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P.O. Box 3727
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

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SCDP Central Committee Meetings
2nd Tuesday of each month
6:30-9 p.m.
CTA Offices
2490 Guerneville Road
Santa Rosa, CA
Officers

Chair
Stephen Gale

First Vice Chair
Dorothy Battenfeld

Second Vice Chair
Margaret Fishman

Recording Secretary
Cherie Maria

Corresponding Secretary
Maria Peluso

Treasurer
Don Frank
 

Standing Committee Chairs

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Blake Hooper
 
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Laura Declercq

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Darin Bartow

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Helen O'Donnell
 
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Open
 
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Legislation Committee

Dale Axelrod
 
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Val Hinshaw

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Stephen Gale
Laura Declercq
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Sonoma County Democratic Party Endorses Gary Wysocky for Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector


The following press release was distributed to Sonoma County media outlets on December 13, 2013:
 
SANTA ROSA, CA – The Sonoma County Democratic Party (SCDP), at its December 10 Central Committee meeting, voted unanimously to endorse Gary Wysocky for Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector in the June 3, 2014, Statewide Primary Election.
 
“Unanimous endorsement votes are rare for this Central Committee, and this shows the high level of confidence that our membership has in Gary’s ability to do this important job,” said SCDP Chair Stephen Gale. "Gary has proven time after time that he is committed to the highest standards of transparency and taxpayer protection, and that's what we need in this office," added Gale.
 
This is the SCDP’s first endorsement for the June 3, 2014 Primary Election. Endorsements in additional races will be made at future Central Committee meetings.

The Sonoma County Democratic Party (Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee / SCDP) is the official governing body of the Democratic Party in Sonoma County. The SCDP works in cooperation with the California Democratic Party (CDP) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). For more information on the Sonoma County Democratic Party, visit www.sonomademocrats.org.
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Resolution Supporting the Postal Protection Act of 2013


WHEREAS, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013 would sustain the United States Postal Service and avert unnecessary closures that hurt communities; and the Service's financial issues are due to unnecessary requirements and regulations imposed on it. The Postal Service Protection Act of 2013 would remove burdensome regulations, so the United States Postal Service can manage its budget more effectively and be more competitive with other delivery service providers; and

WHEREAS, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013 would prohibit cuts to Saturday delivery, thus protecting rural communities, small businesses, and senior citizens, as well as reducing the need for customers to seek other delivery options; and the Act would reinstate overnight delivery standards to speed mail delivery and prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers, and protect voting by mail throughout California which is now commonplace and will remain essential to our democracy; and

WHEREAS, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013 would give serious consideration to the employment status of the second largest civilian workforce in the country made up of over a half-million people living and working in all of our communities, with over 22% veterans, many with disabilities; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that  the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to pass the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, Senate Bill 316, sponsored by Senator Bernard Sanders, that would ensure the modernization and preservation of the United States Postal Service; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to oppose any postal reform legislation that does not end the mandate requiring the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, does not continue the mandate for 6-day delivery service, does not protect door-to-door delivery as it currently exists, and does not provide additional oversight and transparency to the United States Postal Service's plan to close, relocate, or sell 3,270 post offices.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on November 12, 2013
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SCDP Opposes Proposed Changes to Sonoma County Fair Horse Racing Schedule


SCDP Chair Stephen Gale sent the following letter last week opposing proposed changes by the California Horse Racing Board to the Sonoma County Fair racing schedule that would benefit the State Fair but have a negative impact on the Sonoma County Fair. Senators Evans and Wolk and Assemblymembers ChesbroLevine and Yamada also oppose the schedule changes.
 
October 12, 2013
 
David Israel, Chair
California Horse Racing Board
1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95825
 
Dear Chairman Israel,
 
The Sonoma County Democratic Party is strongly opposed to a proposed change in racing schedule for the Sonoma County Fair. We urge the California Horse Racing Board to allow the Sonoma County Fair to continue with plans for race dates during the 2014 run, consistent with the Fair schedule submitted in May 2013 and already being advertised as July 24 through August 10, 2014.
 
Requiring the track to be dark for the first week of the fair is unreasonable and would result in a significant financial shortfall for one of the most widely attended County Fairs as well as decreasing the overall interest and participation in thoroughbred racing in the state. The alternative of requiring the Fair to reschedule and slip the scheduled dates of the County Fair deeper into August, after school is in session, is both unreasonable and cost prohibitive.
 
We believe that the proposed change is not in the best interest of the public or the horse racing industry.  Sonoma County’s Race Track is considered by both horsemen and fans as the “Saratoga of the West.”  This reputation has been built through consistent efforts by the Sonoma County Fair Board, who have created a draw for new fans with specialized marketing and promotion efforts.  Each year, the County makes significant investments to improve our racing facilities.  Those efforts have paid off in the form of higher handles that create more appeal for both horsemen and patrons.  In 2013, Sonoma County’s handle was $32.6 million, equating to a daily handle of $2.5 million.
 
In addition, Sonoma County hosts the only Fair turf track in all of Northern California.  Thirty percent of races during the County Fair are run on the turf track.  This unique opportunity for horse conditioning for turf racing should be supported and encouraged.  We believe the proposal does not support that objective.   
 
