Dear Gavin,


Just a quick note about the immigration debacle currently playing out with our drama king leader. I suggest it is time to move past the rhetoric and games and start helping people in need, I know this is a big part of your playbook and if you can pull this one off, president Newsom 2024 should be a lock.


We have a perfectly beautiful site here in Sonoma in the shape of an 850-acre facility owned by the state of California, waiting for it’s next iteration. I am proposing a help center where people in need (immigrants and homeless) are bussed in, housed, evaluated, educated and trained to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.


The site, previously known as the Sonoma Developmental Center, is like a mini-city where residents could not only live but also learn how to become functioning taxpayers. Vocational training programs funded through Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College will provide educators and programs. There will be a functioning farm, restaurant and art gallery to generate income plus the state and local assistance programs will pick up some of the costs.


Sure the NIMBYs will be mad but tough times require tough decisions and have you taken a walk through San Francisco or looked under the El Verano Bridge lately? We are becoming far too tolerant about how we ignore this problem. And I’m not just talking about giving people a fish; we have to teach people how to fish. Language academies and mental health services and job training and placement and individualized solutions. And let’s go beyond under skilled wine related jobs; think alternative energy training, infrastructure, coding, and career stuff.


Start small, a couple of busloads of immigrants and the local homeless, get the programs up and running, find the needs, figure out the money, work together with local organizations but get the ball rolling today. Send a message to the world that you value human beings, that no one should be thrown away, that immigrants matter, that all lives matter. Create a model for other communities, create a movement, start the ship moving in a more caring direction.


Or don’t and continue to fight with our baby-leader, blaming immigrants or the homeless for their situation. I mean, isn’t what I’m talking about almost communist-esque? Sure, but how about if we can create an eventual self-sustaining program? How about if we can train people for sustainable jobs then place them all over the US to develop a new infrastructure like China is doing right now.


It’s past time to think about the big picture. Love and connectedness trump hate and separation and it’s time to stop talking and start doing. Don’t we know this? Can’t we evolve? Let’s start with using this crisis to flip the script about how we treat people.


The new normal is all about change: Kim Kardashian is studying to be a lawyer, AOC is screaming for environmental change now and there’s a gay Rhodes scholar running for president. These are good things, things we should embrace, things that will promote health and happiness and diversity and love in our future.


Keep looking past the headlines Gavin, the haters will head back underground soon and we can get back to the business of making life better for everybody.




Walt Williams



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