People's Democratic Club
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When:   7pm Monday, August 18
 Louden Nelson Community Center

The People's Democratic Club will offer Santa Cruz residents their first opportunity to hear the seven candidates for Santa Cruz City Council:  Bruce Van Allen, Craig Bush, Leonie Sherman, Richelle Noroyan, Steven Pleich, Michael Pruger, Cynthia Chase and David Terrazas.

Nora Hochman will facilitate the discussion.  Questions will come from each co-sponsor before the discussion is opened to the audience for questions submitted on 3x5 cards.  

The PDC will endorse up to three candidates at this meeting.  To be eligible to vote, a PDC member must have paid dues for 2014-15.  Anyone who has been a member for the past two years may bring their membership up to date by paying…

Draft Proposal for Campaign Finance Reform in the City of Santa Cruz

Prepared by Micah Posner on 5/20/2012.   Do not copy

 Goal: To allow the city to better serve its primary purpose as a democratic, public institution by:

  •  Insuring that the pool of City Council Candidates is not limited to those with fund raising experience and/or access to money.
  • Significantly increasing the quality of the debate during elections by allowing candidates to focus more on issues and conversations with constituents and less on fundraising.
  • Saving between $60,000 and $200,000 annually in money that would have been spent by the community in donations to campaign funds (depending on what would have been spent on those campaigns).
  • Preventing the potential for corruption, or …

By Allison Guevara

Santa Cruz Sentinel: 10/05/2013

With more than 100 women in attendance, the Breaking the Glass Ballot event on Sept. 28 showed there is no shortage of talented and caring women who want to serve our community. The scene, however, clashed with what we see in the California Legislature and on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, which are 26 percent and 0 percent female respectively. Clearly, the political gender gap is not due to a lack of interest or motivation in women, but reflects structural barriers we must remove.

Besides the obvious fact that women are half the population and deserve an equal voice, Mary Hughes, founder of Closing the Gap California, described how having more women in leadership roles benefits society as a whole. Female…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive new international trade pact being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations. The TPP is already being negotiated between the United States and other Pacific Rim countries.  

Here are examples of what corporations want from the TPP:

  • Cheaper Labor Costs.  The TPP would grant corporations easier access to labor markets in countries such as Vietnam, where the average minimum wage is just a third of what it is in China.  
  • Special Powers to Attack Environmental Laws.  TPP would enable corporations to challenge virtually any new law, regulation or even court decision that adversely affects their expected or potential profits as an "indirect expropriation" through international tribunals that


This morning 20 picketers were arrested at UCSC - for story: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_25476456/twenty-arrested-at-ucsc-during-teaching-assistant-strike?source=rss 

 Join UCSC Graduates on the picket line!

The statewide union for Graduate Student Workers, UAW Local 2865, has voted for a two-day strike to call for an end to UC intimidation of members and refusal to bargain over class size.

On day one of the strike, UCSC and several other UC campuses will be striking over unfair labor practices that particularly impact their members. On day two of the strike, members will join together from all campuses, calling for a statewide strike to protest numerous Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs).

UCSC will strike for 2 days - April 2-3.

Pickets are pla…

Meeting was opened at 6:45 by V.P. Ron Pomerantz with a quorum present.     

                            Agenda Items

  1. Nominations by the Nominating Committee for 2014-2015 club officers as presented by Paul Elerick:
President - Nancy Abbey                                                                
Vice President - Tom Batley         &n…

The steering committee of coalition partners on which I represent WILPF and PDC is working to finalize its response to the council's motion on the Water Supply Advisory Committee of Tuesday, November 26.

The steering committee, therefore encourages all coalition partners to discuss and recommend how they want to proceed in relation to the City's water options process adopted at the November 26 City Council meeting. Unfortunately, we have not received the final motion from that Council meeting.

We have identified some factors that need further serious discussion:

  • While Desal Alternatives and coalition partners will encourage interested members to apply for appointment to the new water supply advisory committee, we will withhold our judgement about participating until we see wh…

special to the Sentinel, POSTED:   12/28/2013 03:37:57 PM PST

In Bronnie Ware's "Top Five Regrets of the Dying," dying patients lament not being present with their children and loved ones when it mattered. Heeding these insights in the New Year, many of us will resolve to spend more time with our families. Yet, for many in the United States, this will take more than personal resolve.

Countless people in the country work hard every day, but are one accident, diagnosis or new child away from financial hardship or devastation because they have no paid family and medical leave.

As a Californian, I am proud and grateful to say it is different here. I was able to take several months off work when both my children were born thanks to State Disability Insurance and C…

Something very interesting happened at the Democratic Central Committee's forum for the three Democratic candidates for Secretary of State Wednesday night.

