With all the distractions of the election, we’ve been remiss in posting about the very deserving DPOC Truman award winner for 2020. At the Democratic Party of Orange County’s annual Harry S. Truman Awards on October 24th, Linda Nearing of the Laguna Woods Democratic Club was awarded the OC Democrats’ most prestigious recognition, the Truman Lifetime Achievement Award.
Linda Nearing has been at the forefront of Democratic politics in Orange County for many years, building up voter registration and volunteer engagement that would drive blue waves in 2018 and beyond.
Linda’s many generous contributions to the community include leadership on the Democratic Foundation of Orange County Board, and work as an Assembly District Election Meeting convener for the 74th Assembly District. She is a former Truman Awards Committee member, and served as a delegate to the California Democratic Party.
In the Laguna Woods Democratic Club, Linda served as either Vice-President or President since 2009. During her tenure, the LWDC doubled in size, from 214 members in 2009 to 442 in 2020. She wrote articles, published the club’s local newsletter, recruited volunteers, and helped grow the club’s influence. In 2016, Linda was awarded Volunteer of the Year for Region 18 at the California Democratic Party Convention. At the end of her tenure, the once-Republican Laguna Woods had more registered Democrats than Republicans — a testament to her tireless efforts to create lasting change in our communities.
Former Democratic Party of Orange County Chair Henry Vandermier recruited Linda Nearing to lead the Council of Clubs and help build new Democratic cubs across Orange County. Introducing her at this year’s 2020 Truman Dinner, Henry said, “there is no doubt that Linda had a tremendous influence on events that have taken place not only in Laguna Woods, but across Orange County.”
In her remarks accepting the award, Linda uplifted others. She reflected on the last decade, on the growth of the LWDC and on the rise of the Democratic Party across Orange County. She thanked her friends and fellow leaders Sue Dearing and Henry Vandermier for their support of the LWDC, and thanked the organizers and leaders who continue to grow the LWDC as it looks towards the future. Addressing the crowd, she said “Thank you so much to all of you. We’ve worked with interns, with other volunteers, we’ve had just a great time. Thank you all so very much. Love each other, take care of each other, get through this horrible pandemic, and let’s win this thing.”
The DPOC is fortunate to have fighters like Linda Nearing. And we are blessed to have her example of what it means to be a good Democrat.