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Redwood Empire Chinese Association invites you to New Years Celebration. Commons CC0; Museum Invitation Card. Image:; Santa Rosa City Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution in line with the Regional County Protection Authority. Image:

SR Climate Emergency Resolution Passed
29th Chinese New Year Celebration
From Suffrage To #Metoo: County Exhibit
Community Civic Engagement Workshop

and more...


Jan 24, 2020
by Elaine B. Holtz


Happy Chinese New Year, 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

2020 is the Year of the Rat, an animal that symbolizes wealth.2020 is the Year of the Rat, an animal that symbolizes wealth and the beginning of a new day. The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. 

Nancy Wang, President of the Redwood Empire Chinese Association wishes everyone a Happy New Year and invites folks to their 29th New Year celebration in Santa Rosa.  This year’s event includes the traditional lion and dragon dances, a demonstration of martial arts, a variety culture songs, costumes, and delicious food.  From my own personal experience it is a great event along with a great opportunity to learn about some of the customs of the Chinese culture.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 1 from 5:00-9:00pm at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial, 1351 Maple Ave.  Tickets are available at the Asia Market on Guerneville Road.  For further information call Judy Cheung707-528-0912.

Council Woman Judy Combs Replacement Decided

After 11 hours interviewing 19 candidates to replace Councilwoman Julie Combs, Dick Dowd, a 77-year-old retired builder and 25-year veteran of the Board of Public Utilities was appointed. Prior to the final vote there were three rounds of voting which ended up in a tie between two competent women, Karen Weeks and Jacquelynne Ocaña which created a stalemate.  To find a solution for the tie, Dowd was appointed leaving the council with six men and one woman.

According to the Press Democrat via email (January 8, 2019) Julie Combs made the following statement, “I am disappointed that the majority passed up the opportunity to increase diversity on the council. A Latina woman would have been historic choice,” Combs said in an email. “I appreciate that they chose a safe and reliable vote for the status quo. At least he [Dowd] is an engineer, too.”

I support what Combs had to say and know that this was a disappointment to many.  Combs was denied the opportunity to appoint her successor,  and I do not fault Dowd for the decision, however, in appointing another man to the board there is an imbalance along with a strong progressive voice being eliminated.

Santa Rosa Passes Climate Emergency Resolution

Santa Rosa City Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution templated off the Regional County Protection Authority (RCPA)On Tuesday, January 14th the Santa Rosa City Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution templated off the Regional County Protection Authority(RCPA)  with two additions added. 1) the City sets a target of zero GHG emissions by 2030, commits to tracking progress toward that goal, and publicizes that progress on an annual (or biannual) basis and 2) the Climate Action Subcommittee will give consideration to the List of Actions submitted by the community-led Santa Rosa Climate Emergency Resolution group.

Made a DifferenceA special thank you from 350 Sonoma to all who wrote emails, showed up at the City Council meeting, and made public comments, YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE.  For more info go to 

Santa Rosa Together — Increasing Community Civic Engagement Workshop 

A free workshop for community members, employees and officials of Santa Rosa and all Sonoma County are being offered with the goal to help cities and the County on increasing community civic engagement. The goal is to get people engaged with their neighborhoods in the decisions that affect their lives, and to create caring, inclusive, and healthy neighborhoods and communities.  This event is co-sponsored by: Sonoma Intersections Coalition, Housing for All and the City of Santa Rosa.

Workshop date:

February 1: Building Neighbor Power will seek participation of community members highlighting neighborhood-based organizing.  These free events will are facilitated by Jim Diers, of Neighbor Power, formerly director  Seattle Office of Neighborhoods.  

The workshop will take place at the Utilities Field Operations 35 Stony Point Rd.  For more information and to RSVP go to:RSVP and Tickets

From Suffrage To #Metoo:
Groundbreaking Women In Sonoma County Exhibit Opens

The exhibit at the  Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa  had their opening reception last month.  The exhibit explores the changing expectations, challenges, and obstacles to inclusion that women have faced and the remarkable people who have broken through the barriers.  I had the pleasure of a tour of the exhibit plus attending the opening celebration.  The exhibit is set up to take you on a journey that begins in 1787 with Abigail Adams to the present time highlighting local women and events in Sonoma County through historical documents and pictures, along with the art of the time and the various forms of expression, which includes buttons of all kinds encouraging women to participate and, above all, vote, 

19th Century Photo from Sonoma County Museum exhibition highlighting local women and events in Sonoma County through historical documents and pictures. Image: Somoma

For me it is a great her story and I was so proud to see the display honoring early memorabilia of the Women’s Studies Department at Sonoma State, which I am proud to let my readers know that I was involved in that department from 1973-75 where I learned that I was standing on the shoulders of so many great women.  For Eric Stanley, Associate Director and Curator Assistant who oversaw the exhibit it was a lesson in history.  “I was amazed how long the struggle was for the inclusion of women,” he said.  This is a must see and will be at the museum from  January 25 - September 13, 2020.  The museum celebrating 35 years of great exhibits is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00am-5:00pm and located at 425 7th St, Santa Rosa.

Sonoma State University Partners with Santa Rosa Junior College
to Launch Wine Bachelor’s Degree Transition Program

According to a press release issued by Santa Rosa City College, the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, in partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College, launched a new bachelor’s degree transition program to serve the community. The first of its kind in the region. 

The new bachelor’s degree transition program will be available to SRJC and SSU students beginning the fall semester 2020. More information can be found at

3000+ attendWomen’s March Santa Rosa 2020  “We Rise Together” — 01.18.2020

3000+ people gathered along with 40 community groups along and a variety of speakers for 4th Annual Women’s March Santa Rosa.  Leslie Graves, organizer for the Women’s March and member of the Steering Committee for Sonoma County 2020 Women's Suffrage Project was filled with hope as she watched the diversity of our community and engage to have their voices heard.  “The feeling of hope was palpable at the March, especially hearing from our young leaders and I would like to thank everyone for making the whole day such a success”.

Included in this amazing array of speakers were, Molly MacGregor,  National Women’s History Alliance; Jackie Elward, L es Enfants Baobab; Rima Makaryan,  The Monarch Project; Noa Polston Schwartz,  Teach Climate & Redefine It; Adri Kornfein, CA Youth Empowerment Coordinator Of Women’s March; Katya Robinson, Sonoma County and California’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, Christine Byrne,  Sonoma County Sunrise, and  Jacquelynne Ocaña.   The Prayer Chapel Singers were a wonderful addition as well. Many of the signs from the march are on display at the Museum of Sonoma County's exhibit: From Suffrage To #MeToo – Groundbreaking Women in Sonoma County. To see photos from   Women’s March Santa Rosa 2020 visit the Facebook Event page Women’s March Santa Rosa.

Marching in the Streets at Women's March Santa Rosa 2020. Photo: Billl Clark, Pro Bono Photo

The next event Graves is producing is a Rosie Rally in Santa Rosa's Courthouse Square on International Women's Day, Sunday, March 8th from 11AM – 2PM.  Look for all the information in next month’s column.  

Something to think about: 

 “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way
that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” 

— Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela —

Mandella was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.



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