Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Recent Grants in Santa Rosa


Here are recent basic needs grants to Santa Rosa-based nonprofits from the Community Foundation Sonoma County:

Ag Innovations & Sonoma County Food System Alliance: to support the 2016 Sonoma County Food Forum
Alliance Medical Center: to support the “Discovering the Hidden Treasures in our Communities-How Community Centers Impact Everyone’s Quality of Life” event in Healdsburg.
American Cancer Society Inc.: to provide medically vulnerable Sonoma County cancer patients undergoing active treatment with free transportation to and from treatment appointments.
Art Escape: to support the Dia de los Muertos celebration at Art Escape
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the Family Support Center.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the basic needs of residents at The Palms.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the Family Resource Center.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the operations of the DeMeo House.
City of Santa Rosa Housing and Community Services: to support Sam Jones Hall.
Community Action Partnership: to support the Sloan House.
Community Action Partnership: to support “Rally for CAP” event as part of the Annual Day and Night Festival
Community Support Network: for general operating support
Episcopal Senior Communities Foundation: to provide emergency funding to low-income seniors.
FISH of the Santa Rosa Area Inc.: to support FISH’s food pantry.
Hispanics in Philanthropy: to support the HIPGiver Gala.
Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation: to support the “What Matters to YOU” coalition.
InterFaith Shelter Network: to support the Off the Streets project.
Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County: to provide free medical services to low-income patients.
John Muir Charter Schools: to provide Youth Connection Students the opportunity to purchase the supplies necessary to continue their studies with the Culinary Arts Certificate and Baking Certificate programs.
LandPaths: to support the In Our Own Back Yards program.
Latino Health Forum: to support the 24th annual Latino Health Forum
Latino Service Providers: to support the Fandango Fundraiser
Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy: for staff support to apply for inclusion on the Upstream Investments portfolio.
Living Room Center, Inc. : for general operating support.
Los Cien Sonoma County: to support the 2016 State of the Latino Community in Sonoma County event.
Los Cien Sonoma County: to support Los Cien’s operations.
On The Move: to support VOICES with funding for emergency food and transportation assistance.
Museums of Sonoma County: to support the Art4Kids education program, a hands-on art classroom instruction and museum experience for 5th and 6th graders in four Title I schools in Santa Rosa.
North Bay Organizing Project: to support the Latino Student Congress.
Northern California Center for Well Being: to support “Heroes for Health”, a run/walk event to celebrate the Center’s iDo26.2 program.
On the Move: to support the launch of an On The Verge cohort in Sonoma County.
On The Move: for general operating support for VOICES Sonoma
Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County: to support the 12th annual Winterblast held in the South of A District of Santa Rosa
Pepperwood Foundation: to support TeenNat, connecting youth to natural resource careers through participation in conservation research.
Pepperwood Foundation: to support the professional development of members of the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative.
Point Blue Conservation Science: to bring the expanded Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) multi-visit program to an underserved Sonoma County school.
Raizes Collective: to support the Guelaguetza festival at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.
Redwood Empire Food Bank: for general operating support.
Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation: to support the traveling exhibit ” Patient No More.”
Santa Rosa Symphony: to support Simply Strings, a five-year program providing free in-depth music training to underserved elementary students.
Serve A Little: to provide free auto repair to low-income single moms.
Sixth Street Playhouse: to support an innovative project challenging students in selected middle and high schools in Sonoma County to create an original theatre piece.
Social Advocates for Youth: for general operating support
Social Advocates for Youth: to support the “Girls Empowerment Movement”  conference
Sonoma County Economic Development Board Foundation: to support the “Discovered” project, recognizing exceptional individual artists in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County Economic Development Board Foundation: to engage in a county-wide assessment of arts education instruction in the public schools, K-12.
Sonoma County Office of Education: to support ” Equity at the Core” conference.
Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation: to support the Roseland Cup in Southwest Santa Rosa.
Sonoma Ecology Center: to support the K-6 Watershed Education Program and EnviroLeaders paid internship program for teens.
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods:  to support the Forest to the Sea programs for K-12 students in Sonoma County.
TLC Child & Family Services: for general operating support
Verity: to secure emergency shelter and other basic needs for victims of sexual violence and human trafficking.
Volunteer Center Of Sonoma County Inc. : to support 211 Sonoma County.
Women’s Recovery Services A Unique Place:  to provide food, safe housing, and diapers to mothers enrolled at Women’s Recovery Services.
Women’s Recovery Services: to support Women’s Recovery Services programs for homeless women and their children.

