Fresno Stonewall Democrats will be conducting our Endorsement Meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, where members will vote to decide which candidates to endorse for the upcoming Primary Election on March 5, 2024. Candidates in local races (Fresno County Supervisor, Fresno City Council, and Mayor) have been invited to attend if they would like to address members before the selection process begins (candidates will be allowed to speak for two minutes).
Fresno Stonewall Democrats has asked candidates to complete our Questionnaire to inform our members as to their positions on issues related to our mission and goals. Below are candidates who completed our questionnaire.
We will also be considering endorsements in two State races:
State Assembly AD-6
We didn’t receive questionnaires from candidates for these offices but we’d like to mention that Evan Minton for State Assembly AD-6(click here for his Bio) was our guest speaker in September 2023, is a champion for Transgender issues, and is the only Democrat running for that office.
Endorsement of a candidate requires 60% of members voting. New members must wait a grace period of twienty-eight (28) days before they are eligible to vote — this means only members who joined on December 12, 2023 or earlier may participate in this process.
5:30 PM – Dinner, drinks, and general discussion of hot topics or current events 6:00 PM – Meeting Calls to Order
We are meeting this month on Friday, December 8th at 6:30 pm for a party! Please join us at Patty & Keith Cappelluti’s Fabulous Home to enjoy holiday music, good food, tasty drinks, and great company!
We hope to have some silent auction items available for you!
We will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the Fresno EOC’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center downtown as well as hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, brushes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, lotion, feminine products, etc).
Everyone is invited to attend this free event and kick off the holiday season with us.
We hope you can attend this free event and enjoy the company of other like-minded Democrats. Whether you can make it or not, Fresno Stonewall Democrats appreciates your support and wish you a fabulous holiday season and all the best in 2024.
NEXT GENERAL MEETING: JANUARY 9, 2024
In January the club will meet to consider and vote on candidate endorsements for the upcoming election cycle. Our endorsements serve as a Voting Guide for many of the club’s members and followers who might be undecided on some positions. If you’re a paid member you are encouraged to attend this meeting to participate in the decision making process. If you are not a paid member you may join the membership to participate as long as you do so by December 12 (new members must wait 28 days before they are eligible to vote in club matters).
Please join us at our November meeting to hear D’Aungillique Jackson, Fresno State Graduate, Bulldog Pride Fund Scholar, and first LGBTQIA+ Student Body President. Earlier this year she was invited to The 2nd Pride Reception at The White House by Vice President Kamala Harris. D’Aungillique also led the Black Lives Matter Protest in Fresno in 2020, one of the city’s largest and most peaceful demonstrations; she was the youngest member of Fresno’s Commission on Police Reform; and she was President of the Fresno State chapter of the NAACP.
As a recent Fresno State graduate, D’Aungillique earned her B.A. in Sociology in the Fall of 2022. She is a people activator and mobilizer. Though she is not native to Fresno, D’Aungillique’s lived experiences as a Black American woman, a military kid, and an LGBTQIA+ youth have ignited within her a passion to advocate for equity and transformative justice wherever she goes.
Her most recent accomplishments include being an invited guest of Vice President Kamala Harris at her “2023 Pride Reception” for esteemed LGBTQ+ organizers, becoming a member of the Central Valley’s “40 under 40” Class of 2023, serving as the 2021-2022 Fresno State Student Body President, Becoming a Bulldog Pride Fund Scholar (2021 – 2022), receiving the 2020 John D. Welty Award for Community Excellence in Community Service, serving as Faith in the Valley’s Community Justice Fellow, serving as the youngest commissioner on Fresno’s Commission for Police Reform, and leading Fresno’s largest, most peaceful protest—the city of Fresno’s Black Lives Matter protest on May 31st, 2020. Above all, D’Aungillique Jackson is most proud to be a recharting member of the Fresno State NAACP college chapter, the 2019-2021 Chapter President, and the current campus advisor for this organization.
Members of our club attended the annual Eleanor Roosevelt Birthday Luncheon organized by the Historic Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club. Honorees at this event were three women in our community that have made significant change for our community, impacted politics, and have been leaders over several decades.
Hon. Dezie Woods-Jones, BWOPA Founder & State President
Hon. Cynthia A. Sterling, BWOPA Fresno/SJV President
Marsha Conant, NWPC Fresno President
FCDWC President Carole Laval welcomed everyone to the event and acknowledged the many elected leaders in the audience as well as candidates who are actively running campaigns. There were many sponsors attending and several other Democratic clubs represented in the audience.
This year’s theme was “It’s Up To The Women”, honoring women who lead.
