The Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC) is the official Democratic Party organization that represents Alameda County. Members are elected by registered Democraitc voters during presidential primaries. I was first elected to the ACDCC in 2010.

Feb 072014

Democrat Donkey

Battle for AD 15 and CD 15 Democratic endorsement moves to the State Convention

Feb 8 Update

Congress: In CD 13, Barbara Leee was recommended for endorsement, with 100% of the vote.  I was wrong about CD 15, and Eric Swalwell got the majority of the vote, though not enough to get a recommendation.  The fight for the endorsement goes up to the Convention, where it will probably come to the floor, giving Ellen Corbett an advantage. Stay tuned.  As predicted, in CD 17 Mike Honda easily got the endorsement.  Indeed, Ro Khanna did not even bother to show up to the meeting, probably thinking that his time was better spent campaigning.

Senate: Mary Hayashi did show up and made some vague accusations against Bob Wieckowskibut couldn’t get even one vote.  Wieckowski easily got the recommendation for the endorsement for SD 10, with a handful of votes going to Roman Reed.

Assembly:  I was surprised to see that a clear majority of the votes in AD 15 went to Elizabeth Echols, though not enough to break the 70% and give her the recommendation.  The endorsement thus goes to the Convention.  As predicted, Andy Katz got a few votes, but none went to either Sam Kang nor Pamela Price-Crawley.  Both civil rights lawyers were pretty impressive, however, and I’m interested in hearing more from both of them.  Tony Thurmond‘s vote count may not have impressed, but he’s a dynamic and inspiring speaker and made an impression even with my very politically jaded 12-year-old.   While Echols is likely to win at the endorsement caucus at the convention, if Thurmond can pull her name out of consent – which he may very well be able to – and send this to the floor of the convention, he has a very good chance of winning. Echols may be solid, but she’s not an exciting candidate.

Also as predicted, Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk easily got the endorsements for AD 18 and AD 20 respectively.  No endorsement recommendation was made for AD 25, and nobody got enough votes for this to go up to the convention.  Craig Steckler got the most votes, but Kansen Chu wasn’t far behind, with Teresa Cox trailing both.  Armando Gomez didn’t get any votes.  While Steckler called himself a progressive Democrat, almost all his campaign loot comes from police chiefs and law enforcement, which suggests he isn’t going to Sacramento to fight for civil liberties and against the prison-industrial complex.  Mik


The California Democratic Party will be conducting pre-endorsement conferences throughout the state this weekend.  Members of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) and other eligible Democrats will meet to listen to the different candidates that are competing for the Party’s endorsement in their respective districts and will vote on whom should get it.  In races where a Democrat is endorsed by the party, other Democrats are encouraged to drop out.

Most of Alameda County, including San Leandro, falls within the Party’s region 5, and the caucus for our region will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8, starting at 2 PM at the Laborers Local 34 hall, located at 29475 Mission Blvd in Hayward. Any Democrat is welcome to attend.

While the vote count happens after the candidates have an opportunity to speak, in reality most candidates have been going around picking up vote-by-mail ballots from their supporters.  Candidates who get 70% of the vote at the pre-endorsement conference are placed in the consent calendar for Party’s endorsement at the State Party Convention which will take place in early March – though their endorsement can be challenged with signatures of either 20% of DSCC members in their district or statewide.  If no candidate gets 70% of the vote, but at least one gets 50%, there will be an endorsement caucus at the Convention, where they will need to garner 50% or 60% of the vote (depending on incumbency status), to get on consent. The same will happen if an endorsement is challenged.

In order to qualify for the Democratic endorsement, a candidate must be a registered Democrat and pay a fee ranging from $250 to $500.

Here are the candidates who are vying for the Democratic endorsement in Region 5

Congressional District 13 

The only candidate running for the endorsement is incumbent Barbara Lee, who will easily get it.

Congressional District 15

Incumbent congressman Eric Swalwell battles State Senator Ellen Corbett for the endorsement.   My bet is that if any candidate gets the endorsement tomorrow, it’ll be Corbett.  I also bet that if one of them gets it, the other will have the endorsement challenged and it will go the Convention.

Congressional District 17

Here, congressman Mike Honda holds a significant advantage over challenger Ro Khanna.  Khanna ran a successful slate at last year’s delegate elections and he may have a few other votes, but they will likely not be enough to prevent Honda from getting the endorsement.  They may be enough for a challenge, but Honda is sure to get the endorsement at the Convention.  Linguist Philip Bralich is also running for the endorsement, but I don’t believe he’ll get even one vote.

Assembly District 15

There are no incumbents in this race, but there are five candidate vying for the endorsement.  Preliminary endorsements suggest that the two actual contenders are Alameda County Democratic Central Committee member Elizabeth Echols and former Richmond City Councilmember Tony Thurmond.  EBMUD Director  Andy Katz may get a few votes, but it seems unlikely that either civil rights attorneys Sam Kang or Pamela Price-Crawley will get any.  The latter doesn’t even have a campaign website.  My guess is that at least one of the candidates will get 50% of the vote, and the endorsement for this race will go to the Convention.

