Three-term Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown, a 41st Assembly District delegate to the California State Democratic Convention held April 27th to 29th in San Diego, was elected Southern California vice-chair of the party’s Irish-American Caucus.

McKeown, who represents Los Angeles County, San Diego and other Southern California counties in the caucus, plans to travel throughout Ireland for a second time this summer.

‘When I was in Dublin in 2004, I noticed bullet holes in statues in the City Hall rotunda,’ recalls McKeown. ‘My personal experience last November, of being attacked and out-spent 20-to-one on the way to re-election in Santa Monica, was made easier by remembering that at least I wasn’t being shot at.’

McKeown attended the state party convention aligned with the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

He was in San Diego supporting the Progressive Democrats of America agenda of universal health care, transparent elections, economic justice, environmental protection and bringing an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, according to a spokesperson.

‘We were progressive political paramedics on a medical mission to help the Democratic Party find its spine,’ McKeown said. ‘When the leading Democratic presidential candidates addressed the convention, it became obvious that ending the war in Iraq will be this election’s galvanizing issue.

‘The candidates clearly sensed that California will decide the national race, and we grassroots Democrats demand leadership for peace in the world, just as we’ve found peace in Ireland.’

McKeown predicts 2008 will bring huge Democratic victories.

‘We need to get engaged, not enraged, and with the early California primary, we need to start now,’ he said.