Windsor Town Hall: The Green New Deal and You

Our earth is warming quickly. Every year the rate of increase is faster. The earth is in critical condition. One goal of the Green New Deal is to cut carbon emissions in half in 11 years – by 2030! It’s all about reversing current climate change trends. This requires, among other things:

— Retrofitting older buildings so they use much less energy
— Constructing all new buildings so they use zero net energy
— Investing in green energy production: solar, wind, hydro
— Zero emissions for autos and trucks (powered by batteries or fuel cells)
— Improved and expanded mass transit

What can we do in Windsor? Come to the Windsor Democratic Club’s town hall on Thursday, April 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant to find out. Windsor’s elected officials will discuss the Town’s policies, programs and the goals for reducing emissions. PLUS we will have local leaders from sustainable enterprises and community organizations, who will report on what they have been doing and plan to do in the future.

The meeting is free and open to all; pizza will be served.

The Green New Deal – websites for more information

For those interested in the Green New Deal, here are some websites with more information:


United Nations Environment Programme – “Global Green New Deal: Policy Brief”,



House Resolution 109, “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal”,

The New Economics Foundation, “A Green New Deal” –

Data for Progress – “Policy Report: A Green New Deal”,


Local , part of, a worldwide organization to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all

Climate Action Planning by the City of Santa Rosa –

Regional Climate Protection Authority – “Climate Action 2020 and Beyond”,

Sonoma County Conservation Action: “Climate Action 2020”,

Sonoma County Democratic Party Endorses Green New Deal Resolution –



Youth vs. Apocalypse calls for a Green New Deal

On March 28, four high school students from West Sonoma County presented the case for a Green New Deal to the Windsor Democratic Club.  These students are part of a group called Youth vs. Apocalypse. Because of an increase in greenhouse gases, the earth is warming rapidly. Older generations have not taken adequate actions to minimize climate change, but our students have decided they can’t leave this cause to others. They feel that they must rally the rest of us so their generation and the earth doesn’t suffer an apocalypse.

U.N. and U.S. scientific reports point to 2030 as the critical point. If we can’t sharply reduce carbon from the atmosphere, as well as methane and other gases, we will see and experience far more fires, floods, droughts, disastrous storms, and widespread damage to homes, cities, forests, and agricultural lands. Widespread tragedies will increase dramatically, including, globally, famine, mass migration and civil war.

A resolution for the Green New Deal, recently passed in the House of Representatives but defeated in the Senate, combines the fight against climate change with 1930’s New Deal type programs which put people back to work during the depression. Currently, most workers in this country have seen their wages stagnate while the wealthy and top income earners have taken ever increasing percentages of national income.

To combat this, the Green New Deal would employ millions of workers to develop an infrastructure based on sustainable energy, renewable sources, retrofitting older buildings, innovative methods for new construction, and better transportation and agricultural systems. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions to a net increase of zero.

Because many communities suffer now from the impacts of global warming and/or environmental degradation, the Green New Deal will focus on them as well as other communities which may not be seriously impacted yet but must climate-proof themselves. For sufficient economic well-being, workers throughout the country under the Green New Deal must be paid high enough living wages to allow them to raise families, so their futures are hopeful rather than depressing.


In answer to the question whether we can afford the Green New Deal, young people say we can’t afford not to do it. Each day we don’t act makes the ultimate cost even greater.

Next up is a Climate Action Night on Wednesday, April 24th, from 4:30 – 7:15 pm at the Santa Rosa Junior College Student Center, cosponsored by the SRJC Student Sustainability Committee, 350 Sonoma and the Center for Climate Protection Youth Advisory Board. Here the public will learn about how to advocate for effective climate legislation with state and local elected leaders in attendance.

The Windsor Democratic Club has decided to take up the cause as well. The club will hold a Green New Deal Town Hall on April 25, focusing on local and county measures that could be taken now and in the near future. To promote the town hall, the club will staff a table at the Earth Day and Wellness Fair on Sunday, April 14, from 10 to 1, at the Windsor Town Green, alongside the Windsor Farmers Market.