YWCA of Sonoma County: to provide food and essential program supplies for women and their children fleeing domestic violence.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

S.R. Council Agenda March 14th


Our thanks once again to Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council Agenda.

    Before the meeting, the Council will be in closed session to consider 3 legal matters, two of them requests from other jurisdictions to join in support in suits against the Trump Administration.  Interesting.

There are 2 Study Sessions before the 4PM meeting.  They start at 2pm..
3.1 Progressive Parking Strategies and Railroad Square Parking Management Plan.
3.2 Development of a Safe Medicine and Sharps Disposal Ordinance.
   The County Department of health will present its model Safe Medicine Disposal Ordinance that could be implemented throughout the county. 

10.2.1 Request for a Future Agenda Item.  On 3/7/17 Vice Mayor Tibbetts asked for an agenda item in which Council members will discuss having a 'Housing First' speaker present to the Council.
12.1 Resolution - Valet Parking Agreement (VPA of course).  It is recommended by the Finance Department that the Council approve a VPA with the Futrell Corporation which will develop a hotel in the Empire Building, on the northwest corner of Courthouse Square.  Cars would be parked by valets in Garage #12 on First Street.

12.2 Changes to Speed Limits on portions of several roads: Bellevue Ave. Bennett Valley Road and Brookwood Ave. All speeds would be set lower by 5MPH.

12.3 Resolution of Support Authorizing an Application to the State's Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) for $93, 257 in funds to support more frequent service on CitiBus trunk lines.  
   These funds would come from the State's Cap and Trade System.

14.1 Resolution of the Council Approving the Argument in Support of the Cannabis Tax Measure that the Council voted to appear on the June 6 ballot.

14.2  Sonoma County Water Agency 2017/18 Budget and Water Rate Increase.  On April 3, the Water Advisory Committee to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), which is made up of representatives of each contractor, will vote on whether to increase the water cost  for users.   SCWA's new budget shows a need for an increase in usage payments which might result in an average 2.2% increase.
   The purpose of this item is for the Council to direct Santa Rosa's representative on the WAC, Tom Schwedhelm, on how to vote on 4/3.

14.3 An Update on the Cpurthouse Reunification Project and its costs so far.

14.4 Sustainable Cities Memorandum
   The 'Sustainable Cities' program is a nation-wide model for partnership between cities and universities.   The Council will decide whether to partner with Sonoma State University in this program.

14.5 Sesquicentennial Celebration Event Planning.

    In September, 2018, Santa Rosa will be 150 years old.  An ad hoc group involving city leadership and members of the public has been working since 2015 to discuss how to celebrate the City's birthday.
The committee asks for $23,000 to hire an event coordinator to begin work.

There are Public Hearings having to to do with trash abatement.

