District 3 Monthly Newsletter

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A Message from Chair Coursey

As we close out one fiscal year and begin another, we kick off July by celebrating our country’s historic and ongoing struggles for freedom and independence. Juneteenth last month and Independence Day this month remind us of the idealistic concepts upon which this country was founded and beckon us to renew our commitment to the still-unfulfilled promises of freedom and equality for all. While recent Supreme Court decisions and national politics may cloud our path toward those objectives, our actions here at home are significant in building a future we can be proud of.

Here at the County of Sonoma, we are actively working on various fronts to address the issues that matter most to our constituents, from budget approvals to housing solutions, law enforcement oversight and wildfire preparedness, among many others. 

As you may have heard, the Board of Supervisors recently adopted the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget, representing nearly $2.3 billion in total expenditures. This responsible budget meets our needs without compromising essential county services and includes allocations for infrastructure development, employee support, and the county's rainy-day fund. As part of the budget process, we were able to secure a $7.9 million allocation for the Tierra De Rosas affordable housing project in Roseland, which has been one of my top priorities since southwest Santa Rosa was added to my district in 2021.

Another point of progress is the Board’s approval of an Extreme Weather Response Plan. This plan establishes guidelines for opening and operating warming and cooling centers to ensure the well-being of our vulnerable community members during extreme temperature days.

To strengthen law enforcement oversight, the County of Sonoma has finalized an agreement with labor groups representing county law enforcement employees. The agreement enhances the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO), enabling independent investigations of deputy-involved incidents that result in death.

We remain dedicated to addressing housing and homelessness challenges. Preliminary results of a county-funded program show successful prevention of homelessness among vulnerable groups. In recognition of our successful efforts and ongoing urgent needs, the county has been awarded a $4.6 million state grant to continue our work of assisting people with transitioning into safe and stable housing. 

Read on for more details on these actions as well as all the latest on transportation news, community announcements and local events. As always, I thank you for your continued support and engagement as we work together to build a stronger and more resilient Sonoma County. 

Chris Coursey


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What's New In Sonoma County?

Roseland Housing Development

Receives Significant Funding

The long-awaited Tierra de Rosas project at the heart of Roseland is closer to its goal to break ground by the end of 2023 after state and county funding reduced a prior financing gap of $18 million to about $5 million. The Tierra de Rosas development will include mixed-use, affordable housing and a neighborhood hub, bringing to life the community-designed vision for the site.

Last month, the Board of Supervisors allocated close to $8 million in one-time funds to support the project, with Supervisor Coursey committing an additional $2 million in district-specific funds. This month, the state allocated $3 million, which further closed the funding gap.

“This is a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to support housing in one of the most historically underserved communities in Sonoma County,” said Supervisor Coursey. "With the addition of the state’s funding, we have made substantial progress in narrowing the $18 million gap that stood before us. The combined investment brings us closer to breaking ground on this long-promised project and demonstrates our collective dedication to supporting the resiliency of our county and its residents.”

The Community Development Commission continues to work on bridging the remaining $5 million gap. 

Learn More about the State’s Budget Allocations for Sonoma County
Read the Latest Press Democrat Article on Funding for Tierra de Rosas

Supervisors Adopt Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Budget

Last month, the Board of Supervisors approved the final budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024, representing nearly $2.3 billion in total expenditures and 4,390 full-time employees. The adopted budget is largely consistent with the prior fiscal year budget and avoids any reductions to core county services.

“This is a good news budget,” said Supervisor Coursey. “While it does not solve all our problems, without extravagance it meets our needs. It takes care of our employees, safeguards core public services and ongoing county operations, addresses department requests and infrastructure needs, and promotes good governance by bolstering the county’s rainy-day fund.”

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors allocated $46.7 million in one-time funds which include support for increasing disaster fund reserves, building the infrastructure for the Tierra de Rosas development in Roseland, addressing immediate road needs and contributing to two essential community projects. 

Learn More About the Adopted Budget

Supervisors Approve Extreme Weather Response Plan

The Board of Supervisors this month approved a plan that establishes guidelines for opening and operating warming and cooling centers during periods of extreme weather. Under the plan, upon issuance of an extreme weather alert, the county will work with community organizations and cities to activate cooling or warming centers and to inform the public of the availability of centers in their area.

As a long-time advocate for enacting such policy, Supervisor Coursey celebrated the move. “The extreme temperature plan is a critical and much anticipated action plan to support our most vulnerable community members during the coldest and hottest days” said Coursey.

From the Press Democrat: The Sonoma County Grand Jury and advocates for unhoused residents agreed on the essential need for adopting an extreme weather response plan at the county level. 

