The following is just a snapshot of Heart of LA Democratic Club activities during the banner election year of 2020. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, most of our engagement was virtual and online.
the Grassroots Election Activities:
Hosted fundraisers for Los Angeles County candidates: Christy Smith (CA-25), Loraine Lundquist (L.A. City Council District 12), Aura Vasquez (L.A. City Council District 10), Holly Mitchell for Board of Supervisors, Sepi Shyne (West Hollywood City Council), and Tunua Thrash-Ntuk (Long Beach City Council)
Canvassed, called, texted, and postcarded for Loraine Lundquist, Christy Smith, Aura Vasquez, Sarah Kate Levy, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Nithya Raman, and Holly Mitchell
Hosted fundraisers for out-of-L.A. County candidates: U.S. Senate – Mark Kelly (AZ), Theresa Greenfield (IA), Sara Gideon (ME), Barbara Bollier (KS), Doug Jones (AL), Paula-Jean Swearingen (WV), Jaime Harrison (SC); U.S. House – Kathleen Williams (MT-ALL), TJ Cox (CA-21), Cindy Axne (IA-3) and Abby Finkenauer (IA-1)
Co-hosted Independence Day Team To Resist & Rise event benefiting Joe Biden
Participated in numerous voter outreach activities with our coalition partners, Westside Democratic HQ and Grassroots Democratic HQ
Ran digital advertising campaigns for Christy Smith and Kipp Mueller (State Senate), Nichelle Henderson (LA Community College District Board), Sepi Shyne, George Gascón (District Attorney), Yasmine-Imani McMorrin (Culver City City Council), and Holly Mitchell, which reached more than 115,000 unique users on Facebook and Instagram, and thousands more through digital and print ads in local publications in Culver City and West Hollywood
HLA’s candidates were very successful in their elections last November, outperforming other candidates and in some instances victorious over better-funded incumbents.
Non campaign-related activities:
Women’s March downtown LA in Pershing Square
Co-hosted DNC Convention Watch Parties
Attended a performance of “What the Constitution Means to Me” at the Mark Taper Forum
Co-hosted a series of Virtual House Parties with LA-City Councilmember-elect Kevin DeLeon, NARAL Pro-choice America President Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-choice California Director Shannon Hovis, Representative Katie Porter, CA Assemblymember Christy Smith, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation Katherine Spillar on the evening of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Hosted a conversation about “All In: The Fight for Democracy”
Celebrated the 2020 election results with a much-needed Holiday Mixer
Regular Club meetings with the following topics / speakers:
Women and Justice with Vanessa Martin, Director of the Reentry Division at the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) and Summer Lacey, Senior legal counsel at the Justice Collaborative
Feminism and Cannabis with Nicole Phillis, attorney and cannabis litigator; Ariel Clark, cannabis business attorney; and Yvette McDowell, cannabis law consultant
Antiracism and White Fragility with antiracism advocate Robin DiAngelo
Panel of HLA Endorsed Candidates for 2020 Primary with LA City Council candidates Loraine Lundquist, Sarah Kate Levy and Aura Vasquez
Women of Color on the Rise with Cecilia Muñoz, author of "More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You....and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise
Equal Rights Amendment with Carmen Linero-Lopez, National Campus Organizer for Feminist Campus, a program of the Feminist Majority Foundation;
a California Democratic Party update with Yvette Martinez, Executive Director)
Homelessness in the era of COVID with Sarah Dusseault, Chair, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission, Stephanie Klasky-Gamer - President and CEO of LA Family Housing andChelsea Byers - Field Director for United Way's Everyone In campaign
Reimagine LA with Issac Bryan, Re-Imagine LA Coalition
Panel of HLA Endorsed Candidates for 2020 General Election with Nithya Raman, Los Angeles City Councilmember-elect, Yasmine-Imani McMorrin. Culver City City Councilmember-elect, Sepi Shyne. West Hollywood City Councilmember-elect, and Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, candidate for Long Beach City Council
Sydney Kamlager, CA Assemblywoman
HLADems were busy in 2019, our third year! Here’s just a sampling of what we did:
Monthly Club Meetings: Monthly Heart of LA meetings remain a consistent centerpiece of our membership. In addition to voting on endorsements, meeting face-to-face with old friends and making new ones, we also host guest speakers who cover a variety of topics that our membership expressed interest in knowing more about. Halfway through 2019 we were privileged with the invitation permanently hold our monthly meetings at the Beverly Hills headquarters of The Feminist Majority Foundation, a nonprofit whose stated mission is to advance non-violence and women's power, equality, and economic development. By the way, our 3-year-old club now has over 250 members!
