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Tuesday June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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Mendocino County Charter CommissionCandidate for Member

Photo of Robin Sunbeam

Robin Sunbeam

Registered Nurse
7,451 votes (7.35%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • To empower voters to take part in our own governance and not feel like helpless victims.
  • To collect input from all over the county to draft a charter that will meet the unique needs of our county.
  • To join the 14 other California charter counties with home rule authority



Profession:Registered Nurse
Credentialed School Nurse, River Oak Charter School (2004–current)
Credentialed School Nurse, Horicon Elementary School (2014–current)
Credentialed School Nurse, Santa Rosa City Schools (2010–2011)
Credentialed School Nurse, Windsor Unified School District (2007–2009)
Staff Nurse, Ukiah Valley Medical Center (2002–2004)


CSU Sacramento CA School Nurse Services Credential, School Nurse (2007)
UC San Francisco MSN, International/Cross-Cultural Community Health (1994)
San Francisco State University BSN, Holistic Nursing (1982)
San Francisco State University Public Health Certificate, Public Health issues (1982)

Community Activities

Co-Founder & Treasurer, The Charter Project of Mendocino County (2013–current)
Treasurer, Community Rights Network of Mendocino County (2014–current)
Co-Founder and Treasurer, Move to Amend - Ukiah (2011–current)
County Candidate, Mendocino County Assessor, Clerk, Recorder (2013–2014)
Treasurer, River Oak Charter School Education Foundation (2006–2012)



I am originally from New York.  Early on, I became interested in health and healing.  I began practicing yoga and vegetarianism as a teen, which led me to spend 5 years in India, where I learned to meditate.  I practiced meditation under Munindraji and Goenkaji.  I now have over 46 years of Vipassana/Insight meditation experience.  Additionally, I realized that growing up a common person in America gave me privileges unprecedented in world history.  I felt I wanted to spend the rest of my life serving humanity. 

Upon returning from India, I enrolled in Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO, for a degree in Buddhist Studies.  There I studied with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and Chogyam Trugpa Rimpoche.  Financial shortages forced me to find gainful employment, which led me to San Francisco in 1976.  That’s when I decided to become a nurse, in order to professionally serve the sick and disabled. 

Ethics was a required course in nursing college.  Until then, I did not know that “justice” was an ethical value.  I learned that justice can be divided up into social justice, economic justice, environmental justice and restorative justice.  It made me wonder why so many people who consider themselves ethical, discriminate against people who are different, don’t want to pay their taxes because it assists welfare recipients, continue using fossil fuel energy like it is an endless resource, and believe they “have no choice” but to spray the weeds with Roundup.  Since learning about Justice, it has become a trajectory in my life. 

I married in 1980 and had 2 sons who are now 28 and 23 respectively.  Living in Vallejo, the middle schools were very rough.  I didn’t see a good choice for a middle school for my son, so I joined 14 other motivated parents and we started a charter middle school, Mare Island Technology Academy <>, which still thrives in Vallejo.  Yet, it takes a village to raise a child, and our family could not find community in Vallejo.  So we left. 

Our family toured most of the United States in a motor home, homeschooling the children, looking for a location with a compatible community.  We happily discovered it in Ukiah!  We found layer upon layer of community in Mendocino County, where I also found gainful employment as a nurse and purchased a home.  We raised our children in the clean air, scenic beauty, and supportive communities of Ukiah Valley. 

Once becoming adults, my sons could find no work.  Unlike when I was a young adult and jobs were readily available, the current economic environment left no legal, ethical jobs for my sons.  So I decided to stand up and serve the community by improving the economy of the county.  The first major obstacle to overcome was the unholy alliance giant corporations have with the government. 

Governments are formed in a Democracy with the consent of the People to serve and protect us.  There is a place for corporations in the economic sphere, but not in government.  Government is designed to serve and protect People, yet nowadays, governments protect corporations over the good of the People.  Our government has even made corporations into persons with rights protected by the Constitution.  Now that money has been made equal to free speech, deep corporate pockets speak much louder than our puny little human voices.  Corporate rights are now protected by our government over human rights, and the police who are sworn to protect and defend have turned against their own kind and protect corporations from the People.  Topsy-turvy! 

One person can change the world.  We learn from history of the many single individuals who have made a difference to the whole world.  I decided to set the world straight even if I had to do it single-handed!  I was powerfully influenced by this quote from the Old Testament, “If not me, then who?  And if not now, then when?”  So I joined with some other like-minded people and started a chapter of Move to Amend in Ukiah.  Joining in coalition with the Alliance for Democracy on the Coast, we got Measure F passed in 2012.  It was a measure advising our State and Federal representatives to amend the Constitution to make it clear that constitutional rights are only for natural persons, not fictional persons like corporations, and that money is not speech. 

