December 8th, 2016 | Opinion



Good morning.

The new California Legislature was sworn in this week and Democrats were busy trying to build a “blue wall” against the expected policies of President-elect Donald Trump. The details, from CALmatters news analyst Laurel Rosenhall and immigration reporter Elizabeth Aguilera.

—Thanks from all of us at CALmatters.


cm-1  Urgent appeal: CA Democrats to invoke new-anti-Trump weapon

Democrats who dominate the new California Legislature vow to unleash one of the superpowers of holding a supermajority: the ability to enact laws immediately by passing urgency bills. They predict they will be able to act fast—counter-punching in real time—if Republican President-elect Donald Trump signs federal laws or adopts policies they perceive as hostile to California.

BY Laurel Rosenhall



If feds try to ID deportable immigrants using Cal data, state will block access




In a state where Democrats hold the governor’s office and supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, lawmakers say their answer will be a vociferous “no” if the federal government tries to peruse California’s DMV records and other state databases to identify undocumented immigrants. That would likely kick off what could be a protracted fed-versus-state legal battle—one in which both sides predict their argument would prevail.

BY Elizabeth Aguilera

CALmatters is a nonprofit journalism venture focused on engaging Californians in how their state government works and why it matters through original, multi-platform reporting and analysis. To learn more, visit, and connect with CALmatters on Facebook and Twitter.

December 8th, 2016 | Opinion

Opinion: Putting Your Money Where It Matters

While one can hope that the policies and actions of the Trump administration will not cause grave harm to our country and the world, his continuing tweets and appointments do not support such hope. Indeed, the next four years look to be an unmitigated disaster. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, those who believe in civil liberties, climate change, diversity, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and basic fairness need to support experienced organizations that are set to effectively fight for these issues in the courts, Congress, and state capitols and can mobilize people into action via social media and the like. There are literally hundreds of these organizations each at the national, state, and local level.
I have put together my own list of 12 organizations at the national or regional level that warrant your consideration to support with monetary donations. Most are engaged in political action and donations to their listed websites are not tax-deductible donations. However, if this is an important consideration, they typically have an associated Foundation, which will still benefit from your donation. Each website provides information about the organization and a link for online donating.
If you can donate at a higher amount by doing so in monthly installments, this is preferred as it provides a more stable funding base. Note: donating to any of these groups does not mean you should not donate to others. This list came about as I have received literally hundreds of requests for financial support, and I wanted to come up with what I thought would be most effective for the money donated. The list could easily have been 25 or more organizations, but I concluded that would be too long.
I hope you find this information of use. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Thank you.

Howard K. Watkins
1785 W. Dovewood Lane
Fresno, CA 93711
Cell 559-355-7040




  1. American Civil Liberties Union
  2. Campaign for Southern Equality
  3. Democratic Party
  5. Muslim Advocates
  6. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  7. National Hispanic Leadership Agenda
  8. Our Revolution
  9. People for the American Way org
  10. Planned Parenthood Action Fund
  11. Sierra Club
  12. Southern Poverty Law Center


December 7th, 2016 | Candidate News, News


District 1’s Young Councilmembers


(Top Row) Harleen Gill, Savanah Bazley, Bikramjit Gill, Angelina Her, Councilwoman Soria, Jordan Lor, Christian Power, Simran Kaur, Council Assistant Itzi Robles,
(Bottom Row)  Rupinder Kaur, Jazmin Leon, Lindsay Norton

FRESNO –Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria launches District 1’s Young Councilmember Program. The 2017 class is composed of 10 students currently attending school at Central High School, Fresno High School, and Bullard High School.

The Young Councilmember Program brings together select young people throughout City of Fresno Council District One to be a part of a cohort developing leadership skills. The program will educate and challenge participants in their understanding of community, agriculture, business, technology, law enforcement, and medicine.

Councilwoman Soria stated “I am so excited to launch our first class of the Young Councilmember Program, which is designed to provide high school students with unique opportunities about potential career and educational paths. The program is focused on exploring the industries and professions that are critical to our local and state economies, learning about local government and developing the next generation of Fresno leaders.”

Thank you to Fresno County Office of Education Foundation & PG&E for being the Young Councilmember Program inaugural sponsors.

Please contact our office for your additional opportunities to sponsor our youth at (559)621-7814.

District 1 News

Reminder: Please RSVP by TODAY!

Help brighten the Holidays for a child this year by donating
a new unwrapped toy for ages 5-17 years old.


Can’t make it to our reception?

Make a donation at the following locations:

Gazebo Gardens – 3204 N. Van Ness Blvd.

