Welcome to our website

WELCOME

This website is a work in progress, but we certainly hope you will like and enjoy our efforts. In particular, please Website-Construction1-300x169[1]see who we are, where we are and what we do.

We really hope you come to one of our monthly meetings – no obligation whatsoever.

If you’re interested in what we do, we hope you’ll help the club by paying dues – our annual dues (for a calendar year) are only $20.00.

Our goals include having a lot of fun while educating and informing the citizens of Windsor, California, and the surrounding area. So no, you do not have to live within the Town of Windsor to attend a meeting, or even to become a member.

Voting: Sonoma County gets it right. Why can’t the rest of America?

On Tuesday, June 16th, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Windsor Democratic Club  will host a virtual meeting to discuss voting processes in Sonoma County and the rest of the U.S.  The meeting will feature:

  • Pat Sabo, the Chair of the Sonoma County Democratic Party, who will introduce the topic of voting processes and how Democrats are addressing it
  • Deva Marie Proto, the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters,  who will explain how the voting system in Sonoma County has changed
  • Dale Axelrod, a member of the National Voting Rights Task Force, who will talk about how U.S. voters can become prepared to recognize and overcome obstacles placed in their way in the upcoming November Presidential election.

After the presentations, the meeting will be open for questions from those who have joined the meeting.

To join the Zoom meeting, any time after 5:30 p.m. on the 16th (the speaker presentation begins promptly at 6 p.m.), via computer, tablet, or smartphone (browser or app), go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86897554660 .

Or, if connecting via phone, call any of these numbers to join the meeting:

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

and then enter the meeting ID:  868 9755 4660 .

We look forward to having a great meeting! Please join in!

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• You can connect into this meeting as 5:30 p.m., for up to 30 minutes of socializing and/or testing Zoom.
• We’ll start the meeting promptly at 6 p.m., with everyone muted except the three speakers. The last part of the meeting will be questions for the speakers.
• Please keep questions relatively brief. This is only a one-hour meeting.

Zoom meeting processes and tips [computer/smartphone]

• If you see “Speaker view” in the upper right corner of your Zoom screen, clicking on that will give you a full-screen view of whoever is speaking.
• If you have a question, a good way to ask it is to type it into the chat panel. One of the club officers will be monitoring the chat panel for questions, and can ask the question on your behalf.
• You can also enter comments into the chat panel.
• During the questions period, the way to get recognized, to ask a question, is to “raise your hand”. You do this by clicking on “Participants”, at the bottom of your Zoom screen, and then clicking on “Raise your hand”, at the bottom of the Participants panel. (You’ll see a small blue hand appear in the Zoom window.) When the moderator calls on you, you’ll see a dialog box that allows you to unmute yourself.

 

Getting to Health Care for All – February 2020 Meeting

“Before I discuss a treatment plan with my patients I check their chart to see what insurance they have,” said Toni Ramirez, a family practice physician speaking at a forum called “Getting to Health Care for All”, at the Windsor Democratic Club meeting on February 27.

“I never withhold information”, she emphasized, “but I am forced to shape my discussion around what patients have access to or can afford.”

Also speaking was Terry Winter, a retired nurse. Getting to Health Care for All is a project of Health Professionals for Equality and Community Empowerment (HPEACE) and North Bay Jobs with Justice.

Health care in the United States is paid for by a mix of private for-profit insurance and government-funded insurance. Most private insurance is tied to employment.

With little regulation, medical providers can and do charge wildly different amounts for the same treatment or procedure, depending on the type of insurance or specific policy a patient has. Access to health care is rationed by an individual’s ability to pay.

Although the US spends nearly twice as much per capita on healthcare as do other developed countries, US residents are actually less likely to see a doctor when they are sick.

“This is incredibly stressful for primary care physicians,” Ramirez said. “We are trying to provide our patients with the treatment they need, while working in a system that values profit over health.”

Although more people became insured under the Affordable Health Care Act, primarily through the expansion of Medicaid, up to 40 million remain without insurance. And even those with insurance may not be able to afford care.

Without regulation, premiums, co-pays, and deductibles have skyrocketed, forcing people to switch to very-high deductible policies. If they get sick they may be as badly off as if they had no insurance at all. 600,000 personal bankruptcies a year are due to medical costs. Most of these people had insurance.

The United States is the only major country in the world that does not have some form of government-mandated, tax-supported, universal health care, either directly government-run, or a single-payer system where the government is the insurer.

