Monday, October 12, 2020

My Ballot Picks for 11/3/2020 DRAFT

Draft of my picks for November 3rd, 2020.

Draft. More later.

State Propositions

Prop 14: Yes  This is important work, and needs funding, and I'm setting aside my queasiness around the origin of some of the stem cell lines. We need to make sure their acquired ethically.

Prop 15: Yes. Chips away at Prop 13 and helps to make a fairer property tax system and better funding for schools. See Sacred Heart Voter Guide.

Prop 16: Yes. Erases Prop 209 and allows affirmative action style programs at the state level, which are needed to chip away at the current  overlay of systemic racism.

Prop 17: Yes. If you have done your time and paid your debt to society, you should be able to vote.

Prop 18: Yes. Register 17 year olds early.

Prop 19: Yes. Allowing old people (like me) and wildfire recipients a property tax break.

Prop 20: No. A measure by the prison industry to keep people behind bars. See Sacred Heart Voter Guide.

Prop 21: Yes. Allows localities to enact rent control. With high housing costs, this is necessary.

Prop 22: No. Lyft/Uber Drivers should have benefits.

Prop 23: I don't know. Don't understand the kidney dialysis issue very well. More to come.

Prop 24: Yes. Better data privacy

Prop 25: Yes. Approve non-cash bail system. It's regressive and hurts the poor.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

End SJPD presence in San Jose USD Schools

 (my remarks to the SJUSD School Board).

To the Members of School Board and the Superintendent: 

My name is Bill Roth, a member of Grupo de Solidaridad,  SURJ at Sacred Heart, a former SJUSD parent, and a 30 year San Jose resident. Thank you for holding this study session and allowing the public to participate. I would like to voice my support for not only ending the district’s contract with the San José Police Department but also for passing the Derrick Sanderlin Resolution. Having SJPD in schools sends a terrible message to students of color. I strongly recommend you look at re-targeting the funds allocated for SJPD toward professionals trained in Social Work, as well as people trained in De-Escalation and Restorative Justice. I also urge you to hold a vote on these two issues at an appropriate board meeting in the future. 

Thank you for your service to our community

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

New Mobile Lab for Nicaragua: 2020

Help Build a Mobile Lab for Nicaragua

As many of you know, I have been working with a Nicaragua based NGO, Amigos for Christ, for the last 10 or 11 years. I spend my time raising money mainly for the medical team, that has done amazing work in lowering mortality due to diarrhea, lowering incidence of parasitic infections, and improving nutrition. This year is no different. (click here to donate if you get a tl;dr vibe)

Letter from Annie and Juanita

See the email from Annie and Juanita, 2 of the leaders of the medical team. (You can see a video of Juanita here).

Dear Bill,
Thank you so much for reaching out to ask how you can help our Mobile Lab team this year!
Just like the rest of the world, we are adjusting to the changes and precautions we have to take
to keep those we serve safe. But one thing is certain – the mobile lab is absolutely essential to
the work we are doing to help families on the path to long-term health. Thank you for being
such a great advocate for this project.

Last year your group gave $3,788.00 to support the mobile laboratory project that helps detect and treat kidney diseases and parasitic infections. In 2019, 8,705 community members were tested for these infections—and this was possible because of your teams efforts.

Each year, you reach out to Juanita and her team and ask how you can help. Eager and excited,
Juanita brainstorms what the biggest health needs are in the 20 communities involved in Plan 7.
After much thought and collaboration, she responds to you and that’s when you do your magic.
You humbly reach out to your friends and colleagues to get them onboard with what Juanita
and her team does. You help her dreams for our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters become a

Without you, 506 people would not have been treated for kidney disease and 3,356 people
would not have been treated for parasites. Bill, we are so thankful for your team and your generous heart. Amigos would not be the same without you.

I’ve put together some information about the lab and what the greatest needs are this year for
the Mobile Lab. Amigos for Christ is currently partnered with 21 rural Nicaraguan communities
consisting of 1,568 families. They are the people who will benefit from your generosity!!
Thank you Bill! Let me know if you have any questions! Thank you for all you do.


The Mobile Lab: This year's project.

Why is the Mobile Lab so important? An individual or family’s health is absolutely essential to live a fulfilled daily life. In Nicaragua, family’s often struggle with illness that are completely preventable. Amigos is on a mission to change that by testing families for the most common illnesses we see, treating those illnesses, and educating families on how to prevent them in the future. 

What illnesses is the Mobile Lab focused on? 

  • Intestinal Parasites due to poor sanitation
  • Kidney Disease to inadequate water consumption. 
  • Respiratory Disease due to inhaling cooking smoke. 
The project has done wonders. In some communities, we've seen deaths down 30% from diarrhea. I have seen children get healthier and stronger when they have access to clean water. (Ask me about Angel and Avril).

What does the lab look like? Here's a picture:

(Picture from 2019 doing lab work in the first mobile lab)

How does it fit in with what Amigos does?

