We are Costa Mesa’s officially chartered club with the Democratic Party of Orange County working to organize and elect Democrats at every level of government.
Consider amplifying your voice and joining our club as a member to support our local organizing efforts. You can attend our monthly events and stay connected with newsletter updates.
Board Members elected in January, 2020:
Chair — Cassius Rutherford
Vice Chair — Maxine Maly
Secretary — Edwin Garcia
Treasurer — Flo Martin
Parliamentarian — Cynthia Blackwell
Voter Contact Director — CL Miller
Political Directors — Russell Baldwin & Samuel Helm
Membership Chair — Joni Nichols
Legal Counsel — Jon Landis
Communications Director — Kalvin Alvarez
City Council Liaison — Councilmember Manuel Chavez
At-Large Board Members — Tom Arnold & Michael Hogan
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2019 — The Costa Mesa Democratic Club announced that for the first time in Costa Mesa’s 60-year history, Democrats now have more registered voters than any other party affiliation, ending the historical Republican advantage in our city. The shift in voter registrations reflects the midterm election, which saw Costa Mesa voters break for the Democratic candidates in large margins. Costa Mesa played a major role in electing Representative Harley Rouda in Congressional District 48 and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris in Assembly District 74 by 5.4%.
The registration advantage also follows the electoral strides of Costa Mesa’s successful Mayor and City Council Members, who similarly built broad margins of victory in each district up for election last year. Mayor Katrina Foley, a Democrat who endorsed Rouda and Petrie-Norris, won by 19% to unseat the incumbent mayor even with Costa Mesa’s Republican registration advantage in 2018.
“We are excited to see the results of strong Democratic leadership and messaging in Costa Mesa, where voters rejected political fear mongering and dark-money attack ads in favor of candidates who spoke directly to the communities they represent,” said Brandon Love, Costa Mesa Democratic Club Chair for 2018-2019. “The Costa Mesa Democratic club welcomes people from all backgrounds who are also seeking to revitalize and strengthen our democracy. We are excited to have a city council and elected representatives who are accessible and transparent.”
“With so many passionate grassroots volunteers engaged and our local Democratic club actively involved in registering new voters, the new Democratic edge in our community was only a matter of time,” added Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. “I expect the gap to widen more. Orange County is changing and residents are aligning more with the issues that working families care most about, including a living wage, women’s equality, quality affordable health care and housing, clean and safe communities, preservation of our environment, open space and coastline, and schools modernized and sufficiently funded to allow children to reach their full potential.”
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As of 11/7/18, approximately 665,000 ballots have already been tabulated in Orange County, and an estimated 420,000 additional ballots remain uncounted. If that estimate holds true, approximately 70% of voters will have participated in the political process. That figure would be a historically high turnout for a midterm election. In fact, that level of turnout would resemble the turnout of a Presidential election. In the prior midterm election, only 45% of voters cast a ballot. Thus, there may be a 50% increase in turnout since the previous midterm.
The outstanding mail and provisional ballots will likely take several days/weeks to finalize. To view updated numbers, please visit the Orange County Registrar’s website here or the California Secretary of State website here. For the time being, tentative results are provided below…
Earlier today, a mailer which attempts to dishonestly smear Katrina Foley was sent to many Costa Mesa residents. Sadly, this is nothing new. Nevertheless, we are compelled to look under the hood of this particular hit piece because we believe that you deserve to know who sends these baseless attack ads.
On 6/5/18, California had a primary election, and the takeaways for local Democrats are a mixed bag. Before relaying any information here, it is important to note a disclaimer: the data is not yet finalized. As of 6/14/18, the OC Registrar of Voters estimates that there are more than 45,000 votes which still need to be tabulated countywide. It is unknown how many of those ballots apply to particular races/districts, but it is fair to assume that the outcomes in close contests will not be definitively determined for several more days. However, there are some points which we can safely convey now…
Councilman Allan Mansoor (R), a staunch believer in the “rule of law,” failed to continuously live in Costa Mesa during his entire term in office. Under state law, that is grounds for his office to be “immediately” vacated. Currently, this matter is under review by the Attorney General’s office. Read full story here.
If there is a chance that Mansoor is not supposed to be on the City Council, why is he allowed to cast votes and receive benefits that are paid by our tax dollars? Perhaps he should be put on an unpaid leave of absence until this issue is sorted out.
A member of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission recently resigned because she moved out of the city. Read article here.
We elect five Directors to make decisions concerning our local water district. Currently, all five of them are Republicans. However, Mesa Water is not practicing the financial responsibility that many Republicans preach.
For example, the current Board spends boat loads of your tax dollars to (1) unnecessarily attend numerous conferences, (2) fly first class, (3) ride in limos to and from the airport, (4) exaggerate mileage reimbursements, and (5) pay for expensive meals for themselves and others. Read the article that details their extravagant spending habits here.
Why Supervisors Are Important
When Orange County was established in 1889, the population was approximately 13,000, and those people were represented at the County level by five elected officials (Supervisors). Since then, the population has swelled to more than 3 million people, which makes Orange County the 6th largest county in the nation. Because the population has grown exponentially, the footprint of our county government has correspondingly expanded. Currently, there are more than 18,000 people who work for the County. However, there is one part of our county government that has not changed over the last 130 years–we still only have five Supervisors.
Why Democrats need to focus on Supervisor elections
Currently, all five Supervisors are Republicans, and their monopoly on power is not a new phenomenon. Going back 30 years, there have been 24 different Supervisors, and only one of them has been a Democrat (and he didn’t even serve a full term). During that same time frame, there have been 37 different elections for Supervisor, and none of those races have even been close.
Previously, the OC Board of Education (“OCBOE”) existed in relative obscurity, but it is now emerging as a prominent player in the public education process, because of the charter school movement.
Because taxpayer dollars are used to fund charter schools, they cannot exist unless they first receive approval from the local school district. If a charter school’s application for a license is denied, it can appeal to the OCBOE. The OCBOE can override the school district ruling, and grant a license to the charter school. Consequently, the charter school lobby is currently spending huge amounts of money in order to elect candidates to the OCBOE who are supportive of charter schools.
Earlier today, the OC Register published an article about Democratic prospects in the upcoming elections for County Supervisor. A portion of the article examines the record of our Supervisor, Michelle Steel (R). In the article, Supervisor Steel provides three of her accomplishments which she thinks are notable; she also highlights the two goals that she hopes to achieve if re-elected this year. In the article, the Register provides the shockingly few number of agenda items that Supervisor Steel has proposed during her term in office. Read the full article here, or read below for a annotated summary.
Spoiler alert: Supervisor Steel has done virtually nothing to justify the millions of taxpayer dollars that have been paid to her and her staff. The lack of meaningful action has been abysmal and embarrassing. We’ve all been duped!