Raymond Lutz

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Raymond Lutz (born August 23, 1957) is a businessman, electronics engineer, activist, and an unsuccessful Democratic candidate in 2010 for Congress in California's 52nd congressional district. Lutz was also a candidate in the 2008 election for the 77th Assembly District in California, but was defeated by Republican candidate Joel Anderson.

Ray Lutz for Congress 2010

Personal[edit]

Lutz was born in La Mesa, California to Harold G. and Mary A. Lutz. He was raised in El Cajon and attended Granite Hills High School. Lutz continued at Grossmont Community College, then transferred to San Diego State University to receive his bachelor's degree, followed by his Master's of Science in Electronics Engineering. He married his wife Jill in 1987, and they have two sons, Austin and Garrett. They have lived in the El Cajon area throughout their marriage. In 1989, they opened "Chase Ranch Montessori School," and Raymond started Cognisys, Inc.

Professional career[edit]

Lutz began his career at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego working in the field of defense communication technology, followed by work at a number of private firms. Work ranged from developing handheld devices under contract with the Pacific Bell Telephone Company for tracking vehicles and equipment to developing video games with innovator Rick Dyer, helping to create the Dragon's Lair video game and the follow-up game Thayer's Quest. Lutz later went on to work with the laser printer industry, including "multi-function products" (such as printer/scanner/copier combos).

In 1989 Lutz started his own company, Cognisys, which now produces biofeedback products. In 1993, Lutz founded Multi-Function Products Association (MFPA), a trade association focused on the all-in-one market and which specialized in standards development. Lutz worked on national and international standards with the Telecommunication Industry Association and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations. Lutz also developed a product called "SlimSmart," a pager-like device that helps with weight loss by controlling the rate and volume of food eaten. The device was later licensed to a firm for worldwide distribution.

In 2003, Lutz designed and manufactured devices for the Neurofeedback market which allowed the practitioner to use conventional videos or video games as feedback.

Public Service and Activism[edit]

Lutz's father, Harold Lutz, started the Grossmont Community Concert Association in 1947, being a musician, conductor, and composer. Raymond Lutz later on took over the presidency of the association, which provided concerts to the eastern portion of San Diego County. It was through this involvement that he became interested in becoming more active in politics.

In 2006, the East County Democratic Club, a club that Raymond's parents had belonged to years earlier, had the possibility of folding when the current president decided to make a run for Congress. Raymond stepped in and helped to revitalize the Club, saving it from being absorbed into another organization. Shortly after joining the board of the East County Democratic Club, Lutz was looking for a way to promote the Club's meetings when he happened on the local Government-access television (GATV) channel on Public-access television cable TV. When Lutz looked over a list of their current programming, he noticed many religious and partisan programs being aired. He sent a letter to the El Cajon City Manager about the disparity, the programs were pulled from the station that day.

After the experience with the non-partisan programming of the government channel, Lutz started Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs),[1] which acts as a governmental watchdog and helps empower local citizens to make changes in their communities.

Lutz was also a voice in opposing the proposed Sunrise Powerlink, a high-voltage transmission line by SDG&E that was approved despite the fact that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) provided three alternatives, all which did not require building the line at all, and despite overwhelming opposition to the project in the communities it will run through. San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has testified at the CPUC against the project, which would be in the midst of a fire-prone area of rural San Diego.

Blackwater[edit]

The largest advocacy project that Lutz was partially responsible for was the protesting of an 824-acre (3.33 km2) Blackwater training facility in the rural area of Potrero in San Diego county. Lutz established the website [StopBlackwater.net] and was successful in assisting ending the proposed facility. Lutz partnered with Congressman Bob Filner (CA-51) on proposing legislation to outlaw private military company training on private property.[2]

Later, Lutz discovered a facility being developed by Blackwater in Otay Mesa, near the California-Mexico border, under pseudonyms such as "Raven Development" and "Southwest Law Enforcement." After this discovery, he notified the media and then the City of San Diego Development Services Department decided it was a significant enough project to be processed under "discretionary" rather than "ministerial" rules, thereby allowing public input and review, so they held the occupancy permit.

Blackwater filed suit in federal court to force the City of San Diego to issue their occupancy permit. Defended by outgoing City Attorney Micheal Aguirre, the city lost this case, and the appeal was dropped by Aguirre's successor.

Lutz also fought Blackwater at Southwestern Community College[3] in the agreement for Southwestern College to use the indoor shooting range in Otay Mesa in trade for, among other things, allowing Blackwater to use on-campus classrooms, without limitation. Lutz claimed that they were planning to use the conference rooms to recruit at the college.[4] The agreement was pulled in October after 10 months of steady pressure.

2010 Congressional Campaign[edit]

Lutz ran running against the incumbent, Duncan D. Hunter, for the Congressional seat in the 52nd district of California. Lutz's positions were to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, complete effective immigration reform, promote strong families by keeping the government from making decisions for one's family, job growth, and safe gun ownership. He lost the election.

On August 11, 2010 Lutz's campaign issued a press release announcing that the candidate would be going on a "hunger strike" until his opponent, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter would agree to debate him.[citation needed]

Citizens Oversight[edit]

In January, 2011, Lutz formed Citizens Oversight, Inc, a 501(c)3 Delaware corporation for the purposes of training citizens to become more effective and to attend and participate in public meetings.

AirProgressive.org[edit]

In mid-2011, Lutz formed a streaming radio station, [1] which provides 7/24 news and talk programming including progressive shows and topics.

Occupy San Diego[edit]

Lutz was an early participant in Occupy San Diego. On November 29, 2011, San Diego police arrested Lutz for setting up a voter registration table in the town square of San Diego, Civic Center Plaza. Lutz cited the Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins U.S. Supreme Court ruling which in part states that people are allowed to register voters, even on privately property, such as in a mall. [2] Lutz participated in the Occupy San Diego protests by publishing a email blast to coordinate activities.

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