2019 special guest speakers included:
Isaac Bryan, a policy shaper, published scholar and community advocate. Topics included race and the difficulties women of color face during and after incarceration.
Leslie Littman from the California Teachers Association (CTA) Board of Directors, representing approximately 14,000 educators working in the Los Angeles Area.
Abbe Land, Executive Director of the LA County Women and Girls Initiative (WGI). The WGI was created to help improve the lives of women and girls through changes in policy, program development and strategic partnerships.
Mike Young, Political & Organizing Director of the California League of Conservation Voters
Katherine Spillar, co-founder and Executive Director, and Executive Editor of “Ms.” magazine.
Sepi Shyne, Iranian American business and trademark Attorney, Energy Healer, Animal Communicator, LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Advocate, Feminist and life-long Democrat.
Casey Revkin Ryan, Immigration Rights Activist spoke about her experiences helping immigrants at the US/Mexico border.
Laura Brill, attorney and activist.
DeniAntionette Mazingo, Esq, Candidate for CA State Assembly, District 42
Tina McKinnor of Schools and Communities First initiative
Holly J. Mitchell, State Senator and our endorsed Board of Supervisors District 2 candidate.
Events: Heart of LA Democrats were all over LA County and beyond, hosting and attending political events for candidates, marching in rallies, and raising money and awareness for candidates and causes. Here is just a sample of 2019 events:
Kicked off 2019 at the Women’s March downtown LA in Pershing Square (Jan 19)
Assembly District (ADEMS) elections: several members of HLA Dems ran for delegate positions. Our club now boasts a roster of delegates who represent our interests in the California Democratic Party. (January)
We had a little fun and walked or rode our bikes at CICLAVIA in Culver City / Palms
HLA President Lindsay Carlson hosted a “All on the Line” Gerrymandering House Party with Eric Holder via live streaming (March 23)
Hosted a fundraiser for Virginia House of Delegates candidates Danica Roem and Alfonso Lopez, in Santa Monica at the William Turner Gallery. (March 30)
Co-sponsored the “Green Dream” event in Santa Monica. The Green Dream Pledge calls on all Democratic Institutions in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and all of California to go green and sustainable by 2022. Speakers included Rep. Ted Lieu, State Senator Ben Allen, State Senate President Pro Tem Emeritus Kevin De Leon, Councilman Mike Bonin, RL Miller from Climate Hawks Vote and Russell Greene from People Taking Action. (April 27)
Members volunteered to register participants at the Girls on the Run LA (GOTRLA) 5K fun run. Girls on the Run is an after-school program for girls in grades 3 to 8, that creatively integrates physical activity into a curriculum that teaches the participants to be joyful and confident. (May 4 and December 8)
Hosted a fundraiser for Haya Ayala of the Virginia House of Delegates (June 3)
Hosted our first club party at the TAG Galley in Mid-Wilshire. Friend-of-the-club Elyse Wyman exhibited her latest artwork with the theme, "Disintegrating," and KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox provided the music. We highlighted the work of our members and their organizations, particularly The Feminist Majority and Ms. Magazine, the Grassroots Democratic HQ LA, Field Team 6, the Westside Democratic HQ, and Planned Parenthood. (June 29)
Co-hosted a fundraiser for Loraine Lundquist, our Council District 12 endorsed candidate. (July 13)
Canvassed for Loraine Lundquist (July 28)
Co-hosted night #1 Democratic Debate Watch Party (Rocco’s, July 30)
Co-hosted night #2 Democratic Debate Watch Party at The Abbey (July 31)
Hosted the Team To Resist & Rise event benefiting Rep. Karen Bass’ Sea Change (Sept. 22)
