SLT’s 2016 Alameda County Progressive Voter’s Guide
The following are my recommendations for candidates that will appear on the ballots for voters in Alameda county. The list only includes those races for which I have a strong recommendation. An asterisk* next to a candidate’s name indicates that s/he was also endorsed by the Democratic Party. A (B) indicates that they are a Bernie Sanders supporter and (i) indicates incumbent.
PRESIDENT: Bernie Sanders
Bernie is the only candidate that actually represents the people rather than corporate interests and Wall Streets. Hillary Clinton has a record of supporting and advocating for wars of aggression, supporting gross human rights violations such as forced disappearance, extra-judicial executions, arbitrary detention and torture, she supports profiting from mass incarceration, supports the death penalty and fought to halve the minimum wage in Haiti to 31-cents an hour so American corporations could make larger profits.
ALAMEDA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Read about the Committee and everyone who is running here.
AD 15 (select no more than 9)
Brette Badelle (B): A young African American father (two demographics the Committee is in dire need of) and Bernie supporter
Vincent Casalaina (B): Vincent is very progressive grassroots activist, he is with PDA and was an early Bernie supporter.
Andy Kelley (B) (i): A young LGBT and Democratic party activist with strong leadership potential.
Ces Rosales: A strong feminist and LGBT activist, Ces is a very independent thinker, even if she supports Hillary.
Len Raphael (B): Intelligent, thoughtful and has an insurgent streak.
AD 18 (select no more than 10)
Margarita Lacabe (B) (i), that would be me.
Guillermo Elenes (B), a housing rights organizer and staunch liberal
Mike Katz-Lacabe (B), my husband and a privacy rights advocate
Marlon McWilson (i)(B), an appointed incumbent and County Board of Education trustee
Pamela Price, a civil rights attorney
AD 25 (select no more than 3)
Raj Salwan (B), a veterinarian and the nicest and most liberal candidate running
US SENATE: Steve Stokes (B)
Kamala Harris* is pro-mass surveillance, seems to have strong neo-con tendencies and wants the US to kneel before Israel. As Attorney General she has failed to address the epidemic of police brutality against mostly people of color. Loretta Sanchez has accused Muslims of wanting to install a Caliphate and has insulted Native Americans. but she voted against the Patriot Act and against the war in Iraq and has a fairly liberal voting record in Congress. They are both Clinton supporters.
A better option seems to be Steve Stokes – who has a very progressive agenda, very close to Bernie Sanders’.
CD 13: Barbara Lee* (i)
CD 17: Ro Khanna
Barbara Lee is a staunch liberal and an overall good representative. in CD 17, Democratic incumbent Mike Honda* is in the midst of an ethics investigation. I’ve written more about Ro Khanna here. I’m making no recommendations in CD 15, as Eric Swalwell* is a conservative Democrat who supports Hillary Clinton.
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE
SD 9: Nancy Skinner
Nancy is not only the most progressive candidate in this race, but she is also an extremely effective legislator. And she’s been a great ally on issues ranging from civil liberties to fighting poverty.
All the Democratic candidates running for Assembly in Alameda County support Hillary Clinton.
ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Judge Office 1: David Lim
Judge Office 2: Jennifer Madden*
I met with David Lim and was very impressed with his openness and honesty and his concerns for the community. It felt very real and very personal. I was also impressed on how fair Lim is. He worked with one of the other candidates and he was very frank that his opponent would also make a great judge. I reached out to his opponent on several occasions, but I never heard back from him.
The third person in the race for office 1, Barbara Thomas, is a defense attorney (though she’s running as a “victims’ rights attorney) and former City Councilmember with a rather problematic reputation in the legal profession and I fear she would make a terrible judge. She’s reportedly considering suing the City of Alameda over their rent control ordinance.
I was also impressed with Jennifer Madden, who is running for another judge position. She has done a lot of work on human trafficking and seems to be committed to be a fair judge.
Judges are not allowed to endorse other political candidates.
ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Area 2: Marlon McWilson* (B)(i)
Area 3: Ken Berrick* (i)
Both incumbents are very knowledgeable and very committed to education, in particular with kids in challenging circumstances. McWilson is my colleague at the Democratic Central Committee and I find him to be a thoughtful, independent and fair voice.
HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL (select no more than 3)
The three incumbents, whom I had previously recommended, support Hillary Clinton. I’m making no recommendations on this race.
FLOOD CONTROL ZONE 7 DIRECTOR: Eric Thiel*
Thiel is a Biology teacher in Pleasanton who is actually passionate about water and the environment. I can’t think of someone better for that job.
Prop AA: YES
We need to restore the Bay. This may not be the best possible way of doing it, but it may be the only way we have.
Prop 50: NO
Prop 50 gives the Legislature the ability to suspend elected members without pay. I find this problematic, as it could lead to the Legislature suspending members due to purely political disagreements, and by withholding pay, they would make it very difficult on the Member to fight back. In addition, a suspension would mean that the constituents of that Member would not have representation in the Legislature, which I believe is very undemocratic. The Legislation already has the ability to expel members.
Thank you, Marga — this is very helpful !!
Thanks for all your work on this, Margo!
Do you have an endorsement for Superior Court Judges (Office #1, #2, #14)? Thank you!
Sorry, I see you have #1 and #2 above! Thanks!
Thanks! for your honesty and clear statements.
I would like to have this guide available in a downloadable pdf. Thanks
It now is
Thanks for making a clear and helpful guide for progressive voters!
Margaret–thanks for this useful guide. I am wondering where you got this information about Eric Swalwell, though. As far as I know, he has not made an endorsement for President. He is also pretty liberal.
JUlie, Eric posted it on Facebook a while back. And while Eric tends to vote as the leadership tells him to and is careful to not alienate his district, he is actually quite conservative. He is a religious bigot who believes atheists should have no role in public life and should not be elected to Congress. He supports mass surveillance and is a darling of the police/prison lobby.
Thanks, Margarita. He definitely isn’t making much of that endorsement–I had to really dig to find it anywhere. But apparently, you’re right. My experience with him is not one of religious bigotry. He has shown a willingness to stand up for religious minorities, like Muslims in his district. I am surprised to hear that he is intolerant of atheists. When did that issue come up?
Julie, it came up during his campaign for Congress. Among the many things he could have used to attack Pete Stark (and there were quite a few, his many missed votes, his declining mental state, the fact that he rarely even came to his district), he chose to go after him on religious grounds and make the argument that Stark wasn’t qualified to be a Congressmember because he was an atheist. More particularly, he attacked him on his vote against having the phrase “In God We Trust” in coinage, basically saying that any American who does not believe in God, does not deserve representation.