Feb 272020

For all intents and purposes this blog is dead – as our activism has moved elsewhere -, but I was asked for voting recommendations for this election, and I’m happy to oblige. Unlike previous years, I did not do exhaustive research of candidates, so I’m basing some of these on the work done by other progressive groups, such as F.U.N Progressives in southern Alameda County and Our Revolution East Bay in the northern part.

President: Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders life-long conviction in the urgency of empowering the working class and people of color have created a movement that can stand up both to Donald Trump and the entrenched economic interests that have stolen our democracy. He is our best choice to survive as a nation.

County Committee

Assembly District 15

  • Soli Alpert
  • Michael Barnett
  • Paola Laverde
  • Barbara “Bobbi” López 
  • Igor A. Tregub
  • Alfred Twu

Assembly District 16

  • Brittni Kiick
  • Jacqueline Tarin-Rankl
  • Jody Tomic

Assembly District 18

  • Victor Aguilar
  • Andrea Luna Bocanegra
  • Howard Egerman
  • Henry Gage III
  • Iris Merriouns
  • Jose Carlos Moreno
  • Pamela Price
  • Royl Roberts
  • Austin Tam
  • Marchon Tatmon

Assembly District 20 (vote for no more than 7)

  • Vinnie Bacon
  • Austin Michael Bruckner
  • Frank Burton
  • Vanessa Sadsad
  • Melissa Shuen-Mallory
  • Barisha Spriggs
  • Cullen Tiernan

Assembly District 25

  • Martha Kreeger


13th District: Barbara Lee

15th District: Samantha Campbell

17th District: Ro Khanna


7th District: Marisol Rubio

9th District: Nancy Skinner


  • AD 15: No recommendation
  • AD 16: Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (running against Republican)
  • AD 18: Rob Bonta (running against Republican)
  • AD 20 Alexis Villalobos 
  • AD 25 Alex Lee 

Superior Court Judge, Office #2

Mark Fickes OR Elena Condes

Note: I didn’t interview either candidate, and after originally recommending Fickes, I heard from other members of the movement that they were supporting Condes. If there is a runoff between these two, I’ll make a clear recommendation in the general.

Member, Board Of Education, 2nd Trustee Area

Angela Normand

Member, Board Of Education, 5th Trustee Area 

Not Luis Reynoso.
Neither of the other two candidates is progressive. Lisa Brunner, a white member of the Hayward School Board, is good meaning but sometimes oblivious to racial issues. Janevette Cole is the charter schools candidate.

Supervisor, 1st District 

Vinnie Bacon

Supervisor, 4th District

Esther Goolsby

Supervisor, 5th District

Nick Pilch


13 – School Bonds: Yes

C – Early Education: Yes

Oakland Measure Q: Yes

Nov 012018

By Pedro Hernandez

San Leandro didn’t make a name for itself by sticking with the status quo.

The city of progress embraced innovation at every turn, from the iconic downtown pedestrian path to its fiber optic loop connecting businesses and residents to free wifi. It’s no surprise that San Leandro was at the forefront of election reform, joining its Bay Area neighbors to bring ranked choice voting (RCV) to city elections.

It was a logical fix for San Leandro, easily and effectively eliminating the costly top-two runoff while preserving the democratic principle that candidates need majority support to win elections.

The easy, 1-2-3 system empowers voters to rank their top three preferences on the ballot. If no candidate has a majority of first choice votes after the initial tally, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Those who ranked that candidate as their first choice have their ballots counted for their next choice. This instant-runoff continues until a candidate wins with more than 50 percent of the votes.

The 2010 debut in San Leandro – the same year as Oakland and Berkeley began using RCV – proved an early success for the more fair and democratic voting system.

Voters took to the polls in droves – turnout in the mayoral race jumped 11 percent compared to the November 2006 runoff, and a whopping 54 percent more than the June 2006 primary.

The ballots cast showed voters understood and appreciated the new system right away – 75 percent ranked at least two of the five mayoral contenders.

And the exceptionally close nature of the six-way contest – just 74 votes separated incumbent Mayor Tony Santos from challenger Stephen Cassidy in the first round – made voters’ choices all the more impactful, with more than 85 percent of ballots still counted through the sixth and final elimination round.

Though Santos carried a narrow lead in the first round, Cassidy’s win was the most fair outcome. Cassady appealed to more voters, allowing him to pick up the second and third choices needed to secure a majority.

The path of progress continued with successes in San Leandro’s subsequent council and mayoral RCV elections, which engaged high numbers of voters to cast accurate ballots that gave rise to a group of elected officials who not only received the broadest possible support of their constituents, but better reflected the city’s increasingly diverse population.

The four races decided by in 2014 were held in one election with RCV instead of two. It gave San Leandro its first city council that was majority-female and people of color, including the first elected representative of the Latino community, Councilwoman Corina Lopez in District 5.

The more reflective city hall is part of a larger trend in cities across the Bay Area that have seen significant increases in representation for women and people of color since adopting ranked choice voting, as several studies have shown.

And voters continued to give top marks to ranked choice voting, indicating they understood it and wanted to keep it, including previously disenfranchised groups such as young people, people of color and low-income voters, according to a 2014 survey.  Ranked choice voting rewards candidates that seek support from beyond their base, which in turn, leads to more civil and issue-driven campaigns.

The upcoming ranked choice voting elections on November 6 give San Leandro another chance to remind the rest of the country that we lead the way toward a better future, including in our government elections. Show up, rank your ballot and stand for the progress, fairness and diversity.


Oct 092018
Progressives in San Leandro Should Vote for Jeromey Shafer for Mayor and Eva Arce and Victor Aguilar for City Council

San Leandro, like many cities in the Bay Area, is in crisis.  About half of our community members are renters and skyrocketing rents are pushing them out of their homes, either displacing them out of the Bay Area or putting them on the streets.   This lack of community stability is affecting neighborhoods and schools, as the challenges of facing an ever-changing student population are significant.   Yet the City Council has done nothing to address this situation.   This is not surprising because the Rental Owners Association and landlords have poured money into the incumbents’ campaigns. Lack of ethics and integrity is, [Continue Reading]

Oct 032018

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, San Leandro Talk has, for a long time, covered politics in other parts of Alameda County.  Indeed, in the last few years, most of what we’ve written about has been about candidates and politics beyond San Leandro.  We hope to return to the real point of this blog, and thus we are migrating our political coverage to a new blog, California Politics.  This blog will cover politics in the whole state, but will concentrate on Alameda County.  Content exclusively about San Leandro will stay here. If you love politics as much as we do and [Continue Reading]

May 312018
Nancy O'Malley Lets Cops Get Away with Murder.  Literally.

This is Ryan Gill. He is a murderer. In late December 2010, Gill shot to death Gwendolyn Killings, an African-American woman from Hayward. Killings was driving a car that had allegedly been reported stolen earlier in the day; Gill claimed he spotted it and chased it until it crashed just over the Oakland border. The passenger got out of the car and fled, he later died under mysterious circumstances. Gill and his partner got out of their car as well, while his partner half-way chased the passenger. Gill approached Killing’s stopped car and shot her several times.  Gill would later claim [Continue Reading]