Move to Amend sent me to be the liaison with Occupy Ukiah.  There I was delighted to meet many highly motivated people working toward justice on many levels.  We were all upset about the unethical business models used by the Wall Street banks based on fraud and the unprecedented investments by those banks in the unregulated derivatives market.  We discovered that if the derivatives bubble burst, there is not enough money in the whole world to recover the projected losses of the big banks from derivatives.  It became an urgent issue to protect our county’s public funds from the kind of “bail-in” seen in Cyprus in 2013, in which the banks recapitalized their bank after the losses from their risky investments by seizing the assets of the depositors.  It could happen here!  And the answer was a public bank like the Bank of North Dakota or the Sparkassen or Landesbanken in Germany or those in China, India, Brazil, Russia, or South Africa that are financing double-digit growth in those nations.  The next economic downturn is on the horizon and we need to do everything we can to protect the economy of our local area. 

Now, we have the opportunity to restore Democracy and empower the People with a home rule charter.  The charter will give us more say in our government, and can potentially set the priorities straight to insure that the government is of, by and for the People and not the corporations.  I cannot rest until I have done everything that one person can possibly do to bring justice and low-carbon, non-toxic jobs to Mendocino County.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • Mendocino Women's Political Coalition

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am for the People.  Like the Anti-Federalists of 250 years ago, I believe that all power lies with the People, and in a Democracy, the People have the right to decide about their own local community.  I favor the Coolie Doctrine rather than Dillon's Rule.  I invented a word to describe my pro-populus political attitude, a Poplulist.  Then I was surprised to discover that it was a real word!  In fact, there was a whole Populist movement about a centry ago that brought us many of our most cherished policies and cleaned up the corruption among politicians. 

Once again, Washington DC and Sacramento have succumbed to corruption.  At this point in history, the pro-corporate, anti-populist Supreme Court has granted international corporations personhood with rights protected by the Constitution, and considering that corporations don't have vocal cords, declared money to be equivalent to free speech.  At this point in history, the system isn't broken; it's FIXED!!!!  International corporations and billionaires buy elections by controlling the media and preventing populist candidates from being seen on the public airwaves.  Most of our elected representatives in DC and Sacramento no longer protect the Common Good but rather give free reign to any internationl corporation that will support their re-election campaigns.  Regulatory agencies charged with protecting the Common Good are staffed with industry insiders who protect their industry profits at the expense of the public. 

The common people have nowhere to turn for help except to ourselves.  Don't hold your breath waiting for our corrupt politicians to come rescue us.  That is why it is urgent at this time to strengthen local power and become a Charter County. 

Position Papers

The benefits of a Home Rule Charter


The greatest benefit of a Home Rule county charter is that the provisions within the charter have the same force and effect as State law.  The process is designed to empower people to get more involved in their own governance. 

If Measure W passes on June 7th, then I have a good chance of me being elected Charter Commissioner.  Then the journey begins....  

I stand for Democracy and empowering people to get involved in their own governance.  I stand for Social, Economic, Environmental and Restorative Justice.  I want to create a thriving, low-carbon, sustainable local economy so that my sons and everyone's children can get decent jobs.  And so there will be a lovely planet for our grandchildren to inherit from us, and for many generations to come. 

It is nearly impossible to promise what will be in a future charter.  The fact is that the Charter hasn't yet been written.  I want it to be a document that will be good for every walk of life in the County.  I intend to gather information from all stakeholders in order to help craft a fair and balanced charter that will be tailor made to the unique needs of Mendocino County.  I also pledge that I will do everything within my power to make sure the charter goes on to a General Election so as not to cost the County too much extra. 

Response to the ridiculous Fiscal analysis of Measure W prepared by County CEO, Carmel Angelo


The estimate of costs to the County ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 from County CEO, Carmel Angelo, was based of many assumptions, some of which are ridiculous.  Considering that the Charter Commissioners are unpaid, and the County Counsel and other administrative staff are all paid the same salary no matter what they do, all other expenses to the County will be generated by the Board of Supervisors. 

Measure W empowers voters to get more involved in our own county’s governance. It will cost the county very little since county services to be provided for the Charter process are already in the county's fixed monthly costs, and the Charter Commissioners don't get paid. The recent fiscal analysis from the CEO, Carmel Angelo, was based on unsubstantiated assumptions and worst-case scenarios. It was rushed through and published before Supervisorial review as a ploy to garner opposition based on fallacious facts and figures.