See you there!    Anne

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Getting to Housing First in Sonoma County

Problems like homelessness have no simple answers.  For decades, we’ve seen poverty and housing costs rise. Wanting to avoid development sprawl, and enjoy a healthy environment, we contained new housing.  And we knew it would result in higher costs, and the poor would suffer.
Eliminating poverty is not a local option.  For many years, I served on the board of directors of the local, federally-funded poverty agency with a mission to end poverty.  The agency has been consumed just aiding our local poor to keep hope and children alive.
Building affordable housing is closer to a local option.  State and local funds, coupled with local zoning and development authority have allowed some reduced price housing to be built.  Federal, state, city and private funds have opened and closed shelters when it got too cold and wet.
So we shouldn’t be surprised by a movement that demands we do a better job of getting our most vulnerable residents into permanent housing without wasting money cycling them through shelters, or trying to change the behaviors mostly brought on by being homeless and poor.
What should surprise us is the ease with which our representatives are moving to end homelessness without asking us to answer the question “What sacrifices are we willing to make?” .
If we can’t make the poor richer, and we’re not willing to dispoil our environment so badly that housing costs drop, then it looks like our only options are to either: 1) squeeze solutions out of housing developers (and all non-poor housing seekers); or 2) squeeze currently-housed residents to provide new taxes to subsidize poor housing development; or both.  
I vote for both, and I think we should have a full community discussion about it.

S.R. City Council Meeting Agenda, March 7th


Friends:    There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting.

7. Proclamations and Presentations
7.1 Women's History Month.  In this proclamation, credit is given to the National Women's History Project, and their birth 37 years ago of the National Women's History Month.  

8.  Staff Briefings
8.1 Artspace Market Study of Artists', Creative Individuals' and Arts Organizations' Space Needs and Preferences.  In their report to the Council, the consultants indicate that the survey was completed by 394 individuals and 47 organizations and businesses. The results of the survey reflect a need for art-focused spaces of all types in Santa Rosa including:

  • Affordable live/work space for artists/creative individuals and their families; 
  • Studio and creative work spaces for artists; 
  • Permanent spaces for arts and cultural organizations; and 
  • Event, gallery, administrative, educational, shared/co-working, and other types of spaces for organizations and businesses to rent or utilize on a short-term or occasional basis. 
Consent Items
13.1 RESOLUTION - EXTENSION OF PROCLAMATION OF LOCAL HOMELESS EMERGENCY RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended by the Housing and Community Services Department that the Council, by resolution, approve an extension of Resolution No. 28839 which formally proclaimed a local homeless emergency within Santa Rosa.Community

The staff report includes twelve important community conditions effecting the health and safety of our homeless, and concludes: "These conditions continue to pose extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of the city, thus necessitating the continuation of the proclamation of local homeless emergency at this time."

Report Items
15.1 & 15.2 are two separate, but similar items which place before the Council the decisions to call for an election on June 6th to allow City voters to enact a rent control & stabilization ordinance delayed since last fall, and a new tax on cannabis operations in Santa Rosa.

There is also a special meeting of the City Council, called for this Friday from 9am to 4pm, at the Hilton, 3555 Round Barn Rd.  Here is the agenda.  It would appear that residents wanting to influence the goals of the Council in the next year should be prepared to speak at the "Public Comments" period at the beginning of the meeting.

Workshop Objectives:
• Consensus on mission, vision and values
• Consensus on Tier 1 priorities
• Strengthen teamwork of Council and executives

  1. Welcome by the Mayor 
  2. Public Comments 
  3. Comments from the City Manager 
  4. Review Today’s Agenda 
  5. Discuss Progress and Achievements Over the Past Year 
  6. Discuss Trends and Challenges 
  7. Discussion Mission, Vision and Values for Santa Rosa 
  8. Orientation to Setting Priorities 
  9. Discussion of Tier 1 Priorities 
  10. Wrap up and Next Steps 
  11. Discuss April 20 – 21 Workshop objectives: 
  • Discuss Council procedural items 
  • Confirm mission, vision and values 
  • Discuss core business functions of the City and investments needed 
  • Reaffirm Tier 1 and achieve consensus on Tier 2 priorities, and what will move to Tier 3 (non-assigned and non-programmed) 
  • Strengthen teamwork of Council and executives No other business will be considered at this Special Meeting

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, February 28th


Thanks again to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council agenda.

Friends:    There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting.

