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1) MAY MONTHLY MEETING - Sabrina Rivera on Immigration 

The Club's May program features Sabrina Rivera, the Executive Director for the Orange County Justice Fund (OCJF), which was created in 2017 through a collaboration of attorneys, law professors, and grassroots leaders.

Its mission is to ensure that no Orange County resident is forced to defend themselves from deportation without an attorney. It also provides support so that those individuals eligible to be released from detention can do so without being financially devastated. For the past six years Ms. Rivera has served as adjunct faculty at Western State College of Law. She is the former chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section. She received her J.D. from Loyola Law School and her B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and Political Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Ms. Rivera will give an overview of Immigration Policy Updates already put into effect by the Biden administration and those in the pipeline.  The program will air on Village TV Wednesdays in May at 2 p.m.

Village TV is every Wednesday in May from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.


Do you want to message, congratulate, honor a loved one and at the same time help your Democratic Club?” Please send an email to Rebeca ( or call 949-452-0464. Tell her whom you want to honor and what you want to say, and we will publish it! Please submit it before the 15th of the month. Just donate $10 or more per line. Donations: Laguna Woods Democratic Club - P.O. Box 2254 - Laguna Hills, Ca. 92654-2254 

3) OUR MEMBERS - José Vergar Interview

R: José: Please share with us a bit of your interesting life story.

J: I was born and raised in Colombia, where I earned degrees in Civil Engineering, ground-water development, and an MBA. I graduated as a logistic officer from the Colombian Naval Academy and served 10 years in the Colombian Navy. Since an early age, I learned English and the American culture. Thus, we moved to the United States in 1985.  I also earned a Master of Science degree in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at the Loyola Marymount University in 2000.

R: What did you do once in this country?

J: I worked with an engineering company in Orange County for six years. Then, I went to work for 25 years for the Metropolitan Water District, the provider of imported water to Southern California. There I helped with the local projects program, helping agencies to develop groundwater recovery, recycled water, demand management, and seawater projects. I retired in 2016. I was first elected to El Toro Water District’s board in 2012 and reelected for second and third terms in 2016 and 2020.

R: Besides a technical career, I hear you also have an artistic side. Is it true?

J: Yes. Let’s talk about my hobbies. I love art in general, and watercolor painting, which I learned at Irvine Valley College.
I also like and learned some Spanish classical guitar music and ended up becoming a luthier (a maker of stringed instruments). I studied the basics of woodworking at Orange Coast College and Spanish guitar making in Valencia and Andalucía, Spain. However, since elected, my attention has been focused primarily on serving on El Toro Water District’s Board.


The City of Laguna Woods (City) issued a proclamation denouncing hate crimes, hateful rhetoric, and hateful acts at its April 7, 2021 council meeting, in response to an alarming upsurge in anti-Asian sentiments in Orange County and across the country. The proclamation states that the City “remains committed to embracing diversity and ensuring that all persons feel safe and welcome in Laguna Woods.”

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, more hate crimes have been reported in the past two years than in the previous two decades. Individuals are encouraged to notify the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Human Relations Council of any incidents of hateful behavior. There have been no recent reports of hate crimes in Laguna Woods.

However, on March 22, 2021, a Korean-American widow living in Seal Beach Leisure World received a racist letter after her husband’s obituary was published in the community’s newspaper. It was anonymous as all such letters are, with the usual threat to “pack your bags and go back to your country.” But the letter writer reached a new low in Anti-Asian hate, cruelly telling the widow that the death of her husband “makes it one less Asian to put up with.” 


At the last Central Committee meeting a Strategic Plan Update outlining the party’s course of action over the next year was proposed and approved.  Also approved at the last meeting were several resolutions. The resolutions included supporting the workers at Le Merigot Hotel and Chateau Marmont Hotel, supporting a boycott at the Shore Hotel, and opposing discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The real accomplishment of the DPOC in March was the election of former Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley to the 2nd District Orange County Board of Supervisor’s seat.  Supervisor Foley defeated Republican former State Senator John Moorlach by over 12% points. She is the first Democrat to serve as 2nd District Supervisor since 1894.

This election was decided by turnout. The DPOC turned out our voters. The real credit goes to all of you who wrote postcards, made telephone calls, went door to door, and did the things necessary to get our voters to vote. This is a continuation of the 2020 election when 55% of the Democratic candidates running for office in Orange County won the election, some in locations up and down the coast, in places where Democrats have never been elected before. Now we need to keep it up.

Membership 2021 - Membership is open to all Laguna Woods Village and Orange County residents. Regular Members are registered Democrats; Affiliate Members need not be. Application: Download, Print and Mail: https://www.lagunawoodsvillage...

Advantages of Club Membership! - https://www.lagunawoodsvillage...

Act Blue for Membership - Pay online:

Newsletter Links -  https://www.lagunawoodsvillage...

Board of Directors -  https://www.lagunawoodsvillage...

Volunteer opportunities, voter registration and membership are available for those interested in growing our Democratic Club.

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Sue Dearing
Updated:  5/1/2021

The purpose of the Club is to stimulate greater interest in government affairs, to further the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party, to increase Democratic Party registration and turnout, and to elect Democratic candidates who will truly support the United States Constitution and work for the highest degree of economic and social justice and welfare for all people.

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