The City Club of San Diego is dedicated to the dialogue of democracy. That core belief was inherent in The City Club's creation in 1975 and remains, 37-years later, the organization’s fundamental principle. In faithful observance of that commitment, The City Club has presented more than 1,000 programs in the public interest.
The above underscores why The City Club of San Diego is consistently rated one of America’s great public forums.
In 2011 The Club presented twenty-one programs, beginning with Governor Mike Dukakis, (making his annual visit), who was followed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Great Britain’s Dame Barbara Hay, CNN’s founding VP Mary Alice Williams, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Navy Admiral William French, the FBI’s George Piro, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, former San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy, celebrated author John Farrell, and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.
This followed the twenty-one programs of 2010, which featured Newsweek’s White House correspondent and MSNBC commentator Richard Wolffe, Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor (with Point Loma Nazarene University), former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin, the voices of the San Diego Padres, Ted Leitner and Dick Enberg; Sojourners’ Jim Wallis, former Good Morning America host Mariette Hartley, America Prospect founder Bob Kuttner and his wife Joan Fitzgerald, and former New York Times White House correspondent Steve Weisman, who edited the letters of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
The centerpiece of 2010 was the 35th anniversary celebration with the great Irish tenor, John McDermott, who dazzled a sold-out audience on campus at Point Loma Nazarene University. Joining in the celebration were former San Diego city councilman and county board of supervisors Leon Williams, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and, always, the all-time leading City Club guest, Richard Reeves, the former chief political correspondent of The New York Times.
In recent years City Club speakers have included Price Waterhouse Chairman & CEO Dennis Nally; ABC’s Lynn Sherr; FBI Director Robert Mueller, Houston Mayor Bill White; former U. S. Senator George McGovern; Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (now governor); Atlantic Monthly correspondent James Fallows; New York Times Military Correspondent Michael Gordon; Shell Oil President John Hofmeister; former Texas Lt. Governor and author Ben Barnes, American Petroleum President & CEO Red Cavaney, evangelist and author Tony Campolo; New Republic Editor-at-Large Peter Beinhart; U.S. Comptroller General David Walker; Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, the Rt. Reverend John Bryson Chane; France's Ambassador to the United States, Francois Bujon de L'Estang; Republican candidate for Governor of California, Bill Simon; Washington Post columnist and author David Broder; President Ronald Reagan’s key aide, Michael Deaver, and Paul Theroux, one of the nation's most celebrated writers, who was featured as part of The Great American Writers Series.
The City Club has also presented special national conferences on “The Press, Libel & American Freedom”, “The State of Our Language: The War over Grammar”, and “Immigration: The National Question.” Each conference involved featured some of the nation’s leading authorities on the issues under discussion.
The evidence of The City Club's commitment to a broad discussion of public issues is most striking when you compare some of those who have appeared in past years: President Jimmy Carter and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan, Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell and celebrated feminist and writer Gloria Steinem, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell and Colonel Oliver North.
In addition, due to a long-standing commitment, The City Club invites area high school and college students to be its guests for all programs, believing that young people benefit by witnessing civic engagement. This commitment is especially evident in the partnership between The City Club and La Jolla Country Day School, where numerous events are held – with student and parent participation.
Believing the public interest is best served when in partnership with other civic organizations, The City Club holds joint meetings with the Regional San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Downtown San Diego Partnership, and San Diego Rotary. In addition, The City Club often collaborates with Point Loma Nazarene University in presenting programs in the public interest.