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 debrabroner@gmail.com . (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

Democratic-Endorsed School Board Candidates to Speak

Three candidates for the Windsor Unified School District Board of Trustees have been endorsed by the Sonoma County Democratic Party and the Windsor Democratic Club: incumbents Eric Heitz and Sandy Dobbins, and first-time candidate Stephanie Ahmad. At the Windsor Democratic Club meeting on October 25th, the three will speak, individually, and take questions (at 7:15 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 8:15 p.m., respectively). The meeting is free and open to the public; pizza will be served.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m., and is scheduled to end at 9:00 p.m., at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant at 8499 Old Redwood Highway.

More information on these three candidates is available at https://windsordemocrats.org/three-windsor-school-board-candidates-endorsed-by-democratic-party/

Three endorsed Town Council candidates to speak on September 27th

The three Windsor Town Council candidates endorsed by the Sonoma County Democratic Party will speak, individually, to the club at its September 27, 2018 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant.  Those three will discuss their candidacy, and then take questions from the audience. The three, and their starting times, are:

The club strongly recommends voting for these three endorsed candidates in the November 2018 election!

Three Windsor School Board Candidates Endorsed by Democratic Party

At its September 21st meeting, the Sonoma County Democratic Party  endorsed three candidates in the upcoming November election for trustees of the Windsor Unified School District. They are, alphabetically:

  • Stephanie Ahmad. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Stanford Law School, and currently an associate at Greenberg Taurig LLP, she completed her entire K-12 grade education in the Windsor district. Her husband teaches at Windsor High School, and she has two children who are students in the district. In January 2018 she was named board president of the Windsor Education Foundation. Her website is here.
  • Sandy Dobbins  (incumbent; first elected in 2002). An accounting manager, she has lived in Windsor for 28 years and has raised two daughters in the school system.
  • Eric Heitz (incumbent; running for a second four-year term). A public school teacher and athletic director in Calistoga, he has a master’s degree in educational leadership and a California School Board master’s in governance. During his tenure on the board, he has served on facilities, bond, policy, visual/performing arts, and LCAP subcommittees. He was born and raised in Windsor and has raised two children in the Windsor school district.

Congratulations to all three candidates for winning this endorsement. The Windsor Democratic Club recommends voting for all three in November 2018!

(For a roundup of the positions of all five candidates in this election, see the August 21st article in the Windsor Times.)

Sonoma County Democrats Endorse Three Candidates for Windsor Town Council

On August 19th, the Central Committee of the Sonoma County Democratic Party (SCDP) voted to endorse two Democrats running for Windsor Town Council; it had previously given an early endorsement to a third Democrat. The three endorsed candidates are (alphabetically):

The interviews done by SCDP members found that these three candidates were very well-qualified. Windsor is fortunate to have three such knowledgable and experienced individuals who are willing to deal with the challenges and the time commitment of being a Windsor Town Councilmember.

Mail ballots will arrive in October; the election is Tuesday, November 6th. The Sonoma County Democratic Party and the Windsor Democratic Club strongly recommends Billy ForrestEsther Lemus, and Sam Salmon for the Windsor Town Council.


August 2018: the changing demographics of LatinX 

Update: A Windsor Times article of August 29, 2018, reports on how the meeting went.

Our August meeting will be on Thursday the 23rd at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant, 8499 Old Redwood Highway.  Our speaker will be David Escobar, a former, long-time aide to a Marin County Supervisor, and currently Director of Programs & Operations for the Canal Welcome Center in San Rafael.

Mr. Escobar will speak on the changing demographics of LatinX  and the need to recognize indigenous Latinos within a socio-cultural framework.

David served for six years as a parole and probation officer with the Marin County Probation Department in the Adult Division, before becoming an Administrative Aide to former Fourth District Supervisor Steve Kinsey in Marin County, for 15 years. He took an early retirement to take on the position of Director of the State-mandated re-entry and rehabilitation programs at San Quentin State Prison. He is the currently Director of Programs & Operations for the Canal Welcome Center an non-profit in San Rafael.

 David identifies as an indigenous Salvadoran, and is recognized as a member of the Lenca-Poton nation, which encompasses the eastern region of El Salvador, Honduras, and parts of Nicaragua. He has attended the Indigenous Permanent Forum at the United Nations in New York for several years as delegate with the American Indian Movement and on behalf of his maternal grandmother’s Poton community.