Participated in live readings of The Mueller Report with Hollywood NOW and the City of West Hollywood Government (August 10 and 11)
Members co-hosted a fundraiser for Representative Abby Finkenauer (IA-1). (August 18)
Participated in “Black Women’s Equal Pay Day” social media campaign (August 22)
Co-hosted #3 Democratic Debate Watch Party (The Abbey, September 12)
Participated in social media “Native Women’s Equal Pay Day” campaign (September 23)
Co-hosted Event “How Queer Rights and Reproductive Justice Intersect” (Rocco’s, October 24)
Co-hosted LGBTQ CNN Town Hall Watch Party (The Abbey, October 10)
Hosted Virginia Organizing Event in Culver City (October 13)
Co-hosted #4 Democratic Debate Watch Party (The Abbey, October 15)
Co-sponsored Community Policy Discussion with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi,Supervising Deputy AG / candidate for judicial office Linda Sun, candidate for Torrance City Council Andrew De Block, Kelsey O’Hara from Katie Hill’s campaign (October 19)
Co-sponsored phone bank for Virginia legislative elections in West Hollywood. Let's pass the ERA! (November 3)
Co-hosted #5 Democratic Debate Watch Party (The Abbey, November 20)
Co-hosted #6 Democratic Debate Watch Party (The Abbey, December 19)
Candidate Endorsements: A big and important part of being a Democratic Club is endorsing and supporting Democratic candidates for office. As a feminist club whose focus is on promoting the full representation of women in local, state and national politics, we have a high bar. In 2019, our club endorsed pro-choice candidates who believe in equality and seek to eliminate discrimination based upon gender and gender identity / expression, real or perceived sexual orientation, race, age, religion and/or disability. We’ll endorse and support more candidates in 2020. Check our website as the list grows!
California United States Congress:
Christy Smith (CA-25) We endorsed Christy Smith after Katie Hill resigned
Katie Hill (CA-25)
Adam Schiff(CA-28) for re-election
Ted Lieu (CA-33) for re-election
Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) for re-election
Karen Bass (CA-37) for re-election
Maxine Waters (CA-43) for re-election
Nanette Barragan (CA-44) for re-election
Katie Porter (CA-45) for re-election
Harley Rouda (CA-48) for re-election
Mike Levin (CA-49) for re-election
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Holly J.Mitchell (Second District)
Los Angeles City Council
Loraine Lundquist (District 12)
Sarah Kate Levy (District 4)
Aura Vasquez (District 10)
California State Assembly
Christy Smith (Assembly District 38)
Deni Mazingo (Assembly District 42)
Out of State Senate Candidates:
Amy McGrath (running against Mitch McConnell)
Gary Peters (Michigan)
Out of State Congressional Candidates:
Kendra Horn (OK-5)
Abby Finkenauer (IA-1)
Angie Craig (MN-2)
Lucy McBath (GA-6)
Cindy Axne (IA-3)
Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
Xochitl Torres-Small (NM-2)
Sharice Davids (KS-3)
Haley Stevens (MI-11)
Susie Lee (NV-3)
Gina Ortiz-Jones (TX-23)
Marie Newman (IL-3)
Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)
Elisa Slotkin (MI-7)
Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)
Endorsement of California Senate and Assembly Bills: Heart of LA goes beyond endorsing candidates and takes on the endorsement of bills that support and enrich the lives of Californians.
Partnerships: Democracy doesn’t work in a vacuum. HLADems is proud to have partnered with the following organizations (and many others) on events and sponsorships: Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Stonewall Democratic Club, ROAR Resistance, SeaChange, Westside Young Democrats, West Hollywood Beverly Hills Democratic Club,Team T.O. Resist and Rise, Westside Democratic HQ, Grassroots Democratic HQ, Planned Parenthood, National Organization of Women, and more.