The Keynote speaker was Susannah Delano, Executive Director of Close The Gap California, a statewide campaign that seeks to close the gender gap in the California Legislature. She gave a great talk on what her organization does, what they’ve accomplished, and what the future looks like.
M.C. Sandra Garcia, Sr. District Representative for Congressman Jim Costa, introduced each of the honorees as they were presented with their awards and addressed the audience.
The event closed with a surprise appearance by Congressman Jim Costa who gave the event a thoughtful closing speech and personally congratulated all three honorees and posed for pictures.
Marsha Conant, the final honoree, is also our own Vice President of Fresno Stonewall Democrats!
Congratulations to all three honorees! We wish all of you all the best.
In recognition of National Coming Out Day the board thought it would be fun to have, as our guest speaker, Jesse Villalobos, more commonly known as Empress Jesse I & IV, or Queen Mother II, by members of the Imperial Dove Court of Fresno (IDC Fresno).
This month we had more attendees than last month for our meeting at Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant and one member attended the Zoom portion of the meeting. Three of the attendees were there for the first time and we hope to see all three again at next months meeting on November 14!
The Agenda and Minutes for August and September were approved and the Treasurer’s Report was given by Monte who reported our balance at $2,994.59 based on a report that Terry assisted with. The detailed report can be found in our online documents at https://bit.ly/fsd-mtgdocs.
Terry did not give a President’s Report in the interest of time and instead announced a “Prayers for Peace” gathering at Temple Beth Israel following our meeting at 7:30 pm. Terry noted the horrific attack on Israel by Hamas on Saturday morning and encouraged meeting attendees to attend the gathering. He stated we would try to get through our agenda swiftly so those interested would be able to attend.
In Marsha’s Vice President’s Report she noted the increase in events going on in the community compared to years ago and how it’s been hard to keep up with everything. She announced that we are sponsors of the Rainbow Wonderland Garden Party, which is a fundraising event for Fresno State’s LGBTQ2+ Endowed Scholarship Fund. The event is to be held this Sunday evening at 6:00 pm at Gazebo Gardens and general admission tickets are $30. Four members of the Stonewall club will attend to represent our organization at the event.
Marsha also spoke about the life and career of Dianne Feinstein and her inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in her efforts. Senator Feinstein died on September 29 and Marsha hoped “everyone would remember her with fondness and respect, and understand the impact she had on the world and how she represented all of us throughout her entire career.”
One of my favorite political photos. I am so blessed to have met these two Inspirational icons and sheroes! Dianne Feinstein and Dolores Huerta have made the world a better place! #Rest in Power, #Si se Puede
Terry called for nominations again for club Treasurer and explained the basic responsibilities of that position. The club’s current Treasurer, Monte, wishes to transition to the Director of Outreach position and allow someone else more experienced to take over the Treasury duties. Until the position is filled he has agreed to continue with those duties while also doing the outreach for our club. Anyone interested in the Treasurer position should send an email to email@example.com or contact one of the board members directly.
Volunteers are still needed at the information and voter registration booth at the Fresno Fair. Myra noted they have NO volunteers scheduled for this Friday night between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Volunteers receive a ticket to enter the fair on the day of their shift so they can enjoy the fair before or after the shift they’ve signed up for. Sign up on the mobilize link or call Headquarters at 559-495-0606. https://www.mobilize.us/fresnocountydemocraticparty/event/579710/
Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club participates in the Central Valley Veterans Day Parade every year and is inviting all other Democrats and clubs to walk with them. Also, there is usually a vehicle leading the group in the parade, in which some members ride, but this year the club is in need of a vehicle. Anyone interested in walking and/or helping with the vehicle please contact Carole Laval. The parade is on Saturday, November 11th at 11:11 am. Opening Ceremony at Fresno City Hall is at 9:45 am.
Fresno Stonewall Democrats is a sponsor this year of the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club annual Eleanor Roosevelt Luncheon & Silent Auction at Manhattan Steakhouse. Our own VP Marsha Conant, also President of NWPC, will be honored at this event along with Hon. Dezie Woods-Jones, BWOPA Founder & State President; Hon. Cynthia A. Sterling, BWOPA Fresno/SJV President; and M.C. Sandra Garcia, Sr. District Representative for Congressman Jim Costa. The keynote speaker will be Susannah Delano, Executive Director of Close the Gap. Tickets are $75 or you can be a sponsor of the event: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fcdwc-er-luncheon-2023
Terry introduced Jesse Villalobos, founder of the Imperial Dove Court in Fresno and the first and fourth elected Empress of that organization. Jesse spoke about the early days of drag, when he was approached by talent agent Sterling Holloway and asked to sign on with him as an entertainer. Jesse talked about his early days of entertaining in Fresno and San Francisco and about the formation of the IDC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises money throughout the year to donate back to local community organizations.
