Adrienne, Thanks for catching that errant editing of Julie Combs' full name and that she is a Santa Rosa city council member. It's been corrected in the online version. Thanks to everyone else for their comments.
It was a poorly written and sexist article (maybe Mr Raskin's many mistakes and omissions occured while he was so blinded by Ms. Hopkins' "folksy glamour"?) How anyone from Sonoma County who knows even a smidgen about the Sonoma County Business Alliance,and Eric Koenigshafer and the Real Estate PAC (who are Hopkins supporters) could characterize Ms Hopkins as a 'new deal democrat who looks to Franklin Roosevelt for inspiration' is beyond me. Mr Raskin is seriously out of touch with local politics if he doesn't realize that Linda Hopkins is this year's Efren Carrillo- backed by the same Good Old Boys who have run this county for years. References to Noreen Evans' age were irrelevant and inappropriate. Politics is not a glamour contest or a youth competition.
I’m normally a big fan of Jonah Raskin’s writing, so I’m doubly disappointed in this article.
I’m really confused about what his message is in this very long piece. What’s the focus? Is this a piece about Hunter S. Thompson or about why Hunter S. Thompson would be at home in the 5th District? Is it a piece about a journalist for another newspaper who reminds Raskin of Hunter S. Thompson? What does “Fear and Loathing” Thompson have to do with the 5th District Supervisor race, anyway?
At one point it sounds like a piece attempting to equate Hopkins with Bernie Sanders even though Hopkins has the backing of the big business organization, Sonoma County Alliance, and resource-extraction interests, none of whom appear to be supporting Bernie Sanders this year. Or maybe it’s a piece attempting to tag Noreen Evans as a carpetbagger for moving into the district last year, without mentioning that Hopkins *also* just moved into the district last year, leaving her former home in the 4th District so she would be eligible to run in the 5th.
I hope that any future North Bay Bohemian pieces about the very crucial 5th District Supervisor race will ramble less and focus more on substance. Thank you in advance!
Jonah Raskin responds:
I would like to thank Scamperwillow for pointing out errors in my article on the race for the 5th Supervisorial district. It is true that Evans didn’t buy a house in Sebastopol as I asserted. She is renting there. But she did own a house on Flat Rock Circle in Santa Rosa. She purchased it in March 2015 and sold it in February 2016. As for endorsements, Sonoma County Supervisors Susan Gorin and Shirlee Zane have endorsed Evans. James Gore has endorsed Hopkins. David Rabbitt and Efren Carrillo have not endorsed a candidate.
Most of the other comments about my story have to do with matters of interpretation rather than fact. In the months I conducted research I learned that many voters perceive Evans as a political operative who runs for the sake of running, as much as for a set of ideals. At the same time, many voters see Hopkins as a stealth candidate who represents the wine and grape industry and that she threatens to steal the show that rightly belongs to Evans. The actual differences between the two candidates may not be as great as their supporters believe. They both want to preserve the coast and defend the rights of working people. The intention of my article was to draw attention to Hopkins and her campaign because she is a newcomer who looks to President Franklin Roosevelt for inspiration and who wants a "new New Deal" for Sonoma County, which means better roads, improved infrastructure and early childhood education.
I am concerned for the tenants, as I am one, and the landlords who after years of seeing property values fall are now faced with large increases in property taxes, water, trash etc. however, all that being said we need to be mindful of the people who live here, who want to raise their families here, and our seniors. They work here and spend their money here. If people are being driven out because the wages are too low to pay the rents then tax revenue falls, businesses fail because they don't have people to work or buy. It is not us against them. It is our community. Our village!
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Sonoma county was built on backs of the immigrant poor! Your vineyard, cellars folks of the great wine country that is Sonoma County....is pushing out the folks who still make this county great for the greedy transplants to take over with ridiculous rents. Silly people you are certainly shooting yourselfs in foot. I have an idea! Pay the people a living wage that they, we deserve!
I believe that during Helen Rudee's service on the Board of Supes, there were 2 other women for a time: Helen Putnam and Janet Nicholas=3!
While engaging, this description of the 5th District campaign does not explain where either candidate stands on crucial issues like a living wage, affordable housing, unlimited winery events, roads and transportation, conservation, etc. nor does it explain the focus of the organizations supporting the candidates. Unfortunately, it reminds me of the recent Republican "debates" in which there is no discussion of substantive issues.
KOWS-FM and Preserve Rural Sonoma County will host a 5th District Candidates Forum on April 28, Thurs., at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, located in the Vets Building on High Street. Noreen Evans and Lynda Hopkins have agreed to participate. All candidates who file by this Friday will be invited to join.
The evening event will be free to the public, with donations requested. This is in contrast to that of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce forum 3/9, which cost $45. The deck was stacked for that event, since it cost too much for most working people to attend.
