Your Voice Matters – A Message from Petaluma Planning Commissioner Bill Wolpert

Here’s a message that Petaluma Planning Commissioner Bill Wolpert shared via social media on November 30, 2016.


So, today at about 4 PM, I learned that the final vote tally left me a little over 200 votes short of gaining a seat on the Petaluma City Council. Damn.

As disappointing as that is, let me tell you what was good:

1. There was an election because we entered the race. Otherwise, it would have been an automatic second term for the incumbents.
2. Like Bernie Sanders, we stimulated debate and talked about issues that otherwise would not have been discussed.
3. I learned so much about our community. You think you know a lot after living here for 16 years and being involved, but let me tell you, run for office and see how much you don’t know.
4. We have an amazing community. We have the most engaged residents I have ever seen. We have more volunteers than I have ever known. We care, and that is not going to change.
5. My passion for Petaluma is greater than ever. I still have 2 years on the Planning Commission with several significant projects coming up. This is my expertise, so I am pleased to be continuing this work.

This is hard to express, but I remain overwhelmed by the support of the Petaluma community in both physical effort and money contributed to the cause. They excelled. Many people were unknown to me but are now close friends. I have been amazed at how many volunteers signed up to post yard signs, make phone calls, knock on doors, provide graphics, and do the unacknowledged work behind the scenes. This does not begin to cover those who provided unparalleled expertise in accounting, editing, analytics, and pure political knowledge to a profound novice. It is simply amazing.

So, please do not be sad. OK, be disappointed. But believe in our resilience and knowledge that because we care, we will continue to make a difference in our community where it matters most. And, above all, know that your voice matters. Make it heard at the Planning Commission and the City Council and anywhere that the subject deserves your voice. Do not be timid.

Thank you for listening.


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