This Saturday night is the Ducal Ball, IDC’s annual event when candidates compete for the titles of Duke and Duchess, but also at this event they announce the grant recipients and amounts awarded.
Terry announced The Sacred Act of Coming Out, “An interfaith gathering to hear and honor stories and to collectively affirm everyone’s inherent value, beauty, and divinity.” In recognition of National Coming Out Day, this event takes place at 6:30 pm at the Smittcamp Alumni House at Fresno State (click here for flyer).
Friday mornings at Fresno County Democratic Party Headquarters volunteers are writing postcards encouraging women in Fresno County to register to vote. The focus is on unregistered women, south of Shaw and west of Hwy 99. More volunteers are needed to help with this effort: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/578368/
One of our new members, Rosio, who helped champion Assembly Bill 994, announced that it has been voted in and archived as AB 994. Rosio gave a presentation on this bill several months ago and asked club members to write letters in the support of the bill. She has been giving regular updates at meetings and joined the club membership in September!
The meeting adjourned early enough so that members could attend the gathering at Temple Beth Israel.
The next meeting will be November 14 and our guest speaker will be D’Aungillique Jackson, Fresno State’s first openly LGBTQ+ Student Body President. D’Aungillique also led the Black Lives Matter Protest in 2020, one of the city’s largest and most peaceful demonstrations, was the youngest member of Fresno’s Commission on Police Reform, and was President of the Fresno State chapter of the NAACP.
“NCOD [National Coming Out Day] was started in 1988 by lesbian Jean O’Leary and gay man Robert Eichberg, on the theory that LGBTQ+ people were so ostracized from society — and AIDS was not a priority — partly because most people didn’t realize their own brothers, friends, uncles and colleagues were gay.”
Dinner at drinks at Los Amigos this coming Tuesday, October 10th, at 5:30 pm with Fresno Stonewall Democrats and special guest speaker Jesse Villalobos, Empress I & IV of The Imperial Dove Court of Fresno.
If you were at last week’s meeting you know we had a couple of great speakers and several announcements and sponsorship decisions to make on upcoming events. We called to order a little late to allow the restaurant server to take our dinner orders and avoid interruptions during our agenda.
We had over 15 attendees in person at Los Amigos Restaurant and several connected on Zoom. Also in the room we had Matthew Gillian, candidate for City Council, and SCCCD Trustee Magdelana Gomez.
Minutes were not available due to a technical issue and will be available at the next meeting.
Monte reported for the Treasurer’s Report that we have $3,335.52 in our checking account.
Vice President Marsha Conant gave a report on recent and upcoming events.
Terry Stasio explained the proposed bylaws that were included on the agenda for consideration. Motions were made and seconded for both items and passed by majority vote of members present, including members on Zoom. In summary, the three bylaws that called for a 30 day notice or waiting period have been changed to 28 days; the second item added that in special elections where there was only one democratic candidate the club could endorse that candidate without having to announce an endorsement meeting.
Another call for nominations of a new treasurer was made but there were no interested members at this time. If you know someone that would be willing to step up for this volunteer position please refer them to us via email or ask them to attend our October meeting.
Member Cathy Brass spoke about the Democratic Headquarters and the financial challenges it’s facing. Donations and volunteers to run the office are urgently needed to keep things going. One-time or recurring monthly donations can be made here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fresnodemocrats.
Gender Euphoria is coming up on September 23 (THIS Saturday) at 6:00 pm at Fresno City College in the Old Admin Building. This dinner and talent night is a fundraiser hosted by Trans-E-Motion. Tickets are $35 for individuals and $250 (plus Eventbrite fees) for a table of 10. FSD voted to sponsor a table of 10 and started a signup list of attendees at this meeting to fill those seats. If you’re interested in joining us please contact Terry to see if there are any more seats available at the club’s table. Click here for flyer. You can purchase individual tickets or donate to the organization here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gender-euphoria-2023-tickets-686981569367
Rainbow Wonderland Garden Party at Gazebo Gardens is coming up on October 15 at 6:00 pm. Proceeds benefit the LGBTQ2+ Studies Endowed Scholarship Fund. The club also voted to be a sponsor of this event at the $250 “Pride Blue” level. This includes four seats at the event and sponsorship recognition in media and the program. Click here to purchase your own tickets ($30) or see the flyer: page 1page 2
Trunk Or Treat is an annual event for the whole family, hosted by Fresno Rainbow Pride, a project of Community Link. There will be treats, a game area, prizes, vendors, and more. Last year’s event was very well attended and is a family event that everyone can come to. It will be held at 1444 C Street in Fresno on October 15 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Click here for the flyer.
