June 16, 2017

NEXT MEETING: June 16, 2017

Single Payer Healthcare in California: Now is the Time

Eric Leenson, Co-Director of the Business Alliance for a Healthy California will discuss the Healthy California Act, a bill currently pending in the State Legislature. The Act will guarantee that every resident of California receives comprehensive medical services. Eric’s presentation will focus on why passage of the bill makes good business sense as well as serving the public interest.

Learn more about the Business Alliance at its website, and about the Healthy California Act here.


President Josh Surowitz announced very sad news. Erle Brown’s wife Phyllis Peres Brown passed away yesterday. They were married for 57 years. Phyllis often attended Club events so many of us came to know and appreciate her. We extend our deepest sympathies to Erle. A memorial service for Phyllis will held on Thursday, 15 June 2017, at 11 am at Wilson & Kratzer, 24th & Barrett.

MEETING OF June 9, 2017


Josh Surowitz presided over today’s proceedings, and began by noting “skeleton crew.” (Translation: Sid wasn’t here today so Josh performed double-duty, also serving also as Sergeant-at-Arms: collecting money, handing out meal tickets, and acting ornery. It was almost too much for him.) On cue, member spoke to the Flag and, during the invocation, contemplated lofty thoughts. Filling in for Sid’s Thought-for-the-day, Nick offered this about thoughts: “If the brain were simple enough, we’d be too simple to understand it.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Our sole visitor was our guest speaker, Brian Beckon, who will discuss the current bill to enact a single-payer health care system in California.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Rick Ambrose did the honors. No recognitions today but we recitations of Happy, Sad, Grateful, and even Confused Dollars.

  • Herb kicked if off with Sad Dollars for Pam, who would undergo hip replacement in a couple weeks. “Undergo” may be the wrong verb. Pam explained that hip replacement, at least for her, will be an outpatient service. In-by-8-out-by 5 kind of thing. No worries, she’ll get a ride home.
  • Simon also had reasons for happiness, his “baby” graduates from high school this weekend. Baby no more.
  • Jan had Grateful Dollars for the life of Phyllis Peres Brown, a life-long teacher-at-heart who possessed a positive fighting spirit that was an inspiration to all of us.
  • .Stacey is Hawaii-bound, joined by her teen-age daughter. Happiness.
  • Jerry looks forward to his son moving back home, and looks forward to quality time.
  • Pam had Happy Dollars both for her granddaughter Penny’s first in a long series of graduations, this one from pre-school, and for the fact that her daughter is pregnant again. Pam will be in London during the Christmas holidays to greet the newest member of the family.
  • David Brown had Sad Dollars for the passing of Phyllis, “a force to be reckoned with, who will be deeply missed.”
  • Ric had Very Happy Dollars because the Richmond Art Center received a grant and award from KaBoom for its design of an interactive playground at the Peres Elementary School. Parents and students pitched in to create the innovative play space.
  • We’ll wind up with Hank Covell and a tale worthy of several “Confused Dollars.” At 5 AM before the Memorial Day weekend, he and Doreen took an Uber taxi to the airport, for which he was charged a fare of $31. For the return trip a few days later from the airport, Hank summoned an Uber (or Lyft?) taxi. It was a little after midnight. And now the price was $120! Seems the old idea of a flat rate/mile no longer applies. Now it’s purely supply and demand. Fortunately Hank was able to find a driver ready to take them home for $40—off the books.


Community Capital: Impact Investing for Everyone

Stacey introduced a guest who may have prompted some of us to rethink how we invest our money. Brian Beckon of Cutting Edge Capital explained the whys and the hows of “community capital.” First a definition: Community capital is investment capital raised publicly from an investor’s own community, and including all economic classes.

Why is community capital worth developing? Brian offered 3 reasons.

  • Community capital aligns the purpose of investments with the interests of the his or her community. Investors can see and enjoy their money improving the quality of community life..
  • This model of investment also “democratizes the economy” by promoting a diverse investor base, in which all can participate on a level playing field.
  • Community capital also keeps money circulating in the local economy. It builds wealth organically and adds resilience to a community.

-Nick Despota, Flywheel Editor