21 Sep

Full schedule announced for California Democratic Party’s ‘Solidarity Summit,’ scheduled Sept. 25-26 in Fresno

Planners for this weekend’s scheduled Progressive Democrats ‘Solidarity Summit’ have announced the event’s full schedule, and it looks like a great weekend is on tap. Here, from J. Brian Washman, is the schedule:

Solidarity Summit II!

September 25-26, 2010

California State University, Fresno

JUST CONFIRMED!! MN Congressman Keith Ellison!

Bill Hedrick, Candidate for 44th Congressional District
Eric Bauman, CDP Vice Chair; Basim Elkarra, Chair, Arab-American Caucus, CDP

Everything is really coming together as we get close to the biggest California Progressive event of the year. Next weekend Progressives from all over the state will converge in Fresno for our second annual Solidarity Summit. We have so many exciting things planned and you really don’t wasn’t to miss this. People are still talking about our Solidarity Summit I in San Luis Obispo last year and this year it will be even better!

In addition to our General Sessions and fascinating breakouts we’re having a great kickoff party on Friday night and a FUNdraiser for Bill Hedrick and the Fresno County Democratic Party on Saturday night.

Don’t Leave Early! Stick around for the Sunday sessions!!

On Sunday we’ll have one more rotation of breakouts and a general session meeting with a Basim Elkarra, Chair, Arab-American Caucus, CDP, and featuring special guest speaker MN Congressman Keith Ellison on the topics of Anti-Immigrant Bigotry, progressive politics and the Democratic Party. We’ll also vote on the issues decided over the weekend. We’ll wrap up about 2:00 PM so everyone can get back on the road to go back home.

Here’s what we have planned for you at Solidarity Summit II in Fresno

FRIDAY 09/24

Friday Night Kickoff Party!

We’re having a Kickoff Party with free hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar on Friday night at Toledo’s Mexican Restaurant (367 E. Shaw Ave. Fresno, CA 93710 (559) 224-0975) to get acquainted and get the weekend off to a great start. As an added bonus, If you arrive in Fresno early on Friday check out the great event with acclaimed journalist, Robert Fisk speaking on “Middle East Fantasies and Myths” at CSUF at 2:00 PM , and then come on over to the Kickoff Party. More information here.

Saturday and Sunday will be filled with interactive participation-based activities including breakout sessions on a variety of topics based on the feedback we received from our members.


General Session

The Predicament of Progressives in the Democratic Party: An honest assessment of where we are at this point in time, and how to get to where we want to be – is it possible?

Breakout Sessions

The Progressive Message: Making Powerful our Simple Truths. Les Marsden, Chair, Mariposa Democratic Party

Where are the Progressives in Local Media? A workshop in getting the word out. Mike Thaller, Director San Diego County Democratic Party Communications and Media Relations

Challenging the Warfare State: Resetting the ‘facts’ currently for sale in the mainstream media and creating our own conventional truths. Rebecca Griffin, Political Director, Peace Action West, and Norman Solomon, National Co-chair of PDA’s Healthcare Not Warfare Committee. Both are leaders of the Progressive Caucus’ Foreign Policy Committee.

Can Progressives Prevail? The Talk: Progressive Campaigns in the environment of the 2010 midterms – a conversation. Norman Solomon, Co-Chair, Foreign Policy Committee, Progressive Caucus; Eric Bauman, Vice Chair, California Democratic Party and Basim Elkarra, Chair, Arab-American Caucus.

Can Progressives Prevail? The Walk: Hard and Lasting Lessons from the Campaign Trail – how to come back and WIN! Bill Lackemacher, former Field Director for Bill Durston (CD3) and Marcy Winograd (CD36); Katie Mantz, Campaign Manager for Bill Hedrick, and others

END Corporate Rule, MEND our Democracy, AMEND the Constitution: Need we say more? Covering various resistance efforts aimed at pulling us back from Corporatocracy. Susan Harman, PDA’s Amend to Suspend Working Group.

From the CA Budget to Public Housing: Saving our Public Programs from Severe Cuts, Privatization and Elimination. An educational session which will also include brainstorming creative ideas to save our public sphere. Susie Shannon, Chair, Progressive Caucus Poverty Committee.

