Sunday, September 12, 2010

Voice of Civil Discourse for 35 Years: City Club of San Diego

The City Club of San Diego celebrated 35 years of fostering a "Dialogue of Democracy" yesterday evening with a tribute to its founder George Mitrovich and a concert by John McDermott held at Point Loma Nazarene University. Paying tribute to Mr. Mitrovich were Judge Stephen Reinhardt (U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit), Richard Reeves (the Presidential Biographer and former New York Times correspondent) Leon Williams (retired member of the San Diego City Council and the County Board of Supervisors) and Bob Brower (the university's president) each of whom credited the organization for being much needed voice promoting civil discourse during controversial times.

Mr. McDermott shared poignant, personal stories from old and new worlds dealing with war, immigration and family life framed by moving ballads accompanied by harmonists Jason Fowler and Brian MacMillan on acoustic guitars.

"The City Club has gained national standing due to its ability to conduct open discussions of local, national, and international issues," according to Vice President Joseph Biden. "Public figures from all across the country and the world have come to speak at City Club events, proving that it's one of the finest public forum organizations around. By engaging the public in civil discourse, The City Club has been able to further improve society by getting people to think about the real issues -- the ones that will greatly affect our future," stated the Vice President in a letter to the group.

A high school social studies teacher at the concert said he attended a City Club sponsored discussion on Health Care Reform last year that attracted a boisterous crowd from both sides of the political spectrum. "I was impressed with George's ability to keep the audience under control," he said of Mr. Mitrovich's charisma and oratorical skills.

The next City Club event is scheduled for Sept. 14th, a luncheon with Jack Conway, Kentucky Attorney General and candidate for the U.S. Senate. On October 23, City Club is sponsoring a talk by Joe Matthews with a focus on California's troubles: "California Crack Up: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It."

For additional information, the organization's website is

George Mitrovich