The Democratic Club of Big Bear Valley
A TIMELINE: 2001-2018
Information provided by David A. Foltz, Ph.D – DCBBV past president
The DCBBV is chartered under the authority of the California Democratic Party. The Club is launched with 20 members and meets in the IHOP restaurant at the corner of Big Bear Blvd. and Pine Knot; Bobby Long is elected president.
Bobby Clark elected VP and Henry and Lori Vandemeir join the Club; Henry’s communication and leadership skills will soon become indispensable assets, and he will later move on to play a major role in state politics.
Club member Michael Karp runs for Big Bear Lake City Council with his candidacy actively supported by the DCBBV. His win marks the second Democrat to win a seat in recent history.
The Club runs a campaign to have the city of Big Bear Lake join the “Consortium of Cool Cities,” 700-plus cities across the country committed to reducing their carbon footprint. Though BBL did not join, the campaign did bring ideas to the table resulting in the city making several environment-friendly changes.
The Club joins the California Democratic Council, of which Henry Vandemeir was elected president the same year. CBBV membership has grown to over 100.
The DCBBV promotes boycotting Wal-Mart; its business model being anathema to small business entrepreneurs unable to compete with big box stores. In addition, objecting to Wal-Mart buying merchandise made in Asian sweatshops vs. American manufacturers.
David Foltz elected president; Marty Lipp VP. Foltz and other Club members elected as delegates to the Democratic Party State Convention in San Jose.
The Club president and other members elected as delegates to State Convention in San Diego, to rally for the Democratic candidates for U.S. president (eight, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama).
The Club organizes a support group for Democrats running for office, phone-banking out of the home of Marty Lipp and JoAnn Mark.
David Foltz hosts a victory party to celebrate Obama’s historic victory.
Deborah Smith elected DCBBV president. Smith succumbs to illness in 2010 and her husband Michael Karp withdraws from the race for his second term as BBL city councilman.
Lorraine Wolf elected Club president and serves for two terms.
The DCBBV sponsors a town forum at the Masonic Temple for all local candidates up and down the ballot, with over 200 in attendance. The Club endorses James Ramos for County Board of Supervisors. Ramos, with his son, speak and entertain with Native American song and dance at the BBL Municipal Water District auditorium. Ramos wins the election.
David Foltz is elected delegate to the DNC Convention in Charlottesville, NC, to elect Barack Obama for a second term.
Irene Gould elected president; Marty Lipp VP. The Club’s progressive values are reflected in guest speakers on the environment, humanitarian aide, and local politics. A public forum with County Supervisor James Ramos is hosted, and the Club presents its support for a plastic bag ban to the BBL City Council.
Unable to fill the required board member positions per charter rules, the Club is regretfully forced to dissolve. A member of the San Bernardino Democratic Party Central Committee board “goes rogue,” attempting without authority to recruit the DCBBV and others to re-charter under one larger group, with him as president. The Committee board censures him and pursues legal action.
David Foltz polls former members about interest in re-activating the Club; an organizational meeting is held at Marv Cira’s home with 14 in attendance. A second meeting at the Cira home yields 21 attendees.
A third meeting is held at Sara Tully/Jim Ortiz’s home, resulting in approval of first draft charter and an application signed by the required 20 people. David Foltz is elected president; Rick Critelli VP; Paul Palmquist, treasurer; Jeanne Avery, secretary; Heather Storm, media director.
Meeting #4 is held at Donn and Betty Masner’s home with 27 attendees. David Foltz and Roger LaPlante announce their election as voting delegates in support of Hillary Clinton to the 2016 DNC Convention in Philadelphia.
The new Club receives its first charter at the SBC Democratic Party Central Committee meeting.
The Club signs an agreement with the Discovery Center to hold its monthly meeting on the first Thursday of every month. It organizes campaigns to elect Hillary Clinton for President and Tim Caine for VP. Yard, signs, calls, card writing and canvassing take place the last weeks before the election.
Membership reaches past 60 as word of the DCBBV reaches the many Valley residents wanting a way to fight the Trump administration and the GOP agenda. Moving out of the area, David Foltz retires and Jeff Villepique is elected president.
Under Jeff Villepique’s guidance the Club engages in aggressive support of local Democratic politics, including voter registration efforts. Technology is adopted that targets Democrats and independent voters in canvassing efforts. Membership continues to grow.