Awesome return of Dr. Raphael “Rafe” Sonenshein, a local Sunset Park resident, to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. As always, our members look forward to his expert analysis of the political landscape of our times. He did not disappoint! Dr. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.

Dr. Sonenshein explained the strategy of the war in the Ukraine and its impact upon the Western world. Small Democracies are fighting for all Western Europe as the hopeful oppressors continue to cut off the oil supplies to these smaller Democracies. He went on to say, if Russia wins this war in the Ukraine, it will have an impact on the World. What happens in the Ukraine will be impacted by what happens in America on November 8th in America.

Turning to the United States, in giving us a lesson in national politics, Dr. Sonenshein says he never makes predictions, but it is a fact that the Speaker of the House in the Congress of the United States does not have to actively serve in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, but can be a person living at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

He says social issues are at the heart of all our politics – the argument is about what issue- because social issues drive our politics. The reason we see national leaders such as Bernie Sanders visiting Los Angeles to support Karen Bass is because Los Angeles is critical and the most important city in America. Dr. Sonenshein says that issues activate voters. Three key issues are crime, women’s reproductive rights and homelessness. The new mayor of Los Angeles, whether it be Rick Caruso or Karen Bass, will have to confront homelessness. In his view the winner of the Mayoral race in LA must present a creditable plan and demonstrate the fortitude to carry out the plan to gain the most voters.
In the Q&;A session Dr. Sonenshein pointed to three issues facing city politics in Los Angeles:

1. City Hall can’t continue to set its own district boundaries.

2. The ethics rules have serious gaps and need to be updated.

3. City Council members have too much power over land use in their assigned district.

To sum it all up he referred to Tom Larmore’s special song of the day:

“Happy Days Are Here Again” He says we can experience happy days again when the voters realize that politicians can’t fix the government.

Thank you, Past President Tom Loo, for hosting Dr. Raphael Sonenshein at our club. Judy Neveau, thanks for the warm welcome to all as we entered the virtual meeting. Kathy Shepard, thanks for delivering your well received invocation. Jennifer Gordon, thanks for introducing and welcoming our visiting Rotarian Tom Johnstone, our District 5280 Assistant District Governor and our Rotaract group from SMC. Past President Tom Larmore, thanks for the patriotic song, pledge, and special song. President Elect Ken Waltzer, thanks for managing our Zoom technology.

Thanks for the warm reception the membership gave to our vacation refreshed immediate Past President and his wife, Bill, and Carol Powell. Nice to have them back at home. Special thanks to Kathy Shepard and her team for the Halloween Party on Saturday evening hosted at David Rosenfeld’s house.


November 4th Live @ Hilton
Happiness a Few Simple Techniques

Happiness is forty percent intentional action; therefore, no matter what our set point, we can improve our mood. In these growing times of uncertainty, there is an opportunity to find inner strength and stability. through inner work.

New York Times Best Selling author, health and wellness expert Mandy Ingber will share practical tools for developing a manageable self-care program to rely upon during this upcoming period of immense change. Based upon yoga philosophy, physical practices, cosmic mapping, emotional wellness studies and personal experience, Ingber will share her story and offer a few simple techniques and guidelines that will aid and assist you in remaining grounded

Host Rotarian Introducer: Donna Byrd

Thank You for your Service!
November 11 Live @ Hilton
Honoring Our SMRC Veterans

Appreciating and honoring our U.S. military veterans who courageously served our country.
Our Rotarian Veterans: Michael Cates, Stan Fox, Richard Lombari, Monty McCormick, John McIntire, Jim Menzies, Robert Sullivan & Russ Warner.
Presenter: Jere Romano
CA State Commander American Legion & Police Sergeant
for Santa Monica College
 – (2013 Medal of Courage recipient for active shooter)

Host Rotarian Introducer: Felix Crown 

Movember is Back!

The goals are to raise awareness and raise money too.

The Movember organization focuses mainly on mens mental health. The goal at Rotary is to raise awareness for mens and woman’s mental health. This will be our 3rd year participating..

From Movember – WELCOME BACK Rotary Club of Santa Monica
It’s great to see you again. You’ve repped us proudly in the past, raising $4,615 for men’s health over your Mo career.  Nice work!

Last year, you received 19 donations, totalling $2,615. ($1600 from Rotary in 2021) )

Those funds have helped change and save lives, not to mention the men’s health awareness you helped spread among your friends and family. We can’t wait to see you take on Movember 2022. Go hard and have fun.