Wow, really, Vickie French? This area still needs teachers, janitors, and food service workers. Should they all commute from Tracy. Good thing you're older - you'd NEVER make it as a young person starting out today. And that's not right.
There are a number of inaccuracies in your writing - including that Noreen NEVER lived in Bennett Valley, she is not endorsed by all the supervisors except Gore, she has not bought a house. Piccinini did not drop out after Hopkins joined the race since she launched her campaign before Evans or Piccinini. And a few more.
What IS true though is that Evans won with 70% of the vote in the Fifth District in her last election. She is not exactly a newcomer to this area or to these people. Oh, and she IS endorsed by 4 of the 5 Sebastopol city council members because they have worked with her and know how competent and dedicated she is.
I was so hoping for a balanced analysis of this crucial race and am quite disappointed that it is not what it is.
Maybe you landlords should be more reasonable, and don't cry about your 'return on investment' when many of you own multiple properties worth millions. Though your money buys you a lot of political influence, the tide is turning against you, and there will be rent control and tougher eviction laws. Why should you be able to evict anyone for any reason, if they haven't broken any terms of their lease and paid their rent in timely fashion? If you want to throw people out on the street so you can refurbish a unit and then charge considerably more in rent for it, you should be obligated to pay moving expenses and relocation fees for the current tenant. So, a 'Just-Cause' eviction law protecting good tenants from greedy and unscrupulous landlords is definitely in order. There are many creative and innovative ways to provide affordable housing with the right policies. We can change many regulations, fees, and zoning laws, to allow easier construction of affordable housing, so it doesn't take years and tens of millions of dollars to accomplish, There are also many older, dilapidated, and existing commercial properties which can be converted to housing, with changes in zoning regulations.
*Have to leave this area,'move inland or out of CA'
Vicki S. French, why should people born and raised in this area or whom have resided here for decades because of the greed of you and your developer, real-estate speculator, and landlord friends for ever more profit?
Some shallow writing and reporting here . The facts are that Noreen Evans, a staunch environmentalist and progressive with widespread labor union support is more of the Bernie Saunders and Linda Hopkins, who is endorsed by Koenigshafer as well as endorsed by the Sonoma County Business Alliance ( who have never met a development or winery they can't support) is the business /moderate Hilary Clinton.
In fact Hopkins is herself being supported by many of the County's good old boys - indeed her consultant is the well known Republican and Bosco Boy tag -along Rob Muelrath.
Mr Raskin needs to dig a little deeper than whatever political hacks and mouthpieces who are his sources in Sonoma County if he expects to show any depth or breadth of knowledge of Sonoma Politics. His analysis is as wrong as it is shallow and aegist/ sexist
"Combs" refers to Julie Combs, Santa Rosa Council member. Please add this information to the article.
Our community belongs to all who live in it, not only those who happen to own the land and the houses. It's clear that we will are forcing low income people out of the county. That's bad for all of us and for the environment. I support strong rent control.
I wish to clear up a major falsehood which is contained in your article:
You state that "Even Evans's supporters describe her as a carpetbagger."
That is absolutely FALSE!
Here's one supporter who doesn't - and I have yet to hear EVEN ONE of Ms. Evans' numerous and varied supporters tag her with that rather disparaging ascription.
I will note that Ms. Evans has lived in Sonoma County for approximately 36 years - which is something which cannot be matched by ANY of her opponents.
And I will further note that Ms. Evans represented the Fifth Supervisorial District as part of her leadership duties while serving admirably in the California State Legislature AND the California State Senate.
It would now appear that some of her opponents and their "advisors" are having second thoughts about invoking the spurious "carpetbagger" argument and are trying desperately to put the carpetbag genie back into the bottle where it belongs.
Unfortunately, you seem to have hastily taken a drink of this Kool-Aid and have fallen right into their trap.
I say that such a blatant inaccuracy is beneath the good voting community members of Sonoma County's Fifth District - and should never have been invoked in the first place.
I heartily support Ms. Evans' candidacy to become the next Fiftgh-District Supervisor for Sonoma County and would urge my family, friends and acquaintances to join me in doing so as well.
The rents are high because of the increased costs to the landlord: taxes, garbage and water rates (when they are paid by landlord), insurance costs and the cost of labor to make repairs. Manna doesn't just fall from heaven you know. Banks give you no return on your savings in today's world so you are always robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. Perhaps some landlords are greedy but most are just trying to cover their butts because owning investment property comes with increased risk today. Often tenants don't hold up their end of the bargain and want to create their own rules which often leads to trouble. They don't really 'GET IT" that they are merely paying for rented space that is not theirs. I'd say get over the prices folks, we live in a high priced and affluent area of the country. It's not like living in the Midwest or the South where rents are considerably lower. If you want lower rents move inland and out of CA. That's my take and I have been a landlord for over 30 years, and no, I'm not a slumlord nor am I in the upper income bracket.
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