WatchSonoma Watch

GUEST OPINION: Local prosperity is ADC’s agenda


Dennis Rosatti, executive director of Sonoma County Conservation Action, and Jack Buckhorn, business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 551, are co-chairmen of the Accountable Development Coalition.

The Accountable Development Coalition has been in the news lately, and we recognized the need to clarify who we are, and what we stand for.

Dennis Rosatti

The ADC was formed in 2006 as a coalition of environmental, land use, labor, housing and social justice organizations to represent community interests in the important land use and development decisions that shape the economic life and environmental quality of our community.

Three key concerns dominated the formation of the coalition:

We want the community to be involved in setting good public policy and to participate in the earliest stages of planning in order to develop great neighborhoods and communities.

For example, we received a grant from the Hewlett Foundation to engage the local community in creating Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square Station Area Plan. The community spoke out and persuaded the city to approve a plan that will create a friendlier environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, support public transit users and provide more affordable housing near shops and incentives for better-paying jobs.

Jack Buckhorn

We’ve also advocated for green building standards, which is the wave of the future as we cope with climate change.

As a growing coalition of 14 diverse local organizations and committed professional members, we are big enough to attract the interest of developers. We offer to work in collaboration with developers to make better plans that meet more of the community’s needs.

For example, we collaborated with Sonoma Mountain Village to improve a re-use project to create good local jobs and strengthen green building standards, while providing a better sense of community with a mix of housing types close to shops and work. Three years of working together is documented in a community benefits agreement that acknowledges our support.

The current Wall Street business model, favoring out-of-state, corporate-owned retail stores harms our local small business retailers.

We believe in community prosperity. We go to bat for locally owned businesses that are active in our community, support local charities and are the drivers of local economic development. We cannot support big-box stores that do not embrace smart growth principles, which pay low wages and minimal benefits to their workers and siphon money out of the local economy to pay their corporate executives millions.

We helped fight off an effort to rezone land designated for affordable housing for yet another unnecessary big-box store near Santa Rosa Avenue. This victory will help retain Friedman’s Home Improvement, a family-owned local business that pays living wages, built a prominent community center and continues to be a leader supporting local charities.

The ADC established the following seven founding principles for accountable development to describe a sustainable and equitable development path that will serve the common good and create shared prosperity.

– Create and enforce community standards through development that meets local and regional needs.

– Build mixed-income neighborhoods through the inclusion of affordable housing for all incomes in all residential developments.

– Promote good jobs through family-supporting wages and benefits, job security, the right to organize, job training and local hire.

– Ensure community health and safety through accessible health care, safe working and housing conditions and a healthy neighborhood environment.

– Be environmentally sustainable through good community design, particularly through pedestrian and transit-oriented development, by using green building and environmentally conscious design.

– Build participation and encourage meaningful community involvement and representation in decisions about development.

– Be smart growth and transit-oriented by directing development toward existing communities, creating bike-able, walk-able neighborhoods and providing a range of transportation options.

This is the agenda of the ADC. We are part of a national movement of accountable development advocates that represents an evolutionary advance in public policy we hope to see implemented across the region.

Our goal is to create a policy platform that informs the next generation of public officials and planning staff and helps broaden civic discourse on public policy issues.

78 Responses to “GUEST OPINION: Local prosperity is ADC’s agenda”

  1. Kay Tokerud says:

    Wow, how low can you go? In spite of strenuous efforts by the Allen camp to scare people away from this site, people who are reasonable and plainly stating the facts are still here. I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback by the personal attacks against me, but I got over it. After five years of being a council watcher and active in the community, I intend to take full advantage of the voice I can have on this site.

    Sometimes the truth hurts when wrongdoing is exposed. Those brave people that come forward need to be celebrated, not denigrated. I’m feeling fairly encouraged to see that smart, rational people are out there and expressing their views. Those that remain silent for whatever reason are part of the problem. The motto of the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition is; Get Involved, It’s Your City.

    Sure, we get attacked all the time by people who have something to hide but I count myself among those who fearlessly speak truth to power. I invite people to contact our website to set up a meeting with us to discuss the issues.

    We must weed out the dishonest politicians so we can get back on track. Conflicts of interest cannot be tolerated. Brown Act violations cannot be tolerated. There’s a reason for laws, they exist to keep things fair. Please be careful when you vote and do some research.

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  2. Jason Valez says:

    Franklin D. Roosevelt “ The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ”

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  3. home girl says:

    @ Beef King – from home girl

    You neglected to read my entire post, see below:

    “this investigation will reveal the truth, bad or good, about MIchael Allen, hopefully before the November election”

    I am not making a conclusion, I leave that to the taxpayer supported agency responsible for maintaining a semblance of transparency and honesty in government.

    While mudslinging at those who support the aims of the FPPC you are announcing Mr. Allen’s innocence, which may or may not be the case.Is it really necessary to slander people who want the full examination of Mr.Allen’s dealings with the SCWA?

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  4. @Lyn says:

    Lynn since you are making up your mind based on no evidence (there was none cited in the article either) how can you characterize it as extortion when two parties make an agreement to contract voluntarily? The Coddings have stated publicly in a press release that they are happy to partner with enviros and the ADC, do you Keith Woods and Kay Tokerud think you know better than them how to run their business?

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  5. @homegirl says:

    @Home Girl Please get a grip on reality. I know that wild lies and accusations are par for the course when you post anonymously, but as anyone knows (and these boards have shown) in dirty political campaigns (such as the one Victoria Hogan ran for Lee Pierce) complaints to the FPPC happen all the time. Why not try and wait unitl the investigation is over to judge? Or do you think being accused is the same as being convicted?

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  6. home girl says:

    To @Beef KIng.

    Mr. Allen is being investigated by the FPPC a government agency that does not lightly undertake investigations. From your post I would say you support the transfer of more than $100k of the tax and rate payer’s money from the Sonoma County Water Agency to fund Mr. Allen’s political campaign. Sorry, I can’t agree with you, this investigation will reveal the truth, bad or good, about MIchael Allen, hopefully before the November election.

    The mud slinging I see posted here is generated by Ms. Maldonado and Ms. Gonzales in their many guises, are you one of them?

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  7. @Beef King says:

    ADC is not involved in the WalMart issue and is not suing anyone. Please get ahold of yourself Mr King.
    @Karl Rove, it’s not surpising you are speaking in favor of Ms Hogan, the two of you are peas in a pod and truly kindred souls. Outside of the 10 people she has posting on this board, no on else in Santa Rosa can stand her because of her hateful and relentless attacks and stalking and her vituperative postings on the real sr. She has been unmasked and discredited for the vicious smear campaign she orchestrated against Michael Allen and no one cares to listen to her hate filled screeds any more.

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  8. Beef King says:

    A quick reminder for posters who have wandered off topic.
    This article is about the ADC claiming they are good for the prosperity goals of the region, and the nation as a whole.
    This ridiculous claim is now made comical by their response to the approval of a WalMart grocery store…they plan to sue. Of course they are!
    They saw that their ‘activist’ buddies in Petaluma got paid $172K to drop their absurd objections, and they see a bigger payday by holding Rohnert Park and it’s citizens hostage to their demands.
    The ADC is bad for us locally, and the Union/’Progressive’ cabal is bad for all Americans.
    Vote NO! on Michael Allen, Noreen Evans, and Lynn Woolsey and get the oppressive ‘Progressives’ off the taxpayer payroll.
    We need to elect people who care about ALL their constituents.

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  9. KRove says:

    Thank you, Lisa Maldonado! Your tireless and relentless swift-boating of Ms. Hogan, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Koire have all but achieved the desired goal of turning that blue seat red. I couldn’t have done it better myself.

    Just think, you have demonized and pilloried good Democrats to get the weakest person the nomination. Right on!

    Now, we will have a field day with Mr. Allen’s FPPC complaint, the Grand Jury findings and whatever other dirt we can find.

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  10. Sonoma Watch Ombudsman says:

    The Ombudsman Seconds the Motion

    Ted, please take note of these excellent guidelines.

    Comment Guidelines
    The goal of the story comments section at NapaValleyRegister.com is to have an open, thought-provoking, civil community forum for all issues.

