Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox is a homemaker and volunteer fundraiser. Currently she’s also working part time for Assemblymember Bill Quirk as a district aid on education issues.

Cox has chaired numerous school fundrasing ventures, from the San Leandro Education Foundation, to the campaigns to pass school bonds and a parcel tax, to PTAs. She is in the Human Services commission, has been chair of her homeowners association and has volunteered for other organizations.

She is currently running for City Council District 1. Her political involvement before the race was limited to speaking against medical marijuana dispensaries and in favor of selling the property downtown to developer David Irmer so he could develop “The Village” strip mall. She does not attend council or community meetings.

Oct 102014
 
Rob Bonta with an APD officer and Councilmember Lena Tam

Rob Bonta with an APD officer and Councilmember Lena Tam

San Leandro’s Assemblymember takes money from insurance companies and police, while supporting Benny Lee and Deborah Cox

Campaign finance disclosures were due earlier in the week and it’s always a good idea to find out who “owns” our elected officials.

I took a look at Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s backers and while unions are by far his biggest contributors, he has also taken a fair amount of money from insurance companies.

After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get Bonta elected in 2012, police unions continue to support him. It’s not a surprise. Bonta has a been an advocate for the militarization of the police, while in the Alameda City Council he voted in favor of acquiring an armored personnel carrier and while in the Assembly he has refused to carry any legislation that would put any type of limits to police power.

Other contributors include gambling interests, lawyers, AT&T and, of course, California Waste Solutions.

In all, Rob Bonta took in almost $200K in the last 3 months and over $550K this year alone, even though he is running for re-election against San Leandro’s own Republican David Erlich who has raised less than $5K.

So what has Bonta done with this money? He’s given the Democratic party about $85K, as it’s expected and, he’s supported other candidates. In San Leandro, his largess went to two candidates: Benny Lee and Deborah Cox. They both got $1K. Not surprisingly, they are both heavily backed by the police department and are expected to rubber stamp whatever the police puts before them (Lee has so far).

One person Bonta has not endorsed is Councilmember Pauline Cutter, who is running for Mayor of San Leandro . Now, everyone in the Alameda County Democratic Party and the Alameda Labor council, in addition to the political establishment in San Leandro, has rallied behind Pauline. While she is not the most progressive candidate, she is a solid Democrat, a hard worker and the most independent member of the City Council. She is not a rubber stamp for the City Manager/Police Chief, which is why the Police Union endorsed Diana Souza. If Bonta wasn’t in the pocket of the police union, he would have likely endorsed Cutter by now.  Endorsing Souza would be a losing proposition, after supporting the raising of the Chinese flag, voting in favor of red light cameras and taking money from California Waste Solutions (CWS), Souza is likely to come out third on the race, behind Dan Dillman.   Bonta’s support of pro-police/pro-Chinese flag/pro-CWS candidates extends to his home city of Alameda, where he is now backing Stewart Chen.

Ultimately, politicians cater to their backers because they help them not just be elected, but become more powerful within the political structure.  As long as voters automatically elect incumbents, this will remain the case.  But the open primary system may make it easier for Democratic candidates to lounge successful challenges against Democratic incumbents – in particular when these tacitly support unpopular positions such as raising the blood soaked Chinese flag over our cities.

Oct 102014
 
Mike Katz-Lacabe

Mike Katz-Lacabe

The race for City Council District 1 features four very different candidates with very diverse backgrounds.  Mike Katz-Lacabe, my husband, is an IT security professional, a twice elected member of the School Board and a human rights & privacy rights activist.   David Anderson is a retired sheet metal worker who moved to San Leandro a few years ago.  Ken Pon is a self-employed accountant, very active in the Downtown Business Association and other civic organizations.  Deborah Cox is a home maker and prodigious fundraiser, who has chaired several community organizations, mostly related to education.  They will be elected through ranked choice voting, which allows voter to rank up to three candidates in their order of preference.   In San Leandro, all voters are able to vote for all City Council and School Board seats.

My recommendations for this race are:

First Choice: Mike Katz-Lacabe
Second Choice: Ken Pon
Third Choice: David Anderson

FIRST CHOICE: MIKE KATZ-LACABE

It won’t surprise anyone that my first choice for this district is my husband, Mike Katz-Lacabe.  I could claim to be unbiased, but I can’t possibly be so.  I know him much more than any of the other candidates and I married the man, in part, because I appreciate his qualities.   Many of those qualities, though not all, will make him be a great city council member.  The best I can do for my readers  is to be as candid as possible about both his strengths and faults and let the voters decide.

Mike’s greatest strength on this race is that he’s the only candidate who knows what’s going on at City Hall.  Not only has he either attended or listened to every City Council meeting for the last four years, but he actually reads the background materials and does his own research.  That’s how he discovered that, unbeknownst to the City Council, the surveillance cameras they voted to approve would have hidden microphones.  He found out the San Leandro Police  Department would be getting an armored personnel carrier by looking through the minutes of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.  Simply said, there is nobody in San Leandro who knows more about what’s going on in town and who is most committed to finding out what’s left hidden.

Indeed, though Mike is an unapologetic liberal, it was his knowledge and understanding of the City’s financial situation which got him the endorsement of the Oakland Tribune.  “A school board trustee, Katz-Lacabe stood out for his comprehension of the debt the city faces.”

