MEETING REPORT IESJ November 19, 2018

About 20 IESJ members and guests gathered in the Fireside Room of Alum Rock United Methodist Church at 7:00 PM.

Following introductions, Victor Sin, the chair of the Santa Clara Valley chapter of ACLU of Northern California updated us on ACLU pre-midterm election activities including hundreds of thousands of contacts between ACLU members and the voters of the Central Valley. They registered and canvassed voters, as well as doing texting and phoning.  He gave an overview of current Civil Liberties issues including Voter Suppression, LGBTQ inequities, Reproductive Justice and a local problem – the lack of satellite voting centers which forces last-minute register-ers to travel to the one and only center on Berger Drive.  Victor didn’t know the precise answers to several questions so he promised to research them for us.  Watch for his answers in a future email.  He announced the following ACLU events:  BILL OF RIGHTS DAY CELEBRATION, 12-8-18, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, Impact Hub Oakland.  More info:  SANTA CLARA VALLEY CHAPTER ELECTION EVENT, 1-30-19, 7:00 -8:30 PM, San Jose City Hall.  More info:  TRAINING FOR CHANGE MAKERS, 2-9-19 in San Jose.  More info:  ACLU OF CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE AND LOBBY DAY, 4-7-19 and 4-8-19, Holiday Inn Sacramento downtown.  More info:

Blanca Alvarado, East San Jose’s own Wonder Woman, former San Jose City Councilmember and County Board Supervisor, explained her leadership in forming Rise Up Alum Rock! The bad behavior of two ARUSD board trustees, Esau Herrera and Khanh Tran (plus possibly illegal benefits to Del Terra Group) provoked the formation of the group in time to influence the 2018 school board election.  She said that in her very long political career, she had always embraced positivity and supported others – until desperation and commitment prompted the “stretch” needed to remove two destructive people from the board to make real change in the district.  She pinpointed the next challenges for RUAR: Filling Karen Martinez’ soon-to-be vacant seat on the board; engaging County District Attorney Jeff Rosen to investigate corruption in the district; locating and engaging leaders in the Vietnamese community to take an interest in ARUSD schools which their children attend.  She cited the common denominator of Rise Up Alum Rock!, SOMOS Mayfair, Community for Better Alum Rock Schools and Indivisible East San Jose – we all have Community Engagement as part of our DNA!  Our work has just begun.

Ellen Turner reported on the protest rally on Thursday, November 8th at San Jose City Hall which she organized to support Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.  Speakers included US Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Mayor Sam Liccardo.  About 600 peaceful protesters attended.  All went well until Ellen badly sprained her ankle when she stepped backward into a deep excavation in the concrete during Ms. Lofgren’s address.  Ellen reports that this was her first-ever ambulance ride – and her ankle still hurts!  :>0

New focus for the Indivisible Groups: Indivisible On the Offense:  “We resisted – we retook power.”  Next steps – Use congressional oversight to hold Trump and his cronies accountable.  Set the agenda with bold progressive vision rooted in Inclusion, Fairness and Justice.  Locally, Indivisibles can push for state level policy change with our state representatives.

Next steps for Swing Left:   Keep flipping house seats.  Go after the White House.  Take back the Senate.  Focus on key state level races.

We discussed Mid-term election results.  The election of CA. District 10 Democrat Josh Harder over incumbent Republican Jeff Denham warmed our hearts because Tracy was a main focus of our IESJ Voter Registration and Canvassing team.

In the ARUSD school board election, both Khanh Tran and Esau Herrera were voted off the board.  Ray Mueller had the fourth highest number of votes but only a small number of votes separated him from Tran’s total. Rise Up Alum Rock was successful in its efforts to unseat Herrera and Tran, but the conclusion is that too many voters were not reached!

It was suggested that IESJ thank Alum Rock United Methodist Church for their generosity in allowing us to use their facilities free of charge for almost two years.  Can you please remember them in your end-of-year giving?  ARUMC, 30 Kirk Ave., San Jose, CA 95127


Next IESJ meeting:  Set for Monday, January 14, 2019.  This meeting date is a departure from our usual third Monday schedule so we can accommodate a poster workshop before the Women’s March on January 19th.

Announcement:  2019 WOMEN’S MARCH January 19th at San Jose City Hall – 11:00 AM