Today, our San Diego County Democratic Party's Council of Clubs, a consortium of all the democratic clubs in San Diego County, voted to name name San Diego Democrats for Equality as the 2023 Democratic Club of the Year!
This is an amazing honor, and it speaks to the incredible, inspiring work that every single one of our members put in this last year to be successful.
We are an affinity LGBTQ+ Democratic Club, and our story begins through activism. One year after the first Gay Pride March in San Diego, our club was founded in 1975.
Everything our club organized for from the very beginning culminated in the historic election of Christine Kehoe to San Diego City Council District 3 in 1993 – that was 30 years ago this year!
If you'd like to read a more comprehensive history of our club, it's available on our website here.
We’ve been very successful over the last number of years recruiting and elevating culturally-competent voices – especially women, and especially LGBTQ+ women of color – onto our club’s executive board. We pride ourselves on diversity. It’s who we are to our core.
Through our organizing, we’ve been successful in elevating our board members into leadership roles within our Democratic Party. 10 of our executive board members are either California Democratic Party or ADEM-elected delegates, and that includes every single one of our club's officers.
In highlighting some of our targeted election victories, the ability for our club to have elected our 3rd LGBTQ+ state legislator is nothing short of historic. We are excited to have Steve Padilla in the State Senate serving alongside our amazing Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and our Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Chris Ward.
We worked with our friends and allies at Imperial Beach Democratic Club to help elect Paloma Aguirre as the LGBTQ+ Mayor of Imperial Beach, we were thrilled to see Vista City Councilmember Corinna Contreras and North County Fire Protection District Director (and club executive board member) Ross Pike run unopposed as LGBTQ+ candidates in their elections in North County, and successfully flipping a seat and electing Andrea Beth Damsky to the Helix Water District as an LGBTQ+ candidate in East County.
Thank you to our friends and allies at the AAPI Democratic Club of San Diego for nominating us for this honor. This past year, we worked and collaborated with so many other democratic clubs on projects including San Diego County Young Dems, San Diego Labor Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Education Alliance, YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County, Clairemont Democratic Club, and so many others.
We also want to highlight the incredible work that both Club of the Year nominees Coronado Democratic Club and Poway Democratic Club achieved this year, and we look forward to working with you and sharing ideas on how we can best elevate the work that you – and all of our local democratic clubs are involved in.
As we enter the post-pandemic era of our world, we know the challenges ahead of us. There are forces out there who are more determined than ever to bring us down, overturn elections, ban books, harm our family and friends in the trans community, and force and inflict their singular, colorless, myopic view of the world onto our proudly diverse neighborhoods and communities. We are in this together. The more that we work together, the more we phone bank together, the more we canvass together, the more we celebrate accomplishments together – the more it will lead us to greater success that we can all share.
If you'd like to see the slides we put together for today's Club of the Year presentation, you can view them here.
Again, thank you for all of your support and collaborative efforts this past year. It is truly an honor to be named as Club of the Year, and it's an honor we are very happy to share with all of you.
Ryan Trabuco (he/him/his)
San Diego Democrats for Equality