Thursday, January 19, 2017

Local Democrats attend 5th ADEM, three candidates selected as Assembly District Delegates

On a recent rainy and blustery Sunday, local members of the California Democratic Party braved the adverse weather to attend the 5th Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) at the Civic Center in Jackson. The event was sponsored by the California Democratic Party.

The ADEM committee, was led by Elizabeth McCulloch, the official convener and included Tim Knox, Sally Trestrail, Lynne Standard-Nightengale, Steve Christensen and other members of Amador County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC), who did a great job coordinating and hosting the event. A simultaneous meeting was held in Oakhurst for the southern residents of District 5. Through teleconferencing, District 5 candidates in both locations were given one minute to introduce themselves and to share their vision for the future of the California Democratic Party. Registration and voting began at the conclusion of the mini-speeches.

Locals Amy Champ, Jenna Beck and Scott Williams were among the winners, all of which are Progressive Grassroots Democrats following the call to step up and enter into local politics.
Amy Champ
Amy Champ has a PhD in Feminism and Performance Studies, and a Masters in US Government. She worked as a policy adviser to Bernie Sanders and assisted with debate strategy. Amy lives in Plymouth and is an active member of the ACDCC.
Jenna Beck

 Jenna Beck is seeking a degree in Psychology, and resides in Camanche. She is dedicated to public service, loves people and believes in their inherent goodness. Her long term goal is to represent the citizens of California as a Congress Woman.
Scott Williams
Scott Williams resides in Ione. After serving in the US Air Force, Scott continued his education at UC Berkely and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources. He served in both Calaveras and San Joaquin counties for 30 years as a teacher.

The Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) is held every two years to elect 7 women and 7 men to be Assembly District Delegates (ADDs) for their area. ADDs are responsible for planning and attending informational meetings throughout the region and working with other delegates to represent their community. They are also elected by voters in their district to vote on behalf of the community they represent at Regional Meetings, and the California Democratic Convention.

To learn more about ADEM and the election outcome, visit the website at;

DNC searches for new leadership, tele-town hall scheduled for January 29

Many California DNC members, including CDP Vice-Chair Alex Rooker, Steve Alari, Jess Durfee, Mary Ellen Early, Alice Germond, Aleita Huguenin, Andrew Lachman, Christine Pelosi, Greg Pettis, Melahat Rafiei, Susie Shannon, Garry S. Shay, Keith Umemoto and I, attended the DNC Future Forum in Phoenix this weekend.  (I hope I didn't miss anyone, but probably did.) California DNC members were among those who took a lead in asking questions. 

I am pleased to report that the candidates for Chair, Civic Engagement Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Finance Chair, all recognize that this is an all-hands-on-deck moment and are interested in leading a united Democratic Party against the Trumpublican menace. None of these candidates seems intent on relitigating the primary (contrary to press reports/wishes), and all are interested in a thoughtful revisiting of how the DNC operates, how it performs its tasks, and how it interacts with state parties. 

While one-on-one and small group conversations were the most informative, the fora were also full of useful information.  If you couldn't view it live, here is a link so you can see for yourself:

The search for new leadership as our Party fights Trump, the Trumpublican Congress and tries to regain its footing at the state and local level will continue with a tele-town hall sponsored by your California DNC delegation.  It's scheduled for January 29, 2017, at 7 p.m.  The tele-town hall will be supplemented by in person meetings in several locations throughout the state. More details will be forthcoming, but put a placeholder in your calendar and plan to give us your feedback.

I know Friday will be difficult for most of us and I hope that as many of you as possible are planning to participate in a march or protest later this week. We need to establish from day 1 that we will not stand for Trump's bigotry, fact-free policy pronouncements or divisiveness. 

Have a great week and I will get back to you with more details as they develop.