    What gets your comment posted?
    * Staying on topic
    * Keeping your comment to 1000 words or less
    * Avoiding name-calling
    * Addressing your comments to the message rather than the messenger

    What gets your comment deleted?
    * Personal attacks
    * Hostility towards other users
    * Derogatory remarks
    * Name-calling of any sort
    * Going off-topic
    * Hate speech
    * Racially-insensitive comments
    * Implying guilt of a subject in a crime story before there is a court verdict
    * Posting multiple comments to get around the word limit. Keep it short.
    * Posting e-mail addresses
    * Posting comments of a commercial nature

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  11. Vincent says:

    Mr Pierce thatnks for clearing up that Victoria was your campaign manager during your assembly race against Michael Allen. The question reamains about your running a “clean” campaign against Mr Allen, since you have not disavowed her relentless harrassment and attacks against Mr Allen. Labor unions, Lisa Maldonado,Laura Gonzalez and others Do you endorse this behavior (behavior that Victoria Hogan admittedly started while working for you?) Until you either disassociate yourself or explain whether those attacks were/ are done on your behalf it seems fair to conclude that your campaign was involved and was not running a “clean campaign”. If you wish to be associated with a clearly hateful and meanspirited individual who has attacked and vilified Michael Allen and many others all over these and other blogs, then you should either stand up and defend her or acknowledge that you endorsed her methods and behaviors.(which began according to the Napa Register while she worked for you)The article I posted also clearly shows from the City Attorney that requested materials and began investigating Mr Allen, while working for you. If you didn’t authorize or agree with this, why not let people know?If you are supporting her continuous attacks on people here, why not let us know?

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    Ted Appel:
    Since you are new to being a moderator for the PD online site, I am providing you with the new guidelines from the Napa Valley Register to assist you. These guidelines should be applied equally to all sides of an issue.

    Comment Guidelines

    The goal of the story comments section at NapaValleyRegister.com is to have an open, thought-provoking, civil community forum for all issues.
    What gets your comment posted?

    * Staying on topic
    * Keeping your comment to 1000 words or less
    * Avoiding name-calling
    * Addressing your comments to the message rather than the messenger

    What gets your comment deleted?

    * Personal attacks
    * Hostility towards other users
    * Derogatory remarks
    * Name-calling of any sort
    * Going off-topic
    * Hate speech
    * Racially-insensitive comments
    * Implying guilt of a subject in a crime story before there is a court verdict
    * Posting multiple comments to get around the word limit. Keep it short.
    * Posting e-mail addresses
    * Posting comments of a commercial nature

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  13. Lee Pierce says:

    A first post to set the record straight: 1. I have never said a negative word about Assembly Candidate Michael Allen, his character, his pending FPPC investigation nor about his volunteers or staff members – before, during nor since our Assembly Campaign. In fact, Mr. Allen and I had a very cordial meeting a couple of weeks ago – during which time we re-affirmed our friendship and mutual respect – despite the fact that I am not able to endorse his candidacy for State Assembly. 2. Victoria Hogan was never employed by the Lee Pierce for State Assembly 2010 Campaign. Victoria served as a volunteer Campaign manager until personal circumstances caused her to leave her campaign post twice during the course of the campaign. Victoria was never paid a salary, not even a stipened to work on my campaign. Victoria was reimbursed for a few hundred dollars of her out -of-pocket campaign expenses that is the only money that she received from the Lee Pierce for State Assembly 2010 Campaign. Finally, I hope that this entry will resolve the Lee Pierce / Victoria Hogan campaign relationship issues for those who care and who apparently have more time than me to hang out and blog on this website all day and night.


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  14. Victoria Hogan says:


    Not true.

    “Vincent” and “Phillip” sound just like Lisa Maldonado and her sidekick Laura Gonzales. Lisa the lawyer likes to describe simple things like sending an email as “instigating.” Both Lisa and Laura are college graduates so both of them presumably know the difference between a public official or candidate and a private individual who volunteers in a campaign.

    But for months they’ve pretended they can’t figure that out. Perhaps there are some other lawyers out there who can explain the difference to Ms. Maldonado in terms she can understand?

    I’ve been volunteering in political campaigns since I was in high school. It used to be fairly common thing to do.

    Not anymore.

    Now campaigns like Michael Allen’s raise $300,000 and hire a dozen staffers and part-time “field” people to put up signs, send news releases, walk precincts, organize events and all the other things volunteers used to do for free.

    In Maldonado’s case she doesn’t show up on the Allen campaign financial reports, she is paid a salary by the North Bay Labor Council and yet she manages to spend most of her time working on the Michael Allen campaign. If that is not illegal, it should be. Those of you who’ve been paying attention know she performs a variety of tasks for the Allen campaign(harassing individuals on this website is just one of her many jobs and is part of their strategy.) Is the North Bay Labor Council providing her salaried time as a gift to the campaign? It appears so.

    Both Michael Wilson and Lee Pierce ran clean campaigns (and collected 60% of the vote). The same cannot be said for Michael Allen. Allen’s campaign paid for a robo call recorded by one of the women on his staff attacking Mr. Wilson just before the election and Ms. Maldonado arranged for two last minute direct mail hit pieces against Wilson just a few days before the election when it was too late for him to respond. And that was just the paid negative advertising. Obviously–and as Ben Boyce admitted in the PD–they also had an online strategy that was dependant on Lisa Maldonado serving as Allen’s attack dog.

    One of the most despictable and deceptive things she did during the primary was when Maldonado was on Watch Sonoma County and twitter whining about what she called a “push poll” and she publicly accused the Wilson campaign of producing it. Funny thing. When the campaign finance reports came out, no polling was shown on the expenditures of Wilson or Pierce.

    But guess what? One of the unions that belongs to Lisa Maldonado’s own organization has a political action committee which paid a very large sum for a poll in the 7th Assembly District. And it sure looks like Lisa Maldonado was the one actualy behind that poll she was accusing Wilson of producing. The North Bay Labor Council and the Law Enforcement Association Form 460s are up on the Sonoma County Registrar’s Office website for all to see.

    The North Bay Labor Council has a PAC but so evidently do its members. I don’t believe this NBLC organization even discloses its membership much less how many of them have PACs that Lisa Maldonado has a hand in managing and which ones are paying Maldonado to provide “free” labor to the Allen campaign.

    Maybe some day the Press Democrat will develop an inquiring mind. I can’t be the only one who knows how to use google.

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  15. Jason Valez says:

    This is like a science fiction novel…have we dropped through a cyber hole into some kind of vicious alternative reality?
    What the heck is wrong with people?
    Victoria Hogan is not doing anything wrong, she is telling the truth, she is clearly a decent person who discovered something dirty about a politician.
    Michael Allen’s people are scary—like some kind of rabid dogs they tear away at decent people and try to intimidate them. What is wrong with the PD for allowing this?
    Why would anyone vote for Michael Allen after this kind of madness? The behavior of his supporters is genuinely insane. He hasn’t tried to stop this, and it’s pretty obvious that he is dirty. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see what his supporters are up to, and I expect better from a newspaper website. Where the heck is the moderator?

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  16. Phillip says:

    @Victoria Hogan
    Try and push your lies onto someone else. You are the cyberbully…and just for the record, Lee Pierce is the person who told Lisa Maldonado and many of us that he fired you for many reasons. You are the true “incredibly mean-spirited person.” I’ve seen you attack numerous people including Lisa Maldonado, any candidate you don’t like, and young college students that are trying to be politically active. I have read your email rants on the real santa rosa list serve and can’t believe the vicious lies you tell about everyone. Why are you now trying to paint a different picture? I’ve captured all of your hate emails, would you like for me to post them?

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  17. Vincent says:

    Victoria Hogan admitted that she was Lee Pierces Campaign Manager and that she instigated the FPPC Complaint against Mr Allen while she was working for Lee Pierce as his campaign manager.(see link below) I am attaching the article so that readers can see for themselves how fishy her story is. Is she lying now or was she lying then? In any case, as a Campaign Manager for an Assembly candidate who engaged in attacks on Mr Allen and Ms Maldonado as well as many others it is hypocritical and incorrect for her to now claim that she is a private citizen and not subject to free speech of others. She has thrust herself into the public light and as such is a public figure, entitled to the same treatment she gives Mr Allen and others.
    PS I hope this also dispells the notion that Mr Pierce and Mr Wilson ran clean campaigns. Mr Pierce obviously had his campaign manager do his dirty work and Mr Wilson did a much publicized negative push poll against Mr Alle,

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  18. Ann says:


    You’re right on. I was at Santa Rosa Democratic Club meeting recently where Allen was speaking. His message was Dems please “vote for me.” He shouldn’t take Democrats votes for granted. It was interesting that he feels the need to win over even the active Dems at the club.

