May 25

Volunteers needed at SoCo Democratic Party HQ

Victory on Nov 8 for the Democratic Party candidates won’t be possible without the help of volunteers.

If you have a few hours to spare, we are looking for volunteers to contact voters and to staff the office headquarters. in downtown Santa Rosa at 120 D. Street.

We are generally open from 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays.

Campaigns get crazy and we could use your help.

Contact:

Val Hinshaw, campaign coordinator

575-3029

socodems@gmail.com

Apr 15

Sonoma County Democratic Party endorses Susan Gorin for 1st District Supervisor & Noreen Evans for 5th District Supervisor

The governing board of the Sonoma County Democratic Party decided April 12 to support re-election of Susan Gorin as 1st District Supervisor and to back former state legislator Noreen Evans for 5th District Supervisor.

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–Excerpts of the news media release on the Evans endorsement:

The governing board of the party decided that Noreen Evans has an unmatched record of public service to her constituents, a record that dates back to her vast experience in the state legislature as well in Santa Rosa government. Over the last 23 years, Evans has already represented portions of the broad Fifth Supervisorial District, which covers west Santa Rosa and spans the West County to the Sonoma Coast.

“Noreen’s experience, particularly on environmental protections and on affordable housing, reflect the values of Fifth District residents,” said Bleys W. Rose, chair of the Sonoma County Democratic Party. “An open seat on the board gives us a unique opportunity to set a new course for the future. The Democratic Party is confident the people of this district don’t want to go down the path of inexperience again.”

Evans is an attorney who returned to private practice in Sonoma County after serving four years in the California senate and six years in the state Assembly. Before that, she was on the Santa Rosa city council for eight years and on its planning commission for three years.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Excerpts of the news media release on the Gorin endorsement:

The governing board of the party decided that, due to her outstanding record of leadership during the last four years, Susan Gorin merited a second term representing the residents of east Santa Rosa and Sonoma Valley.

“Four years ago, the Democratic Party endorsed Susan in first run for the county Board of Supervisors. Susan has devoted every day of those four years to putting leadership into action,” said Bleys W. Rose, chair of the Sonoma County Democratic Party. “Susan’s priorities always put working families at the forefront of the board’s efforts to build Sonoma County’s sustainable economy.”

In addition to her four-year term as supervisor, Gorin served six years on the Santa Rosa city council, two years on the city planning commission and four years on the Santa Rosa school board. She was an active community volunteer prior to her 14 years as an elected official. During all that time, she has proven to be a solid advocate for the best interests of the community.

Apr 14

SoCo Dems detail support for & objections to CALLE recommendations

Sonoma County Democrats detail support for & objections to CALLE recommendations

April 13, 2015

For more than a year, the Sonoma County Democratic Party has monitored the proceedings and deliberations of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force and it recently voted to approve dozens of recommendations on courses of action.

Here is a condensed summary of our findings and our conclusions:

Subject: Law Enforcement Accountability

1. Establishing an Office of Independent Auditor

The  Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee strongly supports  this  portion  of  the  recommendation,  including  review  of  the  conduct  of  the  entire  SO  employees,  including  the  employees  in  the Detention  Division  and  jail.  In April 2014, overwhelmingly  passed  a  resolution  calling  for  the  creation  of  a  robust,  independent  review  body  to  oversee  the  operations  of  law  enforcement  in  the  county. The resolution said: “The  Board  should  have  the  power  to  conduct  independent  investigations  with  subpoena  power,  the  right  to  interview  witnesses,   and access to all investigative  materials,  including,  but  not  limited  to,  reports  of  the  coroner  and  reports  by  officers  on  the  scenes.”

2. Independent and confidential audit review of internal departmental investigations of officer use of force incidents, incidents of officer misconduct and complain

 This is a key function of  the OIA, a  bottom  line.  The  criteria cited —  complete,  objective, thorough and fair — are  the  terms  of  art  used  in  the  field  and  we  appreciate  that  the  LEA  is  using  them.  We  would  add,  however,  that  the  audit  should  also  scrutinize  how  complaints  are  screened,  how  they  are  classified  and recorded,  and  whether  the  dispositions  were  timely.

