California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, and U.S. House of Representative Nancy Pelosi were among Party leaders on hand to dedicate a state of the art green building headquarters to Chair John Burton of San Francisco known within the Party as the fiercest advocate for working and poor families, for the elderly, the disabled and the disadvantaged today, Monday, June 16, 2014 in Sacramento - in what is the refurbishment of the old Wishing Well on 9th and S streets.
Party favorite and national climate change voice Tom Steyer, who helped sponsor the green make-over and upgrade lauded, “I congratulate the California Democratic Party on today’s grand opening of the John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters, which will be the first LEED-certified stand-alone state party headquarters building in America. Not only are California Democrats leading the nation in electing officials who champion policies tackling the vital issues of climate change, sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental health—they are leading by example to demonstrate the benefits of sustainability in action.”
Union built green
"This is a union built, state of the art, energy-efficient building that embodies the values of the Democratic Party in California, explained Tenoch Flores, Communications Director for the California Democratic Party. "When John Burton was elected Chair of the Party in 2009, he promised to build a more collaborative, more sustainable, forward-looking Party. With this new headquarters, Democrats are taking a giant step toward the fulfillment of that vision."
Local contractor Aztec Solar installed the 7.5 kW DC rooftop solar system that will offset 10563 kWh, at a savings of $1161.93 dollars, and 8 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. Aztec Solar's office building case study portrayed their client boldy by stating, "The California Democratic Party and its members are responsible for some of our nation's most important and impactful legislation. Democrats are building a healthier future for our state and improving the quality of life for all Californians."
The building is qualified to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiied by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in that it meets the criteria in a number of ways including energy efficiency, and is located in a walkable neighborhood. The flow of energy travels to support an open, collaborative, workspace of contemporary design with an exposed ceilings and glass paneling for transparency. Furthermore, there are charging stations for electic vehicles and building materials were locally sourced such as carpeting made from recycled fishing net materials.
An artistic atmosphere that honors what the public loves about the Democratic Party
The threshold is a memorial to Burton with one of his favorite aphorisms,
" It's been said one can do a great deal of good in this world if one doesn't care who gets the credit." - Peace and friendship, John L. Burton.
The walls of the entrance showcase the memorabilia and books of living chairs, and further into the building, legacy- including famed photo of Harvey Milk, and a labor mural featuring Dolores Huerta, and Cesar Chavez with these respective cries of Huerta's, "walk the street with us into history, get off the sidewalk;" and Chavez's, "the fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
Equally heart-throbbing is the pillar of campaign buttons, and the collages about the elevator shaft featuring fond photos of the Party leaders of the Kennedy, Carter, Clinton and Obama families; and the powerful leader Martin Luther King, and the iconic Tom Hayden whose most recent piece, The Great Unifier: California Against Climate Change; spells out his dream that under Governor Brown's leadership we will see the birth of a "multi-cultural world class economy powered entirely by renewable resources and energy conservation, and a model to which President Barack Obama can point to during the critical global talks on climate change in December 2015."
A entire meeting room with a table of sustainably grown oak cut and finished to preserve the growth rings is dedicated to John Burton's brother Phil; an equally forthright candid problem solver known for having worked with the National Park Service to have preserved a great deal of California's beautiful and famed redwoods.
A house warming for Democratic Party members past and present
The state of the art facility will be more welcoming to clubs, groups, and activists whose values are supported by the Party to give them the tools, training and facilitation for communication and outreach; including predictive-dialer phone banks and meeting space, as well as outdoor space for fundraisers and receptions.
The dedication came hours after passing the state's budget on time, leaving time for an open house that re-united past living Chairs including Bill Press, Roger Boas, Betty Smith, Phil Angelides, Charles Warren, Peter Kelly, Art Torres, Joe Wyatt and John Burton.
There was no word at to whether this design masterpiece will offer guided or even self-directed tours, but perhaps the Party will entertain the notion.