Chair Tregub’s Statement re Nov 1st Meeting

Dear Democrats,

It pains me to have to issue this statement in regard to the November 1, 2023 Alameda County Democratic Central Committee meeting. Nevertheless, as Chair of this body, I must issue this statement if “Never Again” is to mean anything at all.

Creating a democratic process and a space for civil discourse is sacrosanct to me, particularly as related to a resolution on a topic as sensitive and charged as the one that was the subject of the committee’s deliberations that evening. Regrettably, several instances occurred during the course of the meeting in which a small number of guests to the meeting crossed the line and verbally attacked fellow participants for their viewpoints. 

While I was able to address most of these matters in real time, there was an incident which unfortunately took place prior to my ability to address it. Contemporaneous screenshots that were verified following the conclusion of the meeting revealed that during a portion of the meeting, one non-member exhibited a Swastika in their Zoom background. As a Ukrainian-born Jew whose grandfather fought the Nazis and who has – like many of us with this shared history – lost ancestors to the genocidal attempt of the Nazis to exterminate Jews, I cannot put in words how deeply hurt and offended I was once I saw a screenshot of this Zoom background. As your Chair, I write to you today to apologize for the Central Committee’s inability to create a safe space for all.

Displaying the Nazi symbology is more than a violation of the California Democratic Party’s Code of Conduct by which we abide – it is a hate crime. While we were unfortunately unable to address this display at the moment in which it happened, I am committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that anti-Semitism does not show up at our doorstep ever again and recommit to fighting all forms of hate whenever and wherever they take place. I can also assure you that the individual who so callously, through their actions, ruined the ability of the attendees to safely participate in witnessing a democratic process – however fraught and charged it was – is not welcome at any meetings or other functions of the Alameda County Democratic Party. I call on our chartered Democratic Party organizations to ensure that they do not attend their meetings or functions as well. The vast majority of participants fully abided by the Party’s Code of Conduct, and the experience was ruined for them in large part because of this individual’s actions. Never again can we allow such blatant hate from any individual to rain down on the levers of our democracy.

I’m also aware that the intensity and disorder of the Zoom chat from people who are not members of this Committee made the chat essentially non-functioning, and it was eventually disabled. This prevented Committee members from fully participating in our process or providing insights that might have impacted votes taken or altered language adopted. Know that I am seeking changes to our procedures moving forward to ensure that all members of this Committee are able to participate, particularly when sensitive topics are being discussed and where the precise words used by this committee mean a great deal to valued community members experiencing bigotry, loss, and trauma.

Democratically yours,

Igor Tregub
Chair, Alameda County Democratic Party