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Elizabeth “Liz” Basile

The Sonoma County Democratic Party honored Elizabeth “Liz” Basile with the

Trowbridge Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Elizabeth "Liz" Basile

Photograph of Liz Basile taken at a Santa Rosa Democratic Club dinner.

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 the Trowbridge Award was presented to Liz in her home during a gathering of local Democrats. It was blessing to share with Liz how much she has meant to so many over the years. She passed peacefully a week later on Saturday, February 6, 2017 at the age of 89.

Liz Basile needs little introduction to the Sonoma County Democratic community. She was a role mode to many with her dedication to activism and Democratic values. Her life of leadership within the local Democratic Party began in 1992 upon her retirement from teaching when she joined the Santa Rosa Democratic Club. That, however, was not the beginning for her. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy she became a Precinct Captain during his 1960 Presidential campaign, and she coordinated with other leaders across the state organizing canvassing and phone banking. Her commitment to voter engagement and voter registration continued into this past election.

She served as their Second Vice Chair for Membership for several years before moving to First Vice Chair for Programs and finally President. In 2014, she stepped down from the Executive Board but continued to be an anchor of support and encouragement to the board.

A native of Stockton, California Liz spent much of her childhood in Brooklyn, New York. At age 16, her family returned to California where she finished school in Los Angeles. Married and with a family of her own, Liz earned a B.A. in English and History then a M.A. in Reading Specialization at California State University Los Angeles.

Her teaching career began in East Los Angeles at El Sereno Junior High School. After her family relocated to Sonoma County in 1974, she taught at Casa Grande High School until her retirement in 1992. Recruited her first year of teaching by the California Teachers Association, Liz eventually became Chapter President of the Association of Petaluma Teachers. CTA has honored Liz Basile with a Life Time Achievement Award.

No stranger to Democratic honors, Liz Basile has previously been honored during the Sonoma County Democratic Party’s Annual Crab Feed. In 2003, she was honored as the Democratic of the Year, and in 2008, she was honored with the Roberta Hollowell Award. The State of California recognized Liz in 2012 as a Woman of the Year under then Assemblyman Michael Allen.

Liz Basile was an outspoken Italian fire-ball who inspired many of us as a teacher, a role model, and Democratic activist.  She served for the Fifth District on Sonoma County Democratic Party’s government board until her passing on February 6, 2017.