There are also impacts to the Sonoma County Fair itself that we are concerned would result if the track were dark for the first week of next year’s Fair or if the Fair were forced to reschedule their run deeper into August, when Sonoma County Schools are in session.  The Board should consider these unintended consequences of proposed changes:  
  • Lost revenue alone is expected to exceed $150,000.
  • Negative impacts to an impressive Junior Livestock Participation program, showcasing community support for youth in agriculture – a significant part of our cultural heritage in Sonoma County - that generated over $1.1 million last year.
  • Negative impacts to the fairs temporary employees, many of whom are teachers and students.
  • Negative impacts to fair vendors and concessionaires who come from throughout the State.
 
For these reasons, we urge you to reject the proposed changes to the 2014 racing schedule that would adversely impact the Sonoma County Fair.
 
Sincerely,
Stephen Gale
Chair, Sonoma County Democratic Party
 
CC:  Governor Brown, Senator Evans, Senator Wolk, Assemblyman Chesbro, Assemblyman Levine, Assemblywoman Yamada
 
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Emergency Resolution Supporting Senator Wyden’s Call for Immediate International Support and Assistance to Japan


WHEREAS, after touring what remains of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facilities decimated by last year’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters to Japanese Ambassador Fujisaki, and to Secretary of State Clinton, Energy Secretary Chu, and NRC Chair Jaczko, assessing the dire situation and proposing that Japan be urged to accept international support and assistance, and

WHEREAS, the Daiichi nuclear facilities are still not secure from any number of possible threats including another significant earthquake, which seismologists say is almost certain to occur in the near future, and which could cause the 1,535 spent nuclear fuel assemblies in Unit 4’s spent fuel pool to become exposed, igniting a globally catastrophic radioactive fire, and

WHEREAS, specifically, short of removing the nuclear fuel as quickly as possible, if steps are not taken to immediately stabilize the nuclear fuel pool in Unit 4 that is conservatively estimated to contain 5,000 Hiroshima bombs worth of cesium-137, and an earthquake or other event were to allow the water to drain out of that pool, an unstoppable nuclear fire could ensue and continue until all the nuclear fuel had burned completely, releasing a catastrophic amount of radiation into the ocean and atmosphere, which would spread and linger over all parts of the world including the United States for many years to come.  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party urgently supports Senator Wyden’s plea for international action, and calls upon the United States to take the lead in pressing for Japan to accept immediate assistance and support; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be sent to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, as well as all California Democratic Congressional members, and all California Democratic Central Committees urging them to immediately take and make all possible actions and efforts in dealing with this potential nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

Submitted to the Resolutions Committee on behalf of the Sonoma County Democratic Party at the Executive Board Meeting held in Anaheim CA, on July 27-29, 2012 by Executive Board Delegates/Sponsors: Stephen Gale and Lynn Hamilton
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Resolution to Support Interior Department Decision to Convert Drakes Estero, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, to a Marine Wilderness Area


WHEREAS, in 1972 the Johnson Oyster Company sold its onshore property to the American taxpayers through the National Park Service with the purchase price affording the Johnson Oyster Company the right for forty (40) years to operate shellfish aquaculture in Drakes Estero until November 30, 2012.  

WHEREAS, in 2007 the State Lands Commission concluded that the 1965 land conveyances of the tide and bottom lands of Drakes Estero to the federal government by the Office of the Surveyor General and the Legislature “conveyed out all of the State’s real property interest except the mineral estate,” and in 2008 the California Department of Fish & Game’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the National Park Service, not the Department, has primary management authority over Drakes Estero, and the 2004 lease by the California Fish & Game Commission to the Drakes Bay Oyster Company stated that “the 2004 lease renewal is expressly contingent upon the aquaculture facility’s compliance with the 1972 grant reservation and, after its expiration, with any special use permit that PRNS may issue at its discretion,” and
 
WHEREAS, on November 29, 2012 then Secretary of the Department of the Interior Kenneth Salazar issued a legal memorandum to let the 40-year reservation of use and occupancy for shellfish aquaculture in Drakes Estero expire and transition the area to wilderness pursuant to the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, thus declining to grant a new special use permit to the Drakes Bay Oyster Company after November 30, 2012, and on January 25, 2013, Assistant Attorney General Rick Thalhammer, representing the Fish & Game Commission, wrote to the Executive Director of the Fish & Game Commission that because the 2004 state lease was contingent upon continuing approval by the Department of the Interior which permission was withdrawn after November 30, 2012, “the leases no longer are valid and cannot be relied upon by the Company as authority to operate their aquaculture endeavor in the Estero,” and in May and October 2012 the Fish & Game Commission rejected requests by the Drakes Bay Oyster Company to pass a resolution asserting state jurisdiction over the tide lands and waters of Drakes Estero.
 
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Sonoma Democratic Party supports the discretionary decision made by the Interior Department to convert Drakes Estero, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, to a marine wilderness area for the enjoyment and benefit of all current and future generations of Americans.
 
Resolution submitted by Don Frank, SCDP Treasurer, on August 25, 2013
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on October 8, 2013
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