Medicare for All is a proposed single-payer system. Health care remains private. People can keep their doctors. The government pays the bills. Medicare for All covers vision, hearing, dental, mental health and long-term care, services not currently covered under Medicare.

Public Option, or Medicare for All Who Want It, simply adds Medicare or Medicaid to existing insurance options. It does little to address underlying problems.

Medicare for All would cost about $3 trillion per year. The government already spends roughly $2 trillion on health care. To pay for the rest, two presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, propose some form of wealth tax. Sanders also proposes a 7.5% payroll tax on employers, excluding the first $2 million of payroll, and a 4% tax on individual income over $29,000. Warren’s “employer health care contribution,” would be 98% of what companies currently pay for health insurance.

Healthcare currently costs about $3.8 trillion per year. Under either proposal almost everyone would pay less than they do now for far better care. Even those who pay more would benefit from living in a healthier, more equitable society.

“Our current system is over-priced, under-performing, inequitable and unsustainable,” Ramirez concluded. “We simply need the political will to change it.”

–Shirley Johnston

Club meetings cancelled – March and April 2020

The club’s regular monthly fourth-Thursday meetings for March and April are now cancelled. Part of “flattening the curve” of coronavirus cases is to reduce the number of opportunities to be infected. Our club is doing its part to help this effort by cancelling meetings.

Our next meeting is scheduled for May 28th. As it gets closer to that date, we’ll know more about whether to hold that meeting or cancel it.

Stay healthy!

Treasurer’s Report – Calendar year 2019

2019 Windsor Democratic Club
Financial Report

Beginning balance:   $836.12

Income:

— Dues:  $460.00
— Bank fee adjustment: $12.00
— Bank dividend:  $0.16

     Total income: $472.16

Expenses:

— Bank fees:  $6.00
— Sonoma County Democratic Club Crab Feed (table sponsorship): $370.00
— Annual membership, Windsor Chamber of Commerce: $199.00

   Total expenses: $575.00

Ending balance: $733.28

Submitted by: Rosa Reynoza, Treasurer

Getting to Healthcare for All – February 2020 Meeting

On Thursday, February 27, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant, two local health professionals, members of Health Professionals for Equality And Community Empowerment (HPEACE) will present “Getting to Healthcare for All” at the Windsor Democratic Club meeting.

Dr. Toni Ramirez and Terry Winter, RN, MPH, will explore how other countries provide health care for everyone, and evaluate some of the current proposals (public option, Medicare for All). The two that Improved and Expanded Medicare for All would be the best option to address the issues of cost, inequity, quality, efficiency, and sustainability.

They will also present information and answer questions about what each of the presidential candidates are proposing.

Dr. Ramirez is a family doctor working at the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers.  Terry Winter has been a nurse and a specialist in health policy in Sonoma County for almost 40 years. Ramirez and Winter are both members of HPEACE and co-chairs of the Healthcare For All Working Group, a partnership of HPEACE and North Bay Jobs with Justice.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Free pizza will be provided.

 For more information about the February 27th event, call Rick Massell at 707-696-9364.

Windsor Democrats Hear from Four Presidential Campaigns

Four Democratic Party presidential candidate – Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, and Elizabeth Warren – were represented at the Windsor Democratic Club’s first meeting of 2020, on January 30th at the Windsor Round Table Pizza. Three campaigns – those of Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer – were contacted but unable to provide a representative. The representatives spoke briefly and answered questions.

Kevin Kraynak and Lisa Anderson, both veteran political activists from Sebastopol, spoke for Pete Buttigieg. Kraynak, a Pennsylvania native who first campaigned for Jimmy Carter, said he is impressed by Pete – he’s a veteran, intelligent and sane, and he brings people together.

Anderson likes Pete’s values. Pete “speaks multiple languages, including “progressive, in a way people understand.” He stands for “Medicare for all who want it” and “An end to endless wars.”

We need new blood, Anderson said. Pete is the perfect age to be President. He’s looking to the future.

Linda Carpenter and Windsor resident Maggie McNaughton spoke for Bernie Sanders. They’re not formally associated with the campaign, they said, just big fans.

Sanders’ immigration policy is “ground-breaking,” “sweeping,” “profound.” Under Sander’s Medicare For All program there would be no premiums, no co-pays, and a yearly $200 cap on prescription drugs. College, including trade schools, would be free to all. Sanders supports the Green New Deal, Workplace Democracy, and journalism free of corporate control. His criminal justice reforms are “sweeping,” “amazing.”

