The Peninsula Democratic Coalition (PDC) is the oldest and largest Democratic Club in Silicon Valley. The PDC has a long history of promoting Democratic candidates and ideals and is chartered by both the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Democratic Central Committees. The PDC is affiliated with the California Democratic Council, a statewide coalition of grass roots clubs.

The PDC has members throughout Silicon Valley including the towns of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Jose, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Portola Valley, Atherton, Woodside, San Mateo, Belmont and San Carlos.



Join us at these upcoming PDC events:


PDC Annual Picnic 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 04:00 PM
Shoup Park in Los Altos, CA

Please join the Peninsula Democratic Coalition for an afternoon of fellowship, food, fun and democracy! This is a potluck so bring an item to share. There will be barbecued items available (including hot dogs) along with vegetarian options, including salad. Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available. 

The PDC requests a $10 contribution at the door to cover expenses, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. You are encouraged to prepay online at Remember to bring your checkbook to facilitate purchasing additional door prize entries!


December 16 Calendar of Local Events

Friday, December 16, 2016 at 06:00 PM


PDC/PYD Weekly Calendar – APRIL 13, 2016

If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2016, RENEW TODAY. Click Here.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2-4:30 p.m. ANNUAL SHREDDING DAY: Don’t hold on to unwanted documents any longer! Where: Little House Activity Center, 800 Middle Avenue, Menlo Park. Sponsored by Little House and Nancy Goldcamp & Associates. For more info: or (650) 326-2025. FREE

RSVP by WEDNESDAY, April 13 for FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. “Update on SCC Early Childhood Education: Strong Start for All” Guest Speaker Matt Tinsley, Executive Director for the SCC Strong Start Coalition.Where: Ristorante Bella Vita, 376 First Street, Los Altos; Cost: $27. To CLICK HERE. Sponsored by LWV-LAMV, Lunch with the League.

 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, SPECIAL SCREENING, “Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie): A 75-minute documentary chronicling the journeys of undocumented students. Where: Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, El Monte Ave., Los Altos Hills. Doors open 6 p.m., film begins 6:15 followed by panel discussion with film’s star and her mother. FREE. Parking: $3. RSVP requested: CLICK HERE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, Social-7-7:30 p.m. 7:30 Program: Karen Maki (PDC Member), Value of and Threats to Our Forests  Where: West Valley Library Branch, Community Room, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd; San Jose, CA 95117. Sponsored by Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter. Karen will also provide methods to influence our Legislature to protect, manage our forests.

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2-5 p.m. PERSONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (PEP) CLASS.  Where: Hillview Community Center, Room 16. Taught by George Hurst with the Santa Clara County Fire Department. This is a great opportunity to learn how to prepare your family for an emergency. FREE with advanced reservations. RSVP online: CLICK HERE . Phone: SCCFD at 408-378-4010 (Choose option 0 after recording.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 4-6 p.m. State Senator Jerry Hill, SD-13 and Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, AD-22 OPEN HOUSE  Where: District Offices: 1528 South El Camino Real Suites 302-303, San Mateo. Bring your ideas, questions and concerns about legislative issues affecting the community.More information, CLICK HERE or (650) 212-3313 . RSVP: CLICK HERE

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 7-9 p.m. MEET & GREET  AD-24 Candidate Marc Berman. Where: 1330 University Dr., Menlo Park. RSVP: Lorri Holzberg, 650-868-7359 or

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. “Update on SCC Early Childhood Education: Strong Start for All” Guest Speaker Matt Tinsley, Executive Director for the SCC Strong Start Coalition.Where: Ristorante Bella Vita, 376 First Street, Los Altos; Cost: $27. RSVP by Wednesday, April 13.  CLICK HERE. Sponsored by LWV-LAMV, Lunch with the League.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, REPRESENTATION DAY 2016: One Nation United to Fix Corruption:  Take to the States. For more information, CLICK HERE.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, George and Amal Clooney Host Two Special Dinner Events with Hillary Clinton. Where: Home of Shervin Pishevar, San Francisco. In support of Hillary Victory Fund. Attendee - $33,400 per person or $66,800 per couple, includes photo with Hillary. Co-host - $100,000 per couple, includes host reception with the Clooneys and Hillary and preferred dinner seating. Event Chair - contribute or raise $353,400 per couple, includes Chair's roundtable with the Clooneys and Hillary and premium dinner seating. RSVP: email Kari Hanson:

