People's Democratic Club
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August 18 - General Meeting
        Report from the Democratic Convention
        Shawn Orge-Olson (Bernie Sanders delegate)
         6:30 at the Democratic Headquarters 740 Front Street, Santa Cruz
                 (Behind Riverfront Theater - Galleria ground floor)

August 29 - Santa Cruz City Council Candidate Forum
        6:30 at Louden Nelson Community Center
        301 Center Street, Santa Cruz

September 12 - School Boards, Water Boards
        6:30 at Louden Nelson Community Center
        301 Center …

Meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m.

New slate of PDC Officers were voted in with one no vote:

Gail Jack - President

ra Hochman - Vice President
Nancy Abbey - Treasurer
Paul Elerick - Recording Secretary
Brian Murtha -  Corresponding Secretary

Presentation of Proposals for PDC action 2016-17

Two on-going PDC Initiatives:
[For more information scroll down]

1.   Committee on State Ballot Measures: Nancy Abbey discussed the continuing work of  this committee to track State measures which will be on the 2016 ballot, report recommendations to PDC on those measures mostly worthy of PDC support, schedule tabling to educate voters on these measures.

2.   Affordable Housing Task Force:  Gail Jack outlined the continued participation of herself and Nancy on the…


Santa Cruz City Council Candidate Forum

   6:30 pm  Monday August 29
   Louden Nelson Community Center
      301 Center Street, Santa Cruz

School Board and Water Board Candidate Forum
   6:30 pm  Monday September 12

   Louden Nelson Community Center

      301 Center Street, Santa Cruz

Non-partisan forum, hosted by the PDC - Moderator, Nora Hochman
ACLU, Affordable Housing Now, 350.org, NAACP, Economic Justice Alliance, and the GLBT Alliance.   Questions will be submitted by sponsoring organizations with questions from the audience as time is available.

PDC members in good standing will cast their endorsement votes.

By Daniel Wirls, Special to the Sentinel 6/17/16

The Moses in politics offers a vision of salvation, a p…

By Gary Patton, Special to the Sentinel-Posted: 07/02/16

Bernie Sanders has been getting a lot of advice, lately. Advice like, "why don't you admit you lost; sit down; get out of here; shut up."

Stephen Kessler, a regular contributor to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, pretty much says all that in his "Open letter to Bernie Sanders" published last Saturday, accusing Sanders of being "deluded" and "caught in the bubble of (his) fans' adulation." Kessler paints Sanders as an "intransigent nag and a sore loser."

As an alternate delegate pledged to Bernie Sanders, who plans to be at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, I would like to offer a different view.

"Hard" delegate votes are the votes of delegates who are obligated to vote for a candidate. Neither Senator Sanders nor…

In 1988, when Bernie Sanders was first running for the U.S. House, he made a cassette recording. One side was a revealing explanation of what socialism means to him.

It starts with a vision for a much better world?

"You really can almost take it seriously that you live in a world where it is considered normal that people go around killing each other. You turn on the television, there they are shooting each other. . . you have people who are living out on the streets or in some places on this planet starving to death, while at the same time you have other people who have billions and billions of dollars. More wealth that they're going to be able to use in a million lifetimes."

 "The basic insanity of that, the immorality of that to me is so abhorrent…

David Brooks   New York Times - July 8, 2016

Western society is built on the assumption that people are fundamentally selfish. Machiavelli and Hobbes gave us influential philosophies built on human selfishness. Sigmund Freud gave us a psychology of selfishness. Children, he wrote, "are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them."

Classical economics adopts a model that says people are primarily driven by material self-interest. Political science assumes that people are driven to maximize their power.

But this worldview is clearly wrong. In real life, the push of selfishness is matched by the pull of empathy and altruism. This is not Hallmark card sentimentalism but scientific fact: As babies our neural connections are built …

Stephen Zunes - The Progressive - Posted: June 14, 2016

In their remarks to the nation following the Orlando massacre, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made their differences- and disturbing similarities- crystal clear.

Trump attacked1 Hillary Clinton for refusing to label the violence carried out by a mentally-disturbed American-born gunmen of Muslim background as a manifestation of "radical Islam." He reiterated his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to subject American Muslims to special surveillance and restrictions.

To her credit, Hillary Clinton2 rejected such bigotry. However, she called for returning to the "spirit of 9/12," ignoring how that reaction to 9/11 resulted in a major crackdown on civil liberties and preparation for war. She stated:


Question                                                   Answer


Is the initiative an extension of Proposition 30?


Yes. This initiative temporarily extends the income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians created under Prop 30.