Sanders will get people who don’t usually get involved to show up, young people, Latinos, even Republican, McNaughton said, citing her staunch Republican relatives who say they would vote for Bernie.

His programs would be difficult to implement, McNaughton later acknowledged in response to a question, but “That’s not a reason to not to try.” Bernie is promising systemic change.

Michael Bloomberg’s representative was Cynthia Ayers. She’s a New York City native who worked for Clinton in Michigan in 2016, as well as helping with subsequent Democratic races in that state. She’s just now become a paid regional organizer/director for Bloomberg’s campaign, in Northern California, touring on her motorcycle.

“I was team Elizabeth for awhile,” Ayers said. But I’m from New York; I’ve seen how Mike gets things done. He knows that paying attention to climate change is good business. He took on the NRA. He spent $110M on gun reform in 2018. He knows the importance of data. He has plans”, she said, mentioning a wildfire resilience plan.

Bloomberg doesn’t take money from anyone because he wants to be beholden to no one, she pointed out. “I’m glad we’ve got a billionaire on the Democratic side,” Ayers said, “An antidote to the Trump machine.”

Chris Rogers spoke for Elizabeth Warren. Rogers, a Santa Rosa native, was elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2016. “I’m not a [campaign] official but I’m a big supporter,” he said.

Rogers has a close friend who is undocumented, and worries that his friend will be deported and not be around for his friend’s daughters. Rogers has a brother who is a school teacher; he wouldn’t want his brother to be shot at, or worse, have to shoot a gun to defend himself. “He’s a klutz!”

Rogers said that Warren’s policies always resonated with him: a humane immigration policy, restoring DACA, climate change. Medicare for All, free public higher education for everyone, forgiving student debt, and a 2% wealth tax on assets over $50M. “No one should be that rich,” Rogers said.

Still, he used to be on the fence. “Blue no matter who  … and then, the fires happened.” After the Tubbs fire Elizabeth Warren’s staff reached out to him and others in Sonoma County to ask what needed to be done to recover from the fires and to prevent future disasters and offered concrete legislative assistance. Her staff’s willingness to work and listen impressed him.

Asked what candidates had in common, what might pull Democrats together, a woman said she was worried that Warren calls herself a capitalist.

“Capitalism does not mean lack of regulation,” Rogers said. “Warren wants to rein capitalism in.” She’s not just a mother, he joked. “She’s the mother of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.”

We let the Republicans label us as socialist and communist, another listener commented. We need to take control of the narrative.

 

–Shirley Johnston

Upcoming: Ask questions of representatives of the Democratic presidential campaigns

On Thursday, January 30th, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant, the Windsor Democratic Club will hear presentations from representatives of campaigns for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Each campaign representative will speak briefly, and then answer questions.

The meeting is free and open to the public. As usual, pizza will be served.

Club officers contacted the campaigns of the six Democratic candidates who were in the January 14th televised debate, plus the campaign of Mike Bloomberg, who has placed in the top six in recent polls of Democratic candidates. The club has received definite commitments from four campaigns – those of Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. The club has been in contact with a representative of the Joe Biden campaign, and is also hoping to get a representative from Amy Klobuchar or Tom Steyer’s campaign.

The Democratic primary is on Tuesday, March 3rd. Mail-in ballots are sent to voters starting 29 days before an election, so primary ballots should be received by mid-February. Those who are registered as “no party preference” can still vote in the Democratic primary, but they must do one of three things before voting:

  • If a mail-in voter, call, email, fax, or send a letter to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters by February 25th, asking for a Democratic ballot
  • If a mail-in voter, visit the county elections office on or before March 3rd
  • On election day, March 3rd, go to a voting center, including the county elections office, and request a Democratic ballot.

Those who are unsure how they are registered to vote can check online, at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/

Windsor residents will also see two ballot propositions on the March 3rd ballot:

  • Measure G, a half-cent sales tax increase, for fire protection and prevention [text is here (PDF), Press Democrat news article is here]
  • Measure I, a 30-year extension of the quarter-cent sales tax now in effect for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) system. [ text is here (PDF), Press Democrat news article is here]

The club meeting is normally on the fourth Thursday of the month, but was moved to the fifth Thursday (the 30th) because of State Senator Mike McGuire’s Winter WOW event on January 23rd, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Luther Burbank Center. (David Martin’s House Party Band will be headlining; tickets start at  $30 and are available here.)

