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Stephen Gale

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Dorothy Battenfeld

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Cherie Maria

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Don Frank

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Blake Hooper
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Bleys Rose

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Darin Bartow

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Helen O'Donnell
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Dale Axelrod
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Val Hinshaw

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Stephen Gale
Laura Declercq


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Democrats call for U.S. military to fully accept Sikhs

Sonoma County Democratic Party Resolution

Fully Accept Sikhs in the U.S. Military

WHEREAS, the Sikh community has been an integral part of the American fabric for over a century and made numerous contributions to the progress and prosperity of our society, including a proud tradition of military service dating back to World War I, but the U.S. military effectively banned devout Sikh soldiers from serving in the 1980s and continues to severely limit their ability to do so; and

WHEREAS, when the U.S. Army recently made limited progress by granting three Sikh soldiers the opportunity to serve while wearing turbans and maintaining unshorn hair and beards in accordance with their religion, two of these patriotic Americans have served admirably in Afghanistan, one receiving a Bronze Star Medal for his service, and another earning a NATO Commendation Medal; and

WHEREAS, America’s allies, including Great Britain, Canada, and India, presumptively allow Sikhs to serve in their militaries, and by allowing devout Sikhs to serve with their articles of faith intact, America’s military can project core values of pluralism and equal opportunity to the world and expand its pool of qualified soldiers; now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party joins with the members of Congress who have called upon the Secretary of Defense to end the presumptive ban on devout Sikh soldiers in the U.S. Armed Force by modernizing the U.S. Armed Forces appearance regulations so that patriotic Sikh Americans can serve their country while abiding by their articles of faith, and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges the California Democratic Party to ask our representatives to support ending this religious discrimination, and call for the U.S. Military Administration to give devout Sikh Americans an equal opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on August 12, 2014
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SoCo Dems endorse Maggie Fishman in race for SRJC board seat

 The Sonoma County Democratic Party is endorsing Maggie (Margaret) Fishman in her bid for a seat on the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees.

The party’s governing board voted overwhelmingly on Aug. 12 to support Fishman to represent the Area 2 seat, which covers southern Sonoma County.

Fishman, who lives in Penngrove and graduated from Santa Rosa Junior College, is a retired educator with an extensive background in all levels of education, from elementary schools through college. Most recently, she served six years on the board of Mentor Me Petaluma.

She has been active in the Friends of the SRJC Petaluma Campus Trust and is a past PTA president at Penngrove School in addition to serving as chair of its site council and on the Superintendents Advisory Council. She has taught English as a second language at Montgomery High School as well as in programs at the University of Southern California.

The Sonoma County Democratic Party enthusiastically supports Fishman in the Nov. 4 general election.

To get involved in her campaign, contact:

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Resolution Urging California Senators to Support Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment

WHEREAS, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to budget appropriations legislation recently passed by a majority of the US House of Representatives seeks to restrict the Department of Justice from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs, while at the same time, not inhibiting the federal government from taking action against individuals or organizations involved in activities that are not explicitly allowed by state laws; and
WHEREAS, over 80 state and national health care organizations -- including the American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, the American College of Physicians, and The New England Journal of Medicine -- support granting qualified patients immediate legal access to medical cannabis; and

WHEREAS, basic compassion and common sense demand that we allow seriously ill patients to use whatever medication their doctor has prescribed to provide safe and effective relief; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges the California Democratic Party to acknowledge and reiterate support for our own state law, and on behalf of the millions of Californians who support Prop 215, and the patients who benefit from it, make every effort to support the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, and help end the Department of Justice’s futile, costly and obsolescent crusade against state marijuana laws; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges US Senator Barbara Boxer and US Senator Dianne Feinstein to support the amendment when the budget appropriations legislation comes before the Senate.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on June 10, 2014  
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SCDP Resolution in Support of USPS Non-Bank Financial Services

WHEREAS, Wall Street-backed predatory payday lenders and related money-card scams are financially devastating millions of low-income working families and retirees, taking from them an average of a full month's hard earned, desperately needed wages each year to pay exorbitant fees and usurious interest; and

WHEREAS, banks and other financial institutions have been abandoning low-income neighborhoods, thereby creating "bank deserts", while failing to offer low-cost financial products that fit the needs of low-income people; and

WHEREAS, the Inspector General of the US Postal Service (USPS) has proposed a plan to stabilize USPS finances by providing the first-ever consistent nationwide alternative to payday lenders at America's 30,000+ post offices and online and, similarly, provide other low-cost basic financial services to empower low-income people who are disproportionately women, minorities, veterans, immigrants, retirees and/or disabled; now, therefore,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party hereby joins Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other bold leaders, and urges Federal, State and Local Elected Officials and the California Democratic Party to join in support of the Inspector General's proposal that will return over $1 Trillion in excessive fees and interest to low-income people and communities over the next decade while preventing otherwise necessary postal rate hikes, layoffs, service cuts and post office closures as well as potential privatization; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Sonoma County Democratic Party warns against, and urges Federal, State and Local Elected Officials and the California Democratic Party to oppose potential "backdoor privatization" by rejecting partnerships between the USPS and Wall Street banks and related businesses, and rather urges and supports collaboration between the USPS and independent community banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions to benefit low-income people, independent community institutions, and the USPS itself, respectively.     

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on June 10, 2014  
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SCDP Resolution Opposing the Proposed Rohnert Park Wal-Mart Supercenter

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart has resubmitted an Environmental Impact Report to expand its current store in Rohnert Park by 35,256 square feet (totaling 166,788 square feet) to become a supercenter, which sells both nontaxable groceries and general merchandise, and the impact upon small locally-owned independent businesses, local grocers and unionized national grocery stores that pay decent wages and benefits has been shown to be such that for every supercenter that opens in a county, two local grocery stores will go out of business; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart has not only encouraged the off-shoring of manufacturing by relentlessly forcing suppliers to lower costs, and particularly labor costs, by moving production to low-wage, underdeveloped countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Mexico, but is also one of the worst anti-union employers in America with the result that not one Wal-Mart store has been unionized, and those Wal-Mart workers who attempt to organize experience unlawful surveillance and interrogation and are routinely harassed, threatened, and fired; and   

WHEREAS, it is estimated that Wal-Mart will employ approximately 300 workers at the supercenter paying an average wage of $8.81 an hour, less than half of a living, or self- sufficiency, wage for Sonoma County of $20.51 an hour, and less than 50 percent of those employees will receive health care benefits, and that Wal-Mart employee compensation policies place such a substantial burden on the public sector by their workers having to seek government assistance such as Food Stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, Medicaid and other state-subsidized health care services in order to make ends meet, that a supercenter with 300 employees will cost the taxpayers nearly $1 million annually.   

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party strongly opposes the proposed expansion of the Rohnert Park Wal-Mart to become a supercenter, and Wal-Martʼs assault on the public sector, local business, labor rights and labor standards; and   BE IT 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party send a copy of this resolution to all members of the Rohnert Park Planning Commission and City Council, and to all members of the California State Legislature representing Sonoma County urging them to take appropriate action to safeguard our local workforce and economy, and deny the proposed expansion.     

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on March 11, 2014
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