Learn More & Access Plan Here

IOLERO, Sheriff and Unions

Clarify Investigative Powers Related to Measure P

The County of Sonoma and two labor groups representing county law enforcement employees recently announced the finalization of an agreement to strengthen law enforcement oversight in the county. The County and the Associations came together in a mutual effort to implement the voters’ will, ensure that IOLERO’s expanded authority represented smart and effective law enforcement oversight, and treat the associations’ members fairly.

Based on the agreement, the Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach now will conduct, concurrently with the Sheriff’s Office, independent investigations of deputy-involved incidents that result in death. 

Learn More

Addressing Housing and Homelessness

County-Funded Program Announces 282 Youth &

People With Mental Health Challenges

Prevented from Becoming Homeless

This week the County Health Department announced preliminary results for an ARPA-funded initiative that focuses on preventing homelessness among adults with behavioral health and medical challenges and youth who have previously lived in a foster home.

The Board of Supervisors provided nearly $1.9 million in ARPA funds to launch the initiative, which identifies people at risk of becoming homeless and helps them obtain stable housing and supportive services to improve their lives. To date, 282 people have been served by this program and through Dec. 31, 2024 ARPA funding of this program will provide up to 914 individuals with case management to improve their health and well-being.

“Investing in solutions that keep people off the streets by helping them secure and hold onto housing is both cost-effective and humane,” said Supervisor Coursey. “Last year, homelessness declined by 22 percent in Sonoma County thanks to programs like this and others. This Housing and Wellness Program is one of many ways the county is working to reduce homelessness by addressing its root causes.” 

Learn More About The Program
Read Press Democrat Article on the Findings

Supervisors Award $3 Million for Homeless Solutions

On June 12, the Board of Supervisors today approved $3 million in additional funds for housing-focused homelessness intervention projects as part of the county’s overall goal of reducing the homeless population by 10 percent every year.

The funding comes from Measure O and the allocations will go to six local nonprofits as well as the cities of Rohnert Park, Petaluma and Sonoma.

“Measure O continues to be a vital funding source for a wide range of mental health services, including investments in partner organizations focused on ending homelessness,” said Supervisor Coursey. “Solving the homelessness crisis is a top priority of this board, and these funds will go a long way toward meeting that goal.”

Learn More

County of Sonoma Awarded $4.6 Million to

Assist with Homeless Encampments

On June 16, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the County of Sonoma will receive $4.6 million to help individuals experiencing homelessness in encampments by moving them off the streets and into safe and stable housing.

“I applaud the state for helping cities and counties with its largest amount from the Encampment Resolution Funds (ERF) to be distributed statewide to date,” said Supervisor Coursey. “Over the past few months, in particular after the opening of the emergency shelter site on county grounds, we have made it clear; permanent housing is the key to ending homelessness. These funds are a big step forward to help us achieve that.”

The county’s $4.6 million grant is structured to provide the next step towards longer-term housing for persons who now reside in interim housing. The grant includes funds for wrap-around services staffing, as well as funds for SHARE Sonoma County to significantly expand its successful scattered site master leasing program. 

Learn More

Public Transit News

New SMART Shuttle Connect

SMART riders now have the opportunity to use the first on-demand microtransit connecting shuttle. Beginning June 12, the SMART Connect shuttle service began providing a first- and last-mile connection between the SMART Airport Station and the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS), and the surrounding business corridor.

Passengers can book a trip on the SMART Connect on-demand shuttle with the tap of a button using a mobile app. This model ensures minimal wait times and maximizes convenience for travelers. The shuttle will operate on a flexible route, adapting to the needs of passengers and dynamically adjusting to optimize efficiency—thus allowing for personalized transportation options.

Learn More

Free Public Transit for Youth in

Marin and Sonoma Counties During Summer Months

North Bay youth get a free ticket to ride public transit this June, July, and August.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART), Marin Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, and Petaluma Transit are offering free rides for K-12 youth throughout the summer season with the Summer Youth Ride Free Program. Train and bus travel is a safe and reliable way to get around Sonoma and Marin counties and, with five participating transit agencies, youth have endless possibilities for summer day trips. 

Learn More

Prepare for Fire Season

Free County Chipping Program Opens for 2023 Season

The 2023 Woodchipper Program season is now open! Application submissions are received on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check the program guidelines first before applying. 

This program is intended to help residents create defensible space around occupied homes and reduce vegetation along access routes. Apply today!

Learn More and Apply

Schedule a FREE Wildfire Risk Assessment

Take a critical step to reduce wildfire risks to your home by scheduling your FREE home wildfire risk assessment today!

Permit Sonoma home-hardening contractors will identify the highest risks to your home and provide you with a personalized list of recommendations to “harden” your home against ember ignition and other wildfire exposures.

The assessment is not part of a code-compliance program, and there is no obligation to complete the recommendations.

