Rotary Meeting: November 3, 2020
ALLISON CAGLEY (Sergeant in Arms) (Executive Director of Friends of Sacramento Arts) thanked our Pulse Reporter, JOHN MCINTYRE. Our guests joining us today included DISTRICT GOVERNOR ELECT DESIREE WILSON as well as four members of the Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova. Thank you all for joining us and we hope you can join us again!
ROBYN DELONG (Coldwell Banker) presented our thought for the day but also reminded us that it was not only her birthday, but also THOMAS GILBERT’S birthday on the day of the meeting. Happy birthday and we hope you both enjoyed the day! ROBYN shared a Native American parable, the Tale of Two Wolves, a story about a wolf representing magnanimity and good intentions and a wolf representing jealousy, avarice and bad intentions, noting that the winner is “the one you feed.” ROBYN also noted that every bird has a right wing and a left wing, but it takes both wings for the bird to fly…
One evening, an elderly
cherokee brave told his
grandson about a battle that
goes on inside people.
He said “My son, the battle is
between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
One is evil. It is anger,
envy, jealousy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance,
self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride,
superiority, and ego.
The other is good.
It is joy, peace love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence,
truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson though about
it for a minute and then asked
“Which wolf wins?…”
The old cherokee simply replied,
“The one that you feed.”
CLICK HERE to view ROBYN DELONG’S insightful and much needed thought for the day
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) asked DISTRICT GOVERNOR ELECT DESIREE WILSON to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, which she enjoyed so much, she did twice! PRESIDENT KEVIN noted that hearing the words, “…one nation, under God, indivisible…” seemed especially moving and relevant.
Our meeting sponsor for the day, RUTH TESAR (CEO of Northern California PET Imaging Center) was unfortunately ill, but her colleague, DR. JAIDEEP SOHI, was able to take her place to speak about the PET Imaging Center on her behalf. The Northern California PET Imaging Center is a not-for-profit that has been in business for close to 30 years. The acronym PET is for Positron Emission Tomography, which is a system enabling visualization of metabolic processes in the body.
CLICK HERE to view RUTH TESAR and DR. JAIDEEP SOHI’S PowerPoint presentation
PAST PRESIDENT JIM LEET (Attorney of Boutin Jones, Inc.) reminded everyone that Rotary’s Virtual Red Kettle is ongoing and to please donate as this Christmas and holiday season there will be many families in need. The Rotary Club of Sacramento is currently ranked number 55 on the Team Rankings with $620 donated thus far. Let us all remember the motto, “Service above Self.”
CLICK HERE to donate to Rotary’s Virtual Red Kettle
JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) needs volunteers on December 11th from noon to 6 PM for bell ringing at the south entrance of Macy’s. Grab your holiday wear and contact JOHN to get your bell ringing on!
PRESIDENT KEVIN is holding another Pints and Pinot with the President! On November 6th at 4 PM, you can find PRESIDENT KEVIN sipping some smooth drinks outside of La Venadita located in Oak Park. If you would like to join then feel free to just show up!
CLICK HERE to view La Venadita’s website
PAST DISTRICT GOVERNOR FRED TEICHERT (Executive Director of Teichert Foundation) and his wife, NANCY TEICHERT, donated $100 in honor of their grandson volunteering to work at the polls. Thank you for your donation and many thanks to your grandson for volunteering!
STEVE HUFFMAN shared great news that the mass found in his lung is not cancerous. He was given this information October 30th, the day of his 81st birthday. STEVE has donated $100 in honor of returned medical diagnosis. Happy belated birthday, STEVE! We are so glad that you can join us, healthily, for many more meetings.
MARK LUHDORFF (Chief Financial Officer of IMD Path) donated $100 in the chat stream. Thank you, MARK!
JOHN LEMMON (Chair for the Day) (Managing Partner of Knox, Lemmon & Anapolsky, LLP) eloquently introduced our speaker, DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY, who is an historian of the presidency and Early America and who writes about politics, government institutions, and the cabinet. JOHN noted DR. CHERVINSKY is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College and a Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Additionally, DR. CHERVINSKY teaches about the presidency at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. Previously, she was a historian at the White House Historical Association and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. DR. CHERVINSKY is also the author of the award-winning book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution.