Mike is also uncommonly intelligent and competent.  While it’s the former that I cherish most as his wife, it’s the latter which made him succeed both in the School Board and in his career.  When push comes to shove, you want people in power who can both understand the big picture and come up with solutions to short and long term problems.  The flipside is that when you are competent, people come to rely on you and you end up being pulled in too many directions.

One of the qualities that drew me most to Mike was his intrinsic morality.  He knows right from wrong, and he strives to do the former.  This is a very rare quality in a human being, much less in a politician.  He is committed to human rights, social justice and to make people’s lives better.  If he wasn’t an atheist, he’d be a great Christian.

Finally, Mike’s social skills have served him very well in the School Board and I think they will continue to do so in the City Council.  Unlike me, Mike doesn’t make many enemies.  He treats everyone with respect and receives it in turn.  He believes in the need for collaboration and therefore he doesn’t burn bridges.

I am concerned, however, about Mike’s effectiveness as a legislator.  In the School Board, he was  unable to pass progressive policies such as banning the teaching of overtly religious songs to elementary school children, de-emphasizing standardized testing and passing a district-wide research-based homework policy.

In my opinion Mike’s greatest flaw as a Board member has been his unwillingness or inability to hold the Superintendent and staff accountable for significant gaffes.  For example, when then Superintendent Cindy Cathey attended a City Council meeting to speak against marijuana dispensaries, he did not publicly call her out on this.  Cathey did it at the request of the Chief of Police and without informing the Board, which constitutes an abuse of power that merited a censure.  I can only hope Mike will take a stronger attitude towards the City Manager, if he blindsides the Council in a similar manner.

More on Mike Katz-Lacabe: Candidate questionnaire, candidate statement, Smart Voter, Facebook, comments at Council meetings, news articles quoting Mike, SL Times’ candidate profile, tweeter: @slbytes

SECOND CHOICE: KEN PON

Ken Pon is not a particularly strong candidate.  Though he is an accountant, he has demonstrated a lack of knowledge about the City’s finances.  He has not been attending City Council meetings and his knowledge of what’s going on in the City seems sketchy. He would not answer the Nextdoor/SLT candidate questionnaire.  On the plus side, Ken Pon does have legislative experience – he served two terms in the School Board – and while he lost re-election after a financial scandal, he at least understands how a body of this type works.  City Council member Ursula Reed, who had neither held elected office nor attended Council meetings before being elected, famously said that it took her a whole term to learn the job.  Pon is likely to need less time.   Pon also seems less likely to be a pawn for the City Manager/Police Chief.  He is not blindly supporting measure HH and he is not as beholden to the police union as his opponents.

More on Kenneth Pon: Candidate Statement, Smart Voter, Website, Facebook page, APA Questionnaire, SL Times’ candidate profile

THIRD CHOICE: DAVID ANDERSON

I have decided to recommend David Anderson as my third choice vote after the last candidate forum, where the differences between Anderson and Deborah Cox became clear.  While they are both conservative and pro-law enforcement, Anderson is committed on hearing what the community has to say, while Cox is mostly interested in doing what the Police tells her.  When asked how they’d vote on the City acquiring an armored personnel carrier,  Anderson said he was personally against it but would hold community fora to hear what the citizens had to say. Cox was only interested in talking to the police about it.

David Anderson and Deborah Cox would both, however,  make terrible additions to the City Council.   Neither of them has been able to articulate any specific policy or plan they would pursue if elected, neither seems to have even the most basic understanding of how the City Council and City Hall work, neither attends City Council meetings, and Cox’ only policy contributions have been to advocate against medical marijuana dispensaries (a position she abandoned when she sought the Democratic Party’s endorsement) and for the closed sale of the city-owned former downtown Albertson’s property to developer David Irmer, one of her campaign contributors.  Moreover, neither was willing/able to return the SLT/Nextdoor candidate questionnaire and at the candidate fora both candidates said nothing but platitudes, and not particularly well articulated ones. Moreover, they are both supported by the Benny Lee camp. Anderson features several photos of himself with Benny Lee on his fliers while Lee’s close associates are advocating for Cox.

More on Deborah Cox: Candidate Statement, Smart Voter, Website, Facebook page, APA Questionnaire, SL Times’ candidate profile

More on David Anderson: Candidate Statement,  Smart VoterAPA Questionnaire, SL Times’ candidate profile

Sep 172014
 

In the last week there have been two poorly-advertised and poorly-attended Mayoral and City Council candidate fora in San Leandro.  Mike Katz-Lacabe tweeted from the Mayoral fora.  He’s running for City Council himself, so he couldn’t report on that part of the fora, though he did note some of the “lightening questions” from the first forum.

Update: See also responses to the APA Caucus questionnaire below.

City Council Candidates

All San Leandro City Council candidates favored a marina with small boats – in other words, no support for paying to dredge the channel.

All San Leandro City Council candidates said that they did not support surveillance cameras throughout city. Leah Hall was late so no answer

San Leandro City Council candidate Deborah Cox said she supports marijuana dispensary but spoke against it at June 18, 2012, City Council meeting

All San Leandro City Council candidates say they support marijuana dispensary except Lee Thomas.

All San Leandro City Council candidates support ranked choice voting except Dist. 1 candidates David Anderson & Deborah Cox.

Mayoral Candidates

Dan Dillman says San Leandro’s pressing problem is perception. It’s a beautiful city.

Pauline Cutter says San Leandro’s most pressing problem is economics.