Phonebanking, Canvassing and Activism: Any given weeknight or weekend, you can find HLADems members knocking on doors, hosting events, or making phone calls for candidates or issues. Statements: So much happened in the news in 2019. It was hard to keep up. But some events were so important and compelling that we decided to release official statements about them. As we look back, our common themes were gun violence, sexual assault, and women’s reproductive rights. We didn’t just make statements though. We gave our members actionable goals to try to make a difference, we made phone calls, and we marched. Here is a sample:
Statement on the mass murder and attack of the people of New Zealand by a violent gunman at two mosques in Christchurch. (March)
Statement on attack at Chabad of Poway (April)
Heart of LA Democratic Club grieves with the community of the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, CO in the aftermath of the school shooting and murder of a student. (May)
Statement against votes to Dismantle Women's Reproductive Rights (May)
Statement on mass Shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton (August)
Statement on the resignation of Representative Katie Hill (October)
Statement on mass Shootings in Santa Clarita, Fresno and Pleasantville (November)
About Heart of LA Democratic Club (HLADems) Founded in March 2017 on the heels of the Presidential election, the Heart of L.A. Democratic Club was created in recognition of the growing awareness within the Democratic Party that women should be fully and equally represented in local, state, and national politics. The Heart of L.A. Democratic Club is open to all Democrats who subscribe to the club’s goals and purposes regardless of their gender identity. The mission of the Heart of L.A. Democratic Club is to help make the Democratic Party and its elected officials responsive to, and responsible for, the needs of all people, particularly, though not exclusively, women in our community. In addition to endorsing candidates and organizing for those candidates, the Heart of L.A. Democratic Club actively participates in issues advocacy, community outreach, and voter education. The Club’s monthly meetings feature guest speakers such as Democratic elected officials and candidates, and experts in policy areas of interest to women - including reproductive justice, homelessness, voter registration, immigration, criminal justice reform and more.
The Heart of L.A. Democratic Club – the first county-wide Democratic Club focused primarily on women’s issues and electing feminist candidates – received its Charter from the L.A. County Democratic Party in March 2017. We have achieved so much in our short time. Heart of LA has become a force in the political community. We have become known locally as an active, welcoming, and empowering place for our members and allies to promote women’s representation and feminist values in politics.
Brief snapshot of Heart of LA’s contributions in 2018:
Heart of LA contributed to the blue wave that took the House back this year and made history by helping record-breaking numbers of women win a seat in office.
Assessed and endorsed 35+ candidates who represent our values (and most of them won!).
Co-sponsored the Westside Democratic Headquarters, which brought over 2,000 volunteers together to make 1.9 million calls from June to November knock on thousands of voters’ doors.
Reached thousands more voters by organizing canvassing, phone banking, texting and postcarding for feminist candidates including Stacey Abrams, Senator-elect Jacky Rosen, Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema, and others.
Heart of LA helps our members stay informed and active. Here are a few ways we’ve grown as a community of change agents:
Hosted discussions with Representative Karen Bass (CA-37), Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Representative-elect Katie Hill (CA-25), State Senator Ben Allen (SD-26) and Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (AD-54).
Curated programming on current policy issues such as offshore drilling, reproductive justice, homelessness in Los Angeles, gun violence, and healthcare reform.
Promoted feminist values with a formal presence at marches and rallies, from the Women’s March to the United States of Women.
Strengthened local community through volunteer activities such as the Girls on the Run 5K, holiday donation drives, and community potlucks with our Muslim neighbors at the IMAN Center.
AND MUCH MORE!
Hosted the following compelling speakers at our monthly meetings: Representative Karen Bass (CA-37) Katie Hill, candidate for U.S. Congress (CA-25) Kathy Paspalis, Culver City School Board Torie Osborn, Chief Deputy to L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl Nan Aron, President of the Alliance for Justice Emily Zahn, California Women’s List Dallas Fowler, former candidate for L.A. Community College Board Sandra Fluke, California State Director at Voices For Progress Jonae Watts, Senior Employment Specialist, People Assisting the Homeless Susie Shannon, Executive Director at Poverty Matters Molly Rysman, Housing and Homelessness Deputy for L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl Gabrielle Hooks, Southern CA Health & Rehabilitaton Progaam (SCHARP) David Edward Burke, President and CEO of Citizens Take Action
Participated in Community Activities: Resist! March Take Back the Workplace March IMAN Center – Shared Lunch & Presentation from our Muslim Neighbors Girls on the Run – Los Angeles 5K Canvassed in CA-25 and calling for Virginia statewide and legislative races Co-hosted California Gubernatorial candidate town halls
Endorsed candidates for office: Representative Karen Bass (CA-37) State Senator Holly Mitchell (District 30) Maria Elena Durazo (State Senate District 24)