Yosemite Falls – 4278 W. Ashlan Ave

El Bajio – 3704 W. Shields Ave.

7-Eleven– 2414 N. Fruit Ave. (Clinton Ave.)

El Ranchito Bakery – 417 W. Shields Ave.

DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant – 2221 W. Shaw Ave.

Chicken Pie Shop – 861 E. Olive Ave.

Pardinis– 2257 W. Shaw

December 6th, 2016 | News



California Democrats stood by our values this election, and made a statement about what progressive leadership means for our state.

It’s never been more important to join our diverse, progressive coalition of Democratic grassroots leaders.

We keep winning in California because our party is run not from our headquarters in Sacramento, but by thousands of dedicated Democrats from all parts of the state and from all walks of life. If you’ve been waiting to take part, now it could be your turn.

Will you help shape the future of the California Democratic Party by becoming an Assembly District Delegate for the 2017-19 DSCC term?

If you’re ready to direct the future of the California Democratic Party, it all starts here: Declare yourself a candidate for delegate.

There are over a thousand delegates selected through this process, and over a thousand reasons why they decided to run.

Each of California’s 80 Assembly Districts elects 14 delegates, 7 men and 7 women — and that will happen on January 7 or 8, 2017. Click here to find the Assembly District Election meeting (ADEM) in your Assembly District.

A person may only apply to run as an ADEM candidate if he/she: is registered to vote as a Democrat, residing in their Assembly District by October 24, 2016 in the state of California. You may only run in the Assembly District that you were registered in, by the aforementioned deadline, unless the person turned 18 or was naturalized after the deadline.

A person may participate and vote in the ADEM if they are: a Democrat residing in and registered to vote in the Assembly District, as of the date of the Assembly District Election Meeting. Same day registration is allowed of otherwise qualified citizens, who currently reside in the Assembly District they wish to participate in.

If you wish to run, please fill out the form by clicking this link.

The deadline to complete this form is Thursday, December 8th at 5:00 PM.

NOTE: Candidates should confirm receipt of filing prior to the deadline. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact the Party Office at (916) 442-5707.

The CDP will not be responsible for failed, delayed, unreadable, or corrupted filings whether by hardcopy delivery or electronic filings such as faxes or emails or the editing of candidate statements. A hardcopy form is not available. However, if you wish to apply you may call the Party office to help you through the online application process.

2016’s elections are in the books. It’s time to start planning to win the US and the 2018 Gubernatorial — and to win, we need you to tell us you’re ready to take the helm.

The deadline to submit your application is December 8 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time — so don’t delay!

Click here to apply and declare yourself a candidate for assembly district delegate.

California Democrats may be leading the charge nationally — but we can’t keep that up without your voice. Please consider becoming an Assembly District Delegate (ADD), and share this email with other fellow Democrats who would be great representatives for your community.

Thank you for being a California Democrat.

Chris Masami Myers
Executive Director
California Democratic Party




December 6th, 2016 | News


As we prepare for the important fights that lay ahead, we would like to hear from supporters like you. Kamala believes this is a time for us to listen to one another, and it is our hope you can spare the time to take our issues survey today.

So tell us — what issues are you most interested in engaging on and how would you like to be active in our growing movement?


Millions of people are relying on us to be a voice for the voiceless and vulnerable in our society. So much of the progress we have made on civil rights, equality, and justice are on the line right now. The insights you provide today will help inform our work in the coming months.

Your support and responses are appreciated. Thank you.

– Team Kamala


December 1st, 2016 | News

Soria’s 4th Annual Holiday Toy Drive & Reception! District 1 Newsletter


Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again!

Hope you can join me in making this a happy and joyous holiday season for homeless and foster care children in District 1 at my 4th Annual Holiday Toy Drive & Reception on Friday December 9th. If you are unable to make it to our reception we have partnered with local District 1 businesses where you can drop off a new unwrapped toy by December 16th. Please see the attachment below for the seven participating businesses.


-Esmeralda Soria
Councilwoman, City of Fresno – District 1
(559) 920-0579 Cell


November 30th, 2016 | News

Trump vs.democracy


Regardless of what Donald Trump tweets, California’s elections aren’t rigged. As California’s chief elections officer, I assure you that election officials throughout the state take pride in maintaining the integrity of our elections while protecting voters’ rights.

But apparently, Donald Trump can’t get over the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him, including millions of Californians. On Sunday, he tweeted that he lost the popular vote because of millions of illegal votes cast in Virginia, New Hampshire, and here in California. As the Los Angeles Times said, “There’s no evidence to back it up.”

