In Sunday’s column, I asked where the next generation of political leaders would come from, noting that most of the folks mentioned as potential supervisorial candidates were 50 or older. Several readers wrote in, letting me know that the future is much more hopeful than my column suggested.
Cloverdale Councilman Bob Jehn shared the following: “Fortunately, there are a few people who have stepped forward and have made, or are making, significant contributions. Mike Nixon became a member of the Cloverdale City Council at age 25, serving almost two full terms. Mike McGuire currently serves on the Healdsburg Council, and was appointed Mayor last year. Nick Caston is the youngest person ever to be appointed to the Santa Rosa Planning Commission, and Craig Litwin is a fairly young (by my standards) member of the Sebastopol City Council. There may be others, but we shouldn’t overlook the young people we are fortunate enough to have in these positions today, and all of us should encourage more young people to run for public office, as you point out in your column.”
Sonoma resident and former county Supervisor Janet Nicholas wrote: “I knew that our community would thrive and retain its strong agricultural base & sense of community when I saw 20 to 30 year olds taking the lead to defeat a very well financed, ill-conceived Sonoma Valley Hospital proposal . “Kids” I have know all their lives, were suddenly transformed into a modern, take action political force. Our City Council has two members (Joann Saunders and August Sebastiani) who are young parents with fresh ideas and a strong sense of community.”
Dennis Rosatti, director of Sonoma Conservation Action mentioned several young people with bright political futures, including Maguire, Caston, Litwin, West County High School board member Kellie Noe and Harmony Union School Board member Nora Lomax. Rosatti himself is a member of the Harmony school board.
He also noted that many young people are coming up through the local environmental movement, including Jessica Kellet who works for the Climate Protection Campaign, Daisy Pistey-Lyne, Greenbelt Alliance’s field rep in Sonoma County, Juliet Prange, coordinator of the Accountable Development Coalition,
Rosatti’s final encouraging words: “We are a generation of people that are young, excited, and active in making Sonoma County a place where our kids can laugh and play, and enjoy the same benefits that we hold so dearly.”
— Ann DuBay
Jenna Brager, who works as the Know Your Neighbor coordinator for Conservation Action and Erik Ohlsen “an internationally acclaimed permaculture instructor.”