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  19. Brenda says:

    I have known Victoria Hogan for several years now. I believe her to be honest and trustworthy. You will notice that neither the Pierce nor Wilson campaigns resorted to the smear tactics of some in the Allen camp.

    Because of the low road that Mr. Allen, or his minions, took, he only got 40% of the vote overall. Perhaps Ms. Maldonado should take the hint and realize that the continued diatribes against Ms. Hogan and/or Lee Pierce or the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition may cost him the election. In fact, Mr. Allen is not running on his record and/or accomplishments. He is now running on Democratic loyalty, hoping that will put him over the top in November.

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  20. Victoria Hogan says:

    For the record, the North Bay Labor Council’s executive director Lisa Maldonado does not know me and is not familiar with the Lee Pierce campaign. When she comments about either on this site, it is as uninformed as many of her other opinions and statements.

    I was a volunteer for the Lee Pierce campaign. I am proud of that. I was not “fired” as Lisa Maldonado has stated several times. I stopped volunteering my time on that campaign early this year after a member of my family had a medical emergency. Not that it’s any of Lisa Maldonado’s business or for that matter the business of any the participants here on this website. I have attempted to keep my family’s business private yet I find this incredibly mean-spirited stranger named Lisa Maldonado has made a habit of both calling reporters and posting her opinions about my volunteer work, my relationships and my life on this websites.

    Again, I do not know Lisa Maldonado. I do not want to know Lisa Maldonado. She is not a reliable source of information about me. I find it puzzling why she insists on inserting myself and Lee Pierce into her online rants. As far as I’m concerned she is a cyberbully and I object to the Press Democrat operating a site that permits her to slander private citizens and grassroot volunteers like myself in this manner.

    Politicians are fair game in this country. But for the record, I have found Lee Pierce to be an honest, charming, delightful human being who ran a clean campaign for the state legislature. His supporters ought to consider just skipping over the box for the Assembly in November…and seriously, folks, when it comes to these posts consider the source.

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  21. Beef King says:

    Thanks to the Rohnert Park Council for giving the OK for WalMart to expand.
    I can’t wait to spend some money in the store, and at other stores in Rohnert Park.
    As for the ADC, I’m looking forward to the self promotion that includes how they helped the council make the right decision. Yes, that is a purposeful barb, and I think they’ve earned it.
    While Rohnert Park gets new business, Santa Rosa is dying a ‘progressive’ death.
    I’m sure that all shoppers who want fewer choices and higher prices will find a ‘progressive’ retailer somewhere who will accomodate them.

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  22. Vincent says:

    Ok a “union member” who labels her post “Don’t Buy the Union Label” and references “union thugs”?Sorry doesn’t pass the smell test. Especially since it sounds just like Victoria Hogan. Good try tea partiers but not too subtle. You can be anyone you want on these boards but your impersonations of “disaffected democrats” and union members who hate the union movement don’t ring true when you use the same verbiage and rhetoric of your tea party brother Beef King and compare unions to the sopranos…

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  23. Veggie Queen says:

    Calling people socialists, communists,thugs and implying they belong to the mafia are just a few of the personal attacks Mr “beef king” has engaged in-not to mention bashing and insulting unions every chance he gets, and yet he tries to accuse others of “scaring people away” Puhlease! If you can dish it out you should be able to take it. If you want to be able to engage in free speech then you can’t be a hypocrite when others do the same. Man up Mr Beef King (try to live up to that macho name of yours!)

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  24. Rose Lee says:

    WOw the hate from Victoria Hogan (lee Pierce’s fired and discredited Campaign Manager is over the top. Her staking and harrassment on this board as well as her personal attacks on Jack Buckhorn, Lisa Maldonado and the ADC and others in the community are approaching new heights of craziness. Even more pathetic are her slurs against labor as mafiosos and Sopranos (a little ethnic racism there Victoria? Don’t expect your candidates to get the Italian vote anytime soonIt’s highly improbable and ludicrous for her to say she is a union member and belongs to the NBLC and then spew hatred about unions and union thugs. Unions are the only ones fighting for working families now and members know it. That’s why the IBEW and almost every workers organization in the state endorsed Michael Allen. Get ahold of yourself Ms Hogan, you lost the campaign and got fired and disgraced by Lee Pierce, have you no shame left?

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  25. Beef King says:

    The post by Mr. Jimenez and the post by
    ‘don’t buy the union label’ are insights into the ADC and the negative impact of ‘progressives’ on the democrat party, and readers should take a moment to go back and read those posts. They are important to all of us who live and work in Sonoma county. Regarding the brutish personal attacks by Lisa and others, it is shameful that any person would be afraid to write their comments here due to fear of personal attacks or reprisals from a few immature contributors who are supporting the ADC/Union/’Progressive’ agenda.
    I say we need to encourage our friends and neighbors who are union members to come to this forum and write their comments. We need honesty from our union leaders and political leaders and it appears this forum is getting their attention.
    As for smart growth, living wages, and ‘affordable’ housing, I say all of those issues are solved by saving money by shrinking local government and letting those dollars go to work creating jobs rather than preventing jobs while feeding overstuffed government employees.

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  26. Attacks on union workers don't sound democratic says:

    The haters attacking Michael Allen, the ADC and Lisa Maldonado (who I think has posted once on this thread are over the top and embarassing) They also show that the so called “ex Democrat” is really a Tea Partier or a republican who has obviously never even read the Democratic platform which has a staunch and LONGTME history of supporting workers rights to organize for better wages (that means UNIONS!) If you are trying to play a disaffected Dem at least try to familiarize yourelf with their beliefs and ideals.Dems don’t hate unions and labor like you do.

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  27. Don't buy the union label says:

    The union boss speaks, and speaks, and speaks and labels all her critics as “tea party” characters but she couldn’t be more wrong. We’re Democrats who don’t buy the crap she’s dishing out.
    Were members of unions that belong to the North Bay Labor Council. We just don’t like what our “leaders” are doing. We don’t like Lisa Maldonado. We can’t support the corruption she and Buckhorn represent and the corrupt politicians they spend our money supporting. I attended a meeting of a community group just last week with nearly 20 people who all said they were embarrassed to be Democrats this year because of the corruption. One woman at the meeting spoke about how she was scared to write anything at the Watch Sonoma County site because of all the namecalling and personal attacks from Lisa Maldonado. So we lose a vote with her. As a union member, I have to say that Maldonado does not represent my views or my politics. We should consider a better approach that is respectful. Maldonado is a hater, a namecaller and she gets that karma coming back at her. How can you win votes with such a negative sarcastic approach?

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  28. Follow the Money says:

    Once again, the same publicly available facts about a few of the members of the ADC are recounted as if they represented some deep Bob Woodward expose. The text runs like one of those negative hit-piece ads with scary sound track running behind it. The scare tactics aren’t working. We can all see through it.

    The same little cabal of oddball Ayn Randian Tea Party characters who make their living doing real estate speculation and business ‘consulting’ are attacking a group that openly advocates for smart growth, living wages, and affordable housing. Their claim to ‘nonpartisan’ status is risible.

    I could respect their position if they would take it up as an honest difference on these public policy issues, rather than framing their case as an insidious and evil-minded personal assault on the leaders of a civic organization that has a broad spectrum of community groups who are all working together earnestly to improve the quality of life in Sonoma County.

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  29. Jose Jimenez says:

    Connect the dots.

    Michael Allen helped create and fund the ADC when he was the President of the North Bay Labor Council. He then “chaired” it until it became a negative for him politically. Allen also hired Lisa Maldonado, a lawyer, to be the executive director of the North Bay Labor Union. He was her boss. Now Jack Buckhorn, who heads up the IBEW and took over for Allen as president of the North Bay Labor Council, also takes over for Allen with the ADC. He is Lisa Maldonado’s boss. So he’s the one who pays her to while away the hours on this website personally attacking the grassroots and bullying and slandering the volunteers with opinions they don’t like.