How does the Mobile Lab project fit into the big picture of a community partnership? In the 21 communities we are currently serving, Amigos is committed to a seven-year partnership with each community. For these seven years, we are focused on helping the community achieve five goals. 

This effort is called “Plan 7”, our community development model. The third goal of Plan 7 is: Reduce Preventable Disease. The Mobile Lab is the guiding project in identifying disease and informing the best path forward to prevention. Infrastructure changes are also part of the Plan 7 efforts. A clean water system, bathroom, and clean air kitchen help a family fully prevent disease in the future. 

The Ask

So what is the ask? Simple, please help me raise the $9,235 to keep the Mobile Lab effort going strong. I'll donate $1000 to kick it off , and get my company, VMware, to match. (If you're a VMware employee, or you work for a company that has a match, please give through your match system and add the designator "Bill Roth Mobile Lab".)

So, if you'd like to help, please click below to help fund the Mobile Lab.
As always, reach out if you have questions.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

San Jose Resources In Times of Covid-19

Many people know I am on the boards of 2 great charities, Sacred Heart Community Service and also Gardner Heath Services. I also do work with my friends in Grupo de Solidaridad with Catholic Charities. Attached are some resources I know about. 

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents Impacted by COVID-19

These programs are building waiting lists:

Sacred Heart Community Service(English):
Sacred Heart Community Service(Español):

Food distribution

Our Lady of Refuge: Food distribution on Tuesday nights from 4pm to 8pm. Currently drive up.
Saint Martin of Tours: See below.

City of San Jose(English):
Ciudad de San Jose(Español)

Information on the Eviction Ban

Thursday, January 30, 2020

My ballot picks for March 3rd 2020 Primary Election

In the past, I have published my thoughts on the various candidates and measures on the ballot. This year is no different.

Note: Thinking that primaries don't matter, and that you don't need to vote? WRONG. There are a number of important measures not related to the presidential primaries that you should consider, especially if issues like housing and homelessness are important to you.

Party Nominated Offices


I am torn here, and really don't have a favorite. There are still a few candidates who have dropped out who are still on the ballot, like Castro and Booker(sob). I'll likely vote for Biden/Warren/Buttigieg. For the record, I'll vote for whoever the nominee is.

County Central Committee

These are the voting members of the local party to get to go to the state convention, and vote on things like endorsements. When you here "Local party endorses candidate X", its these people that vote. There are 6-9 slots per Assembly District. I'm in AD 28. The people I know and am going to vote for include:
  • Angelica Ramos
  • Helen Chapman
  • Shay Franco-Clausen
  • James Kim
  • Adrienne Grey
All are long term progressive activists. You get to pick 6, but you don't have to.

US Rep, District 19

Zoe Lofgren. No question. She's a decent, hard working public servant and House Impeachment Manager. I'm so proud to be represented by her.

State Senator

Vote Dave 2020. While Anne Ravel is impressive, former FEC Commissioner during the Obama Administration, Dave Cortese is a great local progressive leader. Support him please.

Member of State Assembly, District 28

Please re-elect Evan Low.

Non-partisan Office and Measures


No idea. But all the judges on my ballot are running unopposed.

City Council

Ruben Navarro. A local activist. Dev Davis has been hostile to spending on housing and homelessness, and is a "former" Republican.

State Measure 13

Yes. Look, I don't like spending on bonds any more than the next guy, but this is the only way to get around Prop 13 and to ensure we improve California Schools.   

City Measure E

Yes. This is an added tax on luxury home sales which will be applied to help housing and homelessness in San Jose. Please vote for this.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Eulogy for My Father

My Eulogy for my father, at his Funeral, Given 10/28/2019. (See his obituary here)

Brevity is the soul of wit[i], and I’ll endeavor to be both.
Thank you all for coming today to share in this celebration of the Mass, and my Dad’s life. I can think of no better way to honor him than through a Mass. He was a loyal son of the Church. At he bedside, where he spent his last night at home, I found his Missal. On the cover, was the Christogram, HIS, which comes from the Latin, In Hoc Signo, or Under This Sign, a reference to Jesus[ii]. He clearly lived under this sign.
Today we mourn the passing of our Loving Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, mentor, friend and golfing buddy; colleague; Boss.
To me he was simply my dad. A great business and community leader, to be sure, but I remember was him as a father who taught by example.

  •  His example of hard work, and his relentlessness
  •  His example of charity, especially to the Church, a certain University[iii], and to Habitat for Humanity Collier County 
  •  His example of faith, like going to 630 mass every day during lent before going to work. Even when running a Multi-Billion $ business.[iv]
He taught the family, all of us, by his example. His example will wake up the echoes[v] for years to come.

These past two weeks have brought many happy memories of flooding back. 
  • In the seventies, mowing the lawn at 927 Cliffwood Lane, which was at a 45-degree angle, in Bermuda shorts, dark socks, and a Tshirt. 
  • Standing at the top of the stairs, Dad shouting “Where’s my gold pen!”. (When cleaning out his things over the past 2 weeks, I found them. Dad, they were under your desk.[vi]
  • Driving a car Connecticut to Florida and listening the same Prairie Home Companion 5 times.

