Bernie Sanders’ historic race inspired me to run for City Council a second time to help our local government become more responsive to the public interest. If elected, I will work as an experienced budgetary watchdog to ensure that our tax dollars are used to provide exemplary public services. My objectives include: sustaining and supporting our open hospital, completing the dangerous sidewalk break on Bodega near Pleasant Hill, a “participatory budgeting” citizen polling system for discretionary spending, zero emission electric vehicles for city parks, and supporting the restoration of library hours.
Jonathan Greenberg’s Political Biography
Jonathan is a communications professional, investigative financial journalist and local businessman.
As a civic leader in Sebastopol, Jonathan has been the community’s most effective advocate for restoring library hours, reopening Palm Drive Hospital and reducing leaf blower pollution in the city’s parks and senior homes. He continues to help lead the efforts to keep the Sonoma West hospital’s life-saving emergency room open, to purchase electric vehicles for the city’s parks, and to provide a Participatory Budgeting system to engage citizens to help spend our tax dollars more responsively.
Jonathan is adept at researching, analyzing and communicating budgets and complex issues of public policy. Jonathan is a collaborative communicator who has worked in many political situations to find common ground, common language, and solutions that address common needs. His Sebastopol-based company, Progressive Source Communications, is a public interest communications firm whose clients have included Maui Tomorrow, the Campaign to Stop the Monsanto Doctrine, the Lakota People’s Law Project, ACLU, Solar Cookers International, KnowGMO.org, Stonyfield Farms’ Climate Counts, and Physicians for a National Health Program.
Jonathan’s investigative financial and legal journalism has appeared in two dozen national publications, including the Press Democrat, Bohemian, Huffington Post (where he is a political blogger), New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, Mother Jones, and Forbes. He started his investigative financial journalism career as a reporter at Forbes Magazine, where he became the lead reporter of the very first Forbes 400 listing of wealthy Americans.
During the “Web 1.0” days of the 1990’s. Jonathan founded Gist Communications, which he built into one of the most widely distributed Internet content services in New York’s “Silicon Alley.” As CEO, Jonathan managed a staff of 75 employees, in two countries, and an annual budget exceeding $5 million, for a period of more than five years.
In the year and a half following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Jonathan served the New York City Council as Policy Director for Lower Manhattan Redevelopment. In this position, he organized and managed public meetings and hearings, directed media and public policy campaigns and was the Council’s lead analyst for federal relief programs. Jonathan’s work resulted in more than $250 million of federal funds being re-directed to needy businesses and constituents in the impacted area, as well as the U.S. Customs House returning to Lower Manhattan. Jonathan later worked as a strategic consultant for nonprofit organizations including managing Housing Works’ entrepreneurial ventures (for homeless people with AIDS) and Wall Street Rising’s business assistance program. As Vice President of Fenton Communications in 2006, Jonathan managed media outreach, messaging and advertising campaigns for clients, including the two “Save Darfur” rallies in Washington and New York.
Jonathan is the founder of Progressive Sebastopol, a small grassroots organization of parents and seniors that creates and distributes the city’s largest voter recommendation guide on Election Day. Jonathan is the founder and manager of the Restore Library Hours Campaign, a grassroots effort to re-open Sonoma County’s libraries on Mondays and evenings that placed a funding Measure on the 2014 ballot.
Jonathan has been an environmental activist advocating for public spaces, parks, clean air, soil and water for more than 30 years. He was the founder of the KnowGMO.org grassroots effort to support Prop 37 to label GMO’s in California. Jonathan was the contributor to the Occupy Sebastopol effort responsible for drafting and winning consensus approval for the “Occupy Sebastopol Peacetown Compromise,” which voluntarily removed all sleeping tents from our town square in return for a small, permanent information tent in the park. He was also the co-founder and lead organizer of the Sebastopol Peaceful Air Effort, which succeeded in replacing leaf blowers in the the City’s public parks, and lowering the noise law citywide.
Jonathan is a founding and current Director of the New York-based Bella Abzug Leadership Institute. Run by Bella’s daughter, Barnard Professor Liz Abzug (a supporter of my campaign), the organization trains young inner city students to become civic and business leaders.
In 1998, the Chair of New York’s Community Board 2 assigned Jonathan the Board’s oversight of the Hudson River Park segment for Greenwich Village, as its parks sub-committee collaborated with the architects and designers of the $60 million State park along the piers in Lower Manhattan. The engagement succeeded in adding and expanding much-needed public restrooms, and backed benches to a design that called for backless marble slabs along the waterfront.
in 2005, Jonathan founded the Open Washington Square Park Coalition, to keep the nation’s most important impromptu music and political protest plaza, in the center of Greenwich Village, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s back door privatization plan. Jonathan was the lead plaintiff and legal strategist in a Greenberg Vs. City of New York lawsuit which resulted in a landmark decision empowering Community Board oversight of park projects, as well as a judicial opinion preventing the city from requiring permits for music and political protests in Washington Square Park.
In New York, Jonathan’s record of public service included six years on the Board of Trustees of the Community Service Society, America’s oldest and largest poverty alleviation Foundation. For 23 years, he was a volunteer head soup chef on Wednesdays at the longest continually running soup kitchen for the homeless ion the United States, the Catholic Worker’s St Joseph’s house, on East 1st Street.
Jonathan is the author of the critically acclaimed biography Staking A Claim: Jake Simmons and the Making of an African-American Oil Dynasty, which a Washington Post Book World front page review called, “a rare biography that challenges the readers senses in the same the way science fiction does.” In 1992, he edited Buying America Back: Economic Choices for the 1990′s, an anthology of 45 progressive solution-oriented essays called by Publisher’s Weekly, “An immensely important resource for policymakers, community activists, and everyone concerned with building a more humane future.”
Jonathan is a graduate of New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, where he was a four term student of author Frank McCourt, an experience which both writers recalled in the New York Times Education life years later.
Jonathan received his B.A. in rhetoric and literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He later received a Masters Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, where he graduated with honors in First Amendment Law.