Alex Padilla said he didn't support public financing of elections "because there are so many other important things to spend the money on".  A Secretary of State who doesn't think public financing is important!?!?  And sees it as a waste of money!!!!  

Full disclosure:
I am a big supporter of getting corporate and billionaire money out of politics and have been very involved in the issue - public financing of elections is our best bet to get democracy in the hands of citizens and not private money.

So I'm shocked.  Anyone else agree that it's to say the least disappointing when a candidate from the Demo…

Sisters and Brothers, Friends: 

Last night the members of Local 39 ratified a deal with Dignity Corporation that will soon have them back to work serving patients and other hospital staff.  The deal includes the complete defense of the guaranteed 40 hour workweek, an issue totally central to the workers bargaining struggle and one that is important to our community at large.  We believe there are other wage issues involved in the settlement but do not have those details now. 

Thank you all for being on the picket line.  For those of you who came to the line at a moment's notice last night, a special thank you for responding to my call and that of the union.

Regardless of the lack of press coverage about this important strike (two and a half…

WHEREAS, the members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 have been on strike at Dignity Health's St. Francis, St. Mary's, Sequoia and Dominican facilities to protest substandard wages and benefits since October 1, 2013; and

WHEREAS, Dignity Health has shown poor faith in this dispute, attempting to curtail Local 39's picketing, filing a Complaint in the San Mateo County Superior Court and charges with the National Labor Relations Board, attempting to remove Chief Engineers of Local 39 from the bargaining unit, and other anti-worker actions; and

WHERAS, Dignity's continued intransigence on this labor dispute is putting their patients' health at risk, as many patients and other professionals will not cross the picket line;


Resolution 13-07.11

WHEREAS, the trade agreement known as Trans Pacific Partnership is being negotiated in secret, and opponents in the labor and environmental communities argue that it would give new enforceable monopolistic rights and privileges to multi-national corporations, and establish limits on sovereign governments' ability to regulate corporations' actions, including but not limited to the areas of intellectual and copyright provisions, prices, labor practices, environmental impacts, disclosure requirements, and safety issues and

WHEREAS, according to public documents from the US Trade Representative, this agreement would allow multi-national corporations to sue governments through international tribunals, staffed by private sector attorneys, which could force governments to pay comp…

If you're uninsured, Covered California will provide access to affordable healthcare for you!

Covered California's mission is to improve health care in our state by increasing the number of Californians with health insurance, improving the quality of health care for all  of us, reducing health care costs and ensuring that California's diverse population has fair and equal access to quality health care.

Beginning in October 2013, legal residents of California will be able to get health coverage through a new, easy-to-use marketplace call Covered California. (www.coveredca.com)  It will offer health insurance plans, , which cannot be canceled or denied, at an affordable price.  Californians can shop for the plans online, see if they are elegible for Medi-Cal, or …

An enthusiastic gathering of 200 women met Saturday, September 28 to address the dearth of women in political office in United States.  While women make up 51% of the voting population in our country, only 18% of Congress and 25% of California legislators are women. While we fare better in the make-up of city councils in Santa Cruz County, none of our five County Supervisors are women.

A panel of women office holders gave the following advice to other women wanting to enter a race for public office.

  • Talk about running for office early - don't wait until you decide.
  • Campaign hard: campaign to win!
  • Attend meetings for the council, commission, board you aspire to; learn about the broad range of issues they deal with; be a generalist, not single issue person.
  • Seats …

Strike averted with contract settlement at UC (0)

The University of California system and the union that represents 8,300 custodians, food workers, gardeners and other campus service workers have reached a tentative contract agreement, averting what was threatened to be a disruptive five-day strike next week, officials announced Thursday.

More information for UCSC: Becky Gilpas (831) 707-7183 or rgilpas@afscme3299.org        

The following is out of date, but explains why they had planned to strike.

The 13,000 Patient Care Technical Workers represented by AFSCME 3299 have announced that they will strike in sympathy with service workers.

Both units voted 96% in support of a strike during a three day vote last wee…

Friends - At our next meeting on Thursday, March 20, the PDC will vote on a proposal by Micah Posner that we declare now that we will not endorse any candidate for city council who will not agree to the voluntary campaign expenditure now in place - (see below).


We will also affirm our active support for the concept of establishing limited public financing for the Santa Cruz City Council elections - a concept we endorsed and made a priority for action at the PDC retreat last summer.


