The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County

The World Affairs Council of Sonoma County (WACSC) is a  non-profit, non-partisan  organization whose purpose is to promote study and public education  in world affairs and to contribute to improved international understanding and relations. We feature speakers such as Ambassadors, international figures, journalists, academics, and business  professionals. 


Council programs provide participants the opportunity to meet and ask questions of people who shape world events in a variety of formats. Regular programs are sponsored by the Council and are open both to members and the general public.


P.O. Box 1433
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Phone: (707) 573-6014

If you are a WACSC member and have a change of name, address, phone or email, please notify Brantly Richardson by clicking your mouse arrow on the mailbox.






FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, GUNS VS. BUTTER: SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY IN THE 2016 U.S. ELECTION OR THE POCKETBOOK ELECTION? Dr. David McCuan, Professor of Political Science, Sonoma State University; faculty member with U.C. Davis-Sonoma State Joint Doctorate


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2016, WHOSE HERITAGE IS THIS? Dr. Margaret Purser, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Sonoma State University



Cindy Nofziger, Founder and Executive Director, Schools for Salone & Dr. Robert Heavner, former Board Member for Schools for Salone; clinical psychologist





Read more >


The World News Weekly Update is a collection the past week's top news stories. Every week, the Pittsburgh WAC Council gathers articles, reports, and op-eds from various domestic and international information outlets in order to provide wide-ranging and balanced perspectives on pressing global issues.

Click here for the last and previous weekly updates.


To share your comments and suggestions about our programs, restaurants, meals, meal service, meeting venues, or whatever is on your mind, contact the WACSC Board and Program Committee via email by clicking your mouse arrow on the green arrows below


This website is hosted through the generosity of West County Net, Inc. of Santa Rosa.



News Items:



Perspectives Newsletter

PERSPECTIVES, our full color quarterly newsletter, is distributed by email to members with email addresses registered with the Council.  The current seven page edition of PERSPECTIVES can also be viewed by placing your mouse arrow on the logo below and click it.


Members who do not provide us with email addresses receive a one color, 2-page Program Mailer with complete information about upcoming programs and reservation forms. It is mailed several days after e-publication of PERSPECTIVES.


New Members

In November 2016 new WACSC  members were: Howard Balfour, Maxine Eliman, Robert Mack and Leslie Treadway.


WACSC Memberships to go up in price 

In the President's Message I noted that membership dues have not increased in 15 years. I also, of course, noted that we must at last break this long, proud streak. As promised, here are important details that pertain to the Board’s discussions on this issue:


The main drivers of our cost increases are:

a) Speaker Program costs: these include hotel, travel, and incidental meals. Note that as a matter of policy, we do not pay fees or honoraria to our speakers..

b) Audio-Visual expenses: speakers' programs using AV equipment are occurring more often and are increasingly more technical, requiring hired professional operators.

c) Insurance: liability and directors' and officers' insurances are necessary to protect WACSC financially and legally, and these costs have increased.

d) Other costs such as Administrative, Communications, and WACA national dues are also rising.


Your Board looks for cost savings whenever possible and operates as frugally as possible.


Below is a chart showing the dues-paying membership categories:


Membership type       Existing Dues      Dues Increase       Total Cost Per Year

Individual                          $35                     $10                                $45

Senior                               $20                     $15                                $35

Family                               $50                     $15                                $65

Senior dual                        $35                     $20                                $55                        

Sustaining                       $100+                   None                            $100+


Note that the increased dues will occur only with new memberships or renewals after January 1, 2017. It will take about a year for WACSC to receive all the increased membership revenues; WAC reserves are easily able to cover any shortfalls during this period.


The subject of philanthropy is quite relevant at this time! Voluntary contributions by those who are able will help keep the organization strong and productive. Please consider becoming a Sustaining Member at $100 per year or making a (tax-deductible!) donation in another amount to WACSC.


Lastly, I should note that approximately half of our programs are luncheons, but the cost of these meals is fully offset by those paying to attend these events. There is no cost to our overall membership, nor does it affect WAC’s financial situation.


The Board's decision to raise dues did not come quickly. It took several months of discussions and financial analysis. On August 15 the Board voted to increase the dues on renewed and new memberships effective January 1, 2017. If anyone would like to further discuss the increase or the Boards decision process, please contact me at If you find the dues increase to be a financial hardship, please contact Pat Givens at—WAC does not want financial concerns to limit our membership. The Board and I thank you for your understanding of this situation.

