Aug 28

SoCoDems crab feed is March 4, 2016

No, not the traditional last Friday in February.

Because the state Democratic Party convention is the last weekend in February in San Jose.

Mark it on your calendars and candidates take note, it is seven days before the deadline for filing in the June primary election.

Aug 14

Changes at the top of the SCDP


Bleys W. Rose is the new chair of the Sonoma County Democratic Party. He replaces Stephen Gale, who resigned the top post because of his increased duties working for U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson.

Gale remains on the central committee as parliamentarian and as elected member of the 1st District.

The post of 1st vice-chair of the central committee is open following the resignation of Dorothy Battenfeld. She is focusing her time on the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees position she won in the election last November. She remains on the central committee as an alternate to 3rd District member Cherie Marie, who remains as recording secretary.

The post of 2nd vice-chair of the central committee is now occupied by Val Hinshaw who replaces Maggie Fishman. Fishman also won election to the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees and is focusing her efforts on that position.

Contact info is on the About Us page.

Jun 30

AUG 22….the annual SoCo Democratic Party BBQ



                   8th ANNUAL BARBEQUE


Saturday August 22 Noon – 3P.M.

Howarth Park

Santa Rosa


Individuals $15 Family

$40 (2 adults & 2 or more children)



Flaming Hot $1000 20 Tickets

Sizzling Hot $500 8 Tickets

Red Hot Coals $250 6 Tickets

Burning Embers $125 4 Tickets

Fire Starter $75 2 Tickets

 Paid for and authorized by the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee

Donations are not tax deductible

FPPC # 742674







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.



Oct 23

Endorsed Candidates List

Every Democratic Vote Counts

Every Democratic Vote Counts

SoCoDems going into Nov. 4 election with these endorsed candidates

Sept. 10, 2014

The Sonoma County Democratic Party is launching its campaign for favored candidates after completing its endorsements last night and opening its headquarters last Saturday.

Party headquarters at 120 D St., Santa Rosa, will be open and staffed daily through the Nov. 4 election.

Last night, the party’s governing board voted to endorse these candidates:

In Sonoma, for city council we support Rachel Hundley, Ken Brown and Madolyn Agrimonti.

In Sebastopol, for city council we support Una Glass and Sarah Glade Gurney.

In the Santa Rosa School District race, we support Omar Medina and Ron Kristof.

In the Windsor School District race, we support Cheryl L. Scholar.

In the West County High School District race, we support Kellie Noe.

The Democratic Party urges all voters to cast their ballots for these candidates as well as those previously endorsed.

They include:

For Sonoma County Supervisor in the 4th District: Deb Fudge

For the Santa Rosa city council: Curtis Byrd, Chris Coursey and Lee Pierce

For Mayor of Petaluma: David Glass

For Petaluma city council: Teresa Barrett and Janice Cader-Thompson

For Windsor town council: Sam Salmon and Evan Zelig

For Cloverdale city council: Carol Russell and Jude Gibson-Byers

For Cotati city council: Mark Landman

For Healdsburg city council: Brigette Mansell

For Area 7 seat on the SRJC Board of Trustees: Jordan Burns

For Areas 3, 4 and 5 seat on the SRJC Board of Trustees: Dorothy Battenfeld

For Area 2 seat on the SRJC Board of Trustees: Maggie Fishman

For California State Assembly District 2:  Jim Wood

For California State Assembly District 4: Bill Dodd

For California State Assembly Distrcit 10: Mark Levine

For California State Senate District 2: Mike McGuire

For U.S. Representative 2nd District: Jared Huffman

For U.S. Representative 5th District: Mike Thompson