Fellow Democrats, We have quite a year ahead of us. This month we will elect officers and approve our budget. From there, we will jump into preparing our endorsements for the June primary. A record number of offices will be on the ballot. Because Senator Kamala Harris became Vice President, her replacement Alex Padilla needs to stand for election this year, at what would have been the end of her term. State Senator Sydney Kamlanger, who was elected in a special election to finish Holly Mitchell’s term, and Assembly Member Isaac Bryan, elected in another special election to finish Kamlanger’s term, are in the same position as Padilla. Karen Bass’ Congressional seat is open, because she is running for Mayor of Los Angeles. Every State executive office will also be on the ballot, from Governor to Insurance Commissioner. Some of these seats will be highly competitive, some have very strong incumbents. We will have a better idea of the field soon. We have already heard from two of the candidates running to replace LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva: Cecil Rhambo and Eric Strong. A third, Robert Luna, will join us at our February meeting. I believe this is one of the most important contests on the ballot. I remind you once again that the Sheriff runs the LA County Jail, which is the largest mental health care provider in the nation, if not the world, and also encourage you to read Cerise Castle’s brave reporting on deputy gangs. All these offices will be on the June 7 primary ballot. We will have a lot to research and discuss. Also, even though Culver City residents will not be able to vote for Mayor of Los Angeles or in the County’s Third Supervisorial District, some of our members are in those jurisdictions, and we will all be affected by who replaces Mayor Eric Garcetti (who has been appointed Ambassador to India by President Biden) and Supervisor Shelia Kuehl (who is retiring). So, we may want to consider endorsing in those races as well. Additionally, because of redistricting, some parts of Culver City have been assigned to different Assembly, State Senate, and Congressional districts than before. Check the maps, especially for Congress, if you live west of the 405. Because California is now permanently vote-by-mail, our endorsements need to be done early enough to arrive at people’s homes at the same time as the ballots, which means we will most likely complete our endorsements at our April meeting. I expect we will continue hearing from candidates until then and will probably organize or co-host at least one forum. This will dominate our programs until the summer. We might have a month or two to feature a non-election program, but the November 8 General Election will be coming up quickly. Assuming our endorsed candidates are in the top two in the primary and haven’t done anything to lose our support, we won’t need to revisit those offices, but there will be a host of state propositions, probably some local ones, and two Culver City Council and three CCUSD School Board seats on the ballot. Again, because vote-by-mail ballots drop several weeks before Election Day, we will need to have our endorsements set by September at the latest in order to have our mailer ready. A lot is at stake. The November 2020 Culver City election saw record turnout, record spending, and the first negative ads and campaign billboards in the city’s history. While we can hope things will be better in 2022, the behavior of local conservatives in print, at meetings, and in office suggests otherwise. We have a lot of work ahead, but it is good and important work. To start, please renew your Club membership, consider adding a monthly donation, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Stay safe, and I’ll see you at our next meeting!