6. Proclamations and Presentations
6.1 Black History Month.  In this proclamation, credit is given to the late Rev Coffee, Ms. Shirley Gordon and the Community Baptist Church's sponsorship of the Bridge to the Future - Rites of Passage Program in which adult mentors have since 2000 have mentored teens aged 14-18 in skills for effectiveness as adults.

14.3 Community Feedback to the Community Advisory Board (CAB) on Capital Improvements Program (CIP) projects.
      In the 2003 ordinance creating the CAB, which came out of the 2002 City Charter Review Process, one of CAB's responsibilities is to bring the public into the planning and budgeting process. CAB held a series of public meetings recently about the list of projects on the CIP - usually big-money public infrastructure projects partially paid for by development   The public who attended produced a set of priorities.   Below find first, the link to the CAB actions and second, a list of the CIP projects spending from October through December of last year.

14.4 Discussion of a $20,000 GAP Funding Request from Legal Aid of Sonoma County.  The needs are great for tenant protections and representation.  This was proposed for discussion  by Council Member Rogers and approved for discussion on 1/24/17. If Council agrees, there is a resolution ready for their approval to do this.

See you there!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Message of Hope from Santa Rosa Together

A Message of Hope from Santa Rosa Together

Our election and the transition to a new Presidency have revealed deep fractures in the fabric of our national community and politics. No matter how we voted, if we hope to restore the ability to work together to meet our challenges, we all need to find ways to overcome the deep divisions that separate us. In Santa Rosa, we have made some progress in this work. For the past five years, a diverse group of volunteer community leaders have been working to get more people engaged and improve and the way we work together. We’ve created a volunteer, non-partisan organization, Santa Rosa Together, to build interpersonal connections and focus on strengthening our community. We started with the belief that we cannot rebuild trust and overcome alienation unless we all have a meaningful voice and role in the city and we cannot learn from each other and find common ground without renewed faith in democracy.

 Our democracy was designed to enable a way of life that respects each person’s unique contribution and engages the talents of all of our citizens.  This vision is our democratic heritage, the gift given to us by generations of sacrifice and struggle. We believe that the best path to community healing is to reaffirm our commitment to democracy and rebuild a politics based on our shared democratic values. 

Some see our current state as bleak, but in Santa Rosa Together we do not see it that way. Despite the election, we believe our community is now more united and inclusive than ever. Our towns are teeming with diversity and in their daily lives our citizens are building bridges as never before. If we recognize our potential and rebuild our local politics to give everyone a role and voice, we will create a democracy that will flourish beyond our own wildest dreams. Jefferson was right, democracy does needs to be renewed periodically to make it relevant in a changing world. That is our task today.

We can start by finding ways to restore power and function to our local organizations and neighborhood level communities. These can be our democracy schools where more of us can get engaged, get to know each other, and develop the skills that we need to find common ground and work together. Neighbors who understand how to do this will be prepared to reject the divisive tactics of our current politics.

We also need creative new ways to bring our diverse communities and citizens together to share ideas and learn from each other. We are already learning how to bring information and resources to our neighborhoods and how to organize cross-community meetings to share ideas and find common ground. In Santa Rosa, we have organized “Homeless Talk”, a coalition taking the conversation on homelessness out to neighborhoods and working to develop the kind of processes we need to find common ground.

And we need transformed governments that understand that in a democracy they have a primary responsibility to help citizens organize so that they have a voice and role in the work of the city.  Administrators and staff should bring their expertise to us and partner with us to address our city’s concerns, not just make decisions for us.  In Santa Rosa, with the leadership of our City Council and a new Director of Community Engagement, we are poised to begin this transformation.

It is regrettable that we have had to experience the deepened divisions and diminishment of democratic values that recent politics have helped to create. But if this experience motivates us to work together to rebuild our democratic community and create a democratic politics that helps to bring us together, it will be worth it. Santa Rosa Together encourages all local citizens to join us in these endeavors.