January 28th Meeting Minutes

Pledge and Invocation by Linda Bigler
Visiting Rotarians: Joanne Lemmon, past District Governor.
Guests: Tim Harrington, Bear Communications introduced by Bruce Stimson; James March, heating and air and Jessica Attia, home lending both guests of Tom Goode introduced by Joel Archer. Carmello as frequent guest introduced his guest John Lansing from Eternity Real Estate
Prez Bill also acknowledged Will Jerrell from Encino High School.
Prez Bill told about the great meeting we had last week at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Museum. We had the opportunity to see many interesting machines and paraphernalia.  Bill also sent around a sign up to do the pledge and invocation. Please choose a day!
Charter Night is at Del Paso on February 22nd. Sheila will be taking sign up and menu choices next week. Sheila also reports we are only missing 9 donations to make our club an Every Rotarian Every Year club. For those 9 who have yet to donate, please consider making one soon.
Gary updated us on Poker night – his 2 words to remember are SELL TICKETS! Be sure to submit names and addresses too to make the check-in so much easier. There are still a few sponsorships left as well. Also, if anyone knows a celebrity who may enjoy playing, let Gary know. Gary sent around the sign-up sheet for volunteers.
Joanne Lemmon wanted to correct a mistake at the Foundation Dinner. Arden Arcade was 2nd in per capita giving and FIRST in total dollars!
Tom Goode became a Bell Ringer because he announced his younger brother just landed a 96% scholarship to get his Master’s Degree.
Igor Birman is our program speaker and his Chief of Staff, Richard Hoffman was also in attendance.
Mr. Birman was raised in the Soviet Union and has developed a strong dedication to freedom. He worked with Tom McClintock as a senior policy and strategy advisor. He loves speaking to Rotary Clubs because he loves witnessing all walks of life organized around service to others. He was amazed at how in the US, citizens could gather and discuss topics due to freedom of speech we enjoy. He feels freedom is rare and fleeting.
While in the Soviet Union, the US Embassy encouraged his family to flee to the US. He celebrates the courage of his parents who dreamed of living in a land in freedom and had the courage to leave all their friends and Family to make that a reality. He says in the Soviet Union, making everyone equal means making them comrades in misery. The health care plan means they ask the age of the patient before sending an ambulance. During the Russian Revolution in the Ukraine, the Red Army took his father and all of their possessions. Then again, the Secret police raided their apartment in the Soviet Union and tore open their packed bags as they were getting ready to flee to the US. His father said “do not cry, in a few days we leave for America and this will never happen in the US.”
When Mr. Birman’s family arrived in the US his parents flourished in their spheres of business, and he was 13 years old. He started high school knowing very little English, but knew he needed to learn it as fast as he could. By the 2ndsemester he tested out of ESL. They accepted food stamps to get started but both his parents wanted to work. In 5 years they owned their own home. Mr. Birman started at UC Davis at 16, and at 19 became a US Citizen. He took the oath of citizenship with his blind, 83 year old grandmother. She memorized the naturalization exam on a tape recorder because she wanted to die “an American”.
In 2009, Mr. Birman became Chief of Staff for Tom McClintock. He felt the oath of Congress was very similar to the oath for citizenship. He feels he knows personally what it is to lose your freedom, and how important it is to keep that strong in America. In Russia, the government would choose your profession. In the US, Mr. Birman chose the law, he became a pilot and public policy became his forte. He feels he knows from the inside through receiving food stamps, being an immigrant, college student and such how important public policies are.
Mr. Birman believes tomorrow will be better, and the American Dream is worth the effort and the labor to preserve it. America is the last stand on earth for some immigrants, they feel so lucky to have a place to come.
He feels strongly that LEGAL immigration is necessary and good and can work well. Illegal immigration is a whole other story, they don’t integrate into society He would like to see legal immigration streamlined, and expedited, but feels amnesty is an insult.
He also feels our government is in crisis now because our individual freedoms awarded to us in the “We the people….” pinnacle of government as it should be is becoming “We the government…” Public policy is making it harder to get full time jobs, bad public policy can translate into misery. He has seen it firsthand. When there is less freedom there is less prosperity. He wants to stand on principal, for the best interest of the country. He doesn’t believe the higher minimum wage will help because he feels that allowing people to start in the workforce at the lower level gives them incentive to work hard and move up the ladder. He feels the only reason the employment rate has dropped is because more and more people are leaving the workforce. Government is standing in the way of their success.
He is running for 7th District Congressman. He is a Republican who believes you fight for what you believe in. Every generation is required to fight for freedom. He will appeal to the voters to stand for their principals and freedom and propose solutions and compromise. He feels government policy is keeping people unemployed. He thinks they should pass the extension of unemployment insurance but with legislation in place to reduce governmental policies keeping them unemployed.
How will he raise the money to run for office? He had support throughout the nation. He raised money for Tom McClintock ($10,000,000) and has those connections to go to and feels he will gain their support as well.
Thank you Mr. Birman for an informative and interesting presentation!
$10 Tom Griffin
$10 Bill Hambrick
$10 Patt McCormick and I did not pull the ace!