The entrenched elites who stand to lose the most are in the strongest opposition to Measure W. Most of the Charter Commission candidates have pledged to put the future charter onto a general election so it won’t cost the county extra. In addition, the rest of the CEO’s fiscal analysis is based on assumptions of the Board of Supervisors granting generous perks to the Charter Commissioners, hiring highly paid experts and consultants, paying rent for meeting spaces, and all 47,000 Mendocino voters asking for a complete copy of the charter draft delivered by mail. It was certainly in the interests of CEO Angelo, the highest paid public servant in the county, to draft a fiscal analysis of prohibitive proportions. She is included as one of the entrenched elites. Perhaps our public servants don’t want the People to have a greater participation in Democracy.   


Measure W is in accord with Article XI of the CA Constitution and does no more than elect charter commissioners to create a draft county charter for consideration by voters at a future election. Any expenses of the charter drafting process will be determined entirely by the Board of Supervisors. What is the cost of democracy anyway?






Why you should vote for me, Robin Sunbeam, for Charter Commissioner


Robin Sunbeam is a reliable, trustworthy and thoroughly responsible person with integrity.  Robin is thoroughly dedicated to Liberty, Democracy and the right of the People to govern ourselves. 

The Charter Project of Mendocino County is a coalition of people striving to increase local sovereignty with a home rule charter. We want Mendocino to join the 14 other California counties that have established home rule charters under Article XI of the California Constitution.


The greatest advantage to a home rule charter is that provisions of the charter have the same force and effect as state law [Art XI, §3(a)]. That means that whatever we write into the charter, once approved by the voters, will be like state law, but applicable only to our county.


We are all quite proud of Measure H, the 2004 county measure, which banned GMO agriculture in Mendocino County.  Mendocino was the first county in the Western Hemisphere to ban GMO crops.  Measure H had a domino effect in which many other counties in the USA, and provinces and states around the world all followed suit and banned GMO agriculture.  In response, ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) pressured states to prohibit counties from banning GMO agriculture. 


“ALEC's response to cities and counties acting as laboratories of democracy has traditionally been to crush it through ‘state preemption laws’ that prohibit local governments from raising the minimum wage, regulating GMO's or building municipal broadband.”


Considering that Measure H is but a measure from a general law county, it could be overturned if the State of California followed ALEC's lead and prohibited counties from prohibiting GMO crops.  If the new charter stated that Mendocino agriculture must be GMO free, it would have the same force and effect as state law and could not be overturned by the State. 


Becoming a charter county is a three-step process. First step was gathering signatures to qualify for the ballot.  Step 2 is for the voters to pass two charter measures on the June 2016 ballot. The first is Measure W: “Shall a charter commission be elected to propose a Mendocino County charter?” The second will be a list of people who are running for the 15 charter commissioner positions. If a majority vote “yes” on the first question, then the 15 people with the most votes will be elected to the charter commission. Step 3 involves drafting a custom charter for the county. Once completed, the charter will then go on a future ballot for the people to ratify. Once ratified by the voters and recorded by the Secretary of State, the county charter then becomes equivalent to state law.


Other provisions that could be included in a home rule charter include protections for the water, air, soil and scenic beauty within the county. Use of the Precautionary Principle could be required for every BOS decision.  Instant Runoff Voting (aka Ranked Choice Voting) in which we could vote for our favorite candidate instead of the lesser of 2 evils. If your #1 choice doesn’t win, then your vote would go to your #2 choice. San Francisco uses IRV, which saves money on runoff elections. We could include anti-corruption laws that prohibit donors outside the County from contributing to local candidates. Also, several of our local measures can be reiterated in the charter, strengthening their impact.


A county charter will also strengthen the case to establish a county public bank and remove our public funds from Bank of America, a felon that is too big to fail, and has derivatives exposures on the world market 28X their total assets. The Employer's Council vehemently oppose a public bank like Bank of North Dakota and would rather the County go bankrupt when BoA fails rather than find proactive solutions to protect our county's finances.  Another worldwide economic downturn is inevitable, and the casino derivatives market is unregulated and has super-priority status over every other debt. Therefore, when the derivatives bubble bursts, our public funds will not be safe in BoA. The sooner we find another safe location for our county’s public funds, the better. The Democratic Central Committee of Mendocino County and the CADems have both endorsed a Mendocino County public bank. Hopefully, once established, it will be a democratically operated benefit corporation called the Public Bank of Mendocino County.


I am a capable, intelligent, resourceful individual who cares passionately about personal freedom, Democracy, and the economy of Mendocino County.  Vote for me for Charter Commissioner.


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