Getting Our Feet Wet With Fundraising

jones_loo_12.gifIn our ongoing immersion into all things political, we held the first fundraiser in our home last Saturday. We’re not exactly social butterflies, so the idea of having dozens of folks over for Stella, Brie, and polite conversation is more than a bit daunting.

But then friends and family pitched in, the two LA Superior Court candidates—Lori-Ann Jones and Cynthia Loo—charmed the guests, and the event stretched pleasantly into the sultry evening, long past the scheduled ending time.

jones_loo_11.gifSweaty Palms
Right up to starting time we didn’t know if we’d have eight guests or 80—or even 180 if everyone of the Facebook “Maybes” put in an appearance. We had used our weekly LA Progressive newsletter, the LA Progressive website itself, and our Facebook page to invite people, so hundreds of people likely saw the invitation, maybe more—a good-news, bad-news proposition that fed our nervousness.

And lots of folks responded. On Facebook alone, 34 people said they’d be there for sure and another 88 said they might make it. Having put out similar invitations for events held elsewhere, we knew these numbers were “soft.” We put the few friends and family who had told us directly they’d make it into the “certain” column. The rest, we figured somewhere between one in five would make it, tops, and more likely one in 10.

But what if we guessed wrong?

jones_loo_7.gifBy pulling out every chair we have and turning a couple of boxes into chairs, we had seating for 40, figuring the house and deck could hold 50—60 if folks took turns breathing. But up here in Mt. Washington, parking is sparse. Most times, you can find maybe 10 open spots within a couple blocks and no parking lot handy.

That’s where the friends and family came to the rescue. Sharon’s friend Sandi Thomas volunteered to cater the event and Dick recruited Sharon’s son Wade Kyle and brother Martin Williams and our brother-in-law Dan Empfield to stand ready with Dick to ferry guests back and forth between the house and San Raphael, a curving street on the other side of the hill with lots of parking.

jones_loo_9.gifThen, magically many of our neighborhoods took their cars for drive that afternoon, the day was sunny but not overly hot, and just the right number of guests—35—showed up. Nobody had to walk more than a few hundred feet from their cars, we had more than enough of Sandy’s wonderful appetizers—and beer and wine and sodas—to go around, and everyone could get within easy earshot when Sharon introduced the two candidates so they could discuss their progressive credentials for election to LA’s Superior Court.

It was almost like we knew what we were doing.

Why Bother?
We have come to admire and support Cynthia and Lori-Ann starting with their appearances before our Northeast Democratic Club where they were seeking our endorsement for the June primary. Both Cynthia and Lori-Ann received more votes than their opponents then, but both also fell short of am absolute majority, so they have to stand for LA County-wide election in November—an expensive proposition even for candidates with deep pockets, which Cynthia and Lori-Ann both lack.

We dove into our work on the LA Progressive to help shine a light on local progressive social justice issues here in Los Angeles that the mainstream media too often and too easily overlooks. The Superior Court races fit right there as precious little information is available about these contests and only the most dedicated voters can make informed decisions.

As a third-year law student at People’s College of Law, Sharon has a particular interest in these races, and a fair number of the guests were either lawyers or Sharon’s fellow law students from PCL.

loo_jones.gifCynthia Loo has served since 2000 as a Superior Court Referee, working out of the Juvenile Court in East Los Angeles. She is endorsed by the LA County Democratic Party, the United Teachers Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times, the United Farm Workers, and many dozens of organizations and liberal-minded leaders throughout the county, including our own local representatives Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and Councilman Ed Reyes. She is also a volunteer instructor at People’s College of Law.

At our event, she spoke eloquently about her desires to continue serving in Juvenile Court, using the court system to redirect young lives that have gone astray, rather than passing them along to adult courts and our prison-industrial system.

Lori-Ann Jones serves as an LA County Superior Court Commissioner after spending 16 years as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting hardcore gang and family violence cases. She is also endorsed by numerous liberal-minded local leaders, including our own Anthony Portantino and LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, the LA County Democratic Party, the UTLA, Crime Victims United of California, and our Northeast Democratic Club.