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 3-5 p.m. Meet Michael Eggman, Candidate, CD-10.  Stephanie Grossman’s home, 1121 Harriet St., Palo Alto. Sponsored by the PDC/PYD, Dean Democratic Club, DVC, SMC-DFA.  Host: $500, Co-Host: $250, Guest: $100. Contribute online Click: Please RSVP to Robert Phillips by April 15th at (209) 300-7747 or email Checks payable to Eggman for Congress.  Bring to event or mail to 3220 W. Monte Vista Ave, #169 Turlock, CA 95380. Michael has a good chance to unseat a Tea Party Republican.  Let’s take back the HOUSE!

FRIDAY, APRIL 18. RSVP deadline to be included in printed invitation for Host Committee for reception honoring Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. See details under May 14.

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1-4:45 p.m. CELEBRATE EARTH DAY. CONNECTING THE DOTS: KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION: Get inspired by students who have pursued sustainability and how you can, too! Where: Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez St., Stanford 94305.Keynote: Making it Real - How do we move ideas to action?Science Magazine Editor and National Academy of Sciences president Marcia McNuttTo register, CLICK HERE.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 6:30-9 p.m. Professor Myra Strober (PDC MEMBER) on Fighting Sexism in Her New Memoir Sharing the Work. Where: Arriallaga Alumni Center, Fisher Conference Center, 326 Galvez St., Stanford 94305. Cost: $40 guests; $25 Stanford Professional Women. No onsite registration or refunds.  To register, CLICK HEREQuestions: Ellen Brigham, MA’79;

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 6 p.m. SPECIAL SHOWING of “FIX IT”, New Movie to fix our broken health care system.  Where: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall, 2125 Canoas Garden Ave., San Jose. FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.  Greg Miller, Campaign for a Healthy California.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 12 p.m. “National Security Challenges for the Next President” Guest Speaker: R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of Diplomacy & International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Where: Bechtel Conference Center, 616 Serra Street, Stanford University. Sponsored by Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, CISAC RSVP REQUIRED. CLICK HERE


WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 7 p.m. Doors Open; 7:30-9 p.m. Program: China’s Challenges. Guest Speaker: Dr. Thomas Fingar, Distinguished Fellow, Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute. Where: Los Altos Youth Center, 1 North San Antonio Rd., Sponsored by the Peninsula Chapter of the World Affairs Council. FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.

SATURDAY, MAY 7, 9 a.m., Let’s Get Moving! 2016 Silicon Valley Transportation Choices and Healthy Communities SummitWhere: Microsoft Headquarters, 1065 La Avenida St., Mountain View Sponsored by Silicon Valley Community Foundation Info and RSVP: CLICK HERE.

SATURDAY, MAY 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. East Palo Alto Reading Bonanza. Come join the fun and promote child literacy. Where: Bell Street Park at 550 Bell Street, EPA. Family entertainment, children activities, lots of books, spelling bee. Come join us to combat illiteracy, lower reading levels and lack of interest in reading among the youth in low income neighborhoods and to showcase the diversity of books and promote the joy of reading. LEARN MORE

SATURDAY, MAY 14, 4-5:30 p.m. Reception Honoring Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, CD-18.Where: Home of John and Marcia Goldman, Atherton.  Co-Chair:  $5,400    |    PAC Co-Chair:  $5,000    |    Sponsor:    $2,700   |    Friend:  $1,000

MONDAY, MAY 23. LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE. IF YOU HAVE MOVED, CHANGED YOUR NAME, CHANGED YOUR PARTY, BE SURE TO RE-REGISTER. You can register online at the County Registrar of Voters or at Secretary of State website.



FRIDAY, JUNE 3. MAIL in your Vote-by-Mail ballot. It must REACH your county Registrar of Voters by close of polls on Election Day, June 7.