Diana Souza says San Leandro’s most pressing problem are the streets.  (The street conditions decreased every year she’s been a Councilmember).

Mayoral candidates on Marina: Cutter: exciting new development planned. Dillman: what voters want. Souza: new restaurants, hotel, conference center

San Leandro mayor candidate Souza asks for other candidates’ views on rent stabilization. Cutter: we need to consider. Dillman: what voters want.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on city staffing: Souza & Cutter: more cops. Dillman: use police from CHP, BART, Sheriff, Parks.

San Leandro mayoral candidate Diana Souza says working poor can be helped by recreational programs for youth, seniors and adults.

Breaking news: All San Leandro mayoral candidates support transparency at City Hall. Cutter & Dillman mention improving meeting minutes.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on red light cameras: Cutter and Dillman oppose. Souza supports. Thinks they save lives.

San Leandro mayor candidates on SLPD acquisition of armored personnel carrier: Dillman opposed, Cutter researching, Souza supports.

San Leandro mayor candidates on Measure HH: (sales tax increase for 30 years) Dillman opposed to length. Cutter & Souza support HH.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether they support marijuana dispensary: Cutter and Dillman: yes; Souza: No.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether to keep ranked choice voting: Cutter says yes, Souza says no & Dillman says “what voters want.”

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on flying the flag of other countries: Cutter says no, Souza says yes, and Dillman says: whatever voters want.

Note: During the interviews for the Democratic Party endorsement, Souza and Cutter clarified that they are in favor of surveillance cameras, just not throughout the city.

APA Caucus Questionnaires

While many organizations ask candidates to fill out questionnaires, very few actually make the answers public.  The Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County is the exception.  Here are the answers from San Leandro Candidates to APA Caucus questionnaires:

San Leandro, Mayor

San Leandro, City Council

District 1

District 3

District 5

Sep 092014
 

Democrat DonkeyList of Candidates I’ve Pulled and Nominated for the Alameda Democratic party endorsement

(Updated with Results)

As a member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, I have the privilege of voting for the party’s endorsement in local, non-partisan races.  All registered Democrats running for office in Alameda county are eligible for the party endorsement.  Those who apply are interviewed by the Executive Committee, which can put candidates in the consent calendar.  Two members acting together can pull a candidate from the consent calendar and/or nominate a candidate for the endorsement.  All candidates nominated and pulled are then interviewed by the whole Committee (or whichever members show up to the endorsement meeting).  All members then vote on which candidate they want to get the endorsement.  The endorsement meeting for 2014 will be on Saturday, Sept. 13th.

The Committee has 49 members who are eligible to vote, including 16 ex-officio members.  These are Democrats who either represent a part of Alameda county in Congress or the Legislature, owho hold statewide office and live in Alameda county,  or who serve as regional directors for the party and represent parts of Alameda county.

To get the endorsement a candidate needs to get 60% of the cast votes.  Not all members vote, and most members don’t vote in most races.  So while my single vote may seem paltry, in some races it can really make a difference.

I take the whole nominating and voting process very seriously.  I was elected to the ACDCC by the people, and I feel I’m accountable to them.  Moreover, I believe that every right, and in particular those rights that are not universal, carries with it the responsibility of exercising it conscientiously.

For this reason, I make a solid effort to learn about all the Democratic candidates for office in Alameda county and nominate those whom I think hold the liberal principles I want the Democratic party to stand for.  As nominating a candidate often necessitates pulling others, I also pull perfectly acceptable candidates.

Now, this screening of candidates should be the job of the Executive Committee.  Unfortunately, the decisions of the Executive Committee are not always based on who is the best candidate.  Politics, petty rivalries and even profit (some members of the Executive Committee are paid campaign consultants/treasurers for candidates up for the endorsement) come into play.  So I feel it’s my responsibility to look at all candidates independently.

To judge which candidates I want to nominate and/or pull, I look at candidates’ websites, search for news about them and, in the case of Mayor/Council and School Board candidates, I send them a questionnaire.  I meet and speak on the phone with any candidate that is interested in doing so.  I won’t necessarily vote for the candidates that I nominate, in some cases where all candidates are equally good or bad I may vote “no endorsement”, but in all cases I think they are good Democrats that deserve to appear before the whole Committee.  That said, there are many Committee members who would be happier if they had to listen to fewer candidates, either because they trust the Executive Committee, they don’t believe they should vote in races outside their district, or vote for a candidate for reasons other than merit.

For this election, I pulled 9 candidates in 5 races, nominated 10 and would have pulled/nominated a number of others if I could have found someone to seconded me.

Candidates that I pulled and nominated

Berkeley City Council District 1: Pulled Linda Maio, nominated Alejandro Soto-Vigil

Reason: Alejandro’s political views and social justice values are very aligned with mine.  He is smart, committed and I think he has the passion to become a progressive leader at a time when we are in desperate need of them. I had a great conversation with him.  I was unable to find a non-city address for incumbent Linda Maio. Result: Linda Maio got the endorsement. She won re-election

Berkeley City Council District 8: Pulled Lori Droste, nominated Jacquelyn McCormick and George Beier

Reason: I met with Lori and was extremely impressed with her. I pulled her, however, because Angela Ramirez-Holmes is her campaign manager.  That made me doubt the integrity of Lori’s placement in the consent calendar.  Lori had been unaware of Angela’s influence in the Committee and had the integrity to agree to being pulled.  I nominated Jacquelyn and George because both of them responded to the questionnaire I sent and their political views also seem to reflect mine. Result: Lori Droste got the endorsement. She won the election.