Mike Morrison, President


Please Consider a gift

Your charitable contribution to the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County will help our all-volunteer staff continue to provide outstanding speakers and give them the technical support and Sonoma County hospitality they deserve. Most of these expert presenters serve without honorarium. Your support will be recognized in the WACSC Perspectives newsletter. If you wish to make a charitable gift please submit the following along with your check:

 __$25   __$50  __$100  Other: $____________


This gift is (__)in honor   (__) in memory of:




Please notify (name and address):






Donations to the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County are tax-deductible as allowed by IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). Please mail to WACSC, P.O. Box 1433, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

Program Sponsor Appreciation

WACSC program sponsors are the unsung heroes of our organization. These individuals are usually members of the WACSC Program Committee who volunteer to do the core work of locating speakers and coordinating all of the crucial—though often tedious—logistical details that undergird a speakers successful presentation. Program sponsors are involved with every detail: researching speaker prospects; negotiating with consummate diplomatic skill to convince speakers to participate without paid honoraria; and even identifying which type of microphone a speaker prefers. In short, our program sponsors are the people who do the hard work involved with bringing world-class presenters to educate us on a global range of subjects. In this and subsequent issues of Perspectives you will notice that we highlight the names of program sponsors underneath the event synopses. This is only small recognition for the efforts of these individuals, and if you have a chance to supplement it with thanks of your own, please do!


Pat Givens, Human Resources Coordinator 

Pat Givens is the “go to” person on our volunteer board and is even more so in her newest role as Human Resources Coordinator.  As a long time supporter of World Affairs Councils and member of WACSC; as a past president, veteran Program Committee member and member of several ad hoc committees, Pat fully understands the operations of our Council and of the need to constantly refresh the cadre of volunteers that keep WACSC in the tip tier of all volunteer councils across America. She is always available to speak with and interview prospective volunteers and can be contacted at and 707-541-0511. We encourage members to step forward to volunteer time and effort by first meeting Pat and discussing where talent and interests intersect with Council needs.


Meal Reservation Advice

To avoid disappointment when reserving for meal service meetings be sure to mail your reservation with check before the deadline date. Space is always limited, so reservations are accepted until we are sold out or until the deadline date, whichever comes first. If you arrive without a recorded reservation, we probably won’t be able to seat you.



Spring Lake Village

With our increasing membership and attendance at speaker meetings it is essential to know that the SLV auditorium has an absolute (Fire Marshal approved) seating capacity of 230. We have tested and bested the capacity at past meetings.  Members need to be aware that if they don’t get there early they may not find a seat and be turned away. Please understand.

Sustaining Membership Drive

Our Membership Information classifies a Sustaining Member as one who contributes a total of $100 or more annually, including dues. The total amount of the contribution, including dues, is tax deductible in most cases under IRS Code Section 501 (c) (3), applicable to the tax-exempt status granted to WACSC and donors to WACSC.


We note that more of our members are electing to become Sustaining Members, joining several who have maintained that status over the years. The benefits of becoming a Sustaining Member are not only the right to take a larger tax deduction, but knowing that you are contributing more to the financial health of our Council and allowing the Council to keep regular membership dues low. We have not had to increase dues since the 1990s, something almost unheard of in organizations like ours. As costs keep rising for every aspect of managing our all-volunteer organization, it becomes increasingly difficult to continue to maintain our enviable dues policy.


When you renew your membership for another year, we ask that that you consider increasing the amount to reach the Sustaining level of $100 and above. It becomes a win-win situation for you and your World Affairs Council. You might like to know that bequests and monetary gifts to WACSC are also covered under the tax code as tax deductible to the donor, depending upon individual circumstances.


WACSC Speakers Bureau 

An officer of our Council will gladly visit a service club or civic organization to present a 20-minute talk on the many benefits of the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County.  We want to inform the community of what we are doing and how we can help them keep informed about international relations.  If you belong to a club that might like a speaker, please give contact information to Bob Kirk at or 538-9294.


Searching for a World Travel Opportunity?

WAC of Philadelphia continues to offer wonderful travel experiences for WAC members and their friends. Their 2014 Travel Tours are available for our members to view, consider, inquire and reserve. You can reach the WAC Philadelphia website at You can call toll free to their Travel Department at 800-942-5004, Ext. 209 or 217. You may reach their VP of Travel, Joan Russell, directly at WAC Philadelphia has been arranging world tours for many years and is highly recommended by our national parent organization, World Affairs Councils of America.



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