    Both IBEW and the North Bay Labor Council have an agenda to elect Michael Allen to the state legislature and has invested more than any other special interests in him. The public reports are online but you’ll need a calculator at your side if you look because what Jack Buckhorn did is arrange for a whole series of IBEW locals around the state to donate to the Allen campaign and he also got the state IBEW and the national IBEW all writing checks. Was he just doing a favor for a friend or does IBEW wants some payback? It’s not a coincidence that IBEW is pushing AB 155 which has surfaced as an extremely bad piece of legislation that the IBEW is backing as revenge for Vallejo’s bankruptcy. The assembly member who authored the bill is running for reelection but took money out of his own campaign funds to donate to Allen. The local corruption we’ve seen is nothing compared to what will happen if Allen puts his votes up for sale in the Legislature. It starts with who pays for his slick mailers to our mailboxes. IBEW collectively has spent over $20,000 in its members money to get Allen elected. Paying Lisa Maldonado (and all her aliases)to slander citizens on this site is costs them little. She runs the North Bay Labor Council political action committee as part of her job. Buckhorn and Maldonado create and pay for the hit pieces.

    They are the west coast sopranos.

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  30. Noah says:

    @Beef King: Would you please post a link to the “democrat socialist handbook on propaganda”? I seem to have misplaced my copy.

    If no link is available, post your name and email address and I will respond with mine.

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  31. Anthony says:

    The ADC is a grassroots coalition that works to make developers and government aware of community needs. All the hullaballo about “thugs” “extortion” and socialist plots is beyond belief. You people need to get a life and stop watching Fox News!

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  32. Just the Truth says:

    I wonder how the informed public would react if they found out that during the negotiations with Codding regarding the Sonoma Mountain Village project, one representative of the ADC actually stated that if Codding didn’t agree to certain concessions, the ADC would “kill this project,” or something to that effect.

    The ADC’s tactics are what some folks describe as extortion. The only thing that will keep any of you from seeing this is your own political bias.

    The North Bay silent majority is rising, and members of council majorities (and their past lives) are taking notice.

    November is coming.

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  33. Beef King says:

    Anthony, you have accused me of hypocrisy for not attacking groups you dislike.
    I will be happy to attack these groups with you when:
    a. they are the subject of the article, and/or…
    b. they have done something as idiotic as these ADC guys have done. It is nothing less than bold to declare they are beneficial to the local economy. Promoting the ADC as being a contributor to prosperity is contemptuous of reader intelligence and is so over the top it can only be seen as arrogance.
    Unfortunately, this is the ‘progressive’ playbook. Right out of the democrat socialist handbook on propaganda is the operative strategy of the ADC- “repeat a lie often enough and it eventually becomes the truth.”
    The truth Anthony, is that these guys produce nothing. Their entire strategy is to frustrate and obfuscate their way to a paycheck. They stand as a soldier for union and ‘progressive’ power schemes to be executed through the political system and with public dollars.
    Anthony, do us a favor and write back with your favorite ADC accomplishment and how they made things better for ordinary citizens instead of worse.
    And remember Anthony, wherever you are living right now is a residence produced by the miracle of capitalism and development. Hope you are enjoying it.

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  34. Anthony says:

    The Sonoma Alliance, North Bay Construction and North Bay Leadership are now injecting themselves deeply (into politics including hiring a City Manager for their political program who is being paid by taxpayers) Where are the complaints from Beef King and Kay Tokerud about this? Could it be because therese are real estate and business developers they don’t have a problem with them? Is their hypocrisy showing since they foam at the mouth about the ADC and Michael Allen but don’t make a peep about Keith Woods and his developer friends telling us who is “good for economic development” Who elected these “thugs” as experts? The silence is deafening from Rose, Kay and Mr King. Hypocrites much?

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  35. Beef King says:

    The ADC is a legal, in your face version of Tony Soprano and his friends working a game on the taxpayer, using questionable ethics to squeeze some juice whereever they can.
    Look what happened in Petaluma with the so-called ‘advocates’ accepting a payoff to shut up and go away after holding up the shopping project and the jobs that are sorely needed for years.
    In the end their ‘concerns’ apparently weren’t concerns at all. The grievances used as the foundation for stopping work didn’t matter at all as soon as they got a check for $170K from the developer to back off and get out of the way.
    The ADC and any other so called advocacy group that is masquerading their true intention is bad news, and we need to be vigilant about who is in charge at City Hall and their relationships to these guys and their ‘associates’.

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  36. Sheila Jackson says:

    Have you noticed how this blog has shifted from being critical of the ADC to trashing the non-partisan non-profit Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition? I recently joined the Coalition because I liked their comments on these blogs. The meeting I went to had 16 people attending. It was a good group of active, respectful people discussing issues and deciding on actions. They weren’t trying to get pay-offs from developers or trying to ‘go after’ anyone. Just providing information to the public. I want to know if a politician is crooked or if a local group that says it speaks for me is all about getting grants and payoffs from developers.

    The SRNC is a great group of people and this trashing is a smokescreen attempt by the ADC.

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  37. Jake says:

    Anyone going to the “Neighborhood coalition” website can see that its bascally a Tea Party group (Allen, Wiggins and Bike Lanes are the main targets) They call themselves “non partisan” but there are no attacks on anyone who isn’t a progressive. That’s ok,they certainly have the right to participate in politics (even though they won’t grant the ADC the same right) but what makes them lack credibility is the anonymous and secret nature of their shadowy group. Their website carries no contacts or members-even of the officers or steering committee. It looks as if it’s Rosa and Kay. Say what you will about the ADC at least they come out proudly and list themselves and their members publicly on the website. Why doesn’t the “neighborhood coalition” do the same? What are they hiding?

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  38. Political Scientist says:

    Kay: How does your “group” decide which matters to pursue? You have to have an ideological stint that dictates this. And yours very clearly is against progressives. I’m not condemning that, just pointing it out. Selectively choosing what information makes it onto your website IS bias. Your editorializing, say on pages regarding comments (also note that you posted the anti-Allen Press Democrat letters to the editor but not the pro-Allen letters), where you use phrases such as “convenient, isn’t it?” are pointed and meant to lead readers to a conclusion- your conclusion. Isn’t your “group” fighting to prevent Michael Allen from being elected? Sounds to me like you want to tell people what to think.

    Also, trying to use a Republican law firm and think tank’s mailer during an election as proof that your group is unbiased is quite desperate. All that means is you and that group have a mutual hatred for smart growth individuals, such as Michael Allen.

    Finally, complaining that an open group like the ADC doesn’t attend public forums is a bit hypocritical coming from the “group” that doesn’t allow its members to be listed or contacted except through an anonymous internet form, don’t you think?

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  39. chuck becker says:

    Kay hit the nail on the head with this analysis: ” The ADC is trying to insert itself into the legal process between the people and the elected officials…”

    Nobody elected ADC to represent the community, so they can’t be voted out … what a dandy little niche to create for oneself. The folks at ADC could commit their time and resources to starting a business, creating jobs and hiring people, they could put their own capital at risk to accomplish what they believe in. But instead they seek to insinuate themselves, as Kay said, between the people and the government. And there’s no room or place there for them.

    Andy, your post @ Jim is 1) a strawman, and 2) an ad hominem attack. Nobody said that there isn’t a role for government regulation, those words come from your mouth, not someone else’s (it’s government picking winners and losers that crosses the line). And attacking someone as an “foolish irrelevant Fox news fan” (?!?!?! really? you wrote that?) is an attack on the person, not a refutation of the position. Those two logical fallacies essentially nullify your entire post.

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  40. Jake Rowen says:

    I agree with Edward, once you read about this group of right wing nuts and their anonymous “coalition” you can see why they hate a grassroots, community based coalition that works for responsible development. Basically they hate bike lanes, Senator Pat Wiggins, redevelopment and cleaning up blight by the city as well as community “visioning” which they see as a socialist plot. While they are stalkingPat Wiggins, Michael Allen and Gary Wysocky, and throwing dirt publicly on every other neighborhood group, they jealously guard their own privacy and refuse to name ANYONE in their own group. Sorry but a legitimate group would have no problem disclosing it’s committee members or at least having a contact name and address on it’s website. These jokers at the so called Neighborhood Coaiition are not legitimate and have no business trashing a group like the ADC which at least stands up publicly and prints its mission, goals and members names for all to see. What are Rosa and Kay hiding?