Berkeley School Board: Pulled Joshua Daniels, Karen Hemphill and Julie Sinai and nominated Ty Alper.

Reason: A father of kids who attend BUSD, Alper has an impressive resume as a social justice lawyer and now director of the death penalty clinic at Boalt. He has been endorsed by liberal hero Robert Reich.  I think that he deserves a chance to make his case.  To nominate him I had to pull at least one person from consent, and it seemed most fair to pull them all. Result: the incumbents got the endorsement. Ty Alper was elected to the School Board, along with incumbents Daniels and Hemphill.

Oakland City Council District 6: nominated Desley Brooks

Reason: There were no candidates on consent for this race.  Brooks was the main voice at the Oakland City Council advocating that the Domain Awareness Center – a facility that would integrate mass surveillance throughout Oakland – be restricted to operating in the Port of Oakland.  She took the comments from the ACLU seriously.  Without her incisive questioning of staff, I think the vote would have been different and the DAC would include all of Oakland. Result: no endorsement was made on this race. Brooks won re-election.

Oakland School Board District 2: nominated Aimee Eng

Reason: Neither candidate had been nominated for the endorsement.  Eng responded to me when I reached out to her with my questionnaire, while her opponent didn’t. I’d like to hear her make a case for the endorsement. Result: Eng got the endorsement and won the election.

Oakland School Board District 4: nominated Karl Debro

Reason: Debro was a teacher at San Leandro High and co-founded a gay-straight alliance on campus. When a lesbian student couple was harassed, Debro and other teachers spoke about it to their classes.  While the white teachers weren’t disciplined for this, Debro, an African American, was.  He sued the district, settled for $1M, and as a result of his suit the district implemented a pretty successful pro-diversity/anti-bullying curriculum.  I respect his experience and his stands. Result: Debro got the endorsement. Debro lost the election.

Pleasanton Mayor: nominated Matt Morrison

Reason: I was impressed with Matt Morrison when we interviewed him last June, and I was also impressed by his answers to my questionnaire.  He is the only Democrat running in that race against a Republican incumbent. Result: no endorsement was made on this race. Morrison lost the election.

Pleasanton School Board: pulled Jeff Bowser and Joan Laursen, nominated Mark Miller

Reason: Miller reached out to me.  I was impressed by his qualifications, platform and commitment to transparency.  This contrasts with Jeff Bowser whom, as Board president, prevented parents to speak at a School Board meeting, in violation of the Brown act.   I don’t know Laursen well, but it seemed fair to pull both of them. Result: the incumbents got the endorsement. Miller won the election along with Laursen.

San Leandro City Council District 1: pulled Deborah Cox

Reason: Deborah Cox, who is running against my husband Mike Katz-Lacabe,  does not hold the progressive values that the Democratic party should spouse (e.g. she is a vocal opponent of marijuana dispensaries).  Cox is represented by Ramirez-Holmes and her candidacy has been pushed forward by ACDCC chair Robin Torello Result: no endorsement was made on this race. Cox won the election.

San Lorenzo School Board: nominated Steve Kirk

Reason: This district includes part of San Leandro.  There are two spots on this race and only one candidate, Janet Zamudio, was put on consent.  Kirk and Zamudio are running together. They have both received the endorsement of the teacher’s union. The current incumbents have been there for many years and do not reflect the diversity of the district. If elected, Kirk will be the first openly LGBT official in San Leandro. Result: Kirk got the endorsement. Kirk lost the election.

Peralta CCD Trustee District 5: pulled William Riley, nominated David Ralston

Reason: I looked at this race after a colleague suggested it.  The Democratic party has a tendency to endorse incumbents automatically which concerns me.  Ralston has been in office for 16 years now and I think it’s important for him to explain what he has to give the district that he hasn’t already given, and for the challenger to make a case as to what he wants to do differently.  That said, this is the only race for which I didn’t actually reach out to the candidates. Result: Riley got the endorsement and was re-elected.

Wanted to pull / nominate but couldn’t find a second

Alameda City Council: pull Stewart Chen.

Reason: Chen has shown a great insensitivity towards victims of human rights violations in China and Tibet by advocating the flying of the flag of the People’s Republic of Chinaat City Hall.  In addition, Chen’s unwillingness to own up to the insurance fraud charges to which he plead guilty years ago and his advocating in favor of California Waste Solutions in front of the Alameda City Council call into question his integrity. He also didn’t respond to my questionnaire. Stewart lost re-election.

Albany School Board: nominate Charles Blanchard

Blanchard responded to my questionnaire and I very much liked his answers.  I also researched him and he seems to have been very much liked when he was in the School Board before.  He had not been previously interviewed by the screening committee, as he had not seen the invitation to apply for the nomination. No other candidate has been  nominated in this race. Blanchard was elected.

Castro Valley School Board: pull Janice Friesen and/or Gary Howard, nominate Dorothy Theodore

Reason: I spoke at length with Theodore and she impressed me. She has young children in the district and thus has an inside view to what is working and what is not.  The Castro Valley School Board messed up big time last year when they tried to move a preschool into the grounds of an existing school, eliminating needed open space.  They did this without appropriate communication and buy-in from parents.  Theodore was recruited from the group of parents who organized to oppose it.  In our conversation, Theodore showed herself to be intelligent, concerned about issues of social inclusion and diversity, and aware of how the schools are working.  In order to nominate her, however, I would have to pull at least one incumbent.  I was able to get a second to nominate Theodore but not to pull the incumbents.  Dorothy Theodore was elected.

