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Sonoma County Gazette
Human Rights Commission - Sonoma County

Concerned About Discrimination?

Aug 29, 2018


Human Rights Commission and Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach to Visit Guerneville 09/27

Concerned about preventing discrimination from rearing its ugly head in Guerneville? Have any complaints or suggestions for our local law enforcement? Maybe you would just like to thank law enforcement for providing us with a dedicated deputy and doing a good job at treating all of our community members with fairness and respect? Wanna talk about how homelessness or immigration policies affect our community? The Sonoma County Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) will be bringing a road show here to Timberline (16440 4th St, Guerneville)on Thursday, Sept. 27th at 5:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Incoming Sheriff Essick and Supervisor Hopkins will also be attending.

After the rainbow flag thefts and bomb threats, a small group of us went to testify at the HRC to see how we could work more together with them to prevent discrimination from becoming a problem in Guerneville (thank you Taylor Poff and Beth streets). They responded by offering to bring a road show here and open up dialog with our community. There have been some negative comments appearing on social media from local residents about the rainbow flag, Pride parade, Lazy Bear event, etc. Some complaints may be valid, such as too many people parking in the post office lot, or inappropriate language and/or lack of appropriate clothing in front of children. Other issues may just be discriminatory. Maybe you would like to have a conversation with law enforcement officials or our Supervisor about something related to discrimination, homelessness, immigration, or something else? Here’s your chance to voice your concerns and try and resolve any issues.

Everyone is invited to express their views.Let’s talk about stuff and work it out!

Per the HRC website at

The role of the County of Sonoma Commission on Human Rights is to provide leadership, guidance, and assistance in assuring that all members of our community—especially those among us who are marginalized or disadvantaged—enjoy the full range of human rights to which every person is entitled. The actions that the Commission will undertake in fulfilling its mission will include (but not be limited to):

1. Creating awareness of human rights issues faced by members of our community—working in partnership with community organizations and County agencies—through media campaigns, educational programs and training;

2.  Advocating for policy changes necessary to better protect human rights at the local, state, and federal levels by investigating issues raised by our community, commenting on (and, where appropriate, drafting) policies for consideration by lawmakers and/or regulatory bodies, and regularly reporting to the Board of Supervisors on the state of human rights in the County.

3.  Responding to, and advancing concerns raised by members of our community by making referrals to appropriate support resources, investigating the extent to which individual complaints reflect a broader human rights issues in the County, and bringing attention to human rights issues of concern to County residents.

Per the IOLERO website at The mission of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) is:

1.  To provide all members of the public with effective and independent review of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office by conducting unbiased and thorough audits of Sheriff’s Office investigations;

2.  Make policy recommendations to improve the performance and responsiveness of the Sheriff’s Office;

3.  Continually engage with members of the public in Sonoma County.

If you would like to learn more about the Lower River Area Community Alliances, become involved as a volunteer, or if you have some community concerns or solutions you would like to share, you can “like” our Guerneville Community Alliance and/or Russian River Alliance FB pages, or visit our website at You can also contact Jeniffer Wertz at 707-483-7038 (Guerneville), or Chuck Ramsey at 707-239-1639 (Monte Rio).

River Community Advocates


Commission on Human Rights:  Working with you – residents of the Sonoma County community – we represent your needs, issues, and concerns in areas that affect your human rights. We work to bring attention to the issues faced by marginalized or disadvantaged members of our communities to those in elected office. Through us, you have a voice. Currently, we have openings in the 2nd and 4th Districts, please consider getting involved!

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Human Rights Commission Sonoma County


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