TUESDAY, JUNE 7. CALIFORNIA OPEN PRIMARY ELECTION. BE SURE TO VOTE!!! If you forget to mail your vote-by-mail ballot in time, deliver it to your polling place or other designated drop off location.  If you have LOST your vote-by-mail ballot, take photo ID and request a provisional ballot at your polling place. VOTE. DO NOT BECOME DISENFRANCHISED. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!

 SUNDAY, JUNE 26, noon-3 p.m. BBQ Meet & Greet with Santa Clara County D.A. JEFF ROSEN  Where: History Park, 1650 Senter Road, San Jose. Silver: $250, Gold: $500, Platinum: 1,000. RSVP/Donate online, Click Here or mail your check payable to Jeff Rosen for DA 2018 to Jeff Rosen, 6950 Almaden Expressway, PMB 172, San Jose, CA  95120

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The White House, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK. Since President Obama entered public service, he’s been driven by a simple belief: in America, if you're willing to work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead and provide opportunities for your family. That means you should be able to thrive at work and at home -- and that you shouldn't have to dent your paycheck, or risk losing your job, to be a good mom or dad, or care for your aging parent. And if you’re willing to work full time, you definitely shouldn’t be forced to live in poverty. That's why the President has repeatedly called on Congress and leaders across our country in the public and private sectors to expand family-friendly workplace policies, such as paid family leave, paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, affordable child care, and a higher minimum wage. We're thrilled that today, New York State answered the call and took an important step forward for working families when Governor Cuomo signed a budget that included paid family leave and an increase in the minimum wage.

With these measures, New York became the first state to create a paid family leave program since President Obama urged states to take action in 2014, as well as the 18th state to raise its minimum wage since he urged Congress to act in 2013. The President knows working families cannot wait for Congress to move our country forward. That's why he's made progress on his own by raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors, strengthening overtime protections, and protecting employees of federal contractors from being retaliated against by their bosses if they discuss their wages. Americans shouldn’t need to choose between their families and making ends meet. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s and the state legislature’s leadership, New Yorkers will now move closer to never having to face that choice, by creating a culture that rewards hard work and empowers families. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating this accomplishment.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, CD-18. AIRPLANE NOISE UPDATE.Because you have previously contacted me about unacceptable levels of aircraft noise in your community, I want to provide you with an update on this issue. On April 4th, I joined with Congressman Sam Farr and Congresswoman Jackie Speier to announce the formation of a new Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals. The Select Committee will be comprised of 12 local elected officials and will build on the previous work of local stakeholders to develop regional solutions to address aircraft noise. Importantly, the Select Committee will have representation from the three Congressional Districts (CA-14, CA-18, & CA-20) and the three affected counties. This is a regional problem which calls for regional solutions. Simply shifting noise from one community to another is not an option.


Together with the announcement of the Select Committee, my colleagues and I also released the FAA’s updated Initiative to Address Northern California Noise Concerns which includes completed milestones. A copy of the updated Initiative is enclosed for you, and the full list of Select Committee Members and Alternates is available here. As you know, new flight paths implemented by the FAA have generated an alarming increase in noise impacts across my entire Congressional District. Large, small, urban, and rural communities have all been affected, and the majority of noise complaints in my District involve arrivals at SFO. The Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals will focus on these issues and accept public input, review FAA plans, and make recommendations on issues identified in the FAA’s Initiative. SFO and the FAA will offer technical assistance to the Select Committee as needed and will work with the Committee on implementing the Initiative. This will ensure that the concerns of the entire region are properly considered and addressed by the FAA.  

I want you to know that I remain steadfastly committed to addressing this problem which has plagued thousands of my constituents. The creation of the Select Committee is another substantial step toward addressing these issues and it ensures that all communities will have their voices heard by the FAA. If you have any questions or comments, let me hear from you. I value what my constituents say to me, and I always need your thoughts and benefit from your ideas. Most gratefully,

GENOCIDE. On March 14th the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a resolution I introduced with my colleague, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), which defines the persecution of Christians, including Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as genocide. The resolution passed the House by a vote of 393 to 0. That same day I spoke on the floor of the House in support of the resolution and I invite you to read my speech

