WHEREAS, Sonoma County has recently seen rising and unacceptable levels of hateful conduct aimed at Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab members of our community; that this conduct has now expanded beyond direct action against individuals to include attacks on the entire body politic via disruptions of both remote and in-person public meetings with vile racist and antisemitic comments that push the limits of First Amendment speech rights1; the local, national, and international levels of hateful and violent rhetoric have increased dramatically since the deadly and vicious October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas on civilian targets in Israel; we are seeing dangerous escalation beyond just repugnant speech to incidents of physical threats, harassment, vandalism2, discrimination, assault, and overt violence that has apparently led to tragic loss of life in Illinois3 and California4; and
WHEREAS, we firmly believe that this poisonous atmosphere and emergent chaos threatens the foundations of a functioning democracy – a democracy that is already suffering from the stresses and strains of emerging authoritarian philosophies; that the situation endangers as well the mental and physical well-being and safety of both adults and children coming into contact with such turmoil; and that problematic behaviors are not always overt and actively hostile but can be implicit and subtle; that immense damage is being done not just to members of the Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian and Arab communities but to all residents of Sonoma County, and while we cannot and should not attempt to rank the relative suffering of each affected group we must acknowledge the heavy burdens of history, including the Holocaust, that engender the ever-present fears that the Jewish community faces on a daily basis. As a party we also recognize that October 7th has both inspired new acts of antisemitism in this county and has reinforced these generational traumas for our county’s Jewish community. Concurrently, we recognize that it is manifestly true that our county’s Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities have experienced their own histories of hate, discrimination, and trauma, and that as a party we recognize that October 7th has also inspired new acts of hatred and discrimination in Sonoma County towards these communities; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party hereby urges each elected governing body in Sonoma County, including the Board of Supervisors, City Councils, and School District Boards to formally condemn in the strongest possible terms all hateful conduct directed against members of the Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities in our county based upon their membership in those communities; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges each individual member of the aforementioned governing bodies to make concerted extra effort to personally reach out to local Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities in order to listen carefully to their legitimate concerns, historical perspectives, and lived experiences; to provide concrete reassurance that freedom from hate speech and violence is a non-negotiable part of our shared vision of democracy; to affirm that respectfully expressed disagreements over governmental foreign policy decisions fall under protected free speech, to craft workable local solutions to help de-escalate the current cycle of hate, provocation, and real or threatened violence; and to reinforce the core principles of mutual respect and individual support when crafting both public and private political positions.
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on November 14, 2023