San Leandro School Board Area 4: nominate Latrina Dumas

Reason:  This race is for the School Board seat my husband will be vacating.  I would have let this race go, but someone else nominated Latrina’s opponent, Leo Sheridan.  Sheridan doesn’t have a platform to speak of, doesn’t understand how the district works, did not reach out to Mike – the current officeholder – and would not meet with me to speak about his candidacy.  I was predisposed to dislike Latrina because she ran against Mike in 2010 and because during the period where the School Board was considering firing Chris Lim, Latrina spoke out often and in very harsh terms to School Board members.  However, I met with her and found her to be intelligent, very committed to education, a fighter, and someone who respects and cherishes each child for what they have to offer.  All in all she is a very positive person, but also one that spouses very progressive values.  I think she’d be a good addition to the School Board. Dumas ended up not campaigning and Sheridan won the election.

Would have pulled / nominated if someone else asked me to:

Alameda Mayor pull Marie Gilmore to nominate Trish Spencer.

Reason: My main issue with Gilmore is that she has not shown much interest in curtailing the militarization of police in Alameda (e.g. she voted in favor of having the police department acquire an armored vehicle).   I spoke at length with Spencer when she was up for the Democratic endorsement in her race for School Board and again now, and her commitment to both social justice and civil liberties matches mine.  Spencer was elected Mayor.

Oakland School Board Dist. 4: nominate Nina Senn

Reason: This was a race in which no candidate had been nominated.  Senn reached out to me after I contacted her, and I would have seconded her nomination if another member who knew her well had asked me to.  However, she is running against Karl Debro, so I won’t be voting for her. Senn won the election.

Candidates on Consent

These are the candidates who remained in the consent calendar and who will automatically receive the Democratic endorsement on Saturday:

  • Karen Monroe, Alameda County Superintendent (won)
  • Mary Gilmore, Alameda Mayor (lost)
  • Jim Oddie and Stewart Chen, Alameda City Council (won)
  • Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley City Council Dist 4* (won)
  • Ann-Marie Hoggan, Berkeley Auditor* (won)
  • James Chang and Paola Laverde-Levand, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board* (both won)
  • Kasie Hidenbrand, Dublin Mayor* (lost)
  • Don Biddle, Abe Gupta, Dublin City Council* (both won)
  • Scott Donahue, Diane Martinez, Emeryville City Council (both won)
  • Raj Salwan, Fremont City Council (lost)
  • John Marchand, Livermore Mayor* (won)
  • Alan Nagy, Newark Mayor (won)
  • Mike Bucci and Francisco Preciado, Newark City Council (won and lost)
  • Olivia Sanwong, Pleasanton City Council* (lost)
  • Victor Aguilar, San Leandro City Council District 3 (lost)
  • Corina Lopez, San Leandro City Council District 5 (won)
  • Emily Duncan, Pat Gacoscos and Kashmir Singh Shahi, Union City City Council* (won, won and lost)
  • Isabel Dvorsky, Chabot/Las Positas Community College District* (won)
  • Vivien Larsen, Ohlone CCD Area 1 (not on ballot)
  • Janet Giovannini-Hill, Ohlone CCD Area 2
  • Ishan Shah, Ohlone CCD Area 2 short term, *(not on ballot)
  • Linda Handy, Peralta CCD Dist. 3* (not on ballot)
  • Solana Henneberry, Alameda School Board (lost)
  • Janice Friesen and Gary Howard, Castro Valley School Board (lost and won)
  • John Affeldt, Miguel Dwin and Christian Patz, Emeryville School Board (won, lost and won)
  • Moina Shaq and Dax Choqsi, Fremont School Board (both lost)
  • Lisa Brunner, Hayward School Board (won)
  • Sarabjit Kaur Cheema and Lance Nishihira, New Haven School Board (won and lost)
  • Nancy Thomas and Christopher Wecks, Newark School Board (won and lost)
  • Shanthi Gonzales, Oakland School Board Dist 6 (won)
  • Lance James, San Leandro School Board Area 2 * (not on ballot)
  • Evelyn Gonzales, San Leandro School Board At-large (won)
  • Janet Zamudio, San Lorenzo School Board (won)
  • Elsa Ortiz, ACT  Ward 3 * (not on ballot)
  • Mark Williams, ACT Ward 4* (won)
  • Kewal Singh, ACT Ward 5* (lost)
  • Paul Sethy, Alameda County Water District* (won)
  • Lena Tam, BART Dist 4 (lost)
  • John Maher, Castro Valley Sanitary District (lost)
  • Tracy Jensen and Jim Meyers, Alameda Healthcare District* (won and lost)
  • Andy Katz, EBMUD Dist 4* (not on ballot)
  • Ayn Wieskamp, EBRP dist 5* (won)
  • Paul Hodges, Hayward Parks  (not on ballot)
  • Shelia Young, Oro Loma Sanitary district* (won)

 

Aug 132014
 

These are the candidates that will be vying for elected office representing San Leandrans.  The candidate’s ballot designations are in parenthesis. Candidate statements, when available, follow the description of each candidate. Remember, all San Leandro voters get to vote for all members of the San Leandro City Council and School Board, regardless of the district/area they represent.