While today is a day of undeniable sadness, it should also be a day of joy too. First and foremost, that Dad is no longer suffering. And second that he has received his eternal reward and is in heaven. Of this I have no doubt. But there is one final reason, and it’s not because Mom finally gets to control the remote.

The Irish have a notion of “Thin Places”[vii] where Heaven and Earth meet. Just a few weeks ago, when he was in the hospital, has just woken up. I asked how we was. He said “Good. I just saw Mom and Dad, and I haven't seen Dad in 16 years. They looked good.”[viii] I am confident this was true and that he had found one of these thin places. I am just as confident he is with Honey, Bear, Mary, Jim, Clem, Detmer, Hazel and the rest of the family. Let us be joyful for this too. He is with his family, and that his physical and spiritual suffering are over.

In conclusion, the best way I can end my remarks is to give him the last word. Those words are from his last word to us, in a letter he wrote; the words he wanted to sum up his life with.

To: Pat, Bill and David:
I have neglected putting this together for all too long now. I guess that I haven’t been willing to face up to the fact that my old ticker has more miles on it than is normal for my model year.
I have been blessed in so many ways during my lifetime that I am in awe of the generosity that God has bestowed on me, a sinner. My greatest gifts are my family whose love, understanding and tolerance sustained me through the years – I cannot begin to fathom why God showered the blessings of you three on me, preceded by my own family and now followed up with my two angels, Emma and Anna. What can heaven begin to be like after all the blessings I had on earth? I love you so much and eagerly await the day when we can all be together again in the divine and loving presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

[i] Shakespeare reference for Dad, who enjoyed the quotes in my thesis
[ii] IHS is also a reference to the transliterated name of Jesus from the Greek.
[iii] Ever defiant, this was needling both David and Dad a bit.
[iv] And he dragged me to Mass more than few times.
[v] And yet one must pay respect to his love for said University
[vi] This is true.
[vii] I got this, most likely, from Fr. Brendan McGuire. But Wikipedia confirms it.
[viii] I included this to create a bridge to his mother, to whom the same thing happened.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

William George Roth Obituary

(Info for Mass and Reception updated at the bottom. See Eulogy here.)


William G. Roth, (81), died on October 14th, 2019 at Moorings Park Chateau in Naples, Florida, following a serious illness. Bill was born in Lamberton, MN where he graduated from high school in 1956. He graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1960 and earned a Masters degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University in 1961.

After college Bill started a long industrial career beginning with The Trane Company in Lacrosse, WI. At Trane he held a succession of sales, marketing and general management assignments before being named as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1978. After Trane merged with American Standard in 1984, Bill was named President and Chief Operating officer of the combined firms at the headquarters in New York City.

In 1987 he became Chairman, President and Chief Executive of Dravo Corporation, a Pittsburgh based engineering, construction, and natural resources firm. He retired as Chairman of the Board in 1994 while continuing to serve as a Board member.

During his career, Bill was active in many industry and civic organizations. He served as a Director and member of the executive committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
Association. During his career he served as a director of numerous publicly held companies including Trane, American Standard, Dravo, G. Heileman Brewing, Wells Fargo, Teknowledge Corp., Amcast Industrial Corporation, Service Experts, and Lennox International.

Active in Civic affairs Bill served on the Board’s of St. Francis Hospital and The Adolf Gundersen Medical Foundation in LaCrosse, The Gateway Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, The LaCrosse Boy Choir, The United Way of Greater New York and Catholic Charities of Collier County.

In 1982 Bill was named the recipient of the University of Notre Dame College of Engineering Honor Award and joined the Engineering Advisory Council, a position he held until his death. In 1984 he received the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts and the Man of the Year award from the LaCrosse Chamber of Commerce. The Krannert School of Management at Purdue named him the 1986 Distinguished Alumnus.

After becoming a Marco Island resident in 1986, Bill became involved as the first non-employee President of Hideaway Beach Association where he served as a Board member for six years and as president for four years. He twice served three year terms on the Board of The Island Country Club and served as president for two of those years. He was a founding director of the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation. Bill was active at San Marco Church as a principal fund raiser, Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Communion and a member of and chair of the parish Finance Committee.

The Roths moved to Naples, Florida in 2013 taking up residence at Moorings Park continuing care retirement community. Elected to the Moorings Park residents Council in 2016, he served 3 years years on the council including 2 years as President of the Residents Association and Residents Council.

Bill is survived by Pat, his wife of 59 years; son, Bill and granddaughters Emma and Anna; son David and his wife Cheryl; brothers Tom of Los Angeles; Richard of Huntington Beach, CA; and Mark of Florence, AZ.

Memorial Mass

A funeral Mass will be held at St. William Catholic Church in Naples at on Monday, October 28th, beginning at 9:45am ET.  There will be a reception at Moorings Park following Mass. Inurnment will be private.

In Lieu of Flowers

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be directed to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County(  or the Guadalupe Center ( .