Margarita Lacabe

Nov 012014
 

danwalters

Five candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three seats in the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board.  This covers part of San Leandro, but not the part where I live.  I thought about not making any recommendations in this race because the issues are pretty complex.

On the one hand, Oro Loma seems to be doing quite well.  The Board gets re-elected time and time again.  On the other hand, all the members are older white men.  One of the incumbents running, Howard Kerr, is a very conservative 91-years-old.  Among the non-incumbents there is another middle-age white man, Dan Walters, an older white woman, former Mayor Shelia Young, and a Nigerian American accountant who is also running for School Board.  Either of the last two would bring some diversity to the Board.  But is diversity what one needs in a sanitary district board? Or is it technical knowledge and familiarity with the work?  And if it’s the latter, should Kerr’s political ideas come into play?

Originally, I decided to not make any recommendations on this race.  I don’t have to vote, so I don’t really have to make up my mind.  But then I realized I wasn’t being entirely fair.  Because if I did have to vote, even if I didn’t know who my second and third votes would go, my first one would be for Dan Walters.

Dan Walters is pretty cool guy.  He is a chemical engineer, but also a policy wonk.  His political philosophy has a strong conservative/libertarian bent, and yet he is profoundly concerned with social issues.  He is very involved in Boy Scouts, for example.  Though we don’t share many political views or personality traits, I have a lot of respect for Dan.  He is intelligent – the type of person who “gets” what you are talking about -, he has a very logical mind, he is honest, he tries to be a good person.  He is willing to look at problems and issues from different perspectives. He is willing to listen.  And he loves garbage.  As a young kid, he toured a water treatment plan and has since been in love with waste management engineering. He is not running out of any political ambition, he thinks he will have fun being in this particular board.  And I think he will.

Moreover, he has actually been following the issues, he knows all about technical and policy requirements.  Truth be told, I had to stop him from going into detail.

In any case, he is really the right guy for this particular job.  If you can, vote for him.

Nov 012014
 
Len Raphael

Len Raphael

I am endorsing Len Raphael for Oakland City Auditor. Len is quirky, he is passionate, he is willing to take risks and many people are unhappy about his political actions. Perhaps trying to recall Jeanne Quan wasn’t the smartest political move, but he stood for what he believed was best for Oakland.

And, unlike his opponent, Len knows Oakland well. He’s been paying attention carefully as to what happens at City Hall, understands the financial situation of the city, and has a clue as to what agencies are in greatest need of auditing. As a CPA and former auditor himself, he knows how to go about it as well.  He has read Oakland’s budgets, he knows where the hidden problems lie.

His opponent, a Republican until the day she filed to run for Auditor (and yet, somehow she got the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement), is a nice lady but she has not paid attention to what’s going in the city.  She could not name any agencies that needed to be audited and had no actual plans about what she’d do if elected.

Len Raphael is the smart choice for Oakland Auditor and I encourage you to vote for him.

Nov 012014
 
Matt Morrison

Matt Morrison

This is a quick write-up of my recommendations for Pleasanton offices. The are based on my knowledge of the candidates

Matt Morrison is a Democrat. He is an environmentalist.  He stands against development in the Pleasanton area.  Developers don’t like him.  Developers, including James Tong and the Lim family, have an undue level of influence in the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC) , mostly through campaign manager and Executive Committee member Angela Ramirez-Holmes.   So, in one of those ironies of politics, Matt Morrison was unable to get the Democratic endorsement because he is too environmentally conscious, too anti-development, too anti-making a few people rich.

Those are exactly the reasons why I support him.  He is fighting the good fight against very wealthy, very powerful interests who are willing to sell out the people of Pleasanton for money.  He has no money, he is unlikely to win the race, but I can only hope that the citizens of Pleasanton, of all political inclinations, will vote for him.

Olivia Sanwong

Olivia Sanwong

Olivia Sanwong serves with me in the ACDCC.  She had no problems getting the Democratic endorsement, and she does deserve it.  She is intelligent, well educated, committed to Pleasanton, and will bring to the City the perspective of a young professional.

I’ve spoken with Olivia about civil liberties issues, and she is concerned about the overreached of surveillance technologies used against private citizens. As this becomes a larger issue, I think her perspective will be useful in the Council.

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

The Pleasanton School Board is in disarray.  Parents are not being heard, at least once, not even allowed to speak.  Changes are made without adequate consultation with the community.  District staff has been leaving in droves. Parents are not happy. A change is needed.

Mark Miller is a dad.  Two of his kids have graduated from Pleasanton schools. One is still in middle school.  He is a smart guy, an IT professional, with an extensive history of being involved with youth.  The Pleasanton School Board needs change, Miller has stepped up to the plate and has my endorsement.

Oct 312014
 

policestate

 

The positions below are based on candidates’ answers to questionnaires and to questions asked at candidate fora and on other public statements from the candidates.

* While the candidate currently holds that position, s/he might consider voting differently.

? The candidate has not indicated their position on this issue.