 

October 24th Meeting – Helping the Community and Reacting to Emergencies

On October 24, the first night after the Kincade Fire began at the Geysers, the Windsor Democratic Club met to hear from several speakers on the topics of  citizen engagement for fighting climate change, and how to prevent, prepare and react to emergencies.

Cathy Taylor and John Stayton of  SoPEAS (Sonoma Public Education and Advocacy Salon) described their group’s efforts. The group started as a dozen or so friends dedicated to studying and understanding the ballot propositions for the Fall 2016 election. Each week they met at a home of one of the group’s members, heard presentations, and discussed two ballot propositions.

The election results hit the group hard. They decided to take direct action, after doing some strategic planning. They set their purpose as working with friends and neighbors for the short and long-term wellbeing of the Windsor community.

Their first project, in September 2017, was called Butts on Bikes, to get more children biking to the High School, reducing the use of carbon-emitting vehicles. Unfortunately, the teacher who was going to lead the program lost his home in the wildfires of October 2017, and left the area.

So in 2018 they picked the goal of Zero Waste, focusing on the summer concerts on the Town Green, measuring the amount of trash diverted from going to the landfill. Because of SoPEAS monitoring and information, plus an additional bin for recycling, diverted waste went from zero per cent at the beginning of the summer to 60% at the end. (In 2019, the Town supported the project, renamed Wasteless Windsor; the diversion rate increased to 75%.)

The group’s next project is supporting the Windsor Climate Emergency Task, which advises the Town regarding actions to take to combat climate change. SoPEAS is focusing on five actions related to the Town’s climate emergency resolution: 100% electric in private buildings and facilities, the Windsor READI plan (Windsor Resiliency for Emergencies and Disasters Initiative) to address climate change adaptation, clean vehicles, the updating of the bike and pedestrian master plan to encourage walking and bicycling, and an employee commute survey.

Rosa Reynoza, Treasurer of the Windsor Democratic Club and co-chair of the Windsor Wellness Partnership (WWP), announced that the next meeting of the WWP would be on November 7 at 5 pm, at the Bluebird Center. (WWP is one of seven chapters of the Health Action network in the county.)

Rosa made two recommendations for emergencies: Decide on two routes for evacuating, and watch out for false information. She then introduced Dan Widger, of the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management. He discussed preparing for emergencies, and passed out three important flyers: a list of how to sign up for alerts and notifications from PG&E, Nixle, and SoCo Alert; an emergency supply kit checklist for a week-long emergency, including power shutoffs; a a list of items for a personal go bag. For those who had to evacuate from Windsor on Saturday, that last list was particularly helpful.

Local activists to speak on October 24th

On Thursday, October 24th, from 7 to 9 pm, the Windsor Democratic Club will hear two presentations on improving Windsor’s community life.

John Stayton and Cathy Taylor, of Sonoma Political Education and Action Salon (PEAS), will speak on their group’s experiences with Zero Waste stations at the town concerts. They’ll also discuss their transition to help set up a citizens’ advisory group for the climate emergency resolution that the Town Council recently passed, especially with respect to local actions.

Rosa Reynoza will speak on emergency preparedness and resiliency, with special emphasis on recent and future power outages. Rosa is a Windsor volunteer who attends Town Council and other meetings to gather information to share with the rest of the community. She is co-chair of the Windsor Wellness Partnership, whose goals include helping both the mental and physical health of Windsor residents. Stressing over potential emergencies is normal; preparation helps. Rosa will be asking those at the meeting about whether they felt prepared for the most recent electrical outage.

The Windsor Democratic Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month, from January through October, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windsor Round Table Restaurant. Meetings are free and open to the public; pizza is served.

Election of members of the Central Committee of the Sonoma County Democratic Party

It’s not well known, but the members of the Central Committee of the Sonoma County Democratic Party  are elected by County voters – or, to be more specific, by those who get the Democratic Party ballot in the primary election. The 4th District, which encompasses Windsor, elects four of the 23 members of the Central Committee.

Anyone interested in running for those four positions in the upcoming primary – March 3, 2020 – must file between now and Friday, December 6. Filing is done by submitting documents to the Office of the Sonoma County Registrar.  Forms for filing, and for other campaign-related aspects of candidacy, can be found at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CRA/Registrar-of-Voters/Forms/ .