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  41. Andy says:

    Kay Tokerud and her band of nutty hater’s call themselves “non-partisan” but then she tips her hand by labeling the ADC “far left” and declaring they can’t possibly represent anyone in Santa Rosa. Um Kay? You might want to consider that there are plenty in Santa Rosa who believe in “far left” values like SMART growth and environmental protection, local jobs and the living wage. If anyone is out of touch it is your “coalition” (which basically consists of you and your girlfriend Rose Koire) which opposes bike lanes and supported prop 16, PG&E’s recent power grab. Your business as a commercial real estate speculator is the real reason you hate progressive Michael Allen and the ADC and the reason you and the GOP sent out the hate mailer against him (which happened to have your website address on it) The PD’s story on your shadowy activities gave me all the info I needed on you and your group. You are wasting your time trying to convince anyone on these boards that you are not right wing, anti union, tea party hacks.

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  42. Jim says:


    Who regulates the money supply?
    Who buys most of the the mortgages?
    Why was the Glass Steagal act repealed under Clinton?

    I am not defending Wall St, they should have all been allowed to fail. The $500M settlement and no admission of guilt for Goldman is a joke.

    But you are totally ignoring the silent partners in the room that are the enablers that allowed them to get out of control in the first place.

    I don’t watch Fox News.

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  43. Kay Tokerud says:

    Our motto, at the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition is, GET INVOLVED, IT’S YOUR CITY! Political Scientist says that we are telling people how to live in the same way that the ADC is. That’s entirely wrong. We believe that citizen involvement is key to having good clean government. We want our voices heard and don’t want the special interests speaking for us. We’re non-partisan, for real, and take action on issues we agree are important. Voters were recently directed to our website at http://www.santarosaneighborhoodcoalition.com on an independant mailer who called our website unbiased. They were right, it is unbiased. We hadn’t had any contact with Citizens for California Reform before or after their mailer was sent out. That was the one about Michael Allen having his fingers in the cookie jar. I hope everyone will look at all the information we’ve compiled about what’s going on politically in Santa Rosa. It’s understandable that Michael Allen is upset with us because we have all his contracts along with payments, etc. on the website that shows that he had a conflict of interest when he was on the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. However, it doesn’t give him and his supporters license to slander us.

    Comparing the ADC with the Chamber of Commerce or the Sonoma County Alliance is ridiculous. Those groups are not entering into a “community benefits agreement” with SMART. Only the ADC is doing that. I wish the ADC was like the other groups who frequently send their representatives to council meetings and openly debate, in public, when they have concerns about issues and developments. The ADC is trying to insert itself into the legal process between the people and the elected officials which is wrong. They should have no more access or priority than any other group or person. The ADC is made up of people on the far left wing of the political spectrum. How can anyone think they can fairly represent the population at large? It’s ludicrous. The fact is, the ADC is a political money making machine attempting to control what happens in this area and get Michael Allen elected to office. Remember to vote and GET INVOLVED-IT’S YOUR CITY.

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  44. Follow the Money says:

    Don’t believe the hype. The ADC and its leaders have every right to work for their vision of a sustainable, equitable community that is designed to preserve open space and reduce our environmental footprint. They are absolutely morally and legally equivalent to any other advocacy organization like the Chamber or the Sonoma County Alliance.

    The folks that make their money on sprawl development and exploitative labor practices are on the attack with the ADC because the smart growth and living wage policies the ADC advocates, although good for the community as a whole, will impact the personal bottom lines of the detractors. Follow the money, and you’ll see why so much energy is being put into fabricating a case against the ADC and its leaders.

    The ADC is making a valuable contribution to the policy landscape of the community, and they will not be deterred by a shadowy network of Rovian dirty tricks operators.

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  45. Andy says:

    @jim Even the most die hard capitalists and that includes Milton Friedman acknowleged the role that unregulated markets and unrestricted and unchecked greed played in the recent economic collapse. For you to sit there pretentiously scolding others about their lack of economic knowledge only makes you and your ideas look like the foolish irrelevant Fox news fan that you are…

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  46. Jim says:


    To paraphrase someone else’s line: stop believing everything you see on (blank) news.

    Your continued claim that the “free market” caused the recession shows a complete lack of understanding of how money works and flows in this country.

    Go read up on the federal reserve, fannie mae/freddie mac and corporatism and then come back for a serious discussion instead of a baseless rant.

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  47. Jim says:

    It’s quite amusing to read up on all these councils, groups and sponsors like the ADC. They are a veritable who’s who of political hacks funded, it looks like, by Unions.

    If I was a member of the sponsoring unions I would be pretty upset my dues are going to fund some pie in the sky initiative espoused by the ADC and it’s New Economy Working Solutions benefactor.

    I could go on, but I think the comment by Chuck Becker summed it up best.

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  48. Political Scientist says:

    Also, anyone who habitually watches these forums realizes just how polarizing anything related to ADC, the progressive movement, Michael Allen, or the Neighborhood Coalition is. Take anything posted with a grain of salt.

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  49. Political Scientist says:

    @Home Girl: If you’re going to try to use political references to make a point, at least get it right. The bridge to nowhere was in Alaska. The bridge you’re referencing in Brooklyn connects New York and Manhattan.

    As for everyone else on this board, wake up. You really think the views espoused by the ADC have any more bearing on your life than any business? You can complain all you want that they are telling you where to shop and how to spend your money, but you don’t think businesses are doing that as well?

    Every member of the planning commission that allow a Best Buy, a Friedman Brothers, a McDonalds, etc are TELLING YOU where to shop in your town. ADC and Chamber of Commerce are both groups designed as a partnership to get people elected to make decisions favorable to their own members.

    Just as the Neighborhood Coalition, or whatever Kay and Rosa call themselves, are trying to do to you right now.

    You will ALWAYS have someone trying to tell you what’s best for you. Instead of blaming one group for doing what it was formed to do, how about you become informed and wade through all the bull for yourself?

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  50. Edward says:

    Forget the ADC people should be looking into the shadowy group that consists of Kay and Rosa and their Ayn Randian fans all over this board. They exist to attack enviros and progressives and create fear and mistrust of any progressives who make it into local politics.
    Their special favorite target is Michael Allen because he supports low income housing, working families and smart development. Look into the big bowl of crazy they serve up on their website
    (it makes Tea Partiers look sane)

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  51. home girl says:

    Buy what the ADC is selling and I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. The ADC is a springboard for the politically ambitious members of the so called progressive community. Witness Michael Allen who despite his suspect actions is determined to be on his way to Sacramento. Oh well, maybe he will do less damage when he is making deals in Sacramento!

    Seems the real people are caught between a rock and a hard place, between the developers, bankers and real estate industry and the ADC also wanting to build, build, build, even though demand has disappeared.

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  52. Kay Tokerud says:

    Today’s PD article, “RR Square project in SR seeks housing shift” isn’t posted on this website yet but it involves the Accountable Development Coalition, so I’m commenting here. It’s shocking that the SMART board entered into a contract with the disgraced ADC to be told how much affordable housing should be in the SMART project. The brainchild of the ADC, Michael Allen is being investigated by the FPPC for conflict of interest charges and was also thoroughly chastised in the Grand Jury’s Report for additional conflicts of interest. He is currently seeking election to the 7th district State Assembly. We need to send him packing. Just because he quit the ADC doesn’t do a thing to rehabilitate that organization. Nothing has changed except the names. Any elected official who thinks it’s appropriate to contract with the ADC to be told how to do their jobs should also be voted out at the next election.

    The ADC only represents certain special interests, not the people in the community. The ADCs strongarm tactics are reprehensible, much like Chicago’s Blagoyavich corruption scandal. Michael Allen’s hit squad is going to have a lot of fun with this one. Bring it on, Andy, I’m not afraid of your ridiculous attacks, it’s not working. You’re just one of the bullies from Michael Allen’s ADC and you’re just bringing more shame onto yourselves. The relentless attacks on me and Rosa Koire who reported Michael Allen are giving us name recognition in Santa Rosa and strengthening our group, the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition. Our group is the real deal, just citizens grappling with an out of control government that continually foists additional regulations on the citizens.

