Hello SVCG members,

The Sonoma County Democratic Party deserves applause for its resolution calling on the Sonoma city council to “reconsider their decision to block the citizen petition, and instead place the matter on the Novermber 2018 ballot…”. See Index-Tribune writer Christian Kellen’s great article on this here.

The resolution was in response to the council’s decision to bypass putting the cannabis measure on the November 2018 ballot. It opted, instead, to spend $25,000 of the city’s money on a report that won’t be issued for 30 days, thereby missing the County’s deadline for placing a measure on the ballot. The next opportunity to vote on the initiative won’t be until November 2020.

We feel the city council’s best option was to approve putting the ill-conceived proposition on this November’s ballot, but field its own competing measure submitted by Councilwoman Rachael Hundley. That measure would allow the city to retain more control over the scope and types of cannabis businesses in the city.

The majority of the council has abjectly failed to understand this issue and the mood of its citizens. This failure will lead our 250 members, and members of the other groups to which we are allied, to focus on helping elect new council members who will enact a reasonable, comprehensive ordinance that best serves the residents of Sonoma.


WHEREAS the California Democratic Party’s 2018 Platform holds that “California Democrats believe that a healthy democracy is based on free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate. We oppose the culture of cronyism and corruption … We demand transparency and accountability from both our party and government;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote honest leadership and open government, California Democrats will actively work for an educated citizenry, equal opportunity for influence, honest public debate, competitive elections, and robust civic participation in order to enhance the democratic process;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote safe communities for all, California Democrats will support the ongoing legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol, while prioritizing the health, education, and safety of California’s communities and the country over revenue or profits;” and

WHEREAS the Sonoma County Democratic Party, as a charter member of the California Democratic Party, has adopted and is called upon to support the Platform; and

WHEREAS over 60% of the City of Sonoma’s voters supported Proposition 64 to legalize adult use of cannabis in 2016, and 767 electors of the City of Sonoma have validly petitioned the City of Sonoma to amend its municipal code to allow for cannabis dispensaries; and

WHEREAS Sonoma’s City Council, on a 3-2 vote, chose to expend community resources on a pretextual 30-day “study,” with the clear objective of denying the validly qualified cannabis dispensary petition a place on the November 2018 ballot, in an effort to delay a vote until November of 2020; and

WHEREAS citizen petitions such as the one at issue in Sonoma present an equal opportunity for influence and promote honest public debate through competitive elections, and such petitions are evidence of and further encourage robust civic participation that enhances the democratic process,

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party calls on the Sonoma City Council, including the past-endorsed members Madolyn Agrimonti and David Cook, to reconsider their decision to block the citizen petition, and instead place the matter on the November 2018 ballot, in the interest of promoting free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate, and to publicly take a clear stand in favor of transparency and accountability, and against corruption and cronyism.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on July 29, 2018.

Gil Latimer

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group