Three days later on March 17th the U.S. Department of State took decisive and historic action by asserting that the persecution of Christians, Yezidis, and Shiite Muslims by ISIS is genocide. In a powerful and poignant speech, Secretary of State John Kerry stated:  “The fact is that Daesh kills Christians because they are Christians; Yezidis because they are Yezidis; Shia because they are Shia… Its entire worldview is based on eliminating those who do not subscribe to its perverse ideology. There is no question in my mind that if Daesh succeeded in establishing its so-called caliphate, it would seek to destroy what remains of ethnic and religious mosaic once thriving in the region.”  This marks the sixth time in the history of our country that the genocide designation has been applied, and it is only the second time in our history that a U.S. administration has declared genocide during a conflict. The previous time was in 2004 when then-Secretary of State Colin Powell used it to describe the killings in Darfur. This determination will elevate awareness of the incredible suffering of so many in Iraq and Syria and help unite the entire international community to end this genocide, a crime which strikes people, cultures, societies and civilization itself. The designation of genocide through the passage of the genocide resolution and the State Department’s announcement is deeply meaningful to me as the only Member of Congress of Assyrian and Armenian descent. This genocide is a repeat of what my family and so many others endured. They were being persecuted and hunted down in the Middle East precisely because they were Christians. This designation is only the first step. We must keep our resolve to prevent further violence against religious and ethnic minorities because the genocide of these vulnerable populations is still taking place. ISIS militants continue to ravage Iraq and Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities. Men and boys are being killed, and women and girls are being abducted, sold, and raped.

I’m working daily with my colleagues in the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus to secure humanitarian aid, security, and an expedited pathway to refugee status for besieged ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. I also continue to assist USAID partners in reaching the displaced population residing outside refugee camps with humanitarian assistance and address the pathetic 16-month wait period for priority refugee status within the U.S.   I’ve also introduced H.R. 1150, the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act which would allow non-state actors to be designated as violators of religious freedom, granting the Administration better tools to address extremism and violence with groups like Boko Haram and ISIS. The ongoing violence against ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East calls for the U.S. to recommit itself to one of its greatest values—religious freedom. I will continue to do everything I can to achieve peace in the region so that these ancient faith communities will be safe in their ancestral homeland.  All my best,

Congressman Mike Honda, CD-17. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK. Women essentially work for free for three and a half months out of the year because of the gender pay gap. A man could start working today at his average salary, and by year’s end, he would have earned the same as a woman who had worked the entire year. This is not only unfair, but it puts our country’s potential on hold. Pay equity is not just a women’s issue. It is a question of what kind of society we want to build for our children. We can’t have an equal and just world when half of the population is paid less simply because of their gender. When enacted, this law will strengthen the Equal Pay Act by:

•   protecting all workers from retaliation for discussing their wages;

•   requiring that unequal wages have a legitimate business justification; and

•   giving men and women who face pay discrimination legal recourse.

Throughout our country’s history, we have expanded worker’s protections, and it has only made our nation stronger. We shouldn’t be okay with living in a society where blatant gender discrimination forces working families to struggle to put food on their tables. In my Congressional District, female-headed households have the lowest incomes. This has tremendous repercussions for the well-being of our county, state, and nation. We should strive to live in a society where your gender doesn’t determine or limit the opportunities available to you. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a critical step in building a fair society that we and future generations can be proud of. Sign our petition telling Congress to help make our society more equal and just by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

  •  CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. Half a century is all that stands between us and a world where it was okay to hang a sign emblazoned with the words “No Blacks Allowed” outside a restaurant. A world where qualified women were denied jobs left and right because their gender was somehow viewed as less than. A world where you had to hide your pride in your culture or religion if you wanted success. Thankfully, 52 years ago today, the Civil Rights Act removed our nation away from that world. But when you take a look around, you can still see remnants of it.If you turn on the news, there are still too many stories of people being denied the American Dream simply because of who they are. That is why I’ve made it my mission to fight for fairness, equality, and justice in Congress. We need to continue living up to the promise of the Civil Rights Act, because the bigotry the Republican presidential candidates are spewing show that we are not completely out of the woods when it comes to America’s hateful past. The protections that the Civil Rights Act provides were not easily earned. People marched and were beaten for having the audacity to ask for equal treatment under the law. We need to honor their resolute boldness and never give up the fight for equality. Without the Civil Rights Act, my existence in Congress would not be possible. Seventy years ago, my family was forcibly removed from our home and sent to an internment camp. Now, I represent the same area that deemed my family “dangerous” less than a century ago. I owe my life and success to the brave civil rights activists who never gave up the good fight. They’ve passed the torch on to us. Will you help keep it lit?