San Leandro Mayor

Pauline Cutter

Pauline Cutter

Pauline Cutter (City Councilmember/Teacher) is the clear favorite to win this race. She served for many years on the San Leandro School Board, and was elected Board president three times, so she has experience as the executive officer of a deliberative body. She won her seat on the City Council four years ago in a competitive race, and has experience campaigning both for herself and others. She has a good relationship with labor – teachers’ union excluded – and is likely to win the Democratic endorsement. As the clear favorite, she’s also likely to be able to fundraise the money she needs to win this race. Politically, Pauline hugs the center. She’s a workhorse and very detail-oriented. She is probably the most independent voice in the council, there have been at least a couple of 6-1 votes, where she’s the 1. If elected, she promises to be a full-time Mayor. Candidate Statement. More on Pauline

Dan Dillman

Dan Dillman

Dan Dillman (Businessman), the owner of the Bal Theater, is an amazing man. He has worked incredibly hard to renovate the theater and bring options for entertainment to San Leandro (much to the opposition of City Hall), as well as to revitalize the south area of town. He is also someone who is not afraid to speak his mind and who brings a level of love and laughter to San Leandro that make this City great. He is not a serious candidate; in the past he has failed to do what it takes to win a campaign: raise money and walk, but he will bring issues to the debate: privacy, civil liberties, freedom, that the other candidates rather ignore.  Candidate Statement. More on Dan

Diana Souza

Diana Souza

Diana Souza (San Leandro Councilmember/Businesswoman) is running for Mayor because she has termed out from City Council. Her tenure on the Council has been uneventful. She got elected with the single goal of getting a competition swimming pool built in the Manor, and when that couldn’t happen, she basically became a second vote for Joyce Starosciak first and, after Joyce left, the City Manager. Her true puppeteer is the San Leandro Police. Diana, however, has a record of not accomplishing anything beyond trying to get the Chinese flag to be flown over San Leandro City Hall. Given that her name recognition is either negative or poor, she is unlikely to present a real threat to Cutter. Candidate Statement. More on Diana

San Leandro City Council, District 1

This is for the Bay-O-Vista/Estudillo Estates/Downtown seat that Michael Gregory is being termed out of.

Mike Katz-Lacabe

Mike Katz-Lacabe

Mike Katz-Lacabe (Trustee, San Leandro School District Board of Education) starts off as the favorite in this race. He was elected to the San Leandro School Board after a competitive race, and has been elected School Board President twice. He has been endorsed by the Alameda Labor Council. Mike has high-name recognition also due to his involvement in the community. He blogs at San Leandro Bytes, is a frequent speaker at City Council meetings and is often quoted in the paper. He is perhaps best known for his work on behalf of privacy rights, but his real strengths come from his vision for the City – he’s the main proponent of turning the 9th grade campus into a High Tech High School -, his thorough understanding of how the city is run and his common sense. Mike is my husband. Candidate Statement. More on Mike

David Anderson

David Anderson

David L. Anderson Sr. (Retired Sheetmetal Worker) is a retired sheetmetal worker and former Oakland School Board member. He gained notoriety in Oakland after he tried to bribe then OUSD laywer Dan Siegel. Siegel recorded the bribe offer, and while no charges were filed, Anderson lost his re-election. Anderson ran for the District 1 seat against incumbent Michael Gregory in 2010 and lost. Candidate Statement. More on David

kenpon

Kenneth Pon

Cheery accountant Kenneth Pon (Certified Public Accountant) is the comic relief candidate for this race. Pon, who served a term in the San Leandro School Board before being ousted by now-Mayor Stephen Cassidy, is known for his bon vivant predisposition, humor and sociability. He’s very involved in the downtown business association, Rotary and other organizations. When he previously ran for office, he proved to be a very lazy campaigner. He’s likely to play the “Sara Mestas”, “Justin Hutchinson” wannabe spoiler role on this race and – he hopes – pick up votes from conservatives who don’t like Cox. Like Cox, he doesn’t speak at City Council matters much, but he did in support of Walmart coming to San Leandro. Candidate Statement. More on Kenneth

deborahcox

Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox  (Public Policy Analyst) is a fundraising dynamo. She is in the boards of many organizations and has helped raise money for schools and the now defunct conservatory theater group.  Her crowning achievement as the head of the Estudillo Estates association was to get a marker for the neighborhood.  She’s also in the Human Services Commission.  Deborah is rarely seen at City Council meetings, but she’s gone to speak against medical marijuana dispensaries and in favor of selling the former Albertson’s property for 1/3 of what the City paid for it, in order to build Village Marketplace (the new location for CVS). What Deborah is not is a public policy analyst, she works as a field representative for Assemblyman Quirk on education matters – which is a very different thing.  Candidate Statement. More on Deborah

 

San Leandro City Council, District 3

This is for the seat that Diana Souza currently occupies.

Lee Thomas

Lee Thomas

BZA member Lee Thomas (Family Services Manager) has been running for a year, so I think we can assume he’s on the lead. Thomas is a nice and jovial guy, it’s hard not to like him, but he is unwilling to commit himself to positions. For example, he was at the meeting where the Council voted to raise the Chinese flag over City Hall, but he wouldn’t speak publicly on it. He belongs to an extreme right fundamentalist church, which opposes medical marijuana. Candidate Statement. More on Lee

Victor Aguilar

Victor Aguilar

Victor Aguilar Jr. (Accounts Manager) is a young account manager at a legal discovery firm. He studied political science in college, worked as a field rep for a City Council member in LA, and is now putting roots in San Leandro. Victor is very active with LGBT rights organizations. Candidate Statement. More on Victor

Allen Schoenfeld (Salesperson) graduated from San Leandro High in 1971. He keeps a very low profile online. No candidate statement filed. More on Allen

San Leandro City Council, District 5

With Pauline Cutter running for Mayor, her seat in the City Council is now open.  This district includes the north-eastern part of San Leandro.

