CDP Rural Caucus Executive Board Meeting Report

CDP Rural CaucusJuly 20, 2018

Takeaways from E-Board

Dear Fellow Rural Caucus Members, I am still “unpacking” everything I saw and heard at the Executive Board Meeting in Oakland, but wanted to send you a quick report on our Caucus meeting.

The turnout was great! I was so impressed and appreciative. This was my first time chairing. Thank you for such a great showing.

Huge thanks go to Marge Joehnck , Carol Taylor, Jaimie Buetler, Mike Duncan, Lupe Arin-Law (and daughter Lucinda), Angela Torens and Renee Zeimer for a flawless, perfectly smooth election.

And, heartfelt congratulations go to Martha McClure, our newly elected North Coast Regional Chair.

I am very excited about the tremendous support we are gaining from the Party:

Chairman Eric Bauman formally announced the hiring of a community organizer for rural California – a very real investment in our efforts.

A highlight of the weekend was communications specialist Isaac Wright’s workshop on rural voter outreach and engagement. Isaac has offered to help us develop messaging specifically for rural California. His keys points include:

Rural voters count more than ever. We have over five million rural voters in California, representing 10% of the population.
Our core values – Social Security, building on the ACA and increasing Medicaid, expanding clean, alternative energy, preserving the environment, equality and opportunity – will resonate in our rural communities when we communicate locally and authentically. (Isaac’s presentation deck is here attached.)

The Voter Services Committee has formed a Rural Outreach Subcommittee. Our contact is Justin Meyers.

The CDP is making Voter Circle, a friend to friend voter outreach app, available at no charge for rural counties. Amy Champ is meeting with them in Sacramento this week. Details to follow on how to sign up. In the meantime, here is the link to their website

We were honored to have civil rights icon Dolores Huerta speak to us. I was particularly struck by her call to action to rally support in the Legislature for SB 623, Senator Bill Monning’s measure to provide all Californians with clean and safe drinking water. The bill is facing an uphill battle and will need our support when the Legislature reconvenes August 6.

Shockingly and intolerably, one million Californians, mainly in rural and disadvantaged areas, do not have access to reliable, safe, clean drinking water. Clean drinking water has been deemed a human right and is mandated by state law.

In that vein, as Mike Smith reported, the Water Policy Discussion Group has formed an offshoot, working group to monitor that state monies already available are actually getting to rural and disadvantaged communities.

Also on the topic of water, much as our Water Policy Discussion Group arrived at no consensus, so too the E-Board voted “no position” on Proposition 3 (aka the Water Bond).

Regarding the internet – a key issue for our rural communities, the call went out to keep up the pressure on Net Neutrality. Push your legislators. And, if you can, please attend and voice our concerns at the California Public Utility Commission workshop on its funding program to extend rural broadband September 25 in Sacramento. Here is the agenda for that meeting and a link to watch the livestream.

A thousand apologies to Helene Rouvier, who started to give her presentation on the excellent work being done by the Cannabis Committee, but was cut short by time constraints. Please read her flyer, by clicking here, which lays out the significance of this issue to rural communities and small farmers, how you can get better informed and involved, starting with answering the survey to identify the specific concerns in your county.

Lastly, we passed an amended version of our Bylaws, which will be posted on our Rural Caucus website and the CADEM website. The Bylaws are still a “work in progress” as more amendments will be needed to comply with the requirements of the CDP Rules Committee for our Caucus re-certification. I will get those revisions to you as soon as I get them, certainly in plenty of time before our next meeting in Long Beach in November.

I am very proud of the work we are doing on so many important topics. Please know how much I appreciate you and all that you do.

With all my very best, Joy