Tanker Car Resolution By Charles Davidson

The Club will consider adopting a resolution to aggressively remove obsolete DOT-111 railroad tankers and to restrict their parking at the February meeting.


The resolution is as follows:

 WHEREAS, the citizens of California are concerned that oil refineries transport potentially volatile and explosive products via use of railroad tanker cars that routinely travel within 200 ft. of occupied residential homes; That as a testament to the recent rapid rise in production of both Canadian Tar Sands crude oil and U.S. shale oil and a lack of adequate pipeline availability, railroads have been the frequent method of choice for crude delivery to refineries. According to the Association of American Railroads, there was a forty-fold increase in carloads of crude oil destined to refineries in the last five years.

 WHEREAS, the most common railway tanker car, known as DOT-111 is known to the Department of Transportation, the federal regulatory authority for railroads, as being prone to rupture and explosion during derailments; Railroad tanker cars are typically not owned by the railroad companies themselves, but rather by third party entities, according to the Association of American Railroads, who want DOT-111s removed or structurally upgraded; The DOT-111 tankers were recently involved in the following rail accidents:

  • 2009, Cherry Valley, Illinois, 13 tanker cars ruptured and caught fire after a derailment, killing one person and injuring nine.
  • 2013, Alberta, Canada there was an explosion after 13 DOT-111 tanker cars carrying liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil derailed.
  • 2013 Lac-Megantic, Canada, a train carrying North Dakota crude oil derailed and exploded, claiming 47 lives and destroying much of the downtown.
  • 2013 Casselton, North Dakota derailment and fire of a train that was also carrying the same Bakken shale oil involved in the Lac Megantic disaster.

 WHEREAS, tanker cars travel regularly through communities carrying potentially explosive products and these tank cars have also been left parked unattended for periods of days or weeks on rail tracks nearby people’s homes; After a series of fiery train conflagrations involving unusually volatile shale oil from Bakken North Dakota, the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a warning that declared Bakken crude oil as being significantly more flammable than typical crude.

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Democratic Party of California calls on City Councils, Mayors, County Supervisors, State Legislators and elected Federal Representatives to formally request PHMSA, the federal agency responsible for regulating tank-car safety, to prohibit the parking of unattended tanker cars on California railroads, so as to ensure the safety of the State’s citizens.

 THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Democratic Party of California calls on City Councils, Mayors, County Supervisors, State Legislators and elected Federal Representatives to ask the US Department of Transportation to aggressively remove obsolete DOT-111 rail tanker cars from service and ensure that the replacements are built to higher standards, as the nations railroads have requested of PHMSA, which is beginning to craft new rules on tank cars. 

February Calender

Check out events going on in February: 


  • Kensington Fire Protection District Board Meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.  Kensington Community Center, 59 Arlington Ave
  • Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District Board MeetingThursday, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. Kensington Community Center, 59 Arlington Ave
  • Coffee with the Cops, Saturday, Feb. 15, 9:00-9:45 a.m. Starbucks inside Safeway, 11450 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito 
  • Common Wealth Club hosts Senator Barbara Boxer-Lifting Women Out of Poverty, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 12:00 p.m. SF Common Wealth Club, 596 Market St, San Francisco
  • El Cerrito City Council Meeting– Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7:00 p.m. City Council Chambers, 10940 San Pablo Ave
  • El Cerrito Planning Commission-Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. El Cerrito Council Chambers, 10940 San Pablo Ave
  • Coffee with the Cops, Saturday, Feb. 22, 10:00-10:45 a.m. Starbucks in El Cerrito Plaza, 11861 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito 
  • ECDC Endorsement Meeting, Saturday, Feb. 22, 1:30-4:30 p.m. El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave
  • Alliance for Justice “Roe at Risk: Fighting for Reproductive Justice” Documentary Screening, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6:00 p.m. Golden Gate University School of Law, 536 Mission St, San Francisco
  • El Cerrito City Council Meeting– Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7:00 p.m. City Council Chambers, 10940 San Pablo Ave
  • California Democratic Party Convention- Friday-Sunday, March 7-9, Los Angeles
  • Global Day of Action-Flyer Disbursement-Monday, April 14, 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza Bart Stations-contact Al Miller for details- amil@sonic.net and/or  (510) 526-4874

Phone Bank for David Alvarez-Candidate for Mayor San Diego

Heading into this fall’s statewide elections, we have a crucial chance to show that our activists can help elect strong Democrats who fight for progressive values in California:

On February 11, voters in San Diego will elect a new mayor — and through hard work, resilience and a commitment to progressive Democratic values, Democrats are within a hair’s breadth of electing the first Latino Mayor of San Diego.

David Alvarez is currently a city council member, a first generation college graduate, and a lifelong Democrat who has been an environmental leader as a representative of his Barrio Logan district.

We can win this race, but turnout is expected to be low. That means even five calls can make a big difference.

Use our easy online call tool to make five calls to San Diego voters now.

Alvarez, the clear progressive choice, emerged from a hard-fought contested primary with a very low turnout of only 35 percent. But Democratic voters amounted to 51 percent of the primary electorate, and Republicans only 42 percent, so we know we can win.

He now stands against a Republican candidate who threatens to roll back recent Democratic gains in what was considered, until recently, a Republican stronghold.

And according to a local conservative newspaper, the race is now neck and neck.

That’s why San Diego Democrats are calling in for reinforcements, and Democrats throughout California are stepping up to help.

Making calls using our online tool is easy. Go to this website  http://www.cadem.org/page?id=0124  to get started and make the crucial difference in this race today.

Somewhere in San Diego, there’s a Democrat sitting at home who may not even know about this election, but will turn out to vote if a fellow Democrat like you asks them to. You can be the difference.