AD-24 Candidate Marc Berman. LBBT CIVIL RIGHTS. I'm running for the State Assembly because I want to fight to expand opportunity for every Californian. But we can’t expand opportunity before we’ve secured basic human rights, and one of the most fundamental rights is the ability to live free from fear and discrimination because of who you are. Today, this right is under attack across the country. North Carolina recently passed legislation overturning local anti-discrimination laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) residents, effectively enshrining discrimination in state law. Mississippi then enacted legislation allowing people to deny services to the LGBT community. California must be a leader in fighting back against these discriminatory laws, and continue to adopt progressive policies that serve as examples for other states to follow. That’s why I'm excited to announce the endorsement of Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBT civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Equality California has worked to pass over 100 pieces of LGBT civil rights legislation in California, leading the effort to fight for marriage equality and transgender rights, and to fight against LGBT senior discrimination and youth homelessness. As successful as Equality California has been, there is still much work to be done. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are at least three times more likely than their non-gay peers to attempt suicide, and a startling 60% of transgender youth report having considered suicide. As LGBT seniors retire and move into assisted living centers and nursing homes, too many of them are going back into the closet to avoid harassment and discrimination. With your support, I will fight in Sacramento for the right of all Californians to live free from fear and discrimination.

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Eitan Fenson, Democratic Volunteer Center (DVC) Campaign Manager. VOLUNTEER. I am returning to the DVC as Campaign Manager for this election campaign.  Together with the DVC board, I'm in the process of assembling a dynamic leadership and volunteer team for the 2016 campaign.  Click here for a list of needs as we ramp up our operation.  Please look over the list and consider rejoining us to preserve and promote our Democratic values during this "earthquake" election campaign.  Click here to let us know that you'll be with us again in 2016! You can learn more at our newly re-launched website  I look forward to working together in passion and solidarity during the coming months.Best regards,

NAMI MENTAL HEALTH Advocacy Alert. People in the middle of heart attacks are rarely—if ever—told that there are no hospital beds. People with heart disease aren’t told that they can’t be treated for diabetes on the same day they are treated for high blood pressure. People with mental health conditions face these barriers every day. This is health care inequality at its worst. Ask your Senators to take action to:

•   Stop limiting payment for psychiatric hospitalization for people covered by Medicaid or Medicare

•   Stop limiting Medicaid payment for mental and physical health conditions that are treated on the same day and in the same place

Help end health system inequalities for people with mental illness. Reach out to your Senators today.

Judy Plaska, Kate Forrest, PDC CLIMATE CHANGE  Committee. Here's a chance for PDC members to join together and take collective action for improved, climate friendly transportation in the region. On April 22nd, the Valley Transportation Authority Board meets and will be discussing alternate ways to make transit improvements.  Please sign this petition to the VTA from the Sunshine Climate Action Alliance, a SCC and SMC network of 17 local environmental, climate change, and social justice organizations including the PDC.   To sign CLICK HERE.

More Lanes = More Cars = More Pollution

We, the Climate Action Community in Silicon Valley, are speaking out to the VTA Board of Directors. 

Dear Board Members of the Valley Transportation Authority:

The VTA is considering adding more capacity to Santa Clara County’s major highways and expressways which will increase motor vehicle use and related carbon pollution, at a time when state and regional policies are calling for transportation investments that reduce carbon emissions and increase access to safe, convenient, and reliable transportation options.

The VTA will maximize the climate benefits of its planned half-cent sales tax measure by limiting funding for road expansion.  We urge the VTA to focus on investments in projects and programs that increase walking and biking opportunities and expand public  transit options, including the BART to Silicon Valley extension, Caltrain upgrades, and more frequent, reliable, and affordable bus service.

