Democrats to Honor Community Leaders

Democrats to Honor Community Leaders

By Michael D. Evans

The Fresno County Democratic Party will recognize longtime community leaders and loyal Democrats Venancio Gaona, Randy Ghan, Les Kimber and Patsy Montgomery at a September 16 fund-raiser. Co-chairs of the Host Committee for the event are U.S. Congressional Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa.

The event will take place on September 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at International Catering (4277 N. West Ave.) in Fresno. At the banquet-style fund-raiser, Democrats will honor the aforementioned community leaders, hear from the local Democratic Congressional delegation and recognize key Democratic volunteers. Proceeds will go toward the party’s electoral efforts.

Gaona has long advocated for students, farmworkers, the disadvantaged and the immigrant community. He has participated in many organizations including the Association of Mexican-American Educators, Centro Bellas Artes, Concerned Citizens for Representative Government, the Educational Issues Roundtable Committee and El Concilio De Fresno.

Ghan is the secretary-treasurer of the Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings Central Labor Council. He is a veteran of the labor movement in the San Joaquin Valley, having been involved for more than 30 years. Ghan is also a director of the nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization. He is a former Labor Leader of the Year.

Kimber began publishing the California Advocate newspaper in 1967. He served eight years on the Fresno City Council and has advocated for equality and economic development in African American communities throughout Central California. Recently, he co-founded Citizens for Civility and Accountability in Media to help temper the negative aspects of talk radio.

Montgomery is the regional director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. She is the former president of the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club and the Kennedy Club of the San Joaquin Valley and a former officer with the National Women’s Political Caucus. She is also on the Board of Directors of Fresno Barrios Unidos.

The host committee for the event includes Reps. Costa and Cardoza; State Senator Michael Rubio; Assembly Members Cathleen Galgiani and Henry T. Perea; Supervisor Henry Perea; Rios Group principals Angie Rios, Samuel Norman and Chuck Riojas; and Michael D. Evans, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee.

The cost of the event is $50 per person. Sponsor levels are $2,500, $1,000 and $500. Interested parties may register online at or forward a check to the FCDCC, P.O. Box 5795, Fresno, CA 93755.

For more information, contact 559-495-0606 or


Michael D. Evans is a political activist, editor and writer. Contact him at


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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