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

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 .

Mayor Foppoli discusses Windsor – August 2019

At the August 22, 2019, meeting of the Windsor Democratic Club, Mayor Dominic Foppoli spoke on his life in Windsor, his role as a Town council member and Mayor, and the Town’s accomplishments and challenges.

Foppoli grew up in Windsor. When it incorporated in 1992, he decided he wanted to become mayor. Now he’s looking forward to door-to-door campaigning in 2020 for the first town-wide election for mayor – he really enjoys talking to residents.

Fiscally, Windsor is in good shape, with the highest-rated roads in the county and the lowest crime rate. But very little housing has been built in the past ten years, affordable or otherwise. More than 1,000 units have been approved but not yet built because of rising construction costs.

The Town Council is working on affordable housing, using in lieu monies as leverage for government grants. Town money helped fund the new Veterans Village in Windsor (60 units), and the 16 units being built by Habitat for Humanity. The Town is now considering the Bluebird Center (old location of the Newsong Church), as well as other Town-owned sites, for affordable housing.

Windsor is also taking the lead in environmental issues. The largest floating solar field on West Coast is being built in Windsor. When completed, it will provide clean electrical power to all of the Town’s operations, particularly its wastewater facility, saving money, without any Town investment. And at the last council meeting, the Town became the first city to require that all future residential buildings, both single and multi-unit, be all-electric.

Foppoli said that there were a lot of amazing things that the Town could do, all costing money. He mentioned an aquatic complex ($15 million), a bike/pedestrian overpass for Route 101 (12 million), and a splash pad on the Town Green ($500,000 or more). But it’s not enough to just build these – for example, the aquatic complex would cost the town $500,000 annually to operate. Windsor has the lowest sales tax rate in the county; it’s up to residents to decide if they want to fund Town improvements with higher taxes.

Foppoli defended the plan for a deluxe hotel on the Town Green. He said that the lease of the Town-owned land, plus the transient occupancy tax ($60 per night per occupied room, if rooms go for $500 per night) could fund a new, larger library building, a new multi-jurisdiction administration building, a new location for the police department (with a secured vehicle lot), and a new recreation building in Keiser Park better suited for preschool care.

Foppoli said that being on Council was close to a full-time job. That the Council stipend is only a few hundred dollars per month means that it is rare for someone who works full-time to be on the Council. Foppoli said that if he didn’t have an income stream from his business, he wouldn’t be able to spend the needed time.

Foppoli concluded by saying that Windsor is greatest town in America, and that he wants to raise his (future) kids here.

Supervisor James Gore to speak at Town Hall in Windsor

On Monday night, September 23rd, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm, Supervisor James Gore will hold a town hall at the Windsor Grange #410, sponsored by the Windsor Democratic Club. Supervisor Gore will speak on several topics of major interest to Windsor and 4th District residents, including Sonoma County roads and wineries and wine events. Known for his passion and interesting stories about the issues he has dealt with in Sonoma County, Supervisor Gore will explain the problems that we all face and solutions that we must all involve ourselves in.

First elected in November 2014, Supervisor Gore is in his second term. He has been a moving force in dealing with the consequences of the fires which swept through our county in 2017. He organized neighborhoods in his district impacted by the fires into groups led by team captains, who have met to represent the victims and help them navigate their recovery. He has also been a strong proponent of much more housing being built in the county.

The Windsor Grange #410 is located at 9161 Starr Rd in Windsor. The event is free and open to the public. This town hall is in place of the regular (fourth Thursday) meeting of the Windsor Democratic Club.

Mayor Dominic Foppoli to speak to Windsor Dems on the “State of the Town”

On Thursday, Aug. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant, the Windsor Democratic Club will hear from Mayor Dominic Foppoli on the state of the Town of Windsor.

Foppoli was first elected to the town council in November 2014. His current Council term ends in 2022, but he has announced that he will run for mayor (a new, town-wide elected position) in November 2020.

Though his family’s roots run deep in the mountains of Italy and Nicaragua, Foppoli has dedicated his life to building his family’s legacy in Sonoma County. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and government from Dominican University, and an MBA in wine business from Sonoma State University.

Foppoli is co-founder and owner of Foppoli Wines, Benevolo Wines, and Windsor’s own Old Redwood Brewing Company. He is also co-owner of Christopher Creek Winery. Foppoli has been passionately involved in the Active 20-30 Club, a service organization benefiting local children and youth, for more than a decade. He is proud to serve as the youngest councilmember and mayor in the history of Windsor.

A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

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

July 2019 meeting – cancelled

The club’s regular July meeting, scheduled for this coming Thursday, the 25th, is cancelled. Here are some alternatives:

* The Santa Rosa Democratic Club will hold its July meeting on Wednesday, the 24th. Details are here:

* The second set of Democratic presidential debates is on July 30th and 31st. More information is here:,_2019)

* The Sonoma County Fair runs from August 1st through the 11th. If you’re going to the fair, consider dropping by the Sonoma County Democratic Party booth, in Grace Pavilion, and saying hello to the volunteers who staff it. You can also take a selfie with (the full-size cutout of) Michelle Obama, or try the (free) game.