Transportation is the single largest contributor to climate-warming emissions in the Bay Area, accounting for 40% of our region’s CO2 emissions. Silicon Valley is also home to among the longest commutes and worst traffic gridlock in the nation. The notorious traffic congestion and associated carbon pollution is a result of decades of investments and planning decisions that encourage solo driving at the expense of all other modes of transportation.

State policy is now calling for the Bay Area and other regions to reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT) and to reduce carbon emissions. As such, future transportation-related investments must simultaneously tackle our mobility needs and the climate crisis.  

I'm supportive of VTA’s general concept of a half-cent sales tax increase over thirty years to raise $6B for critical transportation improvements. But, I’m very opposed to existing proposals to spend one-quarter of that (or $1.5 billion) on highway, freeway, and expressway capacity increases such as road widening.

Transportation planners have known for decades that adding capacity to freeways and other major arteries actually encourages sprawl and more driving and does not reduce traffic congestion, resulting in inefficient use of taxpayer funds and more carbon pollution.

That’s why I urge the VTA Board of Directors to limit highway, freeway, and expressway capacity expansion spending in the fall ballot measure to no more than $400 million and to focus on investments that improve safety, reduce VMT, and increase transit use and walking and biking rates.

Don Belcher, Chair, HEALTH CARE, Single Payer Now.Please Contribute Today toSupport Healthcare for Undocumented Californians and Medicare for All.Help Send Our Buses to Sacramento. We are sending at least two busloads of activists to a May 16 rally in Sacramento to support Healthcare for the Undocumented and for Medicare for All. Renting two buses and providing box lunches cost $3900.  We needyour help paying for this campaign trip. Campaigning for healthcare for all is especially important in a year when many presidential candidates are advocating for the exclusion of immigrants. Please help us win these battles and push back against the exclusionists. To make a contribution by credit card, CLICK HERE. Or you can mail a check to  Single Payer Now, PO Box 460622, San Francisco, CA 94146. Thank you.

Carol Kingsley, GUN CONTROL. Safety for All Initiative. Before Charleston, before Newtown, before Virginia Tech, there was 101 California Street – the worst mass shooting in San Francisco history. My beloved husband Jack Berman was one of 14 innocent people shot randomly and in cold blood. Eight of those people died – including Jack. Like every family devastated by gun violence, ours took a harrowing lurch. My son Zack had to grow up without a father. Life never returned to normal as we then knew it. My new normal had to include working hard to prevent others from suffering similar losses – because I knew I couldn't walk away from such a devastating problem and not be part of working for a solution.

I've worked alongside other survivors and advocates for better gun safety laws for over 20 years. I've been proud to serve on the board of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization formed in the wake of the 101 California Street massacre, and have continued to do everything I can to help stop senseless firearm deaths and injuries. Although it's been frustrating to see Congress repeatedly block even the most basic federal gun safety laws, our efforts here in California have been much more successful. Still, much remains to be done. That's why Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's Safety for All ballot initiative is so exciting. The Lt. Governor has partnered with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence to make California's gun laws even stronger by going straight to California voters – an overwhelming majority of whom, according to polls, support stronger gun safety measures. But to win, we have to defeat the well-funded gun lobby and turn out our supporters – will you help by contributing $5 or more today?  Every time I turn on the news and see another mass shooting, or senseless gun death from domestic violence, street violence or suicide, my stomach drops. Involuntarily, my body and brain begin to relive the day on which my husband, an employment and social justice attorney, was shot alongside his client by a disturbed individual with a hellfire-triggered assault weapon to which he should never have had access. The shock I once felt in hearing about these tragedies has changed to a sickening disgust because mass shootings are increasing and preventable civilian deaths from guns is epidemic. I am outraged that with the majority of voters favoring stricter gun safety, our elected leaders have not acted more effectively. How many wounded? How many dead? What will it take to get something done?

This year, I believe we have what it takes. We have a vibrant grassroots movement behind a commonsense initiative that will keep ammunition and military-style ammunition magazines out of the wrong hands, while helping law enforcement track stolen guns and dangerous people. Now, we just have to get it passed – and for that, we need your support today. Can you contribute even $5, right now, to help us educate and mobilize the voters we need to pass Safety for All and save countless lives? My husband Jack was a wonderful man. And while I know he would have given anything to be able to continue battling injustice for his clients – and raising our son – I also know he would have been glad to see something powerful, lifesaving, and lasting come out of his death. That's why I plan to work hard between now and November to pass Safety for All. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping to honor the memory of Jack and the others shot at 101 California Street and spare thousands of other California families our unending loss. Click here to give $5 or more to Safety for All now.

