By Jozeffa Greer
I felt wistful one recent morning while organizing the AADC nametags and realized that we would need to retire the nametag for Jan Bell. Jan was one of the first members we met when Dave Deckman and I first moved to Newcastle 17 years ago. The Auburn Area Democratic Club was in its first year and was having their first fundraiser, which we attended, grateful that there were other Democrats in this county where a giant sign, “This is Bush Country,” felt ominous as I’d drive home at night. Charlie Brown was running in his first attempt to become our congressman, and there was a spirit of hope and enthusiasm in the air. And we met Jan Bell.
A no nonsense, moderate Democrat, Jan was full of ideas, not only of where to focus our energy, but to think about how that could best be accomplished while maintaining a friendly welcoming attitude to those who might disagree with the direction she thought would be best for our group.
During the last 17 years she has held many responsible positions: she has been the president; vice president; chair of the Fundraising Committee; delegate to the California Democratic Party; and maybe most significantly, chair of Placer County Democratic Party’s Campaign Services Committee. This committee leads the efforts to recruit, train, and elect Democrats in Placer County to local and state offices at all levels. For me, while she was chair of the Fundraising Committee in 2015, we had our most engaging fundraiser ever: “Women, Politics, and Power.” We hosted four women speakers: Jennifer Montgomery, Betty Yee, Toni Aikin, and Heidi Hall. All accomplished, each shared their inspirational stories of what motivated them and their path to success. It was our best fundraiser ever.
Jan and Tom have recently found a new home in Walnut Creek near their family, and they are in the process of moving from their beautiful home in Newcastle. Jan, you are so going to be missed. We wish you and Tom only the best in your new home.