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  53. Grey Whitmore says:

    Nice to see the same 5 people arguing back and forth. Have you all considered talking to each other in private and sparing the rest of us your nonsense?

    As for the article and comments, it is the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan. I’m also deeply concerned that the two men who are running this organization and writing this opinion don’t seem to know that.

    Finally, this organization comes off as a bunch of bullies but then again, the developers are a bunch of greedy whores who have sold out Santa Rosa over and over and over again. So maybe this is the payback.

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  54. Truth Teller says:

    Sorry, Brass Tacks, but even a lawyer should know that extortion and organized harrassment isn’t the American way. The ADC is a gang. It exists to gain funding for itself and positions in governmnent for it’s founders and hangers-on. Not the American way unless you’re thinking this is the wild west.

    No comparison between the ADC and the Sonoma County Alliance, a bunch of business groups; and the Chamber of Commerce, also a bunch of business groups. These are not groups with a social agenda, not groups shaking down companies and developers, not groups that look totally out of control and truly scary.

    The people of Sonoma County and the US are waking up and they are not happy with your ‘accountable development’. We don’t need you to tell us, for a fee of course, what we need. Business groups are market driven. If the people dont want it they don’t build it. Your group wants to be paid for pretending to represent the public and for massing interlocking groups down at council meetings to oppose projects if the developers don’t pay. What is that? The American Way? Forget it.

    We need a gang prevention task force. I guess it’s called the Fair Political Practices Commission. Or is it the FBI?

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  55. Brass Tacks says:

    “The ADC has the right to promote their vision: that’s free speech in America”

    Reading some of these posts, you would get the idea that is is somehow illegitimate for certain individuals and organizations to get together and promote their agenda for the community.

    I find it interesting that none of the detractor’s seems to think that it is out of line to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce or the Sonoma County Alliance(all of which have very definite positions on the issues addressed by the ADC), but somehow membership in the ADC is unacceptable.

    That’s the democratic system in action. If you don’t share that vision, start your own group and advocate for another position. That’s the beauty of America.

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  56. Individualism says:

    The end game in development is building a healthy local economy while promoting a high quality of living. How you get there is the never ending question.

    Some communities want to be transit oriented high density similar to Portland, Oregon while others want to be auto oriented low density using the Orange County model. As a practical matter, Urban Growth Boundaries coupled with an investment in rail force high density vertical growth. Vacillating between the two models results in a very expensive failure.

    Local municipalities revenues are limited to property taxes, sales taxes, and some other streams such as fees and bed taxes. Governing costs such as employee wages rise every year based on inflation. This leaves local governments in the position of building out infrastructure through limited resources.

    Development is dependent on infrastructure. Local government can create mechanisms such as infrastructure financing districts or redevelopment districts to subsidize development with the monies savings passed directly along to the developers. This game is not about the have’s v. the have not’s, but rather what pocket local government pork ends up in. The extreme examples of this is when local governments spends hundreds of millions of dollars to build infrastructure to attract an auto manufacturer, only to see it pull up and leave after the twenty year contract runs.

    Opponents of requiring the developers to pay their fair share often cloth their arguments in emotionally loaded speech about individual property rights and fear based rhetoritic of wealth distribution. However, they fail to articulate how it is wrong to require businesses to pay for the complete costs of the business model or justify the receipt of tax payer subsidies.

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  57. Freedom Lover says:

    One great thing about America is that we value individual rights as opposed to the collective rights as determined by some community organizers and social engineers.While we do need certain standards for development we do not need the enforced agenda of ADC ideals.
    The article states that “The ADC established the following seven principles for accountable development to describe a sustainable and equitable development path that will serve the common good and create shared prosperity.Build mixed-income neighborhoods through the inclusion of affordable housing for all incomes in all residential developments”.
    In other words,the ADC wants to force developers and citizens to share their wealth and live in neighborhoods that are equally avaliable to those who have earned the money to live there and those who have not.Is this eqiutable to the people who have worked and saved to live in a neighborhood that is safe and well maintained? Giving people something for nothing does not raise their standard of living in the long run- it makes them feel entitled to other peoples earnings and gives a false sense of the value for dollar spent. The houses given to people on the cheap will be treated with the disregard that comes from this gimmee mentality and the other homeowners will have to live with it. As we have seen in California, this type of belief leads to financial ruin and a lower standard of living for everyone.
    I donate my time and money to certain individuals and groups of my choice. This makes me happy, because I get to enjoy the act of giving and I know that the gift is given directly to the cause. Having someone decide for me who to give to, how much and in what ways robs me of my resources and the joy I feel from giving.It also takes away the recipients gratitude for the gift.The middleman usually takes a big cut, too, and seeks credit for generosity.I have noticed that the people who promote this kind of “doing it for the public good and the poor” rhetoric are often the ones who give little if any of their own resources.They only want to give away other peoples money and control others lives.
    I would bet that the ADC supports Lynn Woolsey and their agenda is probably similar, yet Lynn Woolsey helped pave the way for a casino to come to a neighborhood near you. Is that equitable, sustainable and accountable?
    We have enough laws and restrictions as it is- we don’t need more busybodies or beaurocrats telling us how to live or where to live, or how long to live.

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  58. Political Movements says:

    Let’s talk about a proposed battery recycling plant with possible site selections at either the Fountain Grove or on the Santa Rosa Ave. Corridor across from Friedman’s at the used car dealership. The recycling process exposes workers to lead, mercury, and cadmium. What happens if these metals enter Laguna De Santa Rosa?

    Are all those land owners whose water comes from this aquifer ready to pay for poisoned water? Should prevention costs be borne by the developer at the time of development or should the clean-up costs be paid by the community when battery recycling is no longer profitable and the original business/land owner has declared bankruptcy? Who is going to pay for lead damaged children?

    Another side to this multisided coin is the landowner with a single family dwelling on an acre who is no longer allowed to cut down the 300 year old oak tree. The developer who cut down 67 oak trees on the 40 acre parcel next door stated in his EIR the project was mitigated because he counted the next door neighbor’s oak tree in his EIR as critical habitat for the endangered red bellied tree lover. Now the next door neighbor bares the costs of mitigation.

    Every decision of government is a form of social engineering. This is Rousseau’s definition of a social contract. Smart growth weighs the consequences of proposed development on surrounding parcels. It requires the landowner to pay full costs [such as infrastructure development] of proposed development. [Who foots the bill for 101 expansion to allow traffic increases to Walmart in RP?] This makes some projects in the past that were subsidized by communities economically undesirable.

    The ADC is a organization that embodies a movement. Personally, I do not agree with parts of its platform such as job security, but I do believe in creating jobs that are stable and sustainability. Parts of the movement will break off based on fissures caused by individual projects and hate based politics. If the critics are successful at dispersing the sands that are the foundation of the ADC, as with any movement, the mountain will reform as the winds of time blow it back together. It is the values and ideals which glues these people together.

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  59. Richard Canini says:

    Once upon a time there was an island [unincorporated county island] within Santa Rosa. Because it lacked water and sewer people could not live there. But if only the city would annex it, then it could connect to city water and sewer and people could live there. But the city would not annex it from the long term owner, even though the owner asked and asked.

    Then someone important bought the land- bought it cheap. It was cheap because it was undevelopable – no water/sewer. Then as if by magic the city annexed that land. Its market value increased by millions of dollars.

    That entire increase in value is solely due to annexation. The good people, who built Santa Rosa, did not get one cent of that increased wealth.

    Thumb up if you think the people should share in they wealth they make possible.

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  60. Lisa Maldonado says:

    Accountable Development is exactly what this County needs. It’s interesting that no one screams or protests when business and real estate interests nearly destroyed the beauty of our community by overbuilding commercial office space(many of which sit blighted and empty all over the city) and building those ugly Mc Mansions in Fountaingrove…but god forbid that people who actually live and pay taxes and raise their kids here should have a say in what gets built in their own community. Sorry the days of business and real estate folks running the show are over. It’s timme for us all to have a say, not just the developers who build ugly Wal Marts and strip malls in our town and then retire to Sea Ranch to live. The Accountable Development Coalition works and will continue to work for smart growth and good local jobs. Those of you on this board who loathe progressive and environmental ideas (lots of Glenn Beck rhetoric on here) and hate the idea of citizens and working families having a say in our local development will have to get used to it. We watched while free market unregulated greed destroyed our economy and our environment for the last 15 years. Your policies failed and people voted for change.