Democratically yours,

Laurence Zakson
Member, Democratic National Committee (CA)


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Celebrating Ruth Gottstein’s Retirement - Sat Feb 4

Celebrating Ruth Gottstein’s Retirement
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Armory Hall in Volcano
3 to 5 pm

Appetizers will be served and a no-host bar will be available.
She has published a remarkable number of books...first at Glide Publications in San Francisco and later, Volcano Press.
Life-saving books on women's health, domestic violence, child abuse and others.
No one ever thought it would happen, but Ruth has decided to retire
after 35+ years in the publishing business
(although we all know she'll stays busier than most of us).

Come help us pay tribute to the life, legacy, joie de vivre, the "chutzpah"
Say "hi" and give a hug to Ruth as we enjoy a few stories about "The Matriarch of Volcano".
There may even be a few songs sung, who knows!
Visit the Event Page on FB page to let us know you are attending. Thanks!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Amador Republicans Committee Meeting - Thurs Jan 19

What an exciting time to see our candidate win!  Donald Trump is already changing things in Washington and he isn't even inaugurated yet.
  But now is the time to keep the momentum forward, to make America Great Again. And what better way than to unite with other Republicans to show our support and encouragement for Donald to make the changes that we have been hoping for and turning back the clock on the Obama regime.
   We will be having our regular monthly meeting on Thursday, January 19th at 6:30PM.
This will be re-organization meeting to induct new members and elect officers.
   We need additional members and their enthusiasm to fill our quota.  Please consider becoming a member.  It is a commitment of one night a month for ten months and serving on a committee to help keep the Republican values alive in Amador County.

Hope to see you here on Jan 19th at 6:30 PM.

12275 Martell Road, Jackson

Tel: 209-257-3405

Friday, January 13, 2017

Amador County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC) Meeting Update

January 13, 2017 - At a recent meeting of the ACDCC, Amador County Democratic Central Committee, new members were sworn in and officers were established. Lynne Standard-Nightengale will serve as Chair, Tim Knox as Vice-Chair, Judy Jebian as Secretary, and Elizabeth McCulloch will continue as Treasurer.  Lynne began the meeting by thanking Caryl Callson for her distinguished and dedicated service as Chair for over six years.
As the meeting progressed, representatives were established for each of the five districts in Amador County. Each district has a number of representatives dependent upon previous voter turnout.  New members included Dr. Amy Champ and Doug Hardy. Amy will serve on the Voter Education and Outreach Committee and the Rules and Policy Bylaws Committee. Doug will work with Debbie Dunn, District 4 representative, on the Communications Committee, and join Amy and others on the Rules and Policy Bylaws Committee.
Meetings are public and open to all, and are normally held the first Monday of each month at 7:00pm at our permanent headquarters in Jackson. Members perform most of their work in committees and subcommittees, which are also open to the public. The ACDCC works locally to support and endorse candidates, hold fundraisers, and are involved in party building activities such as voter registration and voter communications.  They also assist in the selection of members to represent the Democratic Party at the state level of party leadership, such as the California State Central Committee and Executive Board.
For more information please check our website: Amador, our Facebook page, or call 209 257-1397.

Sent by:
Doug Hardy

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

California Democrats invited to elect delegates to State Convention

SACRAMENTO – All California Democrats are invited to elect delegates to guide the California Democratic Party!  Whether you want change in the CDP or appreciate the way the CDP operates now, this is your opportunity to make your voice heard.
The California Democratic Party is convening Assembly District Meetings (ADEM) to select delegates in each of the state's 80 Assembly Districts on Saturday January 7 or Sunday January 8, 2017.
The Assembly District 5 election will be held on Sunday, January 8 starting at 12:30 at the Jackson Civic Center, 33 Broadway, Jackson CA 95642, and Oakhurst Branch Library (Community Room) 49044 Civic Circle Oakhurst, CA 93644.  Two simultaneous elections are scheduled due to weather considerations and to encourage participation in our very large district which includes Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Toulumne and portions of El Dorado and Placer Counties.
The Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) delegates are roughly one-third of the governing body of the California Democratic Party which is also known as the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC). The DSCC is made up of approximately 3,200 members. Together these delegates vote and conduct business at the yearly State Conventions, including the elections of CDP Officers, the election of up to 25 State Party Regional Directors, CA Democratic Party legislative endorsements, ballot propositions, CDP Resolutions and the California State Party Platform.
Each of the 80 Assembly Districts will elect 14 people (seven women and seven men) to be members of the Democratic State Central Committee Delegation for the 2017-2019 term. These 14 people will represent their Assembly District for both the 2017 and 2018 State Conventions.

