Caucus Minutes Aug 26, 2021

California Democratic Party

Business & Professional Caucus
Caucus Minutes Aug 26, 2021

Board Members Present:
Acting Caucus Chair, Cecile Bendavid

Parliamentarian, Andrew Lachman

Vice Chair/Northern Region, Brigette Hunley


Board Members Approved Absent:

Vice Chair/Southern Region, Mark Henderson

Meeting called to order at 7:36pm

Chair Bendavid greets everyone, and invites them to say in the chat which indigneous land they are on. She invites Parliamentarian Andrew Lachman to announce the elections.

Andrew Lachman: We have vacancies in Chair, Treasurer, Secretary.
Cecille Bendavid for Chair

Judith Walters for Treasurer
Sharky Laguana for Secretary

Since there are no other candidates, the caucus can approve of the candidates by acclamation.

Omar Hashwi moves to approve by acclimation

Brian Colker and Janet Foster Second
Officers are approved by acclamation.


Judith: Thank you for accepting me by acclamation. Been a treasurer in the past for a PAC account, and has filed FPPC reports in the past. Has been a member for several years. Was also vice chair and appointed members of the Public Utilities Commission. Sat on advisory board.

Sharky – I was talking, couldn’t take notes!


Cecille – pleased to have the title as Chair. Important caucus for her because it is everything she does. She is professional and teaches computer science. Was CEO and president of Computer Services Inc. for 25 years. Full service.
Thanks past chair Ray Bishop, chair for the past 7 years. We want to say thank you.

Existing officers will give a report. Sue Bendavid will give a report on what’s happening for Covid with business.

Andrew asks for time to give a national small business agenda. Chair Bendavid concurs.
Chair of National Small Business Council. As you know this President has made SB a focus of admin. Money set aside for communities of color, farm communities, arts, non-profits. $65B set aside for rural broadband, underserved communities. Head of SBA is from California. Waiting on a vote for Mr. Dilwar Syed, but the Senate is holding him up for his religion, not because of who he is. We should urge the Senate to approve. The next DNC meeting is in early October 5th-9th. Great delegation of DNC members who are excited to hear from you.


Chair Bendavid thanks Andrew.


Brigitte Hunley Northern Vice Chair – Welcome, thank you for being there. Congratulations to Cecille. Broadband infrastructure funding is so essential here in America. We need to keep Gavin Newsom. Will talk later about how to help. Vote no on recall. 


Mark Henderson Southern Vice Chair – Apologies for not being there. Please vote no on the recall. I hope you all enjoy the conference, looking forward to seeing you soon.

Chair Bendavid – quick Treasurer report as outgoing Treasurer. Started with $558. Current $5028.89. We have money in the bank. Money is used for meetings and expenses. Introduces Sue Bendavid.

Sue Bendavid – Covid has created more work for Sue. LA County’s website for quarantine requirements. These are the rules for employees with Covid, and exposure. There are different rules for outbreaks, and when people can return to work. There is litigation about this, you need to be familiar with the rules. Separate isolation order, for those with Covid. The question is always for companies: what do I do about pay, and pay issues. The DLSE has a website for questions around this. You need to comply with local rules.

Chair Bendavid says we will be posting the links on the website.

Chair Bendavid introduces the LA Controller Ron Galperin.

Controller Galperin: These 19 months have been a tough time, for small businesses and people of color. People have lost job, had difficulty accessing medical care, pandemic has revealed racial inequalities. Facing absurd recall of Governor NEwsom. We cannot go back, it’s crunch time, we need to get everyone voting so we don’t have a disaster. This President and Governor have done a lot to make a more equitable and fare nation and state. Once in a lifetime investment in infrastructure, and small businesses.
What I’ve been doing as controller is helping more businesses get more contracts with LA. We need to see that more across the state. We have some work to do. We have been tracking loans to small biz, and how to make them more effective. Created an equity index. We have a lot of work to do in terms of how we can adapt. I wish everyone a great rest of the e-board.

Chair Bendavid speaks about Fairness for injured. Sandra Low is unavailable to speak.

Chair Bendavid introduces a panel on Cyber Security. Andrew Lachman, Brigitte Hunley, and Tai Esteban Sunnanon.

Tai, delegate AD-50. Thank you Madam Chair for listening speaking. Is on veteran’s caucus. I’m here to briefly talk about cyber security. History, affairs, and what to do next. He will share resources.
Somewhere around early 90s, single virus attacks. 30 years later we have multi-vector multi-national cyber security threats that affect every single industry. It is a cat and mouse game. The cat is us – small businesses, professionals – chasing the mice, attackers. Now we have ransom for hire, ransoms as a service. Threats from Russia, China, and in our back yard. How this pertains to small business: nearly 70% of all cyber attacks happen to small business owners.
Ransom costs have skyrocketed. Average is now over $316k. Knocks people out of business for 16 days on average. Malware, Ransomware, and Phising.
Malware is software that has been designed to attack your system.
Ransomware is when org gets attacked with intent to force org pay $X to regain service. Dual ransomware attack: now they steal private information, you have to pay to recover, then you have to pay to restore systems.
Phishing when people call you looking for information. I got a message from a friend who said check out this video. Wasn’t real. What do we do, here’s resources:

Do you know your endpoints resilience to ransomware

Do you know your remote access

Do you know the vulnerability to mobility related attacks

Strategy #2: Implement cybersecurity protections today.
If your password is not 14 characters long, you are in trouble.
Longer = more difficult for attacker to gain access.
If you are using the same password for more than two entry, you are in trouble. Do not save them on your cell phone. Takes attackers two minutes to get them.

