Congressman Scott Peters visits Carmel Valley Democratic Club

The Carmel Valley Democratic Club hosted Congressman Scott Peters at its monthly meeting at New English Brewing in Sorrento Valley on Aug. 28. The meeting was also an opportunity for the club to meet Sunday Gover, a candidate for Assembly District 77.

The Carmel Valley Democratic Club is only six-months old, starting in founder Tom Freeley’s Carmel Valley living room in February.

Freeley said the first meeting was kind of an informal “Hey do you think we should do this?” type of gathering and when 89 people showed up the answer was “Apparently yes.” Since then they have met once a month, outgrowing the Carmel Valley Library, and have hosted a variety of guest speakers, often local candidates, at their meetings.

Simon and Nina Lacey, owners of New English Brewing, offered up their space to the growing club. The brewery recently opened The Barrel Room, an event space adjacent to the tasting room that debuted at the brewery’s 10th anniversary in July.

“I’m very impressed and encouraged that a club this new has this kind of attendance,” Peters said of the meeting’s turnout.

In his comments, Peters spoke about the border, which he sees as “an opportunity, not a threat,” healthcare, supporting science research, veterans issues and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which President Donald Trump rescinded the following week on Sept. 5.

“I can’t think of a crueler thing to do than to end the DACA program,” Peters said.

DACA applicants, of which an estimated 38,000 San Diegans are eligible, must have been brought to the United States before they were 16 years old; have maintained continuous residence since 2007 and must be attending school, have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, or have been honorably discharged from military service; and have not been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors. DACA applicants, or DREAMers, must pay nearly $500 to apply and receive a background check and fingerprinting.

“Expelling hundreds of thousands of people who have known no home but the United States makes us weaker and diminishes our standing in the eyes of the world,” Peters said in a statement released on Sept. 5. “Facing this urgent deadline, Congress must finally step up, work together, and do its job. We must move swiftly to protect DREAMers and provide them and their employers with the certainty they deserve. If Congress does not act by March 6, 2018, it is complicit in this economic and moral catastrophe.”

At the Aug. 28 meeting, the audience urged Peters to find common ground with Republicans in Congress and expressed how they wanted the Democratic Party to better define what its policies are rather than just being “Anti-Republican.”

Peters said he is willing to cross the aisles and he is willing to sit at the table with anyone on economic issues but on civil rights issues, such as women’s healthcare decisions or LBGT rights, there is not a lot of compromise. He said his voting record reflects Democratic values.

“I’m trying to create the same opportunities that the country created for me,” Peters said. “I want to give people a chance to succeed, not to guarantee any particular outcomes, but to make sure people have a chance to move up. That means supporting good education policies, it means investments in infrastructure to put people to work right now, it means a tax code that’s progressive and pro-growth, and it means climate policy that’s sane and really responds to what’s really happening in the world.”

Learn more about the club at cvdemclub.org

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