Capacity Building for Progressives: With the Caucus’ letters to President Obama, being the first state Democratic Party to pass a resolution calling for an exit from Afghanistan, being on the Glenn Beck show and BBC News, there’s no question we’ve gotten noticed. What can we do next to keep our numbers strong and robust? Chris Niehaus, Organizer, CSEA and Karen Bernal, Chair, Progressive Caucus, Organizer CSEA and others.

Single Payer’s in VFib – Vent, Fix, Inoculate and Build: Come to this breakout to shock the movement back to a steady heartbeat and Vent about what happened both at the federal and state level; help determine the “Fix” to begin the healing process; discuss ways to Inoculate against the Industry and naysayers; and prepare to Build the movement to be stronger than ever. Rose Roach, Chair, Progressive Caucus Health Care Committee, and CSEA Field Director

Bylaws – North, Central and South: We need your input on what you think is Northern, Central and Southern CA so more Progressives in more areas of the State will have a presence. What should the responsibilities be of Officers? Who represent those areas? Your recommendations will be presented to the Caucus membership for adoption in November. Jeffrey Killeen, Parliamentarian; Brian Washman, Officer-at-Large and Communications Officer; and Karen Bernal, Chair, Progressive Caucus


A FUNdraiser for Bill Hedrick and The Fresno County Democratic Party

Saturday night FUNdraiser hosted by the San Joaquin Valley Democratic Club in support of Bill Hedrick, progressive candidate for 44th Congressional District & the Fresno County Democratic Party 7:00 – 10:00 PM at Veni Vidi Vici Restaurant (1116 N. Fulton St. Fresno, CA 93728) in Fresno’s Tower District. It will be a great way to cap off an exciting day as well as show support our wonderful progressive candidate and the hard working Democrats of the Fresno Democratic Party that have worked so hard to turn Fresno County BLUE!

SUNDAY 09/26

Breakout Sessions

Saving Public Education: The fight to save Democracy for all is happening in our own backyards! A discussion about current Public Education policies and how to fight to keep the PUBLIC in Education. Also: CSEA’s CAUSE campaign. Kerri Asbury, Special Education Teacher, Vice-Chair, Sacramento Democratic Party; Chris Niehaus, Organizer CSEA.

CNA vs Whitman: Get the lowdown on Meg and get ready for a fight! Speaker TBA

Props and Campaigns 2010: 19, 23, 24, and more, plus our favorite campaigns. Sean Donahoe, Sacramento Democratic Party activist.

General Session and Sunday Finale

Anti-Immigrant Bigotry and the Democratic Party: Working to realize a Party of Inclusion. In an effort to whip up fearful Americans and advance the right-wing agenda, immigrants – particularly Muslims and anyone perceived to be Muslim – have become targets in a super-charged atmosphere of political fear-mongering. Though driven mainly by GOP and right wing operatives, there have been unfortunate incidents where Democrats have succumbed to the growing national hysteria about Islam in America. We know we should expect better from our Party — what can we do to ensure that our message of inclusion does not surrender to political expediency? With Basim Elkarra, Chair, Arab-American Caucus, CDP, and featuring special guest speaker MN Congressman Keith Ellison. In conclusion, the discussion will also include a circling back to Saturday’s opening conversation from the perspective of one of the most progressive members of Congress.

* Hotel Information *

We have booked blocks of rooms in two different hotels in the area. There are no Union hotels in Fresno so we went with local recommendations. They are both adjacent to the University where the Summit will be held. When you make your reservations please tell them you’re with the Progressive Caucus in order to get the group rate.

University Inn

$53.99 per room, per night

2655 E. Shaw Ave. Fresno, CA 93710


Piccadilly Inn

$86 per room, per night

4691 N. Cedar Ave. Fresno, CA 93726


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21 Sep

Latino Outreach Committee to meet Sept. 23

The Latino Outreach Committee invites all interested in building community involvement to its next meeting, scheduled noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Los Panchos Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, 1000 Fulton Mall in downtown Fresno. The Committee we will be discussing efforts to reach out to the Spanish speaking, Latino and Hispanic communities in Fresno.

Lunch will be available for purchase during the meeting. Want to attend? RSVP to Jessica Smith Bobadilla at or via text message to (559) 681-7973 before noon Wednesday, Sept. 22.

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