Andrew Lachman: Cyber Security for small business
Chair of LA County privacy and security
In house counsel for content stack, women owned, minority owned content platform.
None of this constitutes legal or political advice. In CA and other states cyber security is now part of the law. If you weren’t doing it right you used to worry about FCC coming for you, but now CA with CCPA and CPRA requires that all companies have reasonable cyber security to protect personal information. Mass. also has protections for sensitive information. Worker in GReece was sleeping on job and tried suing under CPRA that he was filmed without consent. If you own companies, you need to check everyone do business with, to protect data. You should have a plan in place if you are hit with ransomware. They will cut off your access, take confidential stuff and release it. The entire city of baltimore was hit by ransomware. There is guidance by companies to separate information out, and encrypt backups. I know lots of people this has happened to. Make sure that you are encrypting information, and how you will notify people if your data is accessed or hacked. “Have I been pwned” websites, that will tell you if you have been hacked.

Chair Bendavid Thank you Adnrew. I met a fellow from Hewlett Packard, and he said his job was security, and he had a team of 20 people. Today the HP team is over a thousand people, and I’m sure it’s even more. This has grown and we have to be vigilant. Introduces Brigitte Hunley, but the vice chair is not available.

Sue Gunther has a question. Someone put a fake facebook page in her name. What should she do about it?

Sunnanon: first thing to do, change your password. Gave his email and phone to Ms. Gunther.

Question what do you think of those things that save all your passwords, like Norton and other services.

Tai: I do trust those services, and I use them on my personal side. I do not use them on the business side. It’s a little different on the business side. We have a white house initiative called which is the go to spot for reporting cyber security complaints and issues.

Andrew I took a tour of CISA headquarters when I worked for Ted Lieu. A lot of this is voluntary. Voluntary is good but the more people buy in the more we can sure resources, and the more we know. Recommended guidelines and standards for everyone will make everyone better off. Your phone is supposed to have end to end encryption, but hackers can get between you and your screen, so it’s helpful but it is not the be all end all. Some of the best companies are Israeli companies because they are used to being attacked. When you have backdoors, it doesn’t care who is accessing it.

Question: I got a notice from Tmobile that my phone had been hacked. Can they get into my email through my phone? What do I do?


Andrew: Change your PIN, and change your passwords. Change your TMobile passwords.
Tai: I would change any password/PIN associated with your TMobile account. If a company has been compromised they will often give you 180 days of virus protection services. You have not only hard costs, which is the monetary amount they have to pay, but also soft costs: reputation is damaged. 


Another question about TMobile, which receives a similar answer to change passwords.

Bridgette Hunley: Quick update: WH between Biden and tech leaders (Apple, Google, etc) happened on wed. 500,000 unfilled cyber security jobs. Biden has taken several actions to address the threat. IP service providers to tell the US about attacks. Pressing shortage of workers in the sector. Most successful plans are never heard about. Will take a while before announcements from this summit take effect. Insurance providers can play a rolel in incentivizing businesses to update cyber practices.

Andrew Lachman: make sure you have Cyber Liability insurance.

Q: Where can we go for a risk assessment as a small business and is it affordable?


Tai: SBA has resources. Chamber of Commerce does too.

Q: When will recording might be available. This information is phenomenal.

Chair Bendavid. Info will be on website soon.

Andrew LAchman: Another thing you see is pseudo anomyzation where you use a token.

Q. MIT only had 3% women in computers. I had a hard time as an older worker getting a job in cyber security. When they are developing these programs to have more workers, is there any guidance for equity?

Chair Bendavid: When I ran a woman owned business in 90s the only women I would see were models. If I am standing next to custodian and he’s holding a mop, they will ask him, not me and I’m a computer scientist.

Andrew Lachman: Woman are underrepresented, and ageism is rampant in the industry. Expertise and experience can make a big difference. I’ve seen it firsthand.

Tai: I’m a person of color, I’m half latino and half asian. I was an academic, and then I switched. 30 years ago we had less than two dozen in cyber security. We have lots of women, POC, and companies want that.

Andrew Lachman: It’s the law now that publicly traded companies must have woman be a certain percentage of board of directors. 

Chair Bendavid: we are going to have networking meetings to meet with people from B&P caucus.

Mike Bendavid: On memorial day I became a woman. I got hacked on Facebook. I had to start again on Facebook. I lost 5000 friends. I had to start over.

Tai: There is a process that Facebook follows. You can work with them to undo the hack. You did the right thing starting over. The way you communicate on Facebook leaves you open to vulnerabilities. If you post family member names. If you post travel. If you point out your favorite hobbies. You are giving cyber terrorists info for passwords hacks.

Chair Bendavid: We are out of time, we have a couple candidates. 


Pilar Schiavo: I am running to flip AD-38 in north LA County. I just want to say I grew up with my parents who started a business in the early 90s. I saw and experienced firsthand how much they struggled. It’s one of the reasons I swore to never have my own business. I’ve been in the labor movement fighting for people to have good jobs. I started a non-profit recently. I want to go to Sacramento and make a difference for my community.

Roxanne: Central committee member from Sanata Clara. I’m running on question 2. I’m a trans woman. We’re not all millionaires with great healthcare. I am staying in as a safety valve for the party.

Brigitte Hunley: Link on chat to volunteer against the recall. 


Andrew Lachman moved to adjourn. Judith Walters Seconded.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.