Assembly Districts 18 and 20

The only candidate running for AD 18 is incumbent Rob Bonta and for AD 20 is incumbent Bill Quirk, so both have it in the bag.

Assembly District 25

Four Democrats are vying for the open seat being left by Bob Wieckowski.  San Jose Councilmember Kansen Chu battles Ohlone Community College Board Trustee Teresa CoxMilpitas Councilmember Armando Gomez and former Fremont Police Chief Craig Steckler. I know nothing about the voters in that race, but given the crowded field it seems unlikely that anyone will get the endorsement tomorrow or even send this to the Convention.

Senate District 10

This is the race that actually makes me want to go to the conference (I already sent out my ballot).   Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski is running against former Assemblymember and convicted thief Mary HayashiAlso in the race is stem-cell-research-activist Roman Reed.  Hayashi hasn’t even bothered to set up a campaign site, and she hasn’t done any fundraising lately (though she does have a lot of money from previous races she can use), but she did apply for the Democratic endorsement, so she’s presumably running.  It’s unlikely she’ll get any endorsements votes, however.  Reed may get a few, but Wieckowski should easily get the endorsement and keep it on consent.

I’ll post results tomorrow.

Nov 072013

Democrat DonkeyI was elected to serve in the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee for 2 years, but chances are that my colleagues and I will stay for four instead.

The reason, as usual, is money.  County Committee elections have historically been held during June primary elections on even years.  As long as the Registrars of voters were issuing partisan ballots for State offices, it wasn’t a big deal to also have the Central Committees included.  But now that we have open primaries, the only partisan ballot is that for the Presidential primaries.  Registrars figured they could save millions of dollars and hundreds of hours if they could eliminate County Committee elections at other times.  Sacramento listened, and the law now is that we’ll be on the ballot only during Presidential primaries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that we automatically get to serve 4-year terms.  The law does allow County Committees to hold caucuses to elect members at other times.  I doubt, however, that many County Committees will chose to do that. Caucuses are difficult to run, expensive and not particularly democratic, so I can’t imagine large counties going for them.  Indeed, the caucuses to elect state delegates to the Democratic convention last year were filled with problems.

This means that, in all likelihood, I get to serve until 2016 before having to face re-election.  Personally, I think it’s a good thing.  It means that I can concentrate in getting really good candidates elected for office in 2014 without having to think about my own re-election.  It should also give more time for anyone who is interested to run for Central Committee, to become involved with the party (which they can, as a club member or associate) and learn the ropes before running for membership.

Jan ’14 update: It’s been confirmed. Bylaws were changed at the state party level so that Central Committee terms are now four years.

Sep 052013

Democrat DonkeyThe following resolution was unanimously passed by members of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee on Sep. 4, 2013


Whereas, the United States has accused the government of Syria of using chemical weapons against its civilian population and is, as a consequence, proposing armed intervertion in the Syrian civil war; and

Whereas, it is unclear what the effect or duration of such intervention would be, opening the door to a long term military involvement; and

Whereas, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, along with 60 of her Democratic colleagues, has proposed that the United States instead take the lead in bringing this issue before the United Nations Security Council; therefore

Be it Resolved, that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee fully supports the efforts of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and her colleagues to find positive alternatives to armed intervention by the United States in Syria; and

Be it further Resolved, that the ACDCC immediately communicate this resolution to Congresswoman Lee, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein.

Aug 292013

I agree with the 193 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are urging the President to seek Congressional approval for any military action with respect to Syria.

Congress should be shown definitive proof concerning the Syrian government’s role in the use of chemical weapons. The memory of weapons of mass destructions that failed to materialize in Iraq – which continues to undergo turmoil long after our departure – is far too fresh in many of our minds to demand anything less.

Congress must debate the wisdom of engaging in yet another military adventure in the Middle East after receiving all the independently verified facts.

John Burton

I appreciate Mr. Burton taking such a strong statement, which I support as a State party member.

May 312013

Aisha KnowlesLast year, I gave Aisha Knowles a very hard time when she was running for Alameda County Board of Education.  Aisha, at that time, had not demonstrated she understood what the Board did.

A year later, I’m happy to say that she’s proven me wrong. She’s become an extremely committed Board member, visiting the juvenile detention centers (the county Board is responsible for the education of incarcerated students) and researching first hand what needs are and are not met. She’s also taking a hands-on approach to the issues that confront other students under her jurisdiction. For example, the high school for pregnant and lactating mothers only has a prom in alternate years – which means that many students go without a prom at all.

Aisha is trying to change that, fundraising to be able to throw them that one-in-a-lifetime special night. It may seem like a little thing, but I know how incredibly difficult it was for me, in my 30’s, to be a new mother and how great my need for recreation was. We often forget that taking care of the emotional well-being of mothers is essential for the proper development of their babies. Having a prom to look forward can be a wonderful way to lift the spirits of what I’m sure are very exhausted girls, and that can only be beneficial for all. I have invited Aisha to write about her fundraiser and experiences in the Board, and she will soon. But meanwhile I want to congratulate her for taking her job as a board member seriously – more seriously than most – and working hard to make a difference