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  61. Rosa Koire says:

    The ADC frames themselves as the savior of the ‘community’ by requiring an adherence to an ideology that is remaking our cities.

    They say they go to bat for local businesses but they actually use a bat on their detractors. They’re not representing the people, they are bullying ‘the community’ with smart-growth. Smartgrowth is just vertical sprawl using redevelopment money and a non-existent train to push out local small business and property owners.

    The ADC, with Michael Allen and Nick Caston in charge, has been inserting itself in between the public and the government, trying to say it speaks for the citizens. It doesn’t. It extorts money from developers, grows itself so it can get grants, and uses bully tactics to shut down anyone opposing it.

    The ADC is a spring board for candidates and a funding arm for a gang jumping in to fill a void. You, the citizens, have to take back your town. Go to Planning Commission meetings. Go to Council meetings. Show up. Speak out. If you don’t do this you’ll see more of the ADC saying they speak for you.

    The Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition is a grassroots, non-profit local group of active citizens. We welcome your participation. Click on my name above for more information.
    Rosa Koire
    Steering Committee

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  62. You can have my freedom when you pry it from my cold dead hands says:

    Don’t tell me where to shop.
    Don’t tell me where to live.
    Don’t tell me who to vote for.
    Don’t tell me you know what is best for my hometown.
    These people hate you, Sonoma County, if you shop at Walmart.
    They hate you if you drive an SUV.
    They hate you if you go to Starbucks.
    They hate you if go to Best Buy.
    They hate you if you live in a subdivision.
    You get in the way of their goals to control the marketplace, to control how you spend your money.
    It drives them absolutely nuts that the reason big-box stores stay in business is that their neighbors, their fellow school parents, their relatives, etc. choose to patronize them.
    They hate that our economic freedom gets in the way of their “vision.”
    Ever see that bumper sticker, “Annoy a liberal – work hard”? It should be, “Annoy a progressive – spend your money as you see fit.”

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  63. Sheila Jackson says:

    Looks like the ADC really messed up by writing this article. Are they losing control? I have spent the evening researching them and it’s an ugly story. They are pressuring anyone who doesn’t agree with them, and some of the letter s on this blog are an example, don’t you think?

    They are trying to be some kind of quasi-governmental group in power here. I don’t want it and I bet no one else does either. Seems like they’re trying to say that whatever they want is for our own good and so they can dictate what happens here. Just because a group of people banded together doesn’t make them representatives of Sonoma County residents.
    I also searched on the United Nations Agenda 21 thing that Kay Toekerud wrote about and it was an eye-opener. I had never heard of it before but it’s where the ideas that these people are talking about came from, apparently. This is some outrageous stuff and we need to bring a stop to it.

    The ADC does not speak for me or my family and their smug attitude and bad behaviour are nothing to be proud of.

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  64. chuck becker says:

    Ben Boyce: does shared prosperity include shared risk? Socialize profits and privatize risk?

    John: You say “gentle nudging” but the ADC founding principles say “enforcement”. It is WAY too late to try to walk back that obviously coercive position by this activist group. They have already pulled out their truncheons.

    Richard Canini: “Should the city get a share of the wealth it creates…”. Should the city be liable when a property owner takes a loss due to city action? Socialize profits but privatize risk? Have you asked a lot of property owners, many of whom (the ones who most often suffer a loss due to government actions) are NOT wealthy, but rather have their entire life’s work tied up in their 80X120 lot?

    bear: “stop living on inherited property or your parents’ trust fund” I know people like that, but they are all Progressive Democrats. I know I sure didn’t inherit a thing, or live on anyone’s output except my own.

    As I said earlier, this is my first contact with ADC. But it has only taken this long to see that this is an activist contrivance to try to take power by alternative means. Rather than build a business, or stand for election, ADC is trying an end run around the process. Makes me so glad that we still, despite Progressive tendencies otherwise, and unlike Canada, have a First Amendment guarantee of freedom of political speech.

    But that will last only as long as it takes the Progressives to figure out how to leverage a fear campaign to strike the First Amendment. My, oh, my.

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  65. chuck becker says:

    I hadn’t really heard of ADC before reading this article. After now having seen their seven founding principles, I find those founding principle repugnant.

    - “Create and enforce community standards…”, this sounds like out and out thuggery. This sounds like an outlaw gang supplanting the elected government and enforcing their own standards by coercion.

    - “Build mixed-income neighborhoods….” No, Sir, you will not dictate to me what neighborhood composition I live in. If you use your enforcement techniques to put development that is not organic to my community within my community, I will leave. And so will everyone else who has a choice, leaving only those who don’t have a choice. I will not dictate your living conditions, don’t you DARE dictate mine.

    - “Promote good jobs through family-supporting wages and benefits…” ADC hypocrisy has already been pointed out in their job offer for a college graduate to earn $14/hr. The FACT is that free trade works, protectionism doesn’t, and legislating wages simply drives those jobs offshore.

    - “Ensure community health and safety through accessible health care…” with no visible way to pay for this, or to deal with the unintended consequences of growing the healthcare industry (non-exportable, does nothing for our balance of trade) with no metric or even wild guess where the costs go.

    Look, I could go on to every point posited by ADC, but the bottom line is they can exist only in the Petri dish of government funding. And government funding is coming to an end. This is a last-gasp effort to drag down the 80% of the population who are doing OK and loving life, by making unfulfillable claims to a mythical “Better Future”.

    We cannot afford politicians or political activists who can’t do the math. They depend on the voters not being able to do the math, either. Please, folks, demand hard answers to questions like, “And if we impose these restrictions and increase these fees/taxes, what will keep jobs from going to places like Arizona that don’t have these impediments to business?”. And believe me, those jobs WILL go to Arizona, and Mexico, and China. And then we’ll all be sitting around holding hands to keep warm when the weather turns cold.

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  66. bear says:

    I’m just speechless that any republican or so-called conservative can defend the economic consequences of republican policies.

    Go to school or grow a brain!

    Or maybe stop living on inherited property or your parents’ trust fund?

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  67. Richard Canini says:

    Santa Rosa city council has created great wealth for a chosen few.

    Properties annexed and rezoned by the city increased in value by millions of dollars. The increased value is solely due to the annexation or rezoning. However the city did not get one cent of this increased value for us. The city council was asked to get our fair share of the increased value but they didn’t get it. Get it? And they are still not getting it for us the tax payers!

    Should the city get a share of the wealth it creates?

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  68. John says:

    Gentle nudging of development toward paths that bring multiple community benefits results in healthier and more sustainable communities. Sonoma Mountain Village and other similar community development projects across the country are good examples of this kind of synergistic cooperation, and a feather in the cap of accountable development.

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  69. The Real Problem says:

    The biggest problem facing our community is the polarity of our citizens. We can have BOTH new business (yes, even the dreaded big businesses) and have a flourishing small business community all at the same time!

    There are plenty of people who would shop at Friedman Brothers simply because they can afford it and they’re loyal local customers. Those of us looking for a bargain will just drive to Cotati and put our sales tax dollars there.

    Santa Rosa could fund it’s bike and pedestrian friendly areas with sales tax revenue raised by new business. Santa Rosa Ave, Cleveland Ave, and others are simply not the places for the bike, ped, transit-friendly shopping districts. Use them for what they are. Give average citizens options (Yes, there are some who PREFER to shop at large retailers!), make some sales tax revenue, and then transform the downtown core into what you want it to be!

    The idea of labeling everyone as either “progressive” or “pro-growth” is nonsense. Look for ways to compromise so that everyone can claim a win.

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  70. Ben Boyce says:

    “ADC Represents Interests of the Community in Regional Development”

    I have to come to the defense of my colleagues in the ADC, who have taken on the hard work of representing the interests of the community in regional development decisions. I suppose that we should not be surprised that our active intervention in the land-use and development process (which has historically been largely hidden from view and dominated by a handful of powerful special interests), would provoke such a negative response from some quarters. We saw during the primary campaign the lengths that these forces would go to try to discredit the leaders of the ADC.

