It was precisely in response to the kind of hostile, ad hominem attack on columnist Joseph N. Bell from writer Terry Johnston (“Double standard on Democratic voice,” Mailbag, Wednesday) that several Newport Beach residents decided to form the Newport Beach Women’s Democratic Club during the recent presidential campaign.
As our membership swelled from five to more than 70 members, we heard many stories of a lack of civility and respect whenever a progressive point of view was mentioned in this community. As a result, our group, which has also drawn independents and moderate Republicans, has committed to a mission of creating a respectful and civil dialogue about progressive and Democratic ideals in Newport Beach.
This is why we participated in the Aug. 31 march around Rep. John Campbell’s office requesting that he hold a town hall on health care insurance reform so that citizens of Newport Beach can share their concerns and views on the topic. We continue to press the congressman to hold that meeting and encourage other citizens to do the same. At the end of the march, the Newport Beach police complimented us on “the most mature political march ever held in Newport Beach.” It had to be — we had families, the elderly, children and handicapped among us with heartbreaking stories of denied access and medical bankruptcy.