Return to About Us

Meeting Minutes

CDP Business and Professional Caucus

February 27, 2016 Meeting

Call to Order: Chair Ray Bishop called the meeting to order, bidding farewell to Vice Chair Andrew Lachman. He said the purpose of the caucus is to focus on the needs of small businesses and start-up businesses who struggle in this economy.

TREASURER’S REPORT – Cecile Bendavid

2016 beginning 3608.53

Deposits 3100.00

Payments 1582.00

Current balance 5126.53



First Speaker – Businessman and Philanthropist Tom Steyer spoke about starting a bank in Oakland to give loans to women and minority-owned businesses, create jobs, and provide financing to low-income housing.

Second Speaker – State Senator Ben Allen SD26 spoke on behalf of his bill SB 450 which would make it easier to vote and increase turnout.

Third Speaker – Former California State Controller Steve Westly spoke about the need for job creation and universal pre-school. He said the Democratic Party is superior because they care about people.


Chair – Incumbent Chair Ray Bishop ran unopposed and won.

Vice Chair – Brigette Hunley ran unopposed and won for Northern California Vice Chair.

Vice Chair – Todd Sargent ran against Ameenah Fuller for Southern California Vice Chair. Todd Sargent won.

Treasurer – Cecile Bendavid ran unopposed for Treasurer and won.

Secretary – Sue Gunther ran against Alex San Martin and Lenore Albert. Sue Gunther won.


Bylaw Change – Vice Chair Andrew Lachman proposed a motion that all memberships expire 3 months prior to the yearly convention and must be renewed either prior to the convention or at the convention to create a uniform membership rule. The motion passed unanimously with the change that a $500 life membership be available. The exact wording in the Bylaws:

“All memberships expire three months prior to the Convention of the California Democratic Party and must be renewed in order to vote at such convention or subsequent meetings.”

Chair’s Report – Chair Ray Bishop discussed some of the past programs, including panels on the underfunded judicial, sustainability, and the influence of money in politics. He asked for volunteers to help form committees. He said small businesses are the best creators of jobs. He also thanked volunteers who have helped the Business and Professional Caucus.


Suzanne Savory – Candidate for CD48, a retired USC Business Professor who is running against Dana Rohrabacher said Democrats create more jobs and a better economy.

Mike Gatto – Running for reelection to AD43 said the Stock market performs better under Democrats rather than Republicans.

Katherine Welch – Candidate for State Senate,  said she is an advocate for education and improving education in this state.

Fiona Ma – Represents the 2nd District on the California Board of Equalization said she wants to advocate for small businesses and asked caucus members to call her with questions about tax laws, etc.

Derik Cressman – Spoke about Common Cause and getting big money donors like the Koch Brothers out of politics.

Trent Lange – President of California Clean Money Campaign spoke about removing what is called “Dark Money” from politics.

Mary Jane Sanchez – Spoke about SCORE.

Matt Dababneh – Represents AD 45 and said people need to see the Democratic Party as the party of Small Business. He also said he would like to see the Business and Professional Caucus embrace more diversity.

Eloise Reyes – Candidate for AD 47 said that Democrats create jobs and need to get the message out.


Respectfully Submitted,

Sue Gunther, Secretary, Business and Professional Caucus