GOV. Brown Signs CA MINIMUM WAGE Bill.  (April 4, 2016 Los Angeles Times) LOS ANGELES, CA -In front of a boisterous downtown Los Angeles crowd of legislators, union leaders and workers who have been fighting for increased salaries, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation today that will raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Brown, during a ceremony at the Ronald Reagan State Building, said the passage of SB 3 doesn't mark the end of the struggle for livable wages, but it's a big step in the right direction. "It's about people," Brown said. "It's about creating a little tiny balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced." The state Assembly and Senate both approved the legislation Thursday, despite opposition from Republicans and business leaders. Under the legislation, California's $10-an-hour minimum wage will increase to $10.50 in January 2017, then to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018. The minimum wage will then go up by a dollar in each of the following years until it reaches $15 in 2022, after which it will continue to rise each year by up to 3.5 percent to account for inflation.

 Businesses with 25 or fewer employees get an extra year to raise their wage, so that workers will be paid $15 by 2023. The plan also gives the governor the ability to temporarily halt the raises if there is a forecasted budget deficit of more than one percent of annual revenue, or due to poor economic conditions such as declines in jobs and retail sales. Government workers who provide in-home health services will receive an additional three paid sick days under the plan. "Today we're not just witnessing the signing of a bill, we're witnessing the honoring of our social contract -- specifically that, if you get a job and work hard, you will be able to support family," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said. "For too long, that just hasn't been the reality. Many Californians who work full time can't put a roof over their families' heads or put meals on their table. This bill changes that for tens of thousands of Californians."

The wage hike will affect 5.6 million workers, or about one-third of the statewide workforce, officials said. The proposal is similar, although slightly slower, than an already- approved increased in the city of Los Angeles minimum wage. Under the city ordinance, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 on July 1 and eventually reach $15 per hour in 2020, with future increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index. The same wage hike schedule was also adopted for the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. "Today California leads the nation once again, passing a historic minimum wage increase that will help lift millions of hardworking men and women out of poverty," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "Last year, I led efforts to raise the wage in Los Angeles, and we watched a wave of cities follow suit. We are fighting against income inequality with every tool we have."

Other California cities have also enacted wage increases, some even earlier than Los Angeles. San Jose's wage rose to $10.30 per hour in Jan. 1, 2015, and is set to continue climbing depending on the CPI. San Francisco's minimum hourly wage, now at $12.25, will go up to $13 on July 1 and to $15 in 2018, followed by further increases based on CPI, under a measure approved by that city's voters in 2014. Republicans and business leaders opposed the statewide minimum-wage hike, arguing it will lead to businesses reducing the size of their work force or increasing prices to cover the costs of the increased wages. Stuart Waldman, president of the Van Nuys-based Valley Industry & Commerce Association, said the law will also give businesses another reason to leave the state entirely. "If you wanted to guarantee California will be the most expensive place to do business in the country for the foreseeable future, this is a good first step," Waldman said. "We encourage California lawmakers to engage with the business community in order to work toward real solutions for income equality. The creation of well-paying jobs is fostered through smart fiscal policies and efficient government -- not simply making businesses pay more in wages."

But supporters, primarily Democrats, rallied behind the proposal, saying workers earning minimum wage should be able to pay for basic necessities. "Wages are not keeping pace with the cost of living in California. Income inequality continues to grow," said Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. "This proposal will help millions of hard-working Californians while protecting taxpayers and small businesses if the economy experiences a downturn. We can be prudent and make sure workers are paid a reasonable, livable wage at the same time. It doesn't have to be a choice." Labor unions are pushing two separate ballot initiatives aimed at raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Backers of one of the initiatives have said they will drop their effort in light of the new law. Backers of the other initiative said they are waiting until the governor signs the bill before deciding whether to drop their measure.