Mary West, Oct. 11, 1927 – Feb. 22, 2015​

It is with much sadness that we report that long-time Democrat Mary West died recently in Santa Cruz. She and her husband Dirk came here in 1980 and became active in Democratic politics and campaigns. They were named co-democrats of the year for 1997. Mary also served as a president of the Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County and remained active with the organization for many years.



Four DWC members awarded at annual gala

Four DWC members received awards at the DCC Annual Dinner,  March 7


Four DWC members received awards at the annual dinner at the Dream Inn on March 7.  Amanda Robinson and Coco Rainer-Walter shared the Democrat of the Year Award.  Together, they revitalized the Crossen North County Democratic Club when it languished after Shirlee and David moved to Santa Cruz.  The new club is named for John and Delores Crossen in remembrance of two former Democrats of the Year.  Amanda currently serves as Recording Secretary for the club.  In addition, she has served as campaign coordinator for Eric Hammer, Assembly member Mark Stone, and newly elected Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart.


Coco currently serves as President of the CNCDC.  Both Coco and Amanda have great energy and the new club is thriving.  Amanda serves on the executive board of the Democratic Central Committee. Previously she was the DCC secretary. She is a delegate to the State Democratic Central Committee.  Coco also serves on the DCC executive board and currently serves as events chair for the DCC. Coco is known for her warm, friendly and upbeat personality that encourages participation.

Amanda and Coco

Amanda and Coco


Lois Muhly and Shirlee Byrd, together with their husbands, Bert Muhly and David Byrd, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for their many years of service to the Democratic Party.  Shirlee and Lois both served on the DWC board for many years.  Shirlee served as Recording Secretary for many years, and she graciously opened her lovely home for board meetings.  In addition, David and Shirlee were founding members of the North County Democratic Club and worked many years to establish the club in the San Lorenzo Valley.


Lois served on the DWC board for many years, holding almost every office over her long term on the board.  Lois was one of the founding members of the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County.  She and Bert were indefatigable in their volunteer work on global issues, especially El Salvador and Nicaragua through Santa Cruz Sister Cities and Three Americas.

The Santa Cruz Democratic Party invites you to ‘Celebrate Our Stars’

gala.jpgThe Democratic Women’s Club will have several tables at the annual Santa
Cruz County Democratic Party dinner. The funds raised will contribute to
the United Democratic Campaign in 2016, which will be a very important
election. If you would like to join a DWC table to sit with other DWC
members send a check for $100, payable to SCCDCC and mail to Carol
Fuller, 513 Olive St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
Please include your email and indicate your menu choice:

Grilled Salmon

Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken Breast

Wild Mushroom Ravio/veggies

Vegan/ polenta and veggies.

State Of The Union





President Obama’s State of the Union speech touched on many subjects including taxes, racial tensions and income inequality.

He also called for increased strikes on ISIS and for Congress to pay for two years of community college and went on to declare the state of the union strong.

The mention of a ‘single pipeline’ was perhaps a direct shot at the KeystoneXL project, which he has promised to veto.


Overall it was a strong, confident stand. Watch the State of The Union speech here!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


2015 should be nothing if not interesting. After the devastating loss of the U. S. Senate in the November election there is no telling how things will unfold at the Federal level. The prognosticators are out in force. They foretell everything from total gridlock to bold action from Obama to help the Republicans position themselves into a corner on a variety of issues for the 2016 Presidential election.

The executive action taken by Obama on immigration reform will unfold in ways that should provide some relieve to the undocumented population from the threat of deportation. And incidentally, again, provide an opportunity to watch the Republicans squirm as they try to challenge these changes while not further alienating the growing number of Latino voters.

The California legislature has already taken steps to improve the lives of undocumented residents in the area of health care and providing a legal avenue to obtain drivers licenses.  The state has the largest population of farmworkers in the nation, at 300,000, many of whom will be affected by the new Federal policy. Agriculture is big business in California and there have been many abuses of this vulnerable population. Immigration reform will provide some protection from abusive employers as workers can report workplace violations without fear of deportation. Also some predict that when undocumented workers have more options some workers may be able to leave the the fields for year round employment. This may also have the effect of raising wages for farmworkers helping to lift some of the poorest families out of poverty.

California has passed historic legislation mandating monitoring of aquifers. This overturns water rights going back to the establishment of the state. As the west faces persistent drought conditions this is another tool to help manage the water supply for the benefit of all. This legislation has profound implications here in Santa Cruz County where much of our water supply in mid and south county is from aquifers and has a lot of wells that are not monitored.

Democrats may have lost the battle for control of the U. S. Senate, but the war is not over. California has always been a bellwether state, look to California for leadership on a variety of National issues in 2015.

Carol Fuller



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