introduce Democratic candidates to the group in an effort to fulfill our mission of promoting Democratic candidates and ideals. I am hoping that our members will become engaged in the various candidate and initiative campaigns by participating in voter contact and advocacy, some of the keys to successfully promoting the principles and values of the Democratic Party. Each candidate and initiative campaign committee will be looking for volunteers and will provide training in voter outreach and advocacy specific to that campaign such as phone banking, precinct walking, fundraising and getting out the vote.

Another goal I have for our club is to continue to provide up-to-date information on the key Democratic issues through hosting expert guests to speak on a variety of topics, enabling our members to pass on accurate and helpful information to others in our community.

I am also looking forward to increasing member participation in our subcommittees as needs arise. Subcommittees are being formed to establish candidate endorsement guidelines and complete bylaws amendments. The club can also use additional expertise in fundraising, voter registration activities, and campaign outreach.

And finally, I hope that our new members will get involved by taking on more active roles on the board. Right now our club has immediate openings for the Vice President position and an alternate representative to the Democratic Party of Sacramento County that involves attending some or all monthly meetings in Sacramento. In July the club will be electing a new board, so please consider a position there as well!

Barbara Leary, 1/11/2014

Ami Bera House Party & Reception in Folsom

Congressman Ami Bera

Congressman Ami Bera

Ami Bera made history in many ways in 2012. He won election to our district, defeating Dan Lungren who had seemed unbeatable in several prior elections, he was one of just a few Democrats to take over a Republican seat that year, and one of the first Americans of Indian descent in the US Congress.

Dr. Bera is running for re-election this year and needs a lot of support from voters, volunteers, and of course financially. You are invited to attend a house party reception in Folsom to help him early on in those efforts.

Please see the attached flyer for details of this event on Tuesday, January 21st. Please be sure to RSVP if you are able to attend this event.

1.21.13 Folsom Bera reception

Richard Pan will be the guest at January 2014 meeting

The American River Democrats will kick off the new year with our January meeting featuring Dr. Richard Pan, State Assembly Representative for the 9th District.

2014 promises to be an exciting year, full of potential. Governor Jerry Brown will be up for re-election, the US Senate and House majorities will be up for grabs, with chances for either party to take majorities. Locally, Darrell Steinberg, State Senator from District 6, is leaving office due to term limits.

Dr. Richard Pan was elected to the Assembly in 2010, and for two years served the 5th District, which covered Folsom and parts of East Sacramento County. With re-districting, Pan ran for and won his seat for the 9th district, which covers south Sacramento, Elk Grove, and down to Lodi.

Pan has announced that he will run for Senator Steinberg’s seat this year. Roger Dickinson, Assembly Member from the adjoining 7th District, who was a guest of the club at our November meeting, is also running for the Senate seat.

We look forward to hearing from Dr. Pan about his activities in the Assembly and upcoming plans.

SamuraiThe America River Democrats January Meeting will be at Samurai Sushi, Wednesday, January 15, 12251 Folsom Bl, Rancho Cordova. We begin our gathering at 6:30 for social time and a chance to order food or drinks, the official meeting will begin at 7:00 pm.

Samurai Sushi is near the Hazel exit from the 50 freeway on Folsom Blvd.

Guests are always welcome! Feel free to join us to hear from Dr. Pan, or to learn more about the American River Democrats.