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Urban Chat: Civic Engagement calendar

Upcoming Meetings

All events are open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to participate in person or on-line. See the full calendar listing here.

Monday, April 3 – Petaluma City Council – Per the approved tentative agenda, the Council will consider an ordinance on Residential Tenancy Protection and a proposed agreement with SMART on the Corona train station now in design.

The public portion of the meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  Other meeting information will be provided on the Urban Chat calendar when published by the City.

Thursday, April 20 – Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee – GPAC will convene for their monthly meeting.  The topic isn’t yet finalized but may be flooding and sea level rise.

The meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  Other meeting information will be provided on the Urban Chat calendar when published by the City.

Thursday, April 27 – Petaluma Urban Chat – The monthly meeting of Urban Chat is almost always agenda-free, allowing an enjoyable and enlightening conversation to wander freely over the urbanist landscape.  The most recent meeting was well-attended and full of spirited conversation.

The exchange of ideas will commence at noon.  Other information is provided on the Urban Chat calendar.

6 hour power outage

I am writing to share my recent experience during the 6-hour power outage in Petaluma. It was surprising for most residents as we didn’t have the usual powerful summer winds that prompt the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). However, it reminded us of how much we depend on electricity for our daily lives. Luckily, I am part of the Cool Petaluma program, which has helped prepare me for emergencies like this.

I gained first-hand experience of the real-world advantages of having gone through the emergency preparation material by being part of the program. It was reassuring to know that I had everything I needed to weather the storm. But Cool Petaluma is not just about emergency preparedness. The program strengthened our sense of community and provided a platform to connect with others who are passionate about making a positive impact on the environment.

Through the program, I have learned about various sustainable practices that I can implement in my daily life to reduce my carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet. Cool Petaluma also includes topics such as learning about solar energy, electrification of our homes, and advice on saving resources such as water. This has given me a sense of purpose and fulfillment in knowing that I am doing something to protect our planet.

I strongly encourage everyone to join the Cool Petaluma program. It provides valuable information and resources for emergency preparedness and climate change action. It creates a sense of community and gives you a platform to connect with others. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our website at CoolPetaluma.org.


Office available for sublet in Petaluma, in the historic McNear Building downtown, available now. Sublet will be open for use on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Can be used by any professional. The rent is $385 per month for all three days.

Office is 10 x 15 feet with a very high ceiling and large window. AC/heat and all utilities are included. You must purchase insurance.

The suite is nicely furnished and there is a waiting area. The building includes a small community kitchen and bathroom with a large parking lot across the street. There is a large conference room available for groups at no extra charge.
Please contact by email or phone: 707.664.5168 | dlsafont@gmail.com


Caregiver for you or your Loved One



My name is Phoebe and I have 15 years of experience in facility and In Home Care experience and I love working with the elderly and their families.
I live in Santa Rosa and I am willing to travel.
I offer the highest level of care with heart, and with complete dependability and professionalism.
I am available for short term assignments, however long term assignments are preferred.
Accredited Certification and experience as a Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant.
Caregiving companies will charge you $35 – $50 and hours.
Cut to the chase and hire directly.
I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Experienced In-Home Caregiver and State   


   Nurse Assistant: CNA

~  Experience with the elderly and autistic


~ Offering high level care in a professional manner



 Administrative basics, organizational skills, attention to detail

 Creating a nurturing environment

 blood pressure and vital sign readings, blood sugar readings

 Preparing medications, instruments, and supplies

 Knowledge of the Kosher kitchen

 Assisting with errands, personal hygiene,

    bathing, meal preparation, and light cleaning

 Excellent cooking skills and meal preparation

 Conversational Spanish

 Native English speaker

Covid-19 tested and PPE protocol trained, vaccinated and boosted

~ In-Home and Live-In Care experience since 2008

~ Resume and references available


Pay Rate:

$30 an hour

~ Longer shifts negotiable


Skip the middleman Senior Care Company prices. Hire Caregivers directly and save money!



Phoebe Vernier

CA State Registry #7517148635



Kit Lofroos: Massage in a quaint rural Cotati setting.

Massage in a quaint rural Cotati setting.

Nourish Yourself to Better Nurture Others.
I have been a massage therapist since 1996, having had an office in Petaluma’s historic McNear Building. I am now offering my massage services out of a small studio in Cotati.
I love my work, and one of my purposes in continuing to do it is to cultivate a contemplative atmosphere wherein people can find quietude & relaxation, and honor themselves.
Sometimes on the path of Life, a rest is necessary.
I have also mentored in a style of touch, Touch of Presence®,
which is akin to prayer. It emerges from a “natural state of present-awareness and availability….in-formed and moved by the inherently intelligent and optimizing Forces of Creation”.