As a policeman’s daughter growing up in South LA not far from where the Crips Gang was formed in her youth, she told how that, but for the grace of God, she could have become a gang member herself and how that understanding of life in Los Angeles helped her decide as a prosecutor, now a court commissioner, and hopefully a Superior Court judge when compassion is warranted, and when it is not.

we_two_bizcard1.jpgSmart Voter has compiled a nice comparison of these candidates, their opponents, and the candidates for other Superior Court seats.

We encourage you to vote for Lori-Ann and Cynthia this November.

Dick Price
LA Progressive

Articles by Dick & Sharon:


  • Top: Dan Empfield, Lori-Ann Jones, Tanya Williams, and Lori Anne Odding
  • Second: Annette Green and Cynthia Loo
  • Third: Jan Tucker, Martin Williams, and Wade Kyle
  • Fourth: Norma de la Pena and Tanya Williams


  1. Kwaayesnama says

    Thought you might like this article from a veterans group.

    John McCain claims that his military service is one of his qualifications to be commander in chief. I seriously doubt his dedication to the American military. His voting record shows his lack of concern for our bravest men and women.

    John McCain missed 10 of the past 14 votes on Iraq.

    John McCain in September 2007: voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.

    John McCain in July 2007: voted against a plan to drawdown troop levels in Iraq.

    John McCain in March 2007 was too busy to vote on a bill that would require the start of a drawdown in troop levels within 120 days with a goal of withdrawing nearly all-combat troops within one year.

    John McCain in February 2007 didn’t even bother to show up to vote against a resolution condemning it. For such a strong supporter of the escalation, McCain didn’t even bother to show up and vote for it.

    John McCain in June 2006, voted against a resolution that Bush start withdrawing troops but with no timeline to do so.

    John McCain in May 2006, voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

    John McCain in April 2006, was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

    John McCain in March 2006, voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

    John McCain in March 2004, once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans’ medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans’ needs.

    John McCain in October 2003, voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.

    John McCain in April 2003, urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

    If he believes that we should stay the course for as long as possible he should be willing to support the people he puts in harms way.

    John McCain is not a friend of the American Military.

  2. Kwaayesnama says

    As an Arizona Republican I received a fundraising letter from the McCain campaign last Friday. I sent it back with a note that says I will donate exactly the same amount that John McCain has requested in earmarks for our state. McCain’s call to fame is that he is the only representative in Washington never to request any earmarks for his home state. What does that prove? To me it shows that in McCain’s mind Arizona does not need any assistance from Washington. It seems he is happy to see all the tax dollars that we send to DC go to other states. Arizona has Indian Reservations with unemployment over 60%. We have beautiful rural areas that would greatly benefit from an increase in tourism. McCain’s lack of concern for Arizona shows that when John and Cindy fly over our state in their private plane that they do not pay attention to the people that live outside of Scottsdale. Lets see if in November the citizens of Arizona will send him a message and not vote for him. In my estimation John McCain has been the laziest representative in Washington in 26 years! So this educated, white, Christian, Republican grandmother will be donating, ZERO, NOTHING, NONE, NADA! To the McCain Campaign. I did donate to the Obama campaign…..

    • Dick Price says

      McCain has been similarly remiss on veterans issues. He’s built a whole career around his POW experience and yet he really hasn’t stood up for expanding veterans benefits or for limiting the amount of time current servicemen and women can stay in combat.

      Now he runs around in khakis and baseball caps like he’s a regular Joe, when by all accounts he’s the biggest suck-up to the rich and famous to be found. I’m surprised to learn that he and his wife have only one plane. Times must really be hard

  3. Mickey Malone says

    Dick & Sharon:

    Join the Fraternal Order of Eagles,in Eagle Rock. They has fund raisers all the time. It gets easier the more you do. Some one always pitches in to help.

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