FREE AND INDEPENDENT PRESS

FREE AND INDEPENDENT PRESS

SF RECORDING - JESSICA MORSE

Sierra Forward Presents:

The Importance of a Free and Independent Press

The Washington Post’s tagline is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” And so, it does; ignorance is democracy’s most lethal enemy, for it is ignorance that fuels conspiracy theories and insurrection. An uneducated, and therefore gullible, citizenry is a tyrant’s dream.  We have seen this phenomenon in other countries and in other times. And now we see it in America. January 6 was the most graphic example, but not the only one.

Shasta County is not the only place in California where such dangerously corrosive forces are at work (in 2022 the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 103 hate and anti-government groups active in the state); but the situation in Shasta can and should serve as an example of how and why things can go bad very quickly, and how a free and independent press can become a target of anti-democratic groups and individuals.

Ms. Doni Chamberlain, publisher/editor of a news café in Redding knows all too well just how dreadful things can get. Listen to Doni, and hear her story.

 

Ken Pimlott – Recording

Ken Pimlott – Recording

Ken Pimlott Recording

Sierra Forward Town Hall Presents:

Ken Pimlott

Leading the discussion will be one of California’s foremost authorities on the topic, former CALFIRE Chief, Ken Pimlott.

Ken, working with a team in El Dorado County, led the creation of a county “Wildfire Strategy.” It is somewhat unique in the state and may serve as a model for other localities facing the threat of runaway fires.

Find out what El Dorado County is doing to create a safer environment for its citizens.

Jessica Morse – Recording

Jessica Morse – Recording

SF RECORDING - JESSICA MORSE

Sierra Forward Town Hall Presents:

Jessica Morse

Jessica Morse is skilled, savvy, and more prepared than ever to defeat Kevin Kiley in the race for Congressional District 3.

She is still as enthusiastic and genuine as ever and when you listen to the recording from her meeting at Sierra Forward’s Town Hall in December you will feel the same passion she has always demonstrated.

RURAL URBAN RECORDING

RURAL URBAN RECORDING

SF RECORDING - URBAN RURAL RECORDING

Sierra Forward Town Hall Presents:

Rural Urban Initiative

Listen to the recording to hear an interesting discussion about RUBI’s plan to close the divide between urban and rural Americans with policies that create a level playing field for all.

Anthony Flaccavento, Co-founder of the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative, addressed the Sierra Forward Town Hall meeting to share their group’s focus on creating policies with and for rural folks.

It Was All A Lie – Video

It Was All A Lie – Video

It Was All A Lie Book Cover

Sierra Forward Town Hall Presents:

It Was All a Lie Recording

Sierra Forward Town Hall presentation of “It Was All a Lie’ by Stuart Stevens recording.

“It Was All a Lie is not just an indictment of the Republican Party, but a candid and often lacerating mea culpa. Stevens is not asking for pity or forgiveness; he is simply telling us what he has seen firsthand. He helped to create the modern party that kneels before a morally bankrupt con man and now he wants nothing more than to see what it has become burned to the ground.”

To discuss this topic Sierra Forward was pleased to present Mr. Stuart Stevens, former GOP media consultant, one of the founders of The Lincoln Project, and author of “It Was All a Lie” in a Town Hall  Sept.14, 2023.

Check out the much requested recording by clicking here: https://youtu.be/9qQXthygiTc

Mr. Stevens argues, “When a party stands for nothing… it is only natural that it will be taken over by the loudest and angriest voices in the room.”

Appreciating and honoring former President Jimmy Carter

Appreciating and honoring former President Jimmy Carter

Les Francis, far left, sits with Representative Don Edwards, President Jimmy Carter and Representative Norm Mineta aboard Air Force One. Courtesy photo

Les Francis, far left, sits with Representative Don Edwards, President Jimmy Carter and Representative Norm Mineta aboard Air Force One. Courtesy photo

Appreciating and honoring former President Jimmy Carter

by Les Francis

El Dorado County has much appeal and many charms — spectacular natural wonders, a rich and colorful history and many good and decent people. Since moving here from Washington, D.C., seven years ago, my wife Shari and I have had occasion to enjoy all of that and more.

 As a longtime Democratic activist and campaign operative, however, the area has proved to be challenging. It is a bright red county with small blue enclaves in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe. But it hasn’t always been so.

As my former boss Jimmy Carter is under home hospice care in Plains, Ga., many of us who worked for and with him have been comparing notes and reflecting on those times — his remarkable life, his misunderstood and vastly under-appreciated single term as president and his much-admired work as an ex-president.

I became an early Carter supporter, meeting him and enrolling in his cause in July 1975. Later, I took vacation time from my job on Capitol Hill to work in the 1976 Pennsylvania primary. That fall I directed field operations for the Carter/Mondale campaign in California.

While we lost the state narrowly (under 2%), we did very well in Northern California, including — hard as it is to believe today — in the Sierra foothills. In fact, 1976 was the last time the Democratic presidential nominee to carried El Dorado County (as well Amador, Lassen, Madera, Placer, Sierra, Yuba and even Shasta counties). 

Four years later we lost the state by a large margin and carried only three of California’s 58 counties — Alameda, San Francisco and Yolo. We lost El Dorado by almost 30 points — quite a reversal, and not a welcome one for our side. More recently, in 2016 Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by almost 14 points in El Dorado County; Joe Biden did better in 2020, losing the county by less than nine points. 

There are many reasons for this reversal — demographic, economic, cultural and more. But part of the reason is rank politics and it started with vigorous opposition to Jimmy Carter’s policies in places such as rural California.

Carter was a true environmentalist — a preservationist in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt. He opposed wasteful public works projects and curbed the greed of extraction industries, including timber. He believed in saving rivers, not exploiting them. He thought ranchers should pay grazing fees commensurate with the value provided. 

He also was devoted to civil and human rights, including those for farm workers. He appointed more women and persons of color to the federal judiciary than all previous presidents combined. He negotiated, signed and was able to ratify the Panama Canal  Treaties. He pushed for worker safety and consumer protection and for greater adherence to ethics in government.

The sad fact of political life in America, especially since 1980, is that such principles are anathema to modern “conservatives.” They have moved further right — to the point where true moderates are now disparaged as “left wingers.”

Jimmy Carter’s life and career serve as a beacon to those of us who still believe that politics can be noble, that public service is a good thing and that government can make a positive difference in the lives of everyday Americans. Those principles once resonated in El Dorado County, as well as to our neighbors north and south of us. We can only hope that they will do so again  — someday. 

Les Francis is retired and living in Camino. He once worked as chief of staff to Rep. Norman Y. Mineta (D-San Jose) and as deputy assistant and deputy chief of staff to President Jimmy Carter.