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We must remain vigilant

Posted: December 15, 2008 9:18 p.m.
Updated: December 16, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 
With Obama's presidential victory, Democrats have taken the first step toward turning the economy around and launching us on a path to recovery. Although we are still facing some very trying times, we should soon be able to make the changes we so desperately need.

With Obama's plan to boost the economy by hiring people to upgrade our infrastructure, we should see the addition of 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.

This should hopefully jumpstart our economy and stimulate critical U.S. industries by undertaking much-needed projects, such as repairing our aging roads and bridges, providing universal broadband, modernizing our schools, improving health care and achieving energy independence through development of green technologies.

I trust that the Obama administration will bring an end to torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners held indefinitely without charges ever being heard in court.

I am optimistic that Guantanamo will soon be shut down so we can embark on some serious reforms and a significant reduction of U.S. military presence worldwide.

We haven't really been able to afford the costly wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, and now that our economy is suffering, we simply cannot continue them.

Obama's election brought about an unprecedented mobilization of the Democratic Party, but we cannot rest on our laurels.

Now more than ever, it is essential for us all to come forward and get involved. There are still many local government seats we need to win in the 2010 election, and much work to be done.

If you are a closet Democrat, an Independent or even a Republican who has finally seen the light, there are numerous opportunities to get involved locally.

In the Santa Clarita Valley area there are three main Democratic clubs: The Democratic Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, The Democratic Alliance for Action (DAA) and the Democratic Neighbors of the 38th Assembly District (DN38).

Each group offers a unique perspective and provides its own specific opportunities for participation.

The Democratic Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, under President Mike Cruz, is a small, tightly knit group of dedicated Democrats.

Its primary undertaking is the support of candidates running for local offices. Their objective is to find qualified Democratic candidates and provide them with mentoring and support.

They back qualified local Democratic candidates in races for school boards, water boards, the Santa Clarita City Council, and select seats on the California Legislature. For more info, please see the Web site at www.scvdems.org.

The DAA is the largest Democratic club in the Santa Clarita Valley. President Michael Kulka leads lively monthly meetings at Vincenzo's in Newhall, where Democrats come to learn about local issues, participate in candidate forums, and exchange ideas.

This Thursday's meeting at 7 p.m. will honor volunteers. The DAA is also very active in community outreach, voter registration, fundraising and candidate support.

The DAA is the main Democratic Headquarters organizer each election season. You can find more details about the DAA at its Web site: www.DAA.org.

Joyce Evans, a DAA member, has led voter registration efforts will all three groups that have yielded thousands of new Democrats in the valley.

The DN38, chaired by Carole Lutness, mainly strives to provide get-out-the-vote services for candidates and support of Democratic initiatives that are pertinent to the 38th Assembly District.

Members of DN38 pride themselves on "being the feet" for the Democratic Party by walking door to door or making phone calls to support particular candidates or issues. You can find out more by visiting www.dn38.org.

All three groups typically meet monthly. Coming to a meeting can provide a great way to meet high-profile Democrats in the SCV area.

You might wish to attend the annual Christmas party hosted by Jonathan Kraut, past president and secretary of the Democratic Club of the SCV.

Representatives from all three clubs will be in attendance, so this will provide a great opportunity to become acquainted with Democrats from all three groups.

The event is open to all. It is a potluck and it is requested that anyone attending make a donation to the local homeless shelter. A list of requested items can be found at www.santaclaritashelter.com/Pages/Needs.html.

Further details about the party can be found at www.scvdems.org. If interested, please be sure to make reservations.

Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant to guard our future and ensure our great nation continues to serve as a role model for the rest of the world and remains free and powerful. To do this we must all participate.

Todd Hoover is a resident of Castaic and a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Democratic Voices" runs Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among local Democratic writers.

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