Micah's proposal for public financing of elections can be found at https://civinomics.com/initiative/4PmW/campaign-finance-reform/show


Micah will join us to make the proposal.  Come prepared to debate and vote on this issue.  Here is Micah's request for support:


Next Meeting:  7:00 pm Thursday, March 20

Guest: Watsonville Mayor Karina Cervantez

1.      Mayor Cervantez talked about the Watsonville City Council issues and the next election.

2.      She also affirmed the importance of a close association between the PVCCDC and PDC and thanked our liaisons for attending the PVCCDC meetings.

3.      When asked about her priorities and what PDC could do to support her, she said that immigration issues were her primary concern and she suggested we lobby for city and county  policy to not impound the vehicles of non-documented drivers cited for driving without a license, but to allow them to have someone with a California driver's license to pick up the car.


Summary of January 8 Meeting

 1. We are supporting, encouraging, and meeting with potential women candidates as a skillful group of women who want to see more women get into office locally. We are preparing a skills list and will be connecting people who want to meet informally to get advice, bounce ideas, or get nuts and bolts help preparing to run and eventually running. 

2. A healthy number of women in the room are planning on running for office! We want to meet with you a.s.a.p to talk about next steps or put you in touch with people who can help. (see minutes for list of candidates or "strongly considering"). 

3. We are staying with our original name out of consistency and branding (Glass Ballot Group for short). 

4. We may not be endorsing thi…

For those of you who missed the Chili Dinner Fundraiser, here's a rundown on what took place at PDC's Dinner Party/Fundraiser. It was, attended  by about 80 enthusiastic progressive people, at the home of Nancy Elliot and Paul Johnston.

Thanks to the work of many PDC members before and during the event, the event raised $2500.  It will be money well spent on our 2014 camapign efforts: phonebanking, voter outreach and education, campaign technology.

PDC President Nancy Abbey got the evening program going by introducing MC John Laird, a former PDC president and currently California's Secretary for Natural Resources.  John introduced special guests County Supervisor John Leopold and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Micah Posner, and other elected officials and candidat…

Jane Weed on Women in Politicsthoughts offered at Breaking the Glass Ballot

 Question:  How can we break through and get to gender parity on committees? as electeds? as appointees?

Having attended the fifty-seventh session of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women , I have to say that the courage, determination and resiliency of women globally is inspiring.

·         For some it is because they have been denied equity and respect for so long it is a revolutionary action to demand to be a part of civic life.

·         For others it is about safety and will not to have their daughters live through their hell.

·         For others it is …

Action Item

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is potentially the biggest so-called "free trade" agreement in the world. And you've probably never heard about it!!!

TPP negotiations are being held in secret. Right now. Behind closed doors. Even the U.S. Congress, which is granted sole authority under the Constitution to debate and approve trade deals, has been cut out. But big business has a giant seat at the negotiating table."   James Hoffa - Huffington Post - July 18, 2013.

Check out the following websites for more information and then let Feinstein, Boxer,  Farr and  Eshoo to ask them not to let this get fast-tracked through Congress.



by Steve Schnaar   11.26.13

The Santa Cruz Public Safety Task Force has completed their work and is presenting their recommendations to City Council on Tues, 12/3 7pm. The recommendations include some positive, proven ideas like funding drug treatment and after-school youth programs. However the report also recommends ideas which are not evidence-based, such as misdemeanor charges for multiple infractions, restricting the needle exchange program, and increasing the size of the police force based on sloppy statistics. Come to City Hall on 12/3 to let the Council know this report does not represent a community consensus.

The Santa Cruz City Council created the Public Safety Task Force in response to a public perception of rising violent crime, including the shocking murde…

Thirty PDC members attended the retreat on Sunday July 21.  Lots of food, conversation, camaraderie,  thoughtful discussion, and some very hard work.

After a very intense 3 hour process analyzing our weaknesses, identifying criteria for prioritizing our work, and considering a dozen proposals for action, the participants set the following priorities for the PDC agenda in the coming year.

Please consider  where you will commit your time and energy as a PDC member.

Committees were formed around four top priorities and co-chairs recruited.  The committees will develop plans for the action, organize participation in the action, and monitor the progress and outcomes.  Committee chairs will actively seek to expand their committee from among PDC members and commun…

        Twenty two in attendance (18 members in good standing)
Next Meeting: 7:00pm  Thursday February 20, Democratic Headquarters, 740 Front Street, Santa Cruz

Treasurer's Report: $750 in our account including donations to sponsor fundraiser.


Bylaw revisions: the bylaws as edited and revised by Mathilde Rand and Sandra Nichols and reviewed by the Executive Committee were approved by the members present. 

Campaign Technology: Paul Johnston demonstrated the "walk list generator"  - new technology PDC will use that can pinpoint registered voters in any given area and generate a list that will identify party affiliation with the capacity to provide other characteristics such as gender, age, last voting, etc.

We will use the walk list g…

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