Special Guest Speaker: Marsha introduced our Special Guest Speaker Evan Minton who is a candidate for Assembly District 6. A bio was included in our previous meeting announcement and you can click here to access a copy of it. See Evan’s website for additional information about his accomplishments and campaign information.
Visiting Candidate: Terry introduced Matthew Gillian, candidate for City Council District 2. Matthew spoke about the non-profit organization Inspiration Transportation he founded and how it helped and inspired him to move forward with his campaign. A new website for his campaign in is development. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Gillian has also completed our club questionnaire and is asking to be considered for endorsement.
Live Auction: Cathy Brass also brought a cute vase with a small cactus / succulent and there was fierce bidding that went on between a few members, even one on Zoom, until we arrived at the winning bid of $110. All money will go to support office expenses of the Fresno County Democratic Party.
Our next meeting will be October 10th when we will have IDC Fresno‘s Empress I & IV Jesse Villalobos! Please attend this special meeting to hear about Jesse’s live and his involvement in starting a Court chapter here in Fresno.
This month FSD has announcements to make about important upcoming events, possible sponsorships, and bylaw changes. With State and Local elections around the corner, we are making efforts to bring you candidates that you’ll likely want to hear from.
This Tuesday we will have Matthew Gillian, candidate for Fresno City Council District 2. Matthew has completed our Questionnaire (click here to view or download) and will be in person at the meeting to talk about his campaign.
Our Featured Speaker this month is Evan Minton, candidate for Assembly District 6 (via Zoom)
EVAN has served as a policy advocate to expand access to health care, including mental health care; as a legislative aide protecting voting rights and safeguarding workers’ rights; and as a national trailblazer fighting for the rights of the transgender community. (click here for more about Evan Minton)
IF ELECTED, EVAN WILL BECOME THE FIRST TRANS LEGISLATOR.
Everyone is invited to order dinner and/or drinks during our social and “hot topic” segment starting at 5:30 pm. At 6:00 pm we call the meeting to order and proceed with our agenda and speakers. If you have additions to the agenda, speaker suggestions, or announcements to be included at the meeting please send them to email@example.com.
[Email from Jennifer Cruz at Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center]
For concerned Valley residents, especially Clovis residents, employees and parents, please show up for the Clovis City Council meeting, TOMORROW, Tuesday, September 5th, at 6 p.m. to make public comments regarding the agenda item (#20) added by Councilwoman Pearce. She is working to lobby the Clovis City Council to send a letter to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors about her concerns over LGBTQ books and Pride month displays in county libraries.
“20. Consider Approval – Letter to Fresno County Regarding Library Concerns from the Community.”
These displays have been available in Fresno County libraries for many years and this year some leaders have made this an issue of “protecting the children” which has resulted in harassment of some Fresno County Library staff and fueled hateful rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community. It is important to start showing up in larger numbers to oppose policies and potential ordinances that could hurt our community. In May of this year, the BOS proposed an ordinance restricting the flying of any flag that is not the US, California, or POW flag at Fresno County Buildings. They passed this 5-0 in June 2023, with almost no opposition from the public, stopping any flying of a Pride flag.
The Council Chamber is open to the public for Council Meetings. If you wish to speak to the Council on an item by telephone, you should contact the City Clerk at (559) 324-2060 no later than 4:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.
If we can show up in Clovis and voice our concerns then maybe no letter will be sent to BOS and they can leave the libraries alone moving forward. Councilwoman Pearce has made many problematic statements in her position at Clovis City Council meetings and has been supported by Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefield, who will be trying to move to BOS in 2024. We will have to stay current with that board and communicate if they do try to make policies opposing pride displays in the future–which is a concern given that some of those board members were touring libraries last June and making an issue of the displays.
We are asking anyone who can attend TOMORROW night’s meeting to do so and help tell the Clovis City Council that we oppose the writing of any letter to the BOS that will try to reduce the visibility of the LGBTQ community in the future. Key points could include reasons it is important to increase visibility, especially for Queer youth who often feel isolated, have higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and are often lacking familial support.
Our agreed-upon “message to the council” today was that decreasing visibility in public county libraries does more harm than good to youth in our community. And, the divisive nature of Councilwoman Pearce’s narrative makes our whole community less safe from harm, harassment, and discrimination. Folks can text “Advocate” to 559-862-1040 for text updates of future advocacy opportunities.