Making Democracy Work

Local Positions in Brief

What we advocate for in Sonoma County

Budget Process: Sonoma County and Its Cities

We support informed citizen participation in the budget process of Sonoma County and its cities including:

  • Preliminary public discussion by decision makers of goals, policies, and priorities.
  • Periodic public review of the effectiveness of programs as measured against their budgetary goals.
  • Public notice of deliberations on issues affecting the budget.
  • Availability of full information to the public.

Public Access Television Franchising in Sonoma County

We support public participation in the franchising process; the interconnection of cable systems in the county for emergency services, county governments, and education links; and public access channels with public participation in their management.

Open Government: Sonoma County and Its Cities

We support measures to promote an open government system that assures opportunities for citizen participation in government decision making. To this end we encourage:

  • Thorough orientation of officials to open meeting laws.
  • Full and informative agendas and readily available background information for meetings of government bodies.
  • Adequate facilities for public attendance.
  • Public access to meeting records on the most advanced medium possible.
  • The accessibility of elected officials outside of meeting times.

Santa Rosa General Plan

We support a General Plan for Santa Rosa which guides the future of the community in a manner which enhances the quality of life for its citizens socially, economically and environmentally. Among the measures we support are:

  • Consistent policies and ordinances to manage growth and development.
  • Preservation of open space, adequate greenbelts, and the acquisition of additional park land.
  • Improved coordination among city and County agencies and boards to implement the plan
  • Mixed housing types.
  • Rehabilitation, redevelopment and conservation in housing and neighborhoods.
  • Broadly based citizen involvement in the planning process.
  • Periodic review and updating of the General Plan

Sewage Treatment--Wastewater and Sludge

We support policies to ensure that public systems for the treatment and disposal of wastewater and sludge protect public health and the environment. Such systems should be financed equitably and should be designed to be easily modified, expanded, updated.

Sonoma County General Plan

We support the Sonoma County General Plan to guide the future of the county to enhance the quality of life for its citizens socially, economically, and environmentally. Among measures we support are:

  • Consistent policies and ordinances and sufficient staff to implement the Plan.
  • Adherence to the growth rate set forth in the General Plan first by infill of existing communities, and second by compact growth of existing communities. Any necessary new communities should be self-contained.
  • Rehabilitation, redevelopment, and conservation of housing and neighborhoods
  • Periodic review of the zoning ordinance, the building and housing codes, and the General Plan itself.
  • Mixed housing types with emphasis on meeting needs of low income groups.
  • Preservation of open space and greenbelts.
  • Preservation of the coastal area in a natural state with access for the public.
  • Development of adequate transportation facilities in Sonoma County.

Transportation

We regard provision of an integrated, efficient, multimodal, cost effective public transportation network as an important responsibility of local and regional government.

We believe that the true cost of transportation should be made known and that local tax money should be used to reduce traffic congestion without incurring indebtedness. A variety of funding methods are appropriate including general funds, sales tax revenues and private sources such developers' fees. The funds generated should be spent on the most cost effective traffic reduction projects. Among the measures we support are:

  • An adequate and convenient integrated public transportation network in Sonoma County.
  • Maintenance and improvement of fixed route service.
  • A county-wide and regional public transportation consortium.
  • Financing based in part on subsidies from local, state, and national sources.
  • Cost effective para-transit service.
  • Land use plans and decisions linked to transportation needs with support for Transportation System Management.

Financing Local Schools

We recognize the need for adequate and fair state funding for local schools. Until that goal is reached, we support increased local funding in Sonoma County's kindergarten through grade twelve schools.

We support local funding through a combination of bond, parcel tax, sales tax, and/or developer fees subject to review of individual proposals as they are developed.

Living Wage Ordinance

We support a Living Wage Ordinance designed to help as many covered employees as possible to earn wages at or above the poverty level of Sonoma County.

Juvenile Justice

We support local policies that ensure that youth receive fair, equitable and rehabilitative treatment within the Juvenile Justice System in Sonoma County. We advocate:
  • restorative justice practices and rehabilitate strategies
  • a fitness hearing for all juvenile offenders under the age of 18
  • referral of youth offenders to Juvenile Court when legally permissible
  • transparent and comprehensive data collection and reports
  • elimination of disproportionate minority confinement contact
  • download the executive summary of our juvenile justice study or read our full position.

Full Text of Positions