When Donald Trump accuses millions of American voters of fraud, it’s not only wrong, it’s irresponsible and reckless.

Going into the General Election, a record 19.4 million Californians were registered to vote. And more than 14 million Californians cast their ballots, voting for candidates from President of the United States to local school board. In fact, local election officials are still processing ballots to make sure every eligible vote gets counted.

Democrats and Republicans across the country have spoken out against Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud. Now it’s time to add your voice.

Click here to sign our petition to denounce Trump’s false claims that undermine faith in our democracy.

And thank you for your support,

Alex Padilla
Secretary of State

November 30th, 2016 | Candidate News, News


We didn’t know what to expect when Kamala asked supporters like you to tell us how you were feeling following the troubling results of the presidential election.

We knew people were hurting and wanted to give you an outlet to express your views and let you know that you are not alone in this moment. The results were both inspiring and heartbreaking to read.

Many people are feeling powerless right now. You are worried about the future of our country and scared for what is to come, especially for immigrant families and communities of color. Virtually everyone who submitted a story understood that the cause of justice and equality in this country has never been more urgent.

And most importantly: you intend to fight.

That was perfectly illustrated when we took the most common words supporters like you used in the thousands of stories we collected to create a word cloud:


You are not alone. We are all in this together. Add your name to recommit to the urgent cause of justice and equality in this country >>

We felt it was important to share some of these stories. We may be strangers, but we are connected in this movement—not just because of our support for Kamala, but because we all have a responsibility to take action in the coming months and years.

And we believe it is important we listen to each other right now:

“Post-election has been a time of reflection and introspection. It is a powerful wake-up call to all of us. We must engage in the process to stand up and fight for the rights we hold dear.” – L. from Los Angeles

“I was born in America and was taught not to leave anyone behind as we try to improve our lives and those of our families. We have to advance together so that everyone benefits the same. The military taught me we don’t leave anyone behind.” – P. from Galveston

“I’m feeling more motivated than ever in my life to work for social justice, particularly women’s rights and getting our legislation to reflect our population. I will not wait and see.” – J. from San Mateo

“I’m angry and I will fight for women’s rights, fight against racism, fight for the LGBT community, fight for raising the minimum wage, fight for affordable healthcare for everyone, fight for our environment, fight for keeping corporations and banks in check, fight to keep our food safe, fight for saving Social Security and for our elderly. I will fight for what’s right! I will wear my safety pin so that you know that I’m here for you if you need me!” – J. from Los Angeles

“I came across the border illegally. This day I stand proud to be a citizen and a willing participant in our process. I do so because America has given a person like me hope. This nation has been great and we will fight tirelessly to defend rights that equal us all. Rights that allow for us to live. Human rights is what draws my passion. I will till the day I die volunteer for any cause that helps others find health, acceptance, and equality.” – V. in San Diego

“I am a woman. I am queer. My president-elect doesn’t see my value, except beyond physical traits. If he happened to find me attractive enough, he might sexually assault me. That’s the reality we are living in. Still, I am one of the lucky ones. But some of the people I love the most can’t hide in anonymity of whiteness, straightness, during this wave of hate. I will not stop speaking out, I will not stop fighting for them and myself.” – A. from Los Angeles

“As a disabled person I am extremely concerned with the hateful racism and disgraceful rhetoric. I don’t like the way Donald Trump started the election and his presidential campaign with such bigotry and hate. Now after the election things are getting out of hand with the hate he has brought out in people. This must be condemned and completely stopped.” – C. from Chester

“I feel disappointed in the results of the election and very worried for the future of this country. we cannot allow a Trump presidency to take us backwards in terms of civil rights and women’s rights. I want to become more active in making sure all the advances we’ve made are protected.” – R. from Los Angeles

“As a gay man, I have witnessed change for our community under the Obama administration. At 57 years, I am happy to see these changes come about in my lifetime. I am concerned that these newly won rights will disappear with the election of Trump.” – D. from San Diego

“I feel sadness, anger, anxiety since the election. I am determined not to give up though! I have donated to Planned Parenthood and applied to volunteer for them.” – C. from San Bernardino

“I’m feeling heartbroken, frightened, and angry. We need to immediately find ways to protect the millions most vulnerable to Donald Trump’s hateful policies. At the same time, the climate won’t wait for four years. I will maintain a focus on climate change, working to build a giant movement to create a livable future with peace, justice, and a sustainable environment.” – L. from Sacramento

“I’ve been advising folks coming to me for advice as their priest to take this election as a reminder that being a person of faith is not a desk job. I am planning greater involvement with our local interfaith councils in order to build relationship and solidarity in the face of potential deportations/registration of people from particular backgrounds. I’m also seeking the right involvement in environmental issues; if we don’t have a planet, none of the rest of it is going to matter.” – J. from Oakland

We have work to do. Please take a quick moment to recommit yourself to the cause of justice and equality in this country.