Revenues from the extension will increase funding for public schools and colleges, increase revenues in the Rainy Day Fund, while at the same time freeing up dollars in the general fund and, if certain criteria are met, increasing funding towards health ca…

Sacramento, CA - Senator Ben Allen (D - Santa Monica) and Senator Mark Leno (D - San Francisco) announced today their authorship of legislation to place an advisory measure on the November 2016 ballot urging the United States Congress to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

Allen and Leno's legislation, SB 254, is the latest step in a multi-year legislative and legal battle.  In 2014, the legislature approved SB 1272 (Lieu), which placed an advisory measure on the November 2014 statewide ballot asking whether Congress should propose an amendment to the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision.  The Court's ruling rolled back the previous ban on corporate spending in federal elections, opening …

AB 700 (Gomez, Levine), the California DISCLOSE Act, will dramatically improve disclosure on ballot measure ads and ads about candidates about who has paid for the ad. Knowing who the true source of funds for ads will prevent voters from being deceived about who is truly paying for it, help voters better evaluate the credibility and content of ads, and promote greater confidence in the electoral process.

Ads paid for by candidate committees and political parties do not have to comply with the new rules.

1. Requires Clear and Prominent Disclosure of Top Contributors to Political Ads

AB 700 requires that state and local ballot measure ads and independent expenditure ads about candidates to clearly and prominently list their top three true contributors of $50,000 or more (on…

Last fall, Gov. Brown signed into law major changes to California's initiative process.  The following changes are cited in an article on KQED blog by John Myers.
  1. a new month long public review of initiatives in which backers can make changes;
  2. a process for legislators and initiative proponents to craft a compromise in the state Capitol and avoid an election altogether;and
  3. a new, continually updated online list of top initiative donors.

Read the full article at: http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2014/09/27/big-changes-to-california-initiative-process-signed-by-jerry-brown/

Goal:  To have maximum impact on the initiatives reaching the 2016 ballot.

Description of Project:  a PDC committee would be formed to:  1. start tracking initiatives that have been approved for signature collection, 2. make recommendations to the membership about which of initiatives we should focus on, and 3. collect  signatures for and educate voters about those supported by the PDC membership, and educate re those we oppose.

Rationale/Impact:  There are 17 qualified ballot measures at this point and the legislature may add more before the final deadline. 

Work entailed/status: 

Form committee of 3-5 people (including reps from other Dem clubs and like-minded organizations) that meets regularly in person or by email to track the initiati…

Goal of project:  Affordable Housing Now! (AHN!)  advocates for solutions to the housing crisis in Santa Cruz County by attending City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings in support of new affordable housing developments, new zoning configurations, and changing city and county regulations to help support the availability of affordable housing for very-low,  low, and middle-income residents of the County.

How would this PDC partnership be accomplished?

The PDC will continue to be represented on the AHN! Task Force by Gail and Nancy.

This is a growing collaborative effort:

PDC, Crosson North County Dems, COPA, CRLA, Habitat for Humanity, the County Housing Coalition have been working together with individuals Bruce Van Allen and Tom Burns.  AHN! has successful…

Task:  Enlist 15  organizations involved in Progressive activities to donate $10 - $15 monthly to the Community Activist Calendar to pay for production and maintenance.

Goal:   A decisive majority of progressive community groups will use the calendar - thus encouraging all involved organizations to do so.   


  1. Form and maintain a current calendar of activist meetings and events, both recurring and one-time.
  2. Stop stepping on each other's toes!!! Have easily accessed, current  information with which to set meetings and public events that won't conflict with others.
  3. Publicize all of our organizations' activities.  (Possibly  sending out a once-a-week listing or chart of events with links to more info?
  4. Make it easy for the public to a…
Goal of project:  To design and implement a Rent Stabilization Program for the tenants in the City of Santa Cruz.

How would this PDC partnership be accomplished?

The PDC will establish a working group to include, but not be limited to, PDC members, to formulate a rent stabilization program.  Recruitment will reach out to other tenants' advocates to join the working group.

What Impact could be expected?
Some form of rent stabilization agreed on by diverse members of the Santa Cruz community and implemented by the City Council would establish a limit on the escalation of some rents.  It would help to alleviate the lack of affordable rental housing available to low and middle income families, affording more opportunities to current residents to continue to live in …



The meeting was called to order by our chair, Gail Jack, at 6:30 pm.

Our gathering commenced with a special observance presented by Stella Moreno, acting chair of the board of the Diversity Center Santa Cruz County, regarding the tragedy the previous Sunday morning in Orlando.  Ms Moreno spoke eloquently, visibly moving the attendees with her oration, including declaring that she doesn't have time for "a moment of silence", not in the face of the wave of hate against the LGBTQ community.  She described the broad spectrum of gay and straight folk in the Pulse…

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