By Diana Gallardo
Disclosure: The author is a member of Fresno Young Democrats.
The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee is set to vote on the removal of one of its members — Emily Cameron — this Wednesday. Cameron, who joined the committee in May, wrote in a blog post that she believes the removal is “retribution” for her attempts to ban contributions from police to the local party.
uSpark obtained a document that appears to be the removal resolution. It states that Cameron “caused harm to the reputation of This Committee and the Democratic Party at large.” It cites several of Cameron’s Tweets that are critical of fellow committee members. See the full document below.
A member of the committee’s executive board, the group that started the removal proceedings, declined to speak to uSpark this week. A statement released by the executive board dated Friday August 28 encourages committee members to refrain from commenting on the matter.
Police contributions and the Fresno Democrats
The national uprising against police violence has underscored law enforcement’s influence in political decisions. This summer, eight caucus chairs of the California Democratic Party wrote a letter demanding the party stop taking contributions from police unions, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article. The letter claims that the state party accepted $1.8 million since 2017 from law enforcement organizations.
To highlight such contributions at the local level, Cameron created a website — Who Takes Cop Money — pointing out campaign contributions from law enforcement groups to Fresno-area elected officials. The page shows a $25,000 contribution from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee in March 2020.
According to the Fresno Bee during the July meeting of the central committee, Cameron put forward a motion that the committee would no longer accept money affiliated with the police. She also put forward a second motion for the committee to decline to endorse any Democratic candidate who accepts police donations — a step that would exclude key local Democrats from the county party’s endorsement, including Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula. Arambula received $9,300 from Peace Officers Research Association of California PAC, and $1,500 from California Correctional Peace Officers Association PAC for his 2020 reelection bid.
Both motions were tabled, and the committee created an ad hoc committee to study the issue of police contributions. Cameron put forward both motions again at the August meeting. They were again tabled and met with a counter-motion.
Crowdfunding page and Aug. 28 press release
On Aug. 24, Cameron created a GoFundMe page to raise funds to hire an attorney in light of “unreasonable, false, and defamatory allegations” made by the committee’s executive board. The page does not specify what those allegations are. The central committee’s executive board released a statement, dated Friday August 28 defending its removal proceedings:
You all may have read a statement from the member this week making claims of libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, and other claims of wrongdoing. The member also created a GoFundMe page making similar claims. These claims are false. The Executive Board has not libeled, slandered, or defamed the member, nor has it disseminated private information regarding the member. Nothing has been done that creates any legal or moral liability for the FCDCC or the members of its Executive Board. We have followed, and will continue to follow, our usual Rules and procedures as set out in our Bylaws. We have treated the member the same way we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed.
How to get involved
The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee is made up of representatives from each of the five county supervisorial districts. You can find which committee members represent your district here.
Here is a list of the executive board members, including the contact information listed on the Fresno County Democratic Party website:
Second Vice Chair
Humberto Gomez Jr.