Sonoma Valley Democrats Resolution

Resolution supporting the transformation of SONOMA DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER to include critical patient services and protection and public access to the land.

WHEREAS: The Sonoma Developmental Center has been slated to close in three years. The center has been in existence since November 24, 1891. It employs 1,200 people who provide services to a reduced population about 400 of very fragile clients, many of whom have been there for decades.

WHEREAS: Some individuals are successful in community homes, but after over 30 years of placements in the community, the patients who remain at SDC have extremely severe medical or behavioral problems that cannot be met in the community.

WHEREAS: The reported cost difference between SDC and community placement is very deceptive, as the Developmental Center costs include medical treatment, dental treatment, equipment, therapies and day programs. In addition, there are developmentally disabled citizens inappropriately housed in our jails, but their costs have not been included in the figures reported. Finally, admissions to SDC have been halted for several years, increasing the cost per patient to maintain the facility.

WHEREAS: There are unique and beneficial services at SDC that are not available in the community such as custom-made wheelchairs, custom shoes, dentists who know how to work with severely disabled patients, eye care, specialized health care for the medically fragile (many of whom languish in urban hospitals because they have nowhere else to go), and high-risk psychological assessment and treatment.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Sonoma Valley Democrats urge Governor Brown and the California Department of Developmental Services to actively and creatively pursue the “transformation” of Sonoma Developmental Center rather than its closure.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sonoma Valley Democrats support the Parent Hospital Association’s (PHA) key points: a SDC site to provide adaptive wheelchairs and other durable equipment, medical, dental and behavioral support to the developmentally disabled; and housing for those who are not successful in community facilities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sonoma Valley Democrats support permanent protection of the open land on the SDC property and expand public access and recreation opportunities that are compatible with the protection of the property’s conservation values.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sonoma Valley Democrats want the views of the PHA, the SDC Coalition, and those of the Sonoma community heard and seriously considered in making a plan for the future of SDC.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on August 11, 2015  –  PO Box 3727  –  Santa Rosa, CA 95402  –  707-575-3029

To view a PDF version of Sonoma Valley Democrats Resolution for future reference or to print it at your convenience, please click here.

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