- CHERVINSKY opened by noting that her topic, the President’s Cabinet, is found nowhere in the Constitution. Indeed, the participants in the Constitutional Convention were wary of any such advisory body, as it reminded of the British cabinet and thus they were opposed to its creation. However, it was agreed that a president should be able to call upon trusted advisors and after ample discussion, the cabinet was out of the Constitution, yet established in practice by Washington as first president. His cabinet first met on November 26, 1791.
- CHERVINSKY then turned our attention to Article II of the Constitution, which focuses on the powers of the President, which includes a reference to the President’s power, “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties…” DR. CHERVINSKY shared an anecdote about President Washington’s first visit with the Senate to discuss a proposed treaty with one or more of the Indian nations. President Washington shared the plans detail with the Senate and upon concluding, asked if they had questions or comments. He was met with silence and then, after an interminable several minutes, was asked to return in a week so the Senate could confer in committee about it. Washington was apparently so furious, even after agreeing to return in a week, as he departed, he is alleged to have said he would never again return to the Senate for advice.
Also among President’s Article II powers is the role of “Commander in Chief of the military…[and] may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments…” DR. CHERVINSKY noted how Washington acted on this, saying that for every major military decision, Washington convened a “War Council.” He drew his military leaders together and developed several executive strategies for ensuring he received the best, well-conceived and documented counsel. Prior to every War Council, Washington sent the leaders his questions in advance, so that those arriving at the council could be prepared. He then used the questions as an agenda for the War Council. While Washington encouraged active discussion at the Council, he also required that participants provide written opinions, so plans and discussion were well documented.
Returning to the Cabinet, DR. CHERVINSKY observed that Washington made his Cabinet diverse – at least for the times; they were all white men, yet diverse in their education, background and philosophies. That original cabinet included Secretary of War Henry Knox, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph. Over time as these extraordinary men stepped away from the Cabinet, they were replaced by less capable/accomplished men, which DR. CHERVINSKY referred to as “the B Team.” President Washington was aware that they were not up to the task, and is documented to have said so, and thus he held fewer and fewer Cabinet meetings as his presidency endured.
As further presidencies occurred, DR. CHERVINSKY observed that some had good cabinets, and some bad, yet that was not always an indicator of whether they served successfully. DR. CHERVINSKY noted that the cabinets of Presidents James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were effective. Less effective, were the cabinets of Presidents Jackson, John Adams, Andrew Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Each of these was marked by high turnover and, in some cases, scandal. DR. CHERVINSKY blithely observed that “Cabinets do better when there’s little scandal.”
- CHERVINSKY also shared a ‘bad Cabinet’ story regarding the Cabinet of President James K. Polk, which counseled the President to push the Mexican-American War on and fired Nicholas Trist, who was negotiating for peace between the US and Mexico. The Cabinet’s aim had been to take over all of Mexico. Nicholas Trist, however, continued negotiations and successful forged the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war.
- CHERVINSKY shared that her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution was released on April 7th and because of the pandemic, agreed to send anyone purchasing her book a signed book plate featuring an image of her American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short). After Quincy was adopted by DR. CHERVINSKY, she learned that he is an American fox hound which were originally brought over to America by John Quincy Addams. Clearly DR. CHERVINSKY has a knack for picking dog names!
CLICK HERE to receive the personalized book plate from DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY
PRESIDENT KEVIN thanked DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY for her not only informative but also fascinating presentation. In DR. CHERVINSKY’S honor, Rotary will ensure 100 children in vulnerable communities around the world receive the polio vaccine. Rotary is dedicated to eliminating polio worldwide! A huge thank you to DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY for joining us and giving us a fantastic history lesson!
CLICK HERE to view DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY’S full presentation
CLICK HERE to view DR. LINDSAY CHERVINSKY’S post-meeting Q&A
Next week will be a dark week so enjoy the day! Tune in at the same time, same place on November 17th for our next speaker, DR. RON NOCETTI, who will be discussing high school sports during COVID. DR. RON is currently the Executive Director of the California Interscholastic Federation overseeing a variety of operations areas for the state’s governing body of high school athletics. Be sure to put on your sports hats and grab your questions for DR. RON.
CLICK HERE to read more about DR. RON NOCETTI