 

Mayoral Candidates

 Is in Favor of:  Diana Souza   Pauline Cutter   Dan Dillman   Gregg Daly
(write in) 
 Red Light Cameras   Y  N  N  N
 Surveillance Cameras  Y  Y  N  N
 Long Term Retention & Sharing
of License Plate Reader Data
 Y  Y*  N  N
 SLPD Armored Personnel Carrier  Y  Y*  N  N
 SLPD searching private property
without a warrant
 Y  Y*  N  N
 Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries  Y  N  N  N
 Making School District Pay
for SLPD resource officers
 Y  N  N  N
 Flying the People’s Republic of China’s
Flag Over City Hall
 Y  N  N  N

City Council District 1 Candidates

 In Favor of:  Deborah Cox   David Anderson   Ken Pon   Mike Katz-Lacabe 
 Red Light Cameras   ?  ?  ?  N
 Surveillance Cameras  Y  Y  Y  N
 Long Term Retention & Sharing
of License Plate Reader Data
 ?  ?  ?  N
 SLPD Armored Personnel Carrier  Y  N*  N*  N
 SLPD searching private property
without a warrant
 ?  ?  ?  N
 Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries  Y  N  N  N
 Making School District Pay
for SLPD resource officers
 ?  Y  ?  N
 Flying the People’s Republic of China’s
Flag Over City Hall
 N  N  N*  N
Attends City Council Meetings
& Speaks Out on Issues
 N  N  N  Y/Y

 

City Council District 3 Candidates

 In Favor of:  Lee Thomas   Allen Schoenfeld   Victor Aguilar 
 Red Light Cameras   N  N  N
 Surveillance Cameras  ?  N  N
 Long Term Retention & Sharing
of License Plate Reader Dataa
 ?  N  N
 SLPD Armored Personnel Carrier  Y*  N  N
 SLPD searching private property
without a warrant
 N  ?  N
 Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries  Y  N  N
 Making School District Pay
for SLPD resource officers
 Y  N  N
 Flying the People’s Republic of China’s
Flag Over City Hall
 N  N  N
Attends City Council Meetings
& Speaks Out on Issues
 Y/N  Y/N  N

City Council District 5 Candidates

 In Favor of:  Leah Hall   Corina Lopez   Mia Ousley  
 Red Light Cameras   ?  ?  N
 Surveillance Cameras  ?  N  N
 Long Term Retention & Sharing
of License Plate Reader Data
 ?  ?  N
 SLPD Armored Personnel Carrier  N  Y  N
 SLPD searching private property
without a warrant
 ?  ?  N
 Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries  Y  N  N
 Making School District Pay
for SLPD resource officers
 ?  N  N
 Flying the People’s Republic of China’s
Flag Over City Hall
 N  N  N
Attends City Council Meetings
& Speaks Out on Issues
 N  N  Y/Y
Oct 312014
 

jill_broadhurst_mailer_1City Council candidates in Oakland and San Leandro try to usurp the Sierra Club endorsement

The Sierra Club is not happy.  In particular, the Northern Alameda County Group of the Sierra Club seems quite angry.  Political candidates are usurping its good name and in return weakening its political power.

It started with Oakland City Council District 4 candidate Jill Broadhurst.  Broadhurst, the Executive Director of the East Bay Rental Housing Association did not get the Sierra Club endorsement.  Indeed, it was her opponent, Annie Campbell Washington, who got it.  Campbell is a pro-environment progressive. Broadhurst is not.

Jill_Broadhurst_mailer_twoIf you look at political candidate mailers, you will probably notice that many of them depict the logos of the organizations that have endorsed such candidate.  Indeed, on one of her mailers Broadhurst included the logo for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce PAC above the caption “Proudly endorsed by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.” Right next to it, she placed the Sierra Club logo.  The caption, written in smaller print, reads “Proud supporting member of the Sierra Club.”  Another mailer contained the phrase “For Jill”  in large print next to the logo of the Sierra Club. Again, the caption saying that she is a member was written in very small print.  The intent is pretty clear: to suggest to voters that Broadhurst has been endorsed by the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club was not amused.  It sent Broadhurst a cease and desist letter, stating that Broadhurst’s use of their logo infringed the Club’s trademark and that it falsely implied that she had been endorsed by them.  It threatened to sue her.

Broadhurst said she wouldn’t do it again but, of course, the damage had already been done.

greenmailerbig

Deborah Cox, who is running for San Leandro City Council District 1, was more brazen.  Rather than use the Sierra Club logo on her own literature, she spent $1,000 to buy space in the “Californians Vote Green” slate mailer and outright claimed that she had been “[e]ndorsed by Sierra Club.”

The “Californians Vote Green” mailer is a commercial enterprise not associated to any environmental organizations.  However, it’s name and the fact that it lists candidates as endorsed by the Sierra Club, misleads voters into thinking it’s an actual Sierra Club endorsement list.  When Cox’s false claim came to the attention of the Sierra Club, it may have been the proverbial stroke that broke the camel’s back.

I don’t know if Cox got a letter from the Sierra Club admonishing her, but the Chair of the Sierra Club’s Northern Alameda County Group wrote a letter to the San Leandro Times clarifying that Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez were the only endorsed candidates in San Leandro.  The Club can hope that voters who pay attention to slate mailers, also read the local newspaper. To make sure voters did get the message that Cox was not endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Club also sent out their own mailer with its logo and the heading “OFFICIAL VOTER GUIDE,” listing the candidates it actually endorsed.

This is an important matter for the Sierra Club.  It wants to make sure that its name is not associated with politicians that push anti-environmental policies, as this would tarnish their own reputation with the community.  But it also wants to reward with its endorsement candidates that commit to support sound environmental practice , thus encouraging more candidates to make such commitments.

The Sierra Club can only hope that Broadhust’s and Cox’s actions will not encourage candidates in future races to also rip off its name.  How successful Broadhurst and Cox are in the election, may very well determine how likely that is.