HEART OF L.A. DEMOCRATIC CLUB
MINUTES March 22, 2017
The very first monthly meeting of the newly chartered HEART OF L.A. DEMOCRATIC CLUB (“the HLA Dem Club” or “the Club”) was held on March 22, 2017. The meeting took place at Peace Center, 3916 S. Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City and convened at 7 p.m. with
President Lindsay Carlson and Vice-President Vanessa Martin presiding, along with Jane Wishon, Treasurer, and Gail Cohen, Recording Secretary.
Opening Remarks – President Lindsay Carlson:
Following a brief “get to know each other” introductory exercise among the attendees,
President Lindsay Carlson delivered a welcoming address and provided an overview of the reasons for forming the HLA Dem Club. The most significant reasons identified
include (1) the pressing need to address the unequal representation of women at every level of our local, state, and federal governments, (2) the HLA Dem Club’s unique focus upon the engagement and empowerment of feminists in the Democratic Party, “to build our bench of candidates”, and (3) the need to advance the overall progressive goals and policies of the Democratic Party. She also stressed, as did every speaker, that the HLA Dem Club is open to and welcomes all Democrats who share these goals, regardless of gender.
Agenda Items (Summary of Discussions):
What is a Democratic Club?
Treasurer Jane Wishon, who has held various positions in other Democratic Clubs, explained how the Democratic Party is structured at the national, state, and county
levels and emphasized that, as constituted, the HLA Dem Club reach extends to the
entire County of Los Angeles. As she discussed, a chartered Democratic Club can impact elections through its collective campaign activities and support of candidates and, among other things, can advance the Club’s feminist agenda through lobbying efforts. The HLA Dem Club can also join forces with other Democratic Clubs on issues of common interest.
What can the HLA Dem Club do?
As a club that is fully chartered by the State of California Democratic Party (and consistent with its Constitution and Bylaws), the HLA Dem Club may fundraise for and endorse Democratic candidates at all levels The HLA Dem Club can and will advocate for governmental policies of concern to the membership and its feminist goals. To further that goal, the Club will invite politicians to engage with and address the membership.
The HLA Dem Club can and will join forces with other Democratic Clubs to advance
its feminist agenda.
Finally, the HLA Dem Club intends to arrange social functions for members and potential new members, for both team building purposes and to expand its membership and influence.
How can members get involved in the HLA Dem Club?
For those interested in a more active engagement with the HLA Dem Club, join a committee. There are currently 5 open, Vice-President slots available, including the following:
(1) Programming: arrange for speakers and other programming for meetings and special events
(2) Political: work on endorsements, liaise with elected officials and political candidates
(3) Membership: recruit new members; diversify the membership; seek out members from historically underrepresented communities
(4) Community outreach: engage with other local political groups (e.g., Indivisible,
other Democratic Clubs)
(5) Communications: social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
During the meeting, a form captioned “Heart of LA and You” was handed out to all
attendees for completion and for collection. The form is designed to elicit
information on the attendees’ interests, experience, talents, strengths, level of commitment to the HLA Dem Club, and their thoughts about how the Club can be more diverse and inclusive.
Group Discussion - Highlights
Vice-President Vanessa Martin led a wide-ranging discussion with the group of attendees about their talents, how they might assist the HLA Dem Club, and their
overall suggestions for the Club. In response, one member offered her assistance in
designing the Club’s logo; another suggested that the Club plan an international-
themed potluck picnic at a local park to draw the members together, to attract new
members, and to be more inclusive. Another, with event planning skills, joined with
that attendee and offered to organize the event. Another attendee suggested that
the Club do a Facebook Ad campaign based on the uniqueness of the Club’s focus on
feminist issues. Finally, one attendee offered to provide videography and
One attendee also suggested working together with the Hollywood Now Chapter
and the National Women’s Caucus. Working on the upcoming mid-term elections was discussed, and key public policy issues of concern were also identified, including issues surrounding immigration, homelessness, and human trafficking. One final comment was that the Club needs to decide what policies to advocate
PLEASE NOTE that anyone interested in joining the HLA Dem Club can go online at
www.heartladems.org. The dues for a yearly General Membership are only $25.00,
and other membership options for different membership levels and/or donations to
the Club are detailed on the website.