While the filing period has closed to run as a delegate candidate, all AD5 Democrats are encouraged to participate by meeting and voting for their candidates of choice. The ADEM is conducted as a caucus so Democrats must vote in person; mail or proxy balloting is not allowed. The list of candidates, specific times and locations of all the election meetings was final on January 2.

This information will be posted at, or you may call the California Democratic Party headquarters at 916.503.7302, or email

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Amador Women’s Empowerment Forums Will Convene in 2017

Guest Column, by Bethany Renfree
(Permission to reproduce/post, courtesy of Rick Torgerson, Publisher, Upcountry News, January 2017, Vol 16. No 1.)

Bethany Renfree resides in Amador County, where she's raising her five children. In late 2016, she joined forces with a group of dedicated local women to create the Motherlode Women's and Girl's Policy Forum. Bethany worked as Policy Director at the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and is now a consultant on women's issues in the state senate.

Sometimes it seems like gender equality is solved. The path of empowerment is wide and many obstacles have been removed.
Women today are not denied admission to college or to a course of study simply for being the wrong sex. We have rights to our children in custody disputes and standing to protect ourselves and our property in court.
Our husbands are not permitted by law to rape us. Most of us can open bank accounts, access credit, and take on mortgages.
The risk of bleeding out on bathroom floors or back alleys is no longer the only choice we have. Our bodies are not forcibly or unknowingly sterilized by medical professionals.
When we dare to be defiant or disruptive, we are not diagnosed as hysterical and locked away in mental institutions. As professionals we can advance in our workplaces, protected from "handsy" superiors or threats of termination if sexual "favors" are not given.
My daughters and I walk in the light forged by those who blazed a less open path before us…women like Ruth Gottstein, the writer of this column, who dedicated decades to uplifting the voices of victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and empowered countless women writers and readers through her publishing company.
In today's society, women's choices, options, and protections are illuminated. However, sometimes light has a way of obscuring the harmful forces constricting our choices and threatening to undermine the ground we've covered. Entrenched gender bias is all around us, but we often fail to see it for what it is.
A young woman in her first semester of college may not recognize the systemic nature of sexual violence when she wakes up to the realization that a "friend" had sex with her during a blackout. And yet our inner lives are brutalized by the shame that rape culture cultivates.
An adolescent girl who is harassed at school, or whose intimate thoughts, acts, or fashion choices are ridiculed on social media, may blame herself for the cruelty of others. Our self worth is stripped down by the exploitation of our bodies.
A talented high school athlete, who gives every ounce of her skill and energy to winning championship titles for her school, plays in the shadow of the football team-inheriting torn up fields and watching as rallies and parades are held to honor the boys–accolades her team never received for their hard-fought victories.
Our value is overlooked each and every day, and yet we are told to quit whining. Our voices are still rarely taken seriously.
In 2017, The Motherlode Women's and Girl's Policy Forum will convene a series of forums aimed at amplifying the voices of women and girls in our community, and encouraging a meaningful response at the local level.
The forums will focus on gender equity in our schools, women's health, economic empowerment, women veterans–and women in leadership.

Every journey begins where we are. Before we set out to make change, we need to understand the lived experiences, strengths and struggles of the women and girls in our beautiful communities. We hope you will join us on this journey forward.