    We have pooled our resources in the ADC to have a voice at the table that reflects the interests of the community to ensure that publicly subsidized development results in sustainable, livable communities with good jobs, affordable housing, and well-designed access to transit. That’s our agenda. We are proud of our work to make Sonoma County a better place. We invite you to join us to shape the future of this region by creating a new path of smart growth with shared prosperity.

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  71. Hans Dippel says:

    “Create and enforce community standards through development that meets local and regional needs”? I do not like the idea that a group wants to be the enforcement arm. Creating, discussing, and collaborating are all positive. I am not sure that their role should include enforcement. That is a big negative.

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  72. Council Watcher says:

    The ADC is basically a front for unions leaders with a few social and environmental folks thrown in for window dressing. The largest group of the these individuals are lawyers, from their disgraced leader to the newest member of the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. What lawyers do best is to fight and cause unrest to their benefit.

    Where do these Smart Growth preachers live, some live in West County well known for being close to everything including affordable housing. They are here to improve our lives for a few dollars each month which are extracted from developers through their Community Benefit Agreements and progressive news letters. They want you to change your habits so they don’t have too. If you don’t want to do something please don’t do it. But don’t tell others not do something while you are doing it. This is classic progressive mumbo jumbo for no growth. The problem that this pack of lawyers have not figured out is how to pay for their union wages and benefits without economic growth. Taxes are the only end game.

    The world is moving forward without the ADC’s dated schema and the ADC will soon realize there brief experiment will becoming to a conclusion. The Mayor of Santa Rosa is looking to be re-elected this November and I bet you that the ADC will not be mentioned once on her website or campaign material. The SMART board is about to side with the Railroad Square developers and ignore the drum beat of the ADC. They have no choice but same themselves if they want to keep the dream of a rail line alive. The ADC is starting to be a liability and they know it.
    They say it best:
    “This is the agenda of the ADC. We are part of a national movement of accountable development advocates that represents an evolutionary advance in public policy we hope to see implemented across the region.

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  73. Bonnie says:

    “Red flag of unionism”? Wow, when did being pro-union (the only substantive criticism Beef King could come up with) become a form of “social control”?

    The union movement, which gave us the 8-hour day, workplace safety laws and an end to child labor, flourished during the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s. Unions, in effect, gave rise to the middle class.

    I’m a progressive, but hardly elite. I’m a single working mother who raised three productive and civic-minded children on a poverty-level income.

    Corporate interests (the real elite) have successfully weakened unions and given rise to low-paid service and factory jobs. Too bad they’ve bamboozled the very people who’ve benefited from unions into thinking unions are the enemy.

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  74. Andy says:

    The so called “free market” enthusiasts (who conveniently forget that their policies of unregulated greed have brought our economy AND our environment disaster of unbelievable proportions) are still selling their bunkum and opposing anyone who wants to change things for the better. God forbid that people who live in the city should have a say in what gets built there! Kay Tokerud is one of the worst her hatred and selfishness are so transparent and all she cares is making money off of real estate speculation. Thats why she consistentl attacks Allen and Caston, who have fought for low income housing and Smart Growth. Tokerud is one of those who’d like to make money turning our city into a strip mall eysore like Rohnert Park..as long as they can make money who cares about the environment, right Kay?
    And as far as the salary of the ADC, I agree it is far from a good wage, but that only speaks to how small the budget of a grass roots coalition is (unlike WALMART which can easily afford to pay more) I also know that the ADC offers other benefits such as flexible hours and the ablility to work from home in lieu of high salary. So maybe you should join some folks who are trying to improve our community instead of being a professional hater and nay sayer like Kay and “Beef King” (who’s pretentious and phoney Glen Beck imitation is wearing thin on these boards)
    PS. Kay there is nothing “interesting” or revealing about the IBEW supporting a candidate who supports working families-it’s called Democracy and you might want to familiarize your self with it. It belongs to all of us-not just business people!

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  75. Kay Tokerud says:

    The new leadership of the ADC wants to rewrite history about what they are up to. Michael Allen and Nick Caston were at the helm when they lobbied against and voted against the Lowe’s project as members of the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. The Grand Jury report found that Allen and Caston should have recused themselves from that vote. Who they are is who they’ve been. The reason Codding Enterprises is paying them is because they don’t want to have the ADC do to them what they did to the Lowe’s project. Michael Allen, the founder, is also being investigated by the FPPC for another conflict of interest while on the Planning Commission for receiving payments from the Sonoma County Water Agency for lobbying and voting for a rezoning they wanted.

    It’s revealing that Buckthorn is with the electrical union since Michael Allen has received campaign donations from Electrical Unions all over California to help him in his bid for 7th district State Assembly. The ADC was a creation of Michael Allen to garner financial support for himself. Now they want to pretend that’s not who they are.

    It’s not the RR Square Station Area Plan. It’s the Downtown Santa Rosa Station Area Plan. Members of the ADC opposed that plan because there was no affordable housing requirements in the plan and there were no green building requirements in the plan. Now they want to take credit for things that aren’t even in the plan. Their claim to want community participation is a joke. They want to be the only voice in the community and frequently oppose others who do not totally agree with them. I’m sorry, but not everyone buys into the smartgrowth agenda. Smartgrowth promotes things like redevelopment which displaces small businesses and sometimes whole communities, and siphons away property taxes used for subsidizing sweetheart projects. It promotes subsidized affordable housing that concentrates low income people in one area like in SW Santa Rosa. The walkable, bikeable, pedestrian freindly stuff is all window dressing for massive tax-payer funded projects that tend to drive out the free market businesses who can’t compete. I favor businesses that pay their own way like Lowe’s would have if the ADC didn’t kill it with money from undisclosed contributors. The anti- free market agenda pushed by the ADC is a social engineering plan that seeks to crowd people into high density urban environments close to trains and get us off the land. The people in the rural areas know what I’m talking about. Property rights are becoming almost non-existant while plan after plan is imposed on us by the government. Governments don’t pay anything to property owners when they deprive them of the use of their properties, unless they actually take the ownership of the land. No property owner should have to get the approval of the ADC, and pay them, to do a project. The ADC has tried to install themselves as an obstacle to any property owner that does not follow what they want them to do. What’s going on in this country to allow such a thing?

    People should Google United Nations Agenda 21, Sustainable Development and you will see where all this walkable, bikeable, dense human settlement stuff is coming from (click on my name above). It comes from outside the United States. And I thought we could govern ourselves, but I guess not. You’ll have to pay the ADC so they can force you to comply with this foreign program of social engineering.

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  76. Michael says:

    I find this fairly humorous/ironic. This is a job posting from ADC’s website.

    “COMPENSATION: Full-time, flexible hours, exempt. Salary of $30,000+ per year, depending on experience. Benefits negotiable.”

    This is for someone with Bachelor’s degree and preferably a Master’s plus experience. That comes out to about $14/hour which is just a little over $2/hour more than Wal-Mart. Oh except at Wal-Mart they have to pay you O.T., ADC makes it pretty clear they don’t want to do that, thus the “exempt” note.

    Doesn’t sound to me like they’re practicing what they preach. Not surprising.

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  77. Michael says:

    The ADC is an example of the further encroachment of “special interest groups” into local politics. This used to be a problem on the National and State level, but is now dictating policy at the local level.

    The worst part about these special interest groups is that they are not beholden to the people yet are controlling public policy. You can’t even vote them out.

    Don’t be fooled, they have a constituency and they are only interested in their agenda, not the interests of the majority of citizens in So Co.

    Like it or not the free market has brought the US immense prosperity (and not just to the top). Think about the luxuries that we enjoy today that weren’t even thought of 50 years ago, those are ALL the result of a profit motivated entrepreneur.

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  78. Beef King says:

    Wow! These guys are the enemies of prosperity.
    The deception drips off the page. Talk about snake oil salesman!
    Their ideas are oppressive and dangerous, and we’re seeing the result of their pervasiveness in our local governments as our top talents are fleeing to save their careers from the certain failures of ‘Progressivism’.
    Their allegiance to ‘smart growth’ is the red flag of unionism that commands their actions.
    They twist words and hide their true goals behind flowery lies and half-truths.
    The real philosophy is simple:
    The progressive elite want to maintain social control by dictating who gets to do business in your neighborhood and which unions get in on the deal.
    Union dues = political power, and political power = personal wealth.
    No thanks ADC, I’m not buying.

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