Mia Ousley

Mia Ousley

Mia Ousley (Financial Analyst) is the co-founder of the successful Coalition to Save San Leandro Hospital, as well as the editor of the newsletter of the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association and active MoveOn.org organizer, among other things.  She is a go-getter and has worked on behalf of issues as diverse as getting the City Council to legalize urban farming, expanding entertainment options and developing community-centric public safety initiatives.  Mia is currently a member of the Rent Review Board.  She has worked in campaigns for Obama, Pete Stark, Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Morgan Mack-Rose, Hermy Almonte  and Ursula Reed, among others.  Mia actually likes campaigning, which gives her a leg up on this race.  Full disclosure, Mia is my friend and I’m helping her with her race. Candidate Statement. More on Mia

Corina Lopez

Corina Lopez

Corina Lopez (Trustee, San Leandro School District Board of Education) is currently on the San Leandro School Board, after running unopposed in 2012. Previously, she ran against Pauline Cutter for District 5 and lost.  Before that she was in the City’s Human Services commission.  Corina serves in the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee with me and I consider her a friend.  Corina grew up in Soledad as the daughter of farm workers, made her way to Princeton and now runs an IT company with her husband.  She has been endorsed by the Alameda County Labor Council. Candidate Statement. More on Corina

Leah Hall

Leah Hall

Leah Hall (Community Organizer) is, well, one of those characters that make San Leandro such an amusing town. She’s very active online, a member of the Human Services Commission and a big lover of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Unfortunately, she’s nowhere as funny as her Comedy Central role models, so while her role in the race is that of comedic relief, she’ll probably leave more people puzzled than laughing. Candidate Statement. More on Leah

San Leandro School Board, At Large

Jason Toro resigned from the School Board to apply for a job as director of the new student health clinic (a job he got).  That means that his seat is open and anyone in San Leandro can run to finish his 2-year term.

Evelyn Gonzalez

Evelyn Gonzalez

Evelyn Gonzalez (Community Volunteer) is a mother of three kids that have been making their way through San Leandro Schools.  She has always been extremely involved with the schools, serving in PTAs and school councils, and helping with fundraising.  When McKinley Elementary needed a new computer lab, Mike Katz-Lacabe contacted Evelyn.  Even though her kids weren’t there, she was able to put in a fundraising plan and in no time we had the computers we needed.  Evelyn, a theologian by training, is very involved in the social justice work in her local Parish. Candidate Statement.

Monique Tate (Parent/Administrative Assistant) is an SLUSD parent who is in the LCAP Design Team.  She seems to work as an administrative assistant in the Alameda County Office of Education – which might bring conflict of interest issues.

Peter Oshinski (Child Nutrition Administrator) has lived with his partner in the Broadmoor for the last four years. They don’t have children.  Peter is a former instructor at the California Culinary Academy and now works in food services for a school district.   He does not have a history of involvement with San Leandro schools. Candidate Statement.

Elsie “Jeanne” Kinkella (Retired School Teacher) graduated from San Leandro High in 1962.  She worked for the New Haven Unified School District.

San Leandro School Board, Area 4

Several candidates are vying to replace Mike Katz-Lacabe, who is running for City Council. None of the candidates have been attending School Board meetings until recently.

Latrina Dumas  (Property Manager/Landlord) is a parent at San Leandro High.   She ran against Mike Katz-Lacabe in 2008, because of Katz-Lacabe’s vote to fire superintendent Chris Lim.  Dumas was an ardent Lim supporter.

Leo Sheridan

Leo Sheridan

Leo Sheridan (Businessman/Parent) is parent at Monroe Elementary.  He’s in the Dad’s Club and LCAP team. He works for a paint distribution company. He has refused to meet with me to answer questions as to his qualifications and plans if he’s elected. Candidate Statement.

Chike C. Udemezue (Financial Analyst/Parent) has to have the coolest candidate name in San Leandro. He seems to be a government worker.  He shares his name with a a writer of self-published Nigerian accounting books, and I can only hope they are one and the same. I have learned that he is the brother of Uche Udemezue, the Engineering & Transporation director for the City.

San Lorenzo School Board

Several candidates, including the incumbents, have filed for the two at-large seats on the Board.

Isabel Polvorosa

Isabel Polvorosa

Isabel Polvorosa (Incumbent) has been in the San Lorenzo School Board since 2002, this would be her fourth term in office.  She is a spunky lady, but as I have not followed the doings of the San Lorenzo School Board I know very little about how she’s done there.

At 89-years-old (you read right) incumbent Helen T. Randall  (San Lorenzo Unified School District Governing Board Member) is the second oldest candidate running for office in San Leandro.  She has been in the San Lorenzo School Board for 20 years.  Before that, she was a secretary at the San Lorenzo School district.

Steven Kirk

Steven Kirk

Steve Kirk (Banker/Financial Adviser) is secretary/treasurer at the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association, where he’s live since 1997.  He works in the financial services industry.  He was very involved in the campaign to re-elect Barak Obama as President. He has been endorsed by the San Lorenzo teachers union. Candidate Statement.

