SEIU 1021 passes a resolution condemning the conduct of Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli
Just days ago, a resolution was passed by both Sonoma County COPE and the localwide COPE body urging a response to the growing list of accusations against Dominic Foppoli, the Mayor of Windsor. This morning, news broke that Dominic Foppoli has officially resigned from his position. You can read the full text of our resolution below.
When allegations against the now-former Mayor broke, SEIU 1021 issued a swift condemnation of his alleged conduct. Make no mistake—his eventual resignation was a result of sustained organizing and pressure from concerned members of labor and the entire Sonoma County community.
When these allegations began to surface, SEIU 1021 immediately issued a full statement, which you can read here. Mary Sandberg, SEIU 1021 Vice President of the North Coast, said at the time,“It takes tremendous courage for victims of sexual violence to speak up, and I offer my support to those brave individuals who have. Elected officials are supposed to be representatives of our community who embody our values—instead, the allegations against Dominic Foppoli paint the picture of a predator who has systematically, over the course of many years, used his position and privilege to prey on women. The majority of our union’s members are women in public service jobs. We understand how elected officials and managers can weaponize the power imbalance to abuse others, and we live in a society that too often sweeps accusations like these under the rug. In order to end the culture of silence that provides cover for abusers, we must seriously investigate any accusation and demand accountability and consequences for predators and those who enable their actions. For justice to be served, Dominic Foppoli must resign immediately so that a full investigation and reckoning for the crimes he is accused of committing can proceed.”
Resolution on the Appropriate Response to the Growing List of Accusers Regarding the Conduct of Dominic Foppoli, Mayor of Windsor
Whereas, based on credible investigative news reporting, multiple brave women have come forward to describe the sexual abuse and predatory nature Dominic Foppoli has used to degrade, assault, humiliate and harm these women;
Whereas, Dominic Foppoli has risen to a position of power and influence in local politics through his privilege as the member of a prominent wine family and winery owner, and has used this position of power to manipulate and degrade female employees, and is accused of sexually harassing and attacking an intern while here from another country;
Whereas, Dominic Foppoli has been accused by multiple sources of predatory behavior; targeting, stalking, drugging, and kidnapping woman for the purpose of forcing them to engage in sex with him against their consent, including his fellow Windsor Town Council woman;
Whereas, local leaders have enable his egregious behavior by dismissing, and disregarding rumors and allegations that they were made aware of both at the Windsor Town Council, Mayor Deb Fudge who still appointed him as mayor, and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors who unanimously appointed him to represent Sonoma County on the Golden Gate Bridge Commission despite their knowledge that an expose was coming;
Whereas, when elected officials know that someone has done something illegal or improper, or might have done something illegal or improper, the first reaction is often to look away or make excuses. In this case, both the Windsor Town Council and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors knew there were reasons to investigate and/or ask questions. Instead, they did neither;
Whereas, our society, including our local community looks the other way when people in power behave badly, and exploit others. Our county has seen a rash of local leaders accused, and/or charged with sexual crimes against women. We continue to perpetrate a culture of sexual violence against women, and this must be addressed; and
Whereas, while some women have been courageous enough to stand up to abuse and to speak up, thousands of women are still forced into silence daily. This forced silence is the result of the status quo that has historically regarded women as inferior and irrational. These negative stereotypes have been perpetuated by a media culture that sexualizes and infantilizes women to instill further the sexist, toxic culture that values the voice of men over women; now, therefore, be it
1) the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, through their Office of Equity, shall establish policies for victims of alleged abuse that occurs in Sonoma County to be able to tell their story and have said complaints investigated, and referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for further investigation and possible prosecution and supportive resources offered to victims;
2) the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors shall establish as part of their criteria for appointments to office procedures for receiving public input about candidates and following up on such input before voting on said appointments, in addition to existing procedures for considering such candidates;
3) the Windsor Town Council needs to commission an independent inquiry to identify and publicize how it is that they knew there was good reason to investigate complaints about Dominic Foppoli and didn’t do so;
4) the Windsor Town Council shall commission the creation of a policy to be followed when complaints about Councilmembers or staff members are made with appropriate investigations conducted and public reporting regarding the findings of said investigations, and the steps to be taken to address said complaints, and the referral of such investigations to the appropriate law enforcement agency; and
5) the Windsor Town Council shall censure Dominic Foppoli and remove all appointments to committees or other appointed positions of power where they have the authority to do so while these allegations are under investigation.