3. Creating an OIA Citizens Advisory Committee.

The SCDCC  strongly  supports citizen  involvement  in  the  oversight  process,  and  this  is  a  creative  and  appropriate  way  to  institutionalize  it. Unfortunately,  the  recommendation  does  not  address  how  the  Committee  would  be  constituted.  In our SCDCC  resolution  we  called  for  a  “Board  of  volunteers,  [who]  should  be  appointed  by  elected  officials  with  the  makeup  of  the  board  reflecting  the racial  and  ethnic  diversity  of  Sonoma  County.”  Does  the  LEA  envision  that  the  BOS  would  appoint  the  members?   Would we run  the  risk  that  appointments  by  elected  officials  will  simply  reward  their  supporters? Should  there  be  an application  process  similar  to  the  Grand  Jury  with  screening  by  judges,  removing  the  process  from  our  politicians?  This is a significant  issue and should be addressed.

4. Separating the Office of the Coroner from the Office of the County Sheriff.

The LEA is correct that there is a built in conflict of interest when the sheriff is also the coroner.  The SCDCC agrees that the offices should be separated.

 

Subject: Community Oriented Policing

1. Improving Critical Incident Response

We regard this recommendation favorably. At the site of a critical incident, the presence of a non-uniformed officer, trained in interpersonal relations and communications can serve community members by responsibly informing them of what is occurring, calm them with respectful & informative communications, and can actually enlist the helpful engagement and cooperation of community members in resolving the situation. We regard very favorably the sustained efforts with community communication & engagement (remaining on the critical incident scene until community mood has settled), publicly announcing and then conducting a community forum (within 5-7 days with thoughtful planning of this forum  taking place within 48 hrs), as well as clearly posting press releases and audio and video of the incident.

2. Enhance Alternative Use of Force Practices

There is perhaps nothing more crucial to repairing public trust  in local law enforcement than reform of the use of force policy. The Task Force has heard testimony from families who found a family member dead at the hands of law enforcement, when their hope was that a crisis situation would be defused.  We are in support the recommendation aligning the Sonoma County law enforcement agencies’ use of force policies with recent Albuquerque, NM and Seattle, WA models. The principles governing the use of force policies required in Albuquerque and Seattle serve to define,  limit, report on and track the use of all forms of “force”. The policies spell out disciplinary action for officers who violate any use of force policy. They also spell out officer responsibility to seek medical care for individuals injured by use of force. In addition these policies spell out training for officers and procedural guidelines for interacting with individuals with mental illness or disability.

 

Subject: Community Engagement and Healing

1. Establishing full-time counselors in schools, extending their duties beyond students to families and staff and training them to provide trauma and on-going counseling.

SCDCC recommends that resources instead be found to increase behavioral health counseling through clinics and other agencies, with outreach to families and communities as well as schools. Potentially, many of the services can be reimbursed because of new medical insurance requirements.

2. Expanding the number of school resource officers to provide law enforcement, support students the school community and to provide education in public safety and the law.

SCDCC recommends that the expansion of school resource officers be explored in detail to determine which schools would benefit most, and to determine the further training in community policing they receive, with respect to law enforcement needs, educational environment and overall benefits to the student community. The funding sources from schools, cities and county should be clarified.

3. Continuing to hold regular community forums for residents and law enforcement to interact, question and develop better relationships.

SCDCC recommends that the proposed forums between law enforcement and the community be integrated with community engagement meetings taking place in cities and unincorporated areas to gather input from residents about their concerns. Some of these meetings could use the same principles that the healing subcommittee used in their forums to foster positive interaction between law enforcement and the community. It is essential that there be a procedure in place to follow through on the questions, criticisms, suggestions and other feedback that arise from these meetings

Mar 12

Sonoma County Democrats recognize leaders for change

Feb. 27, 2015

 

The Sonoma County Democratic Party proudly recognizes several leaders for their roles in improving our community.

Recognized at the 37th Annual Crab Feed at the SR Vets Bldg. were:

Noreen Evans, our former state senator and former SR city councilwoman, as the honored guest and featured speaker.

Marty Bennett, a leader in North Bay Jobs with Justice and fighting for a Living Wage for working families, as Democrat of the Year.

Pat Sabo, a veteran California Teachers Association activist, as recipient of the Roberta Hollowell Memorial Award.

Mike McGuire, former Sonoma County 4th District supervisor and now state senator, as Young Democrat of the Year.

Bill Kortum, the North Coast’s premier environmentalist and coastal preservationist, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, accepted in his memory by his wife, Lucy.

And Thank You to all the recipients and donors who made the annual crab feed event a success, bringing 700 Democrats and guests together and raising tens of thousands of dollars for advancing Democratic Party principles