Measure A Landslide is a Major Grassroots Victory for West Sonoma County

Open Our Hospital Effort Finally Succeeds Despite 5-Year Opposition by Political Establishment and Sonoma West Newspaper

This month’s three to one (!) vote for Measure A to “Open Our Hospital” forever is the best news of a people-powered victory that we have had in our community since banning GMO farming two and a half years ago.

Despite a continuation of a shameful five year vendetta by Sonoma West Times & News publisher Rollie Atkinson, whose newspaper ran relentless headlines disparaging the hospital’s prospects and attacking those who sacrificed enormous time and money to preserve the 80 year old West County institution, and despite the absence of public support from a single local elected official,  5,520 out of 7,267 citizens who cast ballots voted for a sustainable long term solution for our hospital.

Although voters would have preferred to have an emergency room in West County, an urgent care facility that is open 7 days a week 9 to 9, at no costs to taxpayers, using the same emergency room-equipped hospital structure, in the same location that has housed a hospital for 80 years, is nothing less than a massive win both for We, the People, and for the Go Local movement!

An urgent care facility that requires no public subsidy is only one part of what our community gets.

West Sonoma County also gets a local center for out-patient surgeries, that can be done by local doctors.

We get a hospital that will allow us to retain local doctors and medical professionals who otherwise might be forced to relocate.

We get a state of the art imaging and lab testing facility so that we can Go Local for those services, and not have to drive to another city for them, which means a lot to seniors, and care givers, and even cyclists and walkers.

We get a modern, capable center that could both provide emergency health services and safe shelter in any state of emergency situation, such as an fire, flood, or earthquake (unlike Santa Rosa’s larger multi-floor hospitals, Sonoma Specialty is away from the fault line and all on a single level).

We get a long term 37-bed acute care modern well-managed hospital, likely to expand in size in the near future, in the most beautiful setting any patient could ask for.

We get for our community’s sustainable future more than 100 well-paying, health insurance providing jobs, a number that can potentially grow to double that amount.

Elections do indeed have consequences. And the consequences of this landslide victory for Measure A are worth celebrating!

Jonathan Greenberg

The founder and Editor of the Sonoma County Independent, Greenberg is an investigative financial journalist with 40 years of experience with national publications. Greenberg also serves as founder and Executive Director of Informing to Empower, the parent non-profit of both the Sonoma Independent and the Maui Independent. Greenberg has won awards from the Greater Bay Journalism Awards for the past four years on behalf of the Sonoma Independent, starting with his coverage of the closing of County library cutbacks, and then the struggle to reopen Palm Drive Hospital. Jonathan Greenberg recently wrote three of the most widely-read exposes about Trump’s career ever published on the Washington Post. Jonathan was the notorious Forbes 400 reporter who taped two long Trump calls in 1984 in which he pretended to be the fictitious John Baron. His Post expose about this, with audio here, has been the subject of monologues on Colbert, the Daily Show and Seth Meyer’s A Closer Look. Jonathan has appeared live on a dozen top news shows, including Chris Cuomo’s CNN Good Day and most recently on CNN’s prime time Upfront with Erin Burnett to expose Trump’s latest lies. Jonathan was a Web 1.0 pioneer, founding Gist Communications in 1996, an Internet company that competed successfully with TV Guide Online. In 1997, Gist was one of just 14 websites in the world to be named a winner of the First Annual Webby Awards in San Francisco. Jonathan’s professional career began as a fact checker at Forbes Magazine, where he advanced to the role of the lead reporter in creating the first Forbes 400 listing of wealthy Americans, as recounted in this recent article for Forbes’ 100th anniversary issue and more extensively in this biography of Malcolm Forbes. Jonathan has been an investigative financial and political journalist for such national publications as The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Mother Jones, Forbes, Town & Country, Money, GQ, Manhattan,Inc., The New Republic, and Alternet. From 2011 through 2017, Jonathan was a blogger for the Huffington Post, where his narrative-transforming reporting and analysis about subjects like Bernie Sanders, Monsanto and Native Hawaiian water protectors achieved some of the widest readership of any HuffPost writer on these subjects. Jonathan’s nearly 40 years of professional media and reporting experience has been enhanced by a Yale Law School Masters Degree fellowship program, from which he graduated with honors in First Amendment Law from internationally renowned attorney Floyd Abrams and then Yale University President Benno Schmidt. Jonathan is the author of the critically acclaimed biography Staking A Claim: Jake Simmons and the Making of an African-American Oil Dynasty, which a Washington Post Book World front page review called, “a rare biography that challenges the readers senses in the same the way science fiction does.” In 1992, he edited Buying America Back: Economic Choices for the 1990′s, an anthology of 45 progressive solution-oriented essays called by Publisher’s Weekly, “An immensely important resource for policymakers, community activists, and everyone concerned with building a more humane future.”
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