We had our third Q&A event with 48th District congressional candidates on Saturday September 16, 2017. Roughly, 130 people showed up to hear Omar Siddiqui and Dr. Hans Keirstead answer questions at Carden Conservatory Elementary from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Doors opened at 9:30 a.m. and participants had the chance to enjoy our new “Fair-Style” set up, where our five action teams set up booths to display information, advertise upcoming opportunities and answer questions about local issues.
Our meeting facilitator, Cathey Ryder, welcomed new members to the meeting and Karen Coyne of our environment group provided an overview of the HB Huddle and introduced our new vision statement:
“To cultivate a vibrant community of informed voters who actively participate in the democratic process to make a positive difference in our community.”
Our five action teams then provided updates.
Environment Team Updates (Karen Coyne):
Energy Committee: Karen shared the committee is helping to move HB towards Community Choice Energy. City Council has now voted 5-2 FOR moving to the next step (just a couple months ago they voted 7-0 AGAINST)
Toxin-Free HB Committee: Karen shared that City Council is on board with 7-0 vote to come up with a citywide plan. She reached out and expressed they need people at Nov. 6 council meeting.
Trash-Free HB Committee: She shared several people attended the city council meeting requesting that HB adopt Track 1 to install trash capturing devices to adhere to California’s new legislation requiring no trash in our waterways by 2027
Healthcare Update (Greg Kordich and Gayle Poynter):
Gayle shared the benefits of single-payer healthcare and advocated that “Healthcare is a Human Right”. She and Greg advocated for California’s statewide bill SB-562, which make California’s healthcare system single-payer. For information about SB-562, please check http://www.HealhyCA.org
They also encouraged everyone to join the Facebook page of OC Regional organizers by searching: Medicare For All – Orange County.
Local Elections Team Updates (Brendon Perkins):
Brendon shared recent data that Republican party identification is at an all-time low and now is a crucial opportunity to turn the district blue. There is a 6% gap between Republicans and Democrats in OC party affiliation. He shared the Local Elections team is working to turn the OC Blue by pinpointing the people who are changeable, registering new voters, teaching volunteers how to talk to those voters, educating the public about the candidates at all levels, and getting out the vote in 2018.
If you are trained in Voter Registration: Click Here To Sign-Up For A Shift
NoBanNoWall Update (Aubrey Roy):
Aubrey shared that a few members attended HB City Council meeting in support of Chief Handy because of his work with Oak View community in HB. They are collecting donations on behalf of Orange County Immigrant Youth United for DACA renewals at this meeteing to meet the October 5 deadline. They are designing shirts to wear and also use as fundraising to support immigrant communities.
Women’s Rights Update (Libby Frolichman):
Libby shared the shirt they have designed which says, “Silence is NOT an option.” She explained this shirt is applicable not only for Women’s Rights, but for all issues we’re currently facing. The Women’s Rights team is selling shirts to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
Cathey Ryder then explained the HB Huddle’s financial needs and the need for us to fundraise. The HB Huddle is currently raising funds to help pay for administrative costs to conduct Huddle business, such as website fees, to host events, such as the Candidate Forum, and purchase marketing supplies, such as banners and t-shirts.
Karen Coyne then discussed OhmConnect, a new fundraising effort for the HB Huddle, which will also help to reduce energy and help the environment. OhmConnect, a home energy software company, will donate up to $150 per year to HB Huddle for each household when they reduce their electricity usage.
For more information about OhmConnect, check out this video:
For more details on OhmConnect for the Huddle are available here:
Our sponsored charity for September-November is Beach Cities Interfaith Services (BCIS), which offers a wide variety of services, such as food services, financial services, and case management, for our working poor and homeless clients. Linda Rose from BCIS spoke to HB Huddle about the needs of the organization. She discussed that there is a need for groceries, clothes, and personal hygiene products. For more information about BCIS and ways you can help, please check out: https://bcis-hb.org.
The candidates each had seven minutes to introduce themselves. Each action team then asked the candidates a question related to their issues, where they had two minutes each to respond. Audience members had an opportunity to ask questions by writing them on index cards. Candidates responded to the following questions:
- Which environmental protections are important to you and how will you balance them with economic growth? (Environment Action Team)
- Democrats usually fall into two camps in healthcare: Fixing ACA or supporting single-payer healthcare? Where do you fall on the spectrum and how do you plan to keep Big Pharma out of decision making? (Healthcare Action Team)
- What is your stance on Citizens United and how to combat voter suppression? (Local Elections Action Team)
- How will you determine the needs and wants of residents regardless of voter status? (NoBanNoWall Action Team)
- What two Women’s Rights issues are most important to you? (Women’s Rights Action Team)
- How would you address the homeless problem in our district?
- Our president has recently signed an executive order on off-shore drilling? What will you do to protect our shoreline?
- What is your stance on the transgender ban in the military and how will you support the LGBTQ community?
- What is your stance on raising the minimum wage?
- If you are not chosen as the congressional candidate, would you consider running for another political office down the ballot?
Our next meeting is on Saturday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Carden Elementary School, doors open at 9:30 a.m. We will be hosting another candidate forum with Michael Kotick and Brandon Reiser.