Kit Lofroos, MA • massage therapy • Touch of Presence®
(707) 931-8212

Marty Bennet: The Minimum Wage Is Not a Living Wage

Martin J. Bennett – The Minimum Wage Is Not a Living Wage

In January, California raised its minimum wage to $15.50 per hour. However, four cities in the North Bay have set a higher minimum wage that applies to all workers employed within the city boundaries. For example, Santa Rosa and Petaluma employers must pay their workers $17.06 an hour.In the City of Sonoma, large employers must pay $17.00 an hour and small $16.00 an hour.

Forty-one California cities and counties have established minimum wages higher than the state. Mountain View’s is the highest, which is currently $18.15 an hour. Congress has not raised the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour since 2009, but 30 states set their minimum above the federal minimum.

Moreover, according to the National Employment Law Project, twelve states and 56 cities and counties have mandated phased-in $15 minimum wage floors. Last year Hawaii became the first state to approve an $18 an-hour minimum phased in by 2028.

Nevertheless, the minimum wage is still not a living wage. A minimum wage is the lowest an employer legally must pay its workers. A living wage is a self-sufficiency wage, or the minimum amount a worker must earn to cover the basic costs of raising a family where they live–including food, transportation, childcare, housing, health insurance, and miscellaneous expenses–without relying on any government assistance

The federal minimum does not address the varying cost of living from one state or region to the next—and it is not annually increased for inflation. Only when pressured by the grassroots nationwide “Fight for $15” movement have high-cost states and local jurisdictions legislated higher minimum wage rates, including automatic annual cost of living adjustments.

What is a Living Wage for Sonoma County?

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a living wage calculator for every county in America. A self-sufficiency wage is calculated based on family type and each county’s actual cost of living. A self-sufficiency budget is one in which a family is not reliant on government assistance and that one basic need, such as food, is not sacrificed to pay for another, such as housing.

To make ends meet in Sonoma County in 2023, according to the MIT calculator, two parents with two children, employed forty hours a week year-round, must each earn nearly $31 an hour or an annual family income of $126,946 before taxes. Two-thirds of the county’s low-income families earning less than $55,500 annually (with at least one-member reporting income from work) include two parents and two children; hence $31 an hour is the appropriate living wage benchmark.

Consider the following typical monthly 2023 expenses:

+$2,092 for fair-market rent — including utilities — as estimated by the U.S. Department of Urban Development for a two-bedroom apartment.

+$1,150 for food for meals prepared at home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritionally adequate low-cost food plan.

+$784 for medical insurance, including copays, deductibles and premiums, supplies and medications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer expenditure survey.

+$1,172 for transportation, including gas, insurance and maintenance for a used car, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most Sonoma County workers drive to work alone and do not use public transit.

+$2,121 for child care, an amount derived from state and county data for the lowest cost options for in-home licensed day care. This cost estimate assumes that a 9-year-old child requires after-school care and a 4-year-old needs full-time care.

+$865 in miscellaneous costs for housekeeping, phone, clothing, personal care and internet services, also based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

+746 for civic engagement costs related to participation in community activities, including fees and admission and newspapers and education.

+$1,646 for federal and state taxes.

The MIT self-sufficiency standards do not include estimates for other expenses such retirement and education savings and life insurance, which many consider necessities.

Thirty-one dollars an hour is a conservative estimate but does provide a yardstick for an ongoing community dialogue about what it costs to make ends meet. Raising the state and local minimum wage, implementing free universal pre-K, and establishing rent control laws are all policy pathways to living wages. Most important, there is an upsurge of workers at Starbucks, Amazon, UC, and other workplaces unionizing to bargain for a living wage.

A living wage should be the right of all working Americans.

Martin J. Bennett is Instructor Emeritus of History at Santa Rosa Junior College and a consultant for UNITE HERE Local 2.

Black History Month: From Enslavement to the Path of Freedom: The Power of Black Resistance

go to: https://www.petalumamuseum.com/from-enslavement-to-the-path-of-freedom-the-power-of-black-resistance/




Every Thursday Petaluma steps out at 7
Passeggiata – a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening.
Just step out of your home and take a walk every Thursday at 7pm…see what happens

The map below shows some routes that have been created by Cool Petaluma volunteers. Please LMK if you’d like your route to be added.

John & Diane need your help finding a new home

Hi Everyone,
We are asking our wonderful community to help us find a new place, either to buy or to rent or any other creative solution.  Preferably within walking distance of the café.  So, if you know of or hear about a property coming up in the near future please let us know.
with warmest regards
John & Diane
(Just hit reply to this email to reach me)