Ronald Joseph Pereira II (Retired Teacher)

Janet Zamudio

Janet Zamudio

Janet Zamudio (Family Program Administrator), she seems like an obvious choice for voters.  She is Director of Parent Services at Children’s Council of San Francisco, and has a BA in Social Welfare/Education from Berkeley, and and MA and EdD in Education, Leadership in Early Childhood from Mills College.  She is the mother of three kids attending San Lorenzo public schools. She has been endorsed by the San Lorenzo teachers union. Candidate Statement.

Guillermo Nevárez (Substitute Teacher) is an activity director for the city of Newark and a substitute teacher for Hayward Unified.  He is a new father and was Mark Salina’s campaign manager.

isobel Dvorsky

Isobel Dvorsky

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District – Area 2

Isobel Dvorsky (Educator), the incumbent, has been representing San Leandro in the Chabot board since 1985

Gene Judson (Higher Education Consultant).  He’s a former San Lorenzo School Board member.  A Republican Mormon, Judson lost his seat after one term in 2008.

 

Oro Loma Sanitary District Board of Directors

The Oro Loma Sanitary District board consists of five old white men, four of whom have served for at least 20 years.  Three seats are open, but only two incumbents are running. Board members receive about $1500 of compensation a month plus medical/dental insurance.

Timothy P. Becker (Director, Oro Loma Sanitary District) is the newest director . He was appointed in 2007, and then elected in 2008.   He works in environmental services.

At 91-years-old, incumbent Howard Kerr (Director, Oro Loma Sanitary District) has the honor of being the oldest candidate for office in San Leandro. He has been on the Oro Loma board for 28 years, before that he served on the San Leandro City Council.  Kerr is an “old San Leandro” guy, representing the values of what was “lily white” San Leandro.

Shelia Young

Shelia Young

This will be former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young‘s (Business/Environmental Consultant) third attempt to get onto the Oro Loma board.  She has high name recognition, which will help her as one of the incumbents is not running. Candidate Statement.

Chike C. Udemezue (Financial Analyst) is Nigerian and the brother of Uche Udemezue, the Engineering & Transporation director for the City of San Leandro.  He’s also running for San Leandro School Board.

Dan Walters (Engineer/Business Owner) is a San Leandro resident who runs a chemical company in town.  He is quite involved with the Chamber and the Boy Scouts, and leans Republican/libertarian on his politics. Candidate Statement.

AC Transit Director At Large

Joel Young

Joel Young

Joel Young (AC Transit District Director, At Large), the incumbent,was censured by the AC Board last year for reviewing confidential AC transit legal files, to help him with a case he was handling for the private law firm for which he works.  He had descended into ignominy earlier, after allegations of domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend.  Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Young tried to blame the young woman.  He ran for Assembly in 2012, and lost  in the primaries.  Still, this is a county-wide race with several candidates, and being the incumbent makes him the favorite.

Dollene Jones (Retired Bus Driver), a retired AC-transit driver who went on to fund a casino-bus service, ran for AC Transit board against Elsa Ortiz in 2012 and lost, she’s now making a run for the at-large seat.  Here is a video of her answering questions in 2012.

Adrienne Andrews (Paralegal/Student)

Murphy

Murphy McCalley

AC Transit, Ward 4

Covers another part of San Leandro

Mark Williams (AC Transit District Director, Ward 4) is the incumbent

Murphy McCalley (Retired Transportation Consultant)  has “served as Chief Financial Officer for two major California transit systems, and as a Consultant/Advisor to various transit systems throughout the United States.” Candidate Statement.

Karen Monroe

Karen Monroe

Alameda County Superintendent of Schools

This is the runoff from the June election, in which none of the 5 candidates was able to garner 50% of the votes. The two candidate now are:

Karen Monroe (Associate Superintendent/Educator) The current Superintendent, Shelia Jordan, designated Monroe as her successor and appointed her Associate Superintendent of Schools so she could run with that title.  Monroe is a young and dynamic African-American woman.  While her relationship with Jordan worry some, she is the favorite to win this race. Candidate Statement.

Helen Foster (Teacher/School Principal) is currently an administrator at the Hayward Unified School District and a San Lorenzo School Trustee.  Candidate Statement.

 

Races NOT on the ballot

San Leandro School Board, Area 2

Lance James

Lance James

Incumbent Lance James is a teacher in Hayward and active in the teacher’s union there. He has two children who’ve gone to San Leandro schools. He doesn’t have any competition, and therefore this race will not be in the ballot. Mr. James will be considered to be an appointed School Board member by the Education Code.

San Leandro School Board, Area 6

Appointed incumbent Ron Carey is unopposed.

Eden Township Healthcare District Board of Directors

There are 3 positions open.

Lester Friedman (Incumbent)

Roxann Lewis (Appointed Incumbent), a nurse who was very active in the campaign to Save San Leandro Hospital, was appointed to the board this month to fill a vacancy.

Thomas E. Lorentzen (Health Care Consultant) served in the Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. administrations, including as Regional Director of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  He later worked as a private health services counselor.  He lives in Castro Valley.

AC Transit, Ward 3

Covers part of San Leandro

Elsa Ortiz, the incumbent, is running unopposed.

EBMUD, Ward 3

Frank Mellon, the incumbent, is unopposed.