How to Schedule:

  1. Go to permitsonoma.org/WildfireAdaptedMapViewer.
  2. Enter your address or Assessor Parcel Number (APN).
  3. Pick your preferred time for a 15-minute phone consultation.
  4. County contractor Madronus Wildfire Defense will call you to schedule your assessment.

For more questions about the Wildfire Adapted program, contact us at [email protected] or visit the program webpage.

Community Announcements & Resources

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Now in Sonoma County

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has expanded to California, and all Sonoma County children under 5 will be eligible for free books. The program is fully bilingual, too.

Learn More

Free Summer Lunch for Kids at Jeff’s Garden

Free Summer Lunch for Kids at Jeff’s Community Garden in the Moorland Neighborhood - June 5th - August 4th. Free healthy meals will be available along with fun activities, to anyone 18 and younger. Drop-ins welcome.

Learn More

Apply for Food Assistance

If you need food assistance, you can apply for CalFresh online, by phone, fax, mail or in person. To apply:

  • Online, by clicking here.
  • By phone, call 2-1-1 or (877) 699-6868.
  • By fax, dial (707) 565-5252
  • By mail, send to P.O. box 1539, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
  • In person, go to 2550 Paulin Drive in Santa Rosa or 5350 Old Redwood Highway, suite 100, in Petaluma.

More questions? Call 2-1-1 or (877) 699-6868 or click here.

For a list of other local organizations that can provide help finding immediate food and hot meals, click here

More Information

Mental Health Resources Are Available

For some, prioritizing what you need may mean reaching out for help. These are just some of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services mental health resources available to you:

  • Alcohol and drug use treatment
  • Peer-run self-help centers
  • Local mental health, addiction and homeless services
  • Emotional and mental support in English and Spanish available by calling the Warm Line at (707) 565-2652, open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More Information

Avoid Losing Your Medi-Cal Benefits

If you receive a Medi-Cal renewal form in the mail, it means the county needs more information so that you can continue to receive free or low-cost medical and dental services. Watch the video above or click here to learn more.

Learn More

Lower Your Energy Use & Earn $$$ with

Sonoma Clean Power

Did you know that you can earn rewards from Sonoma Clean Power by lowering your energy use when the demand for electricity is high? When you enroll in GridSavvy Rewards, you'll get paid for helping SCP power the electric grid with more local, clean energy. 

Learn More

Economic Prosperity Awards

Is your organization involved in good economic development efforts in your community?

Nominate them for an Economic Prosperity Award!

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board is seeking organizations and programs that go above and beyond to increase quality of life and economic wellbeing in their community. Categories include:

  • Education & Workforce Development
  • Jobs& Business Development
  • Housing & Community Development

Nomination period ends Monday, July 24th

Learn More & Submit Nomination


Sonoma County Fair August 3 – 13th

Pre-sale ticket sales are now available for the 2023 Sonoma County "Jurassic Jubilee" Fair. The county fair runs Aug. 3-13 with tickets ranging from $12-15.

The Sonoma County Fair is eleven fun filled days with thrills, agriculture, vendors, entertainment and more. Buy your tickets today!

Learn More & Get Tickets

A Walk Down Cemetery Lane

Saturday, July 8 11am- 12pm

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, 1600 Franklin Ave, Santa Rosa


Experience the history and learn about the people resting in the Rural Cemetery who gave their names to the streets of Santa Rosa.

Tours depart every 20 minutes from 10-11am. Meet at the Franklin Gate. Admission is FREE; donations appreciated. Note: uneven surfaces and slopes.


Pre-registration is required. 

Learn More

Free Soccer Camp for Kids

Community Action Partnerhsip invites you to their free Kicks for Kids Soccer Summer Camp. This free 3-day event is for kids ages 5-12 and will take place at Andy's Unity Park. See flyer for details!

Learn More

Live At Juilliard

Sunday July 16 5-7pm

Juilliard Park, 227 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa

Live at Juilliard offers free, family-friendly concerts each Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m., July 16 to August 20, 2023, in historic Juilliard Park. In addition to outstanding free music, families enjoy picnics on the grass with food and beverages available for purchase.

On Sunday July 16, Live at Juilliard will feature Carlitos Medrano & Sabor de Mi Cuba, for a night filled with world music, Cuban/Latin Jazz, and Salsa. 

Learn More

Free Professional Headshots

July 19 11-12pm

Central Library, 211 E Street, Santa Rosa

If you need a professional-looking profile picture and all you have is a smartphone, come to our Professional Headshots program where professionals will take your photo with a portable photography studio.

Photo files will be emailed to participants 7-10 days after the event. Third Wednesday of the month from 11am-12pm.

The event is free, and registration is not required. First-come, first-served. Optional: sign up to receive a reminder by clicking here.

Presented in collaboration with E Street Studios.

Visit our Website
Supervisor Coursey