WDC at the Sonoma County Fair

The Sonoma County Fair runs from July 24 to August 9. The Sonoma County Democratic Party will have a booth at the fair, and WDC will be providing staffing for two days: Saturday, July 25, and Saturday, August 1. We’re looking for volunteers (who get free admission to the fair on the day they are helping at the SCDP booth).

* There are three shifts each day; we need at least two volunteers per shift. [We already have at least one person for all shifts!]
* The shifts are 11-3, 3-7, and 7-10
* Volunteers are not responsible for either setting up the booth or closing at the end of the day; volunteers just work their specific hours.

RJ Kamprath is handling the scheduling of volunteers. (Thanks, RJ!) To volunteer, or get more information, talk to her at this Thursday’s meeting, or contact her at 707-545-4116 or via amigarjk at aol.com

June, July, and August meetings

Our summer programs are firming up – here’s what’s on the agenda:

* June 24 – David Schmidt, the Northern California Regional Coordinator for the California Clean Money Action Fund, will discuss AB 700, the California DISCLOSE Act, which is intended to stop anonymous campaign funding.

July 23 – California Senator Mike McGuire, who represents Senate District 2 (North Coast/North Bay), will speak and answer questions

* August 27 – Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, who represents the 4th District, which includes Windsor, will speak and answer questions.

Report on the May 28th meeting

Margaret Koren, a longtime activist and Windsor resident, made it clear that the movement for world peace is alive and well, more vibrant than ever, in her presentation at the Windsor Democratic Club on May 26. Ms. Koren works with the Peace Alliance, a national non-profit whose mission is to “empower civic engagement toward the culture of peace.” The organization advocates for bringing conflict resolution education into classrooms to reduce bullying, supports community programs to end gang violence, and works to expand the use of restorative justice practices, as well as instituting peacebuilding practices to avert violence and war in international hot spots.

Ms. Koren highlighted two bills that have been introduced in the U.S. Congress:

  • The Youth Promise Act sets up community systems addressing youth violence. Funding is provided for programs to save lives and increase opportunities for youth. Evidence shows that prevention and intervention saves lives and money, while being more effective than traditional punitive methods. The bill was introduced by two Republicans and two Democrats.
  • R. 111, the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015, has bipartisan support, with thirty-seven co-sponsors. The bill addresses ways to reduce violence at home and abroad, looking at areas ranging from child abuse to international genocide.

Ms. Koren also highlighted the positive results of the increased use of restorative justice practices in Santa Rosa City schools over the last few years. The school system began the use of restorative practices as a model program in hopes of reducing the alarming increase of student suspensions in city schools, because of the realization that suspensions did little to change the behavior of student offenders. Restorative methods, which establish a dialogue between all parties involved in an incident, had such positive results that the Santa Rosa school board created eleven permanent positions for restorative practice personnel. Suspension rates have decreased so dramatically that the board enthusiastically is working towards further expanding the program.

To find out more about the work of The Peace Alliance, visit their website –  www.peacealliance.org.

May 28th meeting – Peace and justice

Our daily headlines are filled with accounts of conflicts and violence from the Middle East to Central Africa, and here in the U.S. in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson. Research has shown that violence containment costs the U.S. over 1.7 trillion dollars annually. Margaret Koren, a longtime peace activist and Windsor resident, will present an alternative approach to the current, ineffective policies at 7p.m. on May 28 at the Round Table Pizza, 8499 Old Redwood Hwy, in Windsor.

Ms. Koren’s program, “Peace is Not a Season, It is a Way of Life,” will focus on five key peacebuilding cornerstones, part of national initiative organized by the Peace Alliance, which offer positive solutions to reduce worldwide conflict. She will touch on peacebuilding methods being used in the community and schools, as well as restorative justice approaches in the justice system and ways to foster international and personal peace.

Pizza will be served and the meeting is open to the public