Here is the plan…

The 1200 mile goal is to get 20 members to move 60 miles during the month, to raise awareness of the 60 men that die each hour 
globally due to suicide. We actually averaged over 80 miles per member participating in 2021 for a total of 1619 miles..

1. Nov 1 start – ends Nov 30.

2. Rotary Members can participate by “moving” and/or donating money on the site.

3. We will have a Mustache contest again. Year 1 winner Mitch Kraus, Year 2 Tom Larmore.

4. Report all Movements/Activity to John Bartlett at.

Conversion Key…

  • Walking / running 1mi = 1mi
  • Cycling 3mi = 1mi
  • Workout 20 mins = 1mi
  • Swimming 1 mi = 3mi

Let’s always be aware of the importance of mental health.
Movember needs financial support too. You can contribute at any time between 11/1 and 11/30/2022

To visit our team page or make a financial donation, use the link below.

Spend a couple hours delivering meals to people in need!
Our MOWW Rotary Route is the first Thursday every other month!

When: Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:45am-12:00pm
Where: Meals on Wheels West -1823-A Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90404

Feed the Homeless Opportunity

 When: Sunday, November 6, 10:30 am-11:30 am

Where: We will be packing breakfast bags in person at RoseMary Regalbuto’s house
(email for the address).

What: We will be packing 60 bags that consist of the following: granola/protein bar, cereal cups/boxes, milk, baked goods, fruit, chips, and water/juice bottle.

Who: Safe Place For Youth helps homeless and trafficked youth.
They have 45-50 members visit their facilities every day.

Why: To help people in need!
Note: Once you email that you will attend, we may coordinate with you to help us
bring some of the supplies.

Become a Holiday Angel and help families in need
(in partnership with Connections For Children)


Donate unused & unwrapped toys for ages 0-18 years old
(ages 13-18 preferred – gift cards, make-up sets, board games, sports equipment, accessories, and technology).

How: Drop toys off at the December 2 and December 9 Rotary meetings or bring to the volunteer event at the CFC office on December 10.

OR contact Karla Guerra (, 310-452-3325 x276) to schedule a time for the collected toys to be picked up or dropped off to the Connections for Children office.

OR purchase from the CFC Amazon Wish List:



Saturday, December 10 (9:00am-noon): Help sort the donated toys and fill bags with what each family requested!

Saturday, December 17: (10:30am-12:30pm): Help hand out gifts to families

Where: The CFC office at 5901 W. Century Blvd. Los Angeles

Thank you for helping to put a smile on a child’s face during the holiday season! Email for questions or to sign up!




Nov 1st – First Tuesday – @The Misfits

November 3rd – Meals on Wheels Food Delivery

November 6th – Feed The Homeless at S.P.Y.

November 8th – Election Day.  Vote!

Nov 10th- Book Club Meeting  “Old Glory: An American Voyage” by Jonathan Raban

The author of Bad Land realizes a lifelong dream as he navigates the waters of the Mississippi River in a spartan sixteen-foot motorboat, producing yet another masterpiece of contemporary American travel writing. In the course of his voyage, Raban records the mercurial caprices of the river and the astonishingly varied lives of the people who live along its banks. Whether he is fishing for walleye or hunting coon, discussing theology in Prairie Du Chien or race relations in Memphis, he is an expert observer of the heartland’s estrangement from America’s capitals of power and culture, and its helpless nostalgia for its lost past. Witty, elegiac, and magnificently erudite, Old Glory is as filled with strong currents as the Mississippi itself.

December 2nd & 9th – Toy Drive

December 10th – Holiday Party @ Kathy Dracup’s House

December 10th & 17th – Sort Toys @ Connections for Children

MAR 4th – Wine and Food Festival 2023- more details to come. Purchase your raffle tickets now.  See Karin Wallerstein or Kera Blades Snell.

MAR 16- 23rd -District Humanitarian Trip to Belize

Curious about Upcoming Rotary Programs? Go to

Purchase Your Concert Tickets

VIP Tables (stage level): $1,000 (seats 4)
Lower Balcony: $200/seat
Upper Balcony (lower tier): $125/seat
Upper Balcony (higher tier): $75/seat
A limited number of tickets are available at each price point- purchase your concert tickets early before they sell out!

Backstage Pass: We have a limited number of Backstage Passes for $500 each (in addition to the purchase of a concert ticket). If you are interested, contact Leon Nixon at

View the seating chart for pricing tiers.

Credit card payment is the fastest way to purchase your concert tickets. You may pay via check, but payment MUST be received within 7 days of ticket reservation or the order will be cancelled.


MEETING LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 586, Santa Monica CA 90406