Thanks for everything you do. It is an honor to stand with you.

– All of us at Team Kamala




November 30th, 2016 | News


While Donald Trump won the presidency and Republicans kept control of Congress, California went the other direction. Voters returned Democrats to Congress, won a supermajority in the state Legislature and passed liberal ballot measures to address mass incarceration, gun safety, school funding and taxing tobacco.

We’ve had six years of Democrats in charge of the Legislature and every statewide office — and five straight on-time balanced budgets since Californians approved the majority vote budget initiative in 2010.

Democrats have Tea Party Republicans on the run here, and we’re going to do the same to Donald Trump.

That’s why I’m asking committed Democrats to consider becoming delegates to the state party.

In January, Democrats will elect more than 1,100 delegates from California’s 80 Assembly Districts. These delegates will select the next chair and party officers in May, endorse candidates who will lead us in 2018 elections, vote to support or oppose ballot propositions, and be the backbone of our liberal party by deciding on our platform and positions.

Here’s the link to declare your candidacy as an elected delegate.

You need to file to run by December 8, and then win election at an ADEM Caucus meeting held locally on January 7 or 8. To be eligible, you must have been registered as a Democrat by October 24, 2016, in the Assembly District where you are running.

Before you run, you should know what California Democrats stand for:

  • We oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the grounds that it would continue the trend of offshoring American jobs and driving down wages.
  • We support a common sense ban on deadly assault weapons.
  • We support abolishing capital punishment.
  • We support meaningful tax reform that eliminates corporate welfare and achieves a more equitable tax system for working families.
  • We endorse Black Lives Matter.
  • We believe that health care is a human right and support a single-payer health care system.
  • We support debt-free college and free community college.
  • We reject any attempt for new offshore oil or gas development, call for an immediate moratorium on fracking, support the closing of California’s last dirty nuclear power plant, and urge Congress to pass a comprehensive energy security and climate protection law.
  • We support overturning the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and to end the doctrine that money is speech, by Constitutional Amendment if necessary.
  • We advocate for extended voting hours and days, scheduling elections on weekends, or declaring Election Day a holiday.
  • We support tying the votes of “super delegates” to the popular vote in the presidential nomination process.

None of these mean anything if we don’t have leaders supported by the grassroots who will fight for them. It’s our job at the state party to endorse the kind of leaders who will do the right thing.

And when we stand by our principles, we win on Election Day. That starts with you getting involved in your party.

Even if you don’t run as a delegate, you can still have your voice heard. Show up on January 7 or 8 at an ADEM Caucus and vote for delegates to represent you. Visit our website to find out more.

John L. Burton
California Democratic Party

November 29th, 2016 | News


While as Californians we value innovation, we also insist that new businesses, including high tech start-ups, follow our consumer protection rules.

Yesterday I announced a record $7 Million penalty imposed on Zenefits, an online insurance broker.

Zenefits’ former leadership created an “anything goes” culture at the internet start-up, resulting in numerous violations of licensing requirements designed to protect consumers.

New online businesses can bring additional convenience and lower costs for consumers. However, consumers are put at risk when start-ups violate important consumer protection laws. And existing businesses who are following the laws are put at a competitive disadvantage.

Zenefits cooperated fully with our investigation and agreed to the record penalty. The old leadership of the company, including the former CEO, has been replaced. New controls have been established to make sure Zenefits complies with our consumer protection laws. And we will be monitoring them closely as they move forward.

Enforcing our consumer protection laws remains my highest priority. No one is above the law. Even high-flying internet start ups.

Thank you again for the privilege of serving you as your Insurance Commissioner.


Insurance Commissioner

1035 U Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Click for Map
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Closed December 19 - January 2

Twitter: @FresnoCountyDms

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5795
Fresno, CA 93755

Events Calendar:

Thanks to Our 2016 Fund-Raiser Sponsors

Jim Costa for Congress Committee
The Rios Company

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
California Laborers for Equality & Progress
California Teachers Association
Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council
Iron Workers Local Union 155
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
Operating Engineers Local No. 3
Professional Engineers in California Government
United Food & Commercial Workers
VOICE: Stationary Engineers Local 39

Fresno City Council Member Oliver Baines
Fresno Police Officers Association
Service Employees International Union–
United Healthcare Workers
Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 104