— Rick Massell (707-696-9364)

Youth activists to speak about the Green New Deal

A group of passionate, knowledgeable high school students, most of whom are part of the 350 Bay Area’s Youth Vs. Apocalypse activism group, will present the Green New Deal to the Windsor Democratic Club on Thursday, March 28. (More information about this local student movement is here.)

The Green New Deal is a movement which has the support of young people nationwide. In a resolution recently introduced in Congress, the proposals making up the Green New Deal address climate change and good jobs for all as interconnected issues to be solved together. The Green New Deal outlines the kind of social, political, and economic mobilization which will enable the United States to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in 12 years.

Youth are demanding that elected officials take immediate action to end dependence on fossil fuels, support this resolution locally, and secure a future with a livable climate for generations to come. The presenters at the March 28th meeting will explain—in depth—the goals of this resolution, how mobilization for climate justice could look like in our community, and why support for the Green New Deal is crucial in these trying times.

The Windsor Democratic Club meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at the Windsor Round Table Pizza, from 7 to 9 pm. Free pizza is provided, and the meeting is open to all.

Report from Indivisible Sonoma County – Changing the California Delegation in Congress, 2018

In a detailed, data-driven presentation, Larry Martin, the chair of Indivisible Sonoma County’s Out of District committee, demonstrated the importance of voter turn-out in electing Democratic candidates in close elections. The presentation was at the Windsor Democratic Club’s regularly scheduled meeting of February 28.

In the 2018 mid-term elections, Indivisible focused its energy on flipping U.S. congressional districts in California held by Republicans. Thirteen of the fourteen Republican districts were targeted; the fourteenth, District 8 (Inyo County), where two Republicans were running against each other, was a lost cause.

For the primaries, Indivisible stressed getting people to vote. In California first-time voters are more likely to vote for Democrats, given the proper encouragement. The other major targeted group was irregular voters registered as Democrats, those who voted in Presidential elections but not at mid-terms.

In response to a question, Martin said that voter registration drives should be held in places or events where large number of people were likely to gather, such as county fairs, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, at high schools during assemblies, and on college campuses. By contrast, alongside Highway 395 in Lone Pine was not a good place to register new voters, Martin said.

For the general elections, irregular and first-time voters were encouraged to vote specifically for the Democratic candidate running in their district..

Volunteers manned phone banks, canvassed the target districts, and sent postcards and texts. Martin noted that postcards have a personal touch that is missing in most communications, and that postcard writing parties also give activists a chance to get together. Gloria Bealer, who hosted a series of postcard writing parties at the Round Table Pizza in Montgomery Village which attracted as many as 68 people, helped send out 31,000 postcards during the general election.

Using texts to get out the vote is a new strategy. Texts are faster, easier and more reliable than traditional phone banking for encouraging people to register to vote, to apply for mail-in ballots, and to vote.

Canvassing, which requires volunteers to travel, is not practical in rural areas, Martin said. But no single get-out-the-vote strategy was decisively better than another. Continuing to push up until election day in the thirteen districts was vital, Martin said, because last-minute voters tend to vote for the challenger, not the incumbent.

Seven of the targeted thirteen districts, in southern California and agricultural San Joaquin Valley, were flipped in November, sometimes by narrow margins.

In district 21, which includes parts of Fresno, King, Kerns, and Tulare counties, the margin was 50.4% to 49.5% in favor of the Democratic Party challenger. In district 39, which runs along the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Democratic candidate won 51.6% to 48.4%. The entire coast of California is now blue, Martin noted.

Martin expressed optimism that additional California House districts could be flipped in 2020, particularly district 50 in rural San Diego County, where Duncan Hunter is under indictment for election fraud. Hunter won 51.7% to 48.3%. District 1, stretching from Yosemite to the Oregon border on the rural eastern side of the state presents a greater challenge.

Martin also expressed confidence that Indivisible and allied activist organizations such as Swing Left will have a positive effect on the 2020 national elections. But he warned that Republicans will use countermeasures, such as gerrymandering and purging voter rolls, as well as targeted voter messaging and soliciting small donations in imitation of Democratic party activists in 2018.

–Shirley Johnston

Will Democrats build on 2018? A view from Indivisible

At the February 28th meeting of the Windsor Democratic Club, Larry Martin, a member of Indivisible Sonoma County, and head of its Out of District committee, will provide his analysis of the 2018 House of Representatives elections. His focus will be on what has been learned, and what Democrats can do to continue to gain ground in 2020.

Born, raised, and educated in Kansas, Larry Martin spent most of his life working as an electronics engineer. He started his own company, and has done research and development for numerous companies throughout the U.S. He is a serious amateur photographer.

Typical of many Indivisible members, he was never active in politics until after the 2016 elections, although he always voted. He has dedicated the last two years to electoral politics, working with the Indivisible organization to change Congress.

The Windsor Democratic Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month except November and December. This month the meeting will be on the last Thursday of the month, February 28. The club meets at Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant from 7 to 9 pm. The meeting is free and open to all, and pizza is provided.

November 2018 final results

Here are the final election results for all the candidates and ballot measures that appeared on Sonoma County ballots, where either the California Democratic Party or the Sonoma County Democratic Party took a position or endorsed a candidate. Yellow-highlighted items are where the results matched the position or endorsement of the CDP or the SCDP.  For example, two of the three endorsed candidates for Windsor Town Council won, as did two of the three endorsed candidates for the Windsor school board.

Also notable is the turnout in Sonoma County – 78.1 percent of those registered to vote actually did vote. That’s an amazing turnout. By contrast, only 60.0% of those registered to vote in November 2014 actually did so.

2nd Assembly District – Election of Democratic Party Delegates

Seven male and seven female delegates will be elected in the next month to represent the 2nd Assembly District (the district of Assemblymember James Wood). Elected delegates will become voting members at the California Democratic Party’s statewide meetings in 2019 and 2020. Candidates to be a delegate must file online by Thursday, December 27th [apologies for any confusion from earlier versions of this post; that date is confirmed as correct]; must have been a registered Democrat as of October 22nd, and must live in Assembly District 2.

The Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) will be held on Saturday, January 12, at the Odd Fellows Hall, 545 Pacific Avenue, in Santa Rosa. Doors open at 10 a.m., candidate speeches start at 10:30 a.m., and voting is from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. (If you are in line at 1 p.m., you will receive a ballot.) Any registered Democrat living in Assembly District 2 is eligible to vote, and people can register as a Democrat as late as the election itself, on January 12th.

Help is needed to run this event; if you’re interested in volunteering for the registration morning shift or the afternoon shift for counting of ballots, contact Debra Broner, the California Democratic Party Region 1 West Director, at 805-206-7809 or at . (Candidates and campaign managers for candidates aren’t eligible to volunteer, however.)

Note: The 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention will be May 31 – June 2, 2019, in San Francisco – details are here

November 2018 business meeting

The Windsor/North County Democratic Club held its annual business meeting on November 10, 2018, at Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant, from 12 – 2 pm.

Attending were: Brent Anderson, Shirley Johnston, Jackson Boaz, Alexander Limper, Peter Jesella, John Broughton, Karen Snyder, Rosa Reynoza, Julia Donoho, Diana Dodson, Steve Herrington, Rick Massell, and Esther Lemus.

The group discussed the possibility of a formal Executive or Steering Committee, consisting of elected and appointed officers, meeting once a month or less, to help organize and run the club.

Possible new positions, beyond the five in the by-laws were discussed. These included two at-large members of the board; a program committee; someone to attend and report on town council meetings (these reports would also be posted on the WDC website, so they could be viewed on-line); a “Reporter” to write stories for the Windsor Times; and a membership committee with phone tree volunteers, focused on recruiting new members. Seveal of the proceeding could be part of a larger Publicity position, which might include maintaining the club’s Facebook page).

Diana Dodson and Karen Snyder volunteered to make phone calls. (Existing phone tree volunteers are Kathy Vedder, Georgia Stadler, Cal Coolidge, and Maggi Koren)

Youth outreach to local schools, possibly in coordination with Wine Country Young Democrats, was discussed. The suggestion was made that Windsor Democratic Club could sponsor a high school Democratic club.

Alexander and Jackson indicated they could help publicize club meeting and events to their fellow-students; service credits, perhaps for outreach projects like canvassing for non-partisan issues, would be a good way to motivate students.

Any additional elected positions would require a change in the by-laws. These changes would have to be posted in advance of a meeting to discuss and adopt at a later meeting. It was agreed to elect officers according to existing bylaws.

Officers elected:

  • John Broughton, President
  • Julia Donoho, Vice-President
  • Secretary, Unfilled
  • Rosa Reynoza, Treasurer
  • Rick Massell, Meeting Program Director

Brent Anderson volunteered to help with artwork and design as needed. Shirley Johnston volunteered to help put together articles and reports.

Potential topics for monthly meetings in 2019 were touched on. Support was expressed that the focus should be gearing up for 2020. This might start with a post-mortem on the 2018 election results. Invitations could be made to activist organizations, Corazon, Indivisible, Swing Left, Democratic Socialists, Our Revolution.

James Gore has offered to conduct a workshop on nuts and bolts of running for office.

Interest was expressed in learning how to help Democratic Party candidates in other districts or possibly other states.

The possibility of separate, additional meetings of the club in Healdsburg to help re-start a Healdsburg Democratic Club was floated.

Other suggested topics for programming included housing; a report on the Habitat for Humanity project in Windsor, with a possible work day; health care, including a cost/benefit analysis of Medicare for All (Single Payer); and post #MeToo, involving the Commission on the Status of Women, Soroptomist Club, Encouraging Women to Run, Emerge CA, and/or Emily’s List; and youth involvement and outreach.

Other topics might include immigration, education, media, or other social or political issues of local or regional importance.

The membership is invited to comment.

–Shirley Johnston


Note: 2018 programs were:

January:  Ernesto Olivares for Candidate for Sonoma County Sheriff.
February:  John Mutz for Candidate for Sonoma County Sheriff.
March:  Maureen McSorley, “How Does An Undocumented Resident Become Legal.”
April:  Presentation and Endorsement for June Ballot Propositions, including Regional Measure 3 and Prop 68.
May:  Rosa Reynoza, “Community Engagement and Inclusiveness.”
June:  Town and City Council members and candidates, “How Much Power Does a Councilmember Have?”
July:  Chase Palmieri on Tribeworthy, (a Media App).
August:  David Escobar “The Diversity of California Latinx Populations.”
September:  Endorsed Windsor Town Council Candidates
October:  Endorsed Windsor School Board Candidates.



November 2018 election results (preliminary)

Here are the preliminary election results, for all the candidates and ballot measures that appeared on Sonoma County ballots, where either the California Democratic Party or the Sonoma County Democratic Party took a position or endorsed a candidate. Yellow highlighted items are where the results matched the position or endorsement of the CDP or the SCDP.  For example, two of the three endorsed candidates for Windsor Town Council won, as did two of the three endorsed candidates for the Windsor school board.

These results are preliminary because a large number of mail ballots remain to be counted.  Sonoma County had 66,660 votes left to process after the semi-official election night results were reported; 132,232 votes were included in the semi-official results. Statewide the same was true – about 1/3 of all votes cast were not included in the reported results on election night.

Still, despite the number of votes yet to be counted, it’s clear – in almost all cases –  which measures passed and which candidates won. One notable exception is the race for  Superintendent of Public Instruction, where the difference between the two candidates is about 0.2% as of November